Fighting must be rational.
Do not be reckless, giving no thought to defense.
“Do not be a caveman”
There are many methods or schools of thought on defense. In the kickboxing structure we first introduce a method we call the “six gate defense system”. The name derives from traditional Chinese martial arts theory that divides the body up into six gates. First, the body is divided down the middle by the center line into left and right. There are then three gates corresponding to the area above the shoulders (“heaven gate”), between the shoulders and the hips (“man gate”) and the hips down (“earth gate”). The six gate defense system involves parrying (redirecting an attack) and shielding (covering up using the hardest parts of the body, the elbows, the knees and the shins). We believe this is the easiest method for beginners to learn. In addition, it introduces students to the idea of getting hit.
The parry is a simple deflection using the open hand. It is essential not to overextend the arm when blocking. Do not reach out to block a strike that is not close to you. The parry is used against straight strikes such as the jab and the cross.
The high shield
The high elbow shield involves raising the elbow with the hand in front of the ear so that the entire arm shields the head. It is a common defense against the hook but can also be used against the cross.
The body shield
The body shield involves sinking point of the elbow downward while keeping the fist in front of the face. The elbow and forearm thus protect the side of the body. The single elbow version is used against punches to the body while the double elbow version is most commonly used against kicking attacks.
The leg block
The leg block is an effective method of blocking the low kick. It involves raising the knee and opening the hip as the strike lands. The opening of the hip is essential; simply raising the knee will not lessen the impact of the blow. The knee must be raised to meet the elbow and there must be an overlap. The elbow can either be outside or inside the thigh but must overlap as to not provide a possible opening for a powerful kick to slip through. Immediate counters must be practiced from the leg block.