Basic Blocking Techniques for Traditional Taekwondo

Technique Follow Along Video – Basic Blocking

Perform a quick warm up or some light stretching before beginning this video. The blocks shown are appropriate for beginner level students and above. There are many ways to block, depending on the situation and target area. These will give you a solid base to  build upon. 

These videos are meant to be demonstrative and easy to follow along, rather than performances. Add acceleration and power to your techniques as you are able. You will need to be familiar with front stances and L stances (back stances) to get the most out of this quick class.

If you found our video and you aren’t a current student of ours, we’d love to meet you if you’re in our area! If not, we hope these are helpful to reinforce your fundamentals!

In the following video, Master Jack Stevens will lead us through a blocking series that will give you the chance to learn, add footwork, and get valuable reps. He is joined by Stevens Family instructors Jack Stevens III, and Jenna Davis.

What is Blocking?

There are multiple reasons to block an attack. The first, and most obvious, is to not get hit! There are ways to catch, parry, grab, or redirect. An effective block has enough force to not only keep an attack from reaching you, but to also feel like a strike when it hits. Depending on the angle and technique thrown, a good block will also throw off the attacker’s balance and body positioning, which can open up an opportunity to follow with a strike. This leads into the “block and counter” concept we use when sparring or fighting.


Blocking Video Synopsis

Low block, front stance – all techniques are shown from the front angle so you can see the path that the block takes from its place of origin (chamber), through to its stopping point. After practicing both sides, make sure you have enough space to shift from side to side. This gets your body used to changing directions and stepping into a good stance. Once you have the proper range of motion on your low block, add more hip twist. To finish, add two straight punches.

High block, front stance – since high blocks typically chamber from a ready fist, you will see the opposite hand come forward, then pull back when the high block is thrown. This encourages the practitioner to utilize reaction force from their stance, as well as from the “push-pull” motion of the arms. Again, practice this block stationary, then add the side to side motion. Finish by adding to straight punches.

Double guarding blocks, L stance – note that when practicing double guarding blocks, you will fully rotate the forearm of each arm, through the block’s full range of motion. The front hand will turn palm out while the back hand is turned palm in. This differs from a neutral guard because during this practice, we are completing the full blocking motion. Practice stationary, side to side, then add a shift to front stance and a single rear hand punch.

Square blocks, L stance – a square block is comprised of a lead hand outer forearm block, and a rear hand high block. Both chamber palms in toward the chest, and rotate out to complete the block. Practice stationary, side to side, then add a shift (to front stance) and reverse punch.

Outer forearm block, front stance – keep in mind that your outer forearm is the bone on the pinky finger side. That is the bone making impact on your target during the block. It is the same bone that makes contact during a high block. Practice this (outward motion) outer forearm block forward and side to side.

Inward motion outer forearm block – still using the outer forearm, you will now be throwing a block toward the inside, or center line, of your body. Demonstrated in the video is first an outward motion outer forearm block, followed by an inward motion outer forearm block. That’s a lot of words for two simple techniques! 

To finish out the blocking practice, revisit each of the blocks, adding advancing and retreating footwork.