footwork. Examples include okuriashi, ayumiashi, hirakiashi, tsugiashi, mae, and ato.

Atarashii naginata: the "new" style of naginata. It has been formed from the culmination and standardization of all the pre-existing styles.

ato: backward movement.

Ayumiashi : footwork used for going forward and backward. When moving forward start with the right foot first and move four steps forward. When moving backward, start with the left foot first and take four steps back.


bogu: the protective armor worn by naginataka. It consists of the sune-ate (shin protectors), men (head gear), kote (fencing gloves), do (chest protector), and tare (waist protector).



bokken: see tachi

bokuto: see tachi


chikai-ma-ai: the position of the kissaki of opposing naginataka. The kissaki are crossed over and are far apart (more than 25 cm).

chudan-no-kamae: this is the basis for all kamae and is the most suitable for offense and defense. The body faces sideways and the naginata is held essentially horizontal with the kissaki slightly raised and pointed at the opponent's center line.



chui: a warning given by the Chief Referee when a player first commits a foul. When a second violation is committed, however, the player receives a hansoku (foul).


datotsu: the accurate strike or thrust made to specified targets on the opponent.

a small staff used as a target for students to practice the various strikes.

valid striking points on an opponent.
do: the mid-section of the body. It is a valid target (yuko datotsu) in competitive matches (shiai).

training hall

a strike to the mid-section of the body.


e-bu: the oak staff of the naginata.

a blocking technique in which the e-bu is used to sweep away the opponents naginata.

Edo period:
1603-1867. A time of relative peace in feudal Japan.

an extra time period used to break a tied match. Up to three encho may be allowed.

kata (forms) consisting of pre-arranged moves.


fukushin: a sub-referee. Two sub-referees assist the chief referee in deciding when points and fouls should be awarded.

fumi-kae-ashi: footwork used for changing the direction that the body is facing on the spot when striking or responding

furiage-men-uchi: a strike in which the attacker swings the naginata over the head and then brings it straight down onto the center of the opponent's head.

furiage-kote-uchi: a strike in which the attacker swings the naginata over the head (less than that used for men-uchi) and then brings it straight down onto the wrist.

furiage-sune-uchi a strike to the shin in which the attacker swings the naginata over the head and then brings it down on an angle.

furikaeshi: an overhead strike which starts from chudan-no-kamae. Keeping the blade facing down, change the grip above the head, bringing the naginata down and striking the target. It is a very typical naginata waza


gedan-no-kamae: a kamae used for defense and then counter-attack. The kissaki is lowered and pointed at the opponent's feet. It should be in line with the body's center line and held approximately 10 cm off of the floor. The ha should be facing up. The ishizuki should be ear height.




gogi: a referee's consultation.


ha-bu: the outer convex curved surface of the naginata blade.

: See tenugui

hajime: "begin". This is called by the referee in order to start a match.

hakama: the divided "skirt" or trousers worn during keiko. It is made of cotton or synthetic fabrics and is navy blue or black in color. The hakama should be ankle length
how to fold your hakama?

hanmi: posture

hansoku: a penalty incurred after committing a foul.

hantei: a decision made by the referee when a tie cannot be broken. The winning point is awarded to the player who exhibited greater skill in offense and defense, posture and manners, and had the least number of fouls.

happoburi: warmup exercises performed at the beginning of class. Examples include jogeburi. nanameburi, yokoburi, nanameburi shitakara, and furikaeshi.

hara: 1) the abdomen. 2) The location of one's soul (in the lower abdomen)

harai-waza: techniques used to ward off an attack. The sori is typically used to sweep the opponent's naginata away, although the e-bu can also be used (see e-harai).

hasso-no-kamae: an offensive stance in which the naginata is held upward and slightly diagonal. The ishizuki is near the mid-thigh and in line with the body's center. The ha faces forward.


hidari: left (direction)

hidari kamae: kamae (postures) in which the left foot is forward.

hikiwake: a draw

himo: cords used to tie the bogu and hakama.

hirakiashi: footwork used when avoiding a strike or responding. When moving to the left, step with the left foot and follow with your right. It can also be used for moving to the right and for changing directions.

