Budō Jiten − Martial Arts Dictionary
This dictionary is the result of my personal research to develop a martial arts vocabulary based on the living traditions of Ti, as taught by my teacher Onaga Yoshimitsu Kaichō at the Shinjinbukan School. Unauthorized reproduction, translation into other languages or sale of these materials constitutes a copyright violation.
Written by Jimmy Mora
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Lit. Hanging striking board. Sagi Machiwara or Hanging Machiwara, is one of the trademarks of the Shinjinbukan School. It is considered one the oldest training tools used in Okinawa Ti. It is made of a piece of a tree bole wrapped by a rope or leather in the middle. It provides a unique training experience because of the swinging effect that acts as a pendulum. This requires the practitioner to study the use of attacks and counter attack in order to master the Sagi Machiwara. This type of training should only be carried under the direct supervision of a qualified instructor. Any misuse of the Ti Machiwara can cause serious injuries.
Lit. Striking or punching board.
sāshi (alt. chishi, chiishi)
Sāshi is a long, thick wooden bar with weights at each end. It is very similar to the chīshi and one of the traditional tools used in Okinawan Karate. Training with the sāshi is typically misunderstood as something similar to weight training. Instead, the Sāshi incorporates the use of Shiko Dachi Stance, forearm conditioning, mochikata and circular motion. According to Okinawan martial arts oral tradition, Sāshi has been used as a training tool for centuries.
Lit. Ornamental hairpin. Okinawan weapon used in Kobudō.
Lit. Left Leaning Stance. In the Shinjinbukan School, Sakutsu dachi is defined as a zenkutsu dachi (front stance), with the body orientated to the left. Sakutsu dachi works together with Okutsu dachi as a set by rotating from the body's center axis. It is commonly used for basic combinations of uke, tsuki and keri drills.
Lit. Three Battle Stance. This is a typical stance used in modern Karate in Gōjū Ryū and Uechi Ryū for performing Sanchin Kata. However, Sanchin dachi is used in Ti with a wide variety of feet movement.
San Dan (alt. sandan, san-dan)
sankaku tenshin (1)
Lit. Triangular Movement. The term sankaku tenshin decribes a classic movement found in Okinawan Karate, specially in Shōrin Ryū. Sankaku tenshin is typically practiced using Jigotai Stance, Shizen Dachi, Sanchin Dachi or even Neko Ashi Dachi. In the Shinjinbukan School, sankaku tenshin is taught to be executed keeping the seichūshin (center axis) straight and without leaning forward or backwards during motion. In general terms, sankaku tenshin refers to the use of triangular motion during for tenshin, including standard Mawari (turns) or Ko Mawari (small turns). It should not be confused with the Kihon Gata called Sankaku Tenshin.
Sankaku Tenshin (2)
Lit. Triangular Movement. Sankaku Tenshin is a Kihon Gata (Basic Form) which has been practiced in Okinawa for hundreds of years. Before World War II, many Okinawan Ti practitioners taught a set of three Sankaku Tenshin combinations that included tuski (hand strike), keri (foot strike), triangular motion, Kaki Di hand motions and U-turn techniques. Nowadays, it is referred as the Mukashi Sankaku Tenshin, which means ancient triangular motion.
After World War II, a more simplified version of Sankaku Tenshin was adopted by many Okinawan Schools. It consists of a set of three Sankaku Tenshin combinations without the U-turns. This combination is normally referred as the Atarashii Sankaku Tenshin, which means modern triangular motion.
In the Shinjinbukan School, the study of Sankaku Tenshin is very important. Sankaku Tenshin is always practiced using Jigotai Stance. A more advanced level of Sankaku Tesnhin should always be practiced using Ko Mawari (small turns)
San Kyū (alt. sankyuu, sankyū, sankyu, san-kyū)
Lit. Third level or rank. It refers to the third rank level below black belt.
Lit. Comprehension, understanding, Buddhist enlightenment. In Zen Buddhism it is referred as the highest and final state of enlightenment.
