When starting a class you will very quickly become aware of some of the Japanese terms and names for techniques.

This is a small list to get you started and help you understand the structure of what is said, how to say it and when to… Onegaishimasu! (You will learn this later)


  • Dojo-(Doh-Joh) Martial arts training Hall
  • Hanmi-(Han-Mee) Basic foot position, forming a triangle
  • Aye Hanmi-(Eye-Han-Mee) Same side/position
  • Gyaku Hanmi-(Gee-Ah-Koo Han-Mee) Opposite side/position
  • Kamae-(Kah-My) Basic body position
  • Seiza-(Say-Zah) Kneeling position
  • Ukemi-(Oo-Keh-Mee) Basic rolls/receiving a technique
  • Omote-(Oh-Mo-Teh) Entering Directly/In-front
  • Ura-(Oo-Rah) Entering Indirectly/Behind


  • Nage- (Nah-Geh) The person practicing the technique
  • Uke-(Oo-Keh) The person receiving the technique
  • Uchi Tachi-(Oo-Chee-Tah-Chee) The person attacking with weapon
  • Uke Tachi-(Oo-Keh-Tah-Chee) The person receiving a weapon attack
  • Kihon-(Kee-Hon) Static, starting from a stationary position
  • Ki no Nagare-(Kee-Noh-Nah-Gah-Reh) Flowing/Moving
  • Awase-(Ah-Wah-Say) Blending with/Moving together
  • Waza-(Wah-Zah) Literally means ‘Technique’
  • Suwari Waza-(Soo-Wah-Ree Waza-Zah) Kneeling techniques


  • Suburi-(Soo-Boo-Ree) Basic weapons practice/Solo practice
  • Bokken-(Boh-Ken) Wooden sword used in training
  • Jo-(Joh) Wooden staff used in training
  • Onegaishimasu-(Oh-Neh-Guy-Shee-Mas) “Please will you train with/teach me?”
  • Domo-(Doh-Moh) Thanks
  • Domo Arigato-(Doh-Moh-Ari-Gah-Toh) Thanks a lot
  • Domo Arigato Gozaimashite-(Doh-Moh Ari-Gah-Toh-Goh-Zy-Mash-Teh) “Thank you Very Much!!”


  • Dori-(Doh-Ree) Hold/Grab
  • Katate-(Kah-Tah-Teh) Wrist
  • Hiji-(Hih-Jee) Elbow/Sleeve
  • Kata-(Kah-Tah) Shoulder
  • Mune-(Moo-Neh) Chest/Front of body
  • Eri-(Eh-Ree) Lapel
  • Ryote-(Ree-Oh-Teh) Both hands held from the front
  • Ryokata-(Ree-Oh-Kah-Tah) Both shoulders held from the front
  • Morote-(Moh-Roh-Teh) One arm being held by two hands
  • Ushiro-(Oo-Shee-Roh) Held from behind


  • Uchi-(Oo-Chee) Cut/Strike
  • Tsuki-(Soo-Kee/Skee) Thrust straight
  • Mune Tsuki-(Moo-Neh Soo-Kee) Straight punch to the solar plexus
  • Yokomen Uchi-(Yoh-Koh-Men Oo-Chee) Diagonal strike to the head
  • Shomen Uchi-(Sho-Men Oo-Chee) Straight strike to the top of the head coming downwards


  • Tai No Henko-(Ty-Noh-Hen-Koh) Basic body turn
  • Ikkyo-(Ik-Kee-Oh) 1st Principle- Basic elbow control
  • Nikkyo-(Nik-Kee-Oh) 2nd Principle- Basic wrist control
  • Sankyo-(San-Kee-Oh) 3rd Principle- Basic inward wrist twist
  • Yonkyo-(Yon-Kee-Oh) 4th Principle- Basic forearm control/ nerve point pressure
  • Gokkyo-(Gok-Kee-Oh) 5th Principle- Basic wrist control from underneath/”Upside down” Ikkyo
  • Rokkyo-(Rok-Kee-Oh) 6th Principle- Basic shoulder control/Arm bar

(Please understand that this terminology can only give you an idea of the technique and should only be used as reference rather than a complete understanding…)


  • Shihonage-(Shee-Hoh-Nah-Geh) Four direction throw
  • Irimi nage-(Ih-Ri-Mee-Nah-Geh) Entering throw
  • Kaiten nage-(Ky-Ten-Nah-Geh) Rotary/Wheel throw
  • Tenchi nage-(Ten-Chee-Nah-Geh) Heaven and Earth throw
  • Kote Gaeshi-(Koh-Teh Gy-Shee) Outward wrist turn/throw
  • Koshi nage-(Koh-Shee-Nah-Geh) Hip throw
  • Juji nage-(Joo-Jee Nah-Geh) Crossed-arm throw
  • Aiki Otoshi-(Eye-Kee-Oh-Toh-Shee) Aiki drop
  • Kokyu nage-(Koh-Kee-Oo-Nah-Geh) Breath throw


The structure adopted in class is the same in all Aikido dojos around the world, so once you know what to say in one you are set to go travelling!!

It goes…

Body position, Grab or Attack, Technique, Direct or Indirect, Static or flowing.


So… for example

Aye Hanmi Katate Dori Shihonage Omote waza (in) Ki no Nagare.

It seems like a lot but just check the list and you’ll see it basically asks for you to demonstrate

A direct-entry, four direction throw in flowing movements, when the attacker takes hold of your wrist with the same body positioning i.e. They grab your left wrist with their left hand reaching across their body


Kata Dori Ikkyo Ura waza (in) Kihon.

1st Principle elbow control with an indirect entry behind, from a shoulder grab, starting from a static position

Mune Dori Nikkyo Omote waza (in) Kihon

2nd Principle wrist control with a direct entry to the front, from a chest/collar grab, starting from a static position

Did that help?

Hopefully now you will have a solid knowledge of the basic terms used in Aikido, how to say them and when you can use them.

Please look at other available resources as well as this is not a comprehensive list, but is more than enough to get you started. If you have any questions regarding terminology speak to your instructor or more experienced students.

I hope you have enjoyed this and will one day see you at the Dojo (Training Hall)

Domo Arigato Gozaimashite!!!