400+ Judo Terms - Ultimate List of Japanese Judo Terms and Terminology

Judo terms

This page is a comprehensive collection of Judo terms for beginners and advanced judokas.

Judo is a complex system of techniques and principles with plenty of Judo terms. In order to master judo, you’ll need a good understanding of Judo terminology.

This includes both the traditional Japanese language and the modern English translation of the same.

Skip to: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, M, N, O, R, S, T, U, W, Y, Z, Numbers

Japanese English translations
A
Ai yotsu - あいよつ Same grip used by both persons, either right or left
Aka obi - 赤帯 Traditional red belt - used to differentiate judokas in a match
Anza - 安座 (also Agura - 胡坐)
Sitting cross legged or foreign/barbarian sitting
Arigatou - ありがとう Thank you
Ashi - 足 Foot, leg
Ashi garami - 足緘
Leg lock
Ashi gatame - 腕挫脚固 Leg armlock
Ashi guruma - 足車
Leg wheel
Ashi hara gatame Leg stomach arm lock
Ashi jime Leg strangle
Ashi sankaku garami Leg triangle entangled armlock
Ashi waza - 足技 Foot techniques
Atemi waza - 当て身技 Striking techniques
Ayumi ashi Normal pattern of walking
B
Batsugun Instant promotion
Bogyo Defense - to an attack
Budo - 武道 Martial way
Bujutsu - 武術 Martial arts
Bushido Way of the warrior
C
Chui Penalty (no longer used)
D
Daki ko soto gake Hug minor outside hook
Daki wakare - 抱分 Hug seperation
Dan - Black belt rank
De ashi harai - 出足払
Advancing foot sweep [1, 2]
Debana Instant of opportunity to break balance as opponent initiates a motion
Do - 道 Path, way or road
Do jime - 胴絞
Dojo School or training hall for practising Judo
E
Ebi garami Lobster entanglement
Eri White Judogi or blue Judogi collar, lapel
Eri seoi nage Collar shoulder throw
F
Fudoshin Immovable spirit
Furi nage Flip throw
Fusegi Escape from a pin
Fusen Gachi Win by default
G
Gachi Win of any type
Gake Dashing action done with the leg
Ganseki otoshi Rock drop
Garami Entangle
Gatame Lock or hold
Go no kata - 剛の形 Forms of force
Go no sen no kata - 後の先の形 A kata of counter techniques
Godan Fifth degree black belt
Gokyu Firth class (kyu) Judo rank
Goshi Waist or hip
Goshin Jutsu Formal form or art of self-defense
Gyaku Reverse
Gyaku juji jime - 逆十字絞
Reverse cross strangle
Gyaku sankaku gatame Revers triangular hold
Gyaku kesa gaami Reverse scarf entangled armlock
Gyaku okuri eri jime Reverse sliding collar choke
Gyaku tekubi Reverse wrist
H
Hadaka jime - 裸絞
Naked strangle
Haichidan Seventh degree black belt
Hairi kata Entry methods into matwork
Hajime - 始め
Beginning or start [1, 2]
Hane Springing action done with the leg
Hane goshi - 跳腰
Spring hip
Hane goshi gaeshi - 跳腰返
Hane makikomi - 跳巻込 Winding spring hip
Hando no kuzushi Unbalancing by reaction
Hanshi - 教士 Exemplary teacher - comes from Shogo [1]
Hansoku make - 反則負け Most serious penalty, disqualification
Hantai ude kujiki Reverse arm crush
Hantei - 判定 Referee call for judge’s decision
Happo no kuzushi Kuzushi in 8 directions
Hara - 腹 Stomach, naval or "center of gravity"
Harai - 払 Sweeping action done with the leg
