what is jodan uke?
The quick answer: "High block" or "Head block".
It can be convenient, but if you're looking for real understanding or Karate theory on a higher level, it's actually a bad answer...
First, we need to understand the language:
Jodan = Jo + Dan.
Jo means above or up. Dan means grade or level.
You guessed it:
Jodan means upper level (from the collar bone to the tip of the head).
Uke means receive, so "Receive at upper level" is less easy than "high block".
Having said that...
Jodan Uke actually refers to ALL Uke Waza happening at Jodan level—not only the basic techniques that Shotokan stylists call "Age Uke" (rising "block").
Something can be said in favor of the approach:
- Age describes the trajectory of the movement and classifies more as well.
- Soto Uke for example —if executed Jodan— can also be called Jodan Uke.
You can see why Age Uke can be a more clear approach. For completeness, you could say Jodan Age Uke to be more precise about the direction of the movement.
Having said that in Wado we generally simply call this Jodan Uke. Most of the time anyway...
..so you can't really go wrong.
Anyway, if you execute Jodan Uke as you do in basic practise— there are a number of key points to take note of and mind as you practise:
The main thing is to not expose the armpit during Jodan Uke. Do so by squeezing your elbow inside during the movement while avoiding unnecessary tension.
Let's see how this goes again step by step.
how to execute jodan uke step by step
Take Hikite position.
Bring your elbow inside properly.
Pass Seichusen and bring your arm next to your head.
Execute Jodan uke from your elbow and make sure that your arm and side of the body form a straight line.
key points of jodan uke
- Bring your elbow inside properly;
- Pass Seichusen and bring your arm next to your head;
- Execute Jodan uke from your elbow;
- Make sure that your arm and side of the body form a straight line.
I reveal and demonstrate the above key points of Jodan uke in the video.
jodan uke applications
Ultimately, all techniques are applications of the fundamental principles. Jodan Uke included. Beginner level applications are straight forward - you can recognise the technique easily.
The more advanced you get, the more you know how to use the fundamental principle. In the end it may not even look like Jodan Uke...
beginner level ippon kumite
The most standard use of Jodan Uke is demonstrated below using an Ippon Kumite. This is the way first taught to beginners. The second movement is one of the ways to continue and counter attack.
ADVANCED level ippon kumite for jodan uke
This application is the first movement of Kumite Gata 12. You may think it's not Jodan Uke, and if you consider Jodan Uke to be the form you learn as a white belt, you're right.
But. Jodan Uke is a basic movement which "contains the formula for advanced movement" as Kazumasa Yokoyama Kancho verbalised it. In fact — it's the EXACT same movement, but more forward and emphasis is logically place in striking the opponent.
Both take Migi Hanmi Chudan Gamae. It's the formal name of "right stance".
The opponent strikes with his front hand sliding in, so when you take emotion and hormones out of the equation it's simple. Slide slightly diagonally inside.
It allows you to strike staight away, instead of 1-2 aka block-punch. When you counterattack AS your opponent attacks himself he has extremely limited (if not absent) options to defend himself. This principle is called "Ko Bo Ittai".