How to Defend Punches More Effectively

Hey. Ando here from and
Happy Life Martial Arts. Standing outside today with my old friend Sensei
Alec. Sensei Alec runs The Mat Martial Arts in Austin, Texas. So, if you’re
looking for quality martial arts instruction in that area, I’ll put a link
below. Check him out. We’re just outside doing a little bit of training ourselves
and we started to talk about how people defend punches. The way we defend punches
versus the way students defend punches. And what was one of the observations
that we were coming up with?>>Well, we were noticing that a lot of the intermediate
and the advanced students that we have are still holding on to habits they
learned in the early stages, and they’re not changing things with the level that
they’re moving up in. They’re actually working harder than they need to. The
goal was to find a way to make them work smarter instead of harder.>Well, in a general sense, a beginner is doing more gross motor
movement. They have less trained skills, so things are based off of what feels
most natural, and if they don’t have much experience of something coming after
them, it’s gonna be a very grand motion of some kind.>>Okay, so…>>For example let’s take a
straight punch. It’s super easy to work with.>>Yeah.>>As this is coming through,
they’re gonna do something really large to get out of their way. Two hands, one
hand, something that’s a very large motion so that they can really make sure that
they’re safe. Just think about a fly coming after you. You don’t snap the fly,
you swat the fly.>>Right.>>Same concepts.>>Because there’s probably some panic
involved and just, you don’t know what to do. So, it’s just natural to try to get
things away from you. Get away from the danger.>>Exactly. So, we use that in
the early stages of training to say, hey, let’s just make that better for you. So
it’s more deliberate. So, as it’s a big motion, you’re bringing it off to the
side and you’re learning how to rotate your body with it. So then you have open
targets or exit strategy depending on what your goal is.>>Fair enough.
All right. But that’s also a problem as you get to a more advanced level, against
a better fighter or multiple attackers, what are the problems with this big,
gross motor blocking or deflection?>>Put it simply, the bigger motion I make one
way, the bigger motion I have to make the other. Some form of retraction has to happen for me to run or to attack, counter,
whatever you want to call it. So, when I start to have more honed training, I
don’t want to move as big so that I can respond with less motion back,
adding quickness, adding a little bit more body tension, adding some options
for striking, as opposed to so big over here. I really only have that one giant
motion to use back. I’m not gonna do one punch, one kill concepts.>>Okay. So, as you
get more advanced your movements should probably start becoming a little more
subtle, a little more sophisticated, a little harder to detect, which means you
have to have more confidence in this pocket, because– what was that phrase you
were using before about wanting and needing?>>So, the concept is as I
learn to not get hit, I don’t want to get hit. And I don’t want to get so bad that
I’m gonna move things way over there.>>Right. The reality is I only need to not
get hit that much. I may not be comfortable with that close, so I
will have to figure out between the initial want and the more honed need what
is the buffer that I’m comfortable with doing. That’s where the intermediate
training comes in, is to understand how to streamline that want-to-need ratio.
>>Okay. And that puts you in a better position by only doing what you need to
do. If you let me shave you with this, boom, like throwing the knives you talked
about. Like we’re in a circus and the knife is coming right there, if you allow
that, then you are in a better position to begin your counter-attack or running
or whatever.>>Correct. Because I no longer have to worry about centering my body to you. I’m
already centered. I can stay located in a specific area that, I can stay behind
this punch and have options for myself.>>Right. What do you say,
when you see people move out to the side, they may not just be shooting out their
arms, they may also be sacrificing some of their posture and their eye lines.>>Yeah. It’s a frame change. Your skeletal structure rotates or tips or dips and
moves out of place in a way you’re losing efficiency in whatever motions
you’re going to do.>>Could you show us the way it should not be done?>>So, you
don’t want to be able to have your shoulders tip over, you don’t want to be
crossing your arm across your whole centerline, you don’t want your head to tip
over your heel line, you want to keep everything pretty upright and pretty
standardized in terms of a carousel horse shape. A carousel horse, with that post going through my body, I can rotate, I can rise and dip,
I can move my body in and out if I need to…>>And even your eye line.>>The eye line
doesn’t change either. That way I don’t have to worry about readjusting the
visuals of what my brain is calculating. So, it keeps things simple.>>So,
overdoing bobbing and weaving, and slipping, and all that stuff, can put you
in a worse position to counter-attack or to escape because you’re just doing too
much. Again, you’re working too hard.>>Right. Okay, so the problem is pretty
simple to understand–doing too much. That’s it. Just working too hard. So, how
can we start chiseling away to become more efficient and effective in our
fight?>>Well, the first thing is to talk about what are the limits
of the needs.>>The limits of the needs.>.The limits of the needs. So, I don’t have to
worry about over-complicating it. So, the width of my head or the width of my
shoulders. That’s the two spaces that I have to worry about.>>This is all you have to
worry about defending. You don’t have to defend over here, up here, or around you.
You only need to defend your skeleton.>>Right. If I
perceive that you’re hitting to the center of one of those places. My center line doesn’t change. If it’s up high, it’s my head. I only need to miss enough that the outside of my head is no longer being hit. If it’s the center of my body, if I rotate my body, that’s enough to
not get hit anymore.>>Right. But it’s gonna be closer than most people
are comfortable doing, so we’re gonna use our arms to redirect something
but still use the shoulders to influence that motion. And as you do that, it’s
gonna keep everything at a nice, comfortable distance from that hand, so
that you can keep things close to your body. I don’t have to extend my arm. I
feel pretty comfortable relaxed. And then I can move forward or strike
forward, whatever is nice to feel from there.>>And again, you don’t like
using the word block. I have a video, I’ll put the link up, about how I’m not a big
believer in blocks if you don’t need them. They’re kind of instinctive. So,
they’re gonna happen anyway. But really, you should keep your focus on attacking
and getting to positions where you’re dominant. So, you don’t like to use the
word block either, because this– would you consider this a block?>>It’s not a block.
Actually, a block, by definition, is I’m stopping something. And I’m using some
force against a force.>>Like a beta blocker. You would say something like that.>>A
beta blocker or a linebacker. Anything where you block and stop
something from happening. You’re meeting force with force. And this is not
happening. I’m redirecting the energy and I’m just letting my body’s
motion be natural while your energy goes elsewhere, so that I continue
back in this direction.>>So, I’m wasting energy. I’m inefficient where you’re putting
yourself in a position to be efficient.>>Correct. So, the inside defensive motion
is not a block, it is a redirection of energy.>>And so the less energy that you
use to try to stop me or push me away is more energy that you have to now come
back at me to either fight or run or whatever you want to do.>>Correct. And that’s where the wants and needs concept comes back in. Because if I use more energy to redirect
yours, I have to use more energy to bring it back, versus staying compact, but
safe, and then not have to work hard to come in.>>Exactly. All right. So, let’s talk about a simple
drill that you can add to your practice time to help you become a little more
efficient and a little more effective in your punch defense. What would that be?
>>Well, let’s talk about connecting everything in one piece as much as
possible, so I’m not moving all these different parts at one time. So, I’m gonna
use the hands as a guide to guard, to make your hand go elsewhere…>>So, get a partner…>>Get a partner. You’re gonna have them throw slow punches back and forth, left and right, and I’m gonna use the same side that it’s coming in for now and I’m gonna rotate my
shoulders and use my arm just to be a guard. I’m not moving my arms to make
this happen. If you want to do a palm version of the block, that’s fine.
You want to do a fisted version, you want to use your forearms instead,
none of that really matters so much. Just let the shoulders do the motion for you.>>So, even though your arms are making contact, you’re not thinking about your
arms. You’re actually just thinking about what you need to do, which is move the
body. For right now, these are like training wheels just to get you to feel
comfortable right now with these punches in front of you, right?>>That’s
correct.>>So, then you could move to the next level, which would be to just
take the arms away.>>Take the arms out of the way. They don’t even exist for now.>>Heads up!>>Put your hands down. I mean, obviously, you’re gonna want to
keep your hands up as some form of protection.>>Be safe. Of course. But
generally, what the goal would be, if you had no arms and I was just feeding you
punches, and you’re just trying to slip and look at these punches, and of course,
I could be more random and faster, that’s up to you and your own training partner,
but you’re just trying to figure out how to–aghh!– how to slide these punches and
feel comfortable here, because once there’s less panic and you’re breathing,
and you’re seeing, and you’re feeling what’s going on, you can always add hands
back, you can always add more movement if something is going wrong, but you want to
try to boil this exercise down to the pure essence of just do what you need to
do. Just make sure the fist doesn’t hit something vital and then everything else,
the rest of your focus, should be on your counter or your escape. Is that
fair?>>That’s very fair, yeah.>>All right. So, there’s your challenge. The next time
you’re entering into some partner drills or doing some sparring, see how little
you can do to get the results that you want. Right?>>Yeah. I mean, pay attention to
how much you actually move by response and then see what you can do to minimize
that movement so it’s less and less each time you do it. Right. It’s funny because
maybe in the beginning, you move in big movements out of panic, and then your ego
might want you to start moving big as well. You might want people to see how
you can do these moves, and they’re big and they’re strong, you grunt and you
sweat, and you’re out of breath. It makes you feel proud of yourself as you’re
working hard and everyone sees that you know what you’re doing. But that’s
beginner mindset. That’s beginner ego. As you get better, I think things should
start becoming invisible. Nobody should see actually how good you are. They just
know that they can’t hit you. Don’t you think that’s a good goal?

