5 Ways to Block a Punch!
5 Ways To Not Get Punched In The Face!
Best defense to a punch? Do not be there! If you can avoid the strikes, great, if you can close the distance to the clinch right away and secure your takedown to bring the fight to the BJJ fighters advantage, even better. The reality is, especially with someone who my know how to punch, you are going to get hit a little in a real fight, so knowing how to cover your head up so you do not get knocked out is extremely important. These blocks will allow us to protect our heads so we can come back with counter punches of our own or to absorb the damage and close the distance to a clinch or even to a level change and shooting directly into our takedown! Shane Fazen shows how.
The first defense is the classic Parry. This technique is used against straight lined punch (think jabs and rear hand cross). Shane explains that when you Parry a punch, you can not be too relaxed and get your hand knocked back into your face but also that you cannot over extend and leave yourself open to following strikes or hooks. So essentially, Shane is just padding the punch, changing its angle with his palm.
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Next, we have ‘The High Guard”. Most BJJ practitioners whose school has a self defense program should be somewhat familiar with this one. Shane uses his forearm to protect the front of his face, leaving a little space for him to see but still small enough to stop a fist from sneaking through. Remember, do not flinch! Keep your eyes open so you can see where the punches are coming from and do not stay still like a punching bag! Close the distance, secure the clinch and take them down!
Third, we have the ‘Helmet Guard’. A good block for hooking punches and haymakers. An easy transition from ‘The High Guard’ and something that is probably also somewhat familiar to BJJ practitioners. For this one, Shane grabs the back of his head, using his forearm to protect the side of his head and his elbow to protect the front incase he messed up and read the punch wrong and it was not a hook. Find more about this type of defense in The Elbow Encyclopedia or The Knee Strike Encyclopedia by Artem Levin.
Number four, the ‘3-Point Block’. Called the ‘3-Point Block’ because it uses three points of contact to absorb the damage, the palm, the forearm, and the shoulder/bicep area. This block is mainly used for kicks to the head (not very common in street fights or self defense situations but neither are berimbolos so it does not hurt to know anyways).
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Lastly, the ‘Outward Block’. Found in many traditional martial arts, this block is seen in MMA, boxing, and kickboxing (have a look at Complete Kickboxing Basics by Jerome Lebanner). Used as a way to defend/deflect a strike and immediately close the distance to set up counters or close the distance. A good option for long and lanky fighters who like keeping people out at range. Remember on this one, outside-90! If your arm is bent to much it will crumple to the strike, find a happy medium where it is still strong but not completely straight!
So there are the ‘5 Ways to Block a Punch’ by shane Fazen. Some of these may be more applicable for MMA/sport fighting, others blend seamlessly into our self defense techniques, either way it is up to you as the practitioner to get out there and train live with strikes, discover for yourself what works best for you! Look into your schools striking program if they offer one for added details on how to apply these!
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