Academy Of Jeet Kune Do Fighting Technology

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Jun Fan Gung Fu Jeet Kune Do Terms


Bai Jong Ready Position; On-Guard Position
Biu Gee Finger Jab; "Thrusting Hand"
Biu Sao Palm-down Finger Thrust Block
Biu Sao Da Palm-down Finger Thrust Block and Hit
Bong Sao Bent-arm deflection; Raised Elbow Block

Chang Sao "Spade Hand"
Chi Gerk "Sticky Legs"
Chi Sao "Sticky Hands" Drill
Choap Chuie Second Knuckle Fist
Chuen Sao "Piercing Hand"
Chuie Fist
Chum Kil "Seek to Bridge the Gap"
Chung Centerline; vertical
Chung Chuie "Vertical Fist"; Jab
Chung Geong Centerline Block
Chung Sim San Centerline
Cup Chuie "Overhead Fist"
Cup Sao "Scooping Hand"

Da to Hit or Strike
Dan One or Single
Dan Chi Sao Single Hand "Sticky Hands"
Daon Sao Low Pressing Hand
Ding Jang Butting Elbow
Dum Tek Stomp Kick


Fak Sao "Whisking Arm"; Knife Hand Chop
Fon Sao Trapping Hands
Fook Sao "Bridge Arm"; Bent-arm Elbow-in Block; Hooking Hand Block

Gan Sao "Splitting Block"
Geong Block
Gin Upward
Gin Chuie Uppercut
Gin Tek Upward Slapping Kick
Gnoy Outside
Go High
Go Da High Hit
Goang Sao Low Outer-Wrist Block; Low Cutting Arm Block
Gua Chuie Back Fist
Gua Tek Inverted Hook Kick
Gum Sao Pinning Hand

Ha Low
Ha Da Low Hit
Ha O'oo Chuie Shovel Hook
Ha Pak Low Slap
Ha So Tek Low Inverted Sweep Kick
Hou Rear
Hou Chung Chuie Cross; Back Vertical Fist
Hou Tek Back Kick
Huen Sao "Circling Hand"; Small Disengagement


Jang Elbow
Jao Sao Large Disengagement; "Running Hand"
Jao Sao Da Running Hand and Hit
Jeen Lead
Jeet Intercept; Stop
Jeet Da Stop Hit
Jeet Gek "Intercepting Shin"; Jamming with the Shin
Jeet Kune Do "The Way of the Intercepting Hit"
Jeet Que "Intercepting Bridge"
Jeet Tek "Intercepting Kick"; Stop Kick
Jern Palm Strike
Jik Chung Chuie "Straight Blast" or "Battle Punch"
Jik Jern Straight Palm
Jik Tek Front Kick / Straight Kick
Jit Tek Straight Kick with Toe
Joap Hop "Group Together"
Jong Sao Palm-Inward Block
Jong Sao Da Palm-Inward Block Hand Hit
Jong Tao Head Butt
Joy Left
Juen Tek Spinning Kick
Juk Tek Side Kick
Jum Sao Sinking Hand Block
Jung Middle
Jung Da Middle Hit
Jut Sao Jerking Hand
Jut Sao Da Jerking Hand and Hit

Kao Sao "Curving Hand"; Circling Block
Kao Sao Da Curving Hand and Hit
Kow Tao Head Butt
Kup Sao Capturing Hand; Scooping Hand
Kwai Down
Kwai Jarn Down Elbow
Kwoon School or Gym

Lap Sao Deflecting Arm
Lau Sao "Scooping Hand"; Slippery Hand
Lie Sao "Pulling Hand"
Lin Lop Sao Cross Grabbing Hand
Lin Sil Die Da Simultaneous Block and Hit
Look Sao Rolling Hands Drill
Lop Sao Grabbing Hand
Lop Sao Da Grabbing Hand and Hit
Loy Inside
Loy Da Inside Hit
Loy Ha Pak Inside Low Slap
Loy Pak Sao Inside Arm Slapping Hand
Luk Sao Rolling Arms

Man Sao Probing Hand; Lead Hand

Ngoy Outside
Ngoy Da Outside Hit
Ngoy Ha Pak Outside Low Slap
Ngoy Pak Loy Da "Split Entry"; outside slap and inside hit
Ngoy Pak Sao Outside Arm Slapping Hand

O'oo Chuie "Hooking Fist"; Hook
O'oo Sao "Hooking Hand"
O'oo Tek "Hook Kick"; Roundhouse Kick
O'oo Sao Da Hooking Hand and Hit

Pak Sao "Slapping Hand"
Pak Sao Da Slapping Hand and Hit
Pak Sao Ngoy Da Slap and Hit outside of the arm
Pak Sao Loy Da Slap and Hit inside of the arm
Phon Sao Trapping Hands
Ping Chuie "Horizontal Punch"

Qua Chuie Back Fist
Quan Sao Combination of Bong Sao and Tan Sao


Sao Finger
Si-Gung Your Instructor's Instructor
Si-Hing Your Senior or Older Brother
Sibak Your Instructor's Senior
Sidai Your Junior or Younger Brother
Sifu Instructor or Teacher
Sijo Founder of the Style (Bruce Lee)
Simo Female Teacher; Wife of Your Teacher
Soe Gerk Foot Sweep
Sot Kil Hammerfist
Sou Tek Heel Hook Kick
Sung Da High Hit
Sung Loon Sao High Horizontal Arm Block
Sut Knee
Sut Sao Knife-hand strike

Tan Sao Palm-up Block
Tan Sao Da Palm-up Block and Hit
Tok Sao Lifting Hand
Tut Sao Freeing Hand



Woang Cross
Woang Jern Side Palm
Woang Pak Sao Cross Hand Slap
Wu Sao "Defending Hand"; Rear Hand




Yow Right





Fighting Arts Terms

Purpose and Scope:
This glossary is provided to help the student become more familiar with terms and concepts commonly used in the martial arts. In many cases words listed may have multiple definitions or uses that may vary between schools and styles. In such cases, the most commonly accepted definition is given. Pronunciation is given where possible. This glossary is intended solely as an instructional tool for students of the martial arts. The inclusion of definitions that may relate to Eastern religious philosophy contained herein are for the purpose of contrast and comparison with terms used by this ministry and do not represent an endorsement of that philosophy.


advanced level A stage of sophisticated study in the martial arts, usually commencing at brown belt level.

aggressive offense Activating the first aggressive move of which the opponent is not aware.

alter To vary a weapon and/or target within a technique sequence.

American karate A hybrid form of traditional karate, which integrates techniques and philosophies from all styles to suit the needs of the American practitioner.

angle of cancellation A controlled angle that places an opponent in a precarious position, thus limiting or nullifying the use of his/her weapons.

angle of deflection The increased angle caused by a block, parry, or the like, that widely diverts the weapon from its target.

angle of delivery The positioning of one's natural weapons to make the execution of a movement accurate and effective.

angle of desired positioning Angle of efficiency.

angle of disturbance The angle that, when a move is executed, does not result in injury, but upsets his or her balance.

angle of efficiency The positioning of one's body to make the execution of a movement more efficient.

angle of execution Any angle, when an attack is executed, that produces maximum results.

angle of greatest movement The ideal positioning of one's body that allows one to move rapidly, easily, and without hesitation.

angle of opportunity A term encompassing all of the angular classifications, that when properly executed result in the desired effect.

angles of attack The eight directions from which an opponent can attack.

apex The uppermost point of any circular movement.

arm lock A restrictive hold in which one is rendered helpless by a twisting grip or locking force on the arm joints.

art 1. Any specific skill or application. 2. In Japanese martial arts, any jutsu (art) discipline that antedates its 20th-century counterpart, a do (way) discipline.

augment The act of using the supporting hand and/or arm to strengthen a block or strike in Okinawan or Japanese karate.


back-up mass The assistance of body weight used directly behind the action employed. For example, a punch delivered when the elbow is directly behind the fist, or the bracing of one finger directly behind the other in delivering a two-finger chop.

balance breaking: See kuzushi.

base line Imaginary line used to illustrate the direction and execution of a basic technique.

basics Fundamental techniques taught to novices as a foundation for advanced techniques.

basic exercises The repetition and pattern of fundamental techniques.

basic sparring Prearranged sparring.

black belt A symbol of rank worn about the waist to designate the level of expert skill achieved in the martial arts.

block Any technique that hinders, checks, or neutralizes an opponent's attack.

body communication The giving and receiving of information by body movements, mannerisms, expressions, gestures, habits, and so on. Each of these characteristics can be used by the experienced and intelligent fighter as a means of anticipating the opponent's strategy and thus defeat him or her with appropriate countermeasures.

body language Body movements, mannerisms, expressions, gestures, habits, and so on used in relaying either true or misleading information.

body style The particular characteristic which distinguishes the performance of one practitioner from another, even when executing the identical technique. The difference is a matter of personal interpretation and body shape.

body translation The decoding of body movements, which provides clues to an opponent's true intentions.

bow: A command used to bow. Other expressions may include rei (bow), shomen ni rei (bow to the front), sensei ni rei (bow to the teacher), and otagai ni rei (bow to each other).

