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Your 1e defense technique: Gedan Barai


Gedan Barai, blocking downGedan Barai, defense technique down:

Karate is a martial art but it is above all a art of defense. Master Funakoshi liked to remind these students of this principle: " Karate-do ni feel nashi "(There is no offensive action in karate do).

I must therefore start my articles with a defense technique: the 1ère that we will learn will be a blocking technique: Gedan Bars.

Gedan meaning socks and Barai meaning Balayage, Gedan Barai is a swept blocking down.

Gedan Barai is a blockage very powerful which allows to deflect any attack of foot or fist arriving at the belt level.

Someone knocked :

  • with the outer part of the forearm,

Gedan Barai, with Forearm

  • with the hammer of hand (Tetsui),

Gedan Barai, with Tetsui, the hand hammer

Decomposition of Gedan Barai:

Preparatory phase

Cross arms in front of you, one of the arms is stretched (palm turned towards the ground), the other is brought above the shoulder of the first arm (palm turned towards the ear). Warning, only the arms movedo not raise your shoulders or hips. The arms are crossed, but the rest of the body remains dénddu during this preparatory phase.

Blocking phase:

Now, we will uncross our arms by an opposite movement of our arms. The describing arm Gedan Bars just "slip" on the other which at the same time returns to the hip in Ikité.

Be careful, it's not the arms that initiate this phase: in fact, the strength of the movement starts from a reverse rotation of the hips and a rapid contraction of the back muscles (The shoulder blades are getting closer.) Which carry the arms. The body thus passes slightly in profile (Hanmi). We end the blockage with a kime, with a strong abdominal contraction, stretching out his arm. We contract the forearm and the fist at impact with a wrist rotation.

Be careful not to go too far in scanning with your arm to avoid discovering its vital parts. As soon as the arm is above the knee (on the same side), the opponent's attack is deflected. There is no point in going beyond.

That's it, I hope this article 1er you more and that you will still be with me for the next techniques.

I invite you now to practice doing and remaking Gedan-Barai. Watch this video, I explain everything Gedan Barai in detail.

See you soon

(Do not forget to warm up before, thanks to the advice I give you in the ABCs of warming up , my book to download for free ;-))

>>> Download the video

Your opinion interests me, let a comment !

See you soon,

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  1. Good morning sensei Thank you so much for you answer to my questions? I have got an other important question for you about not only gedan badai but also age uke, sot uchi shuto uke,

    How can you apply the karate blog on jiu kumite, on dinamic situations?

    • Hello,
      In fact, blockages are not really applicable without dodging. The blockages will be used as a last resort if we miss the speed in the dodge, but we must always try to dodge because the primary goal is not to take a shot. Then your blocking can be turned into an attack situation. The basic techniques that we do in Kihon, are just educational for the body and to create automatisms.
      Hoping to answer your question.

  2. HELLO

    very interesting video on the technique, I practiced karate several years in 70 80 years and then stopped for something else. I resume training after several years and not to have forgotten the technique I really need a refresher since the abandonment of karate. your advice on the internet is valuable and interesting. thanks again

  3. Congratulations to Bruno
    It is very clear, it shows perfectly what must be gedan Barai .. and also the defects to add. If we saw the interest of this technique against an opponent it would be perfect
    I will continue to follow Bruno's blog with great interest
    Thank you

  4. Good evening Bruno,

    It's always a pleasure to learn from your videos.
    They help us all a lot in addition to our Dojo classes :).

    You inspire sympathy.


  5. Super video, thank you very much Bruno.
    If there was only one thing to add, it could be to be even more progressive (start with gestures very decomposed several times, then faster and faster). For beginners it is sometimes a little fast.
    But otherwise it's great, congratulations!

  6. Hello Bruno,
    I start karate (second course) I like it a lot but I notice that I have trouble synchronizing my movements. Your videos help me a lot, you detail all that is of a precious help to me.
    Thank you very much for what you do.

