Blocking First

Blocking first doesn’t really appeal to me….

I think it was a good tactic for its time, but that time has passed. Here’s what made me think of blocking order, today:

My mother!

Bless her is so anti-Internet-computer-cell-phone that it’s not even funny. What’s weird is that she is a really really smart lady. Really smart.

We were having a conversation, and I mentioned that if she had email or facebook that she could have contacted me much earlier. (I had been away from the home phone, but had my ipod with me, and checked email twice.) As it was, she left a few messages on the machine … and waited.

So, in our “discussion” I mentioned that at some point horses had to leave the roads for cars, and that in fact, she herself is guilty of owning and driving one.

I further pointed out that in day of old, people came calling with cards, since there were no phones. It might take them quick a while to get across town, only to be turned away … or given an appointment for a future date.

She countered that both arguments mentioned were of more innocent times … and the nostalgia and beauty of taking a horse-drawn carriage. Okay … one point to Mom.

I told her what a convenience it was to be able to use a phone … and that if she would email, even using Dad’s account, she could get ahold of her granddaughter directly. (My kid is shadowing my wife at work today. It’s a Mom-daughter thing. I do know for a fact, that ‘kiddling’ has her ipod with her, and will check contact attempts periodically.)

The Martial-Arts Point of All of This

My mother was following my logic all the way up to me suggesting that I set her up with a laptop, an ipad, or an ipod … or show her how to use Dad’s Mac. Recommending that she jump into the 21st century was like hitting a brick wall.

And I had a sudden martial deja vu: Her resistance felt just like my arguments with some of my martial-arts buddies from different styles.

I can get them to follow my logic in responding to an attack when we talk about interrupted timing, distance manipulation, and even choice of technique, but I just can’t seem to get them to abandon the idea of blocking before counter-striking.

I can even graph it out for them and demonstrate that blocking does indeed take some time, and so if you are blocking at all without moving your striking hand or foot, then you are taking extra time.

If you start your block at the same time at your counter-hit, then at least you aren’t taking time away from the counterattack. And if you could start your counter even before the check/block, well … now, you are making up for the lost time of your opponent striking first.

And if you can step (learn tight angles), then you gain back even more …

well, you get the idea.


PS So, what do you think? Was this post worthwhile? And if so, how?
Thanks in advance for your comments.

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