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Blocking/Striking Position

Following up on my last post, if my intention is to block/strike, not merely block, then I must get to a position that allows me to do both without further movement. What I mean by this is that I do not want to get into a position to block, and then have to move again in order to strike. This would take too much time.

Ideally, when I block I should be in a position that will also allow me to strike. This means that I need to be close to the attacker since I am not very tall. The essence of Okinawan Karate, in my opinion, at least of the Shorin-Ryu line, is that it is based on close "fighting" -- "very close" is probably more accurate.

My objective is almost to crash my body into (and through) the attacker's body -- with the appropriate blocks and strikes (and conditioning to some extent) to protect me.

In line with the principle emphasized by Choki Motobu, I would generally not want to step back. My movement will almost always be toward the attacker.

If this does not sound defensive, it is because it is not, at least not really. Once Karate needs to be used -- the point of last resort is reached -- it becomes a counterattack in a very offensive way. With my size and strength, I cannot afford to be defensive.

Up until the point of last resort, Karate is not offensive. The idea is to avoid conflict and run away if possible. If a simple block will work, that is what you should do. But once there is no other way, then Karate becomes the worst thing imaginable. My first Shorin-Ryu Sensei always said that a Karate man fears his own hand. He fears his own hand, not the attacker's. He fears what he can do with his hand, and tries to do everything possible to avoid its destructive use.

Block/strike, strike/block.


Charles C. Goodin