Inward Block Kenpo Karate

The Inward Block Kenpo Karate

The Inward block

The inward Block is one of the most used and important blocks in American Kenpo Karate. You will find it in all Kenpo forms. Many compare this block to the Japanese one but that is wrong because Kenpoists don’t block preparing it like the Japanese/Okinawan; it goes out right away. Kenpoists block and the other hand is ready for the second move.

In Kenpo Karate, the economy of motion principle is important, and the use of blocks plays a significant role. When executing a block, the arm extends outward, which can transform into a weapon as seen in the “Five Swords” technique, where a block turns into a hand sword.

This concept differs from traditional Japanese styles, where the block and hand sword would be separate techniques.

As a Kenpo practitioner, it’s essential to keep the non-blocking hand ready and checking, rather than in the chamber or at the waist/hip. This hand can also be used as a weapon, depending on the intensity of the block.

By utilizing the non-blocking hand to check and back up the block, Kenpo Karate practitioners can efficiently execute techniques while maintaining a strong defense. This allows for a smoother transition from defense to offense, making it a highly effective martial art style.

Use the Inward Block against direct punches to your middle section, you can also use it for some direct punches to the face depending on the angle you are at. It is more common to step back as you block than stepping forward, because when you step back you can use your opponent’s weight and force to use it against him.

Kenpo Short Form 1 uses the Inward Block stepping back in a Neutral Stance.

Inward Block Step by Step

  • For practice, you can get started on a training horse stance
  • Place your left hand in front of your solar plexus while your right hand is on your side ready to block
  • Move your right arm to your center as if you were blocking a punch to your chest
  • Create a 45-degree angle with your arm, this should not pass your body limit
  • Your opposite hand should be in front of your stomach ready to act if necessary
  • Now repeat the same move on the other side


  • Keep your back straight: When performing an inward block, it’s important to maintain good posture and keep your back straight. This will help you to stay balanced and deliver a powerful block.
  • Check with your non-blocking hand: The hand that is not blocking should be checking or ready to back up your block. This means keeping your non-blocking hand close to your body, ready to assist with any follow-up movements.
  • Adopt a Neutral or Forward bow stance: The stance you use will depend on the technique you’re performing. A neutral bow stance is recommended for techniques that require mobility, while a forward bow stance is better for techniques that require stability.
  • Don’t overextend your block: It’s essential not to overextend your block, as this can leave you vulnerable to counter-attacks. Your forearm should block and neutralize the attack, which could be a punch to the middle section.

Remember to practice your inward block regularly, paying close attention to your technique and form. With practice, you’ll develop greater skill and confidence in executing this essential technique in Kenpo Karate.

Recommended Blocks in Kenpo:

Kenpo Karate Techniques

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