1

Is there a system to the way judo techniques are named? Many techniques seem to share components of names (harai, guruma, gaeshi etc) - is there a standard uniform way these words should be interpreted as describing these techniques, or are they context dependent?

2

The Kodokan New Japanese-English Dictionary of Judo has entries on most verbs used in technique names. Note that technique names usually employ the continuative tense of the verb (ending -i / -e), but the infinitive (generally in -u) is listed here:

haneru

(to spring/jump) A situation in which the powerful effect of a hane goshi or uchimata sends your opponent's body high into the air.

harau

(to sweep) To throw by acting on your opponent's feet, legs, or trunk with a sweeping type motion.

hikikomu

(to pull into) To pull your opponent into a particular position, particularly as a way of moving into mat-work (newaza).

kaesu

(to reverse; to counterattack) To stop an opponent's attack and then execute an attack or counterattack of your own.

karu

(to reap) To sweep your opponent's feet, legs, or hips out from under him using reaping motions of your feet and legs.

katameru

(to pin; to hold down) To use a hold-down technique to pin your opponent's body, or a portion of his body, in such a way that his freedom of movement is controlled and he is unable to move.

makikomu

(to wrap) To throw in such a way that part of your opponent's body wraps around yours as part of your technique, a common element in many sacrifice techniques.

nageru

(to throw) In judo the use of the hands, hips, feet and legs in a coordinated fashion and in accordance with the principles of physics in such a way that you cause your opponent to fall or roll forward, backward, or to the side.

osaekomu

(to hold down) To hold your opponent down on the mat from above so as to render him unable to move.

osaeru

(to hold down) To face your opponent and hold him down on the mat so as to render him unable to move.

sasaeru

(to support; to block) To use your feet, legs, or hips to block an opponent's attempts to move his body or a part of his body freely.

seou

(to load something onto your back) To load your opponent onto your hips and/or back.

shimeru

(to strangle; to choke) To apply pressure to your opponent's neck using your hands, arms, legs, or by manipulating his collar or lapel.

taosu

(to throw down) To throw down or otherwise defeat your opponent.

tsurikomu

(to lift and pull) To use lifting and pulling movements of the sleeve hand (hikite) and collar hand (tsurite) in order to "float" your opponent forward.

ukasu

(to float something upwards) To lift and pull your own body or your opponent's body in a way that it becomes nearly weightless for an instant.

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1

In judo the application of the techniques is done with a preponderance of one limb. That is clear. The classification of the techniques accounts for that. So there are groups of main activity of applying fulcrums like:

  • Te waza, Ashi waza, koshi waza

or after the direction of falls:

  • sutemi waza, uki waza, makikomi waza
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