En Garde" JKD & Fencing Part 2 - The Stop-Hit

Discussion in 'Jeet Kune Do' started by YODA, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. YODA

    YODA The Woofing Admin Supporter

    In this article I will examine what is perhaps the most obvious Fencing / JKD connection - The Stop-Hit. A stop-hit can be classed as an "Interception" or "Attack on Preparation". That is, we attack as our opponent is preparing to launch his attack or we attack into his attack in such a way that we arrive at the target first. This is much more than just a technique, it is a strategy so important that Bruce Lee saw fit to name his method after it. Jeet Kune Do - The Way of the Intercepting Fist, could easily be taken as "The way of the Stop-Hit". This strategy is not a recent invention. In Musashi's famous work of 1645 "Go Rin No Sho" (A Book of Five Rings) he states…

    "The spirit is to check his attack at the syllable "att….;",
    when he jumps check his jump at the syllable "Ju….;"
    and check his cut at "Cu…."

    In simple terms, a stop-hit means beating your opponent to the punch. You beat him by employing superior timing, and sometimes but not always superior speed (It is not how fast it travels but how soon it arrives!). The characteristics of the stop-hit are…

    It must land a period of "fencing time" before the final movement of the opponents attack. I will go into more detail on the timing involved within Fencing in a later article.

    It should ideally initiate as the opponent prepares his attack. Although technically a stop-hit can be launched after the opponent's attack has started, the goal should be to intercept his preparation rather than his technique.

    A stop-hit must be made with conviction - it is a mistake the think of it as a defensive move. It is an offensive counter-attack!

    As this is a simple direct attack - your hand or foot must start travelling towards the target immediately; otherwise your action will become a block/ evade & counter rather than a stop-hit.

    In Fencing there are two distinct types of stop-hit. Both very valid & both used extensively within JKD. They are similar in execution and timing but are fundamentally different in their defensive structure. These are the simple stop-hit, and the stop-hit in opposition or "Time Hit".

    The stop-hit

    This is best done by attacking into an open line as the opponent prepares his attack e.g. as he steps into range to throw a kick or punch, but before his intended attack starts on it's way to the intended target.

    Examples of the simple stop-hit.


    En Garde with the Sabre


    Steve telegraphs his intention to cut to the head by raising the tip of his blade.


    Dave has a clear line to intercept with a cut to the wrist.


    Steve & Rick square off.


    Rick prepares his forehand stick attack by raising his weapon.


    Steve immediately places a well times front kick into Ricks groin.


    Rick fancies another try


    This time with a two handed swing at Steve's head.


    As he chambers his strike Steve slides in with a sidekick to the nearest target - Rick's lead knee.​

    The stop-hit in opposition

    This stop-hit closes the line of the opponent's intended attack. The obvious benefit here is that should your stop-hit fail to have a decisive effect his attack should also fail because the target he intended to strike is closed by your action. You close the door with your stop-hit. In the examples above, if any of the stop-hits fail (It happens!) then the defender would still be in the line of fire.

    Examples of the Opposition Stop-Hit


    From an engagement in Sixte (blades crossed on the backhand side)


    Steve attempts to "cut-over" the engagement and score into Quarte.


    As his blade passes over Dave has the opportunity to intercept by striking directly before Steve's point gains the new line. Note how Dave's stop-hit occupies the same line as Steve's intended attack - the centreline.


    Rick tries his luck at closer range this time, with a two handed backhand at Steve's head.


    As a soon as Rick prepares his attack Steve moves in with a direct eye jab whilst simultaneously covering the line of Ricks intended attack with his other hand.​
  2. greenhornet

    greenhornet Valued Member

    excellent article!
  3. chopsock

    chopsock Banned Banned

    Interesting articles and good illustrative photography (love the visual comparisions between fencers and JKD practitioners).

    Why don't you expand your articles into a book? Tom made a whole book out of one technique (straight lead). It would educate martial artists about tools from fencing.


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