[Tang Soo Do] Blocks are Strikes

Discussion in 'Other Styles' started by PsiCop, Mar 18, 2005.

  1. PsiCop

    PsiCop Antonio gets the women...

    I don't feel this is iterated enough in my school. In Tang Soo Do, every single block is also a strike. I think if people had the mindset of "low strike" instead of "low block", they would have stronger techniques. A more aggressive mindset such as this permeates the idea that, not only can you block the person's kick from hitting you, but you can also perhaps shatter his ankle in the process and thus disable their leg for the rest of the fight.

    Do your schools teach this principle?
  2. 1eo

    1eo Banned Banned


    As a side note,
    The other day, I saw an amateur video (on-line) of a TSD form (Pyong Ahn Cho Dan).

    I think the person was a "second Dan"... however, there was absolutely no "hip rotation" in any of his techniques. The low-blocks looked soo weak, and his reverse middle puches were not aim to the solar plexus. Infact, his puches were a in-between of a middle and a high reverse punch...

    If it wasn't becuase he was a second dan, I would have though there were mistakes or lack of refinement. My guess is that TSD can vary a lot from school to school :eek:

    Last edited: Mar 19, 2005
  3. PsiCop

    PsiCop Antonio gets the women...

    On another note, that is one the most common mistakes I ever see at my school... As in about 90% do this. The student's middle puches will be only about an inch or two lower than their high punch, at about shoulder level. Usually do I see middle punches correctly at the solar plexus level in the black belt class. However, the Gups don't really do it. Perhaps we don't iterate it enough. I try to put a little bit of extra info whenever I'm teaching a technique or form, but I feel some of the lower instructors aren't doing this with regard to their middle punch. I've actually seen them do it shoulder high from time to time themselves. I'll try and bring it up next week to a couple of the more active instructors (I myself am not formally a Kyo Sa Nim, so having them consider it would be the best option), because now it's a simple technique done incorrectly more often than back kick (a definite fun one to master hehe).

    I feel I'm ranting on about technicalities, but I feel that things need to be done right or the art will lose its technique over time.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2005
  4. MartialArtN00b

    MartialArtN00b New Member

    Our teachers dont put much emphasis on the idea that blocks are strikes. I remember once when I was doing a drill with a senior student. She kept being on my case because I was blocking with low power, and she was adamant that I was only suppose to deflect her strikes and that I was hitting her arm and that it hurt, and i was doing it wrong, and bla bla bla bla...

    I was getting annoyed, because even though she was my senior by a couple of belt, I was not putting any power in my blocks, and that she seriously had no position to give me advice that I considered pretty bad for someone who wasnt that good formwise nor in practical fighting. I then told her politely that a block can be a strike. She then looked at me as if I said the most stupidest thing ever because the master never said so (they actually dont talk much anyways, leaving the students to think independantly).

    At least, from then on she thought I was a smart ass that didnt deserve her incredible thoughtful advice. Fortunately, the senior students that are actually good believe that blocks are strike and they go about to condition their forearm with this idea (block to break bone).
  5. PsiCop

    PsiCop Antonio gets the women...

    It depends on the style. Some styles teach that to use a block as a deflection is the best practice, because it allows for a better counter-attack. However, the way Tang Soo Do operates, one must use that ideal in practicing their techniques and blocks. Tang Soo Do can be summed up as "Taking out all threats in the quickest and most effective way possible." Our philosophy uses the basis of almost pure striking to accomplish this, even in blocks.

    However, there's no "one right way" to block. It all depends on the intent and effect one wishes to create. I'm just focusing on the Tang Soo Do philosophy in this message.

    EDIT: And about your "friend", it's really best to just ignore students like that. You can usually tell if you're right or not. Just don't bring something like that up again to someone like her, because you know it'll do no good.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2005
  6. TheSanSooStorm

    TheSanSooStorm Valued Member

    Yes this principle is taught at my school, infact its a foundamental. In my style we fight close range, very close range. Its a very aggressive style that works on the idea of victimizing the opponent, not taking ur stance and saying "ok now lets explange this and that and do this and that". Its take ur ready position (a none threatening, none "martial art" stance, just with the weight slightly off the front foot, one hand over the other over the groin, with a side turned to them, very neutral in essence.) and then the second they annitiate there attack you close the distance. Get in close and just pelt them, following the reaction of the human body in powerful, in close penitrating strikes, leverages, throws, traps, bla bla. untill the opponent is at a heep at your feet.

