The noun comes from the transitive verb kuzusu (崩す), meaning to level, pull down, destroy or demolish (Wikipedia). Basically, kuzushi is the taking of uke’s balance so they are vulnerable to a technique. Kuzushi is essential and involves blending and redirection with attention to where uke’s stance is weakest at the moment of their attack.


This means literally “unbendable arm” and describes the ideal position of nage’s arms while performing a technique. The arm is outstretched but not hyperextended and is relaxed and strong. This term is sometimes used in opposition to “T-Rex arms” which is when nage’s arms collapse and the technique takes place too close to nage’s body.


This means literally “natural body stance.” The feet are shoulder width apart, the feet pointing forward. The akidoka stands straight up, facing straight forward. This is basically a relaxed ready position as opposed to any position where one foot is in front of the other.


Literally, “weaving drill.” It is a term originating in the Filipino martial arts (FMA). In this drill, two opponents face off, each in shizentai. One lodges a jodan-zuki and the other blocks with the outside hand, then “climbs” the attackers arm with alternating hands, culminating in a jodan-zuki after the third block. The attacker then becomes the defender and vice-versa. The blocks and punches may be performed at speed and can be outside or inside.


The word “rei” comes from the Japanese word “reigi”, which means “respect, courtesy, manners”. This is the bow at the beginning and end of class as well as when meeting a new partner on the mat. Often the greeting onegaishimasu is used during the bow. This is a very important motion in traditional martial arts and Japanese culture.


Literally, “interval.” In Aikido, maai refers to the complex idea of proper distance or spacing between two opponents. Maai is one of the characteristics of good technique.


Literally, “theory.” In Aikido, riai refers to the complex idea of proper timing within a technique, and is one of the characteristics of good technique.


“Control, mastery, restraint.” Together with maai, riai, and kime these are the characteristics of good technique.


Noun form of the verb “kimeru,” which means “to decide” (Wikipedia). In a martial arts context it is the concept of focus, or power. One of the characteristics of good technique.


Literally, “ostentatious.” A type of nikkyo technique which involves more turning and blending than a simple nikkyo. A term unique to Wadokai.