Martial Arts Tips : How to Perform a Low Block in Taekwondo

Martial Arts Tips : How to Perform a Low Block in Taekwondo


Hi everybody, I’m John Graden from The Martial
Arts Teachers Association and johngraden.com. I began my training in nineteen seventy four
in Tae Kwon Do. I’m a third degree in Tae Kwon Do. That’s my foundation. And then from
then I went on to eighth degree black belt working with kick boxers and more eclectic
mixed martial arts. Let’s talk a little bit about Tae Kwon Do. Tae Kwon Do is primarily
a kicking art. It’s a traditional martial art that evolved from Korea about nineteen
fifty or so is when it really has its origins. So the traditional downward block is used
technically as a defense against a kick to the groin. Here’s how it works. I’m going
to take my left hand, just like I have a knife and stab myself in the shoulder. But I’m never
going to let the arm touch the body, just leave it right on the top of it. My left elbow
is going to point straight down. And from here the action is going to be its just going
to sweep across the body and stop right at the edge of my body line. Body lines are lines
straight out from the edge of your body. So the block is going to start on my right body
line and sweep across to the edge of my left body line. It does not want to go beyond that
because that’s a waste of energy. So we go blocking right here. The elbow is slightly
bent. The other hand is going to be right across the body and as this hand sweeps down
this one’s going to come back to the hip. The beauty of that is that it creates equal
and opposite reaction. It creates more power when you’re executing the block. If I’m blocking
in this direction I’ll have more power if I have the same amount of weight driving in
the opposite direction. As I’m executing this, I’m going to exhale and this is typically
done in a front stance or a forward stance. Here’s the final key. All power in martial
arts comes from the hip and getting the body weight behind the technique. Just like if
I want to swing at a baseball bat, I don’t just swing with my arms. I turn my body in
it and hit as hard as I can. When I’m doing this block, I don’t just do a block with the
weight of my skinny little arm against a big leg. So instead I’m going to turn the body
and block with the hip action to create additional power. That is hadin mahki which is downward
block in Korean. I’m John Graden. I hope that helps. Thanks.

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6 thoughts on “Martial Arts Tips : How to Perform a Low Block in Taekwondo”

  • Comfy Cozy Critters says:

    Very informative. I couldn't find any place that would actually discuss all aspects of the technique and I am very particular with how things should be done for a reason and that it is the same no matter who teaches. Thank you for giving all the information behind the block.

  • I don't by chambering the non-blocking arm for power, using the hips to turn into it would do that on its own. I have studied martial arts for 20 years and especially Taekwondo and this overly simplistic use for the low block is impractical and unnecessary. I doubt this was the original purpose of this technique or at least I hope it wasn't. The question that should be asked is not how do I perform a low block, but why should I perform a low block?

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