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Old 12-13-2009, 03:33 PM   #1
Linda Eskin
 
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Question Gyaku hanmi vs gyakute-dori

OK, help please... (Onegaeshinasu!) This one's got my little 6th-kyu brain shorted out.

I finally learned that ai hanmi is when we both have the same foot forward (e.g. both of us with our left foot forward), and gyaku hanmi is when we have the opposite foot forward (e.g. my right foot, your left foot), so we are standing in a mirror image of each other. Right?

(Gosh, I hope that's right, since that's what I've been telling myself for months.)

So now I'm trying to learn a bunch of new technique names. Several of them use a gyakute-dori attack. I get that dori is grab, and te is hand. But the gyaku part... It seems like it should be a mirror image, like gyaku hanmi - or my right hand grabbing your left hand). But it's not - it's a cross-hand grab (right to right, or left to left).

Aauggh! The smoldering smell just then was my brain.

Can anyone help me understand what the words really mean, so they make sense?

Domo!

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Old 12-13-2009, 04:30 PM   #2
mickeygelum
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Re: Gyaku hanmi vs gyakute-dori

Gyaku can be synonymous with reverse or opposite.

Train well,

Mickey
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Old 12-13-2009, 06:03 PM   #3
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Re: Gyaku hanmi vs gyakute-dori

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.

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Old 12-13-2009, 07:54 PM   #4
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Re: Gyaku hanmi vs gyakute-dori

Linda,

Your mirror analogy might be what's throwing you off. Gyakyu means opposite in our general use. Think of your hanmi as opposite feet pointing forward and the grab as grasping the arm on the opposite side of the body. We use the term "katate kosa dori" for cross-hand grabs. Just think of how confusing it is for a Japanese visitor to understand English with all the peculiar words and constructions.

Michael
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Old 12-13-2009, 08:20 PM   #5
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Gyaku hanmi vs gyakute-dori

Quote:
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
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:01 PM   #6
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Confused Re: Gyaku hanmi vs gyakute-dori

Thank you so much for the replies. I'm feeling quite dense on this point, and appreciate your efforts to set me straight. <sigh...>

It sounds like maybe I had/have the hamni thing reversed. <headdesk> All the explanations I find use "opposite" and "same" which seem to have different meanings depending on who's saying them. For instance, if I have my right foot forward, and you have your right foot forward, are we in the "opposite" or "same" stance? Some people seem to use "same" meaning right-to-right or left-to-left, and some use "same" to mean same side of the dojo.

This site illustrates what I understand ai hanmi to be, and gyaku hanmi. If those are right, then it would seem logical for partners standing in ai hanmi to do gyakute dori, and for partners in gyaku hanmi to do katate dori.

"Mirror" seems to be the one term that can't be used in two senses. In which hanmi are the two people mirror images of each other? Do I have it backward, and that would be ai hanmi?

<Oww, my brain!>

Last edited by Linda Eskin : 12-13-2009 at 10:05 PM. Reason: Sheesh. At least I could spell "hanmi" right...

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Old 12-13-2009, 10:10 PM   #7
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Re: Gyaku hanmi vs gyakute-dori

Gyakute dori and katate dori are not opposites. I have already explained gyakute dori in the previous post. Katate (片手) simply means 'one hand' (as distinct from both hands 両手 or 諸手).

With katate-dori (one hand grab), you can be in gyaku hanmi or ai hanmi.

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Old 12-13-2009, 10:43 PM   #8
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Re: Gyaku hanmi vs gyakute-dori

OK. Thank you Peter. Maybe my mistake is in thinking that they were opposites. I'm still finding the "same/matching side" vs "opposite side" language confusing, I'm afraid. In which case would the partners be mirror images of each other?

Humbly,
Linda

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Old 12-13-2009, 10:53 PM   #9
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Re: Gyaku hanmi vs gyakute-dori

Hi Linda! I used to train there, so I think we have the same base in the terminology. I think this is key:
Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Gyaku te dori simply applies the same concept to the hand grab. ...
However, I have never come across this term in Japan.
I think in the US, maybe it is within the Iwama style, there is a terminology that is maybe "weird." I won't say "wrong" because we use it successfully (once you get the hang of it) but, we see here that Dr. Goldsbury doesn't think it a normal usage of the terms.

Here's how I understand it:
Katatedori means single hand grab, and if you go to lots of different styles' dojos, you might see it as cross OR same side grab. I think that is true. Michael Hackett has shown that the names vary.
You guys are using the term "katate dori" to specifically refer to the kind of single-hand grab that is same SIDES of the 2-person pair. Like, uke's left hand holding nage's right wrist in words sounds opposite, but looking at the pair on the mat, it is the same side of the pair, say the west side. whereas "gyakute dori" as you are using it crosses over.

