Millions upon millions of martial artists think they can use traditional blocks to defend against a punch, kick or any attack for that matter.
But this little “bar trick” from the show Brain Games proves them all wrong.
Action is always faster than reaction.
In this demonstration the person going for the bill (in our case the defender) is trying to cover a just few inches to grab the dollar. Imagine trying to cover 12 inches or more to block a punch to your face when you’re adrenaline is flowing and you’re not even sure if the guy in front of you is going to attack.
In order to block in the street you need to:
- First figure out if the guy is even going to attack you.
- Next determine where the attack is coming from (hand or foot).
- Then your eyes have to tell your brain to move the correct appendage.
- Finally you need to intercept the attack and hope he doesn’t throw a second one!
Look, I have spent countless hours doing high blocks, low blocks, middle blocks, reinforced high, low and middle blocks, second generation blocks, mountain blocks, and everything else under the sun.
Traditional Blocks are a complete waste of time.
Hey, if they worked I would use them, it doesn’t make any difference to me.
I know I’m pissing a lot of people off, but think about it…do you ever use those blocks outside of the dojo…do you ever use them in sparring?
Would you throw a traditional high block against a 3 punch combination?
NO, way too slow. You cover, parry, move and clinch.
Plus in the ring you know they guy is going to attack you with a specific set of techniques. You can guess what he’s going to throw by watching him load up and by drawing him out with feints and jabs.
However, you can’t do that forever. If he throws combinations and presses his attack he’s going to eventually land one. And one leads to two, two leads to three and three leads to floor.
Traditional blocks waste time and only work when your training partner tells you he’s going to attack. Yet millions of students are forced to do them every day. Instructors say that the traditional blocks “help” the other blocks.
They tend to use this excuse for everything they can’t explain.
If you want to practice moving, parrying and clinching for sport competition, then PRACTICE THAT.
If you want to use traditional blocks for self defense YOU WILL LOSE. Waiting for your attacker to actually throw a punch puts you one step behind him and if he’s a good street fighter, he’s going to attack with a barrage of punches.
There are other smarter and more practical ways to protect yourself in the street.
Instructor, The Self Defense Company
PS. Like my Grandfather Cosmo used to say…don’t throw the first punch, throw the first two punches.