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#363793 - 10/04/07 01:56 PM Traditional blocks
matxtx Offline
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Hi.
What do people think of the idea that blocks could be used or meant as a way to clear on arm so you can strike?
Rather than wait and block or grab a strike,which is unrealistic against a fully resisting person,to not wait and clear a way to strike or maybe enter.
Is this what people mean when they refer to blocks as realy being grabbing applications?

I also noticed that when I have pummeled in wrestling,the movement has resembled some blocks.Iv found it easier to get the motion.
Now,im not saying you could pummel just by knowing these blocks or anything like that.Best to just wrestle and pummel.Just found it an imteresting observation.
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#363794 - 10/04/07 05:32 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: matxtx]
medulanet Offline
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Truthfully, you can use these blocks for whatever you can effectively apply them to.

As far as using blocks for grappling, yes, they can be good for that as well as blocking. Just as you can't pummel effectively by just knowing a blocking technique. You really can't do ANYTHING by simply knowing the technique, you must engage in the activity that it involves. You can't punch effectively by just knowing how to punch. There is much more involved like timing, distancing, power development, etc. For those who say you can't grapple effectively by just knowing kata I agree with them, however, you can't do much of anything related to fighting by just knowing a kata or a technique. The Karate Do is in the Do-ING.
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#363795 - 10/04/07 10:05 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: medulanet]
Victor Smith Offline
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It is interesting how a beginning tool, naming a technique, can remain binding far beyond the original intent, to help a new student shape their technique.

It is an old adage that you keep your true name hidden so others can't control you. Well karate proves why, those intial naming conventions, useful beginner tools, spawn neverending discussion about the reality the name doesn't convey.
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#363796 - 10/04/07 11:19 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: matxtx]
BrianS Offline
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Quote:

What do people think of the idea that blocks could be used or meant as a way to clear on arm so you can strike?





Sooo many things a block can be, or is, based on how you are taught.

Quote:

Rather than wait and block or grab a strike,which is unrealistic against a fully resisting person,to not wait and clear a way to strike or maybe enter.
Is this what people mean when they refer to blocks as realy being grabbing applications?





It may be what some mean, others not so much.

Quote:

I also noticed that when I have pummeled in wrestling,the movement has resembled some blocks.Iv found it easier to get the motion.
Now,im not saying you could pummel just by knowing these blocks or anything like that.Best to just wrestle and pummel.Just found it an imteresting observation.




Then you noticed that all you need to block is for someone to feed the attack, that's all. No need to conform to a specific technique for that.

As medulanet has stated. You only need what you can DO with the technique you have learned.
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#363797 - 10/05/07 10:02 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: matxtx]
Ironfoot Offline
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Open hand blocks for grabbing or unbalancing.
Closed hand blocks for unbalancing or striking nerve centers.
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#363798 - 10/05/07 10:46 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Ironfoot]
BrianS Offline
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Quote:

Open hand blocks for grabbing or unbalancing.
Closed hand blocks for unbalancing or striking nerve centers.




Always and that's it? What about locks, breaks/ dislocations and throws?
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#363799 - 10/16/07 09:27 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: matxtx]
Barad Offline
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Posts: 427
...or maybe there are no blocks as such. For the movements so labelled, there are for example open hand receiving techniques followed by rising forearm strikes against throat/chin or trapped elbow (age uke) or followed by hammer fist (soto uke) against trapped arm or neck/brachial stun point. In Shotokan kata at least, there are 270 degree turns into gedan barai (down "block") that probably represent throws, having trapped the head from an ake uke rising "block" movement. None of this really reflects the common idea and immense difficulty in real life of a hard block intercepting a fast moving fist or kick.Lots of people tell me it is possible though, even though I have yet to see anyone use formal blocking in free sparring in 24 years.

Mawashi uke is probably the only real block we practice and even that really contains strikes as well.

B.

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#363800 - 10/16/07 11:32 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Barad]
shoshinkan Offline
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personally I see blocks as all these things, just to pick up on this -

'None of this really reflects the common idea and immense difficulty in real life of a hard block intercepting a fast moving fist or kick.Lots of people tell me it is possible though, even though I have yet to see anyone use formal blocking in free sparring in 24 years.'

I disagree, comparing free sparring against a commited, un-trained common method of assault (ie a swing) does not mean that hard blocks do not have a place in karate practice for self defence.

This is supported by the prominence of the double bone method of blocking used in many Okinawan systems (I teach this first before the other methods of using the motion).

The trick in application is to not be formal and work from a hands in front position (fence), often from a push or verbal abuse close up - this alters the recievers timing to allow it to happen, otherwise it is to slow for sure.

Sometimes a block really is just a block !
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#363801 - 10/16/07 01:10 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: shoshinkan]
matxtx Offline
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I thing what has confused me about different applications from one block or anything is that surely to make it work in a real violent situation you would have to train just one application for one that block all the time or else you wont pull it off in that instance.There is no time to make a choice even if its on an apparent 'instinct' level
For example if someone says a middle block is one thing and also another thing and also could be this,surely you have to choose which it is and stick with that?.So that minddle block will ALWAYS be that one realistic application whatever it may be rather than it being two or three?
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#363802 - 10/16/07 03:17 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Barad]
medulanet Offline
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Oh, beleive me, there are blocks in okinawan karate. But you don't chudan soto uke a straight punch. You parry it or use an elbow destruction. This is the okinawan fighting application.
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#363803 - 10/16/07 03:29 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: matxtx]
oldman Offline
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Mat,
Hre are a couple examples of of a middle block used differently.
In the first you see the wrap up for the "block" used as a simultainious block strike to the bicep or the attackers jaw. The finish of the "block" is an elbow lever and a simultainious strike to the cartoid artery or jaw. In addition the defensive movement encorporate the natural flinch response of raising both arns together and turning away.

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#363804 - 10/16/07 03:59 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: oldman]
oldman Offline
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In this example you see the same "block" used against a grab. It uses the exact same movemt/ motion of the arms and turning of the torso. The wrap up is used to off balance the attacker and capture his wrist and simultainously strike the attackers pronated hyperextended elbow. The finish of the "block" uses the lowering of your stance to apply downward and forward pressure driving the opponate down. Both of these variations are easy to train. Just get a buddy and play with them. In addition when you do forms or basics envison these as possible variations of use. It can bring new life to your practice

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#363805 - 10/16/07 07:25 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: oldman]
Stormdragon Offline
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Or come up underneath and strike/hyperextend the supinated eblow then strike with a back knuckle upwards sort of strike (whatever the hell thats called) to the face and finish with one shot to the crotch.
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#363806 - 10/17/07 05:44 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: medulanet]
Barad Offline
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Posts: 427
I think elbow destruction was part of what I was describing but I would not call that blocking in the way it is taught in Japanese systems at least. I have plenty of time for trapping and controlling with one hand going to hikite and striking to a joint with forearm/hammer fist etc.

b.

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#363807 - 10/17/07 06:10 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: shoshinkan]
Barad Offline
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Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 427
Jim,

I am not familiar with the double bone method of blocking-could you point me to where these appear in Shorin kata so I can see examples of what you mean? I am comfortable with flinch reactions and simultaneous receiving/striking from a guard (I like! ) but this is very different from the formal, Japanese block where the arms cross and one hand comes back to the hip as the other goes out, taught as intercepting a fast punch or kick.

Thanks,

B.

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#363808 - 10/17/07 01:59 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Barad]
shoshinkan Offline
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Hi Barad,

http://www.fightingarts.com/reading/article.php?id=334

is a good place to start, in the Seito Matsumura kata this method appears often, also with single bone (gaiwan uke) use for different reasons.

Both involve no 'initial pick up/deflection'.

