Blocks and Parries

Basics 3-of-6

Descriptions

This section is an attempt to define those movements considered essential in building a system adaptable to every individual. These are the foundation on which to build; and, without which, success is not assured. While the list is as complete as possible, there is bound to be some omission.

Blocks and Parries

The English terms, normally used to describe the actions we are undertaking, tend to be exclusionary and not correct enough. 'Block' is normally defined as "to stop", leaving out an important ingredient of the movement. We define it as meaning "to attack and redirect an incoming weapon" and 'Parry', to mean, "to redirect an incoming weapon". The Japanese "Uke" means a more realistic "to receive". It matters not if the hand is open or closed during execution of the movement. When the hand is described as closed; it is for training purposes.

Blocks

Inward:

Movement of the arm, is from the outside of the body towards the inside (center-line). Arm is bent 90° at the elbow, the hand is closed, wrist is straight and shoulder height. The arm moves 45° forward, impact is on the ulna with the forearm at a 45° angle, elbow one hand's distance from the ribs. When on impact, the arm twists, it is called an Inward Twist. The Inward Circular and the Inward Circular Twist are the same as the above two; except, the arm doesn't stop and continues to move the same direction in a circular manner. The 45° blocking strike is executed by the arm striking downwards at 45°. The hand stops at solar plexus level, arm horizontal, elbow on the ribs. The Reverse Inward has the elbow up (pectoral muscle height) and the hand down. The arm is vertical, parallel to the center-line. If the hand remains on the hip or in a front pocket it is called a 'Wing Strike'.

Outward:

Movement of the arm, is in a circular motion from the inside (center-line) of the body towards the outside. The arm is bent 90° at the elbow, forearm at a 45° angle. The hand is closed with the wrist straight and shoulder height. Impact is on the radius, elbow is one hand's distance from the ribs under the hand. The Outward Twist is the same as above; except, on impact the arm twists in the direction of travel so the ulna intercepts. Same as the Outward, the Outward Extended moves forward 45°at a 45°angle, the wrist is about shoulder high, elbow, approximately, two hands distance from the ribs, and no longer under the hand. the arm twists in the direction of travel with the Outward Extended Twist. and the Outward Upward is identical to the Outward Extended Twist; except, the arm moves upward at a 45° angle; the elbow is slightly above the shoulder; hand is above the head. The Outward Circular, in all its variations, doesn't stop and continues to move the same direction in a circular manner. The Double Outward, also, has many variations. Both arms move at the same time. Sometimes they cross. When they don't, as in the 'Wedge Block', neither crosses the center-line.

Upward:

The closed hand, palm in, wrist straight, in a crescent motion, crosses the center-line to the opposite shoulder then continues upward, 45° forward, elbow down. Over the head, on impact, it twists (distributing the energy of the strike along the arm from the radius to the ulna), elbow moves to the outside and straightens out with the wrist on the center-line (redirecting the weapon to the outside of the body). The arm rebounds; and, returns to; bent 90° at the elbow and shoulder, forearm at 45°angle, over and in front of the head. The Upward Circular blocking strike is the same as above; except, the arm doesn't rebound and continues to move the same direction in a circular manner. In the Double Upward, both arms move at the same time. Sometimes, they cross, as in the 'X' block. When they don't, they don't cross the center-line.

Downward:

Movement of the arm is downward and outward from the inside (center-line) of the body towards the outside; traversing the solar plexus plane. The elbow straightens in line with the hand at impact, the ulna absorbing the blow, one hand's distance from the ribs. The hand is closed and centered on mid-thigh. The Downward Circular, tends to inscribe a 360° arc. A prime example: after completion of a Reverse Inward the arm circles, palm out, 360° to a Downward Straight blocking strike position. The reverse twin to the Outward Upward Twist is the Downward Extended blocking strike. The arm is 45° forward, elbow approximately two hands distance from the ribs; no longer in line with the hand, bent, and pointing to the outside. The Downward Straight has the arm 45° forward, straight at the elbow, and moves from the outside of the body towards the inside (center-line) Palm in or Palm out. The Double Downward blocking strike uses both arms at the same time. Sometimes they cross as in the 'X' block. When they don't, they don't cross the center-line.

