Friday, June 24, 2005

BJJ Move #22: Covering Block

BJJ doesn't have a lot of striking practice.
At the same time, people in real fights do try to hit you.
You'd like not to get hurt when that happens.

Probably you should learn to box so you can block, parry, slip, bob, weave, counterpunch, take a punch, and, maybe, duck.
Failing that, keep your hands up and move into a clinch. Really, once you've come to grips with someone, you're much safer from strikes than your are when standing away from someone trading shots.

You're usually safer tying up with a bigger, stronger opponent than trying to fight him with punches. He can move you around, but you're not likely to be knocked out on your feet.
Also, if you have some grappling training, you may have a real advantage over an untrained guy with a size advantage. But most people are fairly conversant with the idea of punching you, so you'd need to be a much better boxer to have a real skill advantage in stand-up punching against a bigger opponent.

BJJ includes a very simple, straightforward and effecting blocking strategy against common punches, especially against the loopy "haymaker" punches untrained fighters tend to throw at your face when they want to hit you without getting too close.

WARNING! These techniques could result in serious injury or death if practiced incorrectly or even if performed correctly. They should only be practiced with the supervision of an experienced instructor.

Covering block:

You and your opponent are both in right-handed (left-foot-forward) stance.
He throws a right cross or a haymaker with his right.
Block by raising your 85% bent left arm to cover your entire left side of face/head.
You are making a motion like you're a greaser straightening his hair, then holding the back of your head. Your arm will lie against your head; you aren't reaching out to stop his punch like a karate block-- this block just shields your head.
You may do this while stepping forward with your left foot if you're moving in for a clinch.
If you've stepped forward, his right arm should slap across your left arm.
If you are standing still, you should turn your shoulders slightly to the right, and his right hand should hit your left arm instead of your face.
There are a number of ways this block can be used to protect you as you move in for a clinch or takedown against a punch, which I will describe in later posts.

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