Of course we also have the pick up method (which comes after double bone blocking), a real mix of both ways to be honest.
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#363809 - 10/17/07 02:18 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: shoshinkan]
medulanet Offline
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Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
Interesting, I have not seen this article before. This method is contained in Matsubayshi as well in fact. It is seen in all of our punches in fact. We have a lot of intercepting techniques where we initiate and attack off of an opponent's attack and "intercept" theirs while striking them. In the method a similar type of block is made on the way to caving in your opponent's face. This is also seen in our upper block, which is in fact a strike rather than a block.
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#363810 - 10/17/07 03:25 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: medulanet]
shoshinkan Offline
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yes I to worked double bone blocking when I trained in Matsubayashi Ryu.

true destructive blocking combined with conditioning is an old method IMO, not really trained to the level where it is as effective as it should be by most.

our dojo does train conditioning for this kind of work, but moderatly, same with hojo undl/makiwara etc etc.

Of course this is just ONE method of many that have their time and place, I think it is a major one however, particulary when working against common methods of assault.
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#363811 - 10/17/07 04:50 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: shoshinkan]
medulanet Offline
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You are right about the conditioning. In fact, in my first dojo our arm training/conditioning was a method of weeding people out. We did it every day we trained and usually we stopped when people could no longer continue due to the pain. These days I take it easy on my students or I probably would not have any (or at least any without broken/severly bruised arms). I usually begin heavy/intensive conditioning of this kind when my students reach green belt. However, forearm/shin conditioning is key to application of much of Shorin Ryu.
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#363812 - 10/17/07 06:39 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: medulanet]
Stormdragon Offline
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Shin conditioning...
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#363813 - 10/17/07 10:34 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Stormdragon]
medulanet Offline
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Actually shin conditioning isn't too bad. The most effective way is simply shin kicking a heavy bag between 50 and 100 reps per day and you'll be there in a year or so. You can also kick the thighs of a training partner. I trained with an 8th Dan Kara Ho Kenpo dude who was Hawiian and trained with William Chow for several years assisting him prepare his "black belt candidate". They did this shin on shin conditioning which had to be the most stupid and injurious form of conditioning I have seen. All that is needed for shin conditioning is a heavy bag.

Oh, and he likened my forearm conditioning to that of Chow and replied that the only other place he experienced such conditioning was from Chow.
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#363814 - 10/18/07 07:29 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: medulanet]
shoshinkan Offline
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re conditioning we work 3 'drills' that specifically do that,

arm pounding
leg kicking
body punching

They of course teach much more than conditioning alone, I will try and sort some video out of how we work them for discussion.
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#363815 - 10/18/07 08:41 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: shoshinkan]
Barad Offline
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Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 427
Jim,

I read the article and now understand what you are describing, twisting the arm slightly to use both bones to contact attacking limbs. I can see why this might be more protective of the blocking arms if you see those movements as blocks but this is still basically the same as the Japanese systems, using force on force contact to stop a fast punch or kick. Like I said, it is doable in rehearsed kumite but IMO virtually impossible in free kumite/unrehersed attacks, especially against punches. I much prefer to see the same movements (whether using double or single bone) as strikes and if there is any intercept/grab/unbalance to be done using the prior open hand which usually goes to the hip, shown in the formal version of the blocks in Shotokan for example (perhaps you do not have this as part of your blocking movement, I don't know). If they are seen as strikes to joints or face or throat (i.e relatively soft parts), then the use of single bone position is fine.

B.

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#363816 - 10/18/07 08:54 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Barad]
shoshinkan Offline
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you would need to see the application from a relaxed fence (hands in front, relaxed) to see where im coming from Barad,

If you imagine jodan age uke, double bone blocking is about as difficult as shrugging your shoulders (well ok from your feet, through the hip shoulder and out the arm), a flinch type response.

Gedan uke is much the same except the hands start high, and simply drop.

The double bone and muscle are engage giving a stucturally very strong 'jam',

applied to the inside of a round un-trained attack it not only stops it, but also can cause significant pain.

We do have the intercept method as well of course as I described earlier.

The key to application for these blocks is that tactile contact is made with via fence before the delivery of the attack - agreed it doesn't work otherwise.
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#363817 - 10/18/07 03:57 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: shoshinkan]
Neko456 Offline
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Early on I notice that the moves were too bigger a motion to be just Blocks/stops. A block/stop doesn't require anymore then raising of an elbow or flick of the wrist. The trad blocks are more then just primary stopping incoming, they are strikes to vital areas along the meridans, holds for snapping a joint/breaking or setup to a maiming blow, they are also traps/holds for entry to sweep and throw among other things they are simple stops or deflections.

What has to relized is that Karate fighting is done at near punching/clinch range, not at present day open tourney sparring range. Though you can block out at that range its harder to land combos becauses you are at or just inside kicking range, one step back and you are out of range. The blocks are different out at that range.

Blocking as I was taught was a way of forcing your will upon the attacker. The greatest defense I was taught "Was no blocking (tai-sabaki simlar to bob and weaving with foot movement) defending but your full concentration is on attack".

Blocking the way some think of is done only when you have to. Or when learning basics.
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#363818 - 10/18/07 06:34 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Neko456]
shoshinkan Offline
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all these methods have their place, for sure.

what I really like about double bone, direct hard blocking is that it is there when things don't go so well, real life is like that.

ie you didn't move so fast/good, your adrenalin is running, your tense, had a few to drink? etc etc.

I agree it is a relativly simple method but in my experience an extremly functional/valid one,

of which other methods build on.
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#363819 - 10/18/07 08:50 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Victor Smith]
Ed_Morris Offline
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Quote:

It is interesting how a beginning tool, naming a technique, can remain binding far beyond the original intent, to help a new student shape their technique.

It is an old adage that you keep your true name hidden so others can't control you. Well karate proves why, those intial naming conventions, useful beginner tools, spawn neverending discussion about the reality the name doesn't convey.



exactly. there are no 'blocks'.

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#363820 - 10/18/07 09:27 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Ed_Morris]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
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Quote:

Quote:

It is interesting how a beginning tool, naming a technique, can remain binding far beyond the original intent, to help a new student shape their technique.

It is an old adage that you keep your true name hidden so others can't control you. Well karate proves why, those intial naming conventions, useful beginner tools, spawn neverending discussion about the reality the name doesn't convey.



exactly. there are no 'blocks'.




I agree 100%. I have asked on here many times when this issue arrises. Why do you need to conform to a particular technique merely just to block? All you need to block is someone to feed the attack.
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#363821 - 10/22/07 04:20 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: BrianS]
Ironfoot Offline
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I gave a quick rule of thumb. Not necessarily all-inclusive, then again for example, can't throws be considered a subset of either unbalancing OR grabbing?
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#363822 - 10/22/07 05:32 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Ed_Morris]
medulanet Offline
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Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
Quote:

Quote:

It is interesting how a beginning tool, naming a technique, can remain binding far beyond the original intent, to help a new student shape their technique.

It is an old adage that you keep your true name hidden so others can't control you. Well karate proves why, those intial naming conventions, useful beginner tools, spawn neverending discussion about the reality the name doesn't convey.



exactly. there are no 'blocks'.




I disagree, there are blocks in karate. The type that break. They break balance, hands, arms, shins, etc. as they block. I personally like fighting people who don't use any type of blocking techniques. They make it easy for me.
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#363823 - 10/22/07 06:51 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: medulanet]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
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Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

It is interesting how a beginning tool, naming a technique, can remain binding far beyond the original intent, to help a new student shape their technique.

It is an old adage that you keep your true name hidden so others can't control you. Well karate proves why, those intial naming conventions, useful beginner tools, spawn neverending discussion about the reality the name doesn't convey.



exactly. there are no 'blocks'.




I disagree, there are blocks in karate. The type that break. They break balance, hands, arms, shins, etc. as they block. I personally like fighting people who don't use any type of blocking techniques. They make it easy for me.




Easy for you to break their bones? You have done this how many times?

There is a difference between what it might do and reality.
Do you really have to hold your hand on your hip and do a particular "technique" to block?
I'm curious about this way of thinking. I always considered that a sport version.

I guess I'll need some video or something to see what you mean.
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#363824 - 10/22/07 07:07 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: BrianS]
butterfly Offline
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I don't know what you call it, but I still see blocks when people are practicing blocka--and at least it gives a name to the motion so folk know what people are talking about. And regardless of all the uses of a block, the way you practice its motion still has the name attached to it.

