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Shotokan Blocks Age Uke 3 Variations

Age Uke (upper block) is one of the first blocks practiced in shotokan karate. Here are three different ways to execute Age Uke. There are more different ways to practice upper block, here we pick three, with the second one being the one we practice the most at SKO.

Shotokan Blocks Age Uke Starting Position.

1. Starting from the yoi (ready) position in shizentai (natural stance). Place the left arm above the head, so the elbow is directly above the shoulder, one fist away from the head and just above the eye line.
2. keeping the elbow as explained above, bend the left arm, so the fist is just above the head. The fist, forearm and elbow are about a fist to a fist and a half away from the forehead. Try and keep the wrist straight.
3. The left arm is now in the upper rising block position. The right arm should be in the hikite (hiki=pulling, te=hand) position. The right hikite fist should be clenched and placed on the right side of the body, palm up, at the bottom of the ribs, with the right elbow pulled in tight. You should now be in the age uke position. Lets look at the actual sequence of the arm movement, when practicing this first Age- uke variation.

Shotokan Blocks Age Uke Variation 1.

Prepare as in numbers 1 to 3
4. Open the left hand. Now bring the right hikite fist accross the stomache towards your left hip.
5. As you start to lift the right blocking arm, drop the left elbow and turn the left hand, so the thumb (which should be bent), is facing towards you. As you lift the right arm and drop the left, both arms should cross in front of the chin. The right blocking arm should be on the outside, so the left pulling arm, is closest to the face.
6. The forearm of the right arm should stay parrallel to the ground as it continues the upward movement, then perform a sharp rotation with the forearm on completion of the block. As you rotate the forearm counter clockwise, make sure the palm faces away from you. The left arm now becomes the hikite (pulling hand), moving down to the finished hikite position at the left side of the body.
7. Breathing should be silent and natural. Breathing in on the preparation and out on the execution of the block. Both fists should stop at exactly the same time.

Shotokan Blocks Age Uke Variation 2.

Prepare as in numbers 1 to 3
4. Open the left hand. Now imagine you are going to use your right hikite fist to punch your left arm, in the middle of the forearm. That is roughly, the path your right fist is going to take.
5. As you start to lift the right blocking arm, drop the left elbow and turn the left hand, so the thumb (which should be bent), is facing towards you. As you lift the right arm and drop the left, both arms should cross in front of the chin. The right blocking arm should be on the outside, so the left pulling arm, is closest to the face. Still keep the arms, a fist to a fist and a half distance, from the face.
6. Continue the upward movement of the right arm, remembering you were aiming a punch at the middle of the left forearm, when it was in the age uke position. As you raise the right arm from the crossed arm position (5), start to rotate the forearm counter clockwise, so the palm faces away from you. The left arm now becomes the hikite (pulling hand), moving down to the finished hikite position at the left side of the body.
7. Breathing should be silent and natural. Breathing in on the preparation and out on the execution of the block. Both fists should stop at exactly the same time.

Shotokan Blocks Age Uke Variation 3.

Prepare as in numbers 1 to 3
4. Open the left hand.
5. Drop the left elbow and turn the left hand, so the thumb (which should be bent), is facing towards you. at the same time lift the right arm and continue to drop the left arm, both arms should cross in front of the chin. The right blocking arm should be on the outside, so the left pulling arm, is closest to the face. Still keep the arms, a fist to a fist and a half distance, from the face.
6. Now throw the right arm up and forward, as you throw the right arm up and forward from the crossed arm position, start to rotate the forearm counter clockwise, so the palm faces away from you. This is where you extend the block farther than you would in version 2 and then create a snapping recoil with the blocking arm. The left arm now becomes the hikite (pulling hand), moving down to the finished hikite position at the left side of the body.
7. Breathing should be silent and natural. Breathing in on the preparation and out on the execution of the block. Both fists should stop at exactly the same time.

We also have articles and videos on three versions of the Shotokan Blocks Uchi Ude Uke, give them a try, number one is the most widely practiced, but sometimes altering completion of uchi uke can have a really positive effect. We have the same with shotokan block Soto Ude Uke and Gedan Barai.

 

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