Please take a look at Articles on self-defense/conflict/violence for introductions to the references found in the bibliography page.

Please take a look at my bibliography if you do not see a proper reference to a post.

Please take a look at my Notable Quotes

Hey, Attention on Deck!

Hey, NOTHING here is PERSONAL, get over it - Teach Me and I will Learn!

When you begin to feel like you are a tough guy, a warrior, a master of the martial arts or that you have lived a tough life, just take a moment and get some perspective with the following:

I've stopped knives that were coming to disembowel me

I've clawed for my gun while bullets ripped past me

I've dodged as someone tried to put an ax in my skull

I've fought screaming steel and left rubber on the road to avoid death

I've clawed broken glass out of my body after their opening attack failed

I've spit blood and body parts and broke strangle holds before gouging eyes

I've charged into fires, fought through blizzards and run from tornados

I've survived being hunted by gangs, killers and contract killers

The streets were my home, I hunted in the night and was hunted in turn

Please don't brag to me that you're a survivor because someone hit you. And don't tell me how 'tough' you are because of your training. As much as I've been through I know people who have survived much, much worse. - Marc MacYoung


The postings on this blog are my interpretation of readings, studies and experiences therefore errors and omissions are mine and mine alone. The content surrounding the extracts of books, see bibliography on this blog site, are also mine and mine alone therefore errors and omissions are also mine and mine alone and therefore why I highly recommended one read, study, research and fact find the material for clarity. My effort here is self-clarity toward a fuller understanding of the subject matter. See the bibliography for information on the books. Please make note that this article/post is my personal analysis of the subject and the information used was chosen or picked by me. It is not an analysis piece because it lacks complete and comprehensive research, it was not adequately and completely investigated and it is not balanced, i.e., it is my personal view without the views of others including subject experts, etc. Look at this as “Infotainment rather then expert research.” This is an opinion/editorial article/post meant to persuade the reader to think, decide and accept or reject my premise. It is an attempt to cause change or reinforce attitudes, beliefs and values as they apply to martial arts and/or self-defense. It is merely a commentary on the subject in the particular article presented.

Note: I will endevor to provide a bibliography and italicize any direct quotes from the materials I use for this blog. If there are mistakes, errors, and/or omissions, I take full responsibility for them as they are mine and mine alone. If you find any mistakes, errors, and/or omissions please comment and let me know along with the correct information and/or sources.

“What you are reading right now is a blog. It’s written and posted by me, because I want to. I get no financial remuneration for writing it. I don’t have to meet anyone’s criteria in order to post it. Not only I don’t have an employer or publisher, but I’m not even constrained by having to please an audience. If people won’t like it, they won’t read it, but I won’t lose anything by it. Provided I don’t break any laws (libel, incitement to violence, etc.), I can post whatever I want. This means that I can write openly and honestly, however controversial my opinions may be. It also means that I could write total bullshit; there is no quality control. I could be biased. I could be insane. I could be trolling. … not all sources are equivalent, and all sources have their pros and cons. These needs to be taken into account when evaluating information, and all information should be evaluated. - God’s Bastard, Sourcing Sources (this applies to this and other blogs by me as well; if you follow the idea's, advice or information you are on your own, don't come crying to me, it is all on you do do the work to make sure it works for you!)

“You should prepare yourself to dedicate at least five or six years to your training and practice to understand the philosophy and physiokinetics of martial arts and karate so that you can understand the true spirit of everything and dedicate your mind, body and spirit to the discipline of the art.” - cejames (note: you are on your own, make sure you get expert hands-on guidance in all things martial and self-defense)

“All I say is by way of discourse, and nothing by way of advice. I should not speak so boldly if it were my due to be believed.” - Montaigne

Search This Blog

Blocking, a Conundrum

Blog Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

I feel strong that modern karate and even self-defense has a gapping chasm to what is a block and why it is or is not effective. I can only address this from my studies and perspective.

First, if you are blocking you are on the defensive and the odds are against you. 
Second, if you are blocking you are either in some socially driven monkey dance situation or you are competing in some sport oriented contest.
Third, if you are in a self-defense situation against an aggressive and committed attacker the physics involved mean you are at a huge disadvantage and are going to suffer grave bodily harm or possibly death. 

I am trying to convey my ideas, theories and limited experiences on blocking and self-defense through the use of fundamental principles toward defense methodologies (I use the word defense here because although defending is reacting over acting, etc. it still conveys my intent of self-defense rather than saying I use attack methodologies that insinuates I am being aggressive and so on.).