  7. menouel jean-paul at

    hello bruno it's j.paul we look at the video gedan barai, I find that in the technique we do not pass in front of the face, I think it is important for a beginner to specify it by force it will not do it any more half circle in front of the face because the beginning of gedan barai is already a block on oi zuki face here I am waiting for your comment a good + bruno week

    • Hello Jean-Paul,

      No, I do not agree with you.
      For me, Gedan Barai is a blockage down and the weapon arm must not pass in front of the face.
      There is no rotation of the arm. There is crossing, uncrossing, or closing then opening (or pressure + explosion) linearly.
      After I do not pretend that the fact of passing it in front of the face is a fault, and I understand that some do so but for me it is a variant of the style Mawashi-Ryu, as we can see on this video of Franck Leger : Gedan-Barai - Mawashi-Ryu

      So, to my students, I do not teach them to walk in front of the face in a circle, on the contrary, I correct them, if they do.


  8. Hello Bruno.

    My teacher teaches beginners, slowly and with impact, to:

    _Ear the elbows (fist movement to the ear).
    _rentrer the chin.
    _to shift the pelvis forward (to enter the dragon's tail).
    _have panoramic vision.


    _Stand the soles of the feet on the ground.
    _ser legs (feet, ankles, knees, thighs).
    _tend the back leg.
    _have a straight back, have the back parpendicular to the ground.
    Have the knee before the foot of the toes (zenkutsu position).
    _stretch your arm forward (punching your ear).
    _to stretch the arm that strikes (end of movement).

    I allow myself or you slide my own video on panoramic vision and conscious breathing:

    Thank you Bruno

    • Hello Mr. Luyton,

      Thank you for your video. Is the baby part of the exercise?

      In your description of Gedan Barai, there is a fault: If we enter the tail of the dragon, we tilt the pelvis back (and not the front) is a retro-version.
      Another thing, the back leg must be powered, certainly but never stretched. Why ? When you stretch your back leg fully, your quadriceps pulls on the front of the pelvis and tilts it forward (Ante-version) which will bring out the buttocks and create lumbar hyper-lordosis. The back leg should be contracted but not stretched and the pelvis should remain flat.


  9. Thank you, yes it has me more.
    I am in the infancy in my practice Shotokan karate.
    and I drill deeply with the exercises that my sensei and yourself dictated to me.
    Sincerely Pascal.

  10. again a great video from you bruno everything and very well explained I have some difficulty in coordination I will work well his and choku zuki before moving on to something else thank you

  11. Thank you Bruno!
    Gedan-barai; I could not understand the word when it was said.
    the position and the sequence also ... move from the right arm to the left arm I mixed.
    This video is very clear and I will make good progress on this position. (I begin)

  12. Hi,
    First of all, I want to say that I really like your videos. Indeed, I sometimes use support when my books give me explanations a little too vague: Karate Practice and Karate Kata Roland Habersetzer, I imagine you know.
    For the moment, I'm starting to train alone again. I had stopped Karate for a year and a half because of an injury that, I assure you, was not caused during practice. This is just a supplement, a sort of introduction to club recovery approaching.
    But I have always tried to train alone, in addition to the courses followed at the Dojo. Sensei Funakoshi and many others do not claim that we should always follow the path? If, and it would even forget the eighth precept: "The practice of karate can not be confined to the only dojo."
    Thus, this solitary practice pushes me to ask myself many questions when I practice, it also allowed me to develop my sense of observation. This is also why I have a small question to ask you about this video.
    Towards the end, you do the following exercise: move to Zen-Kutsu-Dachi from Yoi-Dachi while realizing Gedan-Barai, and this in retreat. Now, once you have arrived in Zen-Kutsu position, you can notice that your front foot has a slight opening towards the outside (the same as in Yoi) whereas it is said that in this slot position before, it should rather be very slightly inward oriented. As a result, is the position adopted voluntary, a special case or is it just an error on your part?

    • Hello Dylan,
      You're right, the practice of karate should not be confined to the Dojo alone and solitary training allows you to ask many questions and do more research.
      Regarding the transition to ZenKutsu by backing, you do well to raise the problem. In fact it is an error on the video. I open too much and do not keep the connection between the front leg and the back leg. To do this, you need to slightly pivot the front foot pivoting on the heel and maintaining pressure in the adductors to keep the connection between the two legs.

