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Thread: Blocking inside and outside, how is it done?

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    Default Blocking inside and outside, how is it done?

    Previously from this thread Self defense pointers, Kenpo teacher had said:

    This idea,
    1. When blocking on the outside of your opponents arm, block at or above the elbow.

    my question to everybody is, where do you start the contact point on the outside of the arm?

    Two answers are possible, (I did not say they were the correct answers, that is up to the blocker to determine.) one is to start on the outside of the wrist when using the thrusting inward block. This version of the inward block is a sensitivity block that solidifies above the elbow at a point in space that is advantages to cancelling width, on the outside of the arm. It travels from it's point of origin on a 45 degree angle toward the face of the puncher.

    The second block is the 3 to 9 or, 9 to 3 version that makes you move your head out of the line of attack, thus making the left to right or right to left movement useful.

    Clark

    What are your thoughts?
    Last edited by parkerkarate; 12-11-2006 at 12:15 PM.
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    Default Re: Blocking inside and outside, how is it done?

    Copied from the thread referenced, where I just posted this:

    I think the key to kenpoteachers answer is in the phrase I bolded:


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kenpoteacher
    1. When blocking on the outside of your opponents arm, block at or above the elbow. my question to everybody is, where do you start the contact point on the outside of the arm?

    Two answers are possible, ... one is to start on the outside of the wrist when using the thrusting inward block. This version of the inward block is a sensitivity block that solidifies above the elbow at a point in space that is advantages to cancelling width, on the outside of the arm. It travels from it's point of origin on a 45 degree angle toward the face of the puncher.


    It is a sensitivity move, and does not solidify until above the elbow, therefore making it less likely that the elbow will collapse. It is a deflection, then a block, so the actual block- meeting force with force- does occur above the elbow, at the point the block solidifies.

    Dan C
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    Default Re: Blocking inside and outside, how is it done?

    copied from other thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesB View Post
    I find this pointer a little ambiguous. Are you saying to block the punching arm between its shoulder and elbow, or between its elbow and wrist? I think 'above the elbow' commonly refers to blocking between elbow+shoulder?

    I have been taught to block at the forearm (when blocking on the 'outside' of the punch) and at the upper-arm/bicep when blocking on the 'inside'. Blocking to these targets has greater effect than the contrasting approach.

    I would say in addition that it would not be a very good idea to block at the elbow itself - striking a solid joint like the elbow would likely hurt the blocking arm. Much better to block on the muscle structures either side of the joints.
    Quote Originally Posted by parkerkarate View Post
    Ok since this has become technical, what you are say can get you into some big trouble. If you are in the inside and block above the elbow, you will get elbowed. If you are on the outside and you block below the elbow...you will get elbowed. Either way the elbow will collapse. I was taught these first two at Yellow belt. I do not mean to sound mad or mean, I am totally not.
    Hi,
    ok I will argue that there is no likelyhood of being elbowed in the scenarios you give :-)

    Consider the attacking arm in it's 'punching configuration', as the attacker is delivering a committed straight punch to the head. The arm will be structurally very strong in preparation for the impending impact - the muscle structures around the elbow will stablise it to such a degree that the arm is prevented from bending at all. In other words the arm is not easily manipulatable - it acts as one 'unit'. So blocking on the outside of the forearm (for example) will control the arm every bit as well as blocking above the elbow. This is not just theoretical, it really works that way.

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    Default Re: Blocking inside and outside, how is it done?

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesB View Post
    copied from other thread:





    Hi,
    ok I will argue that there is no likelyhood of being elbowed in the scenarios you give :-)

    Consider the attacking arm in it's 'punching configuration', as the attacker is delivering a committed straight punch to the head. The arm will be structurally very strong in preparation for the impending impact - the muscle structures around the elbow will stablise it to such a degree that the arm is prevented from bending at all. In other words the arm is not easily manipulatable - it acts as one 'unit'. So blocking on the outside of the forearm (for example) will control the arm every bit as well as blocking above the elbow. This is not just theoretical, it really works that way.
    Ok after blocking punches for almost ten years I have never seen this occur. You are trying to say that by blocking at the forearm or lower will have no damaging effect to you (i.e. the elbow). I am going to have to play with this one. Thank you.
    "To hear is to doubt. To see is to be deceived. But to feel is to believe." -- SGM Ed Parker

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    Default Re: Blocking inside and outside, how is it done?