Harai goshi - 払腰
Sweeping hip
Harai goshi gaeshi - 払腰返
Harai makikomi - 払巻込 Winding sweeping hip
Harai tsuri komi ashi - 払釣込足
Sweeping lift-pull ankle
Hasami jime Scissor strangle
Hidari Left
Hidari ashi jime Left leg strangle
Hidari shizentai Left standing grip
Hiji Elbow
Hiji otoshi Elbow drop
Hiki komi gaeshi - 引込返 Rolling take down
Hiji makikomi Elbow coiling
Hiki otoshi Pull drop
Hiki wake No decision–tie or draw
Hikite Pulling hand - usually the hand gripping a sleeve
Hiza - 膝 Knee
Hiza gatame Knee lock
Hiza guruma - 膝車
Knee wheel
Hiza soto muso Knee outer leg shoulder throw
Hon kami shiho gatame Upper four quarters hold
Hon kata gatame
Shoulder holding
Hon kesa gatame
Scarf hold
Hon tate shiho gatame Lengthwise four quarters hold
I
Ikkyu First class (kyu) judo rank
Ippon - 一本 Victory in one move, one point
Ippon Seoi nage一本背負投
One arm shoulder throw
Itsutsu no kata - 五の形 Forms of five - advanced kata
J
Jigo hontai Defensive posture
Jigoku jime Hell strangle
Jigoro Kano - 嘉納治五郎 Founder of Judo
Jikan Referee call to stop the clock
Jita kyoei - 自他共栄 Principle of mutual prosperity or mutual welfare and benefit
Joseki Place of honor, upper seat
Joshi goshinho - 女子護身法 Methods of self-defence for women
Ju - 柔 Gentle, non-resistive
Judan Tenth degree black belt
Judo - 柔道 Japanese martial art, also gentle way
Judo Ichidai A Judo life–Spending one’s life in the diligent pursuit of Judo
Judogi - 柔道着 Judo practice uniform - Judo suit
Judoka - 柔道家 One who studies Judo
Juji Cross
Juji ashi shiho gatame Cross leg four quarters hold
Juji gatame Cross armlock
Juji jime Cross strangle
Junbi undo Judo warm-up exercises
Junidan Twelfth degree black belt - held only by Jigoro Kano
Ju no kata - 柔の形 Forms of gentleness & flexibility
Ju no Ri Principle of flexibility or yielding
Jujutsu Gentle art
Jutsu - Art or means
K
Kaeshi jime Overturn strangle
Kaeshi waza Counter techniques
Kakato jime Heel strangle
Kake - 掛け Completion or execution of technique
Kami hiza gatame Upper knee lock
Kami sankaku gatame Upper triangular hold
Kami shiho ashi jime Upper four quarter hold leg strangle
Kami shiho basami Upper four quarter hold scissors
Kami shiho gatame - 上四方固
Upper four quarters hold
Kami shiho gatame escapes - 上四方固の逃れ方 Escape technques from Kami shiho gatame
Kamiza Side of the dojo or tournament mat reserved fo senior Judoka or officials
Kani basami - 蟹挟 Scissors Throw or Flying Scissors
Kani jime Crab strangle
Kannuki gatame Bolt lock
Kansetsu waza - 関節技
Joint locking techniques
Kanwa - 緩和 Relaxation
Kappo Resuscitation techniques
Kata - Forms or Shoulder
Kata eri jime Single collar strangle
Kata eri seoi Single lapel shoulder throw
Kata eri sode tsurikomi goshi Single lapel and sleeve lifting drawing hip
Kata gatame - 肩固
Kata gatame escapes - 肩固の逃れ方 Escape techniques from Kata gatame
Kata guruma - 肩車 Shoulder wheel
Kata ha jime - 片羽絞
Single collar strangle
Kata hiza tai otoshi One knee body drop
Kata hiza te ouchi gake ashi dori Single knee hand major inside hook
Kata juji jime - 片十字絞