But, I have to say that no...I would not do a hard block to an incoming technique. Further, I am suspect of the hard blocking techniques that are meant to be used force-on-force against a limb and have legitimate deterent value, especially the basic down block to a kick that seems to be almost ubiquitously taught. Gedan berai with forearm to shin of opponent equals potentially having your arm broken.

Hard blocks also beg the question of speed when used with folk who don't actively chamber from the hip to punch. Try hard soto-ukes against a boxer...ain't gonna work.

And when the exception to this is raised with use against untrained attackers, most folk I have seen, though untrained, will gravitate toward a more boxing like punch instead of chambering from the hip or high on the chest.

Traditional blocks, in my opinion, have their place in training the motion to allow use of the motion, but are not necessarily used in the rigid format of block-punch counters that are generally trained, but have little consequence whenever I have seen two karate-ka go at it.

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#363825 - 10/22/07 08:52 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: butterfly]
BrianS Offline
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Quote:

But, I have to say that no...I would not do a hard block to an incoming technique. Further, I am suspect of the hard blocking techniques that are meant to be used force-on-force against a limb and have legitimate deterent value,




Bone on bone is not a good idea in my opinion. I believe one of the philosophies of Goju(hard/soft) is to hit hard with soft and hit soft with hard.

Quote:

especially the basic down block to a kick that seems to be almost ubiquitously taught. Gedan berai with forearm to shin of opponent equals potentially having your arm broken.





Could you dumb it down a little for me Brad,lol?

Seriously, if anyone out there is practicing this as a legitimate self defense technique I would love to see it on video or let me be your uke.

How about age uke(rising block)? Used to stop a stick, knife, crowbar,etc....ludicrous!! Or juji uke (X block)? Used to stop a bo, meanwhile you break all your digits.

Quote:

Hard blocks also beg the question of speed when used with folk who don't actively chamber from the hip to punch. Try hard soto-ukes against a boxer...ain't gonna work.





Chamber!!

Quote:

And when the exception to this is raised with use against untrained attackers, most folk I have seen, though untrained, will gravitate toward a more boxing like punch instead of chambering from the hip or high on the chest.

Traditional blocks, in my opinion, have their place in training the motion to allow use of the motion, but are not necessarily used in the rigid format of block-punch counters that are generally trained, but have little consequence whenever I have seen two karate-ka go at it.




Exactly. Blocks, in my opinion, are the most misrepresented, misunderstood, sportanized, (is that a word), downfall of karate and the way the outside world views it.

If I'm not mistaken, the word "uke" is loosely translated as "to receive". How is that a block?
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#363826 - 10/22/07 11:09 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: BrianS]
medulanet Offline
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Brian, I am not sure if they have elbow destructions in Goju, but they are all over Shorin Ryu. Put an elbow on someone's fist when the punch and its relatively easy to break someone's fingers. Although not as common you can also break someone's forearm as well if you add tai sabaki and get the angle when using the destruction. Or if you come down with it if someone punches to the body. As for kicks you have to get a good angle to crack a shin and is not very common, but if you defend right it can be a fight ender. It is these types of blocks which are different from real fighting application of kata and much of the guess work that goes into many applications.
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#363827 - 10/22/07 11:16 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: medulanet]
BrianS Offline
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We have elbow and other joint destructions in the sense that the joint is dislocated from the grappling applications that look like a block in kata.


Quote:

As for kicks you have to get a good angle to crack a shin and is not very common, but if you defend right it can be a fight ender.




Everything does have to fall into place during a self defense situation. I would not rely too heavily on one that was not that common.

Are you talking about breaking the shin with the elbow?
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#363828 - 10/22/07 11:22 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: BrianS]
medulanet Offline
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Yeah, I'm talking about striking and not grappling. I'm talking about real ways to block attacks from karate techniques. As far as the elbow breaking the shin, yes, I am referring to the bones in the foot, ankle, and lower shin (not the big thick part). The thing that makes karate effective is that I don't count on breaking an opponent's bones using my defense. The defense is quite effective in stropping strikes and getting to a superior position. The broken bones are icing on the cake.
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#363829 - 10/22/07 11:32 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: BrianS]
Ed_Morris Offline
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I was thinking the same way, Brian - so I knew what you meant. 'block' (in quotes) as in: hard blocking a straight punch that someone throws and leaves hanging out there.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fd5LG2xw-FU

again with the disclaimers for the people that just have to mention how deadly they are with every post so people wouldn't think for a second they train ANYTHING that can be imagined as ineffective: I'm not saying you aren't deadly...I'm just saying I don't see the merit in long-term training 'blocks' such as those in the video I reference. I'm also not saying anyone here trains ineffectively. If some train 'blocks' temporaraly in order to move onto bigger and better things or even if they train 'blocks' indefinitely, that's their business.


parry, jam, guard, check, forearm strikes, etc - if people want to include any movement where an arm bends to be defined as a block, then sure, blocks are essential. but the term sucks because block is usually associated with 'blocking'.


just so we have the terms right:

block = an unspecified parry, jam, guard, check, forearm strikes, etc.

vs.

'block' = the sucky kind of hard blocking a compliant straight punch.


personally, I reserve the term block to mean 'block'. which is why I say there are no 'blocks'....there are parry, jam, guard, check, forearm strikes, and the like...but no 'blocks'.

and as for the term Uke:

Japanese uke translation: to receive.

Americanized 'uke' mistranslation: 'block'


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#363830 - 10/23/07 12:02 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: medulanet]
BrianS Offline
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Quote:

Yeah, I'm talking about striking and not grappling. I'm talking about real ways to block attacks from karate techniques. As far as the elbow breaking the shin, yes, I am referring to the bones in the foot, ankle, and lower shin (not the big thick part).




( must say this in one breath)
You are one bad dude!!! One bad dude I tell ya!!!
I guess all of us karateka are supposed to be hard core, hairy chested, bone crushing , "I'll break your foot, ankle, or the lower shin ( not the big thick part) kind of macho guys.......who use the term "effective karate" somehow in every other post in an effort to support our elitism and mega ego's. "Bone breaking is icing on the cake, baby, icing on the cake,yeah!!!"



Now, can we talk about traditional blocks for a sec? What would be your application for age uke? Chamber, hand on the hip and all.


Edited by BrianS (10/23/07 12:05 AM)
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#363831 - 10/23/07 12:13 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Ed_Morris]
medulanet Offline
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Ed, the thing is whether you call them blocks or receiving techniques, elbow destrutions are a part of things such as Gedan Uke and Chudan Shuto Uke, in addition to being an application of elbow techniques in kata. The thread title refers to traditional blocks. These things are in traditional blocks. I personally have been applying such techniques since about 1991. Its funny because it came from me trying to apply the traditional blocks the way many do that I discovered they worked, but not in that way. At first I thought that my timing was messed up, then I realized that there were more effective ways to apply such blocks. Its just about understanding the karate we do, not trying to prove anything about how we train or how deadly we are.
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#363832 - 10/23/07 12:17 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Ed_Morris]
BrianS Offline
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Quote:

I was thinking the same way, Brian




Great minds...

Quote:

- so I knew what you meant. 'block' (in quotes) as in: hard blocking a straight punch that someone throws and leaves hanging out there.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fd5LG2xw-FU




Now, isn't that ridiculous?



Quote:

again with the disclaimers for the people that just have to mention how deadly they are with every post so people wouldn't think for a second they train ANYTHING that can be imagined as ineffective: I'm not saying you aren't deadly...I'm just saying I don't see the merit in long-term training 'blocks' such as those in the video I reference. I'm also not saying anyone here trains ineffectively. If some train 'blocks' temporaraly in order to move onto bigger and better things or even if they train 'blocks' indefinitely, that's their business.




Attention! I am so deadly that my karate blocks could break an elephants back with one blow. The only person deadlier than me is Chuck Norris. Now, back to the thread.


Quote:

parry, jam, guard, check, forearm strikes, etc - if people want to include any movement where an arm bends to be defined as a block, then sure, blocks are essential. but the term sucks because block is usually associated with 'blocking'.




