Karate Kids: A Parent’s Guide to Japanese Language in Karate

Learning Japanese while learning Karate

Many parents enroll their children in Karate classes for the physical benefits such as building discipline, coordination, and self-defense skills. But Karate offers more than just physical training, it’s a window into Japanese culture and language.

As your child dons their Gi (uniform) and steps onto the Dojo (training hall), they’ll be introduced to a world of fascinating Japanese terms. Here’s a glimpse into what they might be learning:

Uniform – Gi

Training hall – Dojo

Counting to Victory:

Karate incorporates basic Japanese counting, from Ichi (one) to Juu (ten). This not only helps with exercises but also instills a sense of order and discipline.

One – Ichi

Two – NiNumbers while learning Karate

Three – San

Four – Shi

Five – Go

Six – Roku

Seven – Shichi

Eight – Hachi

Nine – Kyuu

Ten – Juu

Beyond the Punches:

Your child will learn various Dachi (stances) like Heikodachi (ready stance) and Geri (kicks) like Maegeri (front kick) and Yokogeri (side kick). These terms not only enhance technique but also add a layer of cultural understanding.

Stance – Dachi

Ready stance – Heikodachi

Horse stance – Kibadachi

Back stance – Kokstudachi

Punch – Tsuki

Facepunch – joudantsuki

Stomach Punch – chuudantsuki

Groinpunch – Gedantsuki(below belt)

Kicks – Geri

Front kick – Maegeri

Side kick – Yokogeri

Round kick – Mawashigeri

Hook kick – Uramawashigeri

Back kick – Ushirogeri

Learning Japanese while learning KarateThe Language of Respect:

Karate is deeply rooted in respect. Rei (bows) are a cornerstone of etiquette, and your child will learn commands like Hajime (begin) and Yame (stop) to follow instructions and show courtesy.

Bow – Rei

Begin – Hajime

Stop – Yame

Restart – Sujukite hajime

Do You Need to Speak Japanese?

While fluency isn’t necessary, a basic understanding of these terms enriches the learning experience. Knowing what “kihon” (basics) means helps your child focus on core techniques and understanding “kata” (form) allows them to appreciate the structured routines. However, most instructors will provide translations and explanations, ensuring clear communication.

Basics – Kihon

Form – Kata

A Parent’s Pride:

Witnessing your child mastering new skills and confidently using Japanese terms is a source of immense pride. It demonstrates their dedication, discipline, and growing cultural awareness. Karate goes beyond physical training; it becomes a gateway to a new culture and language.

Learning any art form is more than just the art – it is the culture and the language. This statement perfectly

captures the essence of karate. As your child progresses, their understanding of Japanese terms will deepen, enriching their karate journey and fostering a lifelong appreciation for this unique martial art.

Want to Help Your Child Take Their Japanese Further?

The Oriental Dialogue provides language learning courses specifically designed to complement your child’s karate training. Our programs can help your child improve their understanding of the Japanese terms used in class, fostering a deeper connection to the culture and enhancing their overall karate experience.

Visit The Oriental Dialogue’s website to explore our varied range of courses in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Sign up for a free online demo session to see how each language is taught and discover their unique specialities. Attend all three demo sessions (Chinese, Japanese, and Korean) and decide which language best complements your child’s karate journey and ignites their passion for learning!