Tanto Dori: Ude Garami Dori

ude garami dori (wado ryu tanto dori)

Ude Garami Dori is one of the original 7 Tanto Dori.

It appeared in 1938' Karatedo Taikan by Genwa Nakasone. Ohtsuka sensei demonstrates with Mr. Kato.

Although there's a sequence in the book (and in some syllabi), originally Tanto Dori have names.

Sometimes obscure. Often straight forward.

The final technique is called "Ude Garami". The Kanji for "Garami" means entwine,  coil around and get caught in. So:

Arm entanglement is the most close and accurate translation of Ude Garami Dori

ude garami dori by sakagami sensei

The Digi Dojo - Tanto Dori - Kote Nage Dori -1

Both take kamae with an appropriate distance. Be aware of a slightly larger Maai due to Ukemi holding a knife.

Initially facing each other in musubi dachi, Ukemi enters into hidari hanmi gamae while drawing the knife and hiding it behind his leg. Some sensei teach to show the knife, which is fine too. 

The saya can be used to attack as well. Hence, this is kamae. Please consider that you can use the saya to i.e. protect, control and stab the opponent. You can even throw the saya to Torimi’s face to distract him and create Ichi Go Ichi E. Please bear in mind that you can also kick or punch the opponent while holding a knife. Kata should be alive. Hence, Torimi should consider that Ukemi could do anything, not just attack with the knife.

 All our tanto dori are done with Torimi being hidari gamae. Please note, some sensei practice with migi gamae (*as pictured). You should be able to do both ways. In case of Torimi being migi gamae, Torimi should use ayumi ashi to cover the distance and execute the first movement.

The Digi Dojo - Tanto Dori - Ude Garami Dori -1

As Ukemi attacks with Jodan Uchi, Torimi enters slightly to the outside and executes Jodan Osae Uke below the elbow.

Ukemi moves forward, raises his right arm with his elbow close to his head and attacks with jodan uchi, cutting straight down from above. The dynamic of the elbow in the attack is similar to Pinan Nidan move 4 and Pinan Shodan move 2.

Ukemi’s attack will generate more power as it comes down. Hence, Torimi should intercept the attack before Ukemi has a chance to generate this power.

Exploit Ukemi's "In" moment by adding your "Yo" moment. Enter and attack before Ukemi starts coming down.

As Ukemi raises the knife his state is weak but unpredictable. It is very difficult to tell whether the attack will come straight down or in an angle.

Hence, as Ukemi intends to cut down from above, it is time for Torimi to enter and execute osae uke, which is a state of power. At the same time, it does not matter whether Ukemi had planned jodan uchi or yokomen uchi. 

Torimi enters deeply in a slight diagonal to the left in order to change his centre line. Simultaneously, break Ukemi’s posture instantly with jodan uke. Like eri nage dori, it is important to break Ukemi’s posture and stop the attack before the attack gains speed and power.

Jodan uke is also an attack to the vital point located near the elbow joint, so transfer your energy and the point of contact. After contact, keep pressing in order to control Ukemi’s posture. This is osae uke. 

The Digi Dojo - Tanto Dori - Ude Garami Dori -2

Torimi counters immediately with Chudanzuki before he steps through applying Ude Garami. 

Without losing pressure, execute chudanzuki (function of kariate) to break Ukemi’s posture.

The Digi Dojo - Tanto Dori - Ude Garami Dori -4

This technique implies a takedown which you should be able to do if necessary.

Officially, stop here. But have the next move in mind (position your right leg for Kuzushi and Nage Waza).

Without losing pressure and without moving your centre away from the opponent, pull the left foot backward and move the right foot forward. The legs move in a connected manner, not by stepping with the feet.

Contact the outside of Ukemi’s upper leg with your leg, control the opponent. Simultaneously, move the left arm up to take hold of the opponents wrist and grab the inside of the opponents forearm with your right hand.

Move the right hand down to the left and move the right elbow upwards to the right forcefully to apply the shoulder lock. Ukemi should rise on his tip toes. The direction to lock the shoulder is actually the direction to destroy the shoulder.

Also, this is the direction to force the opponent to the ground. The way you bring your opponent to the ground depends on the necessity. You can either take the opponent down under your control, without actually destroying the shoulder, and pin him on the ground.

Practically it is probably advisable not to spend too much time with the opponent. Hence, destroy the shoulder quickly and instantly in order to continue to the next opponent if necessary.

‘Unwrap’ your right arm without letting go of the wrist. Then push Ukemi away from you and increase maai.


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