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A Babe Question on Combat

Hi James,

I just read your book, "Thriving in Bad Places", and wanted to ask you a Question. I don't have a boxing background, and I wanted to ask you what you mean by "check", as in "check your opponent". I think you explained it in the book, but I still don't understand. It comes up several periods in the book...mind if I ask what you mean by "check"?



Joanna, regressive cavemen never mind when young women ask questions pertaining to knucklehead business.

Since I’m a writer, the price for advice is your question become the subject of an article.

In boxing the term is usually “measure” or “stop” or “push-off” depending on the area and the age of the coach. The term check was borrowed from lacrosse and hockey by stick fighters and knife fighters and means to use your empty hand as a cup [not a grasping device] and for checking but not necessarily stopping, perhaps only slowing [depending on the relative mass of the antagonists] the forward pressure of your antagonist with less force than they are generating.

Ideally this is done with your cupped palm to their shoulder, sliding up to the head and down to the elbow as needed. If you do this to the chest as a smaller person you will get sucked up in their wheelhouse—another boxing terms, known as “the pocket” in MMA.

Checking is very similar to the “poc” in Wing Chun and the “trap” in Jeet Kune Do.

I suggest you go to our Modern Agonistics page on this site or to the Lancaster Agonistics channel on You Tube and view the “goon surfing” video I did with Aryas.

Basically, Joanna, if you are the more powerful antagonist you do not want to make fists as it opens you up to knife attacks and law suits and if you are the weaker you don’t want to go to the fist when you can push away with the empty hand and poke the eyes from a low-leverage angle. Fists are for evenly matched foes, hence the weight class sport of boxing.

Feel free to log follow up questions. Readers have helped me build numerous books via this process.


Being a Bad Man in a Worse World

Fighting Smart: Boxing, Agonistics & Survival

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