Exactly. It should be clear as a whistle to the readers now. The term 'block' really got us karateka all screwed up!!!


Quote:

just so we have the terms right:

block = an unspecified parry, jam, guard, check, forearm strikes, etc.

vs.

'block' = the sucky kind of hard blocking a compliant straight punch.


personally, I reserve the term block to mean 'block'. which is why I say there are no 'blocks'....there are parry, jam, guard, check, forearm strikes, and the like...but no 'blocks'.

and as for the term Uke:

Japanese uke translation: to receive.

Americanized 'uke' mistranslation: 'block'




I knew I was right!

When you 'block' you put yourself right back on the defensive to 'block' the next attack. Why would you do that? You should address the attack offensively! Ofcourse, if you are a bonebreaker like some of us, would be no problem.

Therefore, a 'block' is actually the uke receiving,correct? Is he receiving a block? Me thinks not. That would mean there are NO BLOCKS as we know it in karate. Thankyou very much, I'll be here all year.

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#363833 - 10/23/07 12:26 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: BrianS]
medulanet Offline
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Well, Brian, Age Uke is a strike. It is a strike with the forearm, elbow, or fist (similar to an uppercut). It slides inside of an attack. The chamber as an application is a grappling technique. It is overhooking the opponent's arm. In Matsubayashi we don't chamber on the hip. We chamber high at the chest level. This allows for more effective grappling which was passed on to Nagamine from Choki Motobu. In addition, the Age Uke can be used as a grappling technique such as an underhook or arm bar (the wrestling restraint technique not the submission technique).
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#363834 - 10/23/07 12:40 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: medulanet]
BrianS Offline
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Quote:

Well, Brian, Age Uke is a strike. It is a strike with the forearm, elbow, or fist (similar to an uppercut). It slides inside of an attack. The chamber as an application is a grappling technique. It is overhooking the opponent's arm. In Matsubayashi we don't chamber on the hip. We chamber high at the chest level. This allows for more effective grappling which was passed on to Nagamine from Choki Motobu. In addition, the Age Uke can be used as a grappling technique such as an underhook or arm bar (the wrestling restraint technique not the submission technique).




We use age uke in very similar fashion then. We too 'chamber' the hand very high(I think all gojuka do). The 'chamber' could be an elbow or pulling your opponent downward while forcing the forearm upward into the asophugas. (sp?)
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#363835 - 10/23/07 05:05 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: BrianS]
Shonuff Offline
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I wrote a nice long post explaining my views on how to use basic blocks and I've come back two days later to find its not shown up!

The condensed version:

The idea that basic blocks apply force against force is wrong. A linnear force will not affect a horizontal force, i,e, all blocks should be deflections whether using the palm or the forearm to contact the attcking limb.
Using basic blocks to "strike" an incoming attack is something different and should change how you make your block.

Basic blocks are complete defensive systems. Input = attack/Output = Opening/counterstrike/unbalance etc.

A formalised structure is used to offer an optimised defensive/offensive position i.e less of you is covered (and a higher margin for error in application) than if you covered up with a boxing gaurd (a less effective platform for counter striking etc) but more cover offered than a palm parry (which has a higher margin of error and is a more effective platform for counter striking etc).

Basic blocks are constructed of a preparation movement (extended reverse hand) and chamber (lead arm) which cross to form the block.
In application, depending on the range and strength of attack the various parts of the "block" come into play in different combinations of parry, strike, grab and block to change your position from defender to aggressor by means of either fast counter striking, creation of a clear opening for a power strike or allowing opportunities to control movement (grappling etc).

This phillosophy of breaking down major movements into it's smaller aspects is how I understand all Karate to be applied, however I don't feel, at least in Shotokan, that this level of dissection is wholly relevant to understanding kata application. That to me is a slightly different ball game.

Med, just out of curiosity, how many times have you broken bones with your blocks?
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#363836 - 10/23/07 06:55 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: medulanet]
Ed_Morris Offline
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med, in your opinion, is this good or bad practice? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fd5LG2xw-FU

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#363837 - 10/23/07 07:30 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Ed_Morris]
jude33 Offline
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Quote:

med, in your opinion, is this good or bad practice? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fd5LG2xw-FU





My unqualified opinion.
Good practice for introducing blocks, stances and punches.I think this is going back to Itosu's ideas of teaching. I think the techniques were hidden in the use of basic blocks.

Bad practice for working out the real applications and use subject to a real fight. Getting around the hidden meanings of blocks. I can see medulants point on skill building.
Shouldnt it be block and simutanously strike?

I can also see his point on having the ability to break bones using blocks. I have never broken anybodies bones using blocks as blocks but I have damaged a persons forearm tissue using my forearm when intercepting a punch.

Ditto with the shoulder. Damaged the guys shoulder tissue
but didint break any bones.

I think some one with a higher skill level than mine could achieve breakage in bones.

Soto uke springs to mind. If a persons wrist is grabbed and the elbow area is hammered using soto uke means one damaged elbow.

The knees can be used as blocks. They can also be used as a point to lever an elbow break.

The top of the head can be used to break the knuckles.

So I believe Medulant when he says bones can be broken
using blocks.

Jude

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#363838 - 10/23/07 07:52 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: jude33]
Ed_Morris Offline
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help me understand what skills are being built with those drills. I didn't see them training those 'blocks' as parry, jam with elbows/knees, guard, check, forearm strikes, etc.

are you suggesting those drills somehow lead up to self-discovery of hidden applications?
why not just start with drilling 2-person parry, jam with elbows/knees, guard, check, forearm strikes, etc.
I mean, if you want to build a skill, then why not drill the actual progressive training of that skill as oppossed to far removed esoteric form?

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#363839 - 10/23/07 08:27 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Ed_Morris]
jude33 Offline
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Quote:

help me understand what skills are being built with those drills. I didn't see them training those 'blocks' as parry, jam with elbows/knees, guard, check, forearm strikes, etc.

are you suggesting those drills somehow lead up to self-discovery of hidden applications?
why not just start with drilling 2-person parry, jam with elbows/knees, guard, check, forearm strikes, etc.
I mean, if you want to build a skill, then why not drill the actual progressive training of that skill as oppossed to far removed esoteric form?




Hi ED.
My unqualified thoughts.
As much as I agree with your line of thinking, I think both you and medulant are right. The problem I think is your seeing things from the point of view of a capable practioner. In other words your already good. You have the skills.

Ok lets take a young person. Say 21 years of age. Has never had a fight. Doesnt understand anything about fighting.They want to train in Karate. Minimum physical capabilities.

They have no conditioning eg soft mucle tissue therefore using the body as a weapon at that time, forget it.
For them the video is a good level of achievement.
The discovery part would come later. If at all.


I think I can see Medulants point of view. I think I can see your point of view.


How would you train them? I think as per the video.They wouldnt comprehend that a block can be an elbow destruction. Or the top of the head destroys knuckles. They wouldnt even understand how to get destroyed knuckles. I think this can also apply to some people who have done martial arts for some time. No dis-respect to the people on the video but they look to me like they are at that level.
Spoon feed them?

I think your seeing others as having the same experience as your self .From my observations a lot of people havent.

Jude


Edited by jude33 (10/23/07 08:44 AM)

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#363840 - 10/23/07 09:55 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: jude33]
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I think that's where we disagree. I don't think these drills manage to spoon feed very well at all. There are training methods to teach newbies to defend themselves without using these 'one-step' methods...not only that, but they learn faster by NOT using these roundabout ways of training. how do you explain that?

I think this type of training holds the very high risk of never escaping the compliant mindset of them. in addition, it seems it would manage to develop the wrong kind of skill by fostering more than a few misconceptions....one of which would be the risk of students seeing kata application with the same mindset.

I'm guessing what Itosu had in mind was trying to come up with a training method and drills safe for teaching enmasse to a feild full of young teens. The focus/context seems to have been experimenting with developing a cultural niche way of physical fitness in preparation to later possible military service. of course, that was the apparent public face of things taught. What Itosu chose to share and use as training method privately can be assumed that it was something quite different.