'X':

Upward or downward, the 'X' block has both arms crossed at the forearms. For right handed people the right forearm is normally on top of the left. The impact is shared between the two arms; lessening it; but the block is usually used to allow capturing the offending appendage with your hands.

Shin:

Used to block incoming kicks. Usually, the shin is just lifted to passively get in the way. As experience is gained it is used in a more active way. Reverse the shin is directed towards the outside to provide the defense.

Shield:

The protecting arm is raised to the outside of your head. Your hand is on the back of your head, elbow pointing forward. Your forearm is along the side of your skull protecting your head.

Parries

Are executed in the same manner as most of the blocks. I don't need to bore you by repeating the descriptions covered in the Blocks. Instead, I will cover those movements that are different or not found in the Blocks.

Inward:

The Inward Brushing is like the Inward; except, the hand moves forward for the intercept; retracting, it 'brushes' along his arm redirecting it to the opposite shoulder. The Inward Downward parry 'presses' his arm down to solar plexus height. The hand is 45° forward, forearm parallel to the ground, elbow bent 90°, one hand's distance from the ribs. The Double Inward parries use both arms at the same time. Most of the times they cross. The Lower Inward parry moves below the solar plexus; intercepting with the palm, fingers pointing down, elbow on the ribs.

Outward:

Outward Brushing like the Outward; except, the hand moves forward for the intercept, then, "brushes" along his arm, as the hand retracts to the shoulder, redirecting the arm past. With the Outward Upward the arm moves upward at a 45° angle and is nearly straight, the elbow is slightly above the shoulder; hand is above the head, using the Reverse Knife Hand. The Outward Downward parry is limited by height constraints to a narrow zone extending from the pectoral muscle to the solar plexus. The arm moves just like the Outward; except the hand circles until the forearm is parallel to the ground and forces his arm to the outside of the body at solar plexus height.

Upward:

Movement of the arm, is from the outside of the body towards the inside (center-line). Arm is bent 90° at the elbow, the hand is open, wrist is bent at a 45° angle. Contact is with the palm. The arm moves at a 45° angle upwards; as well as forwards, to redirect upwards, with the forearm at a 45°angle, elbow two hands' distance from the body. Could, be called Inward Upward. In the Circular Upward parry, movement of the arm is along the center-line, straight up, circling 360°, the arm, itself, is straight, until 15° past top dead center. Usually used against the outside of the incoming strike. The Upward Downward Outward parry is the continuation of the Inward Downward parry motion to the outside of the body. The elbow is head height and the hand is palm out, pectoral muscle height, 45° forward.

Downward:

The Downward Outward parry is used when the incoming strike is below solar plexus level. It is executed in the same manner as the Upward Downward Outward parry. The back of the hand may be used.

Palm:

Is used along the center-line to intercept and stop a push. The fingers are pointing upwards. The Downward palm's arm is slightly bent, and moves down the center-line to below the groin.

Crane:

The wrist is bent forward, hand in a Crane position. Also known as a 'Scooping' parry. It is used to redirect and catch the incoming arm or leg in conjunction with many of the parry variations. The Crane Hook, or Hooking parry, is the exact reverse. With the wrist bent back, the back of the hand is used to 'Hook' or 'Scoop'.

Combinations

Trap:

Simultaneous Inward Twist blocking strike with the right and Inward Parry with the left, stopping and pinning his incoming weapon against the blocking strike's forearm.

Folding:

Like the Trap except; the Inward or Inward Twist blocking strike is delivered to the crook of his elbow 'folding' his arm.

Double:

Combines simultaneously the Downward Straight blocking strike with the Inward Parry. After the two elbows meet, the arms continue in the same direction with the parry arm becoming a Downward blocking strike and the other arm becoming an Inward blocking strike.

Manji:

As you step back, both hands move to the front pectoral muscle positioned vertically; front hand on top. They simultaneously block as you pivot to a fighting position; the front arm Inward blocking strike and the rear arm Downward blocking strike.

Philly Shell:

Lead hand is down and angled in towards the groin; back hand is in front of the face elbow down and open.

Thai:

Your front leg lifts to a Shin block, your weight leaning forward, while your front elbow is held slightly above it forearm vertical. Another version has your back hand replacing the front hand in the block