Single cross strangle
Kata osae gatame Shoulder trap holding
Kata sode ashi tsurikomi goshi Single sleeve leg lifting drawing hip throw
Kata sode seoi nage Single sleeve shoulder throw
Kata sode seoi otoshi Single sleeve shoulder drop
Kata soto ashi dori Single outer leg grab
Kata te ashi koshi jime Single hand leg hip strangle
Kata te jime - 片手絞
Strangle with one hand
Kata te kata ashi jime One hand one leg strangle
Kata uchi ashi dori Single inner leg grab
Katame no kata - 固の形 Forms of grappling
Katame waza - 固技
Grappling techniques
Katame-waza ura-no-kata - 固め技裏の形 Forms of reversing controlling techniques
Katsu Resuscitation
Katsugi gatame Shoulder carry lock
Katsugi jime Shoulder carry strangle
Kawazu gake - 河津掛 Illegal act of entwining the leg of an opponent
Keiko Practice in general
Keikogi - 稽古着 White uniform
Keikoku Penalty (no longer used)
Ken ken uchi mata Hoping inner thigh
Kenka Yotsu Opposite grips used by each person, one right/one left
Kenkyu sei - 研究生 Judo practicioner below 4th dan - only athletes above 4th were called Judoka (traditional meaing)
Kensui jime Hanging strangle
Kesa garami Scarf hold lock
Kesa gatame - 袈裟固 Scarf hold [1, 2]
Kesa gatame escapes - 袈裟固の逃れ方 Escape techniques from Kesa gatame
Ki Internal force or spiritual energy
Kibisu gaeshi - 踵返 Single leg take down - ankle pick
Kiai To gather spirit with a shout
Kiken gachi Win by withdrawal of the opponent during a match
Kime no kata - 極の形 Forms of decision
Kincho - 緊張 Tension
Kinsa Slight superiorit - contest call
Kinshi Waza Techniques prohibited in competition
Kiotsuke Attention
Ko Little or minor
Ko soto gake - 小外掛
Minor outer hook
Ko soto gari - 小外刈
Minor outer reaping
Ko uchi gaeshi - 小内返
Ko uchi counter
Ko uchi gake Minor inner hook
Ko uchi gake maki komi Minor inner hook winding
Ko uchi gake mata maki komi Minor inner hook thigh winding
Ko uchi gari - 小内刈
Minor inner reaping
Ko uchi makikomi - 小内巻込
Kodansha High ranking judoka — 5th dan and above
Kodokan - 講道館 Judo institute in Tokyo where Judo was founded
Kodokan goshinjutsu - 講道館護身術 Kodokan skills of self-defence
Kogeki seyo Order for judoka to attack
Kohaku shiai "Winner stays up" team contest
Koho-ukemi Falling methods to the rear
Koka - 効果 Score less than a yuko - not used anymore
Kokyu - 呼吸 Deep breathing into the belly
Komi - 込 Pull, moving into/toward something or pushing inside something
Koshi - 腰 Hip
Koshi guruma - 腰車
Hip wheel
Koshi jime Hip strangle
Koshi waza - 腰技 Hip techniques
Koshiki no kata - 古式の形 Ancient forms
Kubi Neck
Kubi nage Neck throw
Kuchiki taoshi - 朽木倒 Single leg take down or pushing the rotten tree
Kudan Ninth degree black belt
Kumi kata Gripping methods - forms of gripping an opponent
Kuro obi - 黒帯 Black belt
Kuzure Modified hold
Kuzure kami shiho gatame - 崩上四方固
Broken upper four quarters lock
Kuzure kami shiho gatame escapes - 崩上四方固の逃れ方 Escape techniques from Kuzure kami shiho gatame
Kuzure kesa gatame - 崩袈裟固
Broken scarf hold
Kuzure kesa gatame escapes - 崩袈裟固の逃れ方 Escape techniques from Kuzure kesa gatame
