Dictionary S





SAIGO SHIRO (1866 – 1922)

Shiro was adopted son of Aikmijutsu master Saigo Tanomo. He was known for his great ability and strength at a young age. He was particularly well known for his powerful YAMA ARASHI (“mountain storm”) technique (this not the same technique we know today as “YAMA ARASHI”). He was recruited by KANO Jigoro to be his “showman” for the KODOKAN system. He earned the rank of SHODAN in JUDO in 1883, but he was a GODAN (5th degree ) by the age of 23. KANO Jigoro returned to Japan in January 1891. He had been abroad for sixteen months. Unfortunately, Saigo had gotten into trouble in the meantime. When KANO was informed of the incident he had no choice but to banish his most talented student. Saigo fled to distant Nagasaki. He took up KYUDO (Japanese archery, and mastered that discipline just as thoroughly as he had JUJUTSU. In a gesture of forgiveness, upon Saigo’s death KANO posthumously awarded his former student the rank of “KODOKAN JUDO Sixth DAN”. He is also is known to have been the model for the main chracter in Tomita Tsuneo’s 1942 novel Sugata Sanshiro. (The great movie director Kurosawa Akira /1920-1998/ began his career with Sugata Sanshiro /1943/, a film on JUDO.)Saigo died in 1922 at the age of 57.


SAMBO (SAMozaschita Bez Orujiya=Self-Defense without weapon)

Modern martial art, combat sport and self-defense system developed in the former Soviet Union, and recognized as an official sport by the USSR All-Union Sports Committee in 1938, presented by Anatoly Kharlampiev. The word Sambo is meaning "self-defense without a weapon" in Russian. Sambo has its roots in traditional folk styles of wrestling such as Armenian Koch, Georgian Chidaoba, Moldovan Trîntǎ, Uzbek Kurash, Mongolian Khapsagay and Azerbaijani Gulesh (wrestling style). But, in truth, most of the SAMBO techniques comes from KODOKAN JUDO. There were some differences: SAMBO fighters wore tighter jackets. The rules of SAMBO contests closely resemble those of JUDO in the 1920s, with some differences. JUDO forbids leg locks and allows strangles while SAMBO has it the other way round. Prolonged beltholding, barred in JUDO because it is seen as passive, is legal in SAMBO in which it funktions as the basis for attack. And, unlike JUDO in which thrower (TORI) and thrown (UKE) often both go over, A SAMBO contestant has to remain on his feet to score from a throw.


SAMURA, KAICHIRO (1880-1964) Kodokan 10th Dan

One of the two longest living 10th DANs, he joined the KODOKAN in 1898 and received the grade of 10th DAN on April 5, 1948. In 1899, he became the head of the JUDO Section of the Butokukai and later traveled extensively teaching at schools and police establishments. In 1931, he began teaching at the KODOKAN and was a member of the DOJO Consultative Group 





SANBON SHOBU (Three-point match)

A match in which both competitors have taken one point, creating a situation in which the competitor to take the third point becomes the winner.



Holder of the third grade BLECK BELT.


SANKAKU (Triangle)

Used in reference to ‘figure 4’ action of legs to hold opponent.


SANKAKU-GATAME (Triangular armlock)

A lock.


SANKAKU JIME (Triangular strangle)

A strangle. Facing your opponent, wrap your right leg over his left shoulder and your left under his right armpit, catching your right foot under the back of your own left knee in a triangular leg formation and from this position squeeze his neck to strangle him.



Art of attacking vital points


SASAERU (To support; to block)

To use your feet, legs, or hips to block on opponent’s attempts to move his body or a part of his body freely.


SASAE-TSURI-KOMI-ASHI (Supporting foot lift-pull throw)

A foot technique throw. This is the first throw in which the foot actually has to touch UKE. As you break UKE’s balance to his/her right front corner, block his/her supporting right leg by placing the sole of your foot just above his/her ankle, creating a pivot point, then lean back and twist to the left throw him/her over it. Beginners tend to hack or kick when attempting a sweep. The best opportunity for it is when UKE is stepping forward.

Favourite Technique of Anton GEESINK Olympic and twice World Champion and Wilhelm RUSKA Olympic Champion.


Combination Techniques: O-SOTO- GARI

                                            HARAI GOSHI


                                            TAI- OTOSHI

Counter Techniques:         OUCHI GARI


                                            O-SOTO- GARI


SAYU UCHI (Strike to both sides)




SEIKA TANDEN (Physical Center)

A region within the lower abdomen. It is the concept of KI (often called NAIKI) as fused in the unified doctrine of HARAGEI. JUDO, hower (at least at its highest levels) is also based upon the doctrine of HARAGEI and its system of abdominal centralization and extension, as the main prerequisite for mental stability, control, and power.