Lit. Median line. The Seichūsen is the line which divides the body into two equal parts: left and right side. This concept is also applied during tenshin (body displacement or body motion): "Our bodies do not move back and forth, but only left or right". The reasoning behind this approach is that we do not have four legs. Consequently, we do not have front or back legs, only left and right. In other words, our bodies only move using the left or right side. Therefore, in the Shinjinbukan School, many drills are focused on developing the right body mechanics: How to divide the body into two equal parts by using and feeling the Seichūshen or median line?
Lit. Center axis. The Seichūshin is the center axis of the body. This is a straight line going from top to bottom of the body; and through the head and body. The concept of Seichūshin is very important for understanding the body mechanics of the Shinjinbukan System. For example, the head DOES NOT MOVE as the body rotates around the Seichūshin (center axis). The Seichūshin (center axis) DOES NOT MOVE as the body rotates. It remains a straight line. Also, the tsuki (hand strike) is generated by the rotation of the shoulder, hip or hand; or a combination of these three elements.
Lit. Accurate, exact, authentic punctual. Seikaku is the third stage of the learning process used by the Shinjinbukan School. Based on this principle, every new process must be learned with accuracy & precision, while maintaining the other principles of the learning processs. If the body becomes stiff, then the beauty of movement could not be developed. The Seikaku quality is essential to ALL BODY MOVEMENTS: basic techniques, body displacement, kata, machiwara training, etc.
seiriundō (alt. seiriundou, seiriundo)
Lit. Sorting, arrangement or adjustment exercises. This is a group of exercises done by all students together at the end of every class at the Shinjinbukan School. They resemble a series of cool down exercises.
Lit. Pupil. In traditional Martial Arts and in the Shinjinbukan School there is a difference between a seito/student and a deshi/disciple. A Karate teacher may have hundreds of students, but only a few disciples during his/her lifetime
Lit. Sitting correctly or sitting straight. A typical Japanese sitting position were the person Kneels on both calves. Also used during sitting meditation in many traditions, including Martial Arts. In the Shinjinbukan School, when a Sensei or senior speaks to the students sitting at the seiza position, the students must also sit in seiza position. The rule of etiquette requires that the students sit at equal or lower height than the teacher or senior. This simple custom shows respect towards the teacher and is part of the Shinjinbukan reigi sahō. However, it also carries a much deeper philosophical meaning.
Lit. Line, track or beam. It refers to the line of motion created by the human body. According to Onaga Sensei, Ti deals with the study of the sen, the line of movement inside each technique. On the other hand, Karate is the study of the ten, the point of departure & arrival or positions in each technique. The study of each path of movement or line is also applied to all Katas, drills and excersises. Through this approach, Ti becomes the essence of all Karate.
senpai (alt. sempai)
Lit. Senior, superior, elder, older graduate, progenitor, old-timer. In Asian cultures there is sense of rank structure across all aspects of society. This is quite evident in business settings, classrooms and traditional arts. The senpai, or senior, and the kōhai, or junior, have clear roles and duties. This is quite evident in a traditional Dōjō. The senpai has a duty of guiding, teaching and leading the kōhai, while the kōhai has the duty of obeying, following and supporting the senpai. For example, it is not uncommon for a senpai student to teach an entire class or drills to a group of kōhai students. In the Shinjinbukan School, the social interaction among kōhai, senpai and Sensei follows the rules of etiquette, or reigi sahō.
Lit. Teacher, master, doctor. In all Asian societies, the tittle "teacher" is held in high regard. In Japanese culture, all teachers in general, including those of Martial Arts, are referred to as "Sensei". Therefore, a Karate student should show this repect in and out of the Dōjō and always address his teacher as "Sensei", rather than on a first or last name basis.
Sensei ni, rei (alt. shoumen ni, rei; shomen ni, rei)
Lit. Bow towards the teacher. In the Shinjinbukan School, there are three bows made to begin and end a class. During the second bow the teacher or the senpai student says "Sensei ni, rei" and the students bow towards the teacher.