    Now the "blocks" are very huge and powerful at first, and are directed aim wise at the opponent. And then later on you learn avoidence, , along with striking the opponent using psychology so they cant pre-determine your aggression. These then in the even higher lessons completely mix, as in the blocks become a strike completely, you avoid and strike. if you remove the avoidance, the strike is a block. Also it should be noted that Strikes are also Blocks. Look at the cobra Punch.

    For instance, I have blocked a boxers jab before, but it was probably not nearly as good as many other boxers jabs. a perfectly good boxers jab u ussually cant block, but it doesnt hurt much. If you annitiate your "Block" with the backhand aimed say at the nose, and he jabs you in the face, if you have the mentallity of a fighter to not let this jab stop you dead in your tracks, you`ll continue this motion and smack them in the face, foot work the same. and now your in too close with punches coming right behind it without any pause for him to really fight back, you got jabbed, he got backhanded with a massive circular strike in the nose, which hurt more?

    I have found that if my block/strike bound for say his arm or leg, and its a fake, (or a jab) and its not there to hit Hasn`t this put me in a an ackward position? What if this guy has somethign coming at 90 miles per hour right behind that jab/fake and I have out my arm out where I thought his last strike would be? Just food for thought. SO I`ve found that if you want ther eto be peace, you`ve got to fight, and the more aggression in ones technuqe, the better off. Thats what my style teaches, I just so happen to agree with it. Passive styles can have there passiveness, I`m fine with that. But I side with more agression in a fight. In the words of my teacher Master Don mills "The victor of a fight will always be the one who raises the aggression to the highest point first."

    A question: Did Chuck Norris study Tang Soo Do or found Tang Soo Do? Mabye you guys could help me out, just wondering which one.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2005
  7. Jang Bong

    Jang Bong Speak softly....big stick

    Blocks are Strikes (and vice versa).....

    Yep! At our school almost everything can have 2 functions (at least :D).

    At the karate class I visit, some of the kids (12-14 year olds) don't like 'playing' with me because they say I have steel plates in my arms. NO!!! I'm not that good, but I guess the technique must be OK. :)

    The low block (just as an example) could just as easily be a finishing head-strike to a downed opponent just before his mates catch up to you. Likewise we have been taught that the classic 'high block' can be effective when used just under someones lower jaw.

    In the other direction - we have drilled to stop a strike against us by striking ourselves to the shoulder of the opponent trying to hit us. It is a true strike, but it is blocking at the opponents body (rather than dealing with the extended arm/hand).

    Just my 2-peneth.
  8. Yossarian75

    Yossarian75 New Member

    We practice blocks as parrys and strikes, they usually include some kind of joint lock. The chambering part of the block can be used to deflect an incoming punch and set up for an arm bar etc.

    We dont practice much hard blocking at all, I would never use a low block to stop a kick, I imagine you would need a lot of conditioning to prevent injury to yourself. Ive found myself using low front leg side kicks to jam my opponents kicks during sparring, works quite well.

    Chuck Norris did study Tang Soo Do before he developed his own system.
  9. PsiCop

    PsiCop Antonio gets the women...

    Interesting, but to answer your question, Chuck Norris didn't found TSD, Grandmaster Hwang Kee did. Mr. Norris has an 8th Dan in the style but later went on to adapt his own style, Chun Kuk Do, which is based off of many of the principles he learned in Tang Soo Do.
  10. Jang Bong

    Jang Bong Speak softly....big stick

    Tried that ONCE - will avoid in the future. Nice pretty colours on arm took some time to go away :D :eek: :D
  11. Kwajman

    Kwajman Penguin in paradise....

    Sure blocks can be strikes if you do them hard enough.
  12. MarioBro

    MarioBro Banned Banned

    Blocks can be strikes...BUT...many blocks are intentionally only about blocking in order to setup the opponent for the strike(s) to follow. In many cases it is desirable to block without it being a strike in order to avoid over-rotating your opponent, for instance with outside arm blocks where you would use the arm block while shifting your body over, avoiding the strike and setting them up for following attacks to their head, neck or torso.

    It is often this way in TKD self-defense anyhow...
  13. Preta

    Preta New Member

    If you are using correct technique in your block, it requires a great deal of control to deflect an oncoming full force attack without injuring your opponent. This is where the technique if the block is most important. The rotation of the forearm on imapct disperses the force over a larger area instead of a single point. The attackers arm/leg will still take the full force of the impact, increasing the chance of injury.

