Here are a variety of martial arts blocks that are used in self-defense, sparring and many katas & forms. Blocks are used as a defensive tool in order to stop an opponent’s attack. Martial artists can use their arms, hands and legs to block an opponent’s strike.
Blocking “philosophies” can vary between martial arts styles. In “hard” styles such as Shotokan Karate, you see blocks which have a lot of power. These martial arts blocks are used for defense (i.e. block an attacker’s strike) but they are also used to potentially injure the opponent with the power of the block. In effect, these blocks become a strike against an opponent (i.e. a strong forearm block can be used to damage an attacker’s punching arm). In order to deal with the bodily impact created by such powerful blocks, practitioners of some hard styles (i.e. Kyokushin) will often take part in conditioning exercises to toughen up their bodies and/or bones.
In contrast, “soft” styles such as Aikido, Wado-Ryu Karate and Japanese Jujutsu tend to focus on staying relaxed during a fight and tend to redirect or avoid their opponent’s energy as opposed to directly clashing with it. This means that the blocks themselves only use enough energy to avoid injury from an attacker. In theory, this allows the soft-style practitioner to retain their energy for later in the fight.
Wiki – Best Martial Arts Books
Traditional Martial Arts Blocking Techniques – The segments below contain written and/or video instructions.
Basic Blocks – Many of these basic blocks can be done with an open hand or a closed fist.
- High Block
- Inside Block
- Knife Hand Block – This is an open hand blocking technique.
- Low Block
- Outside Block
- Palm Block – This is an open hand blocking technique.
Advanced Arm & Hand Blocks
- X Block -This technique is also known as a Cross Block, etc.
- Double High Block
- Double Low Block
- Taekwondo Sparring Clinch – This is a close-in double low block used in Taekwondo sparring.
- Double Outside Block
- Mountain Block – This blocking technique is used in many Taekwondo forms & patterns.
- Reinforced Block -This technique is also known as an Assisted Block, Supporting Block, Augmented Block, etc.
- Scissors Block
Blocking Techniques for Sparring
- Block & Punch Combination
- How To Block A High Roundhouse Kick – Differs from a traditional high block.
- How To Block A Spinning Hook Kick
- Bob and Weave – A boxing technique used by many martial arts styles in order to avoid a punch versus block a punch.
- Covering Up – This boxing & martial arts technique is used to block strikes to the head and upper body.
- Rope A Dope – A boxing technique used to tire out an opponent before launching an aggressive counter attack.
- Slipping – A boxing technique where a martial artist moves the head to avoid a punch.
- Shoulder Roll – This boxing defensive technique that uses a shoulder to deflect an incoming punch.
Trapping – Techniques that block & trap an opponent’s attack.
Blocks by Martial Arts Style
- Taekwondo Animals, Taekwondo Blocks, https://www.taekwondoanimals.com/taekwondo-blocks.asp, Added – 12/13/13
- Blocking “philosophy” information kindly provided by Bryce, http://www.usawadoryu.com, Added – 06/02/16