In martial arts, blocking is the act of stopping or deflecting an opponent's attack for the purpose of preventing injurious contact with the body. A block usually consists of placing a limb across the line of the attack. Styles and types of blocking, as well as terminology, vary widely among the various martial arts. In Japanese martial arts such as Karate, these techniques are referred to as uke waza. Examples include age uke (rising block) and shuto uke (knife hand guarding block). In Korean martial arts such as Taekwondo, these techniques are referred to as makgi, with some examples being chukyeo makgi (rising block) and sonkal daebi makgi (knifehand guarding block). Some martial arts, such as Capoeira, reject blocking techniques completely as they consider them too inefficient. In Capoeira, they use evasion instead of blocking.
Types of Blocks
Low Blocks ( gedan barai )
A low block deflects an inward strike directed at the stomach or ribs such as a roundhouse kick.
Inside Forearm Blocks ( soto uke )
An inside block deflects a strike away from the defender and away from the attacker. For example, against a straight punch to the face, an inside forearm block would aim to meet the inside of the forearm of the attacker, pushing the punch outward, leaving the opponents facing each other which also helps in counterattack.
Outside blocks ( uchi ude uke )
An outside block deflects a strike away from the defender and across the attacker. For example, against a straight punch to the face, an outside forearm block would aim to meet the outside forearm of the attacker, pushing the punch outward, leaving the defender slightly to the side of the strike causing it to miss. Typically, because of the angles involved, inward blocks are used against attacks aimed at the torso.
High Blocks ( age uke 上げ受け)
A high block deflects a downward strike such as a hammer fist, a stick or a face punch from a taller opponent. The chamber starts low with the hand in a relaxed fist across the abdomen with the palm facing inward. Age-uke (上げ受け:あげうけ), which translates to "rising block", or "upward block" is the Japanese term for a technique used in martial arts. There numerous variations in how the technique might be executed, and nothing implicit in the term itself restricts its use to unarmed techniques.
Age-uke may be used to stiffly block or deflect an incoming high attack. Alternately, it may be used to receive an incoming attack, sweeping it overhead while maintaining contact with the attacking instrument (limb or weapon).
The term age-uke is frequently used interchangeably with "jōdan-uke" (high-level block). Whether these terms refer to two distinct techniques, or the same technique, depends entirely upon how each is used within any given martial arts school. However, the terms are distinct in that age comes from the verb ageru, meaning upward, and implying direction and/or motion. In the martial arts, the noun jōdan refers specifically to a target area of the body, including the shoulders and above.
Knifehand Block ( shuto uke )
Palm Block ( osae uke )
X Block ( juji uke )
Dropping Forearm Block ( otoshi uke )
Elbow Block ( empi uke )
Floating X Block ( kakiwake uke )
Open Palm Rising Block ( kaisho age uke )
Half Knife-Hand Block ( tate shuto uke )
Double Sweeping Low Block ( gedan morote barai )
Parries are executed against the attacker by quickly pushing their arm or leg away to the right or left side(as it is considered as a block) and counterattacking when the procedure is done.
Other Types of blocks and alternatives
More complex blocks include the circular block, X block, high X block, twin forearm guarding block, hooking block, and pole block.
Offensive techniques can also be used to block. For example, a kick or palm strike can be used to neutralize an incoming blow. It is also common to use the knee to block leg attacks from an opponent.
Blocks are considered by some to be the most direct and least subtle of defensive techniques. Other ways of avoiding attack include evasion, trapping, slipping and deflection of the oncoming attack; this approach is often referred to as the application of 'soft' techniques.
List of Blocks using the arms
- age-uke: rising block
- empi uke: elbow block (e.g. in the kata, Heian sandan)
- gedan barai: sweeping low block
- gedan morote barai: double sweeping low block (usually while going into kiba dachi)
- haiwan uke: square side block (e.g. in the kata, Heian nidan)
- juji uke: x block
- kaisho age uke: open-palm rising block
- kaisho haiwan uke: knife-hand square side block (e.g. in the kata, Heian yondan)
- kaisho juji uke: open-palm x block (e.g. in the kata, Heian godan)
- kakiwake uke: floating x block (e.g. in the kata, Heian yondan)
- morote uke: double forearm block (e.g. in the kata, Heian sandan)
- nagashi uke: rising palm sweep block (e.g. in the kata, Tekki shodan)
- osae uke: palm block
- otoshi uke: dropping forearm block
- shuto age uke: rising knife-hand block
- shuto gedan barai: knife-hand sweeping low block
- shuto uke: knife hand block
- shuto mawashi uke (roundhouse block with knife-hand)
- soto uke: outside forearm block
- sukui uke: scooping block
- tate shuto uke: half knife-hand block
- te osae uke: dropping palm block
- uchi ude uke: inside forearm block
- gyako uchi uke: reverse outside mid-level (e.g. in the kata, Heian nidan)
- ude barai: reverse sweeping forearm block
- kami tsukami: hair grab (e.g. in the kata, Enpi)
- usiro gedan barai: back low sweeping block (e.g. in the kata, Enpi)
List of Blocks using the legs
- ashikubi kake uke: hooking ankle block
- mika zuki geri uke: crescent kick block (e.g. in the kata, Heian godan)
- nami ashi, a.k.a. nami gaeshi: leg snapping wave block (e.g. in the kata, Tekki shodan)
- sokutei osae uke: pressing sole block
- sokuto osae uke: pressing footedge block
This article uses material from the Wikipedia articles "Karate", "List of shotokan techniques", and "Japanese Martial Arts", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.