Training, Lesson, Gedan Barai (Downward Block).
I figured it’d be a good idea to watch and learn about blocking, better than learning to strike first. Stance, block, strike, kick-I think I’ll do it in that order.
It looks like the blocking exercise is done from the Zenkutsu Dachi stance-so that’s good, I can double up on practice by practicing blocks while holding a stance. I bet we can do this in other stances too. I wonder if this is covered.
This block blocks downwards for sure. I’m guess to block an attack that is coming in at higher than knee height. It looks like the arm is supinated. At the top of the exercise the blocking arm is up by the head-the upper arm is horizontal and completely across the body with the elbow of that arm past the elbow/shoulder of the other arm. The hand is way back by the ear-past the ear in fact. In fact, one can see the hand peeking behind the head-it looks like the upper body has twisted back in conjunction with the arm. At 00:18 on can see the blocking hand behind peeking out behind the head of the Sensei. It appears to be doing so with the help of the torso twisting at 00:18-a twist which begins at 00:17. Prior to this twist the torso was facing forwards.
At 00:23 one can see just how far back the blocking arm goes-it cannot go any further. That just goes to show one how much force is going into being delivered into the block. Interesting.
Breakdown of Key Elements:
One starts in Zenkutsu Dachi.
The blocking arm starts up by the ear.
The non blocking arm is straight, hand in a fist, belly button high, pronated, to the side of medial favoring the side on which the block will be occurring.
Inhale when the fist is by the ear.
The blocking arm slides down along the top of the non-blocking arm.
When the blocking arm gets to the wrist of the extended non-blocking arm, pause (as a beginner), exhale rapidly.
There is a snap at the end.
The torso twists at the end.
There is a breathing moment during the block (during the snap at the end).
The non blocking arm bends, elbow at the side, hand at the waist above the belt at the side.
Kihon Drill. 04:18
These are the 3 step, 2 step, 1 step drills:
3 step drill:
1st thing to do is step out and downblock in Zen. This is a great way to practice this drill/movement.
1. Prepare. by putting hand by ear, be in stance, one arm straight. Move forward in Zen and put the feet together. This is one.
2. Step into Moto dachi. Keep arms the way they were. All you did was move a foot.
3. Step in to Zen, then bring beginning the sliding down of the blocking arm and the non-blocking arm coming back.
Good luck going backwards.
2 step drill:
Same thing, just ski stepping into Moto Dachi.
1 step drill:
At the end of 1 barely put the foot down-slide it on by.