I've heard a martial arts Sensei use a phrase that sounds to my English ears like "yow may", I think in context (at the end of a teaching, when it was time to practice he would clap his hands and then say this) meaning something like "let's go" or "to the front". What's the proper/standard spelling of this phrase when you transliterate it to Latin characters?

  • 4
    If it were something that was said after the practice, it would be "yame" (止め), meaning "Stop!", "Avast!".
    – naruto
    Commented Apr 29, 2016 at 5:46
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    Are you sure it's even a Japanese martial art?
    – istrasci
    Commented Apr 29, 2016 at 5:56
  • @naruto I was pretty sure it was before, but maybe I'm remembering wrong. Thanks for the insightful comment either way.
    – Kev
    Commented Apr 29, 2016 at 6:44
  • @istrasci, yes, it's Aikido. :)
    – Kev
    Commented Apr 29, 2016 at 6:45
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    はじめ (Hajime) sounds most correct from the context. A teacher would say this to let students start solving problems in an exam or to let students start practicing in PE. やめ (Yame) is the just opposite.
    – Keita ODA
    Commented May 2, 2016 at 8:47

2 Answers 2


What you are referring to does indeed sound like (止め) or Yame!! A lot times (止め) or "stop", is used in some sort of practice like baseball (少年野球) ,budou (武道) and other sports.

In a competition, Judo for example this is what is said.

Before initial match. 『まて』、『そのまま』 『Wait』、『stay』

Re-start of match and during the match. 『はじめ』, 『よし』 『Start』, 『resume』

At the end of the match 『それまで』 『Stop』Not the literal translation, that would be 『Until then or the end』

Although (止め) is used quite a lot during pratice it is not said in a tournament.

Not sure if that helps you any?


As naruto said, it could be "yame" (止め), meaning "Stop!", "Avast!". I disagree that it would have to be after the practice to make sense. Having no other suggestions I will go with this.

  • Why do you disagree?
    – Angelos
    Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 9:57
  • @Nothingatall because I think it also could make sense before the practice, because that's where Sensai is ending his teaching. I.e. "That's enough talking, let's practice!"
    – Kev
    Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 12:43
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    It's a command to stop, not an announcement of stopping.
    – Angelos
    Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 13:28
  • Ah, I didn't understand this before. Thanks!
    – Kev
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 11:06

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