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  • Hey. Ando here from SenseiAndo.com and Happy Life Martial Arts. Standing

  • outside today with my old friend Sensei Alec. Sensei Alec runs The Mat Martial

  • Arts in Austin, Texas. So, if you're looking for quality martial arts

  • instruction in that area, I'll put a link below. Check him out. We're just outside

  • doing a little bit of training ourselves and we started to talk about how people

  • defend punches. The way we defend punches versus the way students defend punches.

  • And what was one of the observations that we were coming up with? >>Well, we were

  • noticing that a lot of the intermediate and the advanced students that we have

  • are still holding on to habits they learned in the early stages, and they're

  • not changing things with the level that they're moving up in. They're actually

  • working harder than they need to. The goal was to find a way to make them work

  • smarter instead of harder.

  • martial artist, today, we're gonna help you figure out how to get rid of some of

  • those beginner habits. Let's get to it right now.

  • Okay. So, if you're watching students on the mat,

  • how do you know who the beginners are and who the

  • intermediate or advanced people are? What's, the beginner doing? >>Well, in a general sense,

  • a beginner is doing more gross motor movement. They have less trained skills,

  • so things are based off of what feels most natural, and if they don't have much

  • experience of something coming after them, it's gonna be a very grand motion

  • of some kind. >> Okay, so... >>For example let's take a straight punch. It's super easy to work

  • with. >>Yeah. >>As this is coming through, they're gonna do something really large

  • to get out of their way. Two hands, one hand, something that's a very large motion

  • so that they can really make sure that they're safe. Just think about a fly

  • coming after you. You don't snap the fly, you swat the fly. >>Right. >>Same concepts.

  • >>Because there's probably some panic involved and just, you don't know what to

  • do. So, it's just natural to try to get things away from you. Get away from the

  • danger. >>Exactly. So, we use that in the early stages of training to say,

  • hey, let's just make that better for you. So it's more deliberate. So, as it's a

  • big motion, you're bringing it off to the side and you're learning how to rotate

  • your body with it. So then you have open targets or exit strategy depending on

  • what your goal is. >>Fair enough. All right. But that's also a problem as

  • you get to a more advanced level, against a better fighter or multiple attackers,

  • what are the problems with this big, gross motor blocking or deflection?

  • >>Put it simply, the bigger motion I make one way, the bigger motion I have to make

  • the other. Some form of retraction has to happen

  • for me to run or to attack, counter, whatever you want to call it. So, when

  • I start to have more honed training, I don't want to move as big so that I can

  • respond with less motion back, adding quickness, adding a little bit

  • more body tension, adding some options for striking, as opposed to so big over

  • here. I really only have that one giant motion to use back. I'm not gonna do one

  • punch, one kill concepts. >>Okay. So, as you get more advanced your movements should

  • probably start becoming a little more subtle, a little more sophisticated, a

  • little harder to detect, which means you have to have more confidence in this

  • pocket, because-- what was that phrase you were using before about wanting and

  • needing? >>So, the concept is as I learn to not get hit, I don't want to get

  • hit. And I don't want to get so bad that I'm gonna move things way over there.

  • >>Right. The reality is I only need to not get hit that much. I may not be

  • comfortable with that close, so I will have to figure out between the

  • initial want and the more honed need what is the buffer that I'm comfortable with

  • doing. That's where the intermediate training comes in, is to understand how

  • to streamline that want-to-need ratio. >>Okay. And that puts you in a better

  • position by only doing what you need to do. If you let me shave you with this,

  • boom, like throwing the knives you talked about. Like we're in a circus and the

  • knife is coming right there, if you allow that, then you are in a better position

  • to begin your counter-attack or running or whatever. >>Correct. Because I no longer have to

  • worry about centering my body to you. I'm already centered. I can stay located in a

  • specific area that, I can stay behind this punch and have options for

  • myself. >>Right. What do you say, when you see people move out to the side,

  • they may not just be shooting out their arms, they may also be sacrificing some

  • of their posture and their eye lines. >>Yeah. It's a frame change. Your skeletal

  • structure rotates or tips or dips and moves out of place in a way you're

  • losing efficiency in whatever motions you're going to do. >>Could you show us

  • the way it should not be done? >>So, you don't want to be able to have your

  • shoulders tip over, you don't want to be crossing your arm across your whole

  • centerline, you don't want your head to tip over your heel line, you want to keep

  • everything pretty upright and pretty standardized in terms of a carousel

  • horse shape. A carousel horse, with that post going through my body, I can

  • rotate, I can rise and dip, I can move my body in and out if I need

  • to... >>And even your eye line. >>The eye line doesn't change either. That way I don't

  • have to worry about readjusting the visuals of what my brain is calculating.

  • So, it keeps things simple. >>So, overdoing bobbing and weaving, and

  • slipping, and all that stuff, can put you in a worse position to counter-attack or

  • to escape because you're just doing too much. Again, you're working too hard. >>Right.

  • Okay, so the problem is pretty simple to understand--doing too much.

  • That's it. Just working too hard. So, how can we start chiseling away to become

  • more efficient and effective in our fight? >>Well, the first thing is to talk

  • about what are the limits of the needs. >>The limits of the needs.

  • >.The limits of the needs. So, I don't have to worry about over-complicating it.