If you think of the ai hanmi you are referring to as "normal" fighting arrangement, where the bodies fit together like a puzzle, then that's why the other one is "gyaku," it is the reverse of the comfortable (ai hanmi).

It probably doesn't sound normal to a Japanese speaker, but I think this is how these terms came to be in your style.
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Old 12-13-2009, 11:02 PM   #10
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Re: Gyaku hanmi vs gyakute-dori

Hi Jonathan. Which "there" did you used to train? U.S.? or the same dojo as me? In any case, thank you for jumping in.

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
...You guys are using the term "katate dori" to specifically refer to the kind of single-hand grab that is same SIDES of the 2-person pair. Like, uke's left hand holding nage's right wrist in words sounds opposite, but looking at the pair on the mat, it is the same side of the pair, say the west side. whereas "gyakute dori" as you are using it crosses over.
Yes! That's how I understand the terms.

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
...If you think of the ai hanmi you are referring to as "normal" fighting arrangement, where the bodies fit together like a puzzle, then that's why the other one is "gyaku," it is the reverse of the comfortable (ai hanmi).
So gyaku hanmi is the mirror image, the way you use it?

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Old 12-13-2009, 11:13 PM   #11
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Re: Gyaku hanmi vs gyakute-dori

I hope this isn't too much information, but the term gyakute is also sometimes used for when you grab something so that it is protruding from the bottom of your hand or for when the hand is positioned opposite to what is considered normal. The opposite of gyakute 逆手is junte 順手, in which the thing you grab is protruding from the top (thumb-side) of your hand. Like katate (one-handed), this terminology isn't limited to aikido or the martial arts (although there seems to be a preference for the other reading of gyakute which is sakate - same kanji 逆手). You would hold a frying pan katate (one-handed) and junte (the "normal" way with the business-end of the grabbed thing sticking out of the thumb-side of your hand). If the handle were facing away from you, you might reach over and take an opposite (gyakute) hold of the pan to retrieve it. In tennis, gyakute uchi is a backhand. In aikido, I've often heard the terms gyakute and junte used in practice of the jo and sometimes when explaining variations of koshinage. Junte is also a common expression in the Seifukai/Yoseikan.
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Old 12-13-2009, 11:27 PM   #12
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Lightbulb Re: Gyaku hanmi vs gyakute-dori

Quote:
Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
I hope this isn't too much information, but the term gyakute is also sometimes used for when you grab something so that it is protruding from the bottom of your hand or for when the hand is positioned opposite to what is considered normal. ...
Oh, wow. That's interesting.

I think the lightbulb is starting to flicker on (finally). So, for the stance/hanmi, gyaku means "the other way" (as opposed to the normal way) rather than the positional/geometric opposite, and for the grab gyaku means "the other side" (cross hand)? That could make sense.

Am I getting closer to having a clue?

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Old 12-13-2009, 11:50 PM   #13
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Re: Gyaku hanmi vs gyakute-dori

Hi Linda, I meant with Goldberg Sensei! That's where you train, correct?

Quote:
Linda Eskin wrote: View Post
gyaku means "the other way" (as opposed to the normal way) rather than the positional/geometric opposite
That's how I think of it for this aikido style!
And, I think it makes sense in this particular way for both the stance and the grab:

Grabbing a person's front hand (that's the hand you generally are after, if you're not coming from behind, yes?) is simplest if you are lucky enough to be on the guy's "outside" right? So that one gets the unqualified "katate dori" name in this style. It's the most straightforward single-hand grab, so no qualifier. But, grabbing that front hand from ai hanmi is a bit special, because the centerline is right there in your way.. better attackers than me can speak to the martial logic but you can probably see that this is less simple if talking about a real dangerous target. So, this gets the "reverse" terminology-- "gyaku."

So although there is logic in naming both the stances and the grabs using the "gyaku" term, it terns out weird:
-gyakute dori is done in ai hanmi
-katate dori is done from gyaku hanmi

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Old 12-13-2009, 11:59 PM   #14
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Lightbulb Re: Gyaku hanmi vs gyakute-dori

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
Hi Linda, I meant with Goldberg Sensei! That's where you train, correct?
Yes. Awesome. Nice to meet you. By the way, Goldberg Sensei has a blog now, if you want to check it out: www.goldbergsensei.com.

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
So although there is logic in naming both the stances and the grabs using the "gyaku" term, it terns out weird:
-gyakute dori is done in ai hanmi
-katate dori is done from gyaku hanmi
Well, at least we both have the same understanding. I can live with the "other" as opposed to "normal" meaning. That makes sense... I think...

