Dojo Japanese

Dojo Japanese–Word of The Day


muga [no-self] no ego nor sense of oneself within the practitioner.

mushin [no-mind] the “face” of the budo practitioner demonstrating this concept shows no thought nor emotion relating to expression. (Interestingly, from the Western viewpoint this “face” might or could be viewed as arrogance. But, it is not)

mugamae [no-posture] this is seen as a completely natural posture executed by the most expert practitioners of the budo arts. The displayed posture is the “no posture posture or, natural posture.


Previous Entries:

Arigato gozaimasu – said in the present tense. Thank you for what you are doing or just did..

Ashi sabaki [foot / leg handling] footwork. Although much of the teaching / learning attention in aikido goes to use of our arms and hands, much more attention should be placed on footwork and foot / leg movement, especially in the beginning stages of learning in the physical domain.

Ayumi ashi – walking foot (normal walking)

Dojo – this is a place to study the Way, a “path-place” to study and integrate character in a student’s being–a place to study the etiquette associated with being a person, or personhood.

Domo – again and again. said casually for thanks or, thank you.

Domo arigato gozaimashita –  said in the past tense and formally.  Again and again, thank you for what you have done.

Domo arigato gozaimasu – said in the present tense and formally. Again and again, thank you for  what you  are doing or just did.

Funa kogi  undo – (boat-row-exercise) this “boat rowing” purification exercise uses the movement concept of a small asian style boat and not a Western style rowboat. {Therefore, this movement concept is not a concept using an imaginary Western style rowboat, but rather, the style of boat where the rower is standing on a platform at the stern of the boat “rowing” it with a “back and forth” movement pattern rather than a forward to backward movement pattern.]

Go no sen – [late-initiative] timing near the end of the attack.

Irimi – entering body (But the questions is, to enter where?) Ans. Shikaku, see below.

Kamae – posture; stance

Misogi – purification rituals

Mizu no gyo – the practice of meditating under a waterfall

Onegai shimasu – please, I ask/beg “a favor” of you. Would you be so kind as to (in the context of the dojo) “train with me?” This is the Japanese phrase  used when giving a salutation at the beginning of an aikido training class. Or,  when requesting training with another individual in the dojo.

Okuri ashi – sending step; [from the position of the left foot forward] the leading foot (left) is moved forward first followed by the right foot, all the while still remaining in the same stance configuration–that is with the left foot finishing in the forward position.

Omote – front; an area in front of the “line of attack” or, in front of the person giving the attack. (This concept is excellent for use in a teaching/learning situation and will assist a new aikidoist in the classification of aikido technique.

Rasen –  [screw-rotation] movement done in the shape or as a corkscrew, a spiral shape.

Sen no sen – [early-initiative] timing near the beginning of the attack.

Sen sen no sen – [before the initiative] to have already “won” before the attack begins.

Shikaku – [dead angle] the “blind spot” located “within” an imaginary triangle in front of or behind the training partner’s foot positions.

Shisei – referring to the posture or “alignment” of the aikidoist. The “figure-strength” (shisei)  displays the strength of a practitioner’s character through his or her posture and alignment.

Shikko – knee go (walking on the knees from the kneeling position).

Shizentai – natural-body / natural posture

Suri ashi  [slide-foot] movement with sliding one’s feet across the mat.  

Tenkai – [revolve-around] to revolve/spin in place; to revolve directly around and in place without a stepping forward or a backward movement.

Tenkan – [revolve-convert] to turn or spin around the forward foot as the pivot point; convert; revolve;  divert

Tai no henko [body-change-renew] movements to change the practitioner’s  positions and/or stances in relationship to the training partner’s position/stance..

Taijutsu – body art (Not to be confused with tattooing); the arts of movement

Tai sabaki – body-handling  or bodywork

Tsugi ashi – continuous step; [from the position of the left foot forward] stepping the back (right) foot toward the front (left) foot and then moving the front (left) foot  forward with a continuous movement. This is a “stealing step” since it adjusts the physical distance (ma-ai) between the training partners but, is “unseen” from the uke’s position.

Ura – behind; to the rear of  the “line of attack” or, an area or movement toward the back or rear side of the person delivering the attack.  (It’s sometimes said that Ura — is the secret of aikido.)

A thank you to Michael Hacker for his fine text, The Language of Aikido: A Practitioner’s Guide to Japanese Characters and Terminology. This text gives the “backdrop” to this section of the webpage, Dojo Japanese–Word of The Day. [See: Hacker, M. (2017). The Language of Aikido: A Practitioner’s Guide to Japanese Characters and Terminology.]