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The Harvard Aikikai Supplementary Glossary
 
 

Advanced Techniques

 Below is a list of techniques that are not in the basic set (kihon waza).  This list represents a group of very common techniques that are generally called, “kokyu-nage” or “breath throws” that you can see at many seminars and dojo throughout the world.  As these names are non-standard, we include as many variations as possible from different Aikido schools in this list to help familiarize you with the diversity (and ironically, the uniformity) of Aikido. 

Ago Tsukiage

顎突き上げ

“Chin Rising Thrust”

Gyakute kokyu-nage or Tenbin-nage or Hijikime-nage or Hiji-ate kokyu-nage or Udekime-nage

逆手呼吸投げ or 天秤投げ or きめ投げ or 呼吸投げ or 腕きめ投げ

“Opposite Hand Throw,” “Balance Scale Throw,” “Elbow – throw executed from arm bar behind elbow

Hitoe Irimi-nage or Sokumen Irimi-nage

一重入り身投げ or 側面入り身投げ

“Single Entering Throw” or “Side-faced Entering Throw”

Kata-guruma

肩車

“Shoulder Wheel” or a throw from which the Uke is thrown in a large circular motion of off the Tori’s shoulders

Kokyu-nage

呼吸投げ

“Breath Throw”

Hiki-otoshi

引き落とし

“Pulling Drop”

Katahiki-otoshi

肩ひき落とし

“Shoulder Pulling Drop”

Kiri-otoshi

り落とし

“Cutting Throw”

Maki-otoshi

落とし

“Rolling Drop”

Suri-otoshi

すり落とし

“Striking Drop”

Tai-otoshi

体落とし

“Body Drop”

Tsurikomi-goshi

釣込腰

“Lifting-pull Hip”

Tsuri-goshi

釣腰

“Pulling Hip”

Hajiki-goshi

はじき

“Flicking Hip”

O-goshi

大腰

“Large Hip”

Kote-hineri koshi-nage

小手捻り腰投げ

“Forearm Twist Hip Throw”

  Weapons

 There are numerous terms for techniques for Aiki-jo and Aiki-ken.  These will be passed on in class.  What is included here are some basic/common terms that will help you as you start to learn.

Bokken or Bokuto

木剣 or 木刀

A wooden sword

Choku-zuki

直突き

Straight thrust

Fumikomi-zuki

振り込突

A stepping in thrust.

Gedan-gaeshi

下段返し

Lower level sweep

Happo-giri

八方切り

Eight direction cut

Hasso

八相

“Eight-phase” position.  The weapon is held next to the shoulder of Uke-jo/tachi, and is perpendicular to the ground.

Jo

Stick or short staff roughly four to four and a half feet in length

Jo-awase

杖合わせ

Paired exercises in which basic use of the jo is emphasized

Jodan-gaeshi

上段返し

Upper level sweep

Kaeshi-zuki

返し突き

Returning/Sweeping thrust

Ken-awase

剣合わせ

Paired exercises in which basic use of the sword is emphasized

Ki-musubi-no-tachi

気結びの太刀

A paired ki-blending exercise done with swords

Kiri-kaeshi

切り返し

 “Returning cut,” a defensive position in which the blade is used to cover the Uke-tachi’s head and then is the position used to counterattack with a yokomen-uchi

Kumi-jo

組杖

Extended paired kata with jo, in which defenses and counter attacks with the weapon are practiced

Kumi-tachi

組太刀

Extended paired kata with sword, in which defenses and counter attacks with the weapon are practiced

Shiho-giri

四方切り

Four direction cut

Tachi

太刀

Sword, used only in the names of certain exercises or techniques (and not to refer to a wooden sword per se)

Tanto

短刀

Short sword; a wooden dagger used for practicing knife takeaways

Ushiro-zuki

後突き

Rear thrust with a jo

Aikido Ranking System

 Below is a basic chart of the most widely accepted form of the Aikido ranking system.  Like most modern Budo, Aikido uses the “kyu/dan” system rather than the traditional “menkyo” or license system of the koryu (Classical martial arts).  This is the system used by the Aikikai Foundation and the USAF.  All ranks are generally list from lowest to highest. 

Yukyusha and Mudansha

有級 or 無段者

“One with a class ranking” and “One without a black belt.”  These terms are interchangeable and usage depends on the dojo, organization or individual.

Yudansha

有段者

“One with a degree rank” or a black belt.  In the USAF, all yudansha are registered with the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Shinjuku, Tokyo, carry and International Yudansha Card, and are allowed to wear hakama.

Gokyu

五級

“Fifth class,” the lowest of all Aikido ranks in the USAF and the first rank a student tests for.  While some are considered roku-kyu or “sixth class” in some dojo and organizations, this is no the generally accepted practice.

Yonkyu

四級

“Fourth class”

Sankyu

参級

“Third class”

Nikyu

弐級

“Second class”

Ikkyu

壱級

“First class”

Shodan

初段

“First degree,” the first level of black belt.  Technically, the rank doesn’t mean “the first” but rather “the beginning.”

Nidan

弐段

“Second degree”

Sandan

参段

“Third degree”

Yondan

四段

“Fourth degree”

Godan

五段

“Fifth degree”

Rokudan

六段

“Six degree”

Nanadan

七段

“Seventh degree”

Hachidan

八段

“Eight degree”

Fuku-shidoin

副指導員

Lowest Instructor’s title.  An assistant instructor.  Usually a lower level yudansha but above shodan.  Minimally a 2nd degree black belt, but usually higher.

Shidoin

指導員

Certified Instructor.  A shidoin is generally a veteran yudansha and the head of their own dojo.  Minimally a 4th degree black belt, but usually a 5th degree or higher.

Shihan

師範

Top Instructor’s title.  "master" in Japanese.  An official rank presented by the Aikikai to individuals who hold the rank of 6th degree black belt and above, who generally teach Aikido professionally, either at the Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, or in one of the Aikikai's affiliate organizations in Japan or abroad.

Doshu

道主

The Headmaster or Master of the Way.  The first doshu was O-sensei, and has traditionally been a direct descendant of O-sensei.  The current doshu is the grandson of O-sensei.

 Hombu International Regulations, Ch. 3, Art. 6, Sec. 2 lists that dan rankings be from one to eight.  While one may hear of there being ninth and tenth degrees, we may assume that these ranks are no longer being issued by the Aikikai.  At 2005, there are several ninth degree black belts extant.  We are unsure about any living tenth degrees at this time.

  The original glossary was compiled in 2002 as part of the Harvard Aikikai's website by Jeffery Bayliss and Daryl Muranaka to reflect general Aikido terms and some terms particular to their respective training histories. Harvard Aikikai is proud to share this expanded version of the glossary with the MIT Aikido Club so that it may be posted on both websites.

 
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