We use a number of Japanese words in class. Don’t worry – you don’t need to memorize them. However, if you are curious, here are some of the basic words we use:

Osu! (Ōs, where the Ō sounds like “owe”) – Hello!, Goodbye!, Thank you!, You’re welcome!, etc.

Seiza (Say-za) – kneel (or sit down)

Rei (Ray) – bow

Sensei (Sen-say) – teacher

Sensei ni rei (Sen-say nee ray) – bow to the teacher

Shomen ni rei (Shō-men nee ray) – bow to the front

Kamae (Kah-my) – Basic stance

Shite (Shtay) – The person who executes an Aikido technique

Uke (Oo-kay) – The person who receives an Aikido technique

Hajime (Ha-зee-may, where з sounds like the “ge” in “beige”) – begin

Yame (Yah-may) – stop

Dojo (Dō-jō) – A place for the study of an art

Dogi (Dō-gee, where the “g” sounds like the one in “gate”) – Clothing or uniform worn when studying an art

Arigato gozaimashita (Arr-ee-gah-tō  Gō-zah-ee-mah-shtah) – Thank you (formal)


1 – Ichi (Eech)
2 – Ni (Nee)
– San (Sahn)
4 – Shi (She)
5 – Go (Go)
6 – Roku (Rōku)
7 – Shichi (Sheech)
8 – Hachi (Hahch)
9 – Kyu (“Q”)
10 – Ju (Joo)