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Thread: Article/Blog on "hard" vs. "soft" blocking

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    Default Article/Blog on "hard" vs. "soft" blocking

    "To be, rather than to seem"

    "Fix your rear foot ... What the hell is wrong with you?"

    "...I already watched the videos, and quite frankly, they're bullsh*t."

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    Default Re: Article/Blog on "hard" vs. "soft" blocking

    In short, get off the line of attack; use blocks to give you margin for error in the effort to get off that line.
    Sean
    Also Mastering Tsing Tao.

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    Default Re: Article/Blog on "hard" vs. "soft" blocking

    I love this line:

    In fact, I believe that "hard" blocks are rarely useful - so rarely useful that this is part of what accounts for the fact that blocks are very seldom even contemplated in combat sports. Yet I see no reason why they should not be used in that arena.
    Which is what a lot of people thought about high kicks and jump kicks, until someone like Randy Couture gets KO'd and loses a tooth to one (UFC 129).

    Randy-Couture-vs-Lyoto-Machida-Fight-Video5.jpg

    There is a big difference in conserving energy for a sporting event (like boxing, kick boxing...) by using minimal parries - than going balls to the wall, for a short period of time, to win a street fight.
    Kenpo, moving in open piecewise Bézier curves since 2011

    Trying hard not to lapse into speaking kenponics

    Been doing computers since 1982, on forums, chats and all for nearly 3 decades. Only ever blocked one person.

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    Default Re: Article/Blog on "hard" vs. "soft" blocking

    I think it is a pretty ignorant point of view.

    When "Hard" Blocking with my dominant hand you are able to get a dramatic reaction from your opponent, given the caveat that you are a good basic practitioner.

    "Soft" blocking is a very useful tool for use with the non-dominant arm.

    And there folks is simple effective tailoring.
    A good teacher is a master of simplification and an enemy of simplism. ~ Louis A. Berman

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    Default Re: Article/Blog on "hard" vs. "soft" blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastcoastkenpoist View Post
    I think it is a pretty ignorant point of view.

    When "Hard" Blocking with my dominant hand you are able to get a dramatic reaction from your opponent, given the caveat that you are a good basic practitioner.

    "Soft" blocking is a very useful tool for use with the non-dominant arm.

    And there folks is simple effective tailoring.
    I have to disagree. "Soft" blocking as it relates to Kenpo is a time sensitive thing. The earlier I recognize and can react to the attack the harder the block, but as reaction time decreases the block becomes softer even to the point of just a touch to get the strike off center.

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    Default Re: Article/Blog on "hard" vs. "soft" blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by kenporider View Post
    I have to disagree. "Soft" blocking as it relates to Kenpo is a time sensitive thing. The earlier I recognize and can react to the attack the harder the block, but as reaction time decreases the block becomes softer even to the point of just a touch to get the strike off center.
    Of course you could do a "soft" block with your dominant hand, but that would be unuseful on the scale of logic.

    Why would you do a soft block with your dominant hand? To setup a shot from your non-dominant hand?
    A good teacher is a master of simplification and an enemy of simplism. ~ Louis A. Berman

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    Default Re: Article/Blog on "hard" vs. "soft" blocking

    It's my understanding that "hard blocks" weren't blocks per se but, strikes and that "soft blocks" were just redirections of an attack
    Tradition is not about the preservation of the ashes, but about keeping the flame alive

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    Default Re: Article/Blog on "hard" vs. "soft" blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by KirkS View Post
    It's my understanding that "hard blocks" weren't blocks per se but, strikes and that "soft blocks" were just redirections of an attack
    That understanding fits in with what I am trying to say.
    A good teacher is a master of simplification and an enemy of simplism. ~ Louis A. Berman

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    Default Re: Article/Blog on "hard" vs. "soft" blocking

    A definition that might help you see where I am coming from

    "Coordination is the synchronization of body, mind and breath. Making Basics or sequences of Basics look the same on both sides is not Coordination. It is symmetry."
    A good teacher is a master of simplification and an enemy of simplism. ~ Louis A. Berman

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    Default Re: Article/Blog on "hard" vs. "soft" blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastcoastkenpoist View Post
    Of course you could do a "soft" block with your dominant hand, but that would be unuseful on the scale of logic.

    Why would you do a soft block with your dominant hand? To setup a shot from your non-dominant hand?
    Because my time to react dictates it. Let's take Delayed Sword as an example against a punch. If all I have time for is a soft block (think a very small parry) I would still follow up with the same follow up strikes. The scale of logic is dependant upon reation time. The goal of the block is to not get hit, anything beyond that is sauce for the goose.

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    Default Re: Article/Blog on "hard" vs. "soft" blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by KirkS View Post
    It's my understanding that "hard blocks" weren't blocks per se but, strikes and that "soft blocks" were just redirections of an attack
    It seems that the author includes parries in the catagory of blocks. Anything that stops or redirects the strike would be considered a block in that perspective.

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    Default Re: Article/Blog on "hard" vs. "soft" blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by kenporider View Post
    Because my time to react dictates it. Let's take Delayed Sword as an example against a punch. If all I have time for is a soft block (think a very small parry) I would still follow up with the same follow up strikes. The scale of logic is dependant upon reation time. The goal of the block is to not get hit, anything beyond that is sauce for the goose.
    The "soft" block leaves that limb engaged with the incoming weapon longer and doesn't effect the attackers attitude the same.