Kuzure tate shiho gatame Broken lengthwise four quarters hold
Kuzure yoko shiho gatame Broken side four quarters hold
Kuzushi - 崩し Unbalancing the opponent
Kyoshi - 教士 Expert teacher or professor - comes from Shogo [1]
Kyu - Student rank
M
Maai Space or engagement distance
Mae - 前 Forward, front
Mae hiza uranage Face knee rear throw
Mae mawar ukemi Forward rolling breakfall
Mae sabaki Frontal escape
Mae ukemi - 前受け身 Forward breakfall
Mae sode jime Facing sleeve strangle
Maitta - まいった I surrender
Makaura kesa gatame Pillow scarf holding
Masutemi waza - 真捨身技 Back sacrifice throws
Mata Thigh
Matte - 待
Stop, break or wait [1]
Migi Right
Migi shizentai Right standing grip
Morote eri seoi nage Two handed shoulder throw or two handed lapel shoulder
Morote gari - 双手刈
Double leg grab
Morote kata sode tai otoshi Two hand single sleeve body drop
Morote seoi nage Two handed shoulder throw
Mudansha Students below black belt rank
Mune Chest
Mune gatame Chest hold [1, 2]
Mune gyaku Chest lock
N
Nage Throw
Nage no kata - 投の形 Forms of throwing - 15 throws
Nage komi Repetitive throwing practice
Nage waza - 投技
Throwing techniques
Nage waza ura no kata - 投げ技裏の形 [1, 2]
Nami Normal
Nami juji jime - 並十字絞
Normal cross strangle
Ne Waza Techniques on the ground
Nidan Second degree black belt
Nidan ko soto gake Two step minor outer hook
Nidan ko soto gari Two step minor outer reap
Nikyu Second class (kyu) Judo rank
O
O Big or major
Obi - Judo belt
Obi goshi Belt hip throw
Obi otoshi - 帯落
Belt drop
Obi seoi Belt shoulder throw
Obi tori geashi - 帯取返
Obi tori o soto gari Belt grab major outer reaping
O goshi - 大腰
Major hip
O guruma - 大車
Major wheel
O soto otoshi - 大外落 Major outer drop [1, 2]
O soto gaeshi - 大外返
O soto counter
O soto gake Major outer hook
O soto gari - 大外刈
Major outer reaping
O soto guruma - 大外車
O soto makikomi - 大外巻込 Major outer winding
O soto otoshi - 大外落
O uchi gaeshi - 大内返
O uchi gari - 大内刈
Major inner reaping
O uchi gake Major inner hook
Okuden Secret teachings
Okuri ashi harai - 送足払
Double foot sweep
Okuri eri jime - 送襟絞
Sliding collar strangle
Onegai shimasu Please
Osaekomi Pin or holding, referee call to begin timing
Osaekomi waza - 抑込技
Hold down - pinning techniques
Osaekomi toketa Escape, stop timing of hold
Otoshi To drop
R
Randori - 乱取り Free practice
Randori no kata - 乱取りの形 Forms of free practice techniques
Randori waza Techniques for free practice
Rei Bow [1, 2]
Reiho Forms of respect, manners, etiquette
Renraku waza Combinations in different direction
Renshi - 錬士 Lowest rank in Shogo - "polished teacher"
Renzoku waza Combinations in the same direction
Ritsurei Standing bow
Rokkudan Sixth degree black belt
Rokyu Sixth class (kyu) Judo rank
Ryo ashi tomoe nage Two feet circle or stomach throw
Ryo hiza gatame Double knee armlock
Ryo hiza kata guruma Two knees shoulder wheel
Ryo hiza seoi otoshi Two knees shoulder drop
Ryo te jime - 両手絞
Sliding collar strangle
S
Sandan Third degree black belt
Sankaku gatame Triangular hold down
Sankaku jime - 三角絞
Triangular strangle
Sankaku osae gatame Triangular strangle and hold down
