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Timing your defensive techniques is one of the most basic techniques required to make a good fighter, but it's also one of the toughest.There are many elements that can effect your blocking, so to look at this in more detail, we have to brake it down a little. The sub catergories we will brake these into will be as follows:+Pre-Attack+Reflex Time+Considering A Defensive Manouveur+Executing A Good BlockPre-AttackPre attack is the most important of all of them believe it or not. How well you can intercept an aggressors intentions leads onto how much time you will actually have to block. There are many things that can give this away when somebody leads to an attack. Most people give indication of an attack through a raise in the shoulder before throwing a punch, or from dropping their stance prior to kicking or stepping forwards with an attack. (Note when we say raises the shoulder or drops the stance, we mean only very, very slightly... hardly even a visible amount, so you have to be alert) If this doesn't work, then a good place to watch is the eyes. Where the eyes look is a good indication of were the body will follow. Just remember that the best defence is a good attack.Reflex TimeReflex time is the element that makes your body move. It's what gets the block in quick enough, and then helps you counter with speed, aggression and mobility. It's hard to improve your reflex time, usually the best bet you have is to get down the gym and actually train. It's something that the body has to learn to do through exhaustive practice. Considering A Defensive ManouveurThis is the second most important part of evading. Often defensive manoveurs are only ever considered to be solid base blocks, well - it doesn't have to be. There are many variations and styles of blocking that switch between different styles. Muay Thai, for instance, creates a barrier with the body to stop any kick or knee from braking onto the body, whilst Shotokan prefers to evade the punch all together. For this example, we will focus with the techniques taught by Shotokan Karate. In Karate, there are two types of blocks. The basics - these are solid, set, long stances. They are effective on the street, but there not very practical against multipul attackers. Then you have the advanced 'Kumite' or 'Freestyle' blocks. These are performed at speed and rely mostly upon evading the attack altogether. By following this principle you can enable the attacker to 'shoot' past you whilst you simply step to the side. There is a massive variety of blocks that can be performed, but really it all comes down to what your comfortable with.Executing A Good BlockFinally comes actually executing a good block. This is were the pre-attack skills will gain you valuable time. Your blocks need to be fast, strong and flexible giving you total balance and control over a situation. Always remember to be solid on your feet when you block. Make sure your in a good stance to move and evade, and remember that once an attack has been commenced, if you block you should either counter attack immediatly or use your stance to quickly move out of the line of the attacker. This will stop them from commencing a second attack. Remember to consider everything. Solid base attacks mean your body should be tense at the point of contact with the attacking object, and your fist should be closed, whilst freestyle blocks should keep you light on your toes and should enable you to quickly step to the side. For this type of block, you simply 'brush' the punch to the side as your body moves the other way. --- extracted from our website --- Written By Sean Webber

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