Breaking The practice of breaking a variety of materials barehanded in order to test power. Also called tameshiwari.

breathing A significant martial arts technique used in the execution of technique to development force, reflect attacks, control tempo, and startle an opponent.

bridge To close the gap between oneself and an opponent.

broken rhythm A deliberate interruption of action used to deceive an opponent. It is related to deceptive timing.

buckle A method used to force the opponent's legs to bend in, out, forward or backward. Its use can unbalance, twist, sprain, or even break an opponent's leg.


cadence The method in which a fighter coordinates his tempo and rhythm to establish his overall timing pattern.

centering The total concentration of ki at approximately two inches below the navel, which is considered to be the body's center when relaxed.

center level The area of the body encompassing the area from the neck to the waist.

center line The center of the body encompassing some of the weakest parts, including the nose, chin, solar plexus, and groin.

center of gravity The center point of the body, approximately at the navel, around which the weight is evenly distributed.

cheat Refers to the execution of a deceptive move prior to the one intended.

check To restrain, hinder, or repress an opponent from taking action; accomplished by pinning, pressing, or hugging, usually at the joints, so that leverage is minimized thus nullifying the opponent's actions.

chee sao: See sticking hands.

choke Any form of obstructing an opponent's ability to breath by using various types of leg and arm leverage to pinch the air passage or a blood vessel close to the head, causing loss of consciousness.

circular movements Moves that loop or follow an oval. Such moves can be used either defensively or offensively and can orbit in a single direction or divert into multiple directions.

classical 1. A term used to describe the so-called pure systems of karate. Many of the movements associated with these systems are not practical in our present environment since the methods were created for the types of defense needed during ancient times. 2. A term designating techniques and/or philosophies conforming to certain standards of tradition.

code of bushido The samurai's code of honor.

committed action To move in such a manner as to bind oneself to a certain line of action.

compound techniques Any combination of techniques executed in rapid succession without returning to full guard.

conservation of motion Any movement that takes little time to execute but still causes the desired effect. Failure to cause the intended effect will only categorize the move as wasted motion. It must be short and effective to be considered economical. One of the aspects of focus (kime). Economy of motion.

continuity The principle that no move passes from one position to another without being utilized effectively. It is a counterpart of conservation of motion.

continuous techniques A method of attacking an opponent with a specific technique continuously and with proper timing to effect its execution.

continuous weapons The employment of a series of multiple natural weapons when involved in combat or freestyle.

controlled contact Another term for semi-contact karate.

controlled response The regulation of one's actions so that one does not react prematurely, unnecessarily, or foolishly.

coordination The synchronization of one's moves with the moves, timing, and direction of an opponent, in order to attack advantageously. This can also refer to movements brought into order to act as a whole.

counter; counterattack Any retaliatory technique instantaneously executed in opposition to an opponent's initial attack.

counterbalance Opposed forces that enhance the effectiveness of a blow, maneuver, or move.

cover-out A single crossover and a step back to increase the distance between oneself and an opponent and to place oneself in a safe position.

cover step The first step of a front crossover that aids in concealing the groin area.


deceptive action The use of feinting movements to deceive an opponent.

deceptive rhythm A planned sequence of irregular flow of action used to defeat an opponent. It is related to broken rhythm.

defense A protective move designed to protect against injury.

defensive offensive The execution of a move both protective to oneself and simultaneously injurious to one's opponent.

defensive persuasion Refers to forcing an opponent to defend a particular area, thus creating an opening elsewhere.

deflect To deviate the course of an attacking weapon.

delete The elimination of a weapon and target within a technique sequence.

discipline Training that develops self-control and character.

distraction Intentional move or moves used in free style or in combat to bewilder an opponent. Such moves will create an opening for a score or damaging blow.

diversified angle of attack The ability to attack from one direction and switch to another without any loss of motion.

diversified angle of cover Refers to the changing of directions while covering out; not getting into the habit of covering out in one direction.

diversified angle of retreat Another term meaning diversified angle of cover.

diversified targets Striking of varied targets to ensure multiple effect.

dojo (doh'joh) Jp. "the place of the way" A training hall or gymnasium where Japanese martial arts are practiced.

dojo etiquette The rules of conduct traditionally observed in the dojo that center around the virtues of humility and respect. Among the most common of these is the series of traditional bows performed upon entering and leaving the premises.

double check A single, simultaneous, or dual delivery that restrains, hinders, or represses an opponent from taking action from more than one leverage point.

double factor Entails a dual movement of defense that can incorporate any combination of blocks, parries, and checks. It also refers to movements that are both defensive and offensive.

drop The execution of moves that employ "marriage to gravity" when the body weight drops with the intended action

due back One of the eight directions of unbalance in judo. Known in Japanese as ma-ushiro.

due front One of the eight directions of unbalance in judo.


eight directions of unbalance: The eight points of the compass in an opponent may be moved so as break the balance. Also known as kuzushi.

empty hand One translation of karate (kara=empty; te=hand).

empty punching The practice of punching alternately with the right and left hands at an imaginary opponent.

environmental conditions Existing conditions of combat or free style sparring that include rules of a particular tournament, weather, time of day, number of persons involved, general surroundings, layout, terrain, and so on.

environmental weapons The ability to use whatever resources that readily present themselves as weapons of defense or attack.

explosive pressure Bursting aggressive action that keeps constant force on an opponent, thus preventing the opponent from setting up to retaliate.

extension The full extent or range of a technique.

extension of the body A doctrine common to the art of weaponry indicating that the weapon should not be manipulated as an extraneous unit, but as part of the entire body.

external power Power generated through external sources or muscular power as in most so-called "hard" karate systems.


fade out To move back from an action.

feel A word to describe the use of the foot in moving backward. When moving back, the foot should lightly slide so that it literally feels its way back to sense possible obstacles.

five-step sparring A method of prearranged practice fighting in which the attacker takes five steps forward to deliver a series of attacks, while the defender retreats and blocks and then executes a counter to the final attacking technique.

flowing punch A karate technique that jointly blocks and counters in the same motion. Known as the nagashi-zuki in Japanese.

fluidity That property of smoothly mixing sustained movements with sudden bursts of power. This quality is particularly evident in a fine kata performance.

flurry In karate, a fast, explosive exchange of techniques.

footwork The act of using the feet for offensive or defensive mobility when fighting.

focus The act of concentrating complete mental and physical force into a single striking point. Known in Japanese as kime.

follow through To continue execution of a technique to its absolute conclusion.

follow up Any technique that immediately follows another as repetition or addition.

footwork The act of using the feet for offensive and/or defensive mobility when fighting.

forging post See striking post.

form 1. An expression used in martial arts to describe the manner in which one executes techniques. Good form consists of proper posture, balance, coordination, timing, and the controlled use of speed and power. 2. A predetermined pattern of movement synonymous with almost every martial art. Known in Japanese as kata (formal exercise), in Korean as hyung (pattern), and in Chinese as kuen.

formal exercise: See form (2)

foundation A strong base of fundamental techniques upon which progress can be achieved.

four-step sparring A method of prearranged practice fighting in which the attacker takes four steps forward to deliver a series of attacks and the defender blocks throughout the sequence and counters the final technique.

freestyle sparring Usually the most advanced stage of martial arts training in which two opponents fight each other without predetermined variables. Known in Japanese as jiyu kumite.

frictional pull The multiple effects caused by scraping, hooking and pulling; the result causes pain to an opponent.

full-contact karate A contest in which two players engage in full-contact bouts using protective hand and foot pads. The objective is to render the other player unconscious. Rounds are two minutes in length with one minute rest periods in between.


gate One of ten imaginary doors or avenues of attack and/or evasion used to close or increase the distance between two opponents. The gates are: forward, backward, right side, left side, right front corner, left front corner, right rear corner, left rear corner, rising, and dropping.

gi (ghee) Jp. "uniform" or "suit"

gravitational marriage: See marriage to gravity.

groundwork A term often used in judo when referring to techniques performed while on the ground. See also grappling techniques.

guard The position of the hands and legs when squaring off to fight, or between execution of techniques.

gung-fu (gung foo') Ch. The Cantonese pronunciation of kung-fu.


hand conditioning The act of striking, rubbing, or grinding the hands against an abrasive surface in order to toughen the skin and bone by building calluses and producing calcium deposits. While the practice is supposed to result in stronger techniques and protection of the hands from injury, serious or even permanent damage may result from this training.

hard style 1. In Chinese boxing, representative of an external system. 2. A contemporary term denoting a system that primarily employs hard, powerful techniques executed in linear patterns.

harness the force To capitalize and bring into condition the production of maximum power. In short, teaching a student how to obtain 100 % power related to one's body structure.

high-line guard Any guard where the lead hand is raised to shoulder level.

high stance A position facilitating mobility in which the center of gravity remains high off the ground by less bending of the knees and assuming a narrow stance.

hip rotation A torque motion common to almost all martial arts, used in conjunction with the execution of certain techniques to generate power.

hip switch The act of using hip rotation to set up and deliver a technique.

honorary degree Refers to rank given to someone who has not otherwise earned it through normal channels. Often ranks of seventh to tenth degree black belt are honorary degrees given for years of devotion, study, and contributions to the martial arts.

horizontal zones Another of the categorical zones of protection. It basically entails the protection of three horizontal or height levels: the solar plexus to the top of the head; the groin to the solar plexus; and the feet to the groin.

