Uchi Ude Uke (inside forearm block) stepping forward and backwards in zenkutsu dachi (front stance). Many shotokan karateka refer to it just uchi uke (inside block).

Once again we are going to start a left sided gedan barai (down block) in zenkutsu dachi (front stance).

AS we mention in many of our kihon articles and videos, leg driving plays an important part of shotokan karate. When stepping forward, drive off of the back leg from the half way point and drive off the front leg from the half way point when stepping backwards.

Be sure and keep the same height throughout this kihon practice.

Start with that very small forwards movement with the front knee, then as you drive your right leg forward, bring your right arm across the body to the bottom of the opposite sides ribs, try and keep the right blocking arm close to the body, try not to swing the arm out on the preparation.

The blocking arm when preparing comes across the body with the Palm facing down and it goes low to the bottom of the ribs, not high under the arm pit, unless you are blocking jodan (upper level) then that is ok.

As the right blocking arm prepares, the hikite arm shoots forward, once again with the palm facing down, with either a fist or open hand.

We are now at the half way point, as you continue the step, remember to drive off the left leg with the body in the shomen (square facing) position.

On completion of the step and inside block, rotate the hips and body into the hanmi (side facing) position.

The blocking fist is roughly shoulder level with the uchi uke arms elbow approximately a fist to a fist and a half away from the body.

(tip) Really tighten the muscles of the blocking arm and you will find your strongest position.

Now stepping back. Soften your back knee and as you soften the back knee, get this opposite reaction with the hikite arm, so as you go back the hikite arm stretches forward, at the same time the blocking arm comes across the body to prepare for uchi uke.

Use your blocking arm and front leg together as you go to the half way position.

From the half way point, drive off the front leg, try not to just fall back, keep the body square at the half way point, then on completion of uchi uke stepping back, rotate the body and hips sharply into the hanmi postion.

The more time spent on these basic kihon techniques the better your advanced shotokan will be. Oss!

Linden Huckle

About the author

Linden Huckle has been practicing and teaching karate for over 50 years and believes first and foremost, karateka should enjoy their karate. He says 'there is nothing better than seeing a person develop into a great person through their karate practice, while at the same time enjoying karate.'

Linden Huckle