Karate Glossary

Kata, translation of name, and thematic use (translation from multiple sources):

Anan – eclectic/unknown theme

Annanko – “peaceful south sunlight” – awareness

Aoinagi – “green willow tree” – resilience/persistence against overwhelming odds

Bassai – “to seize/capture/penetrate the enemy’s fortress” – impenetrability/penetration

Chinte – “rare hand”/”unusual hand” – the young woman’s way

Chinto – “by the strange water’s edge,” other translation “fighter to the east” – the mature woman’s way

Chintoshi – the elderly woman’s way

Chito- “the foolish sound of drums” – fear

Empi/Wanshu – “the swallow” – learn from nature

Gojushiho/Useishi – “54” – index kata

Hangetsu – “half moon” – irregular regularity

Jiin – “respect for mother”

Jion – “respect for father”

Jitte – “respect for karate”

Juroku – “16” – our demons/distortions

Kensei – “sword saint” – two paths (makoto/misogi) to enlightenment

Kosokun – “to view the sky” – finding our place in the universe, our moral compass

Kururunfa – “stay the waves”

Matsukaze/Wankuan – “pine tree wind/wind in the pines” – flexibility

Naihanchi – “internal divided conflict” – relationships

Nijushiho/Niseishi – “24” – living in the moment, the NOW

Nipaipo – “28”

Pinan – “peaceful, peaceful” – ways to achieve peace, discipline as a path to freedom

Rohai – “the crane” – community

Saifa – “smash and tear” – the ultimate limit

Sanchin – “three battles” – mind/body/spirit

Sanseiryu – “36” – the emissary

Seipai – “18 hands” – face the light/wobble

Seisan – “13,” “13 hands” – the lunar cycle, regular irregularity

Seiunchin – “young man bearing down” – the young man’s way

Shihohai – “reflection on four corners” – breaking out of our box

Sochin – “tranquil force”, “three generations” – the mature man’s way

Suparimpei/Peichurin – “108” -completion

Tenshin – “sky mind” – mapping the heavens

Unsu – “cloud hands” – Nakayama (outlast the hundred day storm) – dealing with the “storms” of life?

Wan-Do – “king’s way”

Sets and combinations with standard meanings:

alternating soto uke with chudan tsuki, shifting from front stance to the side (but embusen remaining front) on soto uke to heiko dachi(?) on chudan tsuki – “weapons and armor” – preparing for battle?

embusen – variation from the basic “I” shape conveys meaning. Facing can be future/past, outward/inward, for example.

henko – change

paired shuto uke on diagonals – “scouting moves” – looking for danger/threat

repetition of a technique three times – represents a thematic element

three low shuto uke, moving forward in neko ashi dachi – communication (historically high, middle, low representing different levels of communication)

Individual techniques with standard meanings:

empi uchi – elbow techniques can reference internal orientation, vs. tsuki representing external.

en uke – unmasking

washe uke – freedom