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Old 12-13-2009, 08:20 PM   #5
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
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Re: Gyaku hanmi vs gyakute-dori

Linda Eskin wrote: View Post
Thank you Mickey. Any thoughts on why it might be applied in opposite ways when talking about hanmi vs grabs? Or maybe it's just one of those weird inconsistencies that all languages seem to have.
Hello Linda,

I do not see any inconsistency here. gyaku hanmi (逆半身, basically, 'opposite half body') is to have one side of your body forwards. (It is usually tied to kamae 構え, which is the basic Japanese term for posture or position, usually in relation to someone else.) It is gyaku because it is opposite to your partner's posture. Ai hanmi (相半身) would be matching your partner's posture.

Since it is usually left or right, we have four possibilities: hidari gyaku hanmi (left opposite), hidari ai hanmi (left matching), migi gyaku hanmi (right opposite), and migi ai hanmi (right matching).

Gyaku te dori simply applies the same concept to the hand grab. If you are standing in gyaku hanmi, it is logical also to do gyaku te dori, probably because of the principle, 'same hand, same foot'.

However, I have never come across this term in Japan. Gyakute (逆手) is a foul or dirty trick you play on someone and its logical opposite, aite (相手), means, not matching hand, but partner, buddy or companion.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
Hiroshima, Japan
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