San kyu Third class (kyu) Judo rank
Sasae tsuri komi ashi - 支釣込足
Propping drawing ankle
Seika Tanden A point in the abdomen that is the center of gravity
Seiryoku zenyo - 精力善用 Kano's principle of maximum efficiency, minimum effort
Seiryoku zenyo kokumin taiiku - 精力善用国家体育 Maximum-efficiency national physical education
Seiza Formal sitting on knees
Sen Attack initiative
Sensei - 先生 Teacher, instructor
Seoi nage - 背負投
Over the back throw
Seoi otoshi - 背負落
Shoulder drop
Shiai - 試合 Contest or tournament
Shiaijo Competition area
Shido - 指導 Penalty
Shihan - 師範 Title for a model teacher or “teacher who sets the standard”- applied only to Jigoro Kano [1]. Comes from Shogo [1]
Shiho Four corners (as in pins)
Shiho gatame Four quarter hold
Shime Choke
Shime waza - 絞技
Choking techniques
Shinpan Referee
Shintai Moving forwards, sideways & backwards
Shisei - 姿勢 Posture
Shishidan Eight degree black belt
Shizentai Natural posture
Shodan First degree black belt
Shogo - 称号 Parallel belt system[1]
Shomen Dojo front
Simmeisho no Waza Newly certified throwing techniques of Kodokan Judo
Sode Sleeve
Sode guruma jime - 袖車絞
Sleeve wheel
Sode tsuri komi goshi - 袖釣込腰
Sleeve lift pull hip
Sogo gachi Combination win by adding a one half point from a violation and one Waza-ari
Soke Founder of a martial art or ryu
Sono Mama Stop action; command to freeze
Sore Made Finished, time is up
Sotai rensho Practice in pairs
Soto Outside
Soto ashi dori ouchi gari Outside leg grab major inner sweep
Soto kibisu gaeshi Outer heel trip

Soto makikomi - 外巻込

Outside winding
Soto ashi dori ouchi gari Outside leg grab with major inner sweep
Soto mata seoi otoshi Over thigh shoulder throw
Sukashi Avoiding or evasive action
Sukoshi A little
Sukui nage - 掬投
Scoop throw
Sumi gaeshi - 隅返 Corner throw
Sumi otoshi - 隅落
Corner drop
Sute geiko - 捨稽古 Randori throwing practice without resistance done with a partner
Sutemi Sacrifice
Sutemi waza - 捨身技 Sacrifice techniques - from supine position
Tachi Waza Standing techniques
T
Tachi rei Standing bow [1, 2]
Tachi waza - 立ち技 Standing technique
Tai Body
Tai otoshi - 体落 Body drop - hand throw
Tai Sabaki Body control, turning body
Tama guruma Ball wheel
Tandoku rensho Solo practice
Tani otoshi - 谷落 Valley drop
Tatami Mat
Tate sankaku gatame Lengthwise triangular holding
Tate shiho gatame - 縦四方固
Lengthwise four quarters hold
Tate shiho gatame escapes - 縦四方固の逃れ方 Escape techniques from Tate shiho gatame
Tawara gaeshi - 俵返 Rice bag reversal throw
Tawara jime Rice bale strangle
Te Hand, arm
Te guruma Hand wheel
Te waza - 手技 Hand techniques
Tekubi Wrist
Tentori shiai Man-for-man, or elimination tournament
Toketa Hold broken, referee's command
Tokui Waza Favorite or best technique
Tomoe nage - 巴投 Circle throw
Tori - 取り Person performing a technique or taker
Tsubame gaeshi - 燕返
Swallow swoop counter
Tsugi ashi Following foot walking
Tsukuri - 作り Entry into a technique, positioning
Tsuri
Lift
Tsuri goshi - 釣腰
Fishing hip throw
Tsuri komi Lift-pull action
Tsuri komi ashi Propping drawing ankle
