Fun Way to Practice Blocking for Self Defense

In Self Defense by Don Alley

Imagine someone putting their hands on you without your permission. What do you do? Your job is to defend yourself, at a minimum. In order to protect yourself you need a way to become a better blocker.

In this video Master Alley exhibits several blocking techniques to use to help you protect yourself for self defense.


Star block  •  Inside block  •  Outside block  •  Low block  •  High block  •  Push down

How to practice at home:

  1.    Face your partner and have him/her place an arm on your shoulder  
  2.    While the hand is on your shoulder use an outside block technique to swipe his/her hands away
  3.    Try it with his/her hands on your right and left shoulder

Advanced techniques:

Now you can anticipate his/her hands being placed on your shoulder so you can block it before the hands make contact with your shoulder.  You can quickly use your outside block technique to swipe away his/her hands off your shoulder.

Develop the reflex to prevent someone from grabbing you or your shoulders. The key is to defend yourself, and at a minimum to block it.


Now practice using the inside block technique. The key here is to use the pinky side of your arm to block it.

Again, your goals are to develop reflexes to protect your face or body using any type of blocking technique that allows you to be safe.

Try a high block, low block, and push down (palm heal) as practice. Whatever the case may be to build reflexes to protect your face or body are important.


  1. Have your partner touch you on your forehead repeatedly
  2. Use your palm heal, outside block, or inside block to block your partner’s hand from contacting your head
  3. Keep repeating the drill

Eventually you can use a combination of your techniques to build a habit of blocking contact to your body. You can use a combination of moves and blocking to prevent contact.

You can use any of the block techniques from star block, inside block, outside block, low block, high block or push down to protect yourself.

Practice these techniques at home with your parents, family members or friends to develop the reflexes.

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See you in class!

Don Alley
Don Alley is the owner and chief instructor at Super Kicks Karate in Ashburn and Leesburg, and has been training in the martial arts for 28 years. He is currently a 6th degree black belt, and has dedicated the entirety of his adult life to teaching children and families martial arts. He is also the owner of Center Stage Preschool, a Montessori-based, performing arts preschool; and co-founder of Testudo Addiction Recovery, a non-profit organization serving families in the Northern Virginia area.