At the beginning of class, during the 2nd and 3rd bow, the students say "onegai shimasu" (please teach me). At the end of class, during the 2nd and 3rd bow, the students say "arigatō gozaimashita" (thank you for teaching me). This ceremony is part of the Shinjinbukan etiquette or reigi sahō, and it is performed in a very natural way, without screaming or showing off. This ceremony is as an expression of gratitude for all what we have learned.
Lit. To press, wring or squeeze. In Okinawa Ti, "shiboru" is the method used to make a correct fist. In the Shinjinbukan School, this method has evolved into a complex set of techniques used to generate more accurate hand strikes. Obviously, it is a simplistic task to make a fist using just brute force. In contrast, "shiboru" is a more intricate control of each finger, wrist, muscles and flexor tendons in coordination with a hand stike.
Lit. Branch director, chief or leader. The branch director or head instructor in charge of a Shibu Dōjō. This title is given to instructors to formalize their role as managers within a martial arts organization. In some martial arts organizations a Shibu Chō oversees their own Shibu Dōjō, as well as additional sub-branches called Fuku Shibu Dōjō. The Shibu Chō is as a trainer's trainer in charge of supervising and guiding the Dōjō Chō, or sub-branch's director.
Lit. Branch School. In martial arts, a Shibu Dōjō is a branch school of a Honbu Dōjō, or main school. The director of a Shibu Dōjō is called Shibu Chō. In a traditional setting a Shibu Dōjō operates under the licensing authority given by a high ranking instructor who claims heritage to a ryūha (martial arts style) or lineage.
Lit. Instructor, teacher, model. In general, the title Shihan is given to an experienced instructor who is active managing several Dōjōs and other instructors. However, the tittle Shihan does not indicate a specific rank. Therefore, it wouldn't be appropriate for a junior black belt to use this title. In the modern Karate world, it is often misused by many instructors.
Lit. Qualifications, requirements, capabilities.
Lit. Square, or four corners.
Lit. Four thighs. A ceremonial leg raising and stomping done in sumo wrestling.
Lit. Four thighs stance. Shiko dachi also known as the horse riding stance. It is the lowest Tachikata (stance) used in Karate. The general characteristics of shiko dachi are: knees deeply bent, back straight, and toes pointing out at 45 degrees. However, there are significant differences between Karate styles, regarding the exact size and applications of shiko dachi.
In the Shinjinbukan School, Shiko Dachi is based on a pentagon shape rather than on a wide rectangle or square as in many Karate styles. Therefore, Onaga Yoshimitsu Kaichō prefers to write Shiko Dachi using シコ立ち, a combination of Katakana and Kanji, rather than the more common way used by most Karate teachers: 四股立ち, which means square with four 90 degree angles.
shiko dachi tenshin (1)
Shiko Dachi Tenshin is a type body movement based only shiko dachi stances. It should not be confused with the Kihon Gata called Shiko Dachi Tenshin. In the Shinjinbukan School, there are several methods of transitioning between each shiko dachi stance.
Shiko Dachi Tenshin (2)
Shiko Dachi Tenshin is a Kihon Gata (Basic Form) which has been practiced in Okinawa for many generations. The Shinjinbukan School curriculum includes several variations of Shiko Dachi Tenshin.
See Okinawa no Shīsā
See Okinawa no Shīsā
Lit. The House or Hall dedicated to God, Martial Arts & Mankind. A Shōrin Ryū School from the Kobayashi lineage, founded by Master Onaga Yoshimitsu in 1988. The name Shin-Jin-Bu-Kan combines the meaning of four Chinese characters portraying a very powerful imagery:
Shinjinbukan no Yobiundō (alt. Shinjinbukan no Yobiundou, Shinjinbukan no Yobiundo)
Shinjinbukan’s conditioning exercises. Master Onaga Yoshimitsu refined and further developed the original Yobiundō created by Miyagi Chōjun Sensei. This process of evolution is often referred to as “adding salt”. Therefore, this collection of execises is known as the “Shinjinbukan no Yobiundō”. These exercises are required training at the Shinjinbukan School, because they provide the correct body conditioning and body mechanics used to train Ti.