100 thoughts on “How to Defend Punches More Effectively

  1. Guys,elbows and knees are the thing you would want to hit with both are more affective than fist and feet!

  2. At the end when y'all talk about not liking the word block reminded me about something. For all the karateka reading, uke(what we use as the word for block) actually means "to receive", because you're not trying to completely block an attack, you're just "receiving" it.

  3. Please mention your talks in WRITING IN ENGLISH on screen with video… It's helpful to understand the variation of language pronouncition

  4. i beat a kids ass with a single uppercut he had a loose tooth at the time it was stabbed through his tounge

  5. Thanks for the tips! I used this the other day in the parking lot of a Fry’s and I can say it has definitely saved me life! They just kept moving at me aggressively and I felt very uneasy. One of them reached out to me so I blocked, punched, and screamed “I DONT WANT YOUR FUCKING GIRLSCOUT COOKIES”. This will save your life!

  6. Good video, start to finish, can't fault it. Would have done some things differently regarding covering & manipulating the punch, but that's just a matter of personal preference – nothing wrong with your approach at all. Good job guys.

  7. People have picked on me my whole life and now I'm getting tired of it so I'm working out now and will be studying defense so when the time comes Ill be ready.

  8. I am 9 and this helps bc a bullie is living near my house and he fights me and im not god at fighting now my tac tic is to make them tired and when there dried out i give my best punch i can

  9. More garbage techniques. Defend a punch by learning to avoid it. Wing Chun blocks are garbage and get you killed.

  10. Non of this shit could help you on a real life attack…..hello to the guy from the youtube???? I want to throw you a punch with a real force and speed okay..and if you can defend yourself I'll pay you 5grand…comment me if anyone's interested…

  11. Training like this, while beneficial in a number of important ways (i.e. it builds up your confidence, allows you to learn how to interpret your attacker's body language, etc.), will probably not work in a street-fight situation. In a street fight, you don't really have time to do inside defenses, and moreover, with inside defenses you can still get hit.

  12. Here in the philippines i ate bullies.. i like it and love it when i knocked off some bullies… i am the bullies of all bullies..

  13. Just train your body to be stronger and faster for real build your self reliance cause life will put you through strange predicaments

  14. Hi someone in my class was bullying me and punching me, Thanks for this video it will help me for nxt time

  15. I learned a thing from anime. Where you attack the bully first, then kick his under knees. Boom it works. Make sure you are wearing a strong shoes

  16. You didn’t show it in practice. You should have showed him throwing punches in almost real time or slower to show the technique with some punches being thrown your way.

  17. Man i really want to learn how to fight not to cause trouble or anything i just want to learn how to defend myself but i dont have time as im only 15 still have to complete my studies

  18. I just found you the ther day. This is great. Its the basics. Like I said before the other time. I have decade past in few kungfu styles few years in karate & karate American style Aka military style karate for same duration.
    I like this. Key is misdirection among other basics. Key up oponit is a factor also strength,weight & skill comes with timing ect.
    Im looking forward on opening up my own studio in 4 years. Yes I'm on the 4 year $$$$$ just making sure time is well spent. Keep it up.

  19. Learn to hardern your forearms and only use that to block instead of dodging.. it's instant pain to the striker and he won't be trying to punch you as much

  20. I’m Going To Grade 7 And There Are Gonna Be Lots Of Bully’s And I Don’t Like To Hit People So Thx For The Advice

  21. Bro, this is funny as hell 😂 I punch faster than you can defend it, speed is everything, this is funny, id like to fight one of these martial artists with my fighting style

  22. I don't understand this classification of defense in beginner, intermediate, advanced: why not teach beginners the right way immidiately? In combat sports techniques don't change: they are just better executed when skill grows. It's no use drilling something that is not efficient and have to learn a better way later on.

  23. Normaly attakers attack with circular punches when they are angry….not strait
    Hook is the most used and dangers punch

  24. Fighting tips:
    -If your bully has you pinned up against the wall and is strangling you, keep on kicking them until they stop(Make sure you’re wearing shoes. They’re more effective)
    -If you have sharp nails, scratch them.
    -Kick them on their private parts
    -Hit them with hard objects like text books
    -If they throw a punch, grab their arm and twist it, so that they stop
    -Disclaimer: DO NOT HIT YOUR BULLY IN THE HEAD! It can cause serious damage and then you could get sued/arrested.

  25. Seek jesus and repent of your sins  pray for my endurance and strength and victory over sin through Jesus Christ the one true king and god.

  26. ☺☺☺☺
    Blocking don't work…unless you stand behind a brick wall…but seriously punching kicking pushing head butt
    Will explode so fast from the nutter
    With more venom than a cobra can spit
    the only thing blocking his knuckles Will be your face. most street fights Only last a few minutes before they are gassed
    (Out of breath ) in that time expect everything including the kitchen sink
    To hit you…BLOCKING DON'T WORK

  27. Just throw 1 punch at their face then use your first 2 knuckles to hit their rib and it will be gone causing lack of H20 and losing control

  28. I'm just watching these videos cause instead of hitting a scrawny annoying kid I just picked him up on my bus and carried him back to where he was and probably embarrassed him and I feel like he's crazy enough to try and flying punch me while I'm walking in the halls of my school so I'm preparing to have to dodge that lol

  29. Those so-called bobbing and weaving and slipping further to the side that you say not to do actually put you in a cocked position to be able to counter with your next punch and get more power into the shot. Mike Tyson is a good example of this.

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