Most martial arts practitioners around the world still use the original Japanese terminology.

At Danbury Kanreikai Karate, we practice and teach a Japanese style of karate in a traditional fashion. Japanese expressions used in class contribute to perpetuate the art’s Japanese tradition and to unite members of all Kanreikai dojo whose native tongue can be any language.

Among all the Japanese expressions used in our schools, “Osu!” is the one most frequently used. This short three-letter word encompasses the fundamental principles of martial arts and expresses a quest for physical and spiritual harmony at the dojo and in life.

More specifically, “Osu” means patience, respect, and appreciation.

Patience: The physical and mental strength of each individual steadily develops by means of a rigorous training that constantly requires one to overcome difficulties. One must be aware that practicing karate does not mean racing toward a black belt! A student must first establish his or her goals and work steadily to achieve them.

Respect: A student’s decision to engage in intensive training is a demonstration of self-respect. Respect for the teacher and other students follows naturally. This mutual deference at the dojo spreads to everyday life.

Appreciation: Before, during, and after each training session at the dojo, students often express their appreciation of their teacher and fellow students by saying “Osu!” It is a way to acknowledge and to thank them. In return, saying “Osu!” affirms that one belongs to the group. It is a way for each student to take his or her place and to show solidarity, willingness, and determination.

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