Keep Your Noggin’ Safe with ‘The Trinity Block’

Our very own, T.J. Kennedy, gives us a new video on what he terms “The Trinity Block” [watch the video below].

It seems that whenever there is a discussion on blocking, in both martial art and self-defense circles, everyone has their own personal take on it.  And there are others that are down-right against blocking of any kind.  Some get hung up on names and origins and in order to stay true to tradition will remain – what I would call “bound/shackled” – to their system’s method.

Looking over the Facebook comments, I saw all the above.  Some even came out saying that, “This may work, if it won’t if….”.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, however, it is highly beneficial to understand one key concept and one that T.J. brilliantly puts forward in this video, and that is, that our actions must come from a natural, behavioral response.  The Keysi guys did not come up with it, the Krav Maga people did not come with it, nor did the Irish Stick Fighters (where T.J. adopted the name from)…

it comes from a natural response to guard ones head!

Let us know what you think, however in this (one author’s opinion) “The Trinity Block” of which I use a slightly different variation* of is the most natural and practical method of defense.  Obviously the key (like anything in the martial arts) is about timing, velocity, direction, and most importantly to consider, that every situation will be different.  The temptation will always be the guard the head, protect the eyes, nose, temples and throat.  By using “The Trinity Block” and having the mechanics become reflexive, you’ll find that even the hardest of strikers (watch the video below) stand little chance of getting in.

Michael Joyce


*I personally use a variation of this block that I call “The Fonze.”  Like Arthur Fonzarelli from the t.v. show Happy Days, one hand comes up along my top of my head, like I’m brushing my hair back.  The other hand comes across the forehead and assists the other.  Like the Trinity Block, the wrists are relaxed and are in direct contact with the head.  (more on this variation in a later article.)

2 Responses to “Keep Your Noggin’ Safe with ‘The Trinity Block’”

  1. I use a variant of the ‘Trinity Block’ as my default CQ strike defence – and it has saved my face, head and neck from some pretty serious impact and injury over the years.

    I like the tweaks that TJ has made to this staple technique – specifically, the hand position (at the forehead, rather than wrapped around to the medula). This makes the block more “comfortable” for me, and improves coverage of my throat and chin.

    Time and circumstances permitting, I do prefer to use a more spear- or wedge-shaped block (just in case the baddie is packing a blade in his fist), but the Tri-Block is fast, instinctive and reliable. It also leaves the hands conveniently positioned to follow up with other CQ tactics – ie. palms, shreds, elbows, wraps, traps and takedowns.

    Keep up the excellent work, TJ – and play safe!


  2. Thanks Brian. Every defense has its own inherent limitations. But this one also has some massive strengths. Every choice we make is a benefit to risk ratio…and this, I believe, is more beneficial than risky.

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