This is a curious term which is heard often throughout all Karate Lessons. It can mean a multitude of different things. It can be used as a greeting when bowing to other karateka, it can be used to indicate to other karateka that you are ready, it can be used to the instructor to indicate that you have understood an instruction. It can be used as a mark of respect when bowing to higher grades and it can also be used as a respectful way of saying to the Instructor I understand but please be patient whilst I try to put what you have taught me into practice.

Oss derives from two Chinese characters one means to bear hardship the other to push aside obstacles.

General Terms

Japanese English
Dojo Training Hall
Karate Empty hand / Chinese hand
Hidari Left
Gi Training suit
Kiai Expression of spirit
Kime Focus of power
Mawate Turn
Migi Right
Moroto Double
Obi Belt
Rei Bow
Shomen Front
Shomen ni rei Bow to the front
Shoto Pine waves
Shotokan Hall of pinewaves