Kagi Uke is made up of two symbols. “Kagi”, meaning “hooking” and “Uke” meaning “to receive” or “block”. This is translated as “to hook that which is received” or more commonly “hooking block”. There are a few ways of interpreting this “block”. As with almost all other techniques labeled “uke”, this can be a block in the conventional sense, a release from a hold, and even a strike to an opponent.
Blocking A Strike
The most common application of this technique is as a block from a lunging punch from an opponent. While this is a great introduction to the technique, it is highly unlikely that it would ever be useful in a real fight. It could however be useful against a reverse punch. The move would immediately transition into a reverse strike utilizing the hikite concept.
Breaking the Hold
The second application would be used from a closer distance where the attacker has grabbed onto your wrists in an attempt to gain control of your arms. The hand that is grabbed would be pulled to the hip while the free hand would be used to break the grip of the attacker.
Striking the Attacker
The final use of this technique would be as a strike. Supposing the attacker is close enough to grapple and grabs on to you, the hikite (pulling hand) would trap the arm of the attacker while the other hand would be used to strike the neck of the attacker. As can be seen in other katas such as Naihanchi Shodan, this trapping while striking motion will be used again and again in karate only varying slightly from each other.