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesB View Post
    ... there is no likelyhood of being elbowed in the scenarios you give

    Consider the attacking arm in it's 'punching configuration', as the attacker is delivering a committed straight punch to the head. The arm will be structurally very strong in preparation for the impending impact - the muscle structures around the elbow will stablise it to such a degree that the arm is prevented from bending at all.
    James, good points. And that is why the "rideing block", as Amy aptly named it, works.

    The problem occurs when the block is solidified at the distal end of the forearm and you drive the arm across his body. Your block itself does not collapse the elbow. He has the opportunity to consciously collapse the elbow and convert to an elbow strike, with proper body structure and footwork. And one of your primary defenses is already commited and circumvented, in fact, aiding his strike.

    Of course, if he is an accomplished sensitivity player, he could collapse the elbow with your rideing block as well. But not as likely. And you would not be in an overcommited condition.

    I'm curiouse. I was taught this block should contact just distal to the elbow, midpoint or less on the forearm, then slide/ride up just past /proximal to the elbow and solidify. It should then drive the arm back and across his body, turning him so that as the central line changes you are not crossing it with both hands. He, on the other hand, would be severely crossed up if trying to employ the far weapons. How was everyone else taught this?

    Dan C
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    Default Re: Blocking inside and outside, how is it done?

    I personally find it much to difficult to pin point a location on the arm such that I can make a generalized statement. In training, I focus simply on "at or above the elbow" or "at or below the elbow". Much of my actual location on limb depends on the between my center and his, and of course on the length of the offending limb.

    The two dimensional blocks (those that offer a bracing angle) - UB, IB, EOB, and IDB essentially terminate at your second ring (i.e. knee range). Use of a margin of error using your forearm requires being even closer. The critical part, to me, then is maintaining the correct parameters (particularly depth) of the block such that I maintain all of the required alignment to remain in control of my own Outer Rim. I will allow for slight alterations in heigth of my blocks to accomodate the heigth of the enemy's Outer Rim.

    In short, it depends on range. Hope that made some sense.

    Thanks,

    Steven Brown
    UKF

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    Default Re: Blocking inside and outside, how is it done?

    Yes, distance, angles and type of block would be important in how/where you deliver the block. Going outside a backfist with an outward block would be difficult to "ride." Going outside a straight trailing hand punch to the face with an inward block would be much easier to contact just below the elbow and ride. And a hard block just below the elbow would probably work. A rideing block, however, would set him back on his heels better while severely crossing him up. I think it is a valid blocking method.

    Dan C
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    kenpoteacher Guest

    Default Re: Blocking inside and outside, how is it done?

    "I'm curiouse. I was taught this block should contact just distal to the elbow, midpoint or less on the forearm, then slide/ride up just past /proximal to the elbow and solidify. It should then drive the arm back and across his body, turning him so that as the central line changes you are not crossing it with both hands. He, on the other hand, would be severely crossed up if trying to employ the far weapons. How was everyone else taught this? "

    Same for me as it was taught in 1991. However, being over six feet tall, my perspective allows me to see the attacks from the above view (ost of the time) and I am able to open the gap and use the attackers wrist as the initial contact point. But, when closeing the gap while blocking on the outside, the block starts where you descripeb, just below the elbow, but with the arm anchored and the forearm more relaxed, due to the stance change and body maneuvers involved with stepping into the attack.

    Clark

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    kenpoteacher Guest

    Default Re: Blocking inside and outside, how is it done?

    Maybe Dan and I have been taught by the same people. You are explaining the block better than I though. Good job Dan.

    Clark

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    Default Re: Blocking inside and outside, how is it done?

    Quote Originally Posted by kenpoteacher View Post
    Maybe Dan and I have been taught by the same people. You are explaining the block better than I though. Good job Dan.
    Thanks. But credit good instruction. In my case, Mr. Chris Panting, now with the AKTS. I'm not afiliated with them, though.

