The Safety “X”

In several of our posts here on the Bando minute, you’ll see references to the “safety X”. The safety X occurs in the transition to block or to strike, or can be a block in itself if something comes very fast at you.

In the safety X, the inside arm and hand is about a fist distance or so away from the chest. The outside arm can be next to the inside one (eg, for drills) or further forward, such as in a fighting stance. Practicing the Safety X requires that you think a bit like Goldilocks – you want to make sure the level of your X isn’t too high or too low, but is instead just right.

Here, the X is too high, obscuring your vision. This is not safe!

Here the X s too low – the head and face do not have enough protection. This is not safe, either!

The level of this safety X is “just right”. You can see above the X, and the hands are ready to protect any strikes to the head. It’s easy enough to drop down if the torso is being targeted.

Once you’ve got a good natural sense of where the Safety X needs to be, be sure you can do all of your footwork drills holding a good safety X. Focus on the X while doing, for example, the Stance Drill or the simple kicking drill.