Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

The Fallacy and the Myth

It's always amusing when "know it alls" dismiss certain methods out of hand as being useless or "unworkable". One "victim" of this line of thinking is the "cross arm" or "X" block (for lack of a better term).

We often hear phrases like the "myth of the X block". Usually this catchy "hook" leads on to a diatribe condemning this technique in the strongest terms. Those who "know better" decry the "obvious" faults in this basic method and are more than anxious to point out the disastrous consequences awaiting anyone foolish enough to use it.

Let's take another look at this:

For our example we'll use the "standard" overhead X block against an overhand "ice pick" grip attack with a knife.

Now many "experts" will demonstrate how this "defense" can be "countered". How the "defender" leaves himself open to any number of devastating "follow-ups". One of the most commonly cited methods is the "ripping" slash that will severely cut the wrists of the defender. The attacker hammers down with his blade, the defender "cross arm" blocks and then the attacker rips down and back. Sounds good but is it REALISTIC?

Usually this is demonstrated by having Mr. Expert set up the scenario. The overhand stab comes in - the victim blocks - Mr. Expert shows how easily he can counter the attempted "defense". Masterful. Real world? NO!


Consider the elements of real world violence.

The chance that either "party" involved KNOWS the ability or "training" of the other is very remote. So neither individual KNOWS before hand what the other will do, how the "victim" will react. A violent criminal attack is SWIFT, BRUTAL, and IMMEDIATE. The assailant is NOT looking for a fight, a duel, or a protracted engagement. He is counting on SPEED, SHOCK, and BRUTALITY. Think about this. If YOU were going to "off" someone, wouldn't you do it in the MOST expedient manner? It would be ONE violent, powerful and swift attack. ADD to this RAGE, HATE, INTENT, and the DESIRE to commit mayhem and it should become obvious that the real world attack is NOT a "chess" game of move and "counter" move. If the assailant wants to "do" you he will attempt to accomplish this with ONE fully committed ASSAULT.

To mediate one's attack in the real world is to invite failure! NO one is going to "half-step" in this regard.

The almost instinctive maneuver of the cross block is a SURVIVAL reaction. It is a convulsive gross motor skill designed to SAVE your life NOW. It is a brutal "attack" against the assault, NOT a passive "catching" of the attack.

The ruthless swift and brutal nature of the assault is designed to SHOCK and FREEZE the "victim". The assailant is NOT thinking two moves down the road, HE IS THINKING NOW!

The victim who REACTS in kind, with a swift brutal and committed "defense" will gain a MOMENTARY advantage by this REACTION ATTACK.

SIMPLE PHYSICS: A body in motion tends to remain in motion. The assault was "intended" to succeed. The "failure" of this immediate assault will FORCE the assailant to make a CONSCIOUS decision after the initial "failure" of the attack! The "Oh SH!T" principle. Plan "A" failed, NOW WHAT. Certainly there may be a "counter" move or an attempted "follow up", BUT IT WILL NOT BE SEAMLESS!

Only in the "training" environment do such seamless combinations of maneuvers "work". And usually only when one party KNOWS what the expected "response" will be. Real life ain't like that!

Let's say I'm walking down the street and Joey Bag-a-donuts decides to ram a hunting knife into my neck or chest, well he doesn't KNOW me from a can of beans, right? Does anyone believe that he will mediate his attack to the extent that he is considering MY response to his assault and then plans follow-up counters to my reaction? C'mon on. That makes NO SENSE. Unless he's Kreskin, he has NO way of knowing what will happen after his initial attack. He's NOT hedging his bets. He IS looking for the first strike/swift KILL.

The X "block" works for the purpose it was intended for. It CAN SAVE YOUR ASS! It must of course be chained to an immediate and violent attack, but as an "opening" gambit it serves its function well.

Also consider the contingencies of the real world. Many highly touted "defenses" include maneuvers that MAY very well be IMPOSSIBLE to pull off due to any number of unforeseen circumstances. I could put an individual in any number of scenarios that would all but eliminate ANY reaction other than the one we are discussing.

Charlie Nelson would often demonstrate a technique effectively only to have the bruised ego of the "know it all" respond with......"Ok, let me see you do that AGAIN".

Charlie would respond.........."It only has to WORK ONCE".

And that's really the bottom line........


Copyright 2003

Carl Cestari began his study of the martial arts with judo at the age of 7 under the direction of Yoshisada Yonezuka. During the past forty plus years Carl has dedicated his life to studying the martial arts, hand to hand combat systems, history and religion. What makes Carl unique is his combination of martial arts, law enforcement and military and real world experience. Carl has been exposed to a multitude of people with a wide variety experience. The following is a list of some of Carl's ranks and honors.

