From Self-Defense Karate
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Japanese word for blocking techniques is uke (literally, “receiver”). This rootword is also used for the breakfall techniques (ukemi), because blocks are much like breakfalls; you don't block the opponent’s techniques per se, you receive them. An attack is just a gift of momentum -- a malicious gift -- but a gift. Accept the gift -- take that momentum -- and then take it somewhere else. We don’t really care where the opponent’s attack goes, or what it does, as long as it misses you. This is why Goshin-Jutsu typically does not use the “hard blocks” of other karate styles; our blocks are more like “aggressive parries.” We focus more on redirecting an attack and closing in, rather than standing our ground and bruising the attacking limb.

Karate is only to be used in extreme situations where someone is in real danger of injury or death. For this reason, there is no first strike in karate, and the opponent is always the belligerent party. This is why every karate drill, and form begins with a blocking technique.

A plethora of techniques to block, parry, and ward an opponent’s attacks are listed below. Please keep in mind that blocks are most effective when they are combined with a simultaneous evasion. Evasions are defenses; blocks are insurance.