Do you ever get down this way? If so, stop in and say hello!

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Old 12-14-2009, 12:07 AM   #15
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Gyaku hanmi vs gyakute-dori

Quote:
Linda Eskin wrote: View Post
Oh, wow. That's interesting.

I think the lightbulb is starting to flicker on (finally). So, for the stance/hanmi, gyaku means "the other way" (as opposed to the normal way) rather than the positional/geometric opposite, and for the grab gyaku means "the other side" (cross hand)? That could make sense.

Am I getting closer to having a clue?
Hello Linda,

Since your explanation is more confusing to me than how we use the terms in my own dojo, I think I'll bow out of this discussion. I think the best course would be for someone from your own dojo, who understands your dojo's use of the terms, to show you directly.

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Old 12-14-2009, 12:09 AM   #16
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Re: Gyaku hanmi vs gyakute-dori

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Linda,

Since your explanation is more confusing to me than how we use the terms in my own dojo, I think I'll bow out of this discussion. I think the best course would be for someone from your own dojo, who understands the terms, to show you directly.
I truly appreciate the attempt. I'm sorry I wasn't getting it. I will defintely ask Goldberg Sensei. The whole subject is probably better discussed when everything can be demonstrated in person. Words sure fail me on this one.

Many thanks,
Linda

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Old 12-14-2009, 01:30 AM   #17
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Re: Gyaku hanmi vs gyakute-dori

Quote:
Linda Eskin wrote: View Post
So, for the stance/hanmi, gyaku means "the other way" (as opposed to the normal way) rather than the positional/geometric opposite, and for the grab gyaku means "the other side" (cross hand)? That could make sense.
I guess a point of caution is that terminology varies (even in Japan) and some dojos outside of Japan may use the Japanese terms very differently (not that I'm saying or could tell if that is the case here). As Professor Goldsbury advised, it is probably better to check with someone in your own dojo, but hopefully enough light has been shed on these terms here to help you better understand the explanation you get.
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Old 12-14-2009, 01:46 AM   #18
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Re: Gyaku hanmi vs gyakute-dori

Hello Linda,

My teacher, Patrick Cassidy, has had a big influence on your sensei Dave Golberg.

Mr. Goldsbury knows much more Japanese than I ever will, but I would like to tell you, don't try to translate everything. Just learn the terms as the names of the various techniques.

Katate dori in my understanding means same side grab. Gyakute dori means opposite grab.

Many non-iwama style dojo will call gyakute dori "kosa dori" which means cross hand grab.

The main thing is just to associate the names with the physical positons. A general rule is that grabs will be from gyaku hanmi and strikes will be from ai hanmi. Gyakute dori is the exception -- it has a very strong relationship to shomen uchi.

-Michael
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Old 12-14-2009, 02:24 AM   #19
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Re: Gyaku hanmi vs gyakute-dori

Itīs also calles kosa dori in the Takemusu Aikido-series by M Saito sensei.

In the Iwama-group in my part of the word we generally use "ai hami katate dori " instead of "kosa dori"

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Michael Varin wrote: View Post
.
Many non-iwama style dojo will call gyakute dori "kosa dori" which means cross hand grab.
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Old 12-18-2009, 06:56 PM   #20
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Re: Gyaku hanmi vs gyakute-dori

Just take the two people away from facing each other. What foot would you have forward if you were standing side by side?
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Old 12-19-2009, 05:45 PM   #21
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Re: Gyaku hanmi vs gyakute-dori

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Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
Just take the two people away from facing each other. What foot would you have forward if you were standing side by side?
None.
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Old 12-22-2009, 04:56 PM   #22
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Re: Gyaku hanmi vs gyakute-dori

Quote:
Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
None.
Please stop stalking me and picking on me for no reason. I already blocked your friend for stalking me to my dojo's website where he found my personal contact information to harass me. I don't want any more harassing emails from supposed grown men.

You know what I meant in regards to hanmi. You just want to pick a fight. Now I think grown men like yourselves have better things to do than to pick on and beat your chests at little girls. Leave me alone, or be nice. I give you only those two options.

Thank you!

MM
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Old 12-22-2009, 05:13 PM   #23
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Freaky! Re: Gyaku hanmi vs gyakute-dori

Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
Please stop stalking me and picking on me for no reason. I already blocked your friend for stalking me to my dojo's website where he found my personal contact information to harass me. I don't want any more harassing emails from supposed grown men.

You know what I meant in regards to hanmi. You just want to pick a fight. Now I think grown men like yourselves have better things to do than to pick on and beat your chests at little girls. Leave me alone, or be nice. I give you only those two options.

Thank you!
Excuse me?

