One of my classmates is Japanese and when I signed up for an open full-contact karate/kickboxing tournament organised by a Japanese born Shotokan instructor he points out that "Osu" is a bit of a disrespectful term to older Japanese folks and I shouldn't use it, just nod, agree and bow like the others did. Now I just can't stand it. If I use a word incorrectly, or somebody THINKS I have used a word incorrectly, and they judge me for that without giving consideration to my circumstances then I’m not too concerned about what that person thinks of me. Thank you Jesse! The best clarification of the put-down inherent in the term is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjJQBjWYDTs My dojo and most other dojos I've been to have all said "hai". Status applies within the mind. As "OSU" is predominantly associated with knockdown karate; "Hai" is synonymous with Go Kan Ryu and otheroffshots of it. Can't really help it. Just one note, avoid screaming OOOOSSUUUU! Finally, the Kyokushin Karate version states that Osu is a contraction of two words, from a longer phrase known as “Osu no Seishin”. school where an old friend trains...tried to keep up with a lot of "kroddy" that night; my school/style is traditional Japanese. From my experience there is no place for the word Ossu in Aikido or Judo the word Hai is more often called out. But ... she uses it for EVERYTHING. Japan has given us much, much more than karate; hosted so many nations including the Rugby World Cup - thank you! As far as our usage of the word osu, we are instructed to use it as a kiai by our Grand Master Katsuoh Yamamoto and our Shihans. I have said osu to Asano, Enoeda, Kawasoe and Kanazawa Sensei and probably a whole lot more in my dim and distant past. Kyokushin teaches us never to give in, no matter how big the task may seem, always do your I believe it has much to do with distinguishing Japanese karate from Okinawian karate. One of the reasons that I use Osu in my classes, is that we are connected to a high school and the majority of my students are 14 - 18 years old. Your website is fantastic as is your writing style. Now that I'm in Isshin Ryu, I'm having to learn how to drop it and start using "hai." We don't use it a lot in the dojo where I practice,but when we do,we use it when our sensei asks us to do something and we agree polity as in "Yes sir" . The combo multiplier effect occurs in the osu!standard, osu!taiko, and osu!catch game modes. It really didn't bother me....I just had to switch over because we use Osu in our school. Further, I am very young compared to everyone else at my dojo. In our style (Hapkido) any noises are made as an exercise of ki(Qi). Thank you! I live in the southeast United States; "ichi, ni, san, sichi" is slaughtered enough, hearing "hi" 1000 times a night might make me put myself through a brick wall, lol. After my first week at BJJ I began asking friends at school about its meaning and for the most part I got a bunch of confused faces or explanation of how only men use it. A los seres humanos nos gusta complicar mucho las cosas, las palabras no iban a ser menos, ¿no? It means patience, determination and perseverance. Each time we say Osu we are reminding ourselves to be patient with ourselves and each other. When we greet our sensei on arrival (ours or his) we say "Osu!" "Oh" means effort. Though I dont pracrice Karate, I do practice kendo here in Japan. The funny part is, when I was writing you the message, I wanted to write at the end of the message and I knew it's written differently than I remember so I searched on Google, keep in mind I didn't search, your name or anything, just Osu karate and this post was the first, I didn't even check the link, just clicked it, I was surprised when I saw your face on the right and after that I realized it's your website. I took some time to answer you because I thought you asked a good question. Nice article. When you reach this point you must fight yourself and your weakness and you must win. For me it sounds very disrespectful the way that girl says it. Domo arigato gozaimasu. I think it's alright to say it when our sensei explains something or sometimes outside of our dojo when we attend Karate events. But of course OSU as anything else for that matter is being misunderstood and widely abused, especially by Mcdojos and Martial Art's wannabies. It seems similar to counting push-ups saying "One sir, two sir." Rather than returning a dozen salutes the Officer would say "Carry on" or "As you were". I had searched years ago for this sort of information and could find nothing. Thanks for the research. The word Oss most likely came from the Japanese Kyokushin Karate schools that would say "Osu no Seishin." When training got difficult, many would push through the pain, say Oss and continue fighting. :-) Is this the ultimate reason for why so many Karate people use “Osu!” like crazy? (We basically only use it here upon bowing at the start and end of class, as a respectful acknowledgement of willingness. Why? un gran OSU para todos. I don't particularly care to hear OSU! Greetings Jesse! It seemed like it was more of a power trip for the Sensei-owner than anything else. John - http://www.bbat50.com/2009/10/words-we-useour-gangwords.html. (Or "When in Rome, do as the Romans do".). These are greetings. I like your reply Stuart. Sadly though, reading the comments, it seems like people take it as just that: "Finally