SEIZA (formal sitting)

A kneeling position used in almost every traditional Japanese art, including tea, music, and martial arts.



Initiative in applying mental power, technical skill and physical strength to gain advantage over the opponent.


SENPAI (Common usage)

1. A senior, a superior, an elder

2. The master at arms in a DOJO


SENSEI (Teacher, master, doctor; lit. Sen or Saki /before/and Sei /life/)


In Japanese martial arts this title is sometimes reserved for the leader or creator of a RYU or style, in general a 10th DAN. These days, depending on the school, it may be reserved for the head teacher of a DOJO. The title of Dai-Sensei or O-Sensei, meaning ‘Great Master’, is used only for a few people such as KANO Jigoro, Funakoshi Gichin (Founder of Karate-Do), Ueshiba Morihei (Founder of AIKIDO) In Western DOJOs it is common to call any instructor of DAN grade SENSEI. Traditionally, that title was reserved for instructors of 4th DAN and above.



A kneeling position used in almost every traditional Japanese art including tea music, and martial arts.


SEOI (On the back)


SEOI-NAGE (Shoulder Throw)

A hand technique throw. There are two distinct types of Shoulder Throw in use, MOROTE SEOINAGE (shoulder throw using both hands grip) and IPPON SEOINAGE (shoulder throw using a one hand grip). It is an arm throw, not a hip throw. A powerful impetus stems from the hands, TORI’s hips, although turned in deep, do not necessarily touch UKE. Children love these throws.

  • Combination Technique:     SEOI-OTOSHI



  • Counter Technique:            USHIRO-GOSHI

STATISTICS: SEOI-NAGE is the most successful technique in all 797 fights (102/63)                   /                         /62%/ of the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, 1999 (Men).



Nakanishi Hidetoshi, “Seoi-nage (judo masterclass techniques),”London, United Kingdom, Ippon Books, 1992, 160p, ISBN 0951845543.

Sweeney, A.J.: Goodger, B.C.: Harreaves, P.H., “Famous Judo throws: 3 seoinage”, London, United Kingdom, Leonard Hill Books, 1969, 96p, MBR.


SEOI OTOSHI (Shoulder drop)

A hand technique throw. Break your UKE’s balance to his front or right front corner, load him onto your back, then drop one or both knees to the mat to throw him over your shoulder and down. An applied from of SEOI-NAGE. Angelo Parisi (1953- ) Olympic and three times European Champion won his third European title (1983) with his TOKUI-WAZA, SEOI-OTOSHI.


Combination Techniques:     EASHI BARAI

                                              UCHI GARI


Counter Techniques:            OSOTO GAKE


SEOU (To load something onto your back)

To load your opponent onto your hips or back.



The SHIDO is awarded to any contestant who has committed a slight infringement, i.e. false attack, negative JUDO, more than 5 sec. in the danger zone without attacking. (See Sec.INTERNATIONAL JUDO FEDERATION CONTEST RULES, 27)


SHIAI (Contest)

Generally there are two types of contests-individual and team. During the contests the individuals or teams are usually identified as red (ko) or white (haku).

Individual Contest:

1 This championship contests: performed on an elimination basis. Normally if there are eight contestants, there will first be four matches; the winner of the four then fight again until there are only two undefeated contestants. Champion is the winner of this match.

2 Grade contest: played usually by individuals of the same grade against each other. Victory will count in consideration for promotion to the next grade.

3 League Tournament: Each individual fights each other. The person with the highest score wins.

Team Contest:

Elimination matches in which participants are divided into red and white teams. The contest is fought on an individual basis and the team with contestants left, wins the match.

It conducted in spring and autumn at the KODOKAN, in part as on opportunity for conducting DAN rankings.


SHIAI GEIKO (Match training)

Actual matches conducted as practice for real competitive experience.


SHIAI JIKAN (Match duration) The scheduled duration of a match.

SHIAI-JO (Competion area)

Area in which JUDO matches are conducted, including an area extending out 1.5 TATAMI mats (3 meters) past the red mats.


SHIHAN (Teacher, Master)

This title given to highly-qualified master teaches however in JUDO circles the term is applied only to JUDO founder JIGORO KANO.



On all sides, in all directions.


