“Punch blocking is asking for injury. Proper mechanics is to catch the block above the hand, and is not difficult to teach. The problem lies in people wearing mma/lacrosse gloves learning and teaching people how to injure themselves because its easier than blocking in a safe manner.
I have been playing since 1996 and have made hand to hand contact twice, both times was from throwing high crosses and meeting in the middle. One of the many reasons that is not a shot in my rolodex anymore.”
I see this one come up from time-to-time. The general argument is “punch blocking is unsafe” or “punch blocking is unrealistic”.
From a safety standpoint punch blocking with appropriate safety gear is less dangerous than blocking with the handle of your weapon (which isn’t exactly awful, but not optimal necessarily). If you block your opponents sword aggressively with the handle of your weapon you are introducing a large amount of combined force into a very small cross-section from your weapon handle. Call it a square inch. If you punch block with appropriate safety gear (lacrosse gloves, hockey gloves, MMA gloves, whatever) you’re impacting their weapon with a much larger surface area (probably six square inches). That means you’re doing far less damage to their padding, meaning that your opponents next swing is way less likely to be cored out. Imagine the sound difference between a block on your handle and a block on your hand; One of them makes a sound like foam on foam, and the other makes a sound like core on core. That’s because a handle block is blowing through the foam padding to the core, meaning there is now a distinctly less durable spot on that guys sword.
From a realism standpoint, punch blocking with appropriate safety gear is completely reasonable. Late-period steel gauntlets were designed to take full-force shots and deflect or absorb them; They were so good at it that basket hilts felt entirely out of favor as a hand defense. The primary focus of late-period crossguards was to enable you to control your opponents weapon, not as a defensive measure. If you accept that our foam weapons are steel replicas, then having our foam and leather protective gear be period steel gauntlets isn’t exactly a stretch. Moreover, for safety reasons a lot of the high-contact games just don’t allow steel gauntlets. In that case heavy gloves are the closest they can possible get.
So the next time you see somebody saying “punch blocking is bad/unsafe/stupid” just smile, nod, and whoop that ass.