I'm with Matt. Evasion is always my preferred tactic, followed by a slipping cover and immediate counter. Often the problem with blocking is that the elbow moves too far away from the body.

There are down sides to every tactic. The essence of "blocking" (see my caveat at the start of my article on my use of this term to cover a number of different things) is to return your elbow back quickly. As Zach mentioned, this is an essential part of the basic - as you'll see from the pictures below:

It is true that in the middle of the movement your elbow leaves the body - but this is also true of punching etc...


Anyone that blocks a jab like that is almost immediately vulnerable to a double leg. That's the problem with isolating things and then over-analyzing them.

Yes John. The problem is indeed one of isolating and over-analyzing - in this case my video example! I don't agree that there is an insurmountable problem in deflecting jabs. I've done it successfully for years against all styles. One could pick apart the video and say "yes, but I could do this..." etc. however it takes the video out of context.

My purpose in the first part of that video was merely to demonstrate what many have claimed over the years as infallible logic - that it is impossible to deflect/block a jab. Would I stand there and keep blocking jabs in isolation as I demonstrate at the start of the video? Absolutely not. I'd be countering/closing the gap as I deflect - whether with a punch that follows the retraction of his jab (as I demonstrate further in the video) or with a kick, etc. - see below:

I'm well aware that the move "leaves an opening" as does any move. But where, when and how I use it (ie. the context and the follow up moves) seek to minimise this 'opening' in the same way that a boxer must use his techniques in the correct context. By way of example, a boxer's jab could, when viewed in isolation, be subjected to all manner of arguments such as: "But I'd just kick/punch him in the midriff" etc., but this ignores the context in which the boxer has trained to use his jab.

I've trained to use my deflections. If you tried to do this without the proper training and without a follow up you'd be as stuffed as a karate man pretending to box.

As far as I'm concerned this isn't theory: I apply it. It is a very different tactic - but not one that many use (even by traditional karateka - for reasons I have set out in my article). It is my "style" and I've offered reasons for why I prefer it. I appreciate that Matt, John and others have a different approach - with persuasive reasoning to back that up.

I lament the fact that many people train with karate techniques, yet never use them in fighting. We do. The argument is often raised that people don't because "they just don't work", but, as you will read in my article, I reject this completely. They don't use them because they require very specific tactics that are often completely misunderstood. When many do try to apply them, they do so poorly, resulting in failure, derision and dismissal.

At least I think I've moved the debate from "it's impossible" to "anyone who does this"... (ie. we are now debating the merits, rather than the impossibility of using these techniques).

My purpose in this article was not to denigrate boxing or MMA, but to present a view relating to karate and other TMA that is totally under-represented on the web or in the media. Traditional martial arts have very different tactics, and misunderstanding these tactics and not applying them correctly (or at all) has resulted in a very "lop-sided" argument in relation to skills that I have come to rely on. I highly respect other styles of fighting. But I hope to have at least impressed upon those who don't do TMA that a cogent methodology underpins it - not just some "archaic nonsense".

Edited by dandjurdjevic (06/22/08 10:37 PM)