Learn Karate's Shuto-Uke (or Knife Hand Block)

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Learn Karate's Shuto-Uke (or Knife Hand Block)

This section examines Karate's Shuto-Uke (Shoto-Uke) or "Knife Hand Block". The videos below focus on a Karate knife hand block. The first kata that we see this in is Pinan Shodan, but it may be taught sooner in some schools. It uses a new stance also which is Neko Ashi Dachi, or front cat stance, which helps to protect against kicks to your legs and groin area.

Karate blocks are used in self-defense, Karate katas, Karate kihon, etc.

Writen Instruction

Shuto-Uke is generally what non-karateka think of when they think of karate, a karate chop, which we use as a block, and a strike all in one.

First thing first, this is a block mainly used against a front punch, so.

  • As you attacker throws the front punch, it can be to abdomen up to head height.
  • As the punch comes in, you can use any hand, but parry this outside to inside, and step forward with the same leg, into Neko Ashi Dachi
  • The blocking arm should "Chop" in and twist your wrist so the palm of your hand goes from facing out, to in
  • This is the blocking part of the technique completed,
  • With the opposite arm you have blocked with your Hikite can pull the attacking hand towards you
  • As you do this the arm you just blocked with goes out as a strike, this can be a palm strike, or knife edge strike.

In regards to this block and strike, the "Chop"motion, used in the block, this should be applied as a strike chopping action in and down the arm, the follow up strike, if used as a palm strike, if you cup the hand as if using it to drink water will create more pain in the opponent and can knock them back.

For more blocking information and videos, visit the main Karate Blocks section.

Instructions For Basic Blocks Including Shuto-Uke


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