hyoji gakari: the person responsible for indicating the head referee's decisions. The hyoji gakari is assisted by two or more sub-indicators.


igi: a formal protest.

ippon: one point.

ippon gachi shobu ari:"victory decided by a single point". An announcement made by the judge after a victory has been decided by a single point.

ishizuki: the butt end of the naginata.

ishizuki-tsuki: a strike to the side of the abdomen using the ishizuki.


jibiki: dictionary

jodan-no-kamae: this kamae is advantageous in aspects of speed, distance, and striking. The naginata is held horizontally over the head with the ishizuki forward and aligned with the body's center line. The ha is facing upward.

jyogai: a foul incurred when a player steps out of bounds.


kamae: fighting postures/stances. Examples include: chudan-no-kamae, jodan-no-kamae, gedan-no-kamae, wakigamae, hasso-no-kamae.

katana: A Japanese (Samurai) sword

keiji gakari: the score recorder. Assisted by two or more subrecorders per court, the score recorder keeps track of the score, match time, and the number of valid striking points hit as well as the number of fouls.

keiko (o-keiko): Une session d'entraînement.

keiko-gi: training jacket

kiai: the spirit shout made at the moment of attack

ki ken tai ichi: striking with a unified spirit, naginata, and body.

kihon: basics

kissaki: the tip of the naginata blade.

: the back panel on the hakama.

kote: 1) the wrists. 2) A valid striking point (yuko datotsu) in competitive matches. 3) The protective gloves worn during bogu practice and shiai.




ma-ai: the distance between opponents.

mae: forward movement.

makiotoshi-waza: use of the naginata's sori to flick an opponent's naginata downward, taking away their power to attack, and then following quickly with a strike.

makoto:1) truth; sincerity; honesty; faithfulness. 2) one of the virtues of a Samurai.

Meiji era
: the period of time in Japan's history (1868-1912).

men: 1) the head . It is a valid striking point (yuko datotsu) in shiai. 2) the protective mask worn during bogu practice and shiai.

men-uchi: a strike to the center of the forehead.

migi: right (direction)

migi kamae: kamae in which the right foot is forward.

mochikae: change en guard from one side of the body to the other.

mochikae-soku-men-uchi: alternating between strikes to the left and right of the shomen.

alternating strikes to the left and right shin.

the part of the ha just below the kissaki. In battle applications, most of the cutting would be done with the monouchi.

mune: the upper (concave) surface of the blade.


naginata: A weapon used in feudal Japan consisting of an ovate wooden shaft measuring approximately 6-8 feet in length with a curved blade on the end of it. The blade measured between 1 and 3 feet, and was sharpened on one side (the convex side).

a practitioner of naginata.

nuki-waza: techniques used to avoid (rather than block) an opponent's strikes.


obi: the belt or sash worn around the waist underneath the hakama. It measures approximately 2-3 meters in length (enough to wrap around the body twice and tie at the back) and is made of bleached cotton.

Okuriashi :
the footwork used when striking, and for moving in all directions. Advance the foot corresponding to the direction in which you intend to move. Draw the remaining foot to the one that you've just advanced, taking care that the space between the feet is not too narrow.





rei: a bow of respect. Mental preparedness is required from the start to the finish of the bow. If bowing to the shomen, the bow angle should be 30 degrees. The back should be kept as straight as possible when bowing. If bowing to an opponent, then an angle of 15 degrees should be used; maintaining eye contact at all times. The feeling of respect for one's opponent must be maintained at all times.

ritsu-rei: standing bow

martial arts schools


san-bon-shobu: a three point scoring method used in matches.

sayu-do-uchi: strikes to both the left and right sides of the body.

sayu-sokumen-uchi: strikes to both the left and right sides of the head at 30 degrees.

sayu-sune-uchi: strikes to both the left and right sides of the shin.

