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post #27 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2007, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Ferdelance View Post
How do you defend against
a) an elbow strike?
b)a knee kick?
c)the ever popular punch or knee to the ribs?
d)a hook to the head, like a left hook or a right hook to the head?
e) a spinning back kick to the head?
So much of the discussion in this forum seems offense oriented, but it seems to me that the late great Bruce Lee made an excellent point when he said that your opponent isn't going to be standing still.He was talking about guys showing off their ability to break bricks...he said that bricks don't hit back.But your opponent probably will at least try.In all of the videos that I have seen, MMA and Muay Thai and kick boxing practitioners seem to abide by the philosophy of that American Civil War general who said that a battle is won by who gets there fustest with the mostest(First with the most).This seems contrary to martial arts philosophy in general to me, but more about that in another thread.But really, in all of these matches, I've never seen somebody block an elbow attack. It is possible,isn't it? If so, how? I've never seen anyone block a knee kick.That,too, is possible,isn't it? If so, how? The same question I raise for all of the devastating offense techniques that I list above.Sincerely,Ferdelance
There's already been some excellent posts here, here's my two cents for the best responses that I tend to use

a) an elbow strike?

The "Salute" block (or High Cover, as mentioned by Onganju) - This is the best standard kickboxing defence for any strike to your head coming from the side.. so it can be used to block a hook, a high kick, and especially good against an elbow (during standup). Assuming you have your hands high near your head in something close to a boxing/KB stance (with your arm fully bent, gloved hands near your head, and your elbows at your side pointed down at the ground), just raise your arm forward while keeping it bent .. basically, your elbow should trace a full 90 degree circle in front of you going from facing straight down as to facing straight forward. This should bring the meat of your whole arm (upper and lower bent together) to rest against the side of your head. Your whole arm should absorb the impact and block the strike.

The best thing about this block is that it's extremely quick and intuitive .. in the heat of a real fight/spar, complicated blocks fall apart or get faked out and leave openings. This one is so quick and instinctive that it's easy to do in the real thing. And even if you get faked out, it only leaves an opening for a body shot, which isn't nearly that bad.

b) A Knee kick -

The standard Muay Thai response and one I like to use is to raise the knee being hit and "check" or block the kick with your shin while leaving it loose. This is better than taking it full on the knee because 1. The looseness of a raised leg allows it to swing back and take less damage than a planted leg 2. Your grounded knee joint is supporting your entire body weight, the raised shin has nothing pressing down on it to heighten the tension 3. The shin bone is a lot thicker and stronger than the knee joint. Some hardcore MT fighters even train to deaden the pain in their shins by repeatedly banging them on shit.. but i wouldn't recommend that; it fkcs your legs up long term.

This is how effective a proper check can be:

To make the check even more effective, you can push/punch the other guy backwards while you check his kick.. this will take away his momentum and turn the kick into a little slap instead of a real hurter. But this is risky, because if he's just faking the kick, it'll give him an opening to punch YOUR face in.

Another MT response that's very good in theory but much harder to time right in the heat of a fight is the "cut-kick" or counter-kick. If you see a knee-kick coming, circle with it (move in a circle in the same direction as the kick is going) and counter with your own low/knee kick on the guy's other leg. With his other leg in the air, this will knock his support out from under him and splat him on the ground .. very impressive, but hard to pull off against guys with quick kicks. Can also be used against any other kicks.

c)the ever popular punch or knee to the ribs?

(Also mentioned by Onganju as "Body Cover") Again straight out of boxing, and it's already been said .. DON'T DROP YOUR HANDS TO PROTECT THE BODY. That's what the guy wants you to do .. he's not gonna knock you out with shots to the body, he's just softening you up with those hoping you drop your hands and he can knock your head out. But that doesn't mean you have to "just take it" either. Instead, if you're in something close to a standard boxing/KB stance, your hands will be high and your elbows at your sides facing down. If you see a body shot coming, just lean your body towards that side, so your elbow (with the upper and lower arm joined together to form a meaty block) will take the blow. Keep the arm touching your body so the force is distributed, and keep your hands high so you don't leave an opening.

If it's a sloppy knee, you could try to scoop it and takedown instead of a block, but it's risky. The guy could switch it into a knee to the head instead and then you turn into Rich Franklin against A. Silva.

d)a hook to the head, like a left hook or a right hook to the head?

Again, the best one I like is the salute mentioned for a).

If you're much shorter than your opponent, you can also duck/bob and weave under it, maybe even get an upper cut after.. Couture used this very well against Sylvia. Don't use the standard Boxing bob-and-weave though, where you lean your head forward while you duck.. thats prime position for a KO knee or MT clinch. Instead, keep your head and waist straight up as usual and bend/duck at your knees. And keep your hands high, otherwise you might duck right into a high kick. You can even turn the the ducking under the punch into a takedown, which is what most MMA guys would do with this. Very risky though .. like I said, you can get kneed or head kicked, which can be game over.

e) a spinning back kick to the head?

Just move back. Honestly, there's so much motion involved in one of these that you have a lot of time to see it coming and just move a step back. If you don't move back in time, try to bring up your hands to cover the front of your face completely.

The reason you don't see some of these strikes like elbows/knee kicks being blocked very often in the UFC is that at a professional level, guys get really good and fast at throwing them without telegraphing them. It's so hard to see them coming then, that a lot of times the only reflex response left is to either move out of range or take it. But the more you practice, the faster your responses can get.. I've seen most of these used very effectively in Amateur / Pro MT.

Last edited by Liddellianenko; 06-15-2008 at 10:32 PM.
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