A Few Words

Several people have asked me recently about some of the words we use at the dojo. I’ve sent them some info privately, but what the heck, I might as well share with everyone. 

It drives me nuts to not understand what’s being said. Even worse, to use words I don’t understand, repeating them by rote. So I’ve tried my best to make sense of the terminology around Aikido. In most cases the explanations I give will simply be my own understanding of the meanings, tricks I use for remembering them, etc.

Some of the things I intend to cover include

  • Numbers and counting-related words
  • Attack and technique-related words
  • Names of things
  • Weapons technique names
  • Commonly-heard Japanese greetings and phrases

These posts will be as accurate as I can make them, but will all be informally based on my own very limited understanding. I will try to give some indication of how sure I am of what I’m saying, and if I’m just plain wrong please tell me so (and if appropriate I’ll go back and correct things). Any pronunciation tips I give will only be for how I’ve heard them spoken in the context of training, not The Correct Japanese Pronunciation. In no case should anything in these posts be considered authoritative. I do hope it will be helpful, though!

When I know of solid sources of information I will point those out. There are a few very good books, websites, and podcasts, both for learning Aikido-specific terminology, and for learning to speak Japanese.

I will tag each of these posts Words so you can click that tag after each post to see more posts about words. You can also go directly to a page here that will catalog all my posts about Aikido terminology.

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