How to Block and Dodge a Punch for Self-Defense

Hey. Ando here from and Happy Life
Martial Arts. Two questions I get all the time. #1: Dear Sir–what’s the best way to block
a punch? Question 2: Hey, bro–how do I get better at
dodging punches? Good questions. Today, I’ve got a short answer
and a long answer for both of them. The short answer–forget about blocking and
dodging. That’s not the best way to survive a attack. The long answer–coming up right now. Believe it or not, the secret to self-defense
is not defense. The secret is offense. If you find yourself blocking and dodging
in a real-life fight, hey, man–you’re losing. No one can block and dodge forever. That means your goal in training shouldn’t
be to get better at blocking and dodging. It should be forcing the bad guy to block
and dodge. And the sooner you do that in a self-defense
situation, the better. So, my advice: if your life is in danger,
don’t be a blockhead–attack. But wait–what about all those cool traditional
blocks that we practice in the martial arts? Well, come on. By now, you should already know that those movements
are not blocks. They may look like blocks, but they’re really
attacks and counterattacks. I’m talking strikes, grabs, traps,
locks, and breaks. I mean think about it–do you really think
after hundreds and hundreds of years of battles and fights, the great Karate and Kung Fu masters
would lie on their death bed and tell their students– If someone tries to punch you in the face, put your
arm up to stop it. Gee—thanks, Sifu. Usually I just try to catch those punches
in my mouth. Now, am I saying you should never block or
dodge? Of course not. I block and dodge all the time. But I don’t focus on it. I mostly trust my body to protect itself automatically. I mean, did anyone ever teach you
how to block your groin if someone kicks at it? Heck, even a little kid will put his hands
up if you punch him in the face. Trust me on that… I punch a lot of kids. So, how do you get better at blocking and
dodging punches and kicks? Well, the best way is to have a partner throw
some punches and kicks at you. But remember–your goal isn’t to get better at
blocking, the goal is to get better at protecting yourself while you’re fighting back. If you have to block and dodge while you’re on the
attack, well, then do it. With experience, good habits like keeping
your chin down, hands up, and not flinching those things will make it a lot easier. Even when you practice alone, do the same
thing. Don’t just stand there thinking block… block…
block. I mean, unless you want to die. Instead, follow up every defensive movement
with an offensive movement. Block and punch. Slip and kick. Just imagine that you’re in a real fight for
your life. I mean, in a real fight, you would never just stop
on a block, right? Right? Again, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t care about
defense. I’m saying you should focus on attacking with
good habits and intelligence so that your defense takes care of itself. And just to be clear, if you’re sparring for
fun or competing in a combative sport, then sure, you may block and dodge as part
of a larger gameplan, or maybe just to stall and catch your breath. That’s fine. But in self-defense,
you don’t have time to play games. If you’re fighting for your life, you have
one choice–go down swinging or go down blocking. Me? I’m training to go down swinging. How about you? If you liked this video, thank you for giving
it a thumbs up and hitting subscribe. To keep up with everything I’m doing, please find
the link to sign up for my free email updates. Until next time, stay on the attack, my friend,
and keep fighting for a happy life.

100 Replies to “How to Block and Dodge a Punch for Self-Defense

  1. I have found a very effective way to stop an attack consisting of punches and strikes (some people punch so fast that you can't block or 'dodge' in time when in range and in that case you need to know how to move with the blow so that it is less impactive) is to move in close, immobilise, grab or trap the arms of the assailant and use joint manipulation or throwing, it is odd you do not mention this as another alternative to 'dodging' but I guess you're not a Jiu Jitsu or Judo or wrestling sort of guy ?

  2. Good advice. I wish you showed how to properly block though. There are ways to simultaneously block and attack that most boxers and MMA fighters don't seem to know about. Please show those in your next video. (I'd change the title of this video too.)

  3. This is one time when it's a compliment to say that you're OFFENSIVE! And while on the subject of offensive attacking, how do you respond to a FLURRY OF PUNCHES using your philosophy here? 🙂

  4. Thank you, once again, for the good advice. I miss martial arts and these videos remind me about some good things that I've thought about and other things that I haven't considered.

  5. Stop punching kids! Use joint locks, they don't leave marks! ? That was good delivery though. Very funny!

  6. amazing video I've just watched like 10 of your videos at once today and written some short notes. was kinda wondering if you'd maybe do some street weapons videos? like how to use a pen if you're on the ground fighting for your life or just how to improvise in the street? hope that's a good suggestion 🙂

  7. you train to "go down swinging"  I train to have the other guy go down and leave myself standing. But I know what you meant.  Good advice

  8. The blocks from classical karate are rather similar to bareknuckle boxing parries. If you want to look at defense classic pugilism is probably some of the best to look towards a street fight as it basically was street fighting for money. While blocks certainly aren't essential, you can use them to great effect. I'd say limb destruction of Paul Vunak fame can certainly end a fight without striking. Just look at when Anderson Silva broke his leg or a classic counter to a bareknuckle jab– the reinforced elbow.

  9. In lot of movies the protagonist trains with trees and in forests, will i get stronger if i punch trees and shout out my trigger word? Im a beginner in fighting and want to get stronger, also im a student and cant afford time and money for a special training or something like this, also im a Austrian and I excuse for my bad english.