Shinan (Founder) Tekkenryu jujutsu
Ryokudan (6th degree) Koshinkai Karate under John Burrelle
Godan (5th degree) Jujutsu under Clarke of the World Jujutsu Fedaration (now defunct)
Sandan (3rd degree) Nippon Kempo under Narabu Sada
Nidan (2nd degree) Judo under Masafumi Suzuki
Shodan (1st degree) Judo under Yoshisada Yonezuka
Shodan (1st degree) Shukokai Karate under Kimura, Kadachi and Yonezuka
Shodan (1st degree) Daitoryu Aikijujutsu
Instructors Certificate- Charles Nelson System of Self Defense under Charlie Nelson


Press Herald

Former Augusta martial arts instructor pleads guilty to sexually assaulting boys
Press Herald
AUGUSTA — A former martial arts instructor serving a 40-year federal sentence for child pornography offenses pleaded guilty Monday to four charges of gross sexual assault in which the victims were boys younger than 12 years old. Wade R. Hoover, 38, ...

and more »

Ethiopia: Martial Arts for Broadening Thinking Horizon!
The Ethiopian Herald had a stay with Master Maru Zeleke, one of the unsung heroes of martial arts. He has passed through many ups and downs in the fight against thinning out martial arts in the left, right and centre of the nation. During the Haile ...

and more »

Hartford Courant

Berlin Teen Plays Babysitter In Mixed-Martial Arts Drama 'Street'
Hartford Courant
'Street,' an independently produced drama set in the world of mixed martial arts, will be shown in a one-time-only screening Thursday, Dec. 3, at Starplex Kensington in Berlin. 'Street,' an independently produced drama set in the world of mixed martial ...

Sherdog's Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings
Following his main-event victory against Jorge Masvidal at Nov. 28's UFC Fight Night in South Korea, Benson Henderson has been removed from the divisional rankings. Wait, what? Yes, Henderson's latest win comes at a transitional moment in ...
Future unknown for Henderson entering 2016ESPN (blog)
Jorge Masvidal Is One of the Most Underappreciated Fighters in MMA TodayBleacher Report
Fighter on Fighter: Breaking down UFC Fight Night 79's Jorge

all 247 news articles »

Roanoke Times

New rental fee tightens the belt on Va. Tech martial arts, other clubs
Roanoke Times
Hill and Veil dancers Allison Hatch (left) and Valerie McDonald practice in a multipurpose workout room in War Memorial Hall. Several independent clubs that use space in the building say they may have to disband when new rental fees start next year.

and more »

Saratoga karate instructor earns induction into martial arts Hall of Fame
Milpitas Post
The Saratoga Recreation Department's veteran karate instructor, Kancho John Chang, was recently inducted into a Hall of Fame for martial arts leaders. Chang, who holds a fourth-degree black belt in Shotokan Karate, was honored at the "Masters Hall of ...

MARTIAL ARTS: Jiu Jitsu juniors star at European Championships
Bristol Post
MARTIAL ARTS: Jiu Jitsu juniors star at European Championships. By a_stockhausen | Posted: December 01, 2015. jui jitsu. The Pedro Bessa Brazilian Jiu Jitsu squad, from left, Zack Buckland-Smith, William Southern, Austen Templar, Jake McCauley, Mya ...

El Defensor Chieftain

Local martial arts team fares well at tournament
El Defensor Chieftain
14, the competing team from Socorro Academy of Martial Arts competed in the 2015 Shiro Tora Martial Arts Tournament in Alamogordo. The team this time around consisted of Dr. Bokary “Abba” Maiga, Dr. Stephen Davis, Gregory Doss, Ian Doss, and Aaron ...


Local martial arts school teaches kids leadership through service
For the last 10 years, Success Martial Arts instructor Brian Higgins and families who have students in the program have dedicated their time to help set up the Salvation Army's Toy and Joy Shop on Black Friday. "I don't know that the kids get it right ...

and more »

Tech Insider (blog)

Education is broken - but this entrepreneur has a stunningly simple idea to fix it
Tech Insider (blog)
The education system should work the same way as martial arts or mastering a musical instrument, he says: Practice your white belt skills until they're perfect, then move up to the yellow belt; practice the beginner piece until you nail it, then move ...

and more »

Google News


Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright LLC. All rights reserved.