My thoughts on Blocking

"The title is "Explosive Uechi-ryu" and the moderator is Arthur Rabesa. Art will be exploring the power contained in Uechi-ryu that is not appreciated by the average practitioner. Make no mistake - this forum is for the serious martial artist and I wholeheartedly recommend it for anyone who really wants to tap his or her explosive power potential.

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My thoughts on Blocking

Postby Art Rabesa » Fri Aug 21, 2015 4:52 pm

My thought on any block is to get it to the attack in a blink. I want to fire my hands at the attack. I always considered any block a strike. I treat all blocks the same way. I believe in attacking the attack. I'm not saying it's the best way to block, but it's my way. My opinion from a ton of "being there". Tough to learn this method of blocking, because you'll eat some attacks in the beginning. Baby steps. Have a look at how to get started. -----Happy Trails -----Art
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RltWIQsoejo
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Re: My thoughts on Blocking

Postby Art Rabesa » Sat Aug 22, 2015 2:25 pm

Many kicks are blocked with your legs. There is a proper way to do this. You should be able to block that kick with your leg and continue forward with a strong counter. Have a look at this lesson. Happy Trails----Art
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9TMj0d ... QSdCUh3_gA
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Re: My thoughts on Blocking

Postby Art Rabesa » Tue Aug 25, 2015 9:57 pm

The attacks that are read usually can be blocked. Those that are not read are the ones that will knock you out. The only real remedy for that is to have your hands in a deflection position. That position is what I refer to as the steering wheel. You've heard me talk about this 10&2 position many times. Once you have this position down, and it has become a muscle memory, you will be much safer. When the punches and kicks begin flying, you will find that deflecting them will be the best method. You will be able to deflect blows and counter strike from the 10&2 position. Can't really read all strikes when you're in close. That's when you want your arms in the proper place. The problem with many is that their arms tend to drift when fighting. These people do not remain upright long. Those that have this steering wheel hand position, are tough to deal with. The reason is that everything comes right off this 10&2 set up. It's a one piece set up. Your hands remain in that position no matter where you are going. You just move your arms slightly to deflect blows. You never reach out at anything. Let me show you this hand set up from the shuffle drill. No matter where I'm moving, the hands stay at 10&2. Have a look. -----Happy Trails----Art
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAy8r6Q ... QSdCUh3_gA
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Re: My thoughts on Blocking

Postby Art Rabesa » Sun Sep 06, 2015 1:26 pm

I posted the topic "Act - React". Simply stated, this refers to attacking or defending. Please do not misunderstand my meaning here. That is to let your offense help your defense. This means that you are not blocking -- you are acting and not reacting to attacks. Makes sense. However, it really depends on who you are playing with. Some will keep backing away as long as you are firing techniques. Then there are those that will move slightly and then fire in with a fast counter. The latter is dangerous. Since this topic concerns blocking, lets focus on that aspect. The best block is not to be there. That's a given. The other is to place the burden of blocking on the other guy. He can't hit you if he's working on not being hit. Everything is easy when you're writing about it. When I write these topics, my mind drifts back to encounters I've had. MOST happening in tournaments. You will see blocking when two are exchanging techniques in a controlled setting. When the setting is not in a controlled situation, blocking probably will be minimal, or not at all. In realistic encounters, things happen quickly. Usually, it's over quickly as well. Not a lot of blocking happening here. USUALLY. So blocking tends to be a point of discussion when fighters get together. They talk about certain stances they use for certain opponents. This will be based on defending a certain technique. We knew the top fighters and their techniques. Sort of like a scouting report . We also knew the best and worst stance to take against certain fighters. We practiced not being in the path of that certain kick, we knew he would throw. Outside of this world lies the unknown. That guy out there you never met before. That guy who knows nothing about competitive fighting and the rules. No rules out here my friend. Blocking what? Blocking!! Give me a break. Do you really think anyone should stand around to see what should be blocked. Ya right. No blocking here folks. Here I come - how ya doing? Practice blocking because it's in your training. I do because it is in my training and teaching. I like it best when I do not have to block anything. Blocking is a necessary evil. Good topic though. ------Happy Trails-------Art
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Re: My thoughts on Blocking

