Magazine • the Silk Thread of Gorindo
Claudio Iedwab at -20°C - Ottawa River’<br />©2011 Photo by Roxanne Standefer

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The Silk Thread of Gorindo - Ottawa - Canada

Issue 15

- Lessons From Nature

- The Dojo

- High Block - Shodan Age-uke

- Glossary of Terms

- Pearls of Gorindo...

Photo cover "Claudio Iedwab at -20°C - Ottawa River" by Roxanne Standefer sensei, 29th December 2011.The Sculpture owned by the NCC is called Boat Sight by John McEwen (1984).

The boat (representing culture) comes in to shore and the wolves (representing Nature) are curious and cautious. The location is the voyageur portage around the Chaudiére Falls in Hull, Quebec.

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High Block - Shodan Age-uke



shodan age-uke

The high punch is directed between the upper lip and the nose, and the shodan age-uke, high block, protects this target area. This technique protects the face and head. It is a deflecting block when applied correctly, not a stopping defense.

From the heiko-dachi, parallel stance (feet shoulder width apart pointing forward), bend the arm that you will use for blocking directly in and across your body, placing the fist just above the belt (beside the floating ribs) on the opposite side, with the back of the hand down.

shodan age-ukeExtend the other arm in front of your solar plexus to protect your body between two consecutive blocks.
From this chambering position draw an arc up and out across your chest and face. Maintain your fist above the elbow until your elbow is at the level of your temple with fist higher than the head. The forearm is at a 45° (see illustrations) with almost a palm distance from the forehead, with the back of the hand towards you in the final position.

At the same time that you are executing the block, bend the other arm straight back in an elbow strike to the rear. Finish with the fist beside the body at the belt level, back of the hand down.

When you execute the shodan age-uke start twisting the fist and forearm before the impact. Use the tensed muscle of your forearm to make contact, not the wrist or bones because they are very sensitive to bruising or injury and can be broken if the impact is very strong.

Imagine that you might have to block at any point across your chest. Don’t stop the attack with a collision, try to ‘go with’ the direction of the strike and deflect its trajectory. Imagine that you are pushing up, out and away.

Don’t block with the arms only, use the muscles of the shoulder, armpit and back to improve the power available, feeling that the shoulder blades are ‘closing’. Ensure that your body stays in a vertical position throughout the movement, the eyes looking forward and the knees slightly bent.

Exhale your air when you do the block and tense the muscles in your body completely for good kime at the moment of contact. Keep your body relaxed (shoulders and hips especially) until this point. Maintain the shoulders in a straight line and facing forward.

You can improve your blocking speed by practicing repeatedly, bringing the outstretched fist back to the hip (from the start position which is one fist forward and the other beside the hip) and trying to finish the blocking motion within the same time.


Common Corrections

• Starting the movement with the back of the hand up — you can’t twist your fist and distribute the impact across a greater area.

• Raising the forearm horizontally. This will not let you ‘deflect’ the attack to the outside of the body, and it will not allow the use of the chest shoulder and back muscles to strengthen the action.

• Too much tension in the shoulders; reduces speed and can cause problems in the neck.

• Finishing the block with the defensive fist in the center line.

• Blocking with the fragile wrist bone instead of the forearm muscles.

• Ending the technique with the forearm horizontal, too close to the forehead or too far forward (open) with elbow outside.

by Claudio Iedwab & Roxanne Standefer

Originallly published in the Gorindo Student Manual by Claudio Iedwab & Roxanne Standefer

©2011 Illustrations by Claudio Iedwab



- Lessons From Nature

- The Dojo

- High Block - Shodan Age-uke

- Glossary of Terms

- Pearls of Gorindo...


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