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Advanced applications to basic line drills
#1
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High Block:


[Image: age_uke.gif]

For the purposes of this thread, the term block will be used to represent a widely used and recognized term for purposes of reference.   In the diagram above the arm is raised in front of the torso to at or above the head in order to block an incoming attack often represented as a downward hammer fist strike.  That can be a possibility for a force-on-force response.  It can be a deflection combined with proper foot work to take you out of the path of the attack and redirect the incoming strike.

It can also be used as a strike such as an upward forearm strike to the upper body of an attacker while in a close-in position such as a clinch.  Further, if you examine the diagram I chose for illustration you'll note in the last picture that the right hand is chambered on the right hip while the left arm is blocking a downward or straight-line strike (could be either).  That chambering of the right hand could be in preparation for a counter-strike.  But examining it in more depth, that hand could have a grip on the attacker (his limb, belt, coat, shirt etc) and by bringing the hand back into your center of gravity you cause the attacker to become unbalanced (not represented in the illustration).  Simultaneously while you've grasped the attacker and drawn him into your center of balance, thereby unbalancing him, you deliver an upward forearm strike to further unbalance him and damage him.

And additional use of the high block movement is a shoulder lock.  Again, examining the last illustration the left arm is intercepting the attacker's right arm.  If the defender then places his right arm up and behind the upper arm of the attacker (on the outside) he could then apply an effective shoulder lock. 

[Image: hqdefault.jpg]
[Image: 2.jpg]

Several things to consider just from this one basic movement. One could literally spend multiple classes training this one movement in a variety of situations.
Two thousand years ago wise men sought Christ, wise men still do.

Techniques are situational, principles are universal.

Fast as the wind, quiet as the forest, aggressive as fire, and immovable as a mountain.

He who gets there first with the most...wins!

Minimal force may not be minimum force!

We don't rise to the occasion...we sink to the level of our training.


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#2
Here is an example from Master Burrese showing a shoulder lock.  Although he is showing it as part of a grab defense, the principle is the same if you instead use the high block to intercept the attacking limb from a higher position.  In fact, it would be even easier from a higher position.



Two thousand years ago wise men sought Christ, wise men still do.

Techniques are situational, principles are universal.

Fast as the wind, quiet as the forest, aggressive as fire, and immovable as a mountain.

He who gets there first with the most...wins!

Minimal force may not be minimum force!

We don't rise to the occasion...we sink to the level of our training.


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#3
I played with the high block application with my students the other night. They took to it very well, which means that even if it wasn't the intention of the creator of the form, the reference works well in introducing the concept.
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#4
(02-07-2016, 06:13 PM)pennmartkd Wrote: I played with the high block application with my students the other night.   They took to it very well, which means that even if it wasn't the intention of the creator of the form, the reference works well in introducing the concept.

And that's something to consider and pass on as well.  The creator of a TKD and/or TSD form very well may not have had that application in mind.  But I feel certain that many/most/all of the karate pioneers had it or something similar in mind when they placed it in a kata.  By extension, if a high block in a karate kate has a further application beyond blocking a downward punch then a TKD form that uses a high block would have it as well.  Doesn't mean that it will be taught that way of course, but it's there if the instructor wants to use it. 

As always, for sporting applications it would be a waste of the practitioners time and effort.  For SD however it is quite useful.  I've always looked at karate kata as a beautifully written poem and Korean forms as broken English.  By that I mean that karate kata was designed with more advance applications in mind and was simplified after the fact.  Korean forms on the other hand were designed from the simplified applications so that the more advanced may or may not necessarily flow as it does in karate kata.  But the words are there, just perhaps not in complete sentences.
Two thousand years ago wise men sought Christ, wise men still do.

Techniques are situational, principles are universal.

Fast as the wind, quiet as the forest, aggressive as fire, and immovable as a mountain.

He who gets there first with the most...wins!

Minimal force may not be minimum force!

We don't rise to the occasion...we sink to the level of our training.


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#5
It can be utilized from a punch defense position also (see basic 20 video), although it has a little different application process.
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#6
I get what you are saying Kong Soo Do, but am glad to know many who break from the sentiment. An acquaintance of mine left a lasting impression when he quoted someone else I'm sure by saying "the further you get from the well, the more diluted the water". So as we extend movement and technique further away from the source, and at times closer to sport or entertainment, we can lose the meaning and intention.

I've been fortunate to have instructors who have pushed practicality. So I very often term forms as an "encyclopedia of self defense" and recently have been very much pushing approaching training with a flexible mind to be open to interpretations of motion that may differ from the basic assumption of block/punch/kick.

I think this is essential if we are trying to cultivate students and mentalities that embrace the spectrum of forms from basic motion to advanced application.
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#7
Low block:

[Image: 17C.jpg]


Often taught as a defense against a kick.  I submit that this is not the most effective (or practical) interpretation for this movement.  First, if depends upon the type of kick that attacker has committed to doing.  This requires that he either telegraphs the kick sufficiently for you to know what he's doing or that you read his mind.  Given that, for a straight kick you may be able to pull if off, but if it's a side kick, especially from someone that is using his shin (rather than instep) you're going to find yourself in trouble.  A shin kick puts the attackers shin against the radius bone in your forearm.  I don't like your chances on that unless you've done a LOT of hard body conditioning.