Postby Art Rabesa » Mon Oct 12, 2015 12:30 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXyn54ClAdA Okay. Now see if you detect any blocking in any of these encounters. In a few situations I can detect some who might have had some training. The rest are all street people not having a good day. Many go down quick. As I stated in my post here, most encounters do not last long. Keep an eye on the hands of those getting KO'd. They are not reading the attack that is surely on it's way. This is a real good example of the "Act - React" question. Should I act to what I know is about to take place, or wait to react to what is going to take place? Think about it. --------Happy Trails ------Art
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Re: My thoughts on Blocking

Postby Van Canna » Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:22 am

Very good post and so true.

Watching these clips reaffirms what I have been saying for years about street fights being none other than total chaos.

Reason why what we work with in any style that emphasizes the block then strike concept is only marginally useful, if at all, when in an altercation.

Like Art says, the human reaction time is the enemy in a fight. The reading is the key as Art has explained and I also teach.

And by reading I mean 'reading intent' being the most critical factor. You don't practice reading an incoming punch so you can block it or counter it, because you will get nailed most of the times.

If you want to use the word block then think of blocking your opponent's intent...and by blocking intent I mean shutting down the opponent's 'thoughts' of hitting you by the best strategic response, i.e., physically striking first as he is about to transaction from thought to action upon you...or to angle off and do something else if up against a huge, mean, or 'scuzzy' foul ...opponent where you are better off not going 'skin to skin'_ and remember that if you hit the wrong guy he will pick you up and slam you down as you see in one of the clips.

As a matter of fact, Art, you will recall that time when you and I laid up a couple of 'out of towners' Uechi punks using these concepts of shutting down intent.

Here's a game you can play that will sober you up on the 'block/counter' beliefs you may have.

http://www.humanbenchmark.com/dashboard

I scored in the upper 32% _ many of you should do even better while still realizing that action will beat reaction every time.

http://www.humanbenchmark.com/dashboard

Good post.
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Re: My thoughts on Blocking

Postby Josann » Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:31 am

That video is quite a wake-up call. I think it emphasizes the need for verbal de-escalation and a good defensive posture, preferably with hands up in your face. Trying to talk someone while keeping your hands above your waist might have prevented some of the attacks.

Regardless, it shows how vulnerable we all are, regardless of rank. All the body conditioning world is not going to condition your jaw from these kind of knockouts.
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Re: My thoughts on Blocking

Postby Van Canna » Tue Oct 13, 2015 2:30 pm

I agree. The hands must come up in the 'fence' as we see hereImage

Another good habit to ingrain is to try to establish distance between you and a potential attacker once you sense a fight may be coming on, unless you decide to move in and hit him first while he is still talking.

In establishing distance we must first be aware of our surroundings and it is ok to step back in 'tactical mode' if you will...where you will have a longer reaction time and where you can play the off line game, that I don't see practiced much in Uechi dojo, though you find it in hojo undo and all the katas.

But then again, in most situations things will go down very fast as we see in the clips.
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Re: My thoughts on Blocking

Postby Art Rabesa » Tue Oct 13, 2015 2:50 pm

People get a laugh when I say "it's better to hit than be hit". That's not meant to be a funny statement. I really am very serious about it. To ACT, rather than REACT, has always been my belief. Reading an oncoming attack is not always easy, but it can be done. Keep zero'd in on the situation and the surroundings. Watch those involved and their body language. Have a "hair trigger" response to any aggressive action toward you. I'll figure things out later. Right now I'm concentrating on the situation at hand. Talking will throw you off as well. If there is any talking, let him do it. Stay glued in on what is going on. Just be ready to pull that trigger, because he's coming. I can see it, feel it, smell it. That tiny window that will open just as he's beginning his attack. Don't miss that window. It might close quickly. All this sounds like a good plan, and it is. However, it's something you have to really be zero'd in on. Everyone should be able to fire that fast hard response to that first move. There is a lot that is practiced in the dojo that you can throw away when the s---- hits the fan. To practice that hair trigger response is not one of them. Get your hands up on your chest and watch carefully. Get the safety off and get ready, and don't miss that window. Thanks for your insight guys. Always a good topic. -----Happy Trails ----Art
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Re: My thoughts on Blocking

Postby Van Canna » Tue Oct 13, 2015 3:32 pm

Great post Art and I agree.