hug Keeping close to or up against a key part of an opponent's body, thus minimizing opportunities for leverage and action.


initiative The ability to make the attack on an opponent's centerline.

inner power: See chi; ki.

insert The addition of a weapon or move simultaneous with, or sandwiched between, the base moves.

instep The top of the foot used as a striking point.

isometrics A set of body building exercises performed by pushing or pulling against an immovable opposing force.


jamming A term denoting any forward motion to neutralize a kick or punch by pressing into a close tight position relative to the opponent.

jeet kune do (jeet koon doh') Ch. "way of the intercepting fist" A collection of basic mental and physical concepts, observations of combat maneuvers, and philosophies of attitude gathered by the late Bruce Lee.

ju (joo) Jp. "gentle," "supple," or "soft" 1. The principle of suppleness, adaptation, and non-resistance recognized in aikido and judo. 2. The number ten.

judo (joo'doh) Jp. "gentle way" A Japanese art of self-defense and a sport with Olympic recognition, judo is now practiced in almost every country in the world. Like jujutsu, its forerunner, judo is a method of turning an opponent's strength and overcoming by skill and technique. judo in its present form was created by Jigoro Kano in 1882 who gave the sport its name.

jujutsu (joo-jut'soo) Jp. "art of gentleness," "art of suppleness," "art of pliancy" Literally, the art of suppleness, flexibility, pliancy, gentleness-all varying renditions of the ideogram "ju." All of these terms, however, represent a single principle, a general method of applying a technique, of using the human body as a weapon in unarmed combat.


karate (ka-ra'tay) Jp. "empty hand" or "China hand" An unarmed method of combat in which all parts of the anatomy are used to punch, strike, kick, or block. Karate originated in Okinawa as te (hand), and was directly influenced by earlier Chinese martial arts.

Korean karate A name sometimes used for tae kwon do.

kumite (koo'mee-teh) Jp. "sparring" A term used in karate for a form of training in which two opponents confront each other in simulated combat. In karate, there are a number of types of kumite, all different: one-step through five-step sparring, all prearranged.

kung-fu (kung-foo') Ch. "skill," "time," "strength," "ability," "task," or "work" A period of time used by a person to perform a specific type of task or work and a subsequent generic term used to refer to the Chinese unarmed martial arts. Also known as gung fu and wu shu.


leverage points Fixed points at which force, minimum or otherwise, can be used to overthrow an opponent or prevent an action from taking place.

light contact A term used to designate a type of competition or sparring in which lightly striking an opponent with controlled force to the body is permitted, but contact to the face is not.

linear movements Moves that are direct in nature and follow a straight path. They are primarily offensive, but can be utilized defensively or as follow-ups after meeting resistance.

lock A martial arts term designating a technique that immobilizes the part of the body to which it is applied, usually a joint.

lock-out Refers to the delivery of a technique that remains at the target upon contact, instead of being retracted.

logistics The aspect of positional theory concerned with the use of tactical footwork on a given battlefield to effect the most favorable fighting distances from an opponent.

long-range techniques Any techniques with which a fighter can reach an opponent at the longest distance, using the full extension of the arms or legs.

low-line guard Any guard where the lead hand is lowered to the waist level.

low lines The positional coordinates located below the waist.


major moves Strong and positive moves which cause immediate devastation.

maneuver A method one uses to close or extend range.

margin for error The execution of a defensive and/or offensive move that, when delivered, provides greater latitude to work with the event of error, or miscalculation.

marriage to gravity The uniting of strength, mind, and breath while dropping with the weight of the body. The merger of all of the above factors at the time the body drops greatly adds to the force of a blow or strike. Known also as gravitational marriage.

martial Military, warlike, fighting.

martial arts An encompassing term usually reserved for the Asian fighting arts. although it can apply to any fighting discipline with or without weapons.

mate (ma'teh) Jp. "wait" A referee's command used in a Japanese style-match to indicate to the contestants that they must temporarily halt their action.

mechanical Refers to those movements that appear very staccato; a sequence of movements that appear as if they are being done by the numbers.

method of execution The manner in which a move is executed to produce maximum results. For example, several methods could be used to execute a punch: a direct course, a dipping path, a roundhouse, and so on.

middle A term often used to refer the bodily area from the stomach to the neck.

middle lines The positional coordinates located below the shoulders and above the waist.

minor moves Subordinate moves, although not devastating, allow the set up of a major move.

momentary conditioning The ability to condition one's opponent to think one way, only to reverse the conditioned reflex so as to set him up for an attack.

multiple attack An attack by two or more opponents.


natural weapons Parts of the body used as offensive weapons, including parts of the hand, arm, foot, leg, and so on.

nerve centers Pressure points of the body that, when attacked, cause a great deal of pain.

neutralized hands The positioning of one's hands in a neutral area for maximum availability in nullify contact to the body with various techniques, but are forbidden to strike the face. See light contact.

neutral range The distance between two opponents at which neither can reach the other with a kick or punch without closing the distance.

non-contact karate A type of karate competition in which the players are permitted to make only light contact to the body and are forbidden to strike the face.


offense Any act of attacking.

offensive check A single move which first acts as a check before becoming a strike or hit.

one-steps A method of practicing martial arts techniques where one step is taken and then a technique is delivered.

one-step sparring A method of prearranged practice fighting in which the designated attacker takes one step forward to deliver a single technique, and the defender blocks and immediately counters. Known as ippon kumite.

open-hand techniques Those offensive and defensive martial arts techniques executed with the fingers partially or fully extended. When any of the fingers meet the palm, the fist is in some way clenched and the technique can no longer be categorized as open-hand.

opposing force Two forces going in opposite directions of each other.

outer rim The imaginary oval within which techniques can be delivered without overextending or over committing their moves.

overemphasis The act of exaggerating a technique to the point of unnaturalness.

overextension The act of extending a technique to the point where one's balance becomes unstable.

overhand According to some styles, any hand technique performed where the hand is raised above the elbow.

over-reach To overextend oneself needlessly with a blow or kick; to reach above or beyond a point unnecessarily.


parry To evade, or redirect the force of a blow or kick.

pattern A series of prearranged offensive and defensive maneuvers executed against one or more imaginary attacking opponents. See kata.

penetration point That imaginary point beyond the intended target, which compels the attacker not to prematurely tense the punch, kick, strike, and so forth. Fulfillment of this principle will greatly enhance the power of an attack.

perimeter Another name for critical distance, the area between opponents.

pin The pressing of joints or other key areas on an opponent's body to one's own body. This momentarily keeps an opponent stationary.

pinning check A restraining viselike move used to hinder an opponent from taking action.

pivot The act of swinging or turning the body while keeping the center of gravity fixed at a central point.

pivot point The point, spot, or position that the body uses as an axis on which to turn.

planned reaction A predetermined scheme for making an opponent respond prematurely.

point of activity The center of action where attention should be focused.

point of focus In karate, any pinpoint location of a striking point to which the entire force of the body is concentrated in conjunction with the execution of a technique.

poke Refers to the thrusting of the tips of the fingers or the joints to specific targets of the opponent's body.

posture Position of the body in relation to the technique being executed.

prearranged sparring A method of prearranged practice fighting in which both participants are aware of the intended attacks, blocks, and counters.

predetermined commitment Purposeful pre-planned moves to be used in setting up an opponent.

pressure points Nerve centers located on various parts of the body and serving as primary targets in most martial arts.

preventive motion Movements used to ward off attacks or stabilize a body target when executing a major move. They can be parries, light blocks, or pushing moves.

projection The act of bring forth additional energy while performing martial arts kata or forms. Performers generate intense feeling in a stylish display, as if they are actually involved in a realistic fighting situation.

punching techniques Any clenched-fist technique in which the force is directed in a straight line through the forearm to the striking point.


range The distance existing between opponents.

rank A term used in the martial arts to designate the level of achievement anywhere from white belt to 10th degree black belt.

reactionary set-up Having an opponent respond to a faked stimulus, thus creating vulnerability to one's attack.

ready stance A preparatory position assumed at the beginning or conclusion of training from which one waits for another command to continue or to stop.

reap An action of the leg or foot to sweep away the legs or feet of an opponent in the execution of a throw.

rear crossover Moving the back foot crossing over and back of the forward leg, or the forward leg moving over and back of the rear leg. Cross behind.

recoil To spring back after a blow or kick has been delivered; a fast retrieve after delivery.

reference point That point of origin in a sequence that one can refer to before proceeding to the opposite side. The same sequence can then be executed on the opposite side. It also indicates the directing of attention to a particular point in a technique sequence.

reflex action designating an involuntary action to an attack. It is the ultimate aim in all martial arts to attain lightning reflex action against any type of attack so as to eliminate the momentary hesitation that accompanies the thinking process. See spontaneity.

reinforced blocks Blocking techniques in which one arm performs the actual blocking while the other supports it. Also known as augmented blocks.

relaxed moves Moves that are completely relaxed in nature when used offensively or defensively. Tension, however, does come into play at the conclusion of these moves. Such moves become faster and more flexible, to the point where pain is lessened, and can easily be redirected to another target.

repetition Something repeated such as a technique or combination. It is the key to reaching mechanical proficiency in the martial arts.