    I do (obviously) agree with you on this block- except that if you are contacting at the wrist you are a much better sensitivity player than I am!

    Dan C
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    Default Re: Blocking inside and outside, how is it done?

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    Thanks. But credit good instruction. In my case, Mr. Chris Panting, now with the AKTS. I'm not afiliated with them, though.

    I do (obviously) agree with you on this block- except that if you are contacting at the wrist you are a much better sensitivity player than I am!

    Dan C
    Thanks, but it takes a (like you said) quality instructor to open our eyes to the potential uses of kenpo basics. I credit Pat Salantri and Clyde O'Briant for the skills I have and am lucky to have worked with those two.

    I like the wrist becasue I can also ride (as Amy correctly pointed out) the arm and turn it into a grab to the wrist if the punch is a Jabbing type strike. I try to visualize the grab of the wrist pulling me to the outside of the attacker as they pull their arm back. I also like the wrist becasue I can anchor my elbow and crank it like the dipping elbow of Shielding Hammer.

    Clark

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    Default Re: Blocking inside and outside, how is it done?

    Not being an EPAK stylist, I'm probably missing the background information to understand this topic, but I'm curious about it.

    Whether I'm blocking on the inside or outside of a punch, I always aim to make initial contact within a few inches above the opponent's wrist. This gives me the greatest margin for error by meeting the punch sooner, when it's farthest away from me. The body movement in our (Sam Pai) outside-blocking punch techniques aims to put us in a spot that's either A) too far away for the opponent's elbow to hit us before we hit him or B) at an angle where an immediate or incidental eblow will be hard for him to throw or land.

    The thing is, our techniques are not that much different than EPAK's, especially in respect to the initial blocks. In certain techniques, like Destructive Twins, I understand why you would throw the second block above the elbow, because you're at very close range and can only control both the distance between you and your opponent and your angle of attack so much. But in this technique (correct me if I'm wrong for EPAK), it's the second block that's above the elbow and not the initial one.

    So where do you make initial contact on the outside of a punch in your techniques? How about in your sparring?

    Again, I may be way off base in my understanding of the EPAK theory being used here, and don't want to cause any eyes to roll. Regardless, this thread has given me a couple of ideas to analyze techniques with at class tonight. Thanks for any input.

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    Default Re: Blocking inside and outside, how is it done?

    Quote Originally Posted by parkerkarate View Post
    Ok after blocking punches for almost ten years I have never seen this occur. You are trying to say that by blocking at the forearm or lower will have no damaging effect to you (i.e. the elbow). I am going to have to play with this one. Thank you.
    yes, essentially that is what I am saying. Note I am not saying that blocking between elbow+shoulder does not work - of course it does - rather I am saying that blocking the outside of the forearm can work just as well. Assuming of course that the block is well executed :-)

    By all means experiment, but I would also say to test the punch realistically: Don't just get someone to stand their with their arm extended. Get them to punch forcefully forwards with a strong punch and hold that focussed position. Then test the block on the forearm.

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    Default Re: Blocking inside and outside, how is it done?

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesB View Post
    By all means experiment, but I would also say to test the punch realistically: Don't just get someone to stand their with their arm extended. Get them to punch forcefully forwards with a strong punch and hold that focussed position. Then test the block on the forearm.
    Trust me I have had real punches coming at me while sparring, as have we all. LOL.
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    Default Re: Blocking inside and outside, how is it done?

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    James, good points. And that is why the "rideing block", as Amy aptly named it, works.

    The problem occurs when the block is solidified at the distal end of the forearm and you drive the arm across his body. Your block itself does not collapse the elbow. He has the opportunity to consciously collapse the elbow and convert to an elbow strike, with proper body structure and footwork. And one of your primary defenses is already commited and circumvented, in fact, aiding his strike.

    Of course, if he is an accomplished sensitivity player, he could collapse the elbow with your rideing block as well. But not as likely. And you would not be in an overcommited condition.

    I'm curiouse. I was taught this block should contact just distal to the elbow, midpoint or less on the forearm, then slide/ride up just past /proximal to the elbow and solidify. It should then drive the arm back and across his body, turning him so that as the central line changes you are not crossing it with both hands. He, on the other hand, would be severely crossed up if trying to employ the far weapons. How was everyone else taught this?

