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#400149 - 06/23/08 07:33 AM Re: Why blocks DO work [Re: dandjurdjevic]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
Dan,

Interesting post and supporting material.

From my perspectives there are other aspects to this. We have a number of differing methods of ‘block’ execution that are used to draw the attacker closer for a stronger counter attack.

Using my friend Ernest Rothrocks ‘Jing Do – short range striking practices’ we also use blocks as opening deflections for attacking techniques. The block just a fractal of the attack. They attack but our attack uses their opening to slice into them.

I’ve lately been doing research on Gusukama Shinpan’s ‘Demonstrations on the use of Karate Kata’ documented in Nakasone Genwa’s 1938 “Karatedo Taiken”. In that case the ‘block’ is more a kamae entered into an attack to deflect them and then expand upon for an attack. Somewhat different from how I normally use kamae as an immovable force inserted into the attack too.

BTW Karate’s documented use of bobbing and weaving is found in Mutsu’s 1933 “Kempo Karate” as the first series of Karate technique applications he is sharing.
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#400150 - 06/23/08 07:42 AM Re: Why blocks DO work [Re: shoshinkan]
dandjurdjevic Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 844
Loc: Australia
Quote:

really interesting article Dan, and nice presentation with the video etc etc.




Thanks Jim!

Quote:

In simplistic terms I see 'uke', in realtion to the hands in three ways -


1. Hard, direct, damaging blocking (we use double bone method in the main)

2. soft, deflection based methods (we use single bone, palms, forearms in the main)

3. combinations of 1 and 2


Hard blocking MUST come first (IMO), it is the least skilled, and when a situation is not 'perfect' (ie your off balance, have fear going on, didn't see it, or was surprised) it is what will save you when under real pressure from commited non karate like attacks, but they do lead on to the softer method, and then both, when appropiate.




While I agree in general terms, my view is somewhat different. I believe there are no 'hard' blocks in goju (or shorin styles for that matter!). I think they are all capable of being used as 'soft' deflections - consider my chudan uke (goju & shorin) in the video. Beginners will, through inexperience default to hard. Sometimes you will use it as a strike or 'stop' - hitting a nerve etc - but I've found this largely overstated as an application.

Shorin styles have a higher percentage of what are perceived (in my view incorrectly) as 'hard' blocks, especially your sword hand block and jodan/age uke (which only occurs in gekisai in goju). However both of the latter can (and in my view should) be applied 'softly' except against very circular techniques such as a haymaker. Even then I use the twisting forearm to 'slide' into the attack...
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#400151 - 06/23/08 07:59 AM Re: Why blocks DO work [Re: Victor Smith]
dandjurdjevic Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 844
Loc: Australia
Quote:

Dan,

Interesting post and supporting material.

From my perspectives there are other aspects to this. We have a number of differing methods of ‘block’ execution that are used to draw the attacker closer for a stronger counter attack.

Using my friend Ernest Rothrocks ‘Jing Do – short range striking practices’ we also use blocks as opening deflections for attacking techniques. The block just a fractal of the attack. They attack but our attack uses their opening to slice into them.

I’ve lately been doing research on Gusukama Shinpan’s ‘Demonstrations on the use of Karate Kata’ documented in Nakasone Genwa’s 1938 “Karatedo Taiken”. In that case the ‘block’ is more a kamae entered into an attack to deflect them and then expand upon for an attack. Somewhat different from how I normally use kamae as an immovable force inserted into the attack too.

BTW Karate’s documented use of bobbing and weaving is found in Mutsu’s 1933 “Kempo Karate” as the first series of Karate technique applications he is sharing.




Thanks Victor.

My article serves as a mere introduction to the concept. I agree that there are many aspects to karate "blocks" - but my primary purpose was to negate the (imho) incorrect view that karate blocks are not "blocks" (ie. they were never meant to be deflections, parries, wedges, slices etc. but were instead only intended as strikes, locks etc. My view is that blocks are very useful as defensive/setup tools (as opposed to assaults) and that this is their primary purpose. I'm concerned that many karateka seemed to have blindly accepted the 'blocks don't work' propoganda which is, I feel, clearly false.

Yes, I am aware of karate's bobbing and weaving history, although the names (which I once knew) have eluded me. I propose to deal with the issue of bobbing and weaving later, suffice it say that karate does not emphasise this as the first line of defence, but rather an ancilliary method (eg. if your hand or hands are trapped, etc.).

Other disciplines put the emphasis the other way around...

I look forward to hearing more about your research!

