Definition of seiza in US English:



  • An upright kneeling position which is traditionally used in Japan in meditation and as part of the preparation in martial arts.

    • ‘A bow from seiza (kneeling position) is most formal.’
    • ‘Yamaguchi shouted and a hundred people stopped and slowly sat down in seiza.’
    • ‘When the Sensei and the students lined up sitting in seiza (formal Japanese sitting posture), Ted was surprised and became upset.’
    • ‘The other thing I admired was how he sat in seiza.’
    • ‘Doshu sat down in seiza in front of him and with a big smile returned the bow.’
    • ‘The beginner's set, the Omori Ryu, consists of twelve kata, eleven beginning from the kneeling position called seiza, and one starting from a standing position.’
    • ‘The defender and attacker are sitting side by side, facing the same direction, in seiza.’
    • ‘After we got up we sat down in front of the kamisama in seiza for 40 minutes and then practice began.’
    • ‘I couldn't do seiza but I could sit with my legs crossed and I trained from there, in that way.’
    • ‘From Thursday to Sunday we sat in seiza for about ten hours a day, chanting a passage from a norito, putting as much of our entire being into it as possible.’
    • ‘When working on layouts I would crouch over a table a mere eleven and a half inches above the tatami - good thing I'm used to seiza!’
    • ‘We practiced rolling, falling, sitting seiza [a formal kneeling position] and moving in shikko [moving from that formal kneeling position].’
    • ‘We were sitting in seiza and he walked past us and then retraced his steps.’
    • ‘All of the Omori ryu kata save one begin from the kneeling position of seiza.’
    • ‘Beginning kata from seiza (kneeling position) not only trains one in the most basic of postures, but the position is also an important physical aspect of traditional Japanese culture.’


Japanese, from sei ‘correct’ + za ‘sitting’.