Self Defence

Stop learning how to block punches – The 7 reasons you should learn to intercept.

Bruce lee's interception martial arts.
Practicing intercepting a haymaker

What is an interception?



“Action is taken to prevent someone or something from continuing to a destination”.

Learning how to block punches, kick and any attack is too slow and inefficient .

I am going to talk about intercepting, why you stop learning how to block punches and what I think are the top 7 reasons for it. Why it is so important to me and how you can learn to do it.

When introduced to intercepting properly by my instructor Clive Whitworth ( in 2011 it changed my whole outlook on fighting and martial arts. Learning to Dodge, Dip Duck, Dive and…..Dodge is too much and you might be able to dodge a ball if you can dodge a wrench, however, it won’t work for a punch or a kick.

So before we delve into my top 7 reasons to intercept let’s look at the above dictionary term for an interception.

“Taking Action to prevent someone or something from continuing to a destination”.

For “action” think a punch or kick, they are the two simplest to understand. Notice, however, I did not say easy. Now, of course, the “someone” is the person going to attack you which means you’re the “destination”. A simple concept “Hit them before they hit you”.

JKD- Simple, not easy.

“But people don’t intercept in the UFC!” Well, again it’s simple, not easy and takes a while to train it correctly. Ask my wife, I stand in the kitchen practising the straight lead while cooking. You have to be non-telegraphic IE give no idea you’re going to hit them. You have to time it right if they get too close your hit will be stuffed too far and you miss them and present yourself on a plate.

Intercepting of course is the very essence of Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do and why he could hit so hard. He had body mechanics, timing and hit them as they stepped in on top of amazing speed and flexibility.

Sadly lots of JKD schools have now morphed into Thai boxing with a little trapping and Kali or most often now an MMA school. To me, this is happening because incepting is hard and only appeals to a few people and we all have bills to pay.

I am not going to recommend which people to go and train with etc, google is your friend so work it out. However, if you’re in Hull, pop along and let’s sort some time out. (

So without further ado my top seven reasons you should train to intercept are as follows ;  

My top seven reasons to intercept and not learnt how to block punches.

1, It is the most efficient way of fighting!

‘Reach over and knock them out’ as Bruce Lee would say. What could be simpler than just hitting them? Nothing that’s what. It also avoids having to play catch p which is what happens when you wait to block in martial arts.

2, Blocking is playing catch up! 

If an attacker punches you, you cover or block it and try to hit before he hits you. He’s not thinking hit-block-hit! He’s thinking hit-hit so has the advantage already.

3, Blocking punches and kicks can be painful. 

Don’t get me wrong we’re learning to fight here not dance. If you’re going to get in a street fight, you will get hit if your interception doesn’t work. A great bare-knuckle punch on the arm or shoulder it still hurts, too many of them and you’re gonna feel it start to slow you down. That’s another issue for you to contend with.

4, The element of surprise. 

Earlier I mentioned distance, not too soon or too late. When you intercept correctly you do it in a range they don’t expect to be hit. They are not ready for it and any boxer will tell you the punch that knocked him out was the one he didn’t see. He is, of course only concerned with hitting you which leads to number 5.

5, The attacker is only thinking of his move. 

He is going to punch or kick your head in or even tackle you to the floor. There is a huge change they don’t train any Martial Arts and in this split second he is not thinking. They have fully committed to your demise. This is of course is what we take advantage of.

6, It still creates shock for you to getaway. 

The best thing about training women martial arts over men is women understand self-preservation. A female knows if she can get away she should. Men on the other hand all the sudden think they are Batman or Jason Bourne and see themself wiping the floor with this person and his 8 mates. Of course, there are times you can’t run away and have to stand and fight if that’s the case be proactive and intercept

7, If you’re not intercepting who knows what can happen? 

Simple as that, take the lead and be proactive, or whatever you want to call it. Are you are going to be attacked? then don’t wait. Like the Cobra Kai motto – Strike First – Strike Hard – No mercy! well not sure about the mercy bit all I can say if someone were trying to separate me from seeing my family, I wouldn’t stop until he could not attack, that however is your morals and I am not telling you to copy!

So there it is my top seven reasons why you should intercept in martial arts and not spend so much time practising how to block punches. I even managed to get two movie quotes in, did you spot them?

Until next time