Lit. question, inquiry.
Lit. I am being impolite. This is the formal way of excusing oneself in many situations, like "Pardon me".
Lit. Natural. A natural use of all techniques and body mechanics.
Lit. Natural stance. In this stance, the feet are placed shoulder width apart, and the legs are slightly bent at the knees, which should never be locked or overextended.
Lit. quiet , peaceful.
Lit. be quiet. This command is used by the instructor to silence the students and bring the class to attention.
Sho Dan (alt. shodan, sho-dan)
shodō (alt. shodou, shodo)
Lit. Calligraphy. It refers to the art of Japanese calligraphy. The study of calligraphy was considered part of classical training in all Asian Martial Arts. For centuries, the abstract and powerful nature of calligraphy was expressed in many aspects of Japanese culture: religion, philosophy, Zen meditation, tea ceremony, samurai education. And even today, Shodō is an important aspect of the cultural aesthetic balance in modern Japan.
Lit. Instant touch technique. In the Shinjinbukan School, Onaga Yoshimitsu Kaichō teaches Shokusokugi as a method to understand one's opponent at the instant of physical contact in order to use the most suitable counter attack. Shokusokugi works by touch as an intuitive skill used during Kakie or Iri Kumi. It is not a guessing game or a mystical power used to read the opponent's mind.
shōmen (1) (alt. shoumen, shomen)
Lit. Front, face or facade. alt. reading: matomo. alt. meaning: honesty. In general, it refers to a frontal technique used to the opponent’s head. The term shōmen is widely used to name techniques in Aikidō, Japanese Karate, Kendō or other weapons Martial Arts.
shōmen (2) (alt. shoumen, shomen)
Lit. Front, face or facade. alt. reading: matomo. alt. meaning: honesty. In a traditional Dōjō, the front area by the wall facing East is called "Shōmen". Typically this space has a shrine or altar. If the altar located at the shōmen is enshrined, it is called a "Kamiza", which would be associated with a specific religion: Zen Buddhism, Shinto, ancestor worship, Taoism, etc. If the altar is not enshrined it is called "Kami", and it has a spiritual meaning not associated to any specific religion.
shōmen (3) (alt. shoumen, shomen)
Lit. Front, face or facade. alt. reading: matomo. alt. meaning: honesty. The shōmen at the Shinjinbukan Honbu Dōjō in Okinawa has no shrine or altar. It only has the calligraphy of the Dōjō Kun written by its founder, Onaga Yoshimitsu Sensei.
shōmen ni, rei (alt. shoumen ni, rei; shomen ni, rei)
Lit. Bowing to the front. In many traditional Martial Arts there is always a short ceremony to begin and end each class. The command "shōmen ni, rei" literally means to bow towards the shōmen or front of the Dōjō.
In the Shinjinbukan School, there are three bows made to begin and end a class. The instructor calls the class to attention by saying "Shūgō". Then the students form a line in the back of the Dōjō, facing the teacher.
During the first bow the instructor says "shōmen ni, rei" and everyone bows towards shōmen in silence. During the second bow the teacher or the senpai student says "Sensei ni, rei" and the students bow towards the teacher. During the third bow the teacher says "Otagai ni, rei" as everyone forms a circle to bow towards each other. This ceremony is part of the Shinjinbukan etiquette or reigi sahō, and it is performed in a very natural way, without screaming or showing off. This ceremony is as an expression of gratitude for all what we have learned.
Shōrinji Ryū (alt. Shourinji Ryuu, Shorinji Ryu, Shorinji-Ryu, shourinjiryu)
Lit. The little forest temple style. A Shōrin Ryū style founded in 1954 by Jyoen Nakazato (b. 1922), who was a student of Chotoku Kyan (1870 — 1945). Shōrinji Ryū is a style from the Shuri Ti tradition and part of the Sokon Matsumura lineage.
