:: Yoko-Uke :: 26/05/2002

In applying the yoko-uke blocking technique, one should rotate the waist to increase the blocking power. Regarding the rotating direction of the waist, it should be aligned with that of the arm. For example, if the right arm is applying a yoko-uke, the waist should rotate in a clockwise direction. In this way, the turning motion of the waist will bring the right arm to move from left to right and execute the block. For beginners, the extent of waist-rotation should be relatively greater to achieve desirable effect; in time, one will get a better grasp of the technique, the extent of waist-rotation should be reduced. This waist-rotation technique is a way to demonstrate the realization of an essential blocking technique – Rakka. As a matter of fact, the waist could also be rotated in an anti-clockwise direction. However, if the waist is rotated in this manner, the blocking technique demonstrated has to be accompanied by another fundamental blocking technique – Ten-I, to achieve full effect of the block.

The positioning of elbow plays a vital part in the extent of power achieved in yoko-uke. This is especially true when yoko-uke is applied in slow-moving katas like Sanchin and Tenshow. Upon completing a yoko-uke, the elbow should stop at a point in front of the waist. If the elbow stops further away from the waist, it would then assume an outward (instead of inward and lowering), dangling position in the air. In this manner, it is more difficult to sustain the power in the arm. Furthermore, not only the positioning, but also the distance between the elbow and the waist is crucial to the effective application of yoko-uke – the elbow should be kept at a fist-distance from the waist. Besides, the fist should be kept level with the shoulder, fingers facing the shoulder and wrist straight (as bent-wrist will cause unnecessary muscle-strain in the arm and reduce the power delivered from the arm).