SHIHO GATAME (Four Quarters Hold)




Moving on one knee


SHIMERU (To strangle, To choke)

To apply pressure to UKE’s neck using your hands, arms, legs or by manipulating his collar or lapel.


SHIME-WAZA (Coking techniques)

In strangulation techniques or choke locks, TORI uses his/her hands, arms or legs on the UKE’s collar or lapels to apply pressure to his neck or throat.Techniques of SHIMEWAZA:NAMI JUJI JIME,GYAKU JUJI JIME,KATA JUJI JIME,HADAKA JIME,OKURI ERI JIME,KATAHA JIME,SANKAKU JIME,TSUKKOMI JIME,RYOTE JIME, DO JIME prohibited WAZA), SODE GURUMA JIME, KATATE JIME. (See IJF CONTEST RULES Article 29 Appendix)


1.Kashiwazaki Katsuhiko, “Shimewaza (judo masterclass techniques)”, London, United       Kingdom, Ippon, 1992, 1997, 112p, ISBN 0951845535.

2. The Challenges of Shimewaza (http:// www.judoinfo.com/shimewaza.htm)



New techniques



Lower side or place in roper DOJO etiquette at which students assemble.






Heart, mind spirit.


SHINKEN SHOBU NO KATA (Form of real fighting)

KIME NO KATA is also known as Shinken shobu no kata (See KATAS of JUDO)



SHINPAN (Refereeing; umpiring)

Making judgements about the content of matches, including judging technique effectiveness and awarding points, calling fouls and penalties, and declaring winners.


SHINPAN CHO (Chief of referees)

Individual in charge of referees at a given JUDO competition.



Movement forward, backward or to the sides



It is the native religion of Japan and was once its state religion. It involves the worship of kami spirits. Shinto is commonly translated as "The Way of the Gods". Some differences exist between Koshinto (the ancient Shinto) and the many types of Shinto taught and practiced today, showing the influences of Buddhism when it was introduced into Japan in the sixth century.



White. (colour)


SHIRO TEPU ((White tape)

10x50 cm piece of white tape on the mat (TATAMI) within the area. (See IJF CONTEST RULES)


SHISEI (Posture)

The stance or way or in which the body is held. In JUDO the natural posture (SHIZENTAI) in emphasized.



The trousers of the JUDOGI.






Natural, nature.


SHIZENTAI (Natural posture)

In the natural position you stand with both feet slightly apart, your body straight, and your weight slightly on the balls of your feet.

MIGI SHIZENTAI (Right natural posture)

HIDARI SHIZENTAI (Left natural posture)


SHIZEN HONTAI (Basic natural posture)

The basic JUDO posture is taken by standing naturally, heels about 30 centimeters apart, arms in a relaxed position at the sides.



Contest, match.


SHOCHU GEIKO (Special summer training)

Training conducted during the hottest months of the summer. It is a KODOKAN tradition since 1896.


SHODAN (Fist degree BLACK BELT.)

In 1884 am ranking system (DAN/KYU) gradually came into being. Tomita Jojiro (1865-1937) and Saigo SHIRO (1866-1922) were the first two trainees to be presented with SHODAN

A "SHODAN" (Promotion) consists of a JUDO practitioner being awarded a higher rank. In order to be promoted, a practitioner must pass the promotion test. Eligibility for this test is based on the practitioner's age and years of JUDO experience


SHOGAI JUDO (lifelong judo)

Practicing JUDO throughout one’s lifetime, from childhood to old age, or practice of JUDO over a lifetime.





SHORIKI, MATSUTARO (1885-1969) Kodokan 10th Dan

Born April 11, 1885 in Toyama Prefecture, educated at Takaoka Middle School, Fourth National Higher School, and Tokyo Imperial University. Director of the Police Affairs Section of the Metropolitan Police Board, President of the Yomiuri Shimbunsha (Japanese newspaper) and later its owner. Appointed Member of the House of Peers and elected Member of the House of Representatives. Served as State Minister. Established Japan's first commercial television station Nippon Television Network Corporation. Started professional baseball in Japan and contributed to its development. President of the Franco-Japanese University JUDO Association, Chairman of Nippon Budokan, and President of National Dietman's JUDO Federation. He is the only non-professional in the history of the KODOKAN to hold the 10th DAN. He was promoted after his death on October 9, 1969.






Era of Emperor Nirohito from 1926 to 1989.


SHUSHIN (Cultivation of mind)

One of the three principles of JUDO according to KANO Jigoro; the mental training that follows a strict moral code.