Shōrin Ryū (1) (alt. Shourin Ryuu, Shorin Ryu, Shorin-Ryu, shourinryu)
Lit. The small forest style. Japanese pronunciation: Kobayashi Ryū. The Shōrin Ryū style founded by Chibana Chōshin Dai Sensei (1885 — 1969), who was a student of Ankō Itosu (1831 — 1915). Shōrin Ryū (Kobayashi) is a style from the Shuri Ti tradition. Eventhough Chibana Sensei opened his first Dōjō in 1920, the style was not officially named Shōrin Ryū ( 小林流 ) until 1933. Most Karate styles that exist today were derived in one way or another from Shōrin Ryu.
Shōrin Ryū (2) (alt. Shourin Ryuu, Shorin Ryu, Shorin-Ryu, shourinryu)
Lit. The Pine forest style. Japanese pronunciation: Matsubayashi Ryū. This Karate style was formally founded in 1947 by Nagamine Shōshin Sensei (1907 — 1997), who studied under Chotoku Kyan (1870 — 1945) and Choki Motobu (1871 — 1944). Shōrin Ryu (Matsubayashi) combines the Shuri Ti and Tomari Ti traditions.
Shōrin Ryū (3) (alt. Shourin Ryuu, Shorin Ryu, Shorin-Ryu, shourinryu)
Lit. The little forest style. Chinese pronounciation: Shaolin Liu. See: Shōbayashi Ryū.
Lit. Neck town. The ancient capital of the Okinawa and Ryūkyū Kingdom.
Lit. The Shuri Hand. Shuri Ti is the early name for the Karate schools that came to be known as Shōrin Ryū. Shuri Ti is not a style of Ti. Shuri Ti is Karate traditions which originated in Shuri. Hence the name, Shuri Ti. Due to stylistic developments, Shōrin Ryū was later divided into three lineages: Kobayashi Ryū, Matsubayashi Ryū and Shorinji Ryū.
shūgō (alt. shugo, shuugou)
Lit. To gather, assembly, meeting. This command is generally used to call the class to attention. For example, in the Shinjinbukan School when the instructor calls the command "shūgō", the students line up to do the formal three bows at the beginning or end of class. It could also be used to stop the individual training and for the instructor to explain some concepts to the entire class.
shutō (alt. shutou, shuto)
Lit. Sword Hand. Also known as knife hand.
shutō uke (alt. shutou uke, shuto uke)
Lit. Knife Hand Block.
sōji (alt. souji, soji)
Lit. To clean or sweep. In all traditional Martial Art schools students are expected to clean the Dōjō after training. In a large Dōjō full of students it is very important for hygienic purposes. Sōji instills a sense of pride among Shinjinbukan students. At the end of each class everyone is expected to help with Sōji by cleaning the Dōjō floor, mirrors and all other equipment.
Lit. Foot blade.
Lit. Crouching sitting position. The ancient Ryūkyū Bushi or warriors, as well as the Samurai, used the Sonkyo position to sit and maintain their readiness for combat. In the Shinjinbukan School, students are taught to get into the Sonkyo position to dry their sweat, rest or cool down. For beginners, sitting on Sonkyo position is quite challenging. However, for an experienced practitioner of Ti, using the Sonkyo position implies that someone is ready to step into action at any moment. Do not close the eyes. Instead, keep the eyes focused on one point; maintain body relaxation and breath control. Nowadays, it is also used in Iaidō, Kendō and Sumo.
Lit. Outside pushing block. The path of movement is from the inside to the outside of the body.
Lit. To the outside. In Okinawan Karate it is used to describe the outward direction of a technique.
Lit. To the outside. In Okinawan Karate it is used to describe the outward direction of a technique.
Sui Di (alt. Sui Dei)
Lit. Leg, shin.
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Shinjinbukan.com is a free resource sponsored by the Shinjinbukan Foundation. The statements on this site represent my own personal understanding of Onaga Yoshimitsu Kaichō's teachings. Therefore, I do not claim to speak on his behalf. As one more of his students, I am eager to share his living and oral traditions.