A dictionary for understanding the names of techniques in Shorinji Kempo

This document contains a list of Japanese terms used in Shorinji Kempo. Translations are not guaranteed to be exact or comprehensive as they relate specifically to a Shorinji Kempo context. The list aims to contain all words used in the naming of Shorinji Kempo techniques, and although other words are present, it is not intended to be a complete reference for all Shorinji Kempo vocabulary.

Some words appear twice in the list because they may have a hard or soft sound (and spelling) depending on the syllable preceding. It is worth noting these adjustments since in some cases words may appear only under one spelling. Sounds commonly exchangeable are k/g, t/z, n/m, s/z.

Age Up

Ai Love

Ashi Foot/Leg/Step

Ate Strike

Atemi Striking the body (anywhere)

Baku Bind/Tie up

Budo Martial way

Byakuren ken Goho techniques in which the defending arm frequently returns the attack.

Fist of White Lotus

Chi Earth (sometimes meaning down/lower)

Chio ken Goho family where a multiple attack begins with a jodan zuki, or a geri

Fist of Earth King

Chidori Plover (a type of bird that moves diagonally!)

Chudan Mid-level (torso)

Dai … Number …

Daisharin Cartwheel

Dori Capture

Eri Lapel

Furi Swing

Fusatsu katsujin Not hurt, but develop (principle of Shorinji Kempo)

Gaeshi Return

Gai Outside

Garame Entwine

Gassho Palms together

Gatame Pin

Gedan Low level (legs/groin)

Geri Kick

Giri Cut

Giwa ken Fist of righteous harmony

Goho Hard (techniques involving strikes)

Go Ju Ittai The unity of hard and soft (techniques)

Gote Wrist

Gyaku Reverse/Rear (hand, leg etc.)

Gyakute Reversed hand

Haku Upper arm

Han Half

Harai Brush away/Knock away

Hasso (gamae) Stance like holding a beach ball

Hidari Left

Hiji Elbow

Hiki Pull

Hiraki Open

Hiza Knee

Hokei Pattern encapsulating part of the system

Ichi One

Ichiji Horizontal line

Ichinyo Unity

Idori Seize

Ippon One point

Jodan Top level (head/neck)

Juho Soft (techniques for grappling/contact)

Juji Cross (shape)

Jun Front (front hand, leg etc.)

Kaisin Opening the body

Kaeshi Return

Kagite Locked hand

Kakuritsu ken Goho family involving blocking and countering with the leg.

Fist of Standing Crane

Kani Crab

Kannuki Gate bar

Kata Set form/Single

Katame Pin

Katate One handed

Ken Fist

Ken Zen Ichinyo The unity of mind and body

Keri Kick

Kinteki Groin

Kiri Cut

Ko manji ken Fist of crimson manji

Komi Push in

Kon Mix

Kongo ken Attacking juho family

Fist of Diamond (a Buddhist symbol of indestructible truth)

Konoha Leaf (meaning hand)

Koshi Cross over/Move over

Kote Wrist

Kubi Neck

Kumade Bear hand (heel of hand)

Kumo Spider

Kusshin Yield (a ducking motion)

Mae Front

Maki Wrap

Me Eye(s)

Midare Mixed

Migi Right (not left)

Morote Two hands on one hand

Muna Chest

Nai Inside

Nami Wave

Ni Two

Nidan Two level

Nio ken Single Jodan attack goho family

Fist of Nio (the two Buddhist temple Guardians)

Nuki Elude (escaping from a grab)

Okuri Send (sometimes ‘leading’ by the hand)

Osae Push

Oshi Push

Otoshi Drop/Release/Let fall

Rakan ken Juho family involving wrapping/binding in clothing.

Fist of Lohan (achiever of Nirvana)

Ran dori Free fighting practice

Ren Continuing

Ren han ko Extended/continuing attack

Riki Strength

Riki Ai Funi Strength and love together

Ryaku Simplified/Informal

Ryo Double

Ryote Two hands on two hands

Ryuka ken Hand capture and throwing juho

Fist of Blossoming Dragon

Ryu Dragon

Ryuo Dragon King

Ryuo ken Eluding juho family

Fist of Dragon King

Ryusui Waterfall (body motion, the head arcs downwards)

Sabaki Movement

Sagari Retreat

Sambo Triple defence

San Three

Sango ken Mainly chudan attack, keri defence goho family

Fist of Triple Unity/Triplet

Sankaku Triangle

Se Finger/Thumb

Seiza Kneel

Shita Down

Shorinji Kempo Small forest (Shaolin in

Henan, China) temple fist/combat system

Shushu koju Defence before attack

Shuho Defence system

Shuto Hand blade (side of hand)

Sode Sleeve

So Doshin The founder!

Sotai Pair-form

Sokuto Foot blade (side of foot)

Soto Outside

Sukui Scoop

Tai (gamae) Oposite stance (closed)

Tai sabaki Body movement

Taiki (gamae) Waiting stance

Tanen Pair form

Tanto Dagger

Tate Vertical

Tembin Pressure point on triceps above elbow

Ten Heaven (sometimes meaning top/upper)

Tenchi ken Fist of heaven and earth (Kata)

Tenno ken Multiple attack, jodan first goho family

Fist of Heaven King

Tenkan Turn

Tenshin Pivot/Shuffle/Skip

Tsubame Swallow (bird)

Tsuitate Vertical thrust

Tsuki Punch/Lunge

Tsuri Hang/Suspend/Hook

Uchi Inside/Strike

Ude Arm

Uke Block/Deflect

Ukemi Roll, Cartwheel (evasive body movement)

Umpoho Footwork

Ura Back

Uraken Back-fist (top two knuckles)

Ushiro Rear

Uwa Up

Wa Circle/Ring

Wanto Arm blade (inside or outside of forearm)

Waza Technique

Yoko Side

Yori Coming together

Yubi Finger/Thumb

Zeme Attack

Zen Mind/Zen/Full

Zen tenkan Full turn

Zuki Punch/Lunge