Shotokan Blocks Gedan Barai

Two Different Ways To Practice Down Block

2 different gedan barai
Two different ways for one of the shotokan blocks gedan barai down block, to be practiced.

One block comes around and one block goes forward and around like a downward punch, so they are really different but yet they are the same down block.

Here we go (performing a left arm gedan barai) ~
I prepare my arms for classic left arm gedan barai, shoulders down, right fist forward like a punch, left fist prepared with the left bottom fist facing your right shoulder.

Next, my left arm arm slides down the back of the right arm and then rotating into the gedan barai position, this first variation of gedan barai sends the arm down and across the body.

The second variation of gedan barai starts the same with the preparation, but as you execute the block, the arm travels forward, down and around, almost like a low punch.

As I explain in the video, try and utilise the body, hips and legs to block, so I’m going to use my body, hips and legs to fire the arm across to the opposite shoulder. So my left fist which is going to block is fired from the left side of my body across to the right shoulder, using the hips, body and legs in a small forward movement.

Now the left arm is ready to block, i now drive the right side of my body and hip forward and pull the left side back.

Then as the left gedan barai finishes I snap my right side back and snap the left side forward into the square position, so it’s like a three hip movement.

This treble hit movement will give your blocks snap at completion.

The first block we did came across in an arcing movement, the second one goes forward like a punch so we’ve got one coming around one going forward so they are both different but they’re the same block, really it’s just the path is slightly different the classical one comes around and then the second one goes forward. 

Both gedan barai variations still cut across the centre line.

Two different shotokan blocks gedan barai

Linden Huckle

About the author

Linden Huckle has been practicing and teaching karate for over 50 years and believes first and foremost, karateka should enjoy their karate. He says 'there is nothing better than seeing a person develop into a great person through their karate practice, while at the same time enjoying karate.'

Linden Huckle