This is about being attacked by a predator who is either seeking a resource or is wanting to achieve some process while both are not in your best interest. In this instance blocking is the last thing I want to do because often in this type of situation you will have not opportunity to block not even a little. As to other socially driven monkey dancing situations you should have avoided this situation altogether because you are probably a participant in mutual aggressive fighting - can you say illegal. 

Note: You may be starting to get the idea that such atomistic study although beneficial in attaining knowledge and understanding still has no relevance except in narrow circumstances. 

Now, as to blocking, I am talking about the type of blocking that is taught, trained and applied from karate and martial arts. In my view I like to not use the term blocking and I don’t focus on things like, “Are blocks effective while backing up or moving backwards; all blocks should be LEANED forward moving and always counter (sounds like a competitive sport or social dance fight); and an assumption that you are doing something wrong by moving backward while blocking, etc. 

Blocking as it is often taught in karate, etc., is about taking a rooted stance, dynamically tensing the body and applying a side, upper or down block against an adversary who is attacking you in a karate like fashion, i.e., taking a rooted stance, dynamically tensing the body while throwing a strike or possibly kicking. When you observe this in person or on video’s of karate and martial arts practice there are notable issues occurring that violate the proper use of physiokinetics. 

Lets take just one simple example that is about that predatory committed attack requiring self-defense. I will do this by the numbers:

1. The attacker will most often come at you from behind or the side from behind totally surprising you long before you are able to attack. Even if they approach from the front it will possibly by in interview where the assess their success rate on attacking you. There is so much about this stuff this simplistic example only touches the very surface - everything always depends.

2. When you are attacked by a predator from behind he has already assessed you and found you vulnerable and he is pretty darn sure you are going down for the count. Like one other example in self-defense stated, “you are in the fight; you are being pummeled (you can assume they are experienced enough that you may have been hit with the first blow in that sweet spot just behind the ear, etc.); you are being crowded (most karate teaches the sport stuff where it becomes instinctual to act only when you have a sport oriented boxing like fighting distance with the adversary facing you, etc.) while the attacker has already disrupted your balance and totally destroyed your structure and is making sure with the pummeling you are in the OO bounce and getting damaged up to grave bodily harm so he can either take some resource from you or just get that tingling all over feeling by dominating you and feeling that feeling when causing you to get hurt, hurt really bad to the ER type hurt - if you are lucky.

3. In this instance even if you can block, so to speak, to create an opening so you can counter or run that block is not really a block but should be a form of deflection using principles and forces that don’t directly meet the oncoming force but allow protection while redirecting, etc. that also sounds like fighting, etc.

4. If you truly have an adversary hell bent on kicking your ass and if he truly is proficient in fighting then the simple block in karate described and taught by meeting the incoming force and power with a relatively static and stationary block is insufficient because that persons body mass is behind the attack and that body mass along with structure, alignment and other principles is going to plow right through that so-called traditional karate block like rock through paper. But if your body is moving in a circular pattern while the arm is moving to the applied attack and deflecting it off using the power, force and body mass momentum to carry the attacker past you then you are on the right track. 

This article is not comprehensive simply because self-defense, fighting (sport or the illegal versions), combatives, etc. are not such simple concepts and models. There is a book, a definitive basic introduction, on self-defense that spans around 400 pages and that is no where near all that is involved in conflict and violence. This is just a way to get you out of that mind set of blocking as it is currently taught in karate and martial arts. It goes way beyond what I am trying to write in this post. It should get you beyond the block and into a model or principles applied toward defensive methodologies so as to remain within the legal and social constrictions of conflict and violence. 

To really understand that the traditional blocking needs more to work than simply what is taught in kata and kumite. Take it this way, when did you last get into a real fight, social or asocial in nature, and even come close to using a block? I bet most often it was really a flurry of hands trying to stop some guys fists from pummeling you and none of those actions even remotely looked like a block. 

If I am attacked my goal is to stop the attack and limit the damage while finding a way to run to safety using appropriate levels of force, etc. If I see it coming and can’t avoid or deescalate the situation (by the way if I am here I failed in avoidance altogether and am trying to catch up - bad place to be) then I am going to use the principled based methodologies, i.e., “Multiple Methodologies [actual tactics and attack methodologies of impacts, drives (pushes), pulls, twists, takedowns/throws and compression, etc., best for stopping a threat].”

Remember, in a fight for defense if you are catching up and need the blocks you may want to do a bit more research and make some changes to how you apply your karate or martial arts toward self-defense. 

Read also “Implied Movement”

Bibliography (Click the link)

No comments: