The High Guard
I last wrote about the importance of guarding your head. Remember, if you’re hit in the body you may be hurt, but you can still defend yourself. On the other hand, if you’re hit in the head and knocked unconscious, your opponent can drive a tractor over you and there’s nothing you can do.
This leads me to the concept of blocking versus cover. Blocking is a lower-level concept in which one tries to move a hand to block or intercept a blow. The problem is that when blows start coming in fast and furious, like they do in real life, it’s easy for a blocking defense to be overwhelmed. A person who blocks often must transition from blocking, which is defensive, to punching, which is offensive.
A better concept is cover, which can be found in boxing. The idea is to cover your vital areas, particularly your head, so that no matter how many punches are thrown, and whether or not you see the punch, your hands/arms form a natural barrier. Ideally, a covered position is one in which your arms are coiled to strike, so that you can hit non-telegraphically.
I have applied the concept of cover to weapons. I want to be in a stance that protects my head when the blows start raining in. Imagine that there is a second opponent that I am not aware of. Even if I am aware of a second (or more) opponent, I still prefer to be in a covered position to help shield my head against multiple attacks coming from several different angles, some of which I cannot see.