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Sunday, January 24, 2010

What Block Jim?

As you raise through the grades you should put some effort in to improving your knowledge of karate terminology. This will improve your understanding and in most cases make your training and grading easier as you will understand what you about to do before it is demonstrated.

Jim (visiting from the Haxby dojo) had described a block tonight as "Ude-Barai", but how does this translate to English?
While we are all familiar with "Gedan Bari", Gedan meaning lower level and Barai as sweep or parry.
To confuse things a little "Ude" is often interchanged with "Wan" and both mean arm.

So "Ude Barai" is arm sweep, it would be very difficult to sweep with the top of the arm and that it why it is usually referring to a forearm sweeping block or parry.
The forearm is "Zenwan" or sometimes "Shubo" which literally translates as "arm stick".

Different parts of the forearm also have their own terms:
"Haiwan" is the back of the forearms in left arm in H2 move 1.
"Naiwan" is the inside of the forearm (Thumb side)
"Gaiwan" is the outside of the forearm (Little finger side)
"Shuwan" is the underside of the forearm
remember all of the above are parts of the body not names of blocks in them self.

So Jim What you understand as "Ude Barai" could be explained as "Naiwan Barai" - Inside of forearm sweeping block / parry. Not every instructor will describe the same block in the same way, because as you can see you could describe the block detailing the inner forearm, the forearm or the whole arm, none of them would be wrong just not so specific. You could also add terms to the description to explain if the block comes from the outside or the inside, if it is at one level, rising or blocking down, seamlessly never ending......

My best advise is to try and pick up a few terms every month, you should be able to describe all the moves of all the kata you already know. If you think about it you may get stuck even at the beginning of H2?

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