Because karate has its origin in Japan,much of the terminology is Japanese.
You do not need to learn Japanese,but many of the terms used in class will become familiar with exposure
The word karate (空手) is actually a combination of two words.
Kara (空) means emptiness in two ways. Firstly the Zen concept of empty mind – the karate practitioner should strive to reach the state where the mind is clear and has no preconceived ideas, and therefore can respond to any threat.
Secondly empty indicating that the karate person carries no weapons.
Te (手) means hand.
Karate (空手) = Empty Hand
You may also see the term karate-do (空手道). Do (道) means way.
It indicating that karate is more than just technique but also incorporates a code of conduct and etiquette that extent to every day life.
Dojo 道場 Place where you practice
Sempai 先輩Senior student
Kihon 基本Basic techniques
Kata 型 Form exercise
Kumite 組手 Sparring
Kyu 級Belt levels below black (colour belts)
Dan 段Any black belt level often combined with a prefix
such as shodan (1st dan)
Mokuso yame 黙想やめStop meditating
Shomen ni rei 正面に礼Bow to the front of the room
Sensei ni rei 先生に礼Bow to the instructor