What does that martial arts word mean?


  • AMAHOF: Australasian Martial Arts Hall of Fame
  • Atemi: Strikes to vulnerable parts of the body.


  • Breakfalls: A series of techniques that, if performed correctly, cushion a fall to the ground.


  • Dan: Degree; levels within the Dan grading system of Black Belt
  • Dojo: A place where training takes place.


  • Eclectic martial art: A combination of different styles that chooses the best techniques from each style.


  • Godan: 5th Dan Black Belt.
  • Goryu: (also spelled Koryu): Classical old Japanese styles, schools or traditions. The classical martial arts centred on the ryu, a Japanese institution often interpreted as “school” or “style” but which might better be thought of as a tradition, an incorprated body of techniques, customs, behaviours, beliefs and teachings embodied in a group of people engaged in martial arts training.


  • Hachidan: 8th Dan Black Belt.
  • Hanko: A pictogram signature stamp.
  • Hanshi: Title given to the head of an organisation.
  • Hayanawa: “Quick rope”. A short rope with a loop or ring at one end used for an initial form of restraint in Hojojutsu.
  • Honbu: (also spelled Hombu). Headquarters.
  • Hojujutsu: “Art of restraining someone.” A martial art specialising in the use of a rope to restrain an opponent.


  • Jishukan: Ji (personal/spiritual self) Shu (development) Kan (place, school), founded by Soke Sugita in 1947.
  • Jo: 128cm short staff used in the Japanese martial arts of Jojutsu and Jodo.
  • Jodo: A Japanese martial art specialising in the 128cm short staff.
  • Jojutsu: “Stick art.” A Japanese martial art specialising in the 128cm short staff.
  • Judan: 10th Dan Black Belt. The highest Dan level attainable.
  • Judo: “Gentle way.” A martial art deriving from seeral Jujitsu schools and founded by Jigoro Kano in 1882.
  • Judogi: Martial art uniform.
  • Judoka: Participant.
  • Jujitsu: (also spelled Ju-Jitsu,JiuJitsu, JiuJutsu) “Gentle art.” The correct spelling is “Jujutsu” as standardised in 1946 when the Monbusho (Japanese Ministry of Education) began the task of simplifying the language. At this time, and as late as the Second World War, some 50,000 characters were used in Japanese dictionaries, and the knowledge of at least 4,000 was required to read newspapers. In 1946, the Monbusho issued a list of 1,850 “Appropriate Use Characters” called Tôyô Kanji. In 1981, Tôyô Kanji was replaced by 1,945 Jôyô Kanji “General Use Characters”.


  • Kano, Jigoro: Founder of Kodokan Judo in 1882.
  • Kata: “Forms”. A collection of strikes, blocks and other movements performed individually and combined into a dynamic movement.
  • Keri: Kicking.
  • Kodokan: “Place for learning the way.” Headquarters of Kodokan Judo, founded by Jigoro Kano in 1882.
  • Koryu: see Goryu.
  • Kudan: 9th Dan Black Belt.
  • Kyu: Level, levels within the Kyu grading system of students below Black Belt.


  • Morton, Peter: Founder of the Peter Morton Academy of Judo Jujitsu Karate.


  • Nidan: 2nd Dan Black Belt.


  • Randori: Free practice.
  • Renshi: Teacher. A title given to Yondan and Godan Black Belts.
  • Rokudan: 6th Dan Black Belt.
  • Ryu: School or style.


  • Sandan: 3rd Dan Black Belt.
  • Sensei: Instructor. Title given to a purple belt holder and Shodan, Nidan and Sandan Black Belts.
  • Shichidan: 7th Dan Black Belt.
  • Shihan: Master teacher. Title given to Rokudan Black Belts and above.
  • Shodan: 1st Dan Black Belt.
  • Soke: The founder of a martial arts school.
  • Sugita, Shuho: Founder of the Jishukan Ryu in 1947


  • Tatami: Mat.
  • Tsuki: Punching.


  • Yondan: 4th Dan Black Belt.