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.