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#363841 - 10/23/07 12:33 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Ed_Morris]
butterfly Offline
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Ed, I can see where Med's coming from as well, so I know what Jude's trying to explain.

However, have to agree more with you (Ed) and Brian on these things. If you are practing in this format as displayed on YouTube, this is what other MA folk laugh at when thinking about karate. This is a "fundamentalist" reading of karate and taking literally what has been shown and trying to make something work that really resides outside this box, but using the same basic motions as primers for more usable techniques. And I'll give a personal anecdote (and I know, your mileage does and will vary ) with a San-dan in a more traditional Japanese style that tried to block using a gedan berai to one of my kohai's kicks...yep, arm broken. I have literally known this to happen.

And as Brian stated previously, can anyone say that they see two karate-ka outside of ippon kumite actually do these things when they are sparring? They don't because you just don't use these techniques these ways...they don't work when your attaker is not screaming at you in a zen-kutsudachi before firing off that hip or high chest chambered punch.

Ed's right on the money here, the practice shown on YouTube (outside some historical or stylistic requirement within a particular system) offers so little in real utility that it begs the question of practicing this at all with actual use in mind.

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#363842 - 10/23/07 01:11 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Ed_Morris]
cxt Offline
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Ed

I think you have to start somewhere.

Watching newbies learn to "block" and punch and learn footwork in boxing looks pretty awkward too.

The problem however is where/when people never get past the "training wheels" stage...IMO.

As far as the youtube thing.....IMO its worth kinda depends on what the people doing it are getting out of it...how they understand what they are doing......IMO for a onlooker to decide if its "good or bad" is almost impossible.

I can't tell if they are mentally "locked" into a pattern or if they can pull those technqiues out and use them when and where they are needed.

Wish I had a better answer to your question....but I just don't know.


Edited by cxt (10/23/07 01:15 PM)
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#363843 - 10/23/07 01:17 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Ed_Morris]
medulanet Offline
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Quote:

med, in your opinion, is this good or bad practice? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fd5LG2xw-FU




Ed, that drill is garbage. It is garbage because of their usage of the attacks and defenses. The attacker's distance and intent is all wrong. I think this shows a part of what is wrong with karate at its basic level. I hope that these black belts are attempting to show a basic drill for beginners and not an advanced form of training that drill. The attacker needs to attack with more speed and from a closer distance. The attacker needs to try nail the guy with the punch. Really trying to hit your opponent forces the application out of the technique and makes the defender block properly if a good level of skill in the basics is developed. In addition, standing there while the opponent counter attacks is not good practice either. And by block properly I mean utilizing the parries inherent in all blocking techniques which are preceeded by arm crossing.
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#363844 - 10/23/07 01:30 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Ed_Morris]
medulanet Offline
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Quote:

I think that's where we disagree. I don't think these drills manage to spoon feed very well at all. There are training methods to teach newbies to defend themselves without using these 'one-step' methods...not only that, but they learn faster by NOT using these roundabout ways of training. how do you explain that?




Ed, you are right here, these types of drills are not the proper way to teach real defense against striking. I learned that real fast when I started karate at 13 and got beat up a lot by 30 something grown men. At that time in my instructor's dojo you either learned fast, got beat up every class, or quit. I don't even teach basic application of "traditional/classical" blocking until a student has developed good skill in the basics and a certain level of arm/shin/body conditioning. I teach hand/parry and movement drills as my base form of two man practice. If they come to my house to train at 6:30 in the morning I have a training area in my garage and we work grappling/karate wrestling practice. Once skill is developed in these areas then realistic application of the traditional/classical blocking techniques is learned.
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#363845 - 10/23/07 03:32 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: medulanet]
cxt Offline
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med

I don't know, I think there is a danger in looking at what is a static drill on-line and drawing overreaching conclusions about the relative skills of the people involved.

We don't know what they are really doing or why.

Not saying your wrong of course.....looked pretty limp in terms of intensity to me too, just saying that a couple of min of out of context video might not be all that accurate to start with.

If nothing else, this could be nothing more than a training kinda thing for the benefit of lower ranks to learn the sequence.
Or maybe just a couple of worn out tired guys taped at the end of workout.
Or maybe the attacker was scared about going hard on the bigger guy.

I don't know.
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#363846 - 10/23/07 03:53 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: cxt]
medulanet Offline
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I know what you mean CXT, however, I can usually look at someone's basics and kata and tell what kind of fighter they are and judge the effectiveness of their training if I know their level/rank. Its not 100%, but I'm pretty good at it. Its like seeing someone hit the focus mitts and determining their fighting skill within a certain range.
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#363847 - 10/23/07 03:53 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: cxt]
butterfly Offline
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Chris,

As a qualification, I think Med did put in a disclaimer or two:

Quote:

I hope that these black belts are attempting to show a basic drill for beginners and not an advanced form of training that drill. (And) Ed, you are right here, these types of drills are not the proper way to teach real defense against striking.




And if all we have to go on are the videos then they do deserve criticism as is. Intent or not, these are just lame drills that deserve a finger pointing at them to say, "Just don't do it like this."

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#363848 - 10/23/07 06:49 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Ed_Morris]
BrianS Offline
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Quote:

med, in your opinion, is this good or bad practice? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fd5LG2xw-FU




If you are doing this.

You might as well be doing TKD. (oh no I didn't!)
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#363849 - 10/23/07 06:55 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: cxt]
BrianS Offline
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Quote:

Ed

I think you have to start somewhere.




I agree, but even starting like this is bad practice in my opinion. What can be learned from this? Timing? nope..how to do blocking? nope..How to develop a skillset that will get you beat up? yep!

Quote:

Watching newbies learn to "block" and punch and learn footwork in boxing looks pretty awkward too.

The problem however is where/when people never get past the "training wheels" stage...IMO.




Yeah,but you have to get the good adjustable training wheels, not the ones from the dollar store.

Quote:

As far as the youtube thing.....IMO its worth kinda depends on what the people doing it are getting out of it...how they understand what they are doing......IMO for a onlooker to decide if its "good or bad" is almost impossible.




Not impossible. I think I've (and otherts here) have been doing this long enough to give a qualified opinion that it suxx.

Quote:

I can't tell if they are mentally "locked" into a pattern or if they can pull those technqiues out and use them when and where they are needed.

Wish I had a better answer to your question....but I just don't know.




You can tell, I can tell, I think we all can tell by the video.

I practiced the same way in TKD years ago. It was bad practice then and it's still bad practice now.
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#363850 - 10/23/07 07:17 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: jude33]
BrianS Offline
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Quote:

Quote:

med, in your opinion, is this good or bad practice? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fd5LG2xw-FU





My unqualified opinion.
Good practice for introducing blocks, stances and punches.I think this is going back to Itosu's ideas of teaching. I think the techniques were hidden in the use of basic blocks.




Good practice of bad applications? why would you want to develop those habits?


Quote:

Bad practice for working out the real applications and use subject to a real fight. Getting around the hidden meanings of blocks. I can see medulants point on skill building.
Shouldnt it be block and simutanously strike?




It shouldn't be block at all in my opinion. Why would you block that way? Learning seventeen different ways to do the same thing? Everything is a block then?

Quote:

I can also see his point on having the ability to break bones using blocks. I have never broken anybodies bones using blocks as blocks but I have damaged a persons forearm tissue using my forearm when intercepting a punch.




Oh boy. We are a bonebreaking bunch aren't we? At least, theoretically.

Quote:

Ditto with the shoulder. Damaged the guys shoulder tissue
but didint break any bones.

I think some one with a higher skill level than mine could achieve breakage in bones.




Sure, with a bo!

Quote:

Soto uke springs to mind. If a persons wrist is grabbed and the elbow area is hammered using soto uke means one damaged elbow.

The knees can be used as blocks. They can also be used as a point to lever an elbow break.




Is the elbow a bone? Elbow bone??? I thought it was a joint that could be dislocated.

Quote:

The top of the head can be used to break the knuckles.




Oh my. There are a couple of spots on the top of the head you don't want to get hit. Ask any pressure point specialist what will happen. DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!!!

Quote:

So I believe Medulant when he says bones can be broken
using blocks.