Seiza : the formal sitting position. The knees should be approximately five inches apart, and the two big toes crossed in the back.

the section of the naginata at which the ha-bu is attached to the e-bu. This joint is held firmly in place by wrapping it several times with plastic tape.

sensei: teacher

Sensei-ni-rei : senshinin: linesmen

senshu gakari: the person who calls the players out onto the court. The senshu gakari also inspects the player's equipment ahead of time to make sure that all is in order so that no delays occur.

shiai: competitive matches

shikake-ooji: the incorporation of basic movements and waza into pre-arranged moves. The attacker is called shikake, and the defender is ooji. In Engi, both participants face each other 4 m apart in shizentai and bow to each other (15 degree bow). When shikake-ooji has finished, they both return to shizentai and bow again.

shinogi: the side of the naginata blade just above the ha.

shinpan shunin: the court judge. It is the shinpan shunin's responsibility to act as an assistant to the Chief Judge when there are more than two courts in use at the same time.

the chief judge. The shinpancho's responsibility is to make sure that the match rules are abided by.

Shizentai :
natural standing position. Shizentai enables you to react quickly to your opponent's movements, and is a free and stable posture.

"victory decided". All matches end with the Chief Referee declaring either "shobu-ari" or "hikiwake" (draw).

shomen: 1) The face. 2) The front of the mat (the kamiza, the upper area of the mat where the Sensei sits).

shushin: the chief referee.

soku-men-uchi: a strike 30 degrees to the left or right of Shomen.

sonobade: performing happoburi (warmup exercises) while standing in place.

sori: the curvature of the naginata blade.

soutai: the position held by two opponents who are facing each other in shizentai. The opponents should be 4 meters apart.

striking techniques: various techniques used to strike datotsu-bui on an opponent. Examples include: furiage-men-uchi, furiage-sune-uchi, furiage-kote-uchi, mochikae-soku-men-uchi, mochikae-sune-uchi, do-uchi, furikaeshi-men-uchi, and tsuki.

sune: the shins. They are a valid striking point in competitive matches.

sune-ate: shin protectors worn during bogu practice and shiai.

sune-uchi: a strike to the shin.


tachi: a wooden replica used for Tendo Ryu practice. Sometimes referred to as a bokken or bokuto.

taijo: an ejection from a match.

tai-sabaki: the footwork used when moving the body and when striking. One should try to walk with the hips as the center of the body, and movement should cause no sway in the upper body.

tare: the waist protector worn during bogu practice and shiai.

te: the hand

Tendo ryu : an ancient jutsu form of the naginata versus the katana (bokken) which is taught separately from Atarashii Naginata. Many Atarashii Naginata practitioners also practice Tendo Ryu.

te-no-uchi: grip

tenugui: A protective head wrap worn underneath the bogu. It protects the men and instills good spirits in the wearer. The same head wrap used in Kendo is referred to as a hachimaki.

tokei gakari: the time keeper in a match. The time keeper is assisted by two or more subkeepers.

Tsugiashi : footwork used when striking from a distance or when you want to take ma-ai quickly. When moving forward, move your back foot forward first and then step out immediately with the front foot. When moving backward, move the front foot back to the rear foot, then quickly step back with the rear foot.

tsuki: 1) A thrust (strike) with the kissaki or ishizuki. 2) The throat flap on bogu. Striking to the throat is prohibited until age 18, and is done only during bogu practice and shiai by advanced students.


uchikaeshi: basic kihon exercise. Men, hasso men, hasso men, hasso sune, hasso sune, tsugiashi ato, men.




waki-gamae: an offensive kamae which enables one to strike quickly. The naginata is held horizontally with the ishizuki forward and in the center line of the body. The ha faces outward.

waza: technique




yame: "stop"

a valid strike.


zanshin: 1) remaining spirit. 2) Maintaining presence of mind at all times.

bowing from the seiza (seated) position.

Zen Nihon Naginata Renmei: the All Japan Naginata Federation

• “Illustrated Naginata”
Published by the All Japan Naginata Federation (Zen Nihon Naginata Renmei)
• "A Dictionary of the Martial Arts" by Louis Frederic
Published by Charles E. Tuttle Company, Ltd. ISBN # 0-8048-1750-2
• Images used in animations have been taken from “Illustrated Naginata”
Published by the All Japan Naginata Federation (Zen Nihon Naginata Renmei)
• Translated in French and ameliorated with pictures by P.Vandersleyen

Compiled by the Southern California Naginata Federation