Skip to content

Class Notes – Gyaku Work

January 19, 2013

As a teacher, I live for the moments when the foundations I laid in earlier lessons start to come together. That is when all the strange, difficult movements I got you to work on FINALLY start to make sense. The most recent lesson was like that.

Sanshin No Kata (Page 14 of your notes) 

You already know what is 地の型 Chi no Kata, so I’ll let you work on it yourself in your own practice time. In class we added 3 exercises:

  1. Stepping forward with the san-shitan ken (3-finger strike). Remember to keep your heels in line, knees in line with your feet and spine straightened!
  2. Stepping back with the right foot while striking with the san-shitan ken with the left hand. And vice versa.  Make sure your back heel does not go beyond and that your hand and foot arrive at the same time.
  3. Jodan uke – in class we started from shizen no kamae (feet about shoulder width apart), then stepped back 45 degrees while bringing the leading hand up in a slight arc, fist closed. Remember, the back heel should not go beyond, and your hand and foot should arrive at the same time.

With the jodan uke we are starting to prepare ourselves for 水の型  Sui no Kata,  the next one on the list. This is when the Sanshin no Kata start to look more combative. More on that next lesson!

Ura Gyaku

The formal version: Opponent grabs your lapel, you move back 45 degrees in a chi no kata fashion, draw the base of the triangle as you lock, complete the triangle and then move in to push the opponent away.

Just for the fun of it, we also looked at applying it against a frontal choke, and then against a frontal choke when your back is against the wall. You won’t be able to step back offline in full, but you still have some of what it takes to make ura gyaku work.

Key point:

The end position we want is the shoulder down, elbow straightened. If you twist the hand too much when locking it is nearly impossible to get it right. Senior students, you got to try muso dori and O gyaku, which are two more ways to get the same effect.  We will review them next lesson.

Omote Gyaku:

We also started looking at Omote Gyaku, but because we didn’t have enough time we will come back to this again next lesson. In a nutshell, however, it is:

  1. Opponent grabs your lapel, you move offline in the other direction while using your elbow to straighten his elbow.
  2. Both thumbs on the back of his grabbing hand as you push up.
  3. Draw the base of the triangle as move his hand up and away from his hip.
  4. Complete the triangle to stop his foot from bringing his hip back to his hand. Continue to bring his hand away from his hip in an arc until he falls.

Final Thoughts:

For both ura gyaku and omote gyaku I am teaching forms that have a lot of elements, a lot of things to keep track of. That means you will take longer to get the hang of the techniques, but once you get familiar with those elements, you know what you can leave out if necessary.

This is what you started to get a feeling of when we did ura gyaku against a frontal choke. And when I showed you the same technique with your back against the wall, you could see how drawing the base of the triangle could be shortened to just turning my foot and my hip out as I locked the wrist. But in order to get reliable skill, you will need to undergo the process of doing the large, deliberate movements first.

That’s why we do it that way in class!

Some other instructors teach those two locks as merely wrist twists. It makes the students think they know the locks earlier, but they can’t use the locks if the opponent is stronger. Or the students leave themselves open to being hit in the face (or worse) while trying to get the wrist locks to work.

Not smart!

So take your time to get the hang of everything I teach you to watch out for. Do the daily exercises, add in the new ones taught in this lesson, and you will find yourself able to learn the various techniques a lot faster than if you don’t. Have fun!


俊傑 (Shunketsu)


From → bujinkan

  1. Adara permalink

    Hello there, sorry if I seem to be on the wrong channel…but could I know the details for your lessons please? (: Thanks!

    • Will be emailing you at your gmail address in a few minutes. I hope that you check that account regularly! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: