Saturday, September 12, 2009

Close to You

Very interesting point raised by Guro last week about blocking.\
As beginners, we are taught the De Cuerdas style - hand behind the middle of the stick, triangle footwork away from the attack, stick used as primary shield/blocking.

Now as intermediates, we are into the advanced blocking series, which is leading us toward Serrada. What changed?

In the intermediate/advanced blocking, we are no longer shielding/hiding behind the stick. Instead, our primary block is on the attacker's hand or elbow. In addition, our triangle becomes very narrow, and our footwork almost, but not quite, straight in; jamming the attack. WE ARE CLOSE...VERY CLOSE.

Of course, this is logical when we need to use our hand to block. This alone means we need to be close enough to reach the attacking hand, which cannot be done at medio distance. We are no longer moving away from the strike. Instead, we take the force by jamming it right as the attacking movement begins.

The more advanced we become, the closer we get to our opponent. The more directly we intercept and get in. Guro Fred and Guro Guillaume use the phrase "get in" a lot, and now it is becoming clearer. The goal in kali is to get in as close as possible, and every move (even in Hakka/Jun Fan) is designed to close distance and get you into the opponent where you can end the fight quickly. You cannot employ the Serrada style blocking without getting in close.

I am just as fascinated by what I see as I was the first day. There is just so much to learn.

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