Our web dojo includes resources to help you in your practice.
Sitting in seiza
1. Rise on your knees.
2. Move your shoulders up and down to release tension.
3. Sit down calmly, folding from the hips and keeping a light feeling.
4. Allow your hands to sit naturally on your lap.
If your posture is correct, your posture is naturally stable.
Ai – Harmony, coming together, unification.
Aikido – The way of harmony with Ki.
Bokken – Wooden training sword.
Choyaku – The exercise where one hops or steps as one executes a movement.
Dan – Black belt rank. There are ten stations of Dan, as follows:
- Shodan – 1st dan (beginning dan)
- Nidan – 2nd dan
- Sandan – 3rd dan
- Yondan – 4th dan
- Godan – 5th dan
- Rokudan – 6th dan
- Nanadan – 7th dan
- Hachidan – 8th dan
- Kudan – 9th dan
Judan – 10th dan
Do – In Japan, any art that is practiced to develop both technical and spiritual maturity is considered a do, a “way” or “path” of development.
Dogi – Training uniform – usually white canvas or muslin material.
Dojo – The training hall.
Fudoshin – Immovable mind.
Fudotai – Immovable body.
Gyosho – Aikido arts done with a full blend at the instant of contact, but not necessarily at full speed (i.e. cursive writing).
Hakama – A black (sometimes dark blue) split, pleated skirt/pants worn over the dogi by people who have earned the privilege.
Hanmi – The triangular stance. This position is meant to be relaxed, comfortable, and natural, and should in no way look or feel artificial or stiff. From the correct hanmi position, one can move readily in any direction.
Happo – Eight Directions.
Ikkyo – Number one technique.
Irimi – Moving to the inside, or moving into. Compare with tenkan.
Itten – The central balance point in the human body, located below the navel. All coordinated movement originates from this one point in the lower abdomen.
Jo – Wooden training staff. The correct length is indicated by the distance between the palms of one's outstretched hands or from the armpit to the floor.
Kaisho – Aikido arts done from a stationary position (i.e. block writing, printing).
Kaiten – Wheeling, turning.
Kaiten-nage – The spin throw which makes the partner's body revolve once before he is led down.
Kata-tori – Shoulder grab.
Katate-tori – Single-hand grab.
Ki – Ki, the life-force of the Universe Itself, which has no English equivalent. An essential element of all aspects of eastern culture – philosophy, medicine, art, physical training – the full significance of ki only becomes clear through firsthand experience.
Kokyu-nage – Breath or rhythm throw.
Koteoroshi – Formerly kotegaeshi, the name has been changed to reinforce the idea that this technique is a downward motion not a twisting motion.
Koshinage – Hip throw.
Kyu – Ranks prior to Shodan (5th kyu, 4th kyu, etc.).
Muna-tsuki – Strike to the chest/front.
Nage – A throw, one who throws, or executes a technique.
Nikyo – Number two technique.
Onegaishimasu – Please practice with me.
Randori – Free style nage against multiple attack – usually improvisational.
Sankyo – Number three technique.
Sayu – Term indicating left and right direction.
Seiza – Sitting on both knees with the back straight.
Sensei – Instructor. One who gives instruction. More importantly, one who leads the way. Literally, Sensei means "one step ahead".
Shiho-nage – Four-way throw.
Shikko – Moving from a kneeling position. Also called "samurai walk".
Shin – Mind, spirit, heart.
Shomen – Front side. The honored symbol of Ki and picture of Soshu (founder) Tohei mounted in the forefront of the training area. In other traditions this is referred to as the kamiza (upper seat).
Shomen-uchi – Strike to the center of the head.
Sosho – Aikido arts done at full speed with a strong leading of Ki (i.e. "grass" writing).
Taigi – Body art, technique. A kata-like grouping of arts performed by two people (usually) to a specific rhythm and time. There are International Taigi Competitions held in Japan every four years.
Tanto/tanken – Wooden training knife. All wooden training weapons are treated as if they were actually sharp steel. The idea here is to train as though the wooden weapon is steel.
Tenkan – Turning outside or away.
Ude-furi – Arm swinging.
Uke – One who is thrown, one who follows.
Ukemi – The art of falling without injury. It is said that one's ability to throw is only as good as one's ability to fall.
Undo – Exercise.
Ushiro – Back or behind.
Waza – Technique or system of techniques.
Yokomen-uchi – Strike to the side of the head.
Yonkyo – Number four technique.
Zempo-kaiten – Foward roll.
Zengo – Term indicating forward and backward direction.
Zanshin – Continuing mind, the mind that stops at, or on, nothing.