    Dan C
    Thanks for your thoughts - I'll throw in a couple more of mine :-)

    Firstly I think the problem in discussing this 'inside-outside' issue is that there appear to be a wide variety of blocking methods described so far. Depending on how the inward block is executed will determine the effect on the attacker...I think everyone will agree on this point.

    I don't really comprehend this 'riding block' that is mentioned so far - this is not how I block for example. Is the execution of this inward block such that the blocking arm almost thrusts upwards to it's target on the arm? Then maintains contact as it rides along the arm? I call this a 'thrusting inward block' - it makes contact on the horizontal plane. However I have been taught not to block this way. I can visualise that with this riding/thrusting block that the attacker may potentially fold his arm in towards you, as his height+depth are not controlled to any great degree. Am I on track here?

    My execution of the inward block is such that the blocking arm circles high over my own shoulder height, and then circles down from the shoulder, hammering downward at a diagonal angle across the punching arm. The advantage of the 'hammering inward' vs the 'thrusting inward' is that the height+width+depth of the attacker are controlled simultaneously. The attacker never gets the chance to 'fold his elbow' because his entire body has been collapsed due to the effectiveness of the block and the arm is folded right across his body, with the weight of his upper body forced down over his legs.

    I guess I assumed that most would be blocking this way - my comments regarding blocking 'below the elbow' are based around the specific execution of an inward block as I have been taught, and not the 'thrusting inward'. I can't say for certain what will happen regarding 'elbow folding' for other blocking methods.

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    Default Re: Blocking inside and outside, how is it done?

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesB View Post
    Depending on how the inward block is executed will determine the effect on the attacker...I think everyone will agree on this point. ... Is the execution of this inward block such that the blocking arm almost thrusts upwards to it's target on the arm? Then maintains contact as it rides along the arm? I call this a 'thrusting inward block' - it makes contact on the horizontal plane.
    Yes, you are correct that the inward block would have to be a thrusting block to be effective as a rideing/sliding block. It would thrust more forward and in than up. You are probably operating somewhere around the fine line that would diferentiate a thrusting vs. hammering block. If the strike is low, hammer, as I don't see how you could ride or slip the block anyway.

    I can visualise that with this riding/thrusting block that the attacker may potentially fold his arm in towards you, as his height+depth are not controlled to any great degree. Am I on track here?
    Yes. And if he changes his structure, as in delivering an elbow strike, he maintains the initiative and control in width as well.

    My execution of the inward block is such that the blocking arm circles high over my own shoulder height, and then circles down from the shoulder, hammering downward at a diagonal angle across the punching arm. The advantage of the 'hammering inward' vs the 'thrusting inward' is that the height+width+depth of the attacker are controlled simultaneously. The attacker never gets the chance to 'fold his elbow' because his entire body has been collapsed due to the effectiveness of the block and the arm is folded right across his body, with the weight of his upper body forced down over his legs.
    This would be a significant advantage. However, we do not always have the time and positional advantage to throw a hammering inward block, especially if the punch is comeing at our face.

    I can't say for certain what will happen regarding 'elbow folding' for other blocking methods.
    Neither can I. It is just that you give him an opportunity to do this. I can't reliably get the elbow to fold after an improper block, but others are more adept.

    Just more thoughts.

    Why are you taught not to use the thrusting block? It seems to me that the indexing you ingrain into synaptic memory with your method of inward blocking would create solid structure in a thrusting block as well. You loose the effect of the hammer, but gain in speed, and there are other positive efects to gain from thrusting (as we are discussing).

    Dan C
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    Default Re: Blocking inside and outside, how is it done?

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesB View Post
    My execution of the inward block is such that the blocking arm circles high over my own shoulder height...
    I'm assuming this is done in the training hall to emphasize a certain principle, but is utilized differently in application? By doing such it parallels the approach of many classical methods wherein a particular motion is exaggerated to engrain the result at the end of the action. I guess I'm referring to a gap between training and application, which is prevelant in classical systems. I understand that approach has its merit, and that you're teacher is a stickler on good alignment as well. I just thought I'd ask, as it sounds like the sort of thing taught to emphasize a certain principle, and not something you'd use against in the same manner against a 220 thug who wants your head with a quick jab and cross.