SMITH, ROBERT W. (1926-)

American martial arts instructor, writer and author. He received his first judo instruction while in the Marine Corps (1944-46), then joined the Chicago JUDO Club under John Osako in 1946. By 1960 Smith held a third-degree black belt from the KODOKAN . As a rersult of his studies in Taiwan (1959-62) he became a leading authority on Chinese fighting forms and techniques. Among his books are A Complete Guide to Judo (1958), Asian Fighting Arts (with Donn Draeger, 1969), Pa-kua: Chinese Boxing (1967), Chinese Boxing, Masters and Methods (1974), Hsing-I, Chinese Mind-Body Boxing, Secrets of Shao-lin Temple Boxing (1964), and under the pseudonym John F. Gilbey, Secret Fighting Arts of the World (1964). He is one of the faremost Western authorities of the Eastern fighting arts-.(See BOOKS ON JUDO)


SOATARI SHIAI (League Tournament)

A type of JUDO contest. Each individual fights each other. The person with the highest score wins.






Sleeve grab


SODE-GURUMA-JIME (Sleeve wheel strangle)

A strangle. The TORI approaches the UKE from behind and grasps his/her right side lapel with his/her left hand and pulls it over to his/her left side so that the lapel cuts across his/her neck in front. Next the TORI passes his/her left hand grip to his/her right hand, holding with the thumb inside or outside the lapel.

The final move is for TORI to catch hold of the UKE’s jacket on his/her right shoulder with his/her left hand.


SODE-TSURI-KOMI-GOSHI (Sleeve lift-pull hip)

A hip technique throw. This throw is not listed in the GOKYO because it is really a variation of TSURIKOMIGOSHI. It differs from the standard throw in that your right hand holds your opponent’s left outer sleeve or cuff instead of his/her lapel

Favourite Technique of Toshiko Koga Olympic and World Champion.

                                         Jim Wooley of the United States placed fourth

                                          in the OLYMPIC

                                         GAMES (Munich, 1972)


Combination Techniques:    OUCHI GARI


Counter Techniques:            USHIRO GOSHI

                                               SUKUI NAGE

                                               TANI OTOSHI


SOGO-GACHI (Combined win)

A win by combination of a penalty and a WAZARI. (See Sec. INTERNATIONAL JUDO FEDERATION CONTEST RULES, 22)



Side falling method using shock dispersion to avoid injury.


SONODA, ISAMU (1946- )

Japanese JUDO champion.. He attended the Fukuoka Institute of Technology, and won a gold medal at the 1969 World Judo Championships along with his older brother, Yoshio, who won the gold medal in the lightweight (-63 kg) division. He joined the Fukuoka prefectural police force in July, 1972, at the invitation of the police force's judo instructor. Sonoda had competed in the ALL-JAPAN JUDO CHAMPIONSHIPS 10 times from age 19, but Shozo FUJI had won the competition for three consecutive years prior to 1976, when the championship served as the qualifier for the 1976 OLYMPIC GAMES, and was seen as a lock for Japan's Olympic judo team. However, Sonoda defeated FUJI by a very close decision, gained his first appearance at the Olympics at age 29.. He defeated Valeriy Dvoinikov of the Soviet Union. Sonoda retired after competing in the 1978Jigoro Kano Cup along with Kazuhiro Ninomiya. He and Ninomiya were rivals and friends for over 30 years, having been born on the same year, entered the same police force, competed in the same World Championships and Olympics, and having retired at the same time. He worked as a judo instructor for the Fukuoka prefectural police, and one



A command used by referees in a match meaning “stop movement” or “hold that position” or “freeze”. (See IJF CONTEST RULES, Article 18, and 8/10)


SORE MADE (“Finished!”)

A command used by the chief referee to end a match. (See Sec. INTERNATIONAL JUDO FEDERATION CONTEST RULES Article 19, and 14 Appendix)


SOTAI RENSHU (Partner practice)

Training with partner. (See also TANDOKU RENSHU).



Outer, Outside.


SOTO-MAKIKOMI (Outer wraparound throw)

A sacrifice technique. This throw is similar to most hip throws except that TORI hold one of the UKE’s arms with belt of TORI’s arms and roll his body, falling to the mat with UKE’s as he throw him.


