There are many hand blocks but the most basic one in Shotokan Karate is the knife hand block or the sword hand block is the literal transaction of sto, stoket. This is opposition; it is very different from the other techniques because obviously your hands are open but also we use more of the back stance plus the returning hand doesn't come all the way back to your waist. It's latent and forward. So, there are many things that are different about this technique but not just the positioning but also your emphasis.
Because your fist is not closed, there is not the hardness that you get with the other blocks. There is a lightness of touch and so it is more about timing and positioning. But also you know the shape is going to be that curve coming through here. When you prep, the possibility to block with this hand. So, you are parrying constantly. You may be parrying here. You may be parrying something coming around here. So, there is many more things going on so that is why your hands are open. Here is the basic technique. Some people will start from here but again your building some straight lines which is not so in nature. You want to sink this down. This has a possibility to block and not just making a position at the end. Here you are going to miss almost everything to get this. Here you can cover with your lead hand. You are also building the possibility to block all the way through the technique. So, keeping this elbow down is very important. And lifting it into a position and going out of position is exactly that you are just making positions. What we want to do is have a living technique throughout, throughout the movement. This way stow, stow okay.
Stow che which is the strike version and can be almost exactly the same. The open hand block of Shotokan Karate.