response-hit A counterattack coming in immediate response to an opponent's attack.

retraction The act of drawing back a technique following execution, usually as rapidly as it was delivered.

reverse side The side of the body furthest from the body.


salutation A traditional greeting or paying of respects indigenous to the Chinese martial arts. It is generally performed by placing one clenched fist against the open palm of the opposite hand. Hammer and shield.

sandwiching The striking of a target from both ends, greatly increasing the pressure and effect. This causes a vice- like effect since the target is not able to ride with any of the two striking forces. Here the principle of prevention of motion is employed.

sash A silk band worn around the waist to denote a level of skill or achievement in some styles of the Chinese martial arts.

semi-classical style A term used in the United States and Europe when referring to karate styles that find their roots in the Orient, but which have deviated either philosophically or technically from the original system. Many American karate instructors fall into this category by having synthesized two or more styles to suit their needs and those of their students.

semi-contact karate A term used to describe karate competition in which the contestants wear protective equipment on both their hands and feet and are permitted to deliver controlled techniques with moderate contact.

semi-free one-blow sparring A method of prearranged karate practice fighting in which both participants move freely about while the attacker delivers only a single technique and the defender blocks and immediately counters.

setting The act of lowering the center of gravity while striking in order to enhance power.

simple techniques Those techniques executed in one movement, either direct or indirect.

slice A method of attack that, when executed, skims the surface of the target. Though not penetrating, it is effective. A minor move used to set up an opponent for a major move.

slide step: See step-drag.

sliding kick A method of kicking in which the rear foot is slid beside the forward kicking foot before execution in order to keep the center of gravity low and diminish the distance to the target area by using the forward side.

smashing techniques Hand techniques other than punches or strikes, such as elbow blows.

snap A particular method of execution that involves the use of a whipping-type attack or blow, but with greater magnitude than a whip.

soft style A term designating a martial art that advocates fluid, circular techniques coupled with an emphasis on chi, such as many kung-fu systems.

solar plexus A network of nerves in the abdomen behind the stomach commonly used as a critical target area.

sole of the foot A striking point for the crescent kick and crescent-kick block.

sparring A form of martial arts training in which two opponents face one another and simulate actual combat. There are various types, depending on the practitioner's ability. Types of sparring vary from one-step prearranged to free style, unrehearsed simulated combat using attacks and defenses delivered at will. Various stages exist between one-step and free-style with increased steps and spontaneity.

spontaneity The ability to react naturally to an impromptu attack or situation without conscious effort or restraint.

sport karate Competitive karate in which two contestants engage in simulated and real combat, depending on the type of fighting. There are three types of karate competition practiced today: non-contact, semi-contact, full-contact.

stability A state of balance imperative for good martial arts performance.

stages of distance Those varying distances that exist between oneself and an opponent which can be closed or increased by selecting one of the foot maneuvering sequences.

stamping kick A thrust kick executed downward, usually with the heel.

stance A position of the feet allowing maximum balance, stability or mobility for a compatible technique. The hundreds of martial arts movements understandably require different stances compatible to each movement.

step-drag A method of shuffling where the foot, nearest the direction in which one is moving, is lifted, stepping forward or backward with the other dragging in the same direction to meet it.

sticking hands The practice of certain complicated hand and arm maneuvers that render an opponent immobile and allow the user to dominate and attack the opponent's vulnerable areas. Also known as chee sao.

stop-hit A counterattack that stops the opponent's attacking limb before it reaches full extension.

straight punch Any number of martial arts punching techniques characterized by the straightforward thrusting of the fist. Known in Japanese as choku-zuki.

strategics The aspect of positional theory concerned with the use of planned attacks to secure the position of advantage on a moment-to-moment basis.

strategy The development of a battle plan through which offense and defense are maximized with a minimum of risk.

striking area Another name for target area, any part of the body that one attacks.

striking point Any part of the body with which one strikes a target area.

striking post A straw padded striking post designed for toughening various striking points. It is constructed from a piece of wood about 60 inches long and tapered at one end, the thin end of which is mounted on a platform or secured to the ground. Knuckles, elbows, feet, and so on are toughened by repeated strikes to the post. Also known as a makiwara.

striking techniques Any technique where the force is transmitted laterally, usually with a snapping motion of the arm. This method includes punches. Known in Japanese as uchi-waza.

stripe A strip of cloth worn horizontally across the tips of a belt denoting progress toward the next belt level. Some styles sanction the use of red stripes on a black belt to indicate dan rank. In the United States, the use of colored belts has almost completely replaced the use of stripes to represent kyu grades.

styles A word indicating a type of martial art.

stylist Any practitioner of a particular martial art.

surprise attack Any planned attack predicated on an understanding of distraction to exploit weaknesses in the opponent's focus of attention.

sweep A method of throwing or unbalancing an opponent by upsetting one or both feet from under them.

switch The changing from one stance or position to another while in place. This is performed while moving the feet from one spot to another and involves a lead leg where one of three actions can take place: moving the back leg forward, moving the forward leg back, or jumping in place.

synchronization Refers to an opponent coordinating moves, timing, and direction with one's own in order to take advantage of opportunities for attacking.

synchronized kata Two or more performers executing the same form simultaneously or a two-person team simulating an actual fight. This event was introduced to karate tournament competition in the 1970's, but is more commonly seen in martial arts demonstrations.


tactical footwork The use of the feet as they pertain to the execution of techniques.

tactics The aspect of positional theory concerned with the selection of the most efficient techniques to be used against a given opponent.

takedown A term used in judo when referring to mat work or hold-down techniques.

tangible weapons The four limbs of the body for striking, the eyes for increasing peripheral vision, the waist for additional power, and footwork to maneuver the body in or out of combat range. All are believed to primary body weapons in many systems of unarmed combat.

target areas Any specific part of the body to which an attack or technique is delivered.

tear A ripping motion that actually involves grabbing while pulling.

technique conscious Term describing a fighter who is more conscious of the form than of the effectiveness of techniques.

three-step sparring A variation of five-step sparring.

thrust A particular method of execution involving the use of propelling, push-type attack or blow.

thrust kick A method of execution in which the kicking foot is thrust outward with driving force and strengthened momentarily before contact by locking out the hip.

time hit A counterattack that hits the opponent at about the same time the attacking limb reaches full extension.

timing A fighter's ability to impose their cadence on the opponent's so attacks are able to penetrate the opponent's defense, and the defense stops the opponent's attack. Efficient timing is the essence of skill in unarmed combat.

traditionalist Any practitioner who conforms to the customs, beliefs, and philosophies handed down through tradition.

transitory move The intermediate move that often takes place when moving from one position to another.

trapping hands The name for various defensive tactics whereby one or both hands trap both of the opponent's hands, sometimes using one of the opponent's arms to block his other arm.

two-step sparring A variation of five-step sparring.


uncommitted action The realization that one is not to move in such a way as to be bound to a certain line of action.

uniform Any one of various types of outfits traditionally worn by practitioners of the martial arts. Also called a gi.

unintentional moves Accidental and unplanned moves by an opponent that, when unchecked or unanticipated, can defeat you.


vertical zones One of the three categorical zones of protection encompassing four vertical, or width, segments requiring protection: left outside shoulder to middle of left chest; middle of left chest to sternum; sternum to middle of right chest; and middle of right chest to the outside of the right shoulder.

vital areas Essential body parts that, when struck, can be injurious or fatal.


walking techniques A series of exercises involving five steps forward then back, during which various basic techniques are executed.

wasted motion A move that lacks economy, or is delivered needlessly, or does not produce the intended effect. It is the opposite of the concept of conservation of motion.

weapon A term used to describe any particular striking point, e.g., elbow, knee, palm, heel, fist.

weight distribution The apportionment of weight to each leg related to a particular stance and/or movement. It may vary from 50/50, 60/40, 75/25, 90/10.

whip A particular method of execution involving the use of a snapping type of attack or blow, but with less magnitude than a snap.

working sequence Any technique sequence that is highly practical.

wrist lock A hold whereby one is controlled by a painful twisting grip on the wrist.


X block Any block where one arm overlaps the other, usually at the wrist or forearm. Known in Japanese as the juji-uke.

yame (ya-meh') Jp. "halt" or "stop" A Japanese command chiefly used in competition.

zones of defense; zones of protection The shielding of the body, with consideration given to three protective zones: horizontal, depth, and vertical.



