Archive for Blocking

Making Your Mark : Get There First

Posted in Day's Lesson, Fencing, Teaching Topic, Training, Weapons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2011 by chencenter

Not Just For Fencers!

One thing that should be stamped in the mind of every fencer (and martial artists) worried about reaching your target is to understand two important points:

The first is that the hand, arm or even weapon is superfluous.  Your opponent, your “test of skill” is the man or woman in front of you, nothing more.  So much confusion begins when the student feels that every engagement must be “beat” or “pressured.”  When the space opens, the mind-body-(sword/fist/etc) should fly swiftly towards his or her area of weakness.  “Parrying/Blocking” are sometimes counterproductive.  In fencing there are rules governing where our point should land.  However, as martial artists we should all learn control.  Remember, “Mastery of anything does not come out of chaos.”*

The second is that (even as a beginner) we must learn to understand our opponent’s intention, and move where his/her conscious energy is not.  In fencing we all seek “Sentiment du fer” (Feeling of the Blade) and it is this that’s one of the most important qualities in a masterful fencer.  Understand the Yin and Yang of the blade…  that when your opponent presses hard on your blade, the most efficient and quickest way to jump back into the offensive is to be “soft/yin.”  On the other side of the coin, if your opponent is weak or is too relaxed on the piste, consider overcoming your opponent with an increase in “hard/yang” energy.

Remember, that it’s the successful marriage of soft and hard that creates sentiment du fer.  Mastery of this comes back to desire, patience and practice.





*Master Quote, by Nick Evangelista.


Keep Your Noggin’ Safe with ‘The Trinity Block’

Posted in Day's Lesson, Discussion Question, External Arts, Self-Defense, Teaching Topic, Techniques, Training with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2011 by chencenter

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.)

%d bloggers like this: