Shedding Techniques

"Fighting is about hurting your opponents more than they hurt you ... lhai means attacking more than they defend ... and defending more than they attack Then you'll win." • Joe Louis (World Heavyweight Champion boxer)

Boxers know a lot about blocking, or shedding as they call it, because their sparring is always full contact. They need to avoid getting hit.

Mon martial artixts on the other hand rarely spar with any contact and arc in fact often quite happy to learn their craft without an opponent. This highlights the artistic nature of many crafts where the aim is to perform the move cocrccily rather than have it corrupted by an opponent.

• Blocking requires effort because it opposes ihe force, whereas shedding rolls with the punches. If you think about it you'll see that it's all about circles and squares really, so remember to deflect, not stop the blow.

• As you are facing your opponent keep moving about because a moving target is harder to hit. Stay still and you'll get nailed, bui duck around and he'll have to keep reconsidering his targets.

• Boxers arc also masters of the parry which is an open handed block from the forearms. Although 1 call it a block it is really a blow to slightly deflect your opponent's fist. Remember to parry with your hands open for extra speed and maybe to grab hold of your attacker.

• Any real fighter will know that the best counter stnkes occur after your opponent's blow has just missed you. Then he will be still coming forward into your blow and off balance. This is the time to nail someone.

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