During karate training my (English) karate teacher uses a word that sounds like "son dame". He says that this describes the action of stopping your punch just before making contact with the opponent.

I cannot find this word or any variant spelling of it on any English language karate site. Nor can I find any Japanese equivalent on any Japanese site. I've tried そんだめ, そんだめい, そんだめえ. I tried replacing そん with ぞん, すん, ずん etc.

I'm sure half of these English-Japanese karate words are made up. Anyone have any ideas?

  • Not the same word, but your sensei will also use the word "kime" (focus) for pulling punches.
    – Graham
    Aug 4, 2019 at 12:02

2 Answers 2


I think it's 「[寸止]{すんど}め」 (^^)



It’s 寸止め (すんどめ), from 寸 (a very short distance) and 止める (to stop)

  • Thanks. Sorry, Chocolate beat you by 20s, so no tick :-( Aug 3, 2019 at 14:23
  • 1
    ^ いあ、回答は、私のほうが後でした。。。
    – chocolate
    Aug 3, 2019 at 14:28

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