Depending how early they start their attack, you have several
*If your attacker starts punching beyond a kicking
distance -- if he is far away, heck, throw
something at him. If he's stupid enough to start
punching at you from across the street, use it to
your advantage. Throw a handful of change in
*If your attacker tries to Straight Blast you from
"no man's land" (that dangerous spot at the end of
most sparring competitors' kicking ranges, then kick
him. Got it? If he's in range of your kick, but not
your punches, then kick. Take him by surprise.
*If your attacker is just about to step into your
punching range, and he has already started his Straight
Blast, then take him with angles. In other words, read
the rest of this article ;-)
You'll need precise timing with all of the above responses. Figure
out how to catch your opponent off guard. Take advantage of openings.
Taking a Straight Blast from the inside (trying to counter attack
by hitting between your attacker's arms) is tricky. And it
should only be attempted by a professional -- kidding. It is
something I teach in my martial arts class. Who knows? Maybe some
day, I'll write an article on a few of the techniques we use.
Countering From The Outside
It's much easier to counter from the outside. Personally, I step
off while coming back at my opponent with a fast series of my own
punches. That's right; I counter a Straight Blast with a Straight
Blast. Fun, isn't it?
Here are some tips to make this kind of counter more effective:
*You need a fraction of a second to reverse the attack.
It's easier to reverse if you have this little "breather"
of space and/or time. You can get it by either starting
your counter before your opponent makes contact, or by
stepping back a bit (if you know a Wing Chun back
stance, use it).
*Your goal is to get your attacker to punch past you,
while you turn back onto his center line -- did you
ever leave it in the first place?
*The tighter the angle, the better to slip this series
of punches. You'll seem faster than Bruce Lee, well maybe
not that fast, if you tighten your angles. Only move
off as much as necessary -- not one inch more.
*A lot of martial artists can't vary their Straight
Blasts. They can't pick different targets -- they
only blast on one line. This is good "for you."
It makes it easier for me to think of defending against
only one line of attack -- I don't get scared by the idea
multiple hits. After all, it's only "one" line.
*If all else fails, run away... or kick. Don't be limited by
technique. Afraid of a Straight Blast? Kick him in the knee
or in the shins. Sometimes it's just easier to kick, than to
have to engage someone in close-in, hand techniques.
As I mentioned before, once I have slipped the initial onslaught of
punches by stepping off, I usually come back with a Straight Blast
of my own. I actually start punching slightly before I turn off.
Always faithful to Bruce Lee, I don't move my body before the weapon.
Once you have taken the blast, you could follow up with your own
techniques. You don't have to Straight Blast a Straight Blast.
So, what about those pros out there who don't start Straight Blasting,
until they have entered with one of the Five Ways of Attack? In other
words, what do you do against someone who doesn't give you the timing,
or any warning, that a Straight Blast is about to come?
Do I sense a need for another article?
(Thanks to Bong Sao Bec for the article suggestion)
A Martial Arts Quote for Considering
Your Straight-Blast Defense:
In Bruce Lee's Book, Striking Thoughts: Bruce Lee's Wisdom
for Daily Living, he tell a parable about a butcher (page 107).
In this story, this butcher uses the same knife for his entire
meat-cutting career. That's right; the knife lasts just about
forever -- it never loses its fine edge. One day, someone asked him
how he kept such a fine edge all those years. He responded:
"I follow the line of the hard bone. I do not attempt to cut it,
nor to smash it, nor to contend with it in any way. That would
only destroy my knife."