    Salute,

    Steven Brown
    UKF

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    Default Re: Blocking inside and outside, how is it done?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sentinel View Post
    So where do you make initial contact on the outside of a punch in your techniques? How about in your sparring?
    Not being familiar with your system, I can't give you a good answer to most of your questions. It doesn't sound like you are too much different in your applications.

    Where initial contact is made, and how, depends on several factors. Relative body position, type of strike thrown, and type of block you throw and what you want to acomplish being some of the major factors. I tend to like the rideing/sliding block for high strikes as they are quick to intercept and keep a high degree of control. Blocks that drive his arms down or don't maintain control immediately afterwards have the disadvantage of allowing a grappler to slip in for a takedown. And sensitivity players (like Taiji) can do some interesting things in any situation where you loose control. Actually, they are pretty good at taking control no matter what you do- but that's another topic.

    Hope that doesn't confuse the issue too much. Keep in mind that this is just the direction and understanding I am at right now. I'm no expert, by any means. Maybe you could talk Russ into giving us the SamPai view on this. Cheers.

    Dan C
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    Default Re: Blocking inside and outside, how is it done?

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    Not being familiar with your system, I can't give you a good answer to most of your questions. It doesn't sound like you are too much different in your applications.

    Where initial contact is made, and how, depends on several factors. Relative body position, type of strike thrown, and type of block you throw and what you want to acomplish being some of the major factors. I tend to like the rideing/sliding block for high strikes as they are quick to intercept and keep a high degree of control. Blocks that drive his arms down or don't maintain control immediately afterwards have the disadvantage of allowing a grappler to slip in for a takedown. And sensitivity players (like Taiji) can do some interesting things in any situation where you loose control. Actually, they are pretty good at taking control no matter what you do- but that's another topic.

    Hope that doesn't confuse the issue too much. Keep in mind that this is just the direction and understanding I am at right now. I'm no expert, by any means. Maybe you could talk Russ into giving us the SamPai view on this. Cheers.

    Dan C
    I agree with what you said about body position and type of attack. All things being equal, if I'm going to block a punch, I like to catch it as soon as I can, making contact with my initial move while the punch is as far away from me as possible. It's good to analyze your options and potential pitfalls with each technique individually though, and I'm going to look at a couple tonight. Thanks for the reply.

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    Default Re: Blocking inside and outside, how is it done?

    Quote Originally Posted by bujuts View Post
    I'm assuming this is done in the training hall to emphasize a certain principle, but is utilized differently in application?
    not as such - the block is perfectly functional in the 'circling' description I gave, although I did exagerate somewhat to get my point across. But the elbow circling to/above shoulder height is an important principle for us to ensure the effectiveness of the block.

    Quote Originally Posted by bujuts View Post
    By doing such it parallels the approach of many classical methods wherein a particular motion is exaggerated to engrain the result at the end of the action. I guess I'm referring to a gap between training and application, which is prevelant in classical systems. I understand that approach has its merit, and that you're teacher is a stickler on good alignment as well. I just thought I'd ask, as it sounds like the sort of thing taught to emphasize a certain principle, and not something you'd use against in the same manner against a 220 thug who wants your head with a quick jab and cross.

    Salute,

    Steven Brown
    UKF
    you are absoluately right in your assessment, this is certainly a more 'classical' approach in that regard. And the circular path of the block is emphasised strongly in initial training as the movements are learned/ingrained - the circles can become smaller and smaller over time (but I am a long way off that stage yet :-) In your example above, I agree, an inward block may not be the most appropriate response at first. Other combinations of parries/double blocks can be utilized prior to the 'major' inward block.

    It guess it is the angle of the strike (downward as well as horizontal) that is as important for us as anything - the 'wipe' effect of the block coming downwards across one's face means that anything caught in it's path will be blocked. A thrusting inward block does not cover one's center-line as well (as I understand it).

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