Traditional blocks

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Traditional blocks

Postby stubbsy » Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:40 pm

Hi all im curious about tradional blocks. ive been practising my high and low blocks and am having trouble getting the timing and all that rite are these effective technequies?
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Re: Traditional blocks

Postby magpie » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:30 pm

Hi stubbsy

You might want to read this article on my blog as a starting point.

the value of blocks
http://shotokankarate-magpie.blogspot.c ... e%20blocks
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Re: Traditional blocks

Postby truthseeker » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:39 pm

As they are practiced in most places no they're not effective. However against straight punches they can be made to work. When a traditional block is performed the non-blocking hand usually comes into play first with the blocking hand moving in front of that hand.

So for a right upward block the left hand would come infront of the face first with the blocking hand moving in front of it and up in a blocking motion. If this first hand is used as a very quick check/parry to catch the straight technique moving it away from its path and then the block comes into play and is used to force the attackers arm up (you can move in with this too). It is very possible to do this but given the large amount of movement in these blocks the will never be useful in the street. There are other various possibilities using chambering of the block as a parry and the actual blocking movement a strike. These are all great in theory against cooperative people but I couldn't really see them being used.

I hope this is clear as to what I mean, it's been a looong day

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Re: Traditional blocks

Postby ffsguy » Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:22 pm

Used in conjunction with Tai sabaki evasion via stepping to the side and redirecting the block
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Re: Traditional blocks

Postby Terry » Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:27 pm

ffsguy wrote:Used in conjunction with Tai sabaki evasion via stepping to the side and redirecting the block


That is the key.

In the beginning you learn hard large movements from a static position, later you will or should learn to pivot, evade and fade whilst parrying the attack.

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Re: Traditional blocks

Postby juggernaut » Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:37 pm

I'm not personally a big fan for 2 reasons primarily.
1. Large movements- many of the karate style blocks are over exaggerated movements, that require you to be faster, or more precisely better at reading the cues of your opponent than they are at delivering the techniques the are hitting you with. There is minimal room for error. No room or allowance for mistakes.
2. The large movements are easily drawn out and taken advantage off. As an example, a fake with the jab, elicits a response, this response is more often than not an over exagerated movement, which creates a large gap for the intended attack.

I do have more reasons for my belief that karate style blocks are not the most effective responses to attacks, this is but a start.

My belief is that these movement patterns are a by product of the weapons days, and when you use a sword or stick etc, they make sense and work.

If you want a blocking system that will allow you to compete with more skilled, faster and experienced people, covering type movement patterns work best as they reduce the possibility of
1. Making a mistake by over reaching
2. Being suckered into over reaching or making a gap for others to exploit.
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Re: Traditional blocks

Postby Fluffy » Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:07 pm

Stop thinking of them as block and start thinking of them as strike, for a starters.
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Re: Traditional blocks

Postby magpie » Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:10 pm

Fluffy wrote:Stop thinking of them as block and start thinking of them as strike, for a starters.


Hi Fluffy

Dont waste your time.

Juggs cannot be turned when it comes to karate or anything to do withit, i have given up. :wink:
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Re: Traditional blocks

Postby MikeM » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:55 pm

I'll swim against the tide. Yes, they work and they work damn well.

But.....
  1. The basic movement makes use of two hands: the "preparation" hand, and the "finishing" hand. It's the preparation hand that makes initial contact with the incoming attack
  2. The basic movement covers the full range of movement, and is intended as a training tool for moving the limbs through the appropriate arc (which unfortunately has failed miserably in many schools that either have the preparation hand merely pointing, or (in the case of age-uke/jodan-uke) the finishing hand is used to meet the incoming force head-on). When using it, the "block" starts from wherever the hands are at the time (which is hopefully somewhere between the opponent and your body)
  3. As a beginner, you start big. Then, get small. I use parts of uchi-uke, soto-uke, mawashi-uke and gedan-barai all the time in sparring because they are quick and reliable. But that's the thing, I don't try and use all of them, and only in soto-uke and mawashi-uke do I ever use the "finishing" hand (and only then, occasionally)
  4. they're not actually "blocks". You're not trying to stop their force dead. Redirection, entanglement, offbalancing are the name of the game. (Actually, you can use them as attacks as well, but start conditioning them).
  5. elbows are wonderful for "blocking" with
  6. If you want to really find out what the "finishing" hand is really for, practise in really close (bent-arm to elbow-distance away)
  7. The retracting hand is partly there because of tradition. You don't have to retract it to your hip at any point in time to get maximal speed and/or power from your technique. However, if you have grabbed part of the person, the hand pull-back signifies pulling them off-balance, or into a strike.
  8. blocks (as with all techniques) only start becoming useful if you practice with a partner.

