Learning your 5th Kyu terminology.

The goal of your 5th Kyu test is to demonstrate understanding of some very basic terminology of Aikido, in addition to being able to demonstrate the techniques.

Your goal should be that when Sensei calls out a technique, for instance “Shomenuchi Iriminage”, you should be able to go into that technique smoothly and without much hesitation.

Many students initially find the terminology difficult to master, since it is Japanese language terminology.

This page is intended to help you through this, and demonstrate that the terms for your 5th Kyu exam are, in fact, quite simple.

In order to learn the terminology for this test,  it might help to just break down the techniques you need to know, and first commit to memory the “attack” part — in other words – the attack you are responding to.  I have bolded them below, to show you that really there are not that many terms you need to know… not overwhelming.

 From USAF

  • Shomenuchi ikkyo (omote & ura)
  • Shomenuchi iriminage
  • Katatetori shihonage (omote & ura)
  • Ryotetori tenchinage
  • Tsuki kotegaeshi
  • Ushiro tekubitori kotegaeshi
  • Morotetori kokyuho
Additional Plano Aikido techniques:

  • Katatetori Ikkyo (Omote & Ura)
  • Ai-Hanmi Katatetori Ikkyo (Omote & Ura)
  • Katatetori kokyunage (Omote & Ura)
  • Ushiro Tekubitori Ikkyo (Omote & Ura)
  • Kokyu Ho

So as you can see, there are actually only 7 attacks that you are responding to in this test. That’s not too bad. So you need to know what each of these 7 is:

  1. Shomenuchi
  2. Katatetori
  3. Ai-Hanmi Katatetori
  4. Ryotetori
  5. Tsuki
  6. Ushiro Tekubitori
  7. Morotetori

Then, you need to understand what the techniques are with which you “reply” to the attacks. As you can see below, there are only 7 of them. So that’s not bad.

  1. Ikkyo
  2. IrimiNage
  3. Shihonage
  4. Tenchinage
  5. Kotegaeshi
  6. Kokyuho
  7. Kokyunage
And then of course, you will want to know the Omote and Ura versions of some of the techniques (as indicated in your book). This means that you need to understand what Omote and Ura mean.

Every Aikido technique is some combination of these words (and others you will learn later), in this order:

Attack — Defense — Modifier (for a few there may be no Omote or Ura modifier)


  • Shomenuchi Ikkyo Omote
  • Katatetori Ikkyo Ura
  • Katatetori Kokyunage Omote
  • Tsuki Kotegaeshi (there may not be a modifier for this one)

In the 6th and 5th kyu exams, you begin to build the framework on which your future Aikido will exist. Until 1st Kyu (right before black belt), all you exams will be similar to this, but of course you’ll be adding new terms and techniques.




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