Author Topic: umbrella/roof block  (Read 4867 times)

Danny Boy

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umbrella/roof block
« on: February 21, 2004, 12:02:40 PM »
I was recently watching a MA video in which the instructor was teaching the umbrella.  To me, it was the same as the roof block I use.  What am I missing here?


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Roof Block
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2004, 05:59:04 PM »
I am by no means an expert. I have heard in Taglog there are maybe 18 words for coconut. The Inuit have 80 words for different and distinct kinds of snow. I live in Vancouver BC and can think of 8 or 9 different kinds of rain. I don't think you are missing anything. File it away as a frame of reference. It may help clear up other things down the road.
Just my opinion,


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umbrella/roof block
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2004, 11:27:15 AM »
Woof All,

The roof/ umbrella terminology issue can be quite confusing.

In DBMA, we sometimes use Roof to describe a tip down deflection while the palm is down.  Umbrella describes a tip down deflection (palm up).  However, sometimes they are used interchangably.

Another issue is whether or not these are actually blocks.  More accurately, they are deflections if they are done properly.

Still, sometimes they are intentionally blocks, as in the DBMA "Attacking Blocks," which are not deflection, but rather distinctly intented to be blocks.


LG Russ
C-Bad Dog, Lakan Guro DBMA


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umbrella/roof block
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2004, 02:21:24 PM »
Woof Danny Boy:

  Posting from the airport in Mexico City, allow me to give LG Russ a helping paw.

  In traditional FMA consistent use of terminology between various systems is prohibited-- so traditionalists that we are, we use the term umbrella completely differently from anyone else.

  As you correctly observed, in many systems the umbrella IS similar in appearance to a roof block but differs in meeting the force less directly and instead guiding it around the head (knowledgeable people please forgive the crude description).  In other systems it picks up the strike almost with the back edge and, again, guides it around the head.

  In DBMA a roof block is a palm/tip down block- most commonly used by matching-handed fighters (e.g. righty vs. righty) to defend a caveman strike (#1 in most systems).

  An umbrella is a palm up/tip down MERGE/parry against backhand strikes by the opponent-- often flowing into backhands of its own.  Top Dog is a master of this motion, and Lonely Dog does it quite well too.  Typically it is done in Weapon-Largo range.  At closer ranges (medio, corto) it becomes a secondary block, with the principal block being accomplished by the checking hand.

  So why the different name for us?  It goes back to when I was helping Top Dog prepare his presentation (1992-93?) for our first series.  He lacked a term for the move this is what he was able to remember :)

Crafty Dog


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Medieval German version of the rooftop/umbrella?
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2004, 03:23:07 PM »
Attn Guro Crafty & Everyone Else,

There is a German fechtbuch ("fight book") that was written by a famous 15th century master named Hans Talhoffer.  Among the many weapons shown is the fechtmesser ("fighting knife"), a type of falchion (sorta like a precursor to the cutlass, and similiar in size and function to the ubiquitous bolo).  The following sequence, comprising of Plates 224 and 225 from the 1467 edition of Talhoffer's work, looks like a European variant on the umbrella/rooftop parry, followed by a deep snake of the opponent's weapon arm and a blow to the head (but note how the defender instinctively tries to shield himself with his free arm, but only succeeds in getting said arm severed).

Here's the "rooftop":

And here's the riposte that follows the "rooftop":

Guro Crafty, in your professional opinion, does Plate 224 show a rooftop/umbrella parry, or something similar?  I welcome you analysis, as well as that of any other very knowledgable folks here.

Much obliged,

"And the rapier blades, being so narrow and of so small substance, and made of a very hard temper to fight in private frays... do presently break and so become unprofitable." --Sir John Smythe, 1590