Mnemonics: part 1

Pat the dog, tickle the dog, good boy.

This one is Sensei James’ device for the flowing hands in Bassai-dai. I’ve used it several times to teach lower grades this move and it has been quite effective!

Oh, you’re sooo annoying!

This one is mine for remembering the Japanese terms for footwork: oi ashi, yori ashi, sugi ashi, ayumi ashi. It’s not the most positive of mnemonics, but I figure if you’re stepping forward to punch someone, you’re not feeling too positive towards them. 😆 I prefer the word “annoying” to more positive words because it starts with A and has a Y, just like ayumi does.

oi ashi
oi ashi
yori ashi
yori ashi
sugi ashi
sugi ashi
ayumi ashi
ayumi ashi

Goes ’round like ma-washing-machine

Mawashi is from the Japanese “to turn”, we use it to preface the round techniques:

  • mawashi geri = round kick
  • mawashi empi = round elbow strike
  • mawashi uke = circular block

One way to remember this term is to liken it to a washing machine, the barrel of which goes around.

What are your favourite memory devices?

Published by Kristen S.

Kristen (kristarella) is a Happiness Engineer for Automattic (, karate-ka 🥋, musician 🎸, artist 👩🏻‍🎨, craftist 🧶, and lego enthusiast 🧱

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s