Karate defensive foot techniques
Blocking with the feet has the great advantage of leaving the hands free. However, it does
leave one momentarily on one leg and so the balance must be very secure. Here are two of the
most common defensive uses of the feet.
Mikazuki-geri-uke (crescent kick block). The striking surface here is the sole of the foot.
Bend the leg slightly at the knee, raise it, then swing it with a swivel-like movement of the hips
to focus on the oncoming attack in front of the body. At the moment of impact the knee should
still be bent slightly, and the toes should be pointing straight upward. Finally, withdraw the leg
as at the completion of the front kick and resume a strong position in order to counter.
(Alternatively, after withdrawing from the block you may use the same foot for a thrust kick
without first returning it to the ground.)
Nami-ashi (inside snap block). Although this technique may be executed from any one
of a number of stances, including the forward and diagonal straddle stance, it is best practised
basically from the straddle stance. From this stance, simply kick the sole of the foot inward and
upward in front of the body, using the hip muscles to give the movement its snap. This is a very
fast technique: only the blocking leg is moved and the body weight should not be shifted. It is
useful either to parry an attack to the groin or to move a leg out of range of a stamping kick.