Filipino Kali Terms

Abang to wait defensively
Abanico fan; also spelled "abaniko"
Abanico sa Itaas upper flywheel
Abecedario "ABC's"; the basics
Abierta open position
Agaw to seize, disarm or take away
Agaw-Sandata disarming & retrieval of the weapon
Aldabis diagonal cut, strike or uppercut
Alpabeto alphabet; the basics
Anim six
Anino shadow
Antas level or degree
Antaw long range
Apat four
Araw sun or day
Arnis harness; northern Philippine martial art
Arnisador stick fighter
Arnis de Mano "Armor of the Hand"; system
Atras retreat or backward
Avante forward

Babag worry; trouble
Bago new or before
Bagong-Pasok entry level student
Bagsak to drop; overhead strike with down weighing
Baguhan beginner
Baitang level or stages
Bakbakan a rumble or free-for-all fight
Balaraw dagger
Baligtad reverse or inside out
Bali break
Balik return or retreat
Balisong "butterfly knife"
Balitok tumble
Banatan full-contact fighting
Bansay-bansay training or drills
Bantay guard or watch
Bantay-Kamay support or "alive" hand
Bara-bara wild or formless technique
Baraw dagger
Bartikal vertical cut/strike
Baston stick
Bati-Bati using the butt of the stick
Batikan noteworthy; certified expert
Baywang the hip
Bigay to give
Bigay-bali lock release technique
Bigay-galang salutation
Bihasa expert
Binahagi cut into parts
Binali break or reverse
Bisig the arm
Braso the arm
Buah combination of footwork and form; application of technique
Buhat from or lift
Buhat Araw an overhead strike
Bukas open position
Buklis upward figure 8
Bulusok powerful overhead or diagonal strike
Buno takedown or throws
Bunot to draw a sword
Bunot Kaluban an upward slash followed by a downward slash; a drawing and slashing technique

Caballero techniques from Grandmaster Caballero
Carera cycling movement or spin
Cadena de Mano chain of hands
Centro Center
Centro Baston holding the stick in the middle
Cerrada close; closed fighting position
Cinco five
Cinco Teros "5 strikes"
Contra counter
Contrada opposite or counter
Corto close range
Cruzada cross-block and strike
Crossada to cross
Cuatro Four

Daga dagger or short stick
Dakop to catch
Dakot to scoop
Dalawa Two
Dalawampu Twenty
Dalawampu't Isa twenty-one
Dalawang double
Dakip capture
Dakip-Diwa mind-set
Damdam feel or sensitivity
Damdam-Diwa sensitivity; being aware
De Cadena "the chain"
De Cuerdas "to chord"; system
Defundo stationary
Delikado dangerous
Depensa defense; person taking defensive role in training
Dib-dib the chest
Diin to put pressure on
Dikit close, attached or short
Dikitan very close or close quarters
Diwa mind
Djuru form
Doble double
Doble Baston double stick training
Doblete double or repeat
Doce Pares "12 pairs or 12 strikes"; system
Dos two
Dos Labahas two blades
Dos Manos two hands
Dos Manos Largos two hands with long stick
Dukop to catch
Dukot to snatch or seize unexpectedly
Dukot to reach out
Dulo the tip of the stick
Dumog Filipino grappling art
Dungab to strike with the fist
Dungab "heaven" or "hammer" grip
Duslak thrust

Elastico "rubber band art"; system
Enganyo fake or feint
Entrada entry
Equis "X" or "X" shaped strike
Eskrima "skirmish"; Filipino martial art
Eskrimador stick fighter
Espada sword or long stick
Espada y Daga sword & dagger or long & short stick
Estrilla Star

Fraile "to hit"

Galang Respect
Galing Skill
Gantihan Exchange of blows
Garote Stick
Garote'ng Itak flat stick
Gitna Center
Gunting "scissors" or passing block
Guro Teacher

Habang while; in the meantime
Hagad-Hubad strikes & counters
Hagis to throw; a throwing technique
Hagibis whirlwind; throwing & grappling techniques
Hakbang to step; footwork
Hakbang-Paiwas full side step/step to avoid strike
Halo-Halo combination; free flow sparring
Hanay row or line
Han-ay form
Handa "Get ready!"
Hapos strike or slash
Hapsanay free sparring
Hatak to pull
Hataw a full power strike
Hawak to hold
Hawak-Gitna holding the stick in the middle
Hawak-Pakal reverse or ice-pick grip
Hawak-Punyo regular hold on weapon with punyo
Hawak-Sagad regular grip with no punyo
Hawak-Saksak regular or hammer grip
Hawak-Sandata methods of holding a weapon
Hawak-Susi reverse grip; holding at tip of stick
Higot to tie
Hindi no or negative
Hintay wait or pause
Hiwa to slash
Hubad to untie
Hulagpos to escape from capture or restraint

Ibaba down or below
Ibabaw above or on-top
Ikot turn or about-face
Ikot-Hantaw spinning strike
Ilag to evade
Ilalim under or underneath
Ilustrisimo techniques from Grandmaster Antonio Ilustrisimo
Insayo'ng Training
Ipit to lock, trap or jam
Ipit-Hagis a sacrifice throwing technique
Isang Single
Itaas above, upper or to the front
Itak long sword or bolo
Isa One
Iwas to avoid, dodge or duck

Juego Todo anything goes or free-for-all fight

Kaayusan order or organization
Kabakas partner or assistant
Kadena chain or series of movements
Kadyot a shallow, snap thrust
Kalahati half
Kalas disengage, release or disarm
Kalas-Sandata disarming technique
Kalasag to shield
Kali a southern Philippine martial art
Kaliwa left side
Kamay the hand
Kamayan empty-hand training
Kamot to punch
Kanan right side
Kapatid brother
Kasa to cock or chamber; to accept a challenge
Kasama companion/friends
Karunungan knowledge
Katapatan loyalty
Katawan body or torso
Katipunan organization, association or brotherhood
Kenkoy derogatory term used for unrealistic or impractical styles of fighting
Kilat "Lightning Blow"
Kilos movement
Kilos-Paa footwork
Kina-Iya natural
Kris serpentine blade knife
Kunsi grappling techniques
Kuntao "fist way"; system

Labaha blade
Labahas blades
Laban to fight
Laban-Handa ready-stance
Laban-Laro combat drills or "play fights"
Labanang to fight
Labanang-Dikitan close quarters combat
Labanang-Malapitan medium range combat
Labanang-Malayuan long range combat
Laban-Paluan free-fighting
Laban-Sanay combat-skills training
Labas the outside
Labing-Isa eleven
Labo-labo anything-goes fight
La Contra to meet a strike
Langka footwork
Lansi to confuse or misdirect
Lansing-Tadyak spinning thrust kick
Lansing-Sikad spinning snap kick
Largo long
Largo Mano long range
Largos long
Laro to play
Laro-laro give and take drills or training
Larong to play
La Seguida to follow a strike
Laslas to cut to shreds
Lastiko a style of arnis that emphasizes bobbing & weaving to avoid strikes
Lengua de Fuego a fast series of thrust & slash techniques
Lihim secret
Lihis to the side or side-step
Likos twirl
Lima five
Liyad to lean away
Lock & Block training drill from Serrada Eskrima
Loob the inside
Lubud to blend
Luma old
Lusob attack or partner taking offensive role in the training
Lutangto float; the unique forward and backward footwork of the Ilustrisimo system

Mabilis fast or speedy
Magaling highly skilled
Magisa alone
Mag-Olisi one who practices stick-fighting
Magulang parents; shrewd or sly
Mahina weak or of poor skills
Maharlika noble or nobility
Mahusay skillful
Malakas strong, powerful or influential
Malapitan near or close
Malayuan far or distant
Mandirigma warrior
Mano hand
Mano y Mano hand to hand
Marami many or numerous
Maraming Salamat Po "Many thanks"
Marunong knowledgeable
Masipag earnest or hard working
Masugid dedicated or loyal
Matibay strong, durable or lasting
Matira to be left or to be the last
Matira Matibay Survival of the Fittest
Mayto have
May-Alam to posses the seeds of knowledge
Medio medium range
Meteorica meteoric strike from Grandmaster Caballero
Mukha the face
Muli again or one more time

Nakahanda ready
Naka-Upo seated
Nakaw to steal
Ng of

Olisi Stick
Olisi-hay Sparring with sticks
Opo Respectful form of saying "yes"
Oracion a prayer for protection
Ordabis Backhand strike

Paa Foot
Paayon Going with the force
Paawas to parry
Pababa downward
Pag-Galang salutation or show of respect
Pagsasanay training
Pagsilang birth or sunrise
Pagsisisi atonement or repentance
Pahimsug exercises or calisthenics
Pahisa a slashing motion
Paikot rotate
Paikot circular strike
Paiwas to avoid
Pakal "ice pick" grip
Palad palm of the hand
Palakas strengthening
Palakas-Pulso wrist-strengthening exercises
Palis sweep or sweeping parry
Palis-Patid a sweeping throw
Palisut to scoop
Palisut-sut skipping strike
Palit change or exchange
Palit-Kamay change or exchange grip
Palitan alternating
Palo to strike
Paluan exchange of strikes
Pananandata study of the weapons of the Philippines
Pama-a footwork
Panastas to slash
Panata a devotion
Pangamot empty-hand defense
Pangandam on-guard or ready position
Pang-Ikyas evasion or dodge
Pangilog disarming
Pang-Olisi stick fighting
Pang-Ubot hold or grip
Panibago new or a revival
Pani-il footwork
Panimbang balance
Panipis to skim or cut thinly
Panukad fighting stance
Parusa punishment
Pasada de Contra pass and hit
Pasok to enter, inside or on target
Pasulong forward
Pasungkit to thrust upward
Pataas upward
Patalim dagger or blade weapon
Patalon jumping or multi-level strikes
Patibong to trap
Patid to trip
Patusok in a thrusting motion
Paulit-ulit repetitive
Pa-upo half side step/sitting down
Pauyon go-with-the force technique
Payong umbrella
Payong sa Itaas upper umbrella block
Pekiti close range
Piga to squeeze or wring
Piglas to struggle or resist
Pikon one who is easily upset
Piktos a snap strike
Pilay sprain or dislocation
Pinahandog diagonal downward strike
Pinatag horizontal strike
Pinasaka diagonal upward strike
Pinasaka Tuhod rising knee strike
Pinatindog vertical downward strike
Pingga a long staff fighting system
Pinid closed position
Pintok a wrist snap strike
Pito seven
Planchada a horizontal strike
Plansada horizontal cut/strike
Pluma pen
Po a suffix denoting respect
Prakcion to react faster than the opponent
Pukpok to hammer or pummel
Pulso pulse or wrist
Puluhan handle or butt
Punong Guro head teacher & founder of system
Punyo butt of stick


