Monday, February 04, 2008

A helpful handful: 5 ways to iprove your gedanate

Here is a handful of thoughts about the fourth technique in the fundamentals kata, gedanate, which name means 'lower body strike.'
  • Musashi claimed to be able to throw people 10-20 feet and kill them with this technique. Are you to that point in your training yet? No? Keep practicing, Grasshopper!
  • Gedanate is the Tomiki aikido name for the judo technique called sukuinage. In normal practice in aikido you don’t grab his legs, but you can. If tori happens to fall with uke during gedanate then it resembles the judo throw called taniotoshi.
  • If you are throwing uke over your forward leg to land behind you then you are using your weak back rotator muscles. Try getting this technique to work lunging forward through uke with a dropping motion like an otoshi throw – and with no over-the-leg rotation.
  • Don’t hold uke up with the hand that is controlling his wrist. Sometimes it can make for a dramatically effective throw if you just carelessly toss uke’s arm over your shoulder behind you instead of hanging onto his wrist.
  • Your first thought is to attack the face (which you might call jodan ate) but if anything prevents that you can still attack the lower body (gedan ate). For the purposes of this technique, you can consider lower body anything below the face. So, try pushing him off with an elbow to the ribs. Or keep in mind that you can step on his near knee or foot for a dramatic offbalance. Attacking anything lower than jodan (essentially face) can be considered gedan.


  1. Thanks - very good summary. I was teaching this on Saturday and I wish I'd had this to review before I went in.

    This is also a technique where size forces some adaptation - my technique is nothing like my daughter's interpretation of this technique. Worth remembering if you teach. One of the reasons I was impressed by your summary is that if you read it with size differences in mind, the hints make a different kind of sense.

  2. Thanks. Glad you liked it. Keep on coming and leaving comments so I know what is helpful to you and what is not.


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