  13. Hello Sensei bruno
    thank you for the video of gedan barai it's interesting I understood everything and I master it well thank you.
    in truth I am a beginner on karate and I do not practice it with a teacher then ... so I am your course Interesting that helps me of course, I ask you is what you can help me to do dais exercises of a step by step (let's start with beginners [how to get started] then increase the level ..ect [or if you want we start with the white belt ... black and thank you also to explain to me how is classified belt: I mean the first belt is white, the second ... I do not know lol] please and all the necessary explanation as the kata the bankai ... ect) thank you in advance I congratulate you for this splendid and wonderful blog I'm waiting for your new greeting bravo thank you for the video and your fatigue for us thank you very much hi

    • Hello Bensikhaled,
      I see that you are motivated and that you are thirsty to learn, it is very good, but this blog is only an educational support which can allow you to revise and possibly learn some techniques but in no case you can only learn karate with this blog. You have to join a club and follow the teaching of a teacher.
      You will be able to progress from the white belt to the black and beyond while helping you with my videos.
      PS: I'm not Sensei, you can call me Bruno, that will be enough, thank you.

  14. Very good video; thank you I relaunch in the practice of karate that I gave up twenty years ago 20.
    Thank you I train as a youngster.

  15. Thursday April 19 2012

    Thank you Bruno!

    I really like your presentation of the courses, with its hesitations, it is very human. It even feels like you're with you despite the interposition of the machine.
    As for the Japanese terms, I appreciate hearing them and seeing them written. I was going to propose to you the idea of ​​a lexicon with pronunciation (in phonetics or in French), maybe) in the form of wiki, so that all your virtual pupils could participate in the elaboration of this lexicon what you would limit your work a bit. In addition, there may be some indication as to what style of karate the term is used for.
    I have 2 apps on the iPhone, but it's still in English and I'm forced to retranslate in French and it's galley without counting the risk of being wrong.
    Thanks to o_blanchon for the link.
    Would not it be nice to post the date of the comments so that we can take into account the seniority of the latter in our commetaire?

    Thanks again to you!

    • Hello Frederick,
      It's a good idea your lexicon. I had already thought about it, but I'm not an expert in the field and that's a lot of research. Your idea of ​​Wiki is excellent. I will learn about how to put this in place.
      For comments, I removed the dates on purpose because I know that old comments tend to be forgotten. But we talk on this blog of the practice of Karate in general and not current about Karate and I think that even the old comments will remain interesting in several years.
      Thank you, Bruno

    • I am ready to contribute to the development of such a lexicon!
      I have the fruit of long research on the question to share.

  16. Hello Bruno,
    Thank you very much for this video, it is a great complement to the courses!
    I just work gedan barai, you really allow to ask on the details on which we do not stop too much in class!
    I will feel much better to pass my yellow belt!
    By cons I tend to bang my wrists often in these movements where the arms intersect! How to correct this?

    • Hello Marie-Ange,
      Thank you for your compliments. I'm glad this course helps you.
      For your problem of fists, you tried glasses?
      No, I'm kidding!
      It's a timing problem, I think.
      Go slowly at first to learn how to synchronize your two arms and you will accelerate progressively.
      In fact you tend to want to make Gedan Barai rather than Ikite, off both arms have to work together.
      Instead of thinking right now about the arm that makes Gedan Barai, in your mind thinks rather to open your arms and so your two arms will work at the same time.

  17. Hello !

    Joined recently, I wanted to leave a little comment, but it is hard enough to find material to criticize. This is the third video I'm watching (I do the beginner program in ten weeks because it does not hurt to review)

    Regarding the terms in Japanese, a lexicon very well done is available on wikipedia, I allow myself to give the web address:

    Maybe I have searched badly (and then I have not seen all the videos yet) but I do not think I have seen any article about travel (except the pivot on the heel). I confess to have looked for an article of this kind early because it is practical when one wants to practice on sequences of techniques in straight line, or during a half turn.

    Anyway thank you for these items and all this time spent for others.


