What is it with the “Block”

I have to admit it, this topic is one of my biggest gripes in Karate training…. The over used term block. We know the techniques I mean: upper block,¬†middle block,¬†lower block and the like. Well it’s not so much the techniques, but the way they are described that gets me frustrated.

These are the “Classic” beginners first introduction to Karate and the way. Yes I understand they (the techniques) offer more to training than the actual movement. What really gets me is the statement that these techniques are “blocking” techniques. When for me these are more like striking and disruptive techniques, from grabbing distance. They have all the elements of a “classic” Kata sequence, as one hand/arm does the other enhances its purpose by taking the focus, balance, power, or opponent off guard.

So if a block is not a block then what the heck is it. The are defensive strikes and disruptive techniques. Why the difference? Well it your ability to generate power in a manner that will be strong enough to be destructive, meaning that if you cannot do it hard enough then it will only distract your opponent a little, giving you time to do something more substantial.

Ok some techniques. my terminology followed by a more common reference to the same technique.

1. Rising forearm strike – (upper)

Rising forearm strike

Rising forearm strike

I’d rather think of this as a forearm strike to the face/jaw area with the lifting arm, while the “chambering” arm is manipulating some part of your opponent. I can see this working and have used it on occasion. While when you take the action as a literal upper block. It’s unlikely to work in any situation that isn’t rehearsed.

At worst I believe this technique done in this manner would be an effective distractive technique in a clinch.

 

 

 

 

 

2. Swinging center strike – (middle)

Swinging center strike

Swinging center strike

 

Another close in technique, more effectively used to attack or finish, because of the way the hips and body are utilised during the movement. A great amount of torque can be generated. Especially when striking the head/neck area, or the arm elbow area.

 

 

 

 

 

3. Dropping smash – (lower)

Dropping smash

Dropping smash

 

A great way to unbalance your opponent getting them ready and in a position to finish them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

More to come.