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Chudan Uchi Uke -- Chudan Soto Uke

When it comes to "middle blocks" there are two types -- outward and inward.

In our dojo, we typically call a middle block "chudan uke". The first movement of Pinan Sandan, for example, is a chudan uke. Specifically, we call this a "chudan uchi uke, " meaning that it is an "outward" block.

But other schools call this same block a "chudan soto uke."

When I speak to my other friends in Karate, it seems that the terms are used differently by just about everyone. I understand that Shotokan people use the same terms as we do, but I'm sure that this differs too.

I do wonder why there are so few "chudan soto uke" in our kata. We do have them in the Naihanchi kata, but none in the Pinan kata.

I really wonder why since the inward block (chudan soto uke) is such a useful block, and in my opinion, stronger than the outward block.

For beginners, the uchi and soto versions of chudan uke are two different things. But in the advanced stage, the outward block is not so outward and the inward block is not so inward. They both tend toward the center. Some advanced people do the blocks almost like an uppercut. Whether the block is to one side or the other of the attacking arm is pretty irrelevant. In other words, done in a very minimalist way, the uchi and soto blocks can look identical.

Of course, how to do the movement is more important than the name we give to it. A person can know the name but not how to do it. The name won't help you if you are attacked.


Charles C. Goodin