  10. PLEASE READ THIS!!! I NEED AN OPINION AND HELP: ?I have always wanted to learn Karate but i never have had the opportunity to join. I really want to join in but I'm not sure if I should because I am now really old compared to little kids that join when are four years old. I am going to turn 14 tommorow and I don't know if I should join a karate class or not. PLEASE HELP GIVE ME YOUR OPINION SHOULD I PURSUE MY DREAMS OR JUST CONTINUE WITH MY LIFE.


  12. Sensi and I I have a question for you can a flexible guy be strong also.. I mean if your are training for strength can you maintain your flexibility

  13. First time i actually dont agree with you,Sensei!
    Even if we would train solely for the sake of street self defense-quite often you can be caught off guard and need to react. Then your first move would be defense(dodge,block,whatever) and only after that positioning your legs and body for the attack and counter-attacking. Sometimes you can slip,loose your stance and until you regroup there is a need for defense. Just go forward swinging is good,but there are a whole bunch of situations in which it is actually a defense that is needed,even if only for a moment. The problem is that our natural defense is pure disaster and,unless tough and trained carefully, will not work in a fight. You can actually see it during sparring with new fighters-usually they train attack first but defense is not so easy. They hold good whilst attacking,but when you counter suddenly the person is lost. Yes,i believe that it would be the same on the street.
    To sum it up-hell yea,i think there is a very good reason to train passive defense as much as Sicilian defense in martial arts class 🙂

  14. Can you talk about offences attacks, it takes a relatively a short time to train offensive fighting then defensive fighting?

  15. What if the person fighting you gets you in a chokehold but they’re really strong and you can’t pull their arms free? What to do?

  16. U see when people keep moving their hands to make u flinch and maybe make u drop ur guards to hit u how do I prevent that

  17. I do this lot in fights,but mostly with friends and family sense if we have argument and if it goes to fight I don't punch I just wrestle with him and block and move and i get my ass beat lot if its someone I care about and don't want to hurt them. if you know how to win without hurting someone I would love to know,but I have no problem punching a dickhead in his face

  18. I punch a lot of kids,I know what you meant by that but that was funny. I know you meant that you train with kids, you're not actually trying to beat up kids.

  19. Sensei Ando? Does adrenaline make you invincible? Because the way that people talk about adrenaline is over rated. If I fight with adrenaline I don't do as good when I'm fighting calm and under control.

  20. that is complete bullshit, offcourse you need to learn how to defend aswell, this guy is a complete disaster.

    if for any reason something happens and you need a quick defence you gota have your reflexes trained, and THEN counter, but if u never trained defence and go all out just attacking you will fuckin get tired so fast you wont last and in the street you will get countered once and u r over and if it goes to the ground u will have no energy to continue.

    this guy should be banned from giving information

  21. This was a great video, unlike many others that advocate mostly useless and dangerous defensive tactics!  Allowing an attacker to grab you or strike first, could get you killed.   Many specific defenses are taught for such kind of attacks.  But we will often never know the true intent and capability of an assailant or his accomplices.  He or they, may be hiding deadly intentions, may be stronger, may be concealing weapons, may have friends close-by to join in, once the attack begins.   So be aware and avoid possible danger situations, look for escape routes, AND NEVER allow such persons to get close to you if you are uncertain about them.  A street attack can unleash brutal and deadly violence, it is not sport, there are no rules, no time outs, no one to rescue you or loved ones.   So, "Those who can run away, live to fight another day."  This is smart, there is no shame, no dishonor.  I survived what appeared to be a car jacking attempt from 3 thugs by doing this.  If you cannot run, had time to tell your aggressors to STOP, but contact is imminent, you MUST quickly take the fight to them (hopefully you have been properly trained), act with strong determination, speed, and simple combination power blows to vital areas, and/or use of a self-defense tool until you are able to escape.  In such serious situations, you must flip that internal switch, and go from all that is normal, to the worst fucking nightmare your aggressors have ever known.  I often say, "Let your power and determination flow from your heart."  In my experience with formal martial art trainings, this practical approach gives best chances of survival.

  22. i've seen a lot of your videos and…it seems you lack a lot of fundamental philosophy that the modern martial artist has. like your so called "triple-f stances" can be effective at avoiding punches and increasing range, with your leaning and twisting, just keep your eyes on your opponents strikes. also blocking can be really effective, especially with wing chun style parries, a long with elbow blocks, and even headbutts, also of course combine them with counter attracts. check out if you want to know some good basic ones, and you can develop variations from that. also muay thia has a really good blocking style. oh and if your left hook is vulnerable to landing with your pinky knuckle and breaking it if you clip them at a certain range, i wouldn't throw it like that. you might even be better off punching into a thumb slightly down twist, it has more range, and you can hit something hard as hard as you can without breaking your hand, its like a way of throwing a looping jab, which if they slip your jab you can change the striking vector by following through to the left in a wrist twist to land with your 2 good knuckles, or you could just keep your thumb up. i hope you learned a little from this constructive criticism if you saw it.

  23. Just don't go to that creepy criminal stalkers house on the original karate kid film and do wax on along with wax off and definitely don't paint the sickos house otherwise you will get yourself into strife and know it's fictional.
    The cobra kai karate group motto is similar to what you've described
    1. Strike first
    2..strike hard
    3. No mercy

  24. I do agree that it is important to attack whenever you can but it should not always be the main priority because if your opponent is stronger,faster,or bigger than you,your offense will not be able to match his and you’ll be losing anyway.instead, I think the best way to survive a fight is to really balance your offense and defense so they can both work together just like you mentioned with following up defensive movements with offensive attacks.Great video tho ??

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