In the modern American mindset, we classify or think of defense as different from offense. In American football, the defensive lineup is different from the offensive lineup. When you think of defense, you picture of taking the hit on a metal shield and hoping you survive the attack. When you think of attack, you picture a large weapon and a devastating hit. These are not wrong images but they due influence how you “think” about Kempo.
Don’t block instead strike the attack! This subtle distinction in the mind can change the way your react and the power you bring to bear in defensive situations. You want the vision of a devastating attack upon the wrist, elbow or leg. The opponent who offered you this tasty target deserves to get it whacked. Leave a mark or take limb out of commission. Make that weapon ineffectual.
In class either during drills or in sparring, the block is a lackluster attempt to stop a strong strike. Often times, the rote memorization of the block and the strike get “stuck” in practice mode. Do you the block but there’s no real strength in it. You unconsciously assume your partner will allow his strike to be blocked. This is wrong, bad erroneous thinking leads to bad technique.
This is why I advocate hitting the strike. You put the force, momentum and (most importantly) the intent behind the action. Just adjusting your mindset can produce a much better martial artist and better techniques. Take the time to think about what you are doing and what you are thinking when you do it. Visualize, analyze and poke’m in the eyes.
Have a good story about blocking an attack and still getting hit with it, tell me in the comments. Even I have done it. Learn from your mistakes.