The angle of your blocking arm

Kung Fu Wang

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When your opponent throws a jab or cross, you use your arm to block it. Should your blocking forearm be:

1. 45 degree toward yourself?
2. 90 degree vertical?
3. 45 degree toward your opponent?

Your blocking arm may hit on your opponent

1. leading arm area.
2, elbow area.
3. upper arm area.

Which method is better? Your thought?
 

Cragrat

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When your opponent throws a jab or cross, you use your arm to block it. Should your blocking forearm be:

1. 45 degree toward yourself?
2. 90 degree vertical?
3. 45 degree toward your opponent?

Your blocking arm may hit on your opponent

1. leading arm area.
2, elbow area.
3. upper arm area.

Which method is better? Your thought?
It is probably not imperative how you block an attacking punch , just that you do block. This is assuming you are talking about an attack rather than sparring. You then have a chance to counter this. Again this assumes you are not aware of the oncoming attack as you need to play "catch up" very quickly afterwards
 

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When your opponent throws a jab or cross, you use your arm to block it. Should your blocking forearm be:

1. 45 degree toward yourself?
2. 90 degree vertical?
3. 45 degree toward your opponent?

Your blocking arm may hit on your opponent

1. leading arm area.
2, elbow area.
3. upper arm area.

Which method is better? Your thought?
Yes.
 

isshinryuronin

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I tend to block out towards the attacker to:

1. intercept the punch sooner before full power is generated
2. intercept the punch sooner to throw the opponent's timing off
3.. end the block closer to the attacker and immediately convert it into offense

Can also pull the block in towards me, taking the opponent's arm and pulling him into a same-hand strike. Whatever way I block, it is multifunctional to set up a counter.
 
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Damien

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When your opponent throws a jab or cross, you use your arm to block it. Should your blocking forearm be:

1. 45 degree toward yourself?
2. 90 degree vertical?
3. 45 degree toward your opponent?

Your blocking arm may hit on your opponent

1. leading arm area.
2, elbow area.
3. upper arm area.

Which method is better? Your thought?
Theoretically speaking the closer you can block towards the top of their arm the more you will divert the punch, decreasing the likelihood the punch will hit you, and opening up a bigger space for a counter strike. On the flip side though, the further you are away from yourself, the weaker your block will be, meaning that they may end up powering straight through, and the more likely it is that you will fail to actually intercept in time.

In practice a lot of intent goes out the window, and you do what you can. Ultimately any move in martial arts is at the same time a compromise and a gamble. Blocking further out has a lower chance of success but greater benefits, blocking closer has a higher chance of success, but won't create a big opening, and you may still take a bit of damage.

I would generally teach the high success option first, it is more reliable. Move on to riskier things as skill increases.
 

isshinryuronin

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Theoretically speaking the closer you can block towards the top of their arm the more you will divert the punch, decreasing the likelihood the punch will hit you, and opening up a bigger space for a counter strike. On the flip side though, the further you are away from yourself, the weaker your block will be, meaning that they may end up powering straight through, and the more likely it is that you will fail to actually intercept in time.
I agree with your first sentence (should have included it in my post.)

I do not agree with the second. Is a punch or knife hand strike weak because the arm is extended? No, they are strong, being offensive techniques done with the intent of causing hurt. A block done with a defensive spirit will be weak away from the body, but if done in the spirit, and with the purpose of a strike (to cause damage) it can be strong, as well.

Powering thru the block is a concern, but going out to meet the attack as described above will prevent this. Contrary to your statement, blocking too close to you increases this risk because,

1. The attack has enough distance to develop maximum velocity and force, and

2. You have less of a bumper cushion to absorb the attack and it can push your block back enough to contact you.

If you actually train full force (I suggest protective equipment including helmet) with a strong partner actually trying to power thru your defense and land smack you a good one, you will see my point. Believe me, I trained just this way a few days ago and had my bell rung a few times by blocking too close in.
 

gpseymour

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When your opponent throws a jab or cross, you use your arm to block it. Should your blocking forearm be:

1. 45 degree toward yourself?
2. 90 degree vertical?
3. 45 degree toward your opponent?