Redonda continuous double stick technique
Redondo circular power strike
Retirada to retreat
Rompida an upward and downward slash
Ronda circular movement of the hands or weapon
Ropillon a double stick technique or movement

Sa to or of
Sabayan Simultaneous; to attack or counter at the same time
Sablay Incomplete or imperfect; a low right to left horizontal blow
Saboy to throw or scatter; an upward right to left diagonal strike
Sadang reverse position
Sagang defense
Sagasa to charge or to overrun
Sakay to ride or go with the force
Sakay-Salag Eskrima sticky hands; to follow the motion of the blocked/ checked weapon or attack
Sakong heel
Sakong-Palad palm-heel
Saksak to thrust
Sasak Hatak a technique using fast withdrawal and twisting of the weapon to inflict a cut on the opponents checking or blocking hand
Salag block or parry
Salagba downward block
Salagbas outside dodging and parrying
Salag-Bisig forearm block
Salagsok inside dodging and parrying
Salagtas upward block
Salakay to charge or attack
Salamat to thank
Salamin mirror or reaction drill
Salisi opposing or opposite direction
Salok an upward strike with the edge or point
Saltik a snap strike
Salubong to meet head-on
Sama to join or go with
Sambut combination of footwork & form; application of technique
Sampu ten
Sanay training or exposure
Sandata weapon
Sangga to block
Saplet quick disarm
Sawali interwoven slats of wood use for walls
Serada closed
Serrada close quarters or "closing"
Sibat staff
Sibog retreat or backward
Sikad side kick
Sikad-Gilid side snap kick
Sikad-Hataw snap roundhouse kick
Sikad-Sungkite snap hook kick
Sikad-Tusok front snap kick
Sikaran a Philippine martial art emphasizing kicking & empty hand skills
Siklod to kiss the hand of an elder; a wrist lock
Siklod Bangga a wrist lock that uses the shoulder as a leverage point
Sikmura solar plexus
Siko the elbow
Sikot push kick
Sikwat to pry; an upward strike with the punyo
Sikwat-Siko a come-along lock with the elbow as the primary lock or center of pressure
Silat to outmaneuver or overpower
Sinawalli to weave; a continuous double stick technique
Siniguro to make doubly sure; a follow-up trapping or jamming technique (Lameco Eskrima)
Sipa to kick; also a game
Sipalit a training drill for alternating kicks
Sipang-Hataw roundhouse kick
Siyam nine
Sogo finger-tip thrust
Solo single
Songab finger jab
Songkiti to thrust
Sugod to attack or rush forward
Suklian an exchange of strikes
Suko to surrender or give-up
Sulong to go forward or go ahead
Suliwa pass or deflect
Sumbalik counter
Sumbrada upper umbrella block
Sumpa a vow or oath
Sungkite a technique that emphasizes thrusts
Sundot a jab or quick thrust
Suntok to punch
Suplete quick disarm
Susi key
Suwag head-butt
Suyop a go with the force technique
Swapang selfish or self-interested

Tabas Talahib a horizontal strike
Tabak-Toyok nunchaku
Tadtad full of or multiples of
Tadyak thrust kick
Tadyak-Gilid side thrust kick
Tadyak-Sakong back thrust kick
Tadyak-Tusok front thrust kick
Taga to strike or cut
Tagang Alanganin an outwards horizontal strike aimed at the upper torso region
Tagang Buhat Araw an overhead strike aimed at the top of the head
Tagang Pasumala primarily a parry, a sweeping upward diagonal strike used to deflect a weapon
Tagang San Miguel a diagonal downward and inward strike aimed at the upper torso
Tagapagsanay trainer or assistant instructor
Tagapagturo senior assistant instructor
Tala star
Talang Bartikal vertical block
Talas sharp or to sharpen
Talas Damdam sensitivity training
Tapa to step on the foot
Tapi to parry or deflect
Tapik to nudge, deflect or parry
Tapi-on to block, parry, deflect or check
Tapi-Tapi checking; a series of parries & blocks
Tapos finished or the end
Tatlo three
Tatlumpu thirty
Tatlumpu't Isa thirty one
Tatsulok triangle
Taub facing downward
Tayo stance
Teka wait, halt or pause
Tiempo timing
Tigil stop or cease
Tigpas a horizontal strike directed at the knees
Tihaya facing upward
Tiniklink footwork drill
Tisod to stumble
Totsada to thrust
Totsar to thrust
Trancada to lock or locks
Tuhod the knee
Tulisan the knife-fighting art of Kali Ilustrisimo
Tuloy-tuloy continuous
Tunga-tunga medium range
Tuo to the right
Tusok to thrust
Tuyok cycling movement or to spin

Ulo the head
Upo seat


Wala to the left
Walis to sweep
Walo eight
Warwok a weapon hand capture that rebounds the weapon into the attackers body
Wetik wrist snap strike
Witik wrist snap strike



Yabag the sound of footsteps
Yabang show-off
Yakap hug, hold, embrace or clinch
Yantoc rattan stick
Yukbo salutation
Yuko to duck or bow




Boxing Glossary

Alphabet soup - A reference to the abbreviations of various sanctioning bodies that name a “world champion.” The 1980s gave birth to a number of these bodies.
Amateur - A boxer who competes for pure competition, without monetary compensation.
Association of Boxing Commissions - A boxing organization composed of different members within the US and Canada. This body formed as a result of the Professional Boxing Safety Act of 1996 and Muhammad Ali Reform Act enacted by the US Senate and House of Representatives. The organization sets the minimum safety requirements that members need to follow.

Bag Gloves - Gloves used when hitting the speed bag or heavy bag. These gloves usually are smaller than gloves used for sparring or competing
Bantamweight - One of the traditional weight divisions used in professional boxing. The maximum weight for this division is 118 pounds (53.5 kg).
Bare-knuckle boxing - Boxing without gloves protecting the hands. This form of boxing was practiced before the first set of rules was set in place by Jack Broughton in the 18th century. Bare-knuckle boxing dates back before ancient Greek and Roman civilizations.
Beat the count - After getting knocked down a boxer returns to his/her feet before the referee reaches ten while counting.
Belt - Can refer to one of two things: 1) The area between the belly button and hips where a punch landed would be deemed illegal. 2) A decorated accessory worn around the waist of the champion of a weight class.
Bleeder - A boxer who often bleeds from the nose or is susceptible to cuts on the face.
Blocking - One of the basic defensive strategies practiced by keeping the hands up in front of the face with the chin tucked behind the gloves. The hands and forearms are used to deflect incoming punches.
Bob and weave - The legs bend and the head moves laterally in order to go underneath of an incoming punch (usually a hook). The feet move in the same direction as the head movement.
Body Punch - Punches landed above the belt but below the neck of an opponent.
Bolo Punch - A punch thrown by circling the arm and finishing with an upward movement similar to that of an uppercut. Often this punch is thrown to distract the opposing boxer. The attacker will throw the punch in order to have the opponent take his/her eye off of the other hand that will be coming from another direction.
Bout - A boxing match.
Boxers’ Handshake - Touching of gloves before the opening bell.
Boxing Commission - Organization authorized under law to regulate professional boxing matches.
Boxing Shoe - Light-weight rubber-soled shoe designed for easy movement in the boxing ring.
Brawler - A boxer who depends less on head/foot movement and more on sheer power and an uncanny ability to take punches from an opponent.
Breadbasket - The abdomen area.
Break - An order from the referee in order to break up two clinching boxers.

Card - The list of boxers and matchups for the event at hand.
Catch weight - Refers to a weight between two weight classes that boxers agree upon prior to an upcoming bout. Catch weights usually come into play when boxers for a bout primarily fight in two different weight classes.
Check hook - A hook used to prevent aggressive boxers from lunging in. The attacked boxer waits for the aggressor to lunge in at which point the attacked throws a hook and pivots at a 180 degree angle.
Chin - Refers to a boxer’s ability to absorb punches to the head. To “have a chin” is to be able to absorb punches to the head without much affect. To “have a glass chin” is to be susceptible to knockouts.
Clinching - Occurs when boxers get too close to one another or when one boxer feels cornered or under too much pressure. A boxer holds onto the opponent’s arms or body to prevent high powered punches from landing at close range.
Combination - A series of punches thrown one after the other.
Compubox - A computerized program that counts and categorizes punches thrown in a bout. TV networks use the system to give viewers a clear view of how many punches were thrown and where punches landed on the body and head of participants.
Contender - A highly-ranked boxer who is not the champion but is of top quality.
Corner - Refers to the four corners of the ring. Also can refer to a boxer’s team that gives advice, water, and medical treatment to the boxer between rounds.
Count - The count to ten that a referee makes after a boxer has been knocked down. If the boxer does not recover by the end of the count then he/she will be deemed unable to continue.
Counterpunch - A punch thrown immediately after an opponent throws a punch. The counterpunch exploits openings on the opponent.
Cross - A straight power-punch thrown by the dominant hand of the fighter (the rear hand).
Cruiserweight - Also known as Junior Heavyweight. The maximum weight for the weight class is 200 pounds (90.9 kg).
Cut man - Member of boxer’s team who takes care of cuts, nose bleeds, and contusions in between rounds.

