An Outside Block (also called on Outside Middle Block, Outward Block or bakkat makgi) is one of the most fundamental blocks in taekwondo. This block can use either the Inner Forearm or the Outer Forearm for blocking. As with most blocks, it can be performed with either a fist or a knifehand. In can be performed either in front of the body, or to the side.
The Basic Outer-Forearm Version
- The blocking arm is chambered so that the fist is down at the opposite side of the waist (or even a bit higher than the waist, at the ribs), the palm of the fist facing upward so that there's more opportunity for the arm to "twist" as it rises. For example for a Left Outside Block, you would chamber the left fist palm-up at the right side of the waist.
- Simultaneously the non-blocking arm is chambered at the opposite shoulder. For example for a Left Outside Block, you would chamber the right fist at the left shoulder, thumb facing the chest (palm facing away from the chin).
- The blocking arm is brought outward so that the fist first travels upward in a high arc, finishing directly in front of the shoulder (or even a bit higher), with the elbow bent about 45 degrees. The palm of the fist should now be facing downward. The wrist is kept straight throughout the arc. The striking surface is the outer forearm. It is important that the fist travel in a high arc so that it can build momentum leading up to the block.
- Simultaneously the non-blocking arm is pulled down so that the fist ends at the side of the waist.
Variation: Outside Knifehand Block
The Outside Block is normally performed with a fist, but as with many blocks it can also be performed with a Knifehand. When performed with the Knifehand, the twist in the wrist is more noticeable: for most of the blocking movement the Knifehand is palm-toward-you, snapping into place at the end of its movement with the palm turned somewhat away from you.
Variation: Inner-Forearm (or Palm-Up) Outside Block
This is an outward block where the fist finishes the block palm-up instead of palm-down. In other words, the blocking surface is the inner forearm, not the outer forearm. This means that when you chamber the blocking fist, the blocking fist should be chambered palm-down so that the wrist can "twist" during the block. This variation is often seen in ITF-style taekwondo and in the Palgwae forms previously used in Kukkiwon/WTF-style taekwondo.
Variation: Outward Side Block
As with many blocks, the Outside Block can also be performed to the side of the body. This is seen for example at Step 2 of Palgwae Il Jang, and at Step 11 in the form Yul-Gok. This applies to both the Inner Forearm and the Outer Forearm versions of the block.
As with many blocks, the Inner Forearm Outside Block can be augmented with the off-hand. This is seen, for example, at step 37 in the form Yul-Gok, the High Double Forearm Block (where, as the name implies, the blocking arm blocks high, with the fist at about nose-height rather than the normal shoulder-height). The augmenting fist is also held palm-up, like the blocking fist, in front of the chest.
In addition to the above, there are a number of other "augmented" versions of the Outside Block. These are blocks where the blocking arm is augmented by a supporting arm. As with Outward Blocks in general, these can be done either with the inner-forearm or the outer-forearm; they can be done with with fists or with knife-hands. See for example:
As with a Double Knifehand Block, typically the blocking arm begins to move before the augmenting arm moves. In other words, the blocking arm moves up to the should first, before both arms then begin to rotate into their final positions. The idea of an augmented block is that the augmenting hand is chambered for a short strike after the block.