Your blocking arm may hit on your opponent

1. leading arm area.
2, elbow area.
3. upper arm area.

Which method is better? Your thought?
I'll assume here we're talking about a punch roughtly to the head area (since a punch anywhere else would change all the angles even more.All of those are within the range of options I was taught (plus it can be either arm used). The basic, starting position is 90 degree bend, with the forearm about 45 degrees to the vertical, meeting the forearm just above the wrist with the chopping edge or upper forearm.

But that's just the starting position for it, to develop mechanics. And there's bodywork involved, as well. In practice, blocks can range from reaching at the shoulder area (disrupting mechanical structure) to a shielding motion near the head with the entire arm.
 

Damien

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I agree with your first sentence (should have included it in my post.)

I do not agree with the second. Is a punch or knife hand strike weak because the arm is extended? No, they are strong, being offensive techniques done with the intent of causing hurt. A block done with a defensive spirit will be weak away from the body, but if done in the spirit, and with the purpose of a strike (to cause damage) it can be strong, as well.

Powering thru the block is a concern, but going out to meet the attack as described above will prevent this. Contrary to your statement, blocking too close to you increases this risk because,

1. The attack has enough distance to develop maximum velocity and force, and

2. You have less of a bumper cushion to absorb the attack and it can push your block back enough to contact you.

If you actually train full force (I suggest protective equipment including helmet) with a strong partner actually trying to power thru your defense and land smack you a good one, you will see my point. Believe me, I trained just this way a few days ago and had my bell rung a few times by blocking too close in.
Well it would depend on the block trajectory. Certainly strikes aren't weak because of the extension, but their power is moving in a straight line. I assumed from the parameters of the original post that we were talking about a block which would in some way be moving inwards or outwards. I may have misinterpreted, but from what I imagine they mean I'm not sure that block would be useful moving in a straight line towards your opponent. Certainly straight blocks can be used, and you are right they do not have a significant reduction in power as they extend from you.

As soon as your movement is to the side however, your mass is not directly behind it and leverage comes into play. At that point anything further away from you has less capacity to deliver force, like trying to push an object to the side is harder the further away from you it is. Although it is a bit more complicated, essentially your torso acts as a class 1 lever and the further the force is from it, the more effort is needed to move it.

I entirely agree with your second point though, and that was very much what I was trying to get across with the % success vs outcome. Blocking in close does mean you are more likely to take some damage, but due to the physics involved you are more likely to block. A block doesn't mean you take no damage, the very act of blocking itself requires impact on the part of the body that blocks at the very least. So blocking in close has a higher chance of reducing the impact against vital parts of the body, e.g. the head we'll assume in this case, but the trade off is that it does not reduce that impact by as much as a block further out. A block further out reduces the impact more if it is successful, but has a lower % chance of succeeding, i.e. deflecting the punch completely off course.

Perhaps terminology could be better refined too. A block that is too late is not a close block, its a far block that wasn't done in time, meaning you get a good whack. Close in blocks might be better classed as shields or guards.
 
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skribs

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When your opponent throws a jab or cross, you use your arm to block it. Should your blocking forearm be:

1. 45 degree toward yourself?
2. 90 degree vertical?
3. 45 degree toward your opponent?

Your blocking arm may hit on your opponent

1. leading arm area.
2, elbow area.
3. upper arm area.

Which method is better? Your thought?
As is the answer to every single one of these threads: it depends.

Your arm should be: 45 towards yourself if the punch is close to hitting you, because that gives you the shortest time before hitting their arm, and the fastest recovery. Further away if the punch is further away (otherwise you'll miss). Even then, it's like asking which is better between Aquafina and Arrowhead bottled water. Some people are going to have an opinion, but for 99.99% of people, it depends what's there and what's on sale.

Your blocking arm should hit your opponent's arm. Or shoulder. Or body. Or head. Any of those will disrupt the shot. Worrying about where you're aiming on a fast-moving target is just silly.
 

donald1

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As far as I'm concerned, my block varies depending upon the height of the punch. Are they punching high? Low? Somewhere in the middle?

I don't put much thought into angle so much as what block I'm gonna use. My main priority is blocking the arm hopefully hard enough to leave a bruise.
 

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