Yellow Belt Outside Blocks

The following blocks generally begin with the blocking hand located near your center and then move toward the outside of your center triangle as the block progresses. These are often fast blocks, but in some cases, they will feel less powerful than other blocks you might employ. Remember that a block need not be powerful, it must simply be effective and accomplish the task that you have in mind.

All outside blocks run the risk of initiating a counter strike from your opponent. Moving one of your opponent’s arms to their outside naturally brings the opponent’s other arm to their inside. This will cause them to think, “Hey, I can hit with my other arm (or leg) now!” Later you will learn a great many ways to prevent this from happening, but for now, be aware this can happen and keep your other hand in a location where you can block any subsequent strike.

Ura Chudan Uke

The Ura Chudan Uke is the general opposite of the Chudan Uke and may feel like a weak or ineffective block initially. The advantage of the block is that it can be delivered very rapidly and is useful if you are surprised, especially by an attack from the side. The blocking hand begins near your center and inside of the incoming strike, then turns outward to press the strike away from your center. Rotational delivery should be employed so that the back of the blocking hand makes initial contact, but then the arm rotates to bring the palm around so that it faces you. While performing this block the back of the hand and wrist area below the thumb are the areas used to make contact. Think of what elevation changes might be required to keep these parts of your arm in contact during the rotational phase of the block.

Extended Outward Block

This block is very similar to the Ura Chudan Uke but is much more powerful. In this block, your hand is initially placed near your center such that the palm faces you. As the block moves outward the side of the arm just below the thumb will make initial contact. At this point, rotational delivery is used to rotate the palm away so that the top of the arm and then the opposite side of the arm applies pressure to the attacker’s arm or leg. The palm of your hand will ultimately be facing directly away from you. This distributes the energy from the contact over a large surface area of your arm and helps to pull your attacker forward and to the side.

Ura Uke

This block is similar to a Shuto Uke but uses the back of the hand instead. You might also consider it to be an Extended Outward Block applied with the open (and back part) of the hand. This block is used when less power is required and when you wish to take advantage of the more tactile senses provided by the hand. And naturally, the open hand can then be easily turned to perform Shuto Uchi or other open hand blocks, strikes, or grabs.

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