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  1. strikistanian is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/21/2013 5:42pm


     Style: Boxing/Sanda/BJJ

    3
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    I'm sold on the legitimacy of 52 hand blocks

    That's right, you heard me. I'm a believer!

    Despite my initial skepticism, after watching a bunch of videos, I've reformed my opinion on the art. I honestly believe that, in the context that its meant for, 52 hand blocks is VERY legit.

    For those who haven't seen it, 52 Hand Blocks looks like the drunken love child of slapboxing and kung fu that was conceived in an alley beside a breakdance battle. As its name may imply, the emphasis of 52 Hand Blocks is on defense and countering. A combination of boxing-style head movement, kung fu-esque blocking, and FMA limb destruction makes up the majority of 52's defensive arsenal. Yet what truly characterizes 52 Hand Blocks is not its techniques, but actually the rhythmic dance-like application of them.

    52 Hand Blocks functions optimally in close quarters, where punches and elbow strikes reign supreme. The art does not feature any kicking, kneeing, or grappling techniques that I am aware of, so its highly specialized.

    The first criticism that someone will make (myself included) would be that a 52 practitioner isn't equipped to deal with kicks or grappling. While this might be true, the art still makes sense within the context which it had been designed for -- street fighting.

    Since most trained and untrained people immediately go for the head in real fights, the heavy emphasis on head movement and defense are very appropriate, especially since there are no gloves. On top of that, the elbow blocking/limb destruction techniques are made even more valuable by the lack of gloves. And perhaps most importantly, the flashy yet purposeful movements are effective psychological warfare. The average person, or even trained person, will likely be thrown off balance and made uncomfortable by this foreign dance-fighting.

    Within the realm of combat sports, practitioner Light Burly has competed in the amateur boxing scene with some success.

    In any case, I've reached out to Lyte Burly (the most famous teacher of the style) and asked that he teach me a bit. Lyte Burly was kind enough to offer me a few lessons when I have the time to get down to NYC. I'm really excited and I can't wait to check this out!

    As an aside, I'm definitely not trying to say that 52 is THE BEST THING EVER!!11! But I seriously think that it's a legitimate martial art and exemplifies a lot of the values that Bullshido holds in such high esteem. While their techniques are weird and wonky compared to conventional boxing, kickboxing and Muay Thai (much like most TMA), these guys practice with aliveness and sparring. Furthermore, they're trying to start a way for 52 practitioners to compete against one another to further the style.

    In the same way that Savate started off as a semi-codified bag of street fighting tricks before becoming a recognized art/sport, 52 blocks is doing much of the same. And I think it is freaking AWESOME!
  2. Permalost is online now
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    pro nonsense self defense

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    Posted On:
    5/21/2013 5:59pm

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     Style: FMA, dumbek, Indian clubs

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by strikistanian View Post
    The first criticism that someone will make (myself included) would be that a 52 practitioner isn't equipped to deal with kicks or grappling. While this might be true, the art still makes sense within the context which it had been designed for -- street fighting.
    A friend of a friend sometimes came to a sparring group I'd host in my backyard. He had a varied background but trained with some of the same arnis people as me. Very talented and knowledgeable, and very swift, tricky footwork. I asked about his background, and said something how he started with "the 52". He showed me a few odd things from his style, and he took a hemp-looking bracelet off his wrist. It turns out it was a longer one doubled over, so he could slide one hand through and it was like being shackled, which is part of the style I guess.

    Anyway, one of the odd things he showed was a knee strike, but the mechanics looked all messed up. He brought his knee into his palms as if kneeing someone's head, but he bent forward far so that his foot barely left the ground. Apparently that's how you knee someone when you're in leg irons.
  3. Ignoscant is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/21/2013 7:19pm


     Style: Kickboxing/MuaiThai (new)

    1
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    This reminds me of E.Honda from street fighter. I was going to post a GIF but the forum links seem to hate me.

    So what happens in a street fight when your opponent decides to tackle you to the ground? Tackling someone to the ground is as old as time. I can't imagine anyone would realistically leave out a tackle defense from their arsenal on purpose and it really is the 'go to' for a lot of untrained fighters.

    It seems unrealistic to completely ignore such a strong part of fighting.

    [edit to remove assumptions]
    Last edited by Ignoscant; 5/21/2013 7:30pm at .
  4. strikistanian is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/21/2013 7:19pm


     Style: Boxing/Sanda/BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Huh. I didn't realize that it went back that far. I thought it was a thing in like the 50's or something.
  5. strikistanian is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/21/2013 8:31pm


     Style: Boxing/Sanda/BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ignoscant View Post
    This reminds me of E.Honda from street fighter. I was going to post a GIF but the forum links seem to hate me.

    So what happens in a street fight when your opponent decides to tackle you to the ground? Tackling someone to the ground is as old as time. I can't imagine anyone would realistically leave out a tackle defense from their arsenal on purpose and it really is the 'go to' for a lot of untrained fighters.