Tsuri komi goshi - 釣込腰
Drawing hip
Tsuri komi jime - 突込絞
Thrusting strangle
Tsurite Lifting hand
U
Uchi Inside
Uchi kibusu gaeshi Inner heel trip
Uchi makikomi - 内巻込 Inner winding
Uchi mata - 内股
Inner thigh
Uchi mata gaeshi - 内股返
Uchi mata makikomi - 内股巻込 Winding inner throw
Uchi mata sukashi - 内股すかし
Inner thigh reaping throw or Uchi mata side step
Uchi komi - 内込 Repeated practice without completion
Ude Arm
Ude gaeshi Arm roll
Ude garami - 腕緘
Entangled armlock
Ude gatame Arm lock
Ude hishigi juji gatame - 腕挫十字固
Ude hishigi ashi gatame - 腕挫脚固
Ude hishigi hara gatame - 腕挫腹固
Stomach lock
Ude hishigi hiza gatame - 腕挫膝固
Ude hishigi sankaku gatame - 腕挫三角
Ude hishigi te gatame - 腕挫手固
Ude hishigi ude gatame - 腕挫腕固
Ude hishigi waki gatame - 腕挫腋固
Uke - 受け Person being attacked or receiving the technique or receiver
Ukemi - 受け身 Breakfall techniques
Uki To float or floating
Uki gatame - 浮固
Floating holding
Uki gatame escapes - 浮固の逃れ方 Escape techniques from Uki gatame
Uki goshi - 浮腰
Floating hip
Uki otoshi - 浮落
Floating drop
Uki waza - 浮技 Floating throw
Undo Exercises in general
Ura - 裏 Rear, behind - as in throwing and pinning
Ura gatame - 裏固
Rear holding
Ura gatame escapes - 裏固の逃れ方 Escape techniqes from Ura gatame
Ura juji jime Rear cross strangle
Ura kesa gatame Rear scarf hold
Ura nage - 裏投 Rear throw
Ushiro Backward, rear
Ushiro goshi - 後腰
Rear hip
Ushiro hiza ura nage Rear knee lift
Ushiro kesa gatame - 後袈裟固
Reverse scarf holding
Ushiro kesa gatame escapes - 後袈裟固の逃れ方 Escape techniques from Ushiro kesa gatame
Ushiro sabaki Back movement control
Ushiro ukemi - 後ろ受身 Rear breakfall [1, 2]
Utsuri goshi - 移腰
Changing hip
Uwagi - 上衣 Judogi jacket
W
Waki Armpit
Waki gatame Armpit lock
Waki otoshi Armpit drop
Waza - Technique
Waza ari - 技あり Near ippon or half point
Waza ari awasete ippon - 技あり合わせて一本 Two waza-ari together for the ippon score
Y
Yakusoku geiko (or renshu) - 約束稽古 Pre-arranged free practice
Yama arashi - 山嵐
Mountain storm
Yodan Fourth degree black belt
Yoko - 有効 Side
Yoko gake - 横掛 Side hook
Yoko guruma - 横車 Side wheel
Yoko kaiten ukemi Sideways rolling break fall
Yoko kata guruma otoshi Side shoulder wheel body drop
Yoko otoshi - 横落 Side body drop
Yoho shiho gatame - 横四方固
Side four quarters hold
Yoko shiho gatame escapes - 横四方固の逃れ方 Escape techniques from Yoko shiho gatame
Yoko sutemi waza - 橫捨身技 Side sacrifice throws
Yoko tomoe nage Side circle or side stomach throw
Yoko ukemi - 横受身
Side breakfall [1, 2]
Yoko wakare - 横分 Side separation
Yonkyu Fourth class (kyu) Judo rank
Yoshi Resume action, continue
Yubi Finger
Yudansha Person who earned any black belt
Yudanshakai Black belt association
Yuko - 有効 Score less than a waza-ari
Yusei Gachi Win by judge’s decision
Z
Zanshin Awareness
Za rei Kneeling or seated bow [1, 2]
Zenpo kaiten ukemi - 前方回転受身 Forward rolling break fall
Zori - 草履 Japanese sandals made of rice straw
Zuban - ズボン Judogi pants
Numbers
1 Ichi
2 Ni
3 San
4 Shi
5 Go
6 Roku
7 Shichi
8 Hachi
9 Ku
10 Ju
11 Juichi
12 Juni
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