Friday, 12 June 2009

Circular Movement when Defending

Ways of defending oneself is something that many people have different opinions on. Some say that simply covering up as a boxer would, is all that is needed to defend. Others argue that this does not work when not wearing padded gloves and parries and deflections must be ingrained in ones defensive arsenal. There is also some who prefer to simply keep themselves at a distance where they do not need to worry much about defending and concentrate more on finding the correct moment to attack.

No matter how one decides to defend what should always be in everyone’s thoughts is movement away from oncoming strikes. Once someone decides to charge at you with strikes, putting you on the defensive, moving out of the way will stop you from taking the blows. What is important though is where you move.

Firstly one can move backwards. A lot of people when coming up against a barrage of strikes move backwards thinking that the more they back-pedal, the more they shall avoid punishment. However the punishment will continue, simply by the attacker moving forwards while striking which is not very hard to do.

The better alternative is to move circular, sidestepping your opponent’s attacks. By moving around the attack you stand a better chance of stopping your opponent’s onslaught as it is very hard to attack an opponent who is circling around you as opposed to attacking someone who is moving backwards. The only concern when circling around your opponents charge is that you must be extra cautions of your guard and have to make sure that you are well protected from any punches or kicks.

The following is Andrei Arlovski’s fight against Brett Rogers. Arlovski was seen by most as the favourite to win and the match as nothing but a quick victory for him after his defeat to Fedor Emilianenko. It proved that firstly you should NEVER underestimate your opponent, and secondly, circular movement is essential to learn as moving straight back will rarely stop an attack.

The slow motion replay shows that as soon as Rogers landed his first blow he charged forward simultaneously throwing powerful shots while Arlovski moved backwards until he came up against the cage with nowhere to run and no hope of surviving.

Some may argue that if you get rocked with hard shots you may not be in a thinking mode and side stepping or moving in a circular motion may not come across your mind. Others may argue that if you practise constantly defending and moving in a circular motion as opposed to straight backwards, after a while it will become second nature to you and even when not thinking about it you shall instinctively do it. It is crucial to learn and is something that every striker should consider.


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John W. Zimmer said...

It was kind of funny but as you were talking about not running straight back - I was already thinking of the Rogers fight I watched on replay the other day. Then I scrolled down and saw the video. :)

I'm more of the cover like a boxer and keep your distance kind of guy and have learned the value of side-stepping when as a brown belt - I started fighting with some large black belts. Every time I ran backwards - they always seemded to catch me. :(

Urban Samurai said...

I agree that moving around an opponet is much more effective in fighting and sparring. I do Kempo Ju Jitsu and all blocks in my style are combined with evasions, moving either to the inside or outside of your opponent. In this way, if you get the block wrong or your opponet is too strong you have at least avoided the attack and you then have the option of using your opponets momentum against them, Aikido style, and taking them on down to the ground.

Good advice and great blog.

KarateStudent said...

KarateStudent ("KS") on "Circular Movement when Defending."

KS almost never moves backwards. MARKS and the two Expert commentators all point out solid reasons and offer good alternatives.

Circular movemment is something I don't really do either. As MARKS said, you may find yourself confined in one way or another or be facing multiple attackers.

My policy is to stand and fight. That's what I train for. Of course the tradeoff is you risk injury. That's a reality (MARKS theme) inherent in fighting.

John W. Zimmer is an expert in karate and applied fighting. KS viewed his tournament fighting video; you don't need KS's opinion to say what a great performance you put up against your opponent. I thought you displayed great sportsmanship as well.

John Zimmer's opponent more often than not, ran backwards and away, sometimes turning his back to fend off the attack. KS doesn't go to tournaments. However, tournament-like competitors who face me will not see the opponent in the John Zimmer video clip.

KS's fighting style, like his commentary, is intense and focused. Most can't overcome it. The really skilled have to work at it, receiving a challenge at every turn. KS is not afraid to 'push-the-envelope' of 'conventional' thinking & sparring. I find the martial art writings of the "Urban Samuri" hold great appeal--food for thought.

One final comment on the 'Urban Samuri's" Aikido-style versus a striker. KS personally, would not want to commit to a grappling manuever against an explosive fighter like your co-comentator, John Zimmer...committing your hands gives up some defensive tactics and affords too much chance of receiving a hit. With your (US's) high-level of experience, maybe it's the better stratey.

Respectfully, KarateStudent

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