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Blocking Distance -- Too Far

I was looking at photos in a Karate book at lunch with my friend and senior Sensei Pat Nakata. I showed him a photo from the book of a person blocking a punch. The defender blocked the attacker's punch at about the side of the wrist.

I said, "Sensei, this block is too high (on the arm). At that distance, the defender could not reach the attacker with a punch." In essence, I was saying that the defender was too far away.

Nakata Sensei replied (I am paraphrasing), "Actually, there was no need to block that punch because it would not have reached the defender. If a punch won't hit you, there is no need to block it."

Of course, Nakata Sensei was right.

All too often, I find that the people shown in Karate books demonstrate their techniques when they are too far away from each other. The punch would have fallen short or just touched the skin. The block is on the wrist, leaving the defender too far away for an instant/simultaneous counterattack.

The demonstrators are standing too far away from each other. They should be crowding each other -- getting in each other's face. When they punch the face, they should be able to hit through to the back of the head. No one hits just the surface.

If you train to block unrealistic punches, how will you block real ones?

I have very interesting lunches!

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin