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Karate Blocking Techniques

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Blocking techniques, or “Uke” in Japanese, are an integral part of the art of karate. They are designed to protect the karateka against opposing attacks, and to create opportunities for a counter-attack. Here are some of the most common blocking techniques used in karate.

1. Gedan Barai (Low blocking)

This is one of the most basic and commonly taught blocking techniques for beginners. Gedan Barai is designed to block attacks aimed at the lower body. The arm is swept down through the body, blocking the attack with the forearm.

2. Jodan Uke (High blocking)

Jodan Uke is a high block, designed to defend against attacks aimed at the head. The arm is raised in front of the face, with the elbow pointing forward and the palm facing outwards.

3. Uchi Uke (Inner block)

Uchi Uke is an inside block, where the arm is swept from outside to inside in front of the body. It is often used to block attacks on the trunk.

4. Soto Uke (External blocking)

Soto Uke is the opposite of Uchi Uke. It is performed by sweeping the arm from inside to outside in front of the body. It can be used to block attacks aimed at the trunk and upper body.

5. Shuto Uke (Hand Saber Block)

Shuto Uke uses the side of the open hand (the “sword” edge of the hand) to block the attack. The arm is swept in front of the body from outside to inside. This is a commonly used blocking technique and is often practised in katas.

6. Morote Uke (Reinforced blocking)

Morote Uke is a blocking technique that uses both hands to block an attack. One hand is used to execute a low block (gedan barai) while the other hand executes an external block (soto uke). This technique offers enhanced defense against powerful attacks.

7. Kake Uke (Crooked Block)

Kake Uke is an advanced blocking technique that uses the arm in a hooked position to block the attack. It is often used to simultaneously block and catch the opponent’s attack.

8. Nagashi Uke (Deviant blocking)

Nagashi Uke is a blocking technique that uses a sweeping movement to deflect the opponent’s attack rather than blocking it directly. It is often used in combination with a counter-attack.

These blocking techniques are crucial to the defense and control of your opponent’s movements in karate. However,

mastering them requires a deep understanding of the principles of movement, distance and timing. Moreover, it’s important to note that in traditional karate, many of these blocks are also designed to be attacks, with the intention of injuring the opponent during the blocking phase.

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