What is Osu?
People who study karate can often be heard saying the word osu. Sometimes they will say it in a normal speaking voice, but just as often, they will loudly shout this word, which can substitute for "hello," "good-bye," "yes," or "I understand." No matter how or when it is said, however, osu reaffirms one of the most important lessons of karate.
The top character, o, means to push, and symbolizes one hundred percent effort. The second character, su, means to endure. Combined, osu is a pledge to do one's very best and to endure.
Each time you say osu during karate class, remember that it is a pledge to work hard and to endure. If you can say it honestly and with pride each time, you can be confident you are doing well.