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Techniques>Blocks>Blocking techniques

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Blocking techniques

Intro

Blocks may be initiated from almost any arm position, but they are usually initiated from a guard. In taekwondo, the most commonly used type of blocks are hard, single-bone, forearm blocks with a closed fist on the blocking arm.

The following are descriptions of some blocks.

High forearm block

  • Movement. The lead forearm moves upward and inward until the hand is in front of the opposite shoulder and then it moves straight upward (like an uppercut) as the fist rotates inward until outer forearm and knuckles of blocking hand face backward.
  • Contact. The initial contact is made using the outer edge (little finger side) of the forearm, which is now facing upward.
  • Position. For a high section block, the fist ends up about 4" from the top of the forehead, over the opposite shoulder, and higher than the elbow. This means the forearm will a slope to it, so a downward strike will slide down the forearm and spread the impact forces.
  • Used. It’s used against a high downward attack or a high straight attack.
  • Example. Use it to block a hammer fist attack to the top of the head or shoulders.

Outward outer forearm block

  • Movement. The lead forearm moves forward and inward enough to ensure it’s inside the path of the attack and then moves outward as fist rotates inward until the top of the forearm and the knuckles of blocking hand face upward.
  • Contact. The initial contact is made using the outer edge (little finger side) of the forearm, which is now facing outward.
  • Position. For a high or middle section block, the forearm is angled forward at about 45°. For a low section block, the forearm is almost fully extended downward at about 45°. Outward movement stops when the arm is just outside the edge of the body; this ensures the attack will miss your body. This ensures the attack will miss your body.
  • Used. It is used against high, middle, or low straight or angled attacks.
  • Example. Use it to block a trailing hand straight punch to the solar plexus.

Outward inner forearm block

  • Movement. The lead forearm moves forward and inward enough to ensure it’s inside the path of the attack and then moves outward as fist rotates outward until the bottom of the forearm and the palm of blocking hand face upward
  • Contact. The initial contact is made using the inner edge (thumb side) of the forearm, which is now facing outward.
  • Position. For a high or middle section block, the forearm is angled forward at about 45°. For a low section block, the forearm is almost fully extended downward at about 45°. Outward movement stops when the arm is just outside the edge of the body; this ensures the attack will miss your body.
  • Variation. As the lead arm perform the block, the trailing fist rotates inward in sort of a hook punch the inside of the leading arm’s elbow and pushes against it. The trailing arm braces the block to help prevent it from being moved when it contacts a kicking leg.
  • Used. It’s used against high, middle, or low straight or angled attacks.
  • Example. Use it to block a trailing hand (reverse) punch to the solar plexus.

Inward inner forearm block

  • Movement. The lead forearm moves inward and across the body as the fist rotates outward until the bottom of the forearm and palm of blocking hand face upward.
  • Contact. The initial contact is made using the outer edge (little finger side) of the forearm, which is now facing inward, across the body.
  • Position. For a high or middle section block, the forearm is angled forward at about 45°. For a low section block, the forearm is almost fully extended downward at about 45. Inward movement stops when the arm is just outside the edge of the body; this ensures the attack will miss your body.
  • Used. It’s used against high, middle, or low straight or angled attacks.
  • Example. Use it to block a trailing hand (reverse) punch to the solar plexus.

Layered block

  • Movement. Both the fists rotate outward and drop so lead the forearm rests atop the trailing forearm with both the fists palm up and near elbows.
  • Contact. Contact is made using top side of trailing forearm; this is a double bone block.
  • Position. The arms finish with one forearm resting on the other forearm.
  • Used. It’s used against low attack moving upward or a high attack moving downward.
  • Variations
  • Double. The forearms finish side-by-side. If a low block, the lead forearm is in front. If a used as a high block, the lead forearm is in back. Initial contact is made using outer edge (little finger side) of both forearms.
  • Reversed. Both the fists on rotate 90° outward so the hands finish with the palms down and near the elbows. The initial contact area is the bottom side of trailing forearm; this is still a double bone block.
  • Example. Use it to block a rising front kick.

Wedge block

  • Movement. The trailing fist opens and the hand wraps around the front of the leading fist. Forearms angle outward at a 45° angle so arms are in the shape of a wedge. Arms are then thrust upward in a wedging motion.
  • Contact. The initial contact is made using tops of the forearms.
  • Position. The arms finish in the same wedge shape as in the beginning.
  • Used. It’s used against twin high straight arm attacks or against a two-hand reach for the throat.
  • Example. Use to block a two-hand front choke.

Spread block

  • Movement. Both the fists rotate inward until thumbs face each other, as fists are thrust upward and outward and the forearms rotate outward. The forearms spread apart.
  • Contact. Initial contact is made using the outer edge (little finger side) of the forearms.
  • Position. The arms finish in twin outward outer forearm blocks the are spreading apart.
  • Used. It’s used against twin high straight arm attacks.
  • Example. Use it to block a two-handed front choke.

X-block

  • Movement. Both the fists perform low or high punches, with the lead fist crossing over the trailing fist, ending with the forearms crossed in an x-shape that traps the attacking limb in the v shape of the block.
  • Contact. The initial contact is made using the outer edge (little finger side) of the forearms.
  • Position. The arms finish crossed in an x-shape.
  • Used. It’s used against a low attack moving upward or a high attack moving downward. It’s easy to rotate the hands after the block is completed and grip the limb and twist it to enter into a lock or a bar.
  • Example. Use it to block a front kick.

9-shaped block

  • Movement. As the opponent punches toward your middle section, you perform a low outer forearm block with the lead arm across the middle section in a downward motion against the top of the attacker's wrist, while simultaneously snapping the trailing fist upward under the attacker's elbow and toward your opposite shoulder. The arms make a scissor motion to trap the attacker’s arm.
  • Contact. The initial contact is made using the outer edge of the leading forearm and with the inside edge of the trailing forearm.
  • Position. If performed without the attack, the trailing fist will stop above the leading forearm and near the opposite shoulder.
  • Used. It’s used against middle section punches.
  • Example. Use it to trap a trailing hand (reverse) punch to the solar plexus.

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