Speaking Japanese

Speak­ing Japan­ese in Class

Even though we are an Eng­lish speak­ing peo­ple Wado Ryu is a Japan­ese art. Tra­di­tion and respect of the art lead us to con­tin­ue to use Japan­ese when refer­ring to tech­niques, forms, fight­ing con­cepts and very often gen­er­al activ­i­ties in and around the dojo. To assist begin­ning stu­dents, as they are intro­duced to the mar­tial arts, Eng­lish terms are used but as the stu­dent gains rank and moves into more advanced class­es they will find that Japan­ese is used more than Eng­lish when some­one refers to a par­tic­u­lar tech­nique or stance. Speak­ing Japan­ese isn’t a require­ment but gain­ing an under­stand­ing will make your jour­ney into the mar­tial arts more enjoyable.

The use of Japan­ese in class extends beyond sim­ply being used for the names of punch­es, kicks, etc. For exam­ple; Black Belts are bowed on and off the dojo floor by low­er ranked stu­dents announc­ing to class- “kiot­suke!” (Atten­tion!) “Rei” (bow). Stu­dents are told to begin a par­tic­u­lar exer­cise “hajime” (begin), or to stop what they are doing “mat­te” (wait or stop).

  • Japan­ese-Eng­lish Vocab­u­lary (Words com­mon­ly used and heard in the dojo)
  • Count­ing in Japanese

The fol­low­ing link is a Eng­lish-Japan­ese trans­la­tor that may be use­ful deter­min­ing the mean­ings of words not found here. Addi­tion­al trans­la­tors can be found in the main menu under Karate Links/Eng­lish-Japan­ese translators.

Jim Breen’s WWWJDIC Japan­ese-Eng­lish Dic­tio­nary is an easy to use translator/dictionary. It can con­vert Eng­lish to/from roman­ji and kanji.

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