Knife Hand Blocking in Rhee Tae Kwon Do

Knife Hand Blocking in Rhee Tae Kwon Do
In a Knife Hand Guard, your fingers should all be connected, with no gaps between the fingers. Your three middle fingers should be at the same height (and thus your middle fingers need to be pulled down towards your palm, while still predominantly straight, it is normal for the middle finger to have a slight arch). The Thumb should be pulled close to the palm of the hand and not sticking out. Your hand then will resemble the blade of a knife and that's where the name Knife Hand originated.

A Knife Hand block is considered an advanced technique, where you use the outer edge of the hand to initially block or deflect an attack, with the emphasis on the word "initially"!

A Knife Hand block subsequently can grab or capture the opponent's technique. For example: If your opponent performs a punch or decides to jab with their leading hand, you can have your knife hand deflect the punch away from your face and then moving your blocking hand to grab the attacker's wrist or forearm to counterattack.

A Knife Hand is a great for deflecting technique. A regular block might stop a technique completely mid-way, interrupting the attacker from completing the attack. While a Knife Hand Block can do the same as well, it is well suited for deflecting the technique or guiding the technique away to completion, so the attacker may complete his attack while being deflected or "guided" to a favourable or advantageous position for the defender to successfully complete counter.

It is for this reasons that many Instructors will use Knife Hand blocks with junior belts and beginners, to simply deflect and guide their techniques away.

This should not be confused with the pushing, "slapping", or open-handed blocks performed by the inside of the palm or fingers that are used by some practitioners! Big ... BIG NO NO!

A Knife Hand Block can also double as a Knife Hand Strike with devastating results.

The Knife Hand requires conditioning of the leading edge of the hand and paying good attention to maintaining the tight finger formation and positioning, any negligence or complacency can result in broken fingers and thumbs.

As you progress in your training, your instructor will properly teach when and how to apply a proper Knife Hand blocking technique. So, when you are sparring, please use the appropriate technique as instructed and ensure that your hands are never loose, with fingers sticking out in all directions ... This is how serious injuries can happen!

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