See Category:Block for a list of taekwondo blocks included in this wiki.

Taekwondo blocks (known as makgi) are used to stop and deflect an incoming attack. They engage various parts of the arm. The hand may be held in different positions: closed fist, knifehand, palmheel, 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.

Naming BlocksEdit

In English, the names for blocks can vary greatly, but for the most part the most common names correspond to a direction of the blocking motion.

It's very commonplace, however, for the same block to go by multiple names. For example, the Middle Block is also commonly called an Inward Block or an Inside Block.

Hand Position: Several modifiers are also commonly used to name variations of these blocks. For example, most blocks are performed with the hand held as a fist. But the hand can also be held as a knifehand, ridgehand, or palmheel. See the article Striking Surfaces for more detail.

Height: Blocks can also be modified to denote the height (or "section") of the block. So for example, a Low Knifehand Outward Block would be an outward block performed with a knifehand down at thigh level.

Orientation: The name of the block can be modified to denote whether the palms of the hand are palm-up during the block, or palm-down. This is done however by noting which part of the forearm (Inner Forearm or Outer Forearm) serves as the blocking surface. For example, a standard Outside Block uses the outer forearm for the blocking surface so that the fist is held palm-down during the block. By adding the modifier Inner Forearm to the name, we imply that the Inner Forearm must be the blocking surface, meaning the fist must be palm-up during the block.

Off-Hand: For most blocks the off-hand is assumed to be pulled in a direction contrary to the motion of the block, usually stopping at the side of the waist. This contrary motion provides the "action / reaction" principle that is core to taekwondo. In many cases, however, the off-hand may also play a part in the block.

  • If the blocking arm is resting on the off-arm, for example, the block may be said to be a Supporting Block
  • If the off-hand provides an additional "push" to the blocking arm, that block may be said to be an Assisting Block
  • If the off-hand is near to the blocking arm instead of drawn back, the block may be said to be an Augmented Block

The use of these terms if not always universal or consistent however.

Twist Blocks: If the torso twists with the blocking arm in the direction of the blocking arm, that is often called a Twist Block. The idea of a Twist Block is that you are twisting the torso forward with the block so that afterward you may pull the torso (and the opponent) back into an upcoming strike.

Combining Modifier TermsEdit

In English there is no universal standard for how blocks should be named, but the names of blocks are often constructed as follows:

  • Left Hand or Right Hand +
  • Modifiers such as Twist, Assisted, or Supporting +
  • Hand position: knifehand, palmheel, etc.; if omitted, the hand position is assumed to be a fist +
  • Hand orientation: e.g., inner-forearm vs. outer-forearm +
  • Direction of blocking motion: upward, low, outside, inward, etc. +
  • Blocking area: e.g., high, middle, or low.

Example: "Left Augmented Outer-Forearm Knifehand Outside Middle Block"

Korean Naming Edit

In Korean, the names for blocks are usually constructed as follows:

  • Left Hand or Right Hand +
  • The part of the arm or hand that is doing the blocking +
  • Target area for the block (face, torso, etc.)
  • Direction of the blocking motion


  • Outer wrist + face + lift up + makki = olgul makki (face blocking)
  • Outer wrist + face + outer makki = olgul bakkat makki (face outer blocking)
  • Inner wrist + face + outer makki = anpalmok olgul-makki (inner wrist face outer blocking)
  • Hand blade + trunk + outer makki = sonnal momtong makki (hand blade trunk blocking)

See Also Edit