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Lower block outside (gedan barai)

The Karate technique Gedan Barai is a lower block used for blocking both strikes and kicks. It is one of the first basic blocks taught to a new Karate student.

The video clip shows Sensei Terry Lyon (5th Dan) performing lower block. Please note: The starting position of the arms depends on the previously filmed technique.

How to perform a lower block

Performing a lower block with the left arm:

  1. The starting position should be as shown at the end of the video, with your right arm by your side and your left arm tucked up under your shoulder.
  2. Leading with your elbow and forearm, move the left arm across the chest, thus blocking your middle area. This motion is accompanied by hip rotation towards the right, which effectively moves your center target area out of the way.
  3. With the left elbow as the pivot, perform a circular motion downwards to your left, blocking your lower area, including the groin. At the same time, the other arm, in this case the right arm, swings in a circular motion, protecting the lower area while the left arm moves downward to perform the actual block. In this sense, both arms perform blocking motions at the same time.
  4. The left arm finishes by your side about two fists away from your leg. Simultaneously your right arm finishes tucked under your shoulder in the ready position.