The Meaning of Yoi

The importance of motivation in preparing for any activity is illustrated by the Japanese word YOI, which means "ready." The first ideogram, YO, means "use" or " utilize," while the second, I, means "will" or "motivation." To be prepared is to be motivated.

In Karate, you will hear the word YOI before sparring, the performance of a Kata, and even simple calisthenics during warm up. This is the way in which the instructor or referee tells you to prepare yourself for next task at hand. Each time you hear it, remember the true meaning of readiness in Japanese:

To be motivated or YOI.