The language used to describe movements performed in a karate class in our association is traditionally Japanese with many phrases also being from the Okinawan Hogan dialect. This is because is sometimes hard to translate a word from one language to another; a short word in Okinawan can in fact translate into seven or eight words in English, or may indeed not have a direct translation at all.
Okinawan terminology is also observed as a mark of respect. Goju-Ryu karate do is a very traditional form of martial art, unchanging throughout history and throughout the world. The use of a single language makes it possible for anybody in any country to understand. For example, should an instructor from Okinawa visit a dojo in the west to teach there would be no problems in understanding what they were trying to tell us! Similarly, if an English speaking student should wish to train in a foreign country, they would at least be able to understand what was wanted of them via the use of the language.
This translation listing is primarily geared toward IOGKF Goju-Ryu and other Okinawan styles.
I would like to thank Sensei Sydney Leijenhorst for giving me permission to host this document. I would like you to read the following and think of donating if you feel you have benefited from this work.
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