Having said all that, Mr Juggernaut does have several points. The standard upper block is bloody useless against a swinging attack, unless you move off the line of the attack. From memory, Tang Soo Do doesn't have kakie-uke, mawashi-uke or steeple blocks, all of which are gold against circular or looping attacks. I feel his surmise about the weapon-relatedness of the traditional 4 blocks may have something to it. One of the events that confirmed me in the "rightness" of me continuing with the path I am on was when I went to a silat seminar, and all the drills and fundamentals for dealing with a knife attack were variations on the two-hand blocking I have been doing for years. There were differences, sure, but the fundamentals were nearly identical.
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Re: Traditional blocks

Postby magpie » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:06 pm

MikeM wrote:I'll swim against the tide. Yes, they work and they work damn well.

But.....
  1. The basic movement makes use of two hands: the "preparation" hand, and the "finishing" hand. It's the preparation hand that makes initial contact with the incoming attack
  2. The basic movement covers the full range of movement, and is intended as a training tool for moving the limbs through the appropriate arc (which unfortunately has failed miserably in many schools that either have the preparation hand merely pointing, or (in the case of age-uke/jodan-uke) the finishing hand is used to meet the incoming force head-on). When using it, the "block" starts from wherever the hands are at the time (which is hopefully somewhere between the opponent and your body)
  3. As a beginner, you start big. Then, get small. I use parts of uchi-uke, soto-uke, mawashi-uke and gedan-barai all the time in sparring because they are quick and reliable. But that's the thing, I don't try and use all of them, and only in soto-uke and mawashi-uke do I ever use the "finishing" hand (and only then, occasionally)
  4. they're not actually "blocks". You're not trying to stop their force dead. Redirection, entanglement, offbalancing are the name of the game. (Actually, you can use them as attacks as well, but start conditioning them).
  5. elbows are wonderful for "blocking" with
  6. If you want to really find out what the "finishing" hand is really for, practise in really close (bent-arm to elbow-distance away)
  7. The retracting hand is partly there because of tradition. You don't have to retract it to your hip at any point in time to get maximal speed and/or power from your technique. However, if you have grabbed part of the person, the hand pull-back signifies pulling them off-balance, or into a strike.
  8. blocks (as with all techniques) only start becoming useful if you practice with a partner.

Having said all that, Mr Juggernaut does have several points. The standard upper block is bloody useless against a swinging attack, unless you move off the line of the attack. From memory, Tang Soo Do doesn't have kakie-uke, mawashi-uke or steeple blocks, all of which are gold against circular or looping attacks. I feel his surmise about the weapon-relatedness of the traditional 4 blocks may have something to it. One of the events that confirmed me in the "rightness" of me continuing with the path I am on was when I went to a silat seminar, and all the drills and fundamentals for dealing with a knife attack were variations on the two-hand blocking I have been doing for years. There were differences, sure, but the fundamentals were nearly identical.


Hi Mike

well said dude. 8)
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Re: Traditional blocks

Postby truthseeker » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:45 pm

MikeM wrote:[list=1][*]The basic movement makes use of two hands: the "preparation" hand, and the "finishing" hand. It's the preparation hand that makes initial contact with the incoming attack


basically what i was trying to say. having said that given most random street attacks are from round swinging punches the initial contact with the preparitory hand is not possible as once contact by that hand is mad you are getting hit.

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Re: Traditional blocks

Postby truthseeker » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:47 pm

magpie wrote:
Fluffy wrote:Stop thinking of them as block and start thinking of them as strike, for a starters.


Hi Fluffy

Dont waste your time.

Juggs cannot be turned when it comes to karate or anything to do withit, i have given up. :wink:


Well Frank the sad fact is that most karate styles have no idea even to the level of what mike (and myself ) was saying about the non-blocking hand. Given that action is always faster than reaction those long a$$ blocks just dont work when done as a block only.
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Re: Traditional blocks

Postby truthseeker » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:50 pm

Fluffy wrote:Stop thinking of them as block and start thinking of them as strike, for a starters.


Expand on this please. At what stages during the 'blocking motion are you striking?? If you are simply talking about applying force using the blocking limb on the attacking limb then essentially it is one and the same and still doesn't work. The best karate I have seen and experienced for any sort of self preservation is American Kenpo. Nothing is perfect but the whole long winded japanese type techniques are just not there

Cheers
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Re: Traditional blocks

Postby magpie » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:53 pm

truthseeker wrote:
magpie wrote:
Fluffy wrote:Stop thinking of them as block and start thinking of them as strike, for a starters.


Hi Fluffy

Dont waste your time.

Juggs cannot be turned when it comes to karate or anything to do withit, i have given up. :wink:


Well Frank the sad fact is that most karate styles have no idea even to the level of what mike (and myself ) was saying about the non-blocking hand. Given that action is always faster than reaction those long a$$ blocks just dont work when done as a block only.


Hi Sam

Hey i dont diagree, but there are still many good schools out there, but unfortunately many shonky ones as well.
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Re: Traditional blocks

Postby truthseeker » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:54 pm

One other question is that after using the preparitory hand to parry the attack is he traditional blocking action the best response from there anyway??
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