Something else that happens is that many times the fight will go to the ground as we see in the clips.

But the most important thing to remember is that any real fight is total chaos where any scripted moves we have been practicing just don't always work the way they purport to be used.

Looking at those fights, I think that in some of those _ what would have worked best is a vicious low roundhouse kick to an opponent's legs using your conditioned shin to cut through those legs and not your instep.

In most fights you will see all the focus on upper body and head shots, what is generally the way it will go down.

So a low cutting shin kick will get in also because of the tunnel vision your opponent is experiencing.

The shin must first of all be conditioned on a daily basis and secondly when the kick is executed into the opponent's legs, you want to make sure you rotate your hips first in the direction of the kick and down, the shin kick following the same pattern, primarily for the reason that in the chaos of the exchange you want to reduce the chances of your lower leg impacting on your inside[flat of the shin] against the bony target of the opponent, because this is the way you will break your leg.
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Re: My thoughts on Blocking

Postby Van Canna » Tue Oct 13, 2015 3:47 pm

What Art is writing is a well regarded tactical response action.

Some of you who have Rory's book " Meditations on violence" pick it up and open it at page 125...

where you will see chapter 6 'Making self defense work' _

Rory writes that because of the action reaction gap, your chances of blocking an already initiated attack are very low.

Then he talks about 'blocking the opportunity' where a good martial arts technician will be able to beat the fastest attacks with the proper training.

He goes on to 'level 3' 'blocking the intent' that very few practice [his words]_
It takes great skill to use and to justify


If you have the book do read that section.
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Re: My thoughts on Blocking

Postby Art Rabesa » Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:09 pm

You're correct Van. The shin thrust is one of my go to strikes. One of my favorites. In these encounters that we detect here, that shin thrust would be devastating. Try blocking that one. Fast - strong - leg shots can really turn the tide quickly. Something that should be practiced on a regular basis.
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Re: My thoughts on Blocking

Postby Van Canna » Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:26 pm

Rory
You on the receiving end...

*the eyes [or ears and skin] sense the motion, they send an impulse down the nerves at 200 fps to the brain.

* The brain interprets the perception.

* The brain chooses a response.

*The brain sends a signal at 200 fps down the nerves to the muscles....at this fourth step in the process you are just getting to where the bad guy has started.

The third step where the brain chooses a response is the slowest step.


Rory then talks about the problem of 'operant conditioning'...of how to respond to opportunity and how the famous Wally Jay of small circle JuJitsu, jumps ahead of the motion by reacting to a fist fighter who suddenly opens his hands as we do in Uechi. When that hand opens Wally is waiting for it and your fingers will move into his grip for a painful lock you will not shake away from.
the first attack usually gets in. Attacks that get in do damage. Each bit of damage you take hampers your ability to prevent more damage. If you let the threat move first, you cede the initiative and following the logic above, you take a step closer to your own failure
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Re: My thoughts on Blocking

Postby Van Canna » Tue Oct 13, 2015 6:14 pm

Still, in my opinion, the so called blocking moves we make in Uechi, as I believe Art also has commented upon in the past_ are useful lines of force and directions to ingrain along with the rest of what we do.

And best to not think them as blocks but of redirection, parrying and trapping movements that might just happen to be useful in one way or another, especially when combined with dedicated off line drills that also increase reactive speed.
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Re: My thoughts on Blocking

Postby Josann » Tue Oct 13, 2015 7:37 pm

Van Canna wrote:I agree. The hands must come up in the 'fence' as we see hereImage


Another good habit to ingrain is to try to establish distance between you and a potential attacker once you sense a fight may be coming on, unless you decide to move in and hit him first while he is still talking.

In establishing distance we must first be aware of our surroundings and it is ok to step back in 'tactical mode' if you will...where you will have a longer reaction time and where you can play the off line game, that I don't see practiced much in Uechi dojo, though you find it in hojo undo and all the katas.

But then again, in most situations things will go down very fast as we see in the clips.





Lee Morrison in the photo. His you tube stuff is a much watch.
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