Martial Arts Inc

The best methods of self defence!

The five methods of defence are the possible options of nullifying an opponents strikes. They are as follows:



Covering blocks



Blocks: Blocks are probably the most recognised form of defence, especially in the traditional arts. The hand is generally closed. They work on the principal of knocking a strike out of its path. Therefore blocks mainly use strength.

Parries: Parries are opened handed and as a result they are faster than blocks. They are also more natural than blocks because in everyday life most tasks are performed with open hands. They redirect or guide strikes away from the target.

Covering Blocks: These are used by boxers, kick-boxers and Thai-boxers. Covering blocks involve covering the target with the limbs thus taking the force of the blow on the limbs. One or two arms, leg and arm blocking combinations can be used. Covering blocks are very effective but unlike blocking or parrying, covering blocks are slighting more defensive. There is a slightly longer delay when striking after using a covering block.

Avoidance: This is arguably one of the best methods of defence. It is a natural and fast reaction. Avoidance can in its simplest form mean avoiding a physical situation. The art of fighting without fighting or by running. He who fights and runs away lives to fight another day. Avoidance can also mean the manoeuvring of one’s body out of the path of an opponent’s strike(s). It can also be easier and faster to launch a counter attack after avoiding than after for example, blocking. Avoidance is often neglected and should be worked on. To check the validity of avoidance practise just watch a boxing match. Avoidance practise should consist of footwork and body manoeuvres. The following are just some drills to help you further develop avoidance skills:

A.) Every martial art technique performed should be practised without any form of blocking or parrying and you should find this more natural and effective. Blocks and parries should only be used as insurance and should not be relied on 100 percent.

B.) Using protective sparring equipment one partner attacks the other partner (at half speed to start with) while the other partner avoids the strikes.


Interception is also arguably one of the best methods of defence. Interception is the nullifying of an opponent strikes(s) by delivering a strike. Timing is the most important part of interception. Interception uses offence as defence. The strike may be delivered to a vulnerable part of the body or to the opponents striking limb. Interception stops an opponent’s attack by using force, pain and interruption. The following are some drills which will help you to develop further interception skill:

A.)Using a partner: A attempts to strike B while B tries to strike A before A’s strike is completed.

B.)Swing a punch bag and stop it with a strike.

C.)Similar to B, have a partner come at you holding an air shield while you strike it.

Often martial artists rely on just one or two methods of defence. Each of these methods has its use and should supply you with a bit more versatility and hopefully a few more options.

By Robert Devane

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