Jude




Yes, but whose bones? Uke or tori?
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#363851 - 10/23/07 07:23 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: butterfly]
cxt Offline
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butterfly

I don't disagree, that's why I said that it looked "limp" to me.

Just don't know the context, which would help.
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#363852 - 10/23/07 07:28 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: BrianS]
cxt Offline
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BrianS

Again, I don't disagree, like I said, it looks "limp" to me as well.

I'd still like to know what they were TRYING to show.
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#363853 - 10/23/07 10:41 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: cxt]
Ed_Morris Offline
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I just spent a good 30 minutes looking for a decent youtube vid of karate drills which demonstrate good beginners block building skill...couldn't find it. so I had to cheat and search outside of karate: (apparently, drilling method secrets are kept pretty tight-lipped in karate circles - either that, or most karate systems are just as you see it's youtube sampling).

A useful way to contrast a slice of two training methods is by looking at how beginners are trained in each.


bare bones, beginner, kids' blocking skill training:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHobfNGAJHE

vs. this kind of training method for beginners:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rfuc58aDbN4


if you consider both, it'll reveil a core difference between active and passive skill building.

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#363854 - 10/23/07 10:41 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: cxt]
medulanet Offline
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Don't worry, its not just karate guys who use improper application of traditional blocks. Even champion MMA fighters like Randy Couture does the same, only with undesireable consequences. Check picture in the top left.

http://www.thefightnetwork.com/news_detail.php?nid=4673
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#363855 - 10/23/07 11:06 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: medulanet]
Ed_Morris Offline
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ouch.

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#363856 - 10/23/07 11:27 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: medulanet]
BrianS Offline
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ouchie wa wa!!!

Well, he didn't have his other hand chambered properly to get POWER!
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#363857 - 10/24/07 05:06 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Ed_Morris]
Victor Smith Offline
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Ed,

The reality is no matter how much is posted on youtube it never touches .001 of any system of study.

But, how do you train?
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#363858 - 10/24/07 05:25 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: BrianS]
jude33 Offline
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Quote:





Good practice of bad applications? why would you want to develop those habits?





Good practice for introducing blocks. Or another way of putting it a way of giving a variation on introducing blocks.Dont people have to start somewhere?.

Quote:




It shouldn't be block at all in my opinion. Why would you block that way? Learning seventeen different ways to do the same thing? Everything is a block then?




Everything isnít a block but how else is the movement meant to be learned.? How would you suggest the movement for age uke be intitialy taught as? I am not sure about the people on the video but I am guessing the drill was aimed at beginners or the people on the video havenít gone much further themselves.

Quote:



Oh boy. We are a bonebreaking bunch aren't we? At least, theoretically.





I would say bones could be broken by blocking yes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pant_xwqHMc

Not exactly using blocks to break bones but I should imagine wood isnt much different.
Quote:



Sure, with a bo!






Yes with a hard wood bo, not to sure with a plastic practice bo but then even minus a bo maybe bones could be broken using blocks as blocks?
Ditto.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pant_xwqHMc

Quote:



Is the elbow a bone? Elbow bone??? I thought it was a joint that could be dislocated.





The Elbow: The elbow joint is formed by three bones, the humerus, radius, and ulna

The Ligaments: Two ligaments are present in the elbow joint, the ulnar collateral ligament and the radial collateral ligament. These ligaments provide strength and support to the joint as do the surrounding muscles.
I dont think I refered to the elbow as a bone?




Quote:




Oh my. There are a couple of spots on the top of the head you don't want to get hit. Ask any pressure point specialist what will happen. DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!!!





Normaly I wouldnít want to get hit anywhere on the top of my head but bare knuckles against the top of the head normaly means busted knuckles. Where are these spots on the head?

Quote:





but whose bones? Uke or tori?





It depends on who is uke or tori at the time. If I am uke or tori at that time then I wont want it to be me.
Jude


Edited by jude33 (10/24/07 05:55 AM)

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#363859 - 10/24/07 05:31 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: medulanet]
jude33 Offline
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Quote:

Quote:

I think that's where we disagree. I don't think these drills manage to spoon feed very well at all. There are training methods to teach newbies to defend themselves without using these 'one-step' methods...not only that, but they learn faster by NOT using these roundabout ways of training. how do you explain that?




Ed, you are right here, these types of drills are not the proper way to teach real defense against striking. I learned that real fast when I started karate at 13 and got beat up a lot by 30 something grown men. At that time in my instructor's dojo you either learned fast, got beat up every class, or quit. I don't even teach basic application of "traditional/classical" blocking until a student has developed good skill in the basics and a certain level of arm/shin/body conditioning. I teach hand/parry and movement drills as my base form of two man practice. If they come to my house to train at 6:30 in the morning I have a training area in my garage and we work grappling/karate wrestling practice. Once skill is developed in these areas then realistic application of the traditional/classical blocking techniques is learned.





Yes Medulant. I can see that point but unfortunatly not every body will stick at such a training regime. Some people see martial arts as merely a hobby.

Jude

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#363860 - 10/24/07 07:31 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Victor Smith]
Ed_Morris Offline
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true, but in this instance, it was alot easier to find good interactive boxing, mma, muai thai isolated blocking drills that were shared. comparitively, I couldn't find similar for karate other than one-step 'block'/punch type kumite. can anything be drawn from that?
sure, why not. it supports my sense that there exists different training methods towards a common goal - in this case, drills for beginners to intercept a strike so as to not get hit.

such a basic skill, to me, does not need to be static or compliant while keeping reasonable safety in mind. like I mentioned, it's the difference between active and passive drills.

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#363861 - 10/24/07 08:22 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: medulanet]
Barad Offline
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Med,

I must have missed this post before but those are uses of age uke I can wholeheartedly agree with.

That line drill is a terrible waste of time but it is standard Shotokan and I was made to do this sort of thing for years. Obviously it misunderstands the real use of age uke, has unreal distance, unlikely oizuki attack left hanging, stepping straight back rather than to the side, gedan barai after the counter doing nothing...I could go on.

B.

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#363862 - 10/24/07 08:23 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Ed_Morris]
Shonuff Offline
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Ed,

Why do the two methods have to be mutually exclusive?

I was trained with both the kind of drills that you showed, they teach different things. The krav maga drill should be taught alongside the kihon kumite. the end result is an amalgam of the two forms of movement.
Kihon kumite trains your distancing and timing the basic movements against a moving target. If you don't feel blocks should be used in the way shown then you won''t find value in the training method, if you can make the blocks work in the manner shown in real situations then you will see the youtube vid as a basic training tool to be built upon. It is like another form of kata practice, not the be all and end all of training.
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#363863 - 10/24/07 01:19 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: jude33]
butterfly Offline
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Jude,

Quote:

Everything isnít a block but how else is the movement meant to be learned.? How would you suggest the movement for age uke be intitialy taught as? I am not sure about the people on the video but I am guessing the drill was aimed at beginners or the people on the video havenít gone much further themselves.





First, I think these guys were both BBs. Could be wrong though.

First, learn the mechanics of the blocks (or whatever anyone wants to call them) through basic kihon practice. No one has said to get rid of basics. But these ippon kumite drills are just wrong for any real use that I can imagine, unless people punch this way in attacks from a meter and half away while in a front stance...and they don't.

Then do what Brian has already mentioned and as shown on that Krav Maga vid that Ed posted for beginners. Have the attacker punch in a more realistic manner, if slowed down a bit and attenuated for contact. Throw your blocks and parries from a more realistic posture. Don't allow a particular regimen or aesthetic to rule the mechanics of what you are learning and that's just what these drills promote if you are learning them to counter an attack.

For higher level practioners, aim to actually hit. Forgo the head as a compromise, unless wearing protective head gear designed to stop head trauma, but hit at the sternum with some intensity. Work out a more realistic use of real impact in the strikes with real parries and blocks. The penalty for not doing blocking correctly is to actually get hit.

Mix up the strikes and don't let the attacker just hang his arm out there after the impact. See how hard it is to really try to manipulate the striking hand/arm when the attacker immediately pulls it back and sets up the other hand. Let it be one-two-or three combo attacks at higher practice. What does that do to using the one-steps you were traditionally trained it per the video?