Dancing - Term to describe a boxer’s footwork.
Decision - The result of the match. When no knockout, technical knockout, or disqualification occurs and the bout is determined by the scorecards then it is said to have been determined by decision. A unanimous decision occurs when all judges’ scores agree for the same winner. A split decision occurs when some of the judges are in favor of one boxer while others are in favor of the other.
Defense - Tactics used in order to prevent an opponent from landing a clean punch on the body or head.
Deflection - Also known as parrying. Use of the hands to prevent incoming punches from landing on the head or body.
Disqualification - Order given by the referee when a boxer breaks rules. The boxer who broke the rules would be declared the loser.
Division - A boxing weight category.
Double-end bag - Circular bag attacked to one hook on the floor and one hook above. The bag is used by boxers to improve speed and accuracy.
Draw - A tie. A decision rendered by the judges. Boxers tie due to an equal amount of points.
Ducking - A defensive tactic in which a boxer bends his/her knees in order to allow an incoming punch to soar over the head.

Endwell - An object used to reduce swelling in the face of the boxer. It is a flat metal surface that needs to be kept cold to be effective.
Evasion - Defensive method whereby a boxer makes his opponent miss with little or no physical contact.

Fall through the ropes - To fall or be punched through the ropes of a boxing ring.
Featherweight - One of the traditional eight weight classes. The maximum weight for this weight class is 126 pounds (57.2 kg).
Feint - A faked punch or faked offensive movement used to get the opponent to react.
Fight Record - The accumulation of wins, losses, and draws a boxer acquires throughout his/her career.
Flash knockdown - When a boxer gets knocked down but immediately gets back up.
Flyweight - Weight division that has a maximum weight of 112 pounds (50.8 kg).
Footwork - The way a boxer moves, pivots, and feints using his/her feet. A boxer who uses footwork appropriately will be able to switch easily between offensive and defensive boxing.
Foul - An infringement of boxing rules. Common fouls include head butts, elbows, and punches below the belt. Boxers usually receive a warning from the referee after committing a foul, but if the boxer continues to foul then points are often deducted from that boxer’s score. Disqualification could also result.

Getting off first - When a boxer throws a punch or combination before his/her opponent.
Go the distance - The bout lasted every round of its scheduled duration and goes to the judges who will make a decision. The term can also be used to describe a fighter who was outmatched or took punishment early on. When the fighter goes the distance he/she lasted the entire fight without being knocked out.
Go to the scorecards - The fight will be decided by the scorecards of the judges.

Handwraps - Cotton wraps worn under the gloves of boxers for knuckle and wrist protection. During competition most boxers replace the cotton wraps with gauze and medical tape.
Haymaker - A wild swinging punch thrown mostly in movies or street fights in order to knock out an opponent. This type of punch is an undisciplined and is used in boxing solely in an act of desperation.
Heavy bag - A long cylindrical bag suspended by a chain. The bag gets its name due to its weight. Boxers hit the bag and move around it as if it were an opponent.
Heavyweight - A traditional weight division that consists of boxers weighing over 200 pounds (90.9+ kg).
Hitting on the break - Occurs when the referee breaks up two clinching boxers and one of the boxers hits his opponent immediately instead of taking the mandatory full step back. This would be considered a foul.
Holding - See clinching.
Hook - A power punch in which the boxer swings with a bent elbow from the side toward the center.

Infighting - Fighting at close-range.
Inside fighter - A fighter who prefers to be close to his opponent in order to throw short, powerful punches.

Jab - A straight punch thrown with the lead hand. The punch should be thrown in a direct line from a boxer’s chin toward his/her opponent.
Journeyman - A boxer who holds respectable skill and toughness, but has limitations and little expectations when it comes to winning. He is said to be “along for the journey.”
Judge - Official who sits at ringside to score a bout. There are several judges at ringside scoring each bout.
Junior bantamweight - Also known as super flyweight. The maximum weight for this division is 115 pounds (52.2 kg).
Junior featherweight - Also known as super bantamweight. The maximum weight for this division is 122 pounds (55.3 kg).
Junior flyweight - Also known as light flyweight. The maximum weight for this division is 108 pounds (49 kg).
Junior heavyweight - Also known as cruiserweight. The maximum weight for this division is 200 pounds (90.9 kg)
Junior light heavyweight - Also known as super middleweight. The maximum weight for this division is 168 pounds (76.2 kg).
Junior lightweight - Also known as super featherweight. The maximum weight for this division is 130 pounds (59 kg).
Junior middleweight - Also known as light middleweight and super welterweight. The maximum weight for this division is 154 pounds (69.9 kg).
Junior welterweight - Also known as light welterweight and super lightweight. The maximum weight for this division is 140 pounds (63.5 kg).

Kidney punch - A punch to the lower back of an opponent. This punch has been deemed illegal due to the internal damage it inflicts.
Kissing the Canvas - Laying face first in the ring due to a knockdown.
Knockdown - Occurs when a boxer gets hit and touches the floor with any part of the body other than the feet, is being held up not by the legs but by the ropes, or is hanging on, through, or over the ropes with little support from the rest of the body. If any of these instances is caused by a slip or fall and not from the force of a punch then it is not a knockdown.
Knockout (KO) - Occurs when a boxer experiences a knockdown and is unable to get back up unassisted within ten seconds. A knockout results in a loss for the knocked out boxer.

Lead with the chin - Refers to a boxer leaving his/her chin open and vulnerable.
Light bantamweight - Also known as super flyweight and junior bantamweight. The maximum weight for this division is 115 pounds (52.2 kg).
Light featherweight - Also known as super bantamweight. The maximum weight for this division is 122 pounds (55.3 kg).
Light flyweight - Also known as junior flyweight. The maximum weight for this division is 108 pounds (49 kg).
Light heavyweight - One of the traditional eight divisions. The maximum weight for this division is 175 pounds (79.4 kg).
Light middleweight - Also known as junior middleweight and super welterweight. The maximum weight for this division is 154 pounds (69.9 kg).
Light welterweight - Also known as junior welterweight and super lightweight. The maximum weight fort this division is 140 pounds (63.5 kg).
Lightweight - One of the traditional eight divisions. The maximum weight for this division is 135 pounds (61.2 kg).
Liver Punch - When two orthodox boxers are fighting it is a left hook to the body. If landed correctly the punch can cause a knockdown or knockout.
Loss - A boxer can lose by way of decision (loss on points), knockout or technical knockout, or by disqualification.
Loss on points - A loss by decision in which the judges have more points accumulated for the boxer’s opponent.

Main Event - The bout at a boxing event with the most highly profiled fighters. The main event is usually the last bout.
Majority Decision - In professional boxing a decision in which two of the three judges decide in favor for one boxer and the third judge declares a draw. The boxer who received two winning point accumulations wins the bout.
Majority Draw - In professional boxing a decision in which two of the three judges decide a draw and the third judge declares a winner. The fight will be considered a draw.
Manager - The person given the responsibility of a boxer’s business affairs such as negotiating matches.
Mandatory eight-count - An eight-second count made by the referee after a knocked down boxer returns to his/her feet. This eight-seconds gives the referee time to decide if the boxer can continue or whether he/she needs medical attention.
Match - A bout; a fight.
Matchmaker - The person who acts as the intermediary between boxing managers of different fighters. The matchmaker sets up upcoming fights and works with promoters to gain publicity for the bout.
Medicine Ball - Weighted ball used in training.
Memorial ten-count - Tolling of the bell ten times before a bout to honor a recently deceased person.
Middleweight - One of the traditional eight weight classes. The maximum weight for this division is 160 pounds (72.6 kg).
Minimum weight - Also known as straw weight and mini flyweight. The maximum weight for this division is 105 pounds (47.6 kg).
Mouse - Swelling that forms a bump on the face or head.
Mouthpiece - A piece of rubber worn in the mouth of a boxer to protect the teeth and absorb shock to the head.

Neutral Corner - One of the two corners of a boxing ring that have not been assigned to either boxer for a fight. Sometimes also called the “white corner.” After a boxer knocks down his opponent he is told to go to a neutral corner while the referee starts the ten-count on his opponent.
No Contest - Describes the result of a fight that ends before the scheduled duration and in professional boxing usually before fourth round has ended. The result excludes knockouts and technical knockouts. In most cases an unintentional foul has occurred and has caused a severe injury on one of the boxers. In other circumstances an instance has occurred out of the fighters hands that will prevent further boxing. The fight will be stopped and considered no contest, meaning the fight does not go on either boxers’ record.
Novice - Amateur boxer with less than 10 fights.

