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.

    • ‘We practiced rolling, falling, sitting seiza [a formal kneeling position] and moving in shikko [moving from that formal kneeling position].’
    • ‘A bow from seiza (kneeling position) is most formal.’
    • ‘Doshu sat down in seiza in front of him and with a big smile returned the bow.’
    • ‘We were sitting in seiza and he walked past us and then retraced his steps.’
    • ‘The other thing I admired was how he sat in seiza.’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘I couldn't do seiza but I could sit with my legs crossed and I trained from there, in that way.’
    • ‘Yamaguchi shouted and a hundred people stopped and slowly sat down in 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘After we got up we sat down in front of the kamisama in seiza for 40 minutes and then practice began.’
    • ‘All of the Omori ryu kata save one begin from the kneeling position of seiza.’
    • ‘The defender and attacker are sitting side by side, facing the same direction, in seiza.’
    • ‘When the Sensei and the students lined up sitting in seiza (formal Japanese sitting posture), Ted was surprised and became upset.’
    • ‘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.’


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