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Basic Karate Blocks (with animations)

The following guide offers descriptions of how to perform some classic closed hand karate blocks. Karate basic techniques vary sightly depending upon the style practised but it is hoped this guide offers a simple-to-follow way of performing these movements.

Closed Fist Head Block
Raise the blocking arm up and outwards covering the upper-chest and head areas. Finally rotate both forearms.

The blocking part of the arm is the outer (bony) part of the forearm.


Closed Fist (Outside) Chest Block
Bring the blocking arm across the lower chest, palm-of-fist facing down.

Pivot on the elbow, sweeping the chest with the blocking arm. Rotate on the end to expose the inner forearm as the contact area.


Closed Fist Lower Body Block
Start by placing the 'hammer-fist' of the blocking hand on the middle of the opposite arm.

Sweep the entire lower body area and rotate on the end to expose the outer forearm (bony part) as the contact area.


These movements allow the martial artist to develop coordination not only between both arms but with the entire body. The rotation or 'twist' that occurs of the end of the movement acts as a training aid to condition the martial artist to apply full tension precisely on the last part of the technique. Ideally, techniques are performed as fast as possible (achieved by relaxation) until the final split second, where tension is used to effectively apply as much of the body-weight into the target as possible. A short hip movement can also be employed (which the animations don't actually show) to help apply this body weight.

Article by: gokarate
Copyright © 2006

Article date: February 2006.

Right Path London Personal Training | Goya-ra-ru Martial Arts, Birmingham.