Official - Refers to a referee or judge.
One-two - The simplest combination made up of a jab followed by a cross.
Open Class - The class within which an amateur boxer with more than ten fights competes.
Open Scoring - A system whereby the judges’ scores are revealed after each round or at various points throughout the match.
Opening - Refers to a vulnerability in an opponent’s defense.
Orthodox - A right-handed boxer or right-handed boxing style.
Out for the count - Unable to get up within the ten seconds after being knocked down.
Outclassed - A ruling that occurs when a boxer has taken too much punishment. The referee stops the fight and the other boxer wins.
Outside fighter - A boxer who likes to keep some distance between himself/herself and the opponent. Outsider fighters throw long, straight punches and move well on their feet.

Point deduction - A deduction of a point from a boxer’s score. This occurs when the referee feels the boxer has broken a rule too excessively or too often.
Parrying - Using the hands to deflect incoming punches.
Passbook - A book containing the record of the boxer. Acts as a form of identification and is taken to the medical check-up prior to a bout.
Peek-a-boo - A style in which a boxer holds his/her hands high in front of the face.
Pitty-pat punches - Punches that lack power but count as points in amateur boxing.
Points - A boxer earns points from judges for cleaning landing punches on the opponent. Points can be deducted for committing a foul. If the match goes to a decision, the boxer with more points wins the match.
Pound-for-pound - Means regardless of weight class. The boxer considered the best in the world is often referred to as the “pound-for pound champion.”
Power punches - Punches other than the jab: hook, cross, uppercut.
Prizefight - A fight in which the winner receives a monetary reward.
Professional - A boxer paid to fight.
Promoter - The person who helps to organize and advertise for a fight.
Protective cup - Padding used to protect the groin area.
Punch - The way to gain points in boxing is by throwing punches. The four main punches are the jab, cross, hook, and uppercut.
Purse - The money paid to boxers competing in a match. From the purse boxers pay their manager, trainers, and cutman.

Queer street - Expression used to describe the mindset of a boxer who is dazed from recent blows.

Range - The distance between a boxer and the opponent.
Reach - The distance between the fingertips of a boxer’s outstretched arms.
Referee - The official who appears in the ring with the boxers. Referees have a number of responsibilities such as the ability to break up clinching fighters and the power to deduct points if a fighter is breaking rules. Referees also ensure that boxers are fit to continue in the match.
Reflex bag - A circular bag on a post that moves as the bag gets struck. Boxers use this type of bag to improve speed and accuracy.
Rest period - One minute periods between rounds in both professional and amateur bouts.
Ring doctor - Doctor that sits ringside and tends to the medical needs of boxers. The ring doctor can instruct the referee to stop a fight if a fighter is in danger of further injury.
Ring generalship - The boxer who is able to lead the pace and style of the fight at hand.
Ringside - The area immediately surrounding the ring.
Roadwork - Term used to refer to a boxer’s running routine.
Rolling - A defensive maneuver that requires a boxer to move under an incoming punch and respond with a punch.
Rope a dope - When a boxer lays on the ropes in a shell position while his/her opponent throws constant punches and tires.
Round - One of a series of periods in a match. Each round is separated by a one minute rest period. In most situations professional bouts have rounds lasting three minutes while amateur bouts have rounds that last two minutes.
RSC - Referee stops the contest. Used to protect a hurt boxer.
RSCH - Referee stops the contest due to head blows. Used to protect a boxer who has received numerous forceful shots to the head.
RSCOC - Referee Stopped Contest Outclassed. This stoppage is the most common type of RSC. It occurs when one boxer simply appears to be taking excessive punishment.
RTD - Retired. A referee retires a fight in between rounds when he thinks a boxer cannot continue or when the boxer has indicated he/she cannot continue.
Rubber match - A fight to decide who the better fighter is between two fighters who have previously fought and have each won.
Rules of boxing - The rules of boxing differ among states, countries, and governing body, but boxers who break the rules while in the ring can be deducted a point from their score or get disqualified.

Sanctioning body - Boxing organizations that sponsor championship fights and provide champions with belts. The four main sanctioning bodies of professional boxing are: WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO.
Saved by the bell - The bell sounds before the referee can reach the count of ten for a knocked down boxer. Rules may vary for this situation.
Scoring hit - A hit landing on an opponent using the knuckle area of the glove. Also known as a “clean hit.”
Shadow Boxing - An exercise that involves throwing punches into the air without a designated target. Boxers use this drill to improve technique.
Shoulder guard - Tucking the chin to the front shoulder in order to prevent vulnerability of the chin.
Skinning the gloves - Professional boxers are required to have tape around the wrist of the gloves in order to prevent laces from coming undone. When the tape goes up too high on the gloves the pads in the gloves become tighter. Skinning the gloves is considered illegal under most rules.
Slipping - A main defensive strategy of boxing. The boxer moves his/her head from side to side forcing the opponent to miss by a slight margin.
Solar Plexus - The area of the abdomen at the peak of the ribcage. Taking a shot to this area can be devastating.
Southpaw - Opposite of the orthodox fighter. A left-handed fighter who leads with the right foot in his/her stance.
Sparring - Boxing against a training partner in order to improve form and technique.
Speed bag - A small, hanging, circular bag hit in sequence to improve a boxer’s rhythm and speed.
Split decision - Occurs when the majority of judges find one boxer the winner while the minority find the other boxers the winner. The boxer who receives majority rule will be the winner.
Split Draw - One judge favors one boxer, another favors the other boxer, and the third calls a draw. A draw ensues.
Spoiler - A boxer with an unusual style that provides an advantage.
Stable - Refers to boxers under the same management.
Stance - The position in which a boxer stands to box.
Standing eight-count - Quite common in amateur fights. The referee stops the fight and counts to eight to ensure that a boxer who has undergone harmful pressure is not too dazed to continue.
Stick and move - Usage of quick footwork and long punches.
Straight Punches - The jab and the cross. These punches can be thrown from a further distance.
Strawweight - Also known as minimum weight. The maximum weight of this division is 105 pounds (47.6 kg).
Super bantamweight - Also known as junior featherweight and light featherweight. The maximum weight for this division is 122 pounds (55.3 kg).
Super featherweight - Also known as junior lightweight. The maximum weight for this division is 130 pounds (59 kg).
Super flyweight - Also known as junior bantamweight and light bantamweight. The maximum weight for this division is 115 pounds (52.2 kg).
Super middleweight - Also known as junior light heavyweight. The maximum weight for this division is 168 pounds (76.2 kg).
Sweet Science - Another term for the sport of boxing coined by Pierce Egan, author of Boxiana.

Take a dive - To throw a fight by intentionally pretending to get knocked out.
Technical Decision - If a professional fight is scheduled for more than four rounds and an accidental foul occurs after four rounds causing an injury severe enough for the referee to stop the fight then the boxer who leads on the scorecards will win by technical decision.
Technical Draw - If a professional fight is scheduled for more than four rounds and an accidental foul occurs after four rounds causing an injury severe enough for the referee to stop the fight then the decision goes to the scorecards and if the fight is even then a draw will be concluded.
Technical Knockout (TKO) - Occurs when the referee stops the bout to protect a wounded fighter who has experienced great punishment. The opponent of the damaged boxer wins by TKO.
Third man in the ring - Refers to the referee.
Three knockdown rule - A rule requiring that a boxer who is knocked down three times in the same round be declared knocked out.
Throw in the towel - A member of a boxer’s corner throws in a white towel in order to signal that the boxer has had enough. The fight is stopped and the boxer loses by technical knockout.
Time keeper - Official in charge of keeping the time of rounds, stoppages, and resting periods.
Title bout - Refers to a championship match.
Tomato can - A boxer with little skill that often gets beat up.
Trainer - Member of a boxer’s team responsible for preparing the boxer for the fight and giving the boxer advice during rest periods.

Unanimous decision - A decision made by the judges in which all judges agree on the same winner.
Undercard - Boxing matches preceding the main event.
Uppercut - A power punch thrown at close range. The punch come in an upward motion and is intended to land on the stomach or chin of the opposition.
USA Boxing - The official governing body of amateur boxing in the United States.

Venue - The event or place where the matches occur.
Verdict - The decision made by the judges.

Warning - A notice a referee gives to a boxer after he/she commits a foul. Generally a boxer gets a warning and if the foul is committed again a point is taken away from that boxer’s score. If the infraction occurs a third time then the boxer is disqualified.
Weigh-in - A pre-bout ritual in which boxers are weighed to ensure they are at or under the maximum weight. For professional matches this ceremony usually occurs the day before the match. For amateur fights this ceremony usually occurs the day of the match.
Weight classes - Also known as weight divisions. The weight divisions set a maximum weight for fighters who intend to fight in each class.
Welterweight - One of the traditional eight divisions. The maximum weight for this class is 147 pounds (66.7 kg).
White corner - One of the neutral corners of the boxing ring. Both boxers and his/her team are assigned corners and the remaining two corners known as the white corners. When a boxer knocks down his/her opponent he/she is told to go to a white corner while the referee begins the count.
Win on points - When a boxer wins by decision after the points have been added up on each of the judges’ scorecards.
Wind - Used to refer to a boxer’s stamina.