Since I've got a bunch of random thoughts running around my head without a cogent thread I'll just jot down some of the things that have come across the board.
In TSD (Tang Soo Do) our upward block with fist cocked at angle designed, and I'm guessing here, to act as a capture. The hand is located about one fist's depth away from the forehead. Sensei had asked me to perform some of my katas and supplied critique afterwords. So now my upward block covers one eye, it's more up and down and the fist/wrist is straight. He demonstrated the strength in this position compared to my old one. Sold.
More like I was used to...
The new angle.
I'm not super keen on covering one eye, but the up and down of the block is very strong with it's angle.
Sensei is very informative and in one instance pointed out a little bit of history I thought was pertinent to the issue of how blocks are done. In a nutshell, he said that the Okinawan style of Karate was based on effectiveness. When it gained foothold in Japan it's focus was on precision. I'm not sure how accurate that is, but it certainly speaks to the block on level. The basic arm up and forearm over your head, parallel to the ground is effective to a degree, but with a little refinement it is way more effective without the muscle work needed to sustain a direct blow.
Last night I got introduced to something that I haven't touched on since I was a child. I was fortunate to be taken to Karate class when I was in Elementary school. Although I didn't go for long it left a few memories about basic dojo behavior, but it also helped dredge up a memory. That was a double bunkai. I'm not sure what the Japanese term is, but one person performs a kata and the other person acts as the attacker. It's very organized and puts a very practical face on the kata. I wish I could recall the terms, but they didn't even sink in.
The stances have changed on me and there is a lot more attention to detail. If you stand with your feet together, pointing forward, that has a name. Then point your feet out at a 45 degree angle, with the heels still touching - that has a name. You keep going out until your in a low stance and each iteration has a name. Dang! Lots of terms to keep up with.