Upper Block Age Uke (Jodan Uke) – Karate Technique

“Uke” means block in Japanese, and can be performed with hands, arms, legs and feet. Jodan means the upper striking area, from the neck up.

Karate Photo Tutorial: Upper Block

Begin by having your left arm in the completed Jodan Uke position as shown in the picture.

Hold your right arm at a 45 degree angle to your head, palm facing away from your face,  with your fist at a distance of about 10 cm away from your head.  Keep the shoulders in a normal and relaxed position. The right arm is in the ready position tucked up under your shoulder, forearm parallel to the floor, palm facing up.


From left to right, then next line left to right

Bring the right arm out in an upward crossing movement. At the same time bring the left arm downward across your face, returning to the ready position. The right arm completes a twisting motion, bringing the forearm
and palm forward facing, thus “rolling” the attack over your head. This completes the right upper block (Jodan Uke).

Your left arm is now ready to perform a left Jodan Uke block.

Upper Block – Points to remember:

  • The two arms work in an action reaction movement, meaning as one moves strongly in one direction the other moves equally strongly in the other direction.
  • The arms should cross at about eye level.
  • Both arms should move in a twisting motion thereby deflecting the attack rather than meeting force with force.
  • At the moment of impact the arm and fist should be locked into position with tension.
  • The blocking arm should have a 45 degree angle both towards the floor and towards the line of attack, ie. a head
    splitting attack with a stick (or baseball bat!) would slide off to the side and past you instead of cutting your arm in two.
  • In order to gain maximum power you will need to have good stance such as Sanchin Dachi or Heiko Dachi.
  • Inhale on the downward motion and exhale on locking the block into position.