Blog Details


The word Osu can be used in different circumstances and have different meanings: the greeting, to thank you, from wanting to get someone’s attention, to indicate that you understand the explanation of the Master, from expressing approval, wanting to manifest their esteem for a person. The Osu term appeared for the first time at the beginning of the twentieth century in the military, and more specifically it was used by the officers of the imperial Japanese Navy (not to Okinawa, where he originated the Karate), with each likely it could be translated as ours: yes sir or as a condescending term. Only later it became customary among students of Karate-Do, probably returning from “campaigns and military training” introduced this term in the practice of Karate-Do. (The vast majority of Japanese people do not use the word “Osu”).押 (O) – 忍 (Su)
The first Kanji depicting O means to press, push, lift above his head, indicating a maximal effort, almost unbearable, to the limits of their endurance. The second ideogram, Su, means to resist, tenaciously persevere, to suffer silently.
Osu, then, means to resist pushing himself to the limit, to persevere in the maximum effort, suffer enduring the unendurable. More still implies a willingness to push the limits of their physical and mental endurance, persevering under any type of pressione. This strength of character and spirit, is developed with training hard, demanding and relentless, and is known as “Osu no Seishin” , the spirit of Osu.
The ideogram representing the suffix Su is also composed of two roots meaning blade and heart. The conception of this significance for the Japanese is expressed with remain impassive and silent even if the heart is pierced by a knife. So, those who manifest the use of the term Osu, every thought, every action, can be considered ready to comply with the spirit of Osu, even in the life of every day outside the Dojo.