Holy shit, I just realized my yellow belt test is only two and a half weeks away!
I was very nervous about it when I first started thinking about taking it. Then an assistant instructor assured me I’d be fine and I wasn’t nervous. But now I’m nervous again. Anyway, today I’ll be talking about the Punch Defenses I’ll need to know.
360 Defense means defending yourself from outside punches in a circle (hence 360 degrees). There are seven positions, which took me a little while to memorize but after practicing them over and over at home in front of the mirror, I think I’ve got them.
Rather than describe each of them, I’ll let this video explain.
Four things to remember:
- Wrist to wrist
- Blade of your arm
- Bend in your elbow
- Attack the attack
I’m just okay at these. I suspect I don’t “attack the attack” enough.
Insides Defense against Straight Punches
While 360 defense protects against haymaker punches and strikes coming from the inside, Inside Defense protects against strikes coming straight at you, ie, your face.
I remember one of my teachers saying that the main obstacle with Inside Defense is getting over the fear that a punch is coming straight at you. My initial reaction is wanting to curl up in a ball and cower. I also have the problem of wanting to chop at the arms coming at me instead of angling the punch away.
MB practices this with me a lot. Out of nowhere he’ll come after me with straight punches (the most I get is a tap against the chest), much faster than we ever practice in class. He always corrects my movement, and he hasn’t in a while so maybe I’m getting better.
Insides Defense against Low Straight Punches
These defend against straight punches coming low, ie, at your stomach or even your groin.
I feel like I really suck at these. I do the chopping thing a lot. But the video’s explanation is actually good: lead a lot with the elbow, a little with the body, and “blade” the arm a little, which means aiming your forearm bone, not the meaty part, at whatever’s coming.
Inside and 360 Defense Combo
We don’t practice this too much in class, but MB certainly practices it with me at home! I try not to worry about how “perfect” my form is and just try to do something to ward off the attacks.
Next: Choke and Headlock Defenses.