Karate Tips: First Nine BlocksDescriptions of the nine blocks a novice (white, yellow and orange belt) student will learn during martial arts training.
In the martial arts there are as many varieties of kicks, strikes and blocks as there are in styles themselves. Many times the movements will be exactly the same in one style as in another but each style will have a different name for it.
In American Freestyle, there are nine different blocks, some which have variations on a basic block as well as some that are attack specific that a novice level (white, yellow, orange belt) student will begin to learn.
When a student is first starting out, he will be taught three basic blocks that he must be able to execute correctly before he can advance from white belt to yellow belt. These are the upper, middle and lower blocks.
The Push block comes in three different varieties on either side of the body.
1. With the Upper Push block the student will start by having the blocking hand drop to the waist, opening the hand into a slightly cupped manner and "pushing" the hand diagonally across the body and up to the top and side of the head.
2. The Middle Push block comes from the end position of the middle block and pushes or "sweeps" across the body to end at the opposite, outside edge of the body between middle chest shoulder height with the palm cupped. As with the simple middle block, the upper arm and elbow are kept close to the body.
3. The Lower Push block has the student coming also from the middle block position but moving downward in a diagonal motions to push the incoming strike to the outside of the opposite side of the body and ending just below the hip level. With this push block, the wrist WILL be slightly bent so the hand is setting upwards at approximately a 45-degree angle.
As with all martial arts techniques, practice it the key to proper execution, speed and affect. To become proficient in any of these, a beginning student will spend hours repeatedly doing the same motions until they are ingrained into their mind and become a second nature. One of the keys to building speed with any block, strike, kick or self-defense maneuver is to have it implanted in the subconscious so no actual thought is required to execute it. In a sense, it actually becomes an instinctual reaction to a given type of aggressive movement.