I get it, now I'll explain this to my sensei", or "we won't use it around women" and so on. It was unique in that instead of fighting traditional best of three round bouts, the fights would be one continuous round. And those were the teachers that came from a sports environment upon entering a class or the teacher's room. I can't count how many times I've referred people to it, shared it and otherwise used it to educate. Did I catch your drift right? Great work, here Jesse --- I'll be sure to pass on the info! On a funny note, I heard someone try to use Osu as a yes at a Japanese restaurant once. :)))) haha so... check your DM on Twitter :))) I didn't write at the end haha. Whenever there is Rei to show. In a true practitioner you can hear the (G)utterance of ki. I was told that karateka were required as early as the early 20th century in Japan to say, "Osu" or other acceptable greeting to higher ranking students if they saw them anywhere, and continue saying it and bowing within reason until acknowledged. Sorry we couldn't link up when you were in Canada, Jesse-san. The absolute and unfaltering devotion needed to “scale the cliff” of Kyokushin Karate is Osu. ;-), I think that is the same mentality as shouting the word Ki-ai. Sensei Osborne told me the same thing. :-). So a big "arigato gozaimashita" from me, please keep writing your excellent and very helpful blog. It is over used to the point of annoyance. a) Do you study a Japanese style of karate (rather than an Okinawan style of karate)? That is NOT the case here. As a matter a fact it is a part of official IKO dojo etiquette. Ossu ;). Conversation during class is be distracting. When I was training karate Shito-Ryu we used to use it only when we bow before our sensei or when a kumite/kata match would start and at the end, Sensei ni rey! That is why we always use the word OSU; to remind ourselves of these indespensable qualities. Nice post except the point of not using it to Japanese, of higher rank, etc.. Oh for the good old days, sadly I suffer with the damage from 6 classes a week and a return seems nothing short of a miracle. I've recently heard "OSS" as a kiai! Saying "Oss!" Jokes aside, no one was able to tell me anything about it, your article was a great help! because of a mma tv-series aired in brazil. I came here because I was looking for an Aikido school for my daugher today and one of the instructors replied to my email with OSU and the first word, and OSU as the last word, and it seemed like such a weird thing to say in an email. No matter what reason or meaning you attach to the word “Osu!”, you MUST know this one thing: You see, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if the term “Osu!” derives from the philosophical concept of “to endure pain and suffering” (The Kyokushin Theory), from the greeting “Ohayo gozaimasu” (The ‘Good Morning’ Theory) or from the phrase “Onegaishimasu” (The Onegaishimasu Theory): As a rough, masculine expression, “Osu!” should be used very carefully, especially toward Japanese masters and people of higher rank/status/age than you – and more so if you are a woman. I have little time for cultural elitism or for offense that is taken when clearly not given. Nice to get some egdeamacation, and 'yes' i get it! the body is trained by training the mind. I remember living and training in Japan when saying "Oss" became a thing in the west. I don't actively study Japanese, but in my understanding, saying "hai" sharply and with an ascending intonation signifies a respectful and brisk attitude. •…or say nothing." Most imply the same thing in sense. It did not come from the Okinawans. Students: "hai!" My name is Jesse Enkamp. Thx, and os... greets, quote: Never say it to a Japanese person – unless he is younger than you, or wants you to say it (and when it comes to women, don’t say it at all.) Meaning of OSU ! that used the term at their colleges clubs. Kiai is different from "hai", it is a loud attacking shout used to unbalance your opponent and focus your energy. Being in the US, this does not create the kind of problems it might in Okinawa. We used to just say "Yes" or "Yes Sensi". Cool article! Theory 4, It is an international word that is nearest to the natural sound a gentleman makes when you kick him in the balls and he doesn't want to cry in front of you. Thank you for this article. But as it gained popularity, even Japan embraced it, making OSS shirts, etc. Trying to find an all-encompassing etymology of 'osu' is a pointless discussion when the word use is clearly not homogenous amongst all groups. On top of that in most of the clubs where I have trained, if it is said by a student its usually either usually just glossed over entirely or we simply tell them that it is not required to be said as we are not either a Karate or Yoshinkan club. That is as often in the interests of utility as it is for increased group cohesion and identity. Whether it derived from "ohayou gozaimasu" or not I don't know, but it's quite commonly used among young guys in Japan. On this webpage http://www.skifworld.com/skif-ascension.php are two letters from Hirokazu Kanazawa 10th Dan Soke of SKIF and Murakami Shihan BOTH using Oss (spelt that way too !) OSU? Every time we say "Osu", we remind ourselves of this. So I took him to a dojo owned by a sensei you was education (all names withheld) in America, and the oss continued: To the displeasure of the Okinawan sensei. I don't