    It seems unrealistic to completely ignore such a strong part of fighting.

    [edit to remove assumptions]
    Thats a fair point, but I must ask....

    In what esteem do you hold traditional boxing and Muay Thai?
  6. W. Rabbit is offline
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    You know me...the snakebite hiss, the Devil's Grip, the Iron Fist

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    Posted On:
    5/21/2013 8:53pm

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     Style: Hung Fist, BJJ, Qi Gong

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Psychological warfare...foreign dance-fighting
    /subscribe

    I know nothing about 52 hand blocks.

    So is this basically break-dance boxing?

    Jean Claude Van Damme was in "Breakdance: The Movie", which also starred Lucinda Dickey, from "Ninja III: The Domination". So there's that too, as far as break dancing's martial arts street cred.



    Last edited by W. Rabbit; 5/21/2013 9:08pm at .
  7. W. Rabbit is offline
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    You know me...the snakebite hiss, the Devil's Grip, the Iron Fist

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    Posted On:
    5/21/2013 9:09pm

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     Style: Hung Fist, BJJ, Qi Gong

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Which of the 52 is he doing here, at least a couple?

  8. Ignoscant is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/21/2013 9:14pm


     Style: Kickboxing/MuaiThai (new)

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by strikistanian View Post
    Thats a fair point, but I must ask....

    In what esteem do you hold traditional boxing and Muay Thai?
    I can only offer what I have experienced which may not be as wide as some other people here.

    But as for what esteem I would hold boxing and muai thai as - in my own opinion I can not denounce a combat tried and proven fighting style. Something that has time and time again stood up to the test of time in regular full contact combat should never be taken lightly. They have managed trial by fire and I am nowhere near authority enough to offer otherwise. So by this logic I can only say that they are what they are; tried and true combat styles that clearly work.

    I looked more into the '52 blocks' background and they seem to have much information about it being a 'jail' system. I wonder if this is why it may lack some of the grappling techniques and favoring a standing combat due to lack of room to fight.
    Last edited by Ignoscant; 5/21/2013 9:20pm at .
  9. strikistanian is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/21/2013 9:36pm


     Style: Boxing/Sanda/BJJ

    2
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ignoscant View Post
    I can only offer what I have experienced which may not be as wide as some other people here.

    But as for what esteem I would hold boxing and muai thai as - in my own opinion I can not denounce a combat tried and proven fighting style. Something that has time and time again stood up to the test of time in regular full contact combat should never be taken lightly. They have managed trial by fire and I am nowhere near authority enough to offer otherwise. So by this logic I can only say that they are what they are; tried and true combat styles that clearly work.

    I looked more into the '52 blocks' background and they seem to have much information about it being a 'jail' system. I wonder if this is why it may lack some of the grappling techniques and favoring a standing combat due to lack of room to fight.
    Tried and true as Muay Thai and boxing are, they are equally guilty of having no answer to takedowns and ground fighting. I don't really fault martial arts for not being versed in all ranges of combat, because thats what cross training is for. Martial arts that are specialized excel in that area, while martial arts that dabble are mediocre everywhere.
  10. Ignoscant is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/21/2013 10:02pm


     Style: Kickboxing/MuaiThai (new)

    1
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by strikistanian View Post
    Tried and true as Muay Thai and boxing are, they are equally guilty of having no answer to takedowns and ground fighting. I don't really fault martial arts for not being versed in all ranges of combat, because thats what cross training is for. Martial arts that are specialized excel in that area, while martial arts that dabble are mediocre everywhere.
    I don't feel Boxing is a good example of this. Modern day boxing is defined by the rules that have shaped it's existence and the rules and gloves don't particularly allow such things as grappling.

    Muai Thai however has a strong tradition of clinch fighting and grappling doesn't it? Granted not take down's or ground fighting but am I wrong in the assumption that it uses holds extensively? This should surely offer balance and some form of defense knowledge versus tackles and such.

    As for boxing we'd have to ask a boxing traditionalist as to weather or not grappling was ever common place. I wouldn't know. I was just running on the concept of being 'street ready' where as I feel that sport boxing isn't the best for such an occasion; but it is far better than nothing and/or mcdojo.

    Veering away from the subject and attempting to curb it to return to the concept at hand; a 'street ready' style should not avoid such things that will happen in the street. Granted there are many other well known styles that do avoid these or completely ignore them they are generally padded out with styles that do not. Also being combat ready and not capable of dealing with kicks seems like a strange concept. It sounds like the Capoeira of boxing styles.

    Of course this could be harsh judgement. How well does it combine with grappling arts? Are the techniques easy to combine with takedowns? Also how does this compare to say Boxing or Muai Thai which both offer strong striking forms. Being a striking dependent art does it hold up well?
    Last edited by Ignoscant; 5/21/2013 10:27pm at .
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