    • Hello Olivier,
      I'm glad you follow the beginner program, you can give me your impressions as and when.
      Regarding travel, it's true that I have not made a specific video yet, but I'm talking about Ayumi Ashi and Iki Ashi in the video of Zenkutsu Dachi.
      But you're right, I have to make specific videos for travel. Noted.
      Thanks again

  18. Hello Bruno,

    Thank you for this very informative video that allows once again to review the fundamentals.
    To bounce also on the commentary of Shoto28, I find your videos very adapted and human that seem to stick with your very natural personality and your humble and modest behavior (these are the passage values ​​put forward in karate).
    Your videos are very pedagogical and not demagogic ... You show empathy whatever our level.
    Some can advise you to improve ... I just want to thank you for putting your expertise and knowledge at your disposal.

    • Thank you Arnaud,

      I am very honored by your compliments. It's true that I try to make my videos very naturally.
      Do not please Shoto28, his comment dates from the 22 / 04 / 2011 at the very beginning of the Blog where there was only 2 or 3 videos.


  19. Hello Bruno,
    I would like to bounce on the criticism of Shoto28. What seduced me are your videos, very human with hesitations and covers, the humility that emerges from your audiovisual court makes you want to go in your real course.
    When to Japanese it seems to me necessary if one wants beyond the sport of combat and the codification of this one, understand the do.

    • Hello Whitebelt,

      What you say touches me a lot, it's very nice. This video was one of the first that I posted on the blog. Since then, I've been trying to be a bit more pro with HD quality, but I want to stay human and to give you the idea of ​​watching and learning. The goal for me is to do the beautiful (whatever I like anyway :-)) but give you a video support to work from home.
      For the Japanese, it's important because the passage of rank is mandatory. Well, it's still Japanese very French from the depths of my Haute-Marne (and I want to apologize to those who really speak Japanese and must have a bad ear), but try to remember the essential . I will try to make a lexicon on the blog one day.


      PS: Whitebelt, if you want it would be sypa to present you in the section:

  20. Good evening Bruno,

    I just reviewed Gedan - Barai, I think I'll have to move my trinkets in the living room :-), I confirm after reading the comment of "Shoto 28", that it is necessary to learn "the "Japanese" jargon, when to "Hara" after 38 years of practice I think it's ................................. the essential.

    Good evening, and good luck

  21. Interesting, but it would be necessary to show a work with two who would avoid too many explanations. To avoid the Japanese jargon: example the hara, to say rather center of gravity to remove any esoteric explanation. Also work staging (too many blurs) hesitations in the explanations. Good luck ... and why not give exos peda connotation?

    • Shoto28, thank you for this constructive comment. I created this blog so that everyone can perfect their training at home. I do not want, at first apply to 2 because at home, we are often alone.
      I give many explanations voluntarily because I think it is very important to be precise, and depending on its level each karate will have a different listening. That's why I advise to review the videos several times.
      It's true that I stammer a little from time to time, but I count on your indulgence, I had never done video before. In addition I prefer not to prepare too much staging because I want to remain natural as when I give a class to my students. I think that with time I should progress on this point.
      For the Japanese I sometimes use, I do not agree with you at all. Indeed I think it is important to know a minimum term specific to Karate. Especially since some Japanese word have no traction in our language, like Kimé, Sanchin ... As for the Hara, without wanting to launch a debate, it is not only the center of gravity of the man. It is more, it is our vital center from which emanates our energy, it is our balance, our rooting on earth, our life ... In fact there is no French word for Hara.

    • Shoto28, I totally agree with Bruno. It is important to become familiar with the terminology of karate. It is a whole and is part of a tradition totally foreign to ours. It must be remembered that the body and mind are inseparable in the Far Eastern tradition. Karate has since its origins a spiritual dimension. It became a sport only after the Second World War and especially under the impetus of Master Nakayama. In reality, it is more of an art than a sport. Almost all the masters of the past have put their keys on it.
      It should be remembered that Karate is secretly and esoterically transmitted among the nobles until it was disclosed by Master Anko Itosu to the Okinawa Public School as a method of physical education.

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