Find out that the actual disatance required to pull of a good block or parry, which may not be the ones shown in these drills if there is no impact. Distance is changed when the impact point is not the surface of the body and it makes it a much closer deal than shown in those videos when you allow follow through in the strikes after impact.

Do this from the get go and you don't need these rigid drills that basically abstain from what Brian listed....real timing and distance needed to stop more realistic strikes.

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#363864 - 10/25/07 12:53 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Barad]
Unyu Offline
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This is a good discussion, yet I seem to be missing something here. Some say there are no hard blocks, others that they practice "intercepting/accepting" or parrying, some that their blocking is done with the elbows as well, while others claim there are no blocks per se. Blocking with "elbow destructions" is valid, but limiting in the minds of many old school karate types.

I tend to think that there is a use for all of these aspects associated with the term "uke". Additionally, no practitioner speaks of the use of simultaneous block strike techs. When performing sets you should never chamber as the "uke". You should not be performing your blocks from the opposite ear or by crossing your arms too much. The rear hand should be held up just below the chin, thumb near the solar plexus so that you can use both hands to parry and block/strike, like a boxer does. The "guard hand" as the Seito practitioners call it is integral in understanding the original intent of the practice of "blocking" techs.

This is why in the kata the Seito people keep their spare block hand at the position I described, unlike all the other ryuha which usually place their guard hand so it is facing palm down. I am speaking of the three so-called "shuto" strikes as seen in Pinan Shodan/Heian Nidan. You will fight and move your body the way you train and ingrain.

Jim did mention the use of a "fence", which some shinshii call "the wall", but he also seems to detail use of the block in 2-person sets from a chambered position, a big no-no in real karate. I don't want to delve into specifics or semantics, but from the responses I can see a limited understanding of what blocking is in karate.

The use of the term "double bone" blocking goes beyond that article Chris wrote. What he must have never been taught is that the term also refers to is using two hands/arms to help with the force of a strong punch while striking at the same time. The chambering seen in kihon and kata refers to other "hidden" aspects as well as proper form, sinew training and range-of-motion exercises.

Tai sabaki in old style Okinawan Karate training also refers to tenshin, or body shifting which is a concept even beyond modern boxing's "bobbing and weaving". Training in sets with the proper defensive readiness meaning proper mechanics, shifting, fist forms and postures as well as offensive attitude (sen-no-sen) will serve the self-preservation aspect of your karate well.

I'll leave it at that. I don't want the adepts on here getting too much info without proper instruction. Especially the cats from Britain (except Jim ). They might try and write it into their books again ! Suffice it to say that you guys each have good angles on your karate and the way you were taught to "block", but it is obvious that many are still looking at things in a more modernized karate kumite light or even from a kickboxing standpoint. You all have valid points and no one can be faulted for things they don't know.

Informative and enlightening thread. Peace...
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#363865 - 10/25/07 02:03 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Unyu]
medulanet Offline
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Unyu, I disagree about the no excessive arm crossing view point. What is excessive? In fact, arm crossing is a big part of what makes the blocking in karate effective. The hand skills developed in basic training is important in fighting. It is important to develop the hand/eye coordination to pickup strikes with the hands in parrying and be able to launch effective striking off of these parries. This is trained from day one. However, it may be due to the different in kamae. You mention using a guard hand and wall hand. I personally use the kamae from the beginning of rohai as well as the ready both hands down posture. From these positions where the hands are at roughly the same height and depth the hand crossing and parrying as a part of the traditional blocking is an integral part of application.
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#363866 - 10/25/07 02:41 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: butterfly]
jude33 Offline
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Butterfly your an instructor par excellence.Its a pity people like your self werent teaching when a lot of people were just beggining martial arts training.
I like barad also had to spend some time doing techniques
in ways that later I found didnt add up, although I think at the time they had a purpose. Confusing I know.

Unyu

The body movements you were refering to that are simular to a boxers. Im glad you brought this up. Untill now I have kept quite.
On a video I have seen of another version (Other than funokoshis) intepretaion of Jion(checkable lineage) there is a if you like a slipping movement very much like a good boxers. If this movement was for a grappling technique or getting out of the way I dont know. What and where are your experiences in trad karate of these type of movements?
The chambering back to the hip to represent a specific technique.

I have observed this movement used in chinese boxing as part of a ongoing technique.
How have you seen this movement used?


Jude

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#363867 - 10/25/07 05:11 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: medulanet]
jude33 Offline
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Quote:

Unyu, I disagree about the no excessive arm crossing view point. What is excessive? In fact, arm crossing is a big part of what makes the blocking in karate effective. The hand skills developed in basic training is important in fighting. It is important to develop the hand/eye coordination to pickup strikes with the hands in parrying and be able to launch effective striking off of these parries. This is trained from day one. However, it may be due to the different in kamae. You mention using a guard hand and wall hand. I personally use the kamae from the beginning of rohai as well as the ready both hands down posture. From these positions where the hands are at roughly the same height and depth the hand crossing and parrying as a part of the traditional blocking is an integral part of application.




This is just a wild guess and based on observation. While some of the standard blocking/punching practiced in some karate schools does seem to be of no use (after the begginers stage) they do seem to have the same mechanics as some chin na movements. Maybe that is the reason for such practice.

Jude


Edited by jude33 (10/25/07 05:18 AM)

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#363868 - 10/25/07 12:30 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: jude33]
butterfly Offline
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Jude,

I'll give you an unsolicited answer here, though the question was aimed at Unyu. BTW, I am not vested in a traditional karate format, so my ignornace is worn sometimes not only on my sleeve, but across my chest in big letters that say, "IDIOT."

In any case, this is a discussion and that is precisely what these threads are for, but don't think you can't use a karate punch's "traditional" chambering....I just won't use it the way shown in the video that Ed linked.

One, a reverse punch chambering can be viewed as an elbow strike to the rear. Two, these can be used as pulling motions to bring the opponent in close for a counter if you have a grip on an opponent's arm at the right moment and in the right place. I have also used this motion as an elbow lock as the second section of a two part defensive series...and have used this in sparring. For me, I have made it work. Your mileage may vary.

This motion can be seen as a locking device to hold and curl back the arm of an opponent. Here's one example:

Let's say you were 45 degrees to the left side of your opponent since you could side step, parry and slightly slip his jab...so his left foot is in front. (By the way, change the attacking technique to a front kick, and with a slight initial defensive parry, you can do the same thing I am describing here.) You're in deeply and close enough to sweep or cut his left leg out from under him---and close enough to reach out with a bent right arm and touch his left (punching side) shoulder from the side and slightly behind him. If the cutting kick and/or sweep is done properly he will rotate and expose more of his back to you.

Help him downward by pulling back and down using your right hand hooked into the depression where his clavicle meets his shoulder. Bring up and over your left arm.....over his left parried (punching) arm. Even if he has retracted this, if you did the cut or sweep correctly, he will fall backward toward you and his arm will open to protect his body from falling. Use that chambering motion to lock this arm to initially to your mid-section and while you bring your chambered arm back, rotate your opponent's arm to lock the elbow. As he slides down and you stretch into the chamber his arm will be locked to your side along your ribs. There is some consideration on how you should be angled to the opponent as he falls...if you are parallel, he will take you down too as he falls. You have to be at an angle to him to control his movement downward without taking you out as well.

During this whole process, and if you do this correctly, go to kibadachi as the opponent continues to fall so you can control his motion downward. His head will rest on your bent knee (or be slammed there ), your chambered arm pinning his elbow back and now you have your gedan berai as a hammer fist or back fist (uraken) to bring down on the side of your opponent's head. Voila. Very traditional and very usable. Just not as the starting point to punching someone.

