I find it extremely difficult to memorise all terms - there is no connection to me with them. Is there a good German or English translation for all terms used in Aikido?

  • 2
    Japanese is a very orderly language and the is considerable redundancy in the descriptive vocabulary, so in time the effort of adding a new term will go down. Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 23:53

3 Answers 3


Have fun with this list: http://www.ne.jp/asahi/dji/home/aikilex/

This is a tool for people who want to gain greater insight into the vocabulary of the art of aikido. Its purpose is not to offer authoritative definitions of the many terms we use in the dojo, but rather simply to list, in Japanese and romanized script, the words and word fragments which are the building blocks of that terminology. It has been, of course, necessary for me to include some indication of the meanings, and I've tried to give the most accurate and appropriate translations possible. It is my hope that this lexicon will help my fellow martial artists not only to grasp the deeper nuances in these terms and find semantic connections which have been obscured through the use of the roman alphabet, but in general to appreciate the linguistic heritage of their art.

  • Great - that is what I was looking for!
    – Nils
    Commented Mar 14, 2012 at 22:00
  • That link is interesting to me because I trained with Dave Iannucci before he moved away. Commented Apr 3, 2012 at 22:55

The names will depend on your style. For example, oshi taoshi is called both ikkyo and ikajo but refers to the same technique. You should try to get hold of your syllabus in romaji (the Roman alphabet transcript) as this will telly you the minimum you have to learn. The rest is just flavour.

The aiki web and the Aikido FAQ both have a glossary of common terms.

  • Good point. @Nils – What style/branch of Aikido are you studying? (Aikikai, Yoshinkai, Tomiki-ryu, etc.)
    – stslavik
    Commented Mar 14, 2012 at 16:24

There is also a small reference work called "Aikido Terminology: An essential reference tool in both English and Japanese."

The book has very thorough explanation of the language -- with things grouped usefully, (e.g. "stances", "etiquette", etc). It very clearly explains the words in English and Japanese including pronunciation.

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