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How to do Karate blocks with David Younglove

By Greatmats Staff Created: April, 2018 - Modified: July, 2021

Let's dive into our basic blocking techniques. In this series we're going to work on our basic sudo block, our high block, our low block and our side block.

Sudo Block:
Let's start out with our sudo block, which simple means knife hand. We're going to think about our fingers extending up nice and straight and taking our thumbs and and curl them in so we get them out of the way. Take the left hand and circle it around and bring it right up by the ear - elbow nice and tight. Bring the right arm around underneath and tuck it in nice and tight.

I always think that a perfect fold for all of these techniques is if your elbows touch, it's a good fold. The mindset behind it is that with a push and pull technique, with physics, we've developed more power than if we have a sweeping type technique.

The bottom hand is going to come straight back and then turn palm up. Think about keep the pinky right at the base of the rib cage and tuck it in nice and tight. Remember to keep the thumb tucked. As the left hand comes across, the right hand pulls back, and right at the last second, they're both going to turn over to get the last burst of power.

Try to avoid your elbow turning out. Try to keep it in nice and tight so you can keep that vertical strike with that block.

High block:
Let's move on to our high block. This time we're going to have closed fists. We're going to cross our hands making an ''X'' down below. This time as the left hand come straight up blocking up above (Think of a punch coming straight at your nose.) and at the last moment it's going to turn away so you get that nice snapping motion. I want an angle on this arm so I have a deflecting motion for the block. It makes it much easier to defend yourself against a very strong attacker.

Low Block:
Let's move into our low block. This could be against a front kick, thrust kick or low punch to the front of our body. Again we'll have a nice closed fist technique. Left hand comes up around the ear. Right hands going to wrap around this time and we're going to bring our hands across - down across turning palms down. Again, a little flick of the wrist gives you that last little burst of power.

Side Block:
With our side block, instead of using our sudo block where we use the outside of the arm, we're going to use the inside. We're going to use a closed fist this time. This time the blocking hand will come from the bottom - palms away. Again elbows touching like we talked about before. Bring the arms across in front of you this time and a little snap wright at the last motion. Again using the outside of the arm rather than the inside.

Notice my arm is not flat and its slightly above my head.
David Younglove
USA Karate & Platinum Yoga
Rosemount MN 55068