How many different jodan (upper level) defences are there in Heian Shodan?
If you ask a kyu grade they may give the answer "one: age-uke". This isn't wrong, but I hope a more advanced student would give a different answer - for instance, I count five.
- The very first move, the preparation for gedan-barai, can be used as a nagashi-uke before striking with the same arm, gedan tetsui-uchi.
- The high arc of the tetsui-uchi (the fourth move) can be a deflection against a jodan attack, leading to a strike or an arm lock.
- The open-handed preparation for age-uke, with the actual age-uke being a follow-up strike.
- Good old, basic age-uke.
- The preparation for the shuto-uke, using the palm of the hand to deflect an attack.