Gedan Barai (Downward Sweeping Block) is a block that protects the torso from neck to hip.


Starting Position:

  • Blocking hand is palm in at ear height or higher (beginners should have their thumb touching their ear) .

  • Counter hand is extended and fist, palm up, at center-chest.

  • Blocking hand elbow is down close to chest.


Blocking action:

  • Blocking hand goes down the outside of the body to the hip, then arm sweeps across to the opposite side.

  • Full block makes a "J" shape that covers the whole torso.

  • At the point of impact, the blocking hand turns over in a twisting manner to add torque to the technique.

  • As blocking hand extends, counter hand pulls back into hikite to add power.


Ending Position:

  • Block ends approximately 9" from leg (one open hand-spread - little finger to thumb), parallel to thigh, and 1 fist-width outside the leg.

  • Block focus/surface is 4 finger-widths from wrist on the outside of forearm.


One secret of adding power to gedan barai is to twist the hips into the technique. No more than a one-inch hip twist is needed. More twist is a waste of effort and time and may destabilize the hips.