  • So, the width of my head or the width of my shoulders. That's the two spaces that I

  • have to worry about. >>This is all you have to worry about defending. You don't have to

  • defend over here, up here, or around you. You only need to

  • defend your skeleton. >>Right. If I perceive that you're hitting to the

  • center of one of those places. My center line doesn't change. If it's up high, it's my head.

  • I only need to miss enough that the outside of my head is no longer being hit.

  • If it's the center of my body,

  • if I rotate my body, that's enough to not get hit anymore. >>Right.

  • But it's gonna be closer than most people are comfortable doing, so we're

  • gonna use our arms to redirect something but still use the shoulders to influence

  • that motion. And as you do that, it's gonna keep everything at a nice,

  • comfortable distance from that hand, so that you can keep things close to your

  • body. I don't have to extend my arm. I feel pretty comfortable relaxed.

  • And then I can move forward or strike forward, whatever is nice to feel from there.

  • >>And again, you don't like using the word block. I have a video, I'll

  • put the link up, about how I'm not a big believer in blocks if you don't need

  • them. They're kind of instinctive. So, they're gonna happen anyway. But really,

  • you should keep your focus on attacking and getting to positions where you're

  • dominant. So, you don't like to use the word block either, because this-- would you

  • consider this a block? >>It's not a block. Actually, a block, by definition, is I'm

  • stopping something. And I'm using some force against a force. >>Like a beta blocker.

  • You would say something like that. >>A beta blocker or a linebacker.

  • Anything where you block and stop something from happening. You're meeting

  • force with force. And this is not happening. I'm redirecting the

  • energy and I'm just letting my body's motion be natural while your energy goes

  • elsewhere, so that I continue back in this direction. >>So, I'm wasting energy.

  • I'm inefficient where you're putting yourself in a position to be efficient.

  • >>Correct. So, the inside defensive motion is not a block, it is a redirection of

  • energy. >>And so the less energy that you use to try to stop me or push me away is

  • more energy that you have to now come back at me to either fight or run or

  • whatever you want to do. >>Correct. And that's where the wants and needs concept comes back in.

  • Because if I use more energy to redirect yours, I have to use more energy to bring

  • it back, versus staying compact, but safe, and then not have to work hard to

  • come in. >>Exactly.

  • All right. So, let's talk about a simple drill that you can add to your practice

  • time to help you become a little more efficient and a little more effective in

  • your punch defense. What would that be? >>Well, let's talk about connecting

  • everything in one piece as much as possible, so I'm not moving all these

  • different parts at one time. So, I'm gonna use the hands as a guide to guard,

  • to make your hand go elsewhere... >>So, get a partner... >>Get a partner. You're gonna

  • have them throw slow punches back and forth, left and right,

  • and I'm gonna use the same side that it's coming in for now

  • and I'm gonna rotate my shoulders and use my arm just to be a

  • guard. I'm not moving my arms to make this happen. If you want to do a palm

  • version of the block, that's fine. You want to do a fisted version, you

  • want to use your forearms instead, none of that really matters so much.

  • Just let the shoulders do the motion for you. >>So, even though your arms are making

  • contact, you're not thinking about your arms. You're actually just thinking about

  • what you need to do, which is move the body. For right now, these are like

  • training wheels just to get you to feel comfortable right now with these

  • punches in front of you, right? >>That's correct. >>So, then you could move to

  • the next level, which would be to just take the arms away. >>Take the arms out

  • of the way. They don't even exist for now. >>Heads up! >>Put your hands down.

  • I mean, obviously, you're gonna want to keep your hands up as some form of

  • protection. >>Be safe. Of course. But generally, what the goal would be, if you

  • had no arms and I was just feeding you punches, and you're just trying to slip

  • and look at these punches, and of course, I could be more random and faster, that's

  • up to you and your own training partner, but you're just trying to figure out how

  • to--aghh!-- how to slide these punches and feel comfortable here, because once

  • there's less panic and you're breathing, and you're seeing, and you're feeling

  • what's going on, you can always add hands back, you can always add more movement

  • if something is going wrong, but you want to try to boil this exercise down to the

  • pure essence of just do what you need to do. Just make sure the fist doesn't hit

  • something vital and then everything else, the rest of your focus, should be on

  • your counter or your escape. Is that fair? >>That's very fair, yeah. >>All right.

  • So, there's your challenge. The next time you're entering into some partner drills

  • or doing some sparring, see how little you can do to get the results that you

  • want. Right? >>Yeah. I mean, pay attention to how much you actually move by response

  • and then see what you can do to minimize that movement so it's less and less each

  • time you do it. Right. It's funny because maybe in the beginning, you move in big

  • movements out of panic, and then your ego might want you to start moving big as

  • well. You might want people to see how you can do these moves, and they're big

  • and they're strong, you grunt and you sweat, and you're out of breath. It makes

  • you feel proud of yourself as you're working hard and everyone sees that you

  • know what you're doing. But that's beginner mindset. That's beginner ego.

  • As you get better, I think things should start becoming invisible. Nobody should

  • see actually how good you are. They just know that they can't hit you.

  • Don't you think that's a good goal?

  • That's our goal. We want to demoralize anyone who wants to hurt us. Fair?

  • train with Sensei Alec, I'll put the link below. Check him out in Austin, Texas.

  • Until next time, keep fighting for a happy life.

Hey. Ando here from SenseiAndo.com and Happy Life Martial Arts. Standing

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B1 US motion defend beginner block body energy

How to Defend Punches More Effectively

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    袁輔謙 posted on 2020/03/23
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