The Karate Low Block


Let’s start right from the beginning.

Right from the first block you ever learned…
the low block.

First off,
people are trained to block kicks with it.
Not a great idea.

Yes,
it is for kicks,
but you have to be careful in how you use it.
It is actually better for low punches.
It fits,
it makes sense.
And if you use it on a kick,
before you are ready,
you can hurt yourself.
Like…
break a bone hurt.

So here’s the deal,
Kicking is a certain range.
Punching is a certain range.
And so on.

If somebody kicks at you,
you should step back.
They are at their longest range,
a simple step back
keeps the range extended,
makes them reach,
makes them have to overcommit
if they want to get anywhere.
So you step back,
side step,
and just watch.
Calm your mind,
take your time,
and observe.
Finally, they will over commit,
and here’s the trick.
When you do the low block
DO NOT
block a fully extended limb.
Full extension means full power.
So you have to block their kick before it reaches extension.
This means sliding in to punching distance,
blocking,
and launching your counter.
If you counter a kick with a kick,
you will both have bruised shins,
and the fight will go on.
But if you counter a kick with a punch,
you are closing the distance,
and making him blink,
jamming his space and threatening him.
He now has to recalibrate.
He has to reset his thinking.
Set his body up for a whole new potential of motions.
A simple change in range will do that do an attacker.

I remember really messing with people’s minds,
simply shifting my weight an inch forward,
or an inch back,
right in the middle of their kick.
If they kept kicking,
they would be jammed, or overextended.
A kick is that slow,
that you can do that.
Especially if you calm yourself,
sit back,
and watch.

I would do this,
jamm or back back up,
just a little bit,
and people would stumble,
almost fall,
from trying to keep up with such a small motion.

So here’s the key,
for leg attacks,
which are further away,
and slower in coming,
you simply change the range.
Shift forward or back,
lift the leg as if preparing to kick,
but not kicking,
and just throwing the guy’s general sense of timing
into the dumpster.
When he closes,
a low block is what you do for a punch.

Don’t block a bigger bone with a smaller bone,
until you have enough experience.

Instead,
mess up his distance,
which will mess up his timing,
(Time is a measurement of distance),
and save the low block for the lower level punch.

NOW,
let’s say you’ve got the experience,
and it is time to use the block on the leg.
Remember,
time is distance,
and if you practice your forms and techniques
you will reach a stage,
where your sense of time is different from his sense of time.
He kicks,
and you will feel time slow down,
and you will be able to slip your arms forward
and block the kick
in the middle of it all.
You won’t block bone to bone,
but rather move in on his slow and predictable motion
and block as if apart from his sense of time.
By your own sense of time.
That’s when your low block will start to work for blocking kicks.
This is really a zen thing,
a mushin no shin thing
(Mind of no mind),
and the way to get it is not by fighting,
but by doing your forms and techniques,
endlessly,
and analyzing fighting.
Examining fighting,
looking at it,
until it stops being fighting
and starts being a science of motion.

Okey dokey,
you guys and gals practice.
The Matrixing Karate series
has four volumes published,
white belt, green belt, brown belt, and black belt,
and you can find them on Amazon.

Here’s the link to the BLACK BELT volume.

You can findall of the volumes if you google

‘Al Case Matrixing Karate’

Have yourself a GREAT work out!

Al

 

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