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#363869 - 10/25/07 07:43 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: medulanet]
Unyu Offline
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Quote:

Unyu, I disagree about the no excessive arm crossing view point. What is excessive? In fact, arm crossing is a big part of what makes the blocking in karate effective. The hand skills developed in basic training is important in fighting. It is important to develop the hand/eye coordination to pickup strikes with the hands in parrying and be able to launch effective striking off of these parries. This is trained from day one. However, it may be due to the different in kamae. You mention using a guard hand and wall hand. I personally use the kamae from the beginning of rohai as well as the ready both hands down posture. From these positions where the hands are at roughly the same height and depth the hand crossing and parrying as a part of the traditional blocking is an integral part of application.




Crossing at the wrists in a down block, yeah. Bringing your blocking hand up to your opposite cheek or shoulder, nope. The real lesson of using both hands in a blocking movement is to teach you to use both hands for blocking. The stacked or ready position, one fist over another, is usually a tuite hint.

I don't mean minimal contact with the two, I mean crossing yourself up which is a no-no. Your philiosphy about this is in line with what I've learned.

The ready position you mentioned is prevalent in Okinawan Karate, usually with the hands closed not open. As far as the rear guard hand is concerned, the old bare knuckle boxing stance, but with the rear hand open to parry and accept some force from a surprise punch is what I'm speaking of.
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#363870 - 10/25/07 08:09 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Unyu]
medulanet Offline
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I see what you are saying about getting all "crossed up." In Matsubayashi the hand is not brought to the cheek in a down block. However, when whipping power is used it may whip back around the shoulder area; but this will only happen after the other hand which is used to parry has cleared. The excessive crossing you are speaking of is not a part of the Matsubayashi I know.
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#363871 - 10/26/07 02:09 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: butterfly]
jude33 Offline
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Hi Butterfly.

Nice. I am working through what you explained. If I skim read something it engages my brain cells that are in constant use how ever it doesnt engage my dormant brain cells needed to make things work. Can I come back to you on the topic?

Jude

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#363872 - 10/26/07 08:06 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Unyu]
Victor Smith Offline
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Alas bobbing and weaving are not necessarily new, for example in 1933's "Karate Kempo" by Mutso Mizuho begins his extensive section on 'kumite' showing karate bobbing and weaving applications. He began his training under Funakoshi Ginchin.

There are often more than one answer. One of my instructors agrees from his family traditions that advanced black belts should never chamber and should just explode into the technique, block or attack allowing their extensive years of chambering to allow them to set the technique at the end as if it had been chambered. There is no question this increases the reaction speed of technique execution.

But there is another answer, for example I always chamber especially placing the hand alongiside the ear before the downward strike, but, perhaps not the way basic kata seems to show.

While I personally see value in use of static attacks in training programs as having a place in the study (though not like those youtube video's) there is much more than that too.

Fortunately I was never instructed in blocking. I don't see blocks existing, just technique sequences that help open up my attack into specific situational studies.

Of course the manner of 'blocking' is both hard and soft, is performed in many different manners for various sorts of openings to be crafted, and includes shifting both of basic footwork as well as correct use of the knee release and body mechanics.

Then again karate isn't for fighting, ever. I accept if you're fighting you're in the wrong frame of mind.
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#363873 - 10/26/07 09:08 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Victor Smith]
BrianS Offline
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Quote:

Then again karate isn't for fighting, ever. I accept if you're fighting you're in the wrong frame of mind.




It sure ain't for tiddly winks!!
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#363874 - 10/29/07 11:32 PM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: BrianS]
Unyu Offline
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Quote:

Quote:

Then again karate isn't for fighting, ever. I accept if you're fighting you're in the wrong frame of mind.




It sure ain't for tiddly winks!!




You mean your karate is not for fighting. Sorry, but Kanryo Higashionna, Sokon Matsumura, Hohan Soken, Choshin Chibana, Chotoku Kyan, Choki Motobu, Chojun Miyagi, Kanei Uechi, Tatsuo Shimabuku, Gogen Yamaguchi, Mas Oyama, ad nauseum, would totally disagree with you. Self preservation includes fighting in this instance.

Karate is more than fighting, but Budo that is not about the art of war, is not true and original intent. It's schoolboy karate.

That is what you do right? Day care karate? Whatever super sensei. That might have been the most arse showing comment I've ever seen on a forum. Let me "troll" on outta here now...
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#363875 - 10/30/07 02:18 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Unyu]
Ed_Morris Offline
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I think you read too little in the comment. The distinction I would make is defending ego vs defending your life.

you 'take it outside' and get into a fight, one on one, over an argument that started about who took who's barstool... to me, 'fight' implies 'battle of egos'. maybe thats how Victor meant it, numbnuts.

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#363876 - 10/30/07 02:48 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Ed_Morris]
ButterflyPalm Offline
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I think Victor does have some explaining to do; Unyu may have over-reacted, but then that was too short and too categorical a statement not to have elicited such a response. Especially with that "ever" at the end.
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#363877 - 10/30/07 05:12 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Unyu]
Victor Smith Offline
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Bryan,

No, karate is not for fighting, if it is used there should be no fight just completion.

The fighting mindset is you do this and I'll do that until I win. Unfortunately sparring has made many think this is how karate should be used.

Consider Hohen Soken's comments that Kusanku used to be practiced with the top knot pins (daggers) in each hand.

Training the body to take a shot to fight is nonsense when they may be trying to stick something small into you, and that is always the proper perspective if you need to use the art. End it not fight.

I consider anyone who trains to fight missing the entire point, and there are just as many classical quotes about not fighting from the seniors too. Wonder why?

Karate is for immediately ending, from my perspective.

Of course perhaps your karate is for fighting, if so cool, to each their own.


Edited by Victor Smith (10/30/07 05:16 AM)
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#363878 - 10/30/07 05:32 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Victor Smith]
ButterflyPalm Offline
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Oh, I see. Karate is for 'ending the fight' and not 'fighting the fight'?

I am not double-quessing Unyu, but then he may say that while you are 'ending' the fight, some 'fighting' has to be done first?

Perhaps you are thinking about a variation of the 'one-punch-one-kill' to 'first-punch-first-kill'?
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#363879 - 10/30/07 08:41 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: ButterflyPalm]
Victor Smith Offline
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Loc: Derry, NH
I believe it is much more than a case for semantics about what is happening.

Let me give you an example, one of Isshiryu's kata techniques looks like one technique (which I suspect few really nail each other with) but from a different direction of entry it is a neck breaking technique and is nothing but 100% use of the technique from kata.

I try really hard to work on everything we have and just use of that one application, IMO, is not fighting, its ending the situation, which btw is also the complete way to enter an attack by using the technique.

Of course I'm not looking to break necks, but if the situation is appropriate the technique is not fighting in my book, its ending the situation.

I see fighting as a mindset how to use karate's technique, see value in it, but also see much more.

In that light I take all the elder seniors admonisnments that karate isn't to be used for fighting as a serious contention.
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#363880 - 11/01/07 03:06 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: ButterflyPalm]
jude33 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1539
Quote:

Oh, I see. Karate is for 'ending the fight' and not 'fighting the fight'?

I am not double-quessing Unyu, but then he may say that while you are 'ending' the fight, some 'fighting' has to be done first?

Perhaps you are thinking about a variation of the 'one-punch-one-kill' to 'first-punch-first-kill'?




This seems to be taking a some what confusing direction.
Looking at the bunkia thread it seems the techniques in kata might/are geared to the defender aiming for/achieving the dominant position should they be attacked.
So karate is for aiming for that situation? as opposed to a just keep throwing techniques and hope they land brawl?

Is that what Victor is saying?

Other wise I am getting somewhat confused.
Jude

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#363881 - 11/01/07 05:13 AM Re: Traditional blocks [Re: Unyu]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
Hi Bryan,

im away from home hence not being online so much last week or so, re this comment -

'Jim did mention the use of a "fence", which some shinshii call "the wall", but he also seems to detail use of the block in 2-person sets from a chambered position'

I dont recall, certainly dont teach hikite position as a start point for blocking, its pointless and simply doesn't work.

The only real use I see for it is interception or grabbing to dead stop the person or pull them into something nasty, open them up for locks etc etc.

agree with the kamae position we use in seito, ie both hands in front, I teach open hands or loose fists.
_________________________
Jim Neeter

www.shoshinkanuk.blogspot.com

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