Taekwondo blocks known as Makgi are used to stop and deflect an incoming attack. They engage various parts of the arm with the hand and are held in different positions such as knife-hand, closed fist etc. Each block is suitable for a particular kind of attack and may be combined with another punch or kick to make a counter-attack.
- Single Forearm Block – Wae Sun Palmok is used to deflect an attack (usually a kick) made at the torso. Starting up near the opposite shoulder, the leading hand is projected down and across the body to deflect the kick with the forearm.
- Low Block – Najundi Makgi is used to defend against low attacks to the torso or legs. This is one of the most basic Taekwondo blocks and one of the first things a beginner will learn. The lead forearm is bent and raised to shoulder height, snapping the arm down straight with the palm facing the ground, which blocks any incoming low kicks.
- High Block – Nopunde Makgi is another basic Taekwondo block, used to defend against overhead attacks to the head and shoulders. The arm is bent and raised above the head, and the underside of the forearm absorbs the impact of the blow, which may be painful but is better than it connecting with your head or delicate clavicle. This block is used to defend against Hammerfists, Axe Kicks and overhead strikes with blunt instruments.
- Palm Block – Sonbadak Naeryo Makgi is a standard block used to deflect incoming kicks and punches. The open hand is raised up to shoulder height and thrust directly down to meet the attackers limb. The heel of the hand makes contact with the attacker’s forearm in case of a punch, or shin in case of a kick. Although simple, it requires a lot of partner training to get the timing of this Taekwondo block correct.
- Knife Hand Block – The hand is kept in a knife hand position to block attacks to the torso. As the front arms sweeps down in an arc from the inside to the outside of the body, the back hand is simultaneously pulled back to the back hip and ready for a counter punch.
- Double Forearm Block – This is a more advanced Taekwondo block, designed to be used against a strong attack to the centre of the body. Standing sideways, the lead forearm blocks the attack with the fist closed. The second arm provides further support, linking into the crook of the arm so both forearms are at a 90 degree angle to the body.
- Double Knife Hand Block – With the hands held open in the knife hand position, a powerful kick aimed at the solar plexus can be successfully blocked. Both hands come across the body, intersecting at the forearms and providing a firm defence.