Shutō block

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Shutō-uke (literally: “hand-blade block”) refers to the defensive applications of the “karate chop.” Shutō blocks are effective because open hands allow an easier projection of one’s true strength, via the Unbendable Arm technique. It is also easier to grab an opponent following an open-hand block than it is after blocking with a closed fist. Shutō blocks contact the opponent with the shutō, the knife edge of the hand, which is the side of the hand between the wrist and the little finger. Shutō blocks are a very diverse move, which can be executed in a number of directions.

Outside shutō block

The outside shutō block is a common defense, because it sets up grabs. To execute an outside shutō block, pull your blocking hand up to the opposite-side ear, with the palm facing inside. Cover your floating ribs on your blocking-hand side with your opposite-side hand. (This is the same position that downward-fist blocks are executed from.) Remember, everything must come in before it can go out.

Then, pull you blocking hand across your chest, until it is in front of your same-side shoulder, with the palm facing down. At the same time, chamber your opposite-side hand by pulling it across your waist to its hip, setting up a counterattack.

Practice outside shutō blocks in your daily life by using it to stop doors before they close.

Inside shutō block

Inside shutō blocks are similar to a tate shutō uchi or ude-uke. Pull the blocking hand up to the same-side ear, with the palm facing towards inside. Then, pull your elbow across your chest, until your blocking hand is in front of your face, so you can see your own palm. Your shutō will swat your opponent’s attacks away.

Rising shutō block

Rising shutō blocks are rising blocks which connect with the shutō, instead of the forearm.

Downward shutō block

Downward shutō blocks are downward-fist blocks performed with an open hand.