Meaning of OSS (OSU)

Can you imagine ... a magical word that could be used for nearly anything?

Well, in karate, such a word exists: this is "OSU" (pronounced it "OSS" or "OUSS").

In Japanese, the word OSU is written as a combination of two different kanji:

oshi   - Oshi which means "Push",

shinobu   - Shinobu which means "to Endure".

Both words put together symbolize the importance of pushing, striving and persevering while suffering through whatever difficulties, pains and hindrances are encountered along the way.

In other words, during the training, you will always push yourself until you think you've reached your limit. Your body wants to stop, but your mind keeps pushing you forward. Then this is your mind that wants to stop, but your spirit keeps you moving.


   But “OSU” is a Japanese term, which has several meanings.

   It may mean “Hello” or “Good bye” when you arrive at or leave the dojo.

   It is also a term that expresses respect when greeting a higher rank.

   It also means “I understand, I will do my best” or “Yes” when you answer an instruction or a question during the class.
   It will reaffirm your commitment to train hard and improve yourself!

   But the most important thing: “OSU” should always come from your heart!



Karate wa rei ni hajimari, rei ni owaru.”

“Karate begins & ends with respect.”  – Sensei Funakoshi Gichin (1868-1957) -