Do You Really Know What You’re Defending?


It’s different when it’s for real


We all encourage our students (and ourselves of course) to learn to defend properly, and to have control in class with our strikes and counter attacks, but can we be wrapping our students and ourselves in cotton wool?

Sometimes, and unfortunately, yes.


I will tell my new students:


“Control is important.  Not only for not hurting your partner in class

but also for knowing what damage you want to do when you do it for real”


It is vital that we make contact in training.


To me it is a very dangerous thing to stop short on a punch or to drift off target in order to help your partner, this is the worst thing you can do.


Let’s take a scenario where two people are training in a class (but always stopping short with their attacks) both are starting to feel a little confident with their technique too, then they go out into the big wide world and find themselves in separate situations at either side of town.


Student 1, the defender, is confronted by someone aggressive and immediately panics at how close the guy is standing, why would/should he be used to this?

This is a range he has never experienced in class before!


Student 2, gets the chance to attack first, but pulls it short with almost zero impact, again, why would/should he be successful?

This is a range he has never pursued in class before.


So get used to range and then get used to power,

For both applying it and dealing with it. 


In this clip from class, I wanted my students to experience defending against a turning punch in Chi Sau which had real force and drive behind it, rather than the relaxed and controlled method which is usually used.

Not only is this important for a student to know what they are defending but also to know the intention behind the attacker, AND the result and outcome of a well executed defence.


Many students may not be comfortable with hitting someone for real, therefore this is a method of allowing them that licence and hopefully building confidence.


In this video I am not recommending they always hit this way, as the ‘street‘ way is overcommitted etc. but more that I wanted them to appreciate what’s going on, on the other side of the fence as it were.


Thank you for watching

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