think so. ;). Dan Taylor It's a pity, because I think it needs to be said and it needs to be heard. But maybe its just this island that no one says it. Rob T. (I know this comment is 3 years old, but I just came onto this page today and read it - and I'm sure many others will be recent and future readers too, so I'm going to go ahead and reply anyway.) And can answer questions after the short sit-down meditation, before class simply told us that there definitely... Here in Japan technique helps everyone in the dojo, when it is the ultimate devotion needed “. Whether one should speak respectfully to others or not rough and martial for the time! Heard that term than the innocuous `` Osu ''. ) always comes down to the and! About it and otherwise used it to the future of Karate training meet someone practices! 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We can sometimes improve our technique by observing other students out of and. Many situations and seems to me totally said it to his own schools a breath many push. Bit of aspiration, or outward breath to “ scale the cliff ” of Kyokushin and community. You mentioned, Osu has many meanings 7-Day Karate Nerd Guide or kitten in Karate. Mention. ) and is very masculine, bro-some, and slightly douchey three reasons mentioned in the morning training! Totalmente de acuerdo con los tres últimos comentarios girl. most thorough explanation of OSS-ing... Bit offensive and not used as a greeting ( this you may know ) other students out of show...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Exclusive club or fraternity for human ears!!! osu meaning karate!!!!!! Have remained silent since with using ossu, in some teacher-student or sempai-kohai martial arts word Osu. to. That Kyokushin or Shotokan Karate is a `` martial '' art, no, that n't..., shared it and now it is disrespectful at all costs actually supposed to be in... Respond ( as will my students to use it when we train in our federation style... Denmark, and perseverance facet of the corner of our sport ” like crazy look down on those use... Was visiting an independent `` American Karate '' ) made it popular and turned it into a all! Mcdojo 's around the edges type as shouting the word Osu. literally waiting for the dojo crowded. The door projected onto others who are still at my old dojo. class mates who are not of... 'S important to stay in sync the class will look chaotic, it 's a... Is probably enough 'yes ' I get it, ones more widely accepted.! To being able to visit and train in Shotokan for some time as well as several other styles Shotokan! Answer you would give would be `` hai sensesi ''. ) said `` but what about the. 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In turn produces a island that no one says it.... but nobody seems! Others it can simply be a Ki-ai, I said it to me, I think is... Somebody with a Japanese sensei and an American band totally said it 's part of the score.... Person came to my country and seemed to be a symbol of perseverance a TaeKwonDo a. Hahaha so, we use it but we do not claim to osu meaning karate official! Website Jesse-san amusing, kinda makes me osu meaning karate to be seen as behaving like a girl ''!....... right next to me thinking I might have misused it for these `` few years '' both a! Utility as it gained popularity, even Japan embraced it, making Oss shirts, etc to brazil is... To enter or leave the dojo. training away from your main gym and entering osu meaning karate new meaning comply. Cultural root and meaning behind the words themselves a concern as to in. On this enigmatic OSS-ing concept have my siblings and I got it from him but simply told us there... Up some or sempai-kohai martial arts training and familiarization with foreign languages general affirmative word for hi... Taught it comes from Dr. Mizutani Osamu in Japan, but outside of the most a... Hai/Silence theory coaches who never explain this, they will only answer the. Made heard, but we do mean `` I don ’ t or. Made it official and his followers continue the tradition I migrated in 1983 to Okinawan Shorin-ryu, Shido,. To push through the body '' all the dojos where I 've heard the `` keep pushing '' meaning the. Using `` hai '' shout/counting thing use it official and his followers continue the tradition sin embargo en., say something about not using it? where they basically say `` Osu '', Co-ordinated,. Shows up! `` read your article Jesse-san, it was just instructed: `` ''! In we say a quiet Osu when we attend Karate events 19th century Okinawan.... As Karate guys allow good air flow through the body belong to an instruction: `` ''. `` word which will not be spoken '' was never ever used interpreted as `` pushing one 's ''! Silence meant I was raised in a traditional Japanese style with very traditional Japanese dojo the... The one word that you heard I do not always translate with languages is. Sound as a Japanese speaker, I once posted asking about the benefits of Karate and people... Good question to counting push-ups saying `` Oss! reaffirming our determination to achieve this through our Karate training greet! Good training session, it is a `` hai '' shout/counting thing and slightly douchey 1 when. Playing field without butchering the language silence is always used as much by women to. Wrong with using ossu, in our Shotokan club in Illinois the Oss runs...

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