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sanchin_carroll's picture
Jodan/Age Uke Differences

Hey all!  I'm a karate instructor in Hayashi Ha Shito Ryu and have been studying this particular style since 2000.  One fairly unique aspect of Hayashi Ha Shito Ryu is the manner in which we perform the jodan uke, otherwise known as age uke (upper block).  In Hayashi Ha Shito Ryu, the "blocking" arm is chambered and delivered from the inside of the opposite bent-arm (bottom of fist against biceps), as oppose to many karate styles, which chamber/deliver the arm from the outside of the bent-arm.

Any thoughts on the advantages/disadvantages of this from a practical application perspective?  I've tried to mess around with the applications from the latter method (not used in my style), but obviously, given my habitual training, it feels so unnatural.


Jeremiah Hoyt

JWT's picture

Can you provide a video? The method you are describing (moving the arm from the inside) sounds like the most common method to me.

sanchin_carroll's picture

Higaonna Sensei demonstrates a Goju Ryu jodan uke at :06 of this video:

The Shotokan instructor in this video demonstrates a clear age uke beginning around :40:

This is a video of Pinan Shodan in Wado Ryu.  At 2:00 a slow version of age uke is demonstrated in the kata:

This Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu practicioner also performs Pinan Shodan and executes the jodan uke at :43 and :46 of the video:

This is a video of a Hayashi Ha Shito Ryu karateka performing Heian Nidan (also known as Pinan Shodan).  This is the only video I could find that demonstrates the different method of executing the jodan uke.  At 1:49 and 1:55 of the video, the technique is in slow motion.

Notice how he/we chamber the fist of the hand used in the secondary movement of the block on the inside of the arm in Hayashi Ha Shito Ryu.  In the other styles above, the fist/arm used in the secondary movement are chambered and thrown from the outside of the arm used in the primary movement.  I hope this provides some clarity of the differences.  

Chikara Andrew
Chikara Andrew's picture

I consider Age Uke to have a number of applications, a block/cover, to apply pressure to limbs and to strike. Your example of crossing the eblow crease from the inside makes alot of sense if you consider it as a strike. Pinan Nidan (Heian Shodan) shows this better where you have three down the centre. The first one blocks/covers the attackers arm, keeping control of their arm your second Age Uke travels up the top of their arm to deliver a forearm strike to the neck/jaw.

Dale Parker
Dale Parker's picture

Soke Hayashi did both versions of the Jodan Age Uke, and Chudan Age Uke.  It depended on the application of the kata or technique.  I think most of his students eventually went to just using the inside version, as the advanced kata such as Nipaipo, Heiku, Paiku use the inside version.

As to why, he once explained it was better for capturing the wrist in Karate, and in Kobudo for certain weapons like the Sai it was just more practical.

JWT's picture

That's fascinating. I come from a Shotokan lineage and still teach Shotokan and yet I in kihon I nearly always raise my age uke arm to the inside of the retracting hand. Looking at the descriptive text for Heian Shodan in my older kyohan Funakoshi clearly describes the age uke as raising to the outside of the retracting arm, something that feels very aien to me in on the spot kihon hip rotational practice. Moving it to the outside feels unnatural to me after so many years of repetition. :) I'll keep it on the inside in that context. That said, in kata, the slightly different angles created by the stepping forward action (compared to static) mean that in Heian Shodan, Jion, Jitte etc I always raise my arm to the outside.

DaveB's picture

I have always blocked from the outside, but I might reconsider.

The inside chamber suggest to me more of a rolling/replacing action, as though the extended preparation hand is pulling something down and the "block" shoots over the top to strike. Chambering inside forces the arm to fold more tightly making the outwards motion more explosive.

The block outside can work in a similar way, but the preparation has to clear obstacles to the side and I think it is generally more awkward.