    When blocking kicks, I am taught to use a round step, stepping away from the kick to reinforce the block, as well as minimize the impact. You would never rely solely on an arm to stop a kick. When dealing with a front kick, you can step the from foot back, which will bring the body back just enough to prevent any real penetration of the kick if the block cannot stop it. I wouldn't reccomend using this for a back leg kick or any side kick.

    I'm surprised that a lot of people aren't able to differentiate between a block, cover, parry and avoidance.
  14. J. Khai Tran

    J. Khai Tran New Member

    I disagree. A low block can be a very effective way to stop a kick. When done correctly, only the attacker is injured from the collision as when defending against an instep/low roundhouse kick. It is also very effective in redirecting thrusting kicks such as front and side kicks especially when used to turn them to expose their back side. If one wants to be kinder to the attacker, one can simply use open hand blocks (instead of using the forearm). I don't recommend this unless you are very sure of yourself, however, since it makes it easier for you to get jammed fingers or even a broken hand.
  15. Preta

    Preta New Member

    This works great in sparring where contact is mid-heavy at best, but going full contact, it is much more difficult when the attacker has a size advantage. There are times when avoidance is best.

    I wasn't very clear when I posted this. I was implying you would always try to incorporate some type of other movement to reinforce the block or setup a counter attack.
  16. J. Khai Tran

    J. Khai Tran New Member

    It doesn't matter what the contact level is or how big they are. Since you have a huge leverage advantage, if your timing is good (this is the key), you will have no problem redirecting a thrusting kick. Yes, I agree there are times when avoidance is best. However, there are also times when holding your ground is best, or even necessary.

    I wouldn't say always. You don't have to move to reinforce the block (of course there are indeed many times in which you will want to move, though you shouldn't have to); a slight shift in stance should be sufficient. And sometimes you will indeed want to move to setup a counter attack, but again, not always.
  17. TheSanSooStorm

    TheSanSooStorm Valued Member

    What might influence the opinion of the person is the type of block. Blocks very much vary from style to style. For instance in my style the primary block is a upwind mill and downwind mill block(once again things vary as there are many ways in my particular art to do things, this is just a basic example)making contact with there arm with the Ulna Bone of the arm inbetween the elbow and rist. WHen used correctly it almost never hurts on impact (though I would always still suggest conditioning) While other styles may use the Flexor Carpi Ulnaris or the Extensor Digitorum which both (if I`m not mistaken) pretty much inbetween the Ulna and Radius bones to block with contact wise.

    So I think for some of us its like comparing apples to oranges, some of us in martial arts might dissagree for totally different reasons then we think because we might be speaking a totally different language. For instance in my style there are many kinds of Hammer Strikes, now if I don`t specify which kind of hammer and I`m talking to a guy who only has one or two different hammer strikes, he may not agree because he doesn`t understand the nature of which I`m talking. Thats like saying "Candy is sour" Well the guy who isn`t eating Sour candy is going to disagree.

    So perhaps some blocks are more aggressive/active/Yang then other blocks. In my style it seems that they become completely enterchangable. But not after learning both elements seperately cut and dry. But thats the application I suppose.
  18. PsiCop

    PsiCop Antonio gets the women...

    Very well put SanSooStorm. It's really the difference in style and language.
  19. kayperTSD

    kayperTSD New Member

    I was a bit surprised to find this thread! Just a few days ago I wrote in my blog about some advice I'd been given by one of our Cho Dans: a block is a strike. I felt like this was a big piece of news to me, and it really changed the way I do my forms... Such a simple thing but it was a big "AHA!" moment for me.

    I also was not sure if this was just me being a turnip (stupid) or if this really was advice that a lot of people didn't hear. Since some of the higher belts in our school don't seem to do this, I thought I might have been lucky to have this pointed out to me, and early on.

    After seeing these discussions here, I feel a bit better that this seems to be rare advice, and I'm glad that I got it. (When learning the forms initially, I don't remember anyone mentioning this at all...the emphasis was on the punches, not the blocks.) My luck that one of our Cho Dans points out this kind of stuff.

    10th gup (white belt) TSD
  20. Jang Bong

    Jang Bong Speak softly....big stick

    Hi there Kay - nice to have you on board :)

    I feel lucky in that I've always been taught to think about a 'movement' and what you could do with it. A 'high block' that goes under your opponents chin is not going to seem like a block to him ;)

    OK - I've just checked down the rest of the page and find I'm repeating myself :bang: Sorry!

    Glad that this thread has helped you - the other guys are mostly more experienced than I am anyway. :D

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