    The goal is not just to redirect the limb, the goal is economy of motion. Choosing the Best available target, choosing the Best available weapon, in the least amount of time, while still achieving the desired result.
    Last edited by Eastcoastkenpoist; 07-03-2011 at 04:04 PM. Reason: Definition accuracy, Thanks Mark C
    A good teacher is a master of simplification and an enemy of simplism. ~ Louis A. Berman

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    Default Re: Article/Blog on "hard" vs. "soft" blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastcoastkenpoist View Post
    The "soft" block leaves that limb engaged with the incoming weapon longer and doesn't effect the attackers attitude the same.

    The goal is not just to redirect the limb, the goal is economy of motion. Choosing the closest available target, choosing the closest available weapon, in the least amount of time, while still achieving the desired result.
    You left out an important part of this definition. In fact, you've mangled it, which is somehow not surprising.
    The definition of Economy of Motion is :

    "Choosing the BEST available weapon for the BEST available angle, to insure reaching the BEST available target in the least amount of time, WHILE STILL OBTAINING THE DESIRED RESULT. Any movement that takes less time to execute, but still causes the effect intended. Any movement that inhibits or does not actively enhance the effect intended is categorized as wasted motion."

    And last time I checked, "the goal" isn't economy of motion, but ending the conflict with you being the one able to walk away from it. Quickly.

    Some of the little pitty-pat stuff people execute and claim economy of motion in fact violates the definition, because the effects are minimal at best.

    And if instead of using a parry, you were to use a BAM block you not only deflect the incoming limb, you also most likely upset the attackers posture quite a bit, negatively affecting him.
    "To be, rather than to seem"

    "Fix your rear foot ... What the hell is wrong with you?"

    "...I already watched the videos, and quite frankly, they're bullsh*t."

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    Default Re: Article/Blog on "hard" vs. "soft" blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC View Post
    You left out an important part of this definition. In fact, you've mangled it, which is somehow not surprising.
    The definition of Economy of Motion is :

    "Choosing the BEST available weapon for the BEST available angle, to insure reaching the BEST available target in the least amount of time, WHILE STILL OBTAINING THE DESIRED RESULT. Any movement that takes less time to execute, but still causes the effect intended. Any movement that inhibits or does not actively enhance the effect intended is categorized as wasted motion."

    And last time I checked, "the goal" isn't economy of motion, but ending the conflict with you being the one able to walk away from it. Quickly.

    Some of the little pitty-pat stuff people execute and claim economy of motion in fact violates the definition, because the effects are minimal at best.

    And if instead of using a parry, you were to use a BAM block you not only deflect the incoming limb, you also most likely upset the attackers posture quite a bit, negatively affecting him.
    And by the definition given that would be a "Hard" block.
    A good teacher is a master of simplification and an enemy of simplism. ~ Louis A. Berman

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    Default Re: Article/Blog on "hard" vs. "soft" blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastcoastkenpoist View Post
    The "soft" block leaves that limb engaged with the incoming weapon longer and doesn't effect the attackers attitude the same.

    The goal is not just to redirect the limb, the goal is economy of motion. Choosing the Best available target, choosing the Best available weapon, in the least amount of time, while still achieving the desired result.
    Why? Keeping the limb engaged implies a slowness to follow up with a counter. Using smaller movements increases the speed of the actions. Granted, it sacrifices power but again this is dictated by the situation. I'd much rather use a hard block but it's not always a realistic expectation which is why we also train our basics using "soft" blocks.

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    Default Re: Article/Blog on "hard" vs. "soft" blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by kenporider View Post
    Why? Keeping the limb engaged implies a slowness to follow up with a counter. Using smaller movements increases the speed of the actions. Granted, it sacrifices power but again this is dictated by the situation. I'd much rather use a hard block but it's not always a realistic expectation which is why we also train our basics using "soft" blocks.
    Because of the intention. With a "hard" block you should be using striking energy, with a "soft" block you are using pushing energy.
    A good teacher is a master of simplification and an enemy of simplism. ~ Louis A. Berman

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    Default Re: Article/Blog on "hard" vs. "soft" blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastcoastkenpoist View Post
    Because of the intention. With a "hard" block you should be using striking energy, with a "soft" block you are using pushing energy.
    Depends on how you do your "soft" block. If you stay relaxed, "pop" your hand just before impact and strike with the heel of your hand, you are using striking energy, just not as much as when striking with a hard object like radius in your forearm.
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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    Default Re: Article/Blog on "hard" vs. "soft" blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by jdinca View Post
    Depends on how you do your "soft" block. If you stay relaxed, "pop" your hand just before impact and strike with the heel of your hand, you are using striking energy, just not as much as when striking with a hard object like radius in your forearm.
    You are redirecting the force at that point and not simply riding it.

    The problem is .... we haven't defined what we are discussing, so we are probably talking about the same things.

    Oh well.
    A good teacher is a master of simplification and an enemy of simplism. ~ Louis A. Berman

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    Default Re: Article/Blog on "hard" vs. "soft" blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastcoastkenpoist View Post
    Because of the intention. With a "hard" block you should be using striking energy, with a "soft" block you are using pushing energy.
    Not necessarily, it depends on how soft the block is. Remember you're also decreasing the amount of time in the action which is the whole point. As your reaction time decreases so does the "hardness" of the block. It's all about having more options for more scenarios.

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    Default Re: Article/Blog on "hard" vs. "soft" blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastcoastkenpoist View Post
    You are redirecting the force at that point and not simply riding it.

    The problem is .... we haven't defined what we are discussing, so we are probably talking about the same things.

    Oh well.
    I run into that when talking about a "soft hand block". I just call it an inward parry now, even though the Kenpo definition appears to be slightly different.
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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