Dan


Edited by dandjurdjevic (06/23/08 08:17 AM)
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#400152 - 06/23/08 08:45 AM Re: Why blocks DO work [Re: dandjurdjevic]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Nice discussion for us peeps!

This is how I'm currently instructed to view Goju blocks.

http://www.youtube.com/user/swdw973

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#400153 - 06/23/08 09:04 AM Re: Why blocks DO work [Re: harlan]
dandjurdjevic Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 844
Loc: Australia
Yes - nice video. I see he demonstrates using the "backup" block I referred to. While it is useful, I'm afraid the inside hand is still "secondary" from my perspective. My brother's video embedded in my article shows the same sort of thing (albeit a bit later in the video).
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#400154 - 06/23/08 09:32 AM Re: Why blocks DO work [Re: Victor Smith]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

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

'we also use blocks as opening deflections for attacking techniques'

This is also very common in Seito Matsumura Shorin Ryu (and comes after the simpler methods).
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www.shoshinkanuk.blogspot.com

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#400155 - 06/23/08 01:31 PM Re: Why blocks DO work [Re: dandjurdjevic]
Zach_Zinn Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA

Quote:


While I agree in general terms, my view is somewhat different. I believe there are no 'hard' blocks in goju (or shorin styles for that matter!). I think they are all capable of being used as 'soft' deflections - consider my chudan uke (goju & shorin) in the video. Beginners will, through inexperience default to hard. Sometimes you will use it as a strike or 'stop' - hitting a nerve etc - but I've found this largely overstated as an application.

Shorin styles have a higher percentage of what are perceived (in my view incorrectly) as 'hard' blocks, especially your sword hand block and jodan/age uke (which only occurs in gekisai in goju). However both of the latter can (and in my view should) be applied 'softly' except against very circular techniques such as a haymaker. Even then I use the twisting forearm to 'slide' into the attack...




How exactly are you differentiating what constitutes a "soft" vs a hard block?

Personally I think the hard method has its benefits, using chudan-uke as an example (especially if used above the elbow as you mentioned), it tends to rock and disrupt people alot more than hiki-uke does, which is more of a blending movement in my mind. These are generalizations, but I just don't see that there aren't hard blocks in Goju...

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#400156 - 06/23/08 03:46 PM Re: Why blocks DO work [Re: shoshinkan]
karate_popo Offline
Member

Registered: 09/27/07
Posts: 154
Loc: NYC
i would like to know, in what aspect does blocking not work?.. are they talking about sparring , that it leaves you open for the opposer to strike back.. because i will tell you this.. when it comes to self defense.. the attacker is going to be shocked for a split second that you blocked him and then a split second later you are going to strike him or counterattack.. so i'm confused as to what these people are thinking.. i study three styles.. most of the moves i know require blocks.. people in my class have been successful in real life using these styles.. we also spar in our style and it works too. so what are people talking about?. a block doesn't work?..
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#400157 - 06/23/08 07:06 PM Re: Why blocks DO work [Re: Zach_Zinn]
dandjurdjevic Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 844
Loc: Australia
Quote:


How exactly are you differentiating what constitutes a "soft" vs a hard block?




These terms are highly relative, but what I perceive to be the common view is that karate contains "blocks" that oppose force with force, instead of having some element of "deflection" or "parrying". What MattJ calls a "block" is to me virtually non-existent in karate since every block can be used to to deflect/parry etc. The only reason I use "block" as a term is because I am translating the term "uke" (and out of habit).

That is not to say that karate uke cannot be used as literal 'blocks' - one example might be an age uke against a haymaker. However even then I use some element of "parry" in the technique.

As to why people say that blocks don't work... Pick up a martial arts magazine from about the late 80s onwards and chances are you'll see an article either:

(a) from a kickboxer/eclectic/dissolusioned karateka saying that blocks "simply don't work in the street" and that's why they have dropped them from the syllabus; or

(b) a revisionist view that accepts the above and then offers alternative explanations (a block is anything but a defensive/intercepting technique, but is in fact a strike or a lock or hold etc.).
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#400158 - 06/23/08 07:22 PM Re: Why blocks DO work [Re: dandjurdjevic]
karate_popo Offline
Member

Registered: 09/27/07
Posts: 154
Loc: NYC
i guess the guy that wrote those articles didn't write it on fact.. or maybe the guys in my class or my sensei is lying. hmmm.. or maybe the guys in the 80s, didn't know what they were doing.. got their black belt at a mcdojo and that is the problem.. but i assure you, blocks do work on the street.. anyone that says anything else,, either does a style that doesn't teach blocks to use in self defense properly.. or they don't know what they are doing...
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