GM Angel Cabales taught three basic variations for the outside block (there are more, such as grapples). There is the “punch block” to the arm, the center thrust (estocada in Spanish knife work – ref. “Sevillian Steel”, James Loriega, pg. 79), and the knee strike (which I call “the Kerrigan” for, ahem, historic reasons). I group these together in a training block to remind my students to practice them. I call this "the baseball variations" because the order we practice them is like a baseball inning, from top to bottom. No other reason, but then Filipino arts are very descriptive. Angle #1 is often called San Miguel because St. Michael is always depicted with an upraised sword. Many styles have "caballero" references, even though I know of no Filipino techniques actually designed for use on horseback (maybe against horsemen, though?) Anyway, "baseball variations" is just another shorthand to tell my guys "practice these."
Now, to get technical here. There are several ways this technique gets done. The wrist is a good target, but it isn't the one Angel emphasized. What I was taught (and what I make sure my students see watching him on video) is that his strike went to the inside of the arm, tip of his weapon angled up, always in an edged cutting position even with the stick. The target was usually the inside of the elbow or the inner nerves of the bicep, and as he pointed out, “in for real" you could be hitting to the face. (However, practice is always done with safety first.) Angel seemed to disfavor the wrist strike. I can think of a couple of reasons.
· First, it often crosses the hands.
· Hitting high inside the arm does not, and your hand is deep enough to avoid the opponent's weapon.
· He also didn't care much for the stick hitting under the wrist held at a horizontal 90º angle. He didn't think it that strong a hit.
Like I said, there is some interpretation here, this is just how I learned it.
From the strike the hand comes up, looking like a shoulder (wing) block, but Angel was adamant about NOT rolling like a shoulder block, though it certainly looks like one. However, the weapon is not parrying here, it is simply being held out of the way and makes no contact with the opponent's arm. Granted, one could simply check and roll into a spin hit using speed, but Angel didn't teach that method. He detailed this hand-raising move as a way to protect the neck against a counter, especially against a blade. After the hit to the arm (or in any of the "baseball variations") where your weapon hand is coming up from underneath, he performed a "quick-check" (he used this term, so I’ve named this move accordingly) which I will try to explain.
In the "quick-check," the right hand comes up to the outside of the opponent’s right arm, holding the weapon loosely and letting it hang vertically (why it gets confused with a shoulder block). In a shoulder block, we want the weapon facing the opponent’s weapon or arm, and as with a blade, the edge is oriented towards him. Here, though, we hold the weapon out of the way, so it is very different.
The technique actually is to cup your right hand so you can check the opponent's arm with the knuckles, using exactly the same surface area as for a karate punch. This provides a powerfully leveraged position to keep the opponent from countering with a horizontal slash to the head or neck. When you lift the right hand for the quick-check, keep your left parry in position; don't take it off and then try to place the quick-check, because that creates a gap or opening for his counter. If you do it fast, you may miss. The idea is to maintain pressure and control, so you want to get securely in position first, always protecting yourself. Practice against a knife and you'll immediately see why (better to lose the "sacrifice hand" than your life!) Once your quick-check is in position, press the opponent's arm straight away from you (horizontally), which will take it off your left parry. Don’t use body rotation yet, but keep your feet grounded; you are still in a passing position, so you are pressing to your outside right. If your opponent resists, his body may actually rotate from the leverage; watch to see if his front foot turns. Your push creates distance between his weapon and your head so as you step back to complete what is basically now an outside block, you have time and space to re-check with the left.
Hope this makes sense. It's a very cool detail, one I haven't seen anywhere but in Serrada.