SOTO-MOROTE (Outer two hands)

Original name of MOROTE-GARI



British JUDO champion. In 1971, he was a member of the British team that captured the European title, and he won the bronze medal at 1971 World JUDO Championships. In     1972 he captured the silver medal in the light- heavyweight division of the Munich Olympics and also the European title. The following year, he won a silver medal at EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS and a bronze in the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS In 1976 he won a bronze in the Montreal Olympics. Now retired. He currently lives in France where he is a judo instructor and is a credited cliff jumper. His son, Leon, is also a JUDOKA. In November 2007 at the Judo World Cup in Birmingham he was awarded his 9th DAN by Densign White, chairman of the British Judo Association. (See BOOKS ON JUDO)



Solar plexus


SUKASHI (slip, sidestep)

When a throw is completely avoided, by stepping nimbly out of the way, for example, the opponent may throw him/herself cleanly and this counts as a score for the other party e.g. UCHIMATA SUKASHI.



SUKUI NAGE (Scooping throw)

A hand technique throw From your opponent’s side, use both hands to wrap around his thighs from the front (or thrust one hand between his legs to wrap around his buttocks) to break his balance directly to his rear then scoop him/her up and throw him/her backwards.

SUKUI-NAGE is mostly done as a counter throw to HARAI-GOSHI, O-GURUMA, UCHI-MATA and OUCHI-GARI and indeed any throw where UKE attacks with one leg forward.

This throw is also known as TE-GURUMA, KIN-TSUKAMI, UDE-GURUMA.


STATISTICS: SUKUI-NAGE/TE-GURUMA is the most successful technique in all 797   fights (60/35) /58%/ of the 1999 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP (Men).


Favourite Technique of Ingrid Berghmans, Olympic and World Champion (three times)

                                         Sumio Endo, twice World Champion



Corner, angle.


SUMI-GAESHI (Corner throw)

A sacrifice technique. Break your opponent’s balance to his front or right front corner, then fall backwards, as your do catching the instep of your right foot under and behind his left knee or thigh to lift him up and throw him over your head.


Combination Techniques:   àDEASHI BARAI

Counter Techniques:           àOUCHI GARI


SUMI OTOSHI (Corner drop)

A hand technique throw. This throw is very similar to UKIOTOSHI, but this time UKE’s balance is broken towards his/her right-rear corner. It is the most difficult of the hand throws and as a result is rarely seen in competition. Many a contest against a difficult opponent has been won with a surprise technique such as this. Step to the outside of your opponent’s right foot and use the shifting movement of your body and the action of both of your hands to break his balance to his right rear corner and throw his down in that direction. This throw is also known as KUKI-NAGE (Air throw).



Japan’s spectacular national sport which attracts thousand of spectators to the 15-day championship events which are staged sic times a year in Japan’s major cities. In SUMO the competitors’ centre of gravity must be as low as possible and the wrestlers force-feed themselves on a diet including a large amount of rice to get as heavy as possible. Few outstanding wrestlers weigh less than 130kg.


SURIASHI (Slide stepping)

. The term "Suri ashi" (Footwork) refers to the Suri ashi (Footwork) used when moving during a contest or RANDORI (Free sparring), and its purpose is to move while maintaining one's balance. Because an opponent can easily destabilize a contestant who places his body weight disproportionately on one leg, the contestant moves by using this Suri ashi (Footwork) stepping method in order to avoid lifting the leg too far from the floor.




SUTE GEIKO (Throw away , “sacrifice” practice)

Sute geiko (Freestyle practice) involves training with a partner of higher skill than oneself, and executing WAZA with all one's strength from a moving, light-gripped fighting stance, with the partner offering no resistance.
In Sute geiko (Freestyle practice), all WAZA are executed (at full power) by the less skilled partner. Because the more skilled partner knows the correct postures for receiving WAZA, he receives them without fear, allowing the less skilled partner to experience and learn the finer points of offense and defense with his body.
This differs from RANDORI (Free sparring) in that the more skilled and less skilled partners take turns executing the WAZA in RANDORI (Free sparring


SUTEMI (Sacrifice)

Sacrifice throws are the type of throw where you must put your own body on the ground in a potentially disadvantageous position in order to succeed in throwing your opponent. Because the momentum of your falling body adds power there is very little strength required in these throws. In Judo these throws are called SUTEMI WAZA and are further divided into rear (MASUTEMI WAZA) and side (YOKO SUTEMI WAZA) throws


SUTEMI-WAZA (Sacrifice throws)

General term for throws in which the TORI sacrifices him/her self by falling to the rear or side as part of process of the throw. (See also MA SUTEMI WAZA, YOKO SUTEMI WAZA and IJF CONTEST RULES Article 9).