2 How to Do a Karate Low Block

The Karate Low Block: Your First Self Defense

The Low Block is usually the first Karate block taught. There is a simplicity to it, but many people don’t consider the subtleties to this great block.

karate drill

Practicing Karate low block drill back in 1974


Stand naturally (don’t worry, we’ll get into stances later on) with the feet pointed forward and shoulder width apart.

Bring the right hand to the right shoulder. The hand should be semi closed in a fist (relaxed) and with the palm twisted up.

Move the hand downwards at about a 45 degree angle, as you reach the full extension turn the hand over and tighten into a fist. This is focus, and make sure that you don’t hyper extend the elbow.

karate low block

Chamber the blocking arm…

Execute the Low Block with focus

Execute the Low Block with focus

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Now, this is good as far as it goes, it will get the student doing the gross motion, but there is a second step to be done, once the gross motion is accomplished.

Give up the touching the shoulder method, and learn how to simply circle the right hand outwards, up and over and down in a circle.

Now, make sure your gross motion is down before you make these changes to your block. But the point is this.

When you raise your arm to your shoulder that is one cycle of movement. You start the muscles, you change the arm position, you stop the muscles.

Then, when you lower the arm you have another cycle of motion. You start the muscles, you change the arm position, you stop the muscles.

That’s two cycles of motion, and you’re supposed to do two cycles of motion in the time it takes your attacker to do the one cycle of motion involved in a punch?

Not smart.

But, you start the student out with two cycles of motion, up to the shoulder and down, and then, when he has the gross motion down, you help him make the transition to a cicular motion,and a much more efficient block.

A circle, you see, has only one cycle of motion: You start the muscles, you change the arm position, you stop the muscles.

this has been a page about how to do a Karate Low block, and once you have accomplished it you should go to the page on how to do a Karate High block.

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