In this post, I discuss the proper way to execute the Modern Arnis block, check, counter drill. You certainly don’t want to go the wrong way!

In this “Fix It Friday” video, I discuss one of the more common mistakes with respect to the basic “block, check, counter” drill. More specifically, I have observed children and some beginners executing the drill “the wrong way.”

I’m focusing only specifically with this drill. The “block, check, counter” drill is typically performed in the following sequence:

(1) Block;

(2) Stick back to the shoulder;

(3) Check; and

(4) Counter.

Often, as demonstrated in the video, I see this sequence:

(1) Block;

(2) Stick underneath the arm;

(3) Check;

(4) Uncheck the opponent;

(5) Lift stick and counter to opponent’s face;

(6) Recheck.

As one can see, this is an awkward sequence and not exactly optimal.

I see this frequently with the 6 and 7 year old children’s class.  An easy fix for this problem involves changing the terminology. Instead of saying “block, check and counter,” I will say “stick, shoulder, hand, and face.” 

(1) “Stick”: block my stick;

(2) “Shoulder”: retract their stick to their left shoulder.

(3) “Hand”: check my stick hand;

(4) “Face”: counter to my face.

For these kids, it works! I do the same for some of the adults.

A couple have commented on the aforementioned video on Facebook and G+ and pointed out that once you get the stick underneath your arm, you can strike the opponent’s leg. Absolutely! There are a series of techniques called “Cut to” techniques that do just that. However, in terms of teaching the “basic check counter” drill, the “wrong way” sequence is one that I see often.

The main takeaway that I have is that changing terminology makes all the difference in mitigating some confusion in a drill.

Over to you, have you either run into this “wrong sequence” or changed the terminology for some students?

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