Combat sports are not only offensive. Defense is just as important, if not more so. Three-time world kickboxing champion Derek Panza knows all about it, which is why he shared time to demonstrate the “block and counter” technique in a recent video on the Muscle & Fitness YouTube Channel. His partner for this demonstration was IFBB Pro League bodybuilder Marco Rivera, who was also a professional boxer in his athletic career.
“The theme is the same with every type of counterattack technique. It must be instantaneous, ”explained the trainer. “Too many people block, then counter. It’s taking too long.”
Panza shared that the two movements should be almost simultaneous, almost as if the two actions were one movement.
If I go there with my left hook, I aim straight for Marco’s neck and jaw, he’ll block instantly. The moment he feels my knuckles touch his glove, he has to start returning his left hook,” Panza explained. He then shared what would happen if Rivera was unable to react properly.
“If he waits, pauses, then tries to fire his left hook, I’m probably already going to pull my right hand out before that.”
A combat athlete cannot think of a single punch or a single strike. They need to be prepared for several of them at once. Jumpsuits are often used in combat. Panza explained that fighters are programmed to perform combinations. That’s why a technique like block and counter can be even more important. Blocking the first hit may eventually allow him to react and start his own combination, which could be a turning point in the match. Panza even shares that subtle movements can make a big difference.
“Marco was diving his right shoulder and his right hip,” Panza pointed out. “It actually helps him absorb the impact. His legs and body act like shocks to a car. Then he wraps his left shoulder back, just to let himself down. So now the power of his kick fist comes from his hip, his rolled-back shoulder, and his thigh. All those big muscles, we’re actually using them now.
Both athletes continue to demonstrate blocking and countering as well as other tricks to maximize the effectiveness of the punch that the blocking competitor would return. To learn more about Panza tips and techniques, subscribe to the M&F YouTube Channel.