03 – Gyakugamaeate (Aikido reverse attack)

Aikido Throw #3 (of 17), Randori-no-kata

Gyakugamaeate is Shodokan Aikido's frontal reverse attack throw.
Gyakugamaeate is Shodokan Aikido's frontal reverse attack throw.

(Gyakugamae-ate) is technique number three of the first five aikido techniques of Shodokan Aikido. The first five aikido throws are called the Atemi Waza, or striking techniques of Tomiki Aikido.

These are part of the Randori no Kata (sometimes called the Junanahon no Kata), which contains the 17 basic techniques of Tomiki style Aikido.

The Gyakugamaeate aikido throw is a powerful balance-breaker across the side of Uke’s (your opponent’s) head.

Like all the other Atemi Waza aikido throws, we are doing a balance-breaker for sport and practise. The old Aiki Budo combat-orientated technique would have been a back-fist or a forearm smash to your opponent’s temple. This is very dangerous.

The Gyakugamaeate throw has the whole mass of your moving body behind your (slightly curved) arm and shoulder. You are using the arm as a sword.

In Aikido training, we take turns to play defender (Tori, the “goodie”) and play attacker (Uke), the “baddie” who gets thrown.

Do not injure your Aikido training partner when you do Gyakugamaeate. It will soon be his turn to do the Aikido technique on you! If you hurt or anger him, you may suffer the consequences!

  • Uke ‘attacks’ with a single thrust of the rubber knife to (Tori’s) sternum.
  • Tori moves forward with his right foot, moving slightly to the left towards the outside (elbow side) of Uke’s attacking arm.
  • Grasp Uke’s wrist with your right hand and pull it down to waist height. This breaks Uke’s balance forward.
  • Uke instinctively reacts by trying to straighten up.
  • As Uke pulls backwards, use the “sword-edge” of your whole left arm (unbendable arm) to push and stretch across Uke’s chest and left shoulder.
  • To complete Gyakugamaeate you step through strongly with your left foot, pushing your whole body mass against Uke.
  • Simultaneously, your right arm keeps Uke’s right arm stretched down and safely under control.

The Gyakugamaeate aikido throw ends when Uke falls backwards and does a back breakfall, slapping the mat hard and making sure his head does not hit the floor.

Aikido Video

David’s comments:

This is a nice, short and clear video of Gyakugamae-ate being done during an Aikido contest. Notice there are two referees and two flag men for safety. Traditional aikido schools are aghast that Shodokan Aikido uses any form of competition, but we do it safely in a highly-controlled manner.

Comments, anyone?

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