Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Importance of Blocking

                In the martial arts and in most fight arts, when people are learning, their tendency is to focus on offense and attacking.  Usually people ignore defense and blocking.  But, Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim emphasizes that we need to focus on perfecting both offense and defense equally.  Think about this.  If you can block really good, then you don’t have to worry as much about getting hit.  Your confidence goes up, and you can control the situation better. 
Of course the best defense is to avoid dangerous situations all together.  But when that becomes impossible, it is good for you to know how to defend yourself and your loved ones.  I learned from my master (Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim) that when we learn martial arts, we should always use it only for self-defense, and to protect our loved ones.  And of course train in the martial arts for self-improvement, but never to bully others. 
            My master (Dr. Tae Yun Kim) emphasized to me that blocking is really about the redirection or reflection of energy.  If strong force is coming at you, you have several choices.  You can step out of the way, or you can redirect the energy so that the blow misses you, or you can use their energy to throw them off balance, or you can reflect it back to them.  Any of these can be very effective.  It comes down to a keen understanding of these concepts, your own capabilities, the size and weight of your opponent, and of distance and timing. 
As you get better at blocking, deflecting, and redirection, you can block and draw your opponent out.  You can make your opponent tired by playing with him.  You can give your opponent the feeling that you are less aggressive and they will attack you more, all the while, you are studying their strengths and weaknesses.  Then you can choose when you are ready to attack.  You can block and create openings.  You can learn to throw your opponent off balance.  You can frustrate your attacker by remaining calm, and deflecting their attacks.  You can confuse your attacker because their attacks don’t get through.  You will have the element of surprise.  You can plan your attacks and look for your openings.  But when the time is right to attack, give it all you have.  Attack with speed and forcefulness.  Ki-up loud and strong and surprise your opponent.  If possible put fear into them, and put them on the defensive.  Blocking will increase your control and confidence, and will increase your chances of successfully defending yourself.
                In the real world, when people are trying to attack you and really hurt you, a good defense, and good blocking techniques can turn into your offense.  You can block to deter, or injure, or break something.  The same motion that redirects a kick from your vitals can turn into an attack on their leg.  You can use your elbows to inflict pain to their toes, shin splints, knees, or pressure points.  It won’t take many of those to get them to stop kicking you.  
                One of the most important things is to train regularly to build up your energy, courage, endurance, awareness, technique, and a humble attitude.  Never use what you learn to bully or take advantage of people.  Use it only in self-defense.

Train hard, feel good, help others, and smile and be happy.  :)

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