The following words are used by Sensei during class. It’s important that students understand the meaning of the words and react quickly during class.

Command Translation
Yōi Be ready
Rei Bow
Shizentai Assume a natural position
Seiretsu Line-up
Hajime Begin
Maware or Mawatte Turn
Yasume Relax / Rest
Naore or Naotte Recover
Chikara Power
Hayaku Quickly
Yukkuri Slowly
Kamaete On guard or get in your ready to fight stance
Yame Stop

When Sensei says Yōi (Be ready!), a student should be ready right away to go to Shizentai (natural stance).


Kiai is the shout that goes along with the sharp exhalation used to tense the muscles and concentrate the whole energy (focus) for the attack or defense. Kiai should be used every time when going from Yōi to Kamae, at the end of a turn in Kihon excercise, and at specified points in each Kata. A good strong Kiai is very important but it should not be confused with high pitch screaming or shouting of actual word “Kiai!“.


Kime (decision), translated as “finish”, is the word that describes the way all the muscles in the body are sharply tensed at the moment of contact.  The muscles should be relatively relaxed before the attack or block makes contact so that movements can be as quick as possible. Kime decisively focuses the one’s power on to the target at the moment of contact.


Counting in class is generally done in Japanese and it is also one of the first aspects that students learn in class. Students have many opportunities to count in class.

Number – Pronounciation (Japanese character)

1 – Ichi  (一) 6 – Roku  (六)        
2 – Ni (二) 7 – Shichi/Nana (七)        
3 – San (三) 8 – Hachi  (八)        
4 – Shi/Yon (四) 9 – Ku/Kyū (九)        
5 – Go (五) 10 – Jū (十)        

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