In Japanese, this word means ready. Upon this command from a sensei, karate students assume yoi, or the ready position, one of the first stances learned.

The feet are positioned shoulder-length apart with the toes pointing straight ahead and knees slightly bent. Elbows should nearly touch the sides and the hands should be in a fist at about waist level with the palms facing toward the body and about five inches apart.

From this position, it is easy to quickly assume any other stance.