How to do a Martial Arts High Block

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How to do a Martial Arts High Block

This page will show you how to do a martial arts high block. This block is also known as a rising block.

With a high block, martial arts students bring the outside of their forearm above their head. This block is used to protect against high attacks (i.e. axe kick to the head, a person swinging a club, etc.). In the real world of combat, this can be used for a push, attempted grab, or as a stike to throat area.

For more blocking techniques, please visit the main Martial Arts Blocks section.

Written Instructions:

  • Traditionally the high block is over the head and should just barely be in view when straining the eyes up at the block. It should never be at the forehead because that leaves the top of the head open.
  • Arm should be turned and oriented so that the palm is facing up, this allows the user to block with the brachioradialis and the flexors as these make up the meaty part of the bottom of the arm. The ulna is the main bone that supports this block.
  • During this block the ulna and radius should not be lying horizontally but that the elbow should be lower than that of the wrist. This way (like the roof of a house) the force of the blow has some where to be redirected towards the outside of the body.
  • Some school emphasize angling the wrist so that metacarpals are pointing upward, this enables the wrist to be able to act as a hook so that the block can tactically turn into a grab and counter.
  • Tactically the high block can go straight out more like a punch with the palm down, striking the attackers strike and can follow right into a punch.
  • Note that with every block the next blocking hand must come up in front of the current block, so that the arms do not become tangled and that the framing of the block can be break a the hold of the attacker grabbing the current blocking hand.


  1. Correct and Incorrect positions of a high block, "Karate +", Christopher Adamchek Pinterest page, added 04/26/15
  2. High block framing, "Karate +", Christopher Adamchek Pinterest page, added 04/26/15
  3. Animated high block gif, "Karate +", Christopher Adamchek Pinterest page, added 04/26/15
  4. High block fighting sequence, "Karate +", Christopher Adamchek Pinterest page, added 04/26/15

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