HOW TO SHIELD
The Shield is
an arm block that looks like a triangular shield that is resting against a warrior in sword combat. It is
a term given to a simple, basic block that uses the entire arm to protect the upper body and even the
Throughout history, warriors fought with weapons
that were extensions of their arm. The earliest and still simplest of these is a club or stick. A long stick became
a weapon and eventually a stone tip added to it and it became a spear. In time metal was used a sword was born. To
protect against these weapons a shield was developed and its primary purpose was to absorb the impact of an
oncoming weapon. Its secondary purpose was to deflect the oncoming weapon however, this requires great
skillso it was not used as
often and this holds true today.
In open hand combat, or even when the
defender is open handed and the attacker has a stick of sorts, the shield is created by using the entire arm. The
arm is bent like a triangle and almost pressed against the body so as to protect the defender. The triangle gives
the arms strength and appears like a shield, giving its appropriate name.
This block is used whenever a punch
is attacking at an angle to the outside of the body. It is used for any stance. In a right front lead the
shield is used primarily with the rear arm which is the left and here the right arm is still used. In a left lead
the shield is used primarily with the right read to protect the rear body parts with the
left defending the left lead. When in a neutral stance the shield is used equally to defend against an
attack coming from an outside angle.
This block is very useful against a
hook punch to the head. For this attack the shield fully absorbs the blow, though.
A kidney punch is similar to a
hook punch or a hook punch that is blended with an upper cut punch. This punch is targeted to a
kidney and the shield is a great block against this, too. On this block the forearms can twist inwards with
the body to help deflect the punch away, somewhat similar to a Tan Sao/Forearm Roll
The Shield is also very
effective against a backhand, spinning or regular. It is used against any chop that comes from the outside,
Any kick that comes toward the
body from the outside is blocked by the Shield, too. A Muay Thai, Roundhouse, Spinning heel or Side Kick that
comes toward the upper body will be blocked very effectively by the Shield.
HOW TO DO THE
The arm is bent with the elbow pointing straight down.
The forearm is pointing straight up.
The hand is slightly open with fingers and thumb bent inwards.
The hand is resting against the ear-with the slightly bent fingers doing the contact/resting.
The entire arm - upper and lower - is 1 to 2 inches away from the body.
This provides the ultimate block.
When used to block kidney punches the body and shield twist inward to deflect some of the blow, taking away
some of the power from the attack.
*NOTE: this is the very best position to use. Many and probably most fighters will let the entire arm
be positioned completely against the body and ear. When this happens an attack can be felt almost with its
complete power as it drives through the arm and hand but when the arm is a small distance away and the fingers are
slightly bent, the Shield absorbs most of the blow before it hits the body. This works like a shock absorber to
some degree and in full combat you want to take advantage of every possibility that you can. Therefore this method
is highly preferred!
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