A more practical interpretation is that it is a strike.  One such strike is illustrated here:

[Image: low%20block%20pic_full.jpeg]

[Image: hair+Grab+Rear+Hammerfist+Final.jpg]

No, these pictures don't look exactly like a perfectly executed line drill.  And that's the point.  The line drill, by nature, is uniform.  But a fight is fluid and chaotic.  Both you and the attacker are in a state of constant motion.  That has to be taken into account.  So the line drill teaches a specific pattern of movement i.e. a strike using a hammer fist.  But the execution can take many forms/angles depending upon a variety of factors.  The point is to use the hammer fist to strike a target in the lower half of the attacker.  That could be the groin, the knee, the inside of the thigh or any appropriate target that stops the attacker or sets him up for an appropriate follow up.
Two thousand years ago wise men sought Christ, wise men still do.

Techniques are situational, principles are universal.

Fast as the wind, quiet as the forest, aggressive as fire, and immovable as a mountain.

He who gets there first with the most...wins!

Minimal force may not be minimum force!

We don't rise to the occasion...we sink to the level of our training.


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#8
Palm Heel block:

[Image: hqdefault.jpg]


I wasn't able to find a better illustration, but that actually works out fine.  A palm heel 'block' is often taught as pictured above where the student is basically standing flat-footed and there is no dynamic energy in the movement.  After all, it's just a warm up line drill right?

Perhaps not.

Looked at more in-depth, it makes for a pretty good strike.  Imagine the attacker has grabbed your shoulder or is pushing you back into a wall.  That's a pretty good set up for him to follow up with a punch using his other hand.  But the palm heel movement offers a couple of options.  One is to strike the inside of the attacker's outstretched arm if you wish to remain on the inside.  This could remove the hand from your person and perhaps even offer the attacker some pain/injury depending on where you struck.  And it could easily set you up for follow up strikes on the inside such as the hammer fist listed above.

Used on the outside of the attacker's arm (above the elbow), keeps you away from his other hand.  This can lead into escapes or control holds such as an arm bar as appropriate to the situation.
Two thousand years ago wise men sought Christ, wise men still do.

Techniques are situational, principles are universal.

Fast as the wind, quiet as the forest, aggressive as fire, and immovable as a mountain.

He who gets there first with the most...wins!

Minimal force may not be minimum force!

We don't rise to the occasion...we sink to the level of our training.


Reply
#9
I find is difficult to join conversations like this. Why is it that karate is the only open hand style of martial art that has 'blocks'? 'Block' is a Western term applied to an Eastern martial art. I don't teach any blocks in karate and you really have to ask why you don't see techniques such as chudan uke used in any real fighting situation, or tournament for that matter.

Stylised blocks are taught to children and as a result the teaching has continued into adult classes so much so that it is now entrenched. I can think of no practical situation where I would use a karate 'block'. It just doesn't make sense. If you want to see the applications of these techniques, Google Masaji Taira or look to Iain Abernethy's videos.

Certainly the ukes could by used as blocks and in a rare instance might even be used in an altercation but for me that's it. For me, karate contains no blocks, a view cemented by my conversation with Tetsuhiro Hokama Sensai in Okinawa who went to great lengths to explain what Goju Karate was not. What Goju 'was not' was just about everything seen in the Japanese systems, especially the hard blocks.
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#10
(03-14-2016, 11:58 PM)K-man Wrote: Why is it that karate is the only open hand style of martial art that has 'blocks'? 'Block' is a Western term applied to an Eastern martial art. 


Agreed, which is why I offer alternative explanations to what is, unfortunately, taught in the majority of schools. And why I often put the term 'block' in quotes or italicized format.  


Quote:Stylised blocks are taught to children and as a result the teaching has continued into adult classes so much so that it is now entrenched. I can think of no practical situation where I would use a karate 'block'. It just doesn't make sense



Agreed.  I like the explanation that Abernethy Sensei puts forth;  Itosu Sensei changed the Pinan katas to a format of block/punch/kick for the consumption of school children in Okinawa.  Japan later mimicked this pattern which is what service men were taught after WWII and took back to their own countries.  

As you mention, 'block's just aren't used in real world fighting.  At least in the manner that are normally taught in line drills.  Thus the purpose of this thread, to examine what those moves actually can be used for in a real world altercation.

I would solicit others interpretations as to what these (and other) movements can be used for.
Two thousand years ago wise men sought Christ, wise men still do.

Techniques are situational, principles are universal.

Fast as the wind, quiet as the forest, aggressive as fire, and immovable as a mountain.

He who gets there first with the most...wins!

Minimal force may not be minimum force!

We don't rise to the occasion...we sink to the level of our training.


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