1. Check the date of this post. You'll probably find it to be 3 days ago.

2. Stalking? Picking on you? Listen, you ask "standing side by side", I answer "none". If I'm standing side by side with someone, no foot will be forward. You don't like my answers and that's plain fact.

3. Harassing? Who? Me? What's your definition of harassing? Are you making a case on me? Go leave me alone. You ask, I answer. That's the forum dynamic.

4. Pick a fight? Just because you don't like us "meatheads"? Check your wording in recent posts, along with the timing of them all.

5. Beat my chest at little girls? Now I've heard it all. OMG. A gokyu who don't want to listen to her elders is what you are. No chest beating here, just reasoned answers to your questions. But you don't seem to like the answers given, since you're not looking for answers, but for reinforcement on your own opinions.

Don't worry. I've already been "warned" by Jun. There's no place for meatheads in this place. Stay cool.
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Old 12-22-2009, 05:22 PM   #24
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Re: Gyaku hanmi vs gyakute-dori

Quote:
Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
Excuse me?

1. Check the date of this post. You'll probably find it to be 3 days ago.

2. Stalking? Picking on you? Listen, you ask "standing side by side", I answer "none". If I'm standing side by side with someone, no foot will be forward. You don't like my answers and that's plain fact.

3. Harassing? Who? Me? What's your definition of harassing? Are you making a case on me? Go leave me alone. You ask, I answer. That's the forum dynamic.

4. Pick a fight? Just because you don't like us "meatheads"? Check your wording in recent posts, along with the timing of them all.

5. Beat my chest at little girls? Now I've heard it all. OMG. A gokyu who don't want to listen to her elders is what you are. No chest beating here, just reasoned answers to your questions. But you don't seem to like the answers given, since you're not looking for answers, but for reinforcement on your own opinions.

Don't worry. I've already been "warned" by Jun. There's no place for meatheads in this place. Stay cool.
Agreed, stay cool.
I wasn't calling you a meat in that post. I was referring to the guy that found my contact info to harass me on my personal mail. I apologize,I'm hypersensitive, because some one following me to my personal info is REALLY CREEPY! I wasn't even talking to you in that thread, so I was not referring to you. I apologize in that instance.

I'm not a 5th kyu, that's not an updated PDF, and it is creepy that anyone would even do a back ground check on me.
I have no issue with answers to questions... I have issue with disrespect. It comes across like you have no will to teach, justyou want to make others feels stupid to make yourself feel smart. Teach me, that's fine, but don't insult me while you do it.

You are not my senior... your some guy on the internet. You could be anyone, from anywhere. I don't know you or what you really are... you don't know me or what I am. So we are on a level ground.
I apologize sir.

Last edited by RED : 12-22-2009 at 05:24 PM.

MM
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Old 12-22-2009, 11:32 PM   #25
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Thumbs up Re: Gyaku hanmi vs gyakute-dori

Thank you to everyone for the thoughtful and detailed replies.

Here's a summary of gyaku-whatever, as I understand it its usage at our dojo, after talking to my teacher, Dave Goldberg Sensei. (Emphasis and explanations here are my own mess.):

In ai hanmi, partners stand with their same foot forward (that is, both have their right foot forward, or both have their left foot forward).

In gyaku hanmi, partners mirror each other. The forward feet are both on the same side of the dojo (that is, left-foot-to-right-foot / right-foot-to-left-foot).

Strangely (one of those weird things), gyakute dori is grabbing one's partner's same hand (that is right-to-right, or left-to-left). Gyakute dori is typically done from ai hanmi. Go figure.

Katate dori is (typically*) where the hands are both on the same side of the dojo (that is, left-hand-to-right-hand/ right-hand-to-left-hand). Katate dori is typically done from gyaku hanmi.

Anyway, I just wanted to come back with what I found out.

So the terminology for hanmi vs. dori seems reversed, but at least now I know which is which. The closest I can get to making sense of that apparently inconsistancy (not saying this is the correct explanation, mind you) is possibly what Carl Thompson said, about grabbing things the other-than-normal way (a backhand in tennis, or picking up a frying pan when the handle is facing away from you). The -dori usage could come from that "backwards grab" sense, rather than anything to do with being the "opposite" of one's partner, where maybe the hanmi usage does mean the "opposite" stance relative to one's partner. (Partners have different feet forward, and so are in opposite stances, or are opposite in the mirror-image sense.)

Sensei mentioned the other terminology brought up here (*katate dori could mean either kind of grab, and kosa dori meaning the cross-hand kind of grab). What we use at the dojo was what he learned. No problem there. I'm glad I just finally have a grasp on it.

I wonder which kind of grasp that is, now...?

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