Re: To block or not to block
Main problem is not block/not block issue, but how to avoid beeing hitting on the face with attacker's elbow.
All techniques must be approached as attacker is bigger and stronger then tori. In the beginning your timing is bad, so you are always late in timing.
As you progress, attacker will deliver more difficult attack, you will start to pactice multiple attaks, so anyway you will be very often in late timing. That's why basic thing is to control attacking elbow. It can't be done, as "parry" sorry Ron. It is far not enough.
In my opinion, in the moment of the contact, you must physically change direction of attack, using strong leverage on elbow. This way you can control his center via shoulders. You must be able to do it in very late timing. So you can feel all mechanics and learn how to do it for real.
Don't forget, your entering irimi must turn his hips, otherwise he will be free to do a counter at his will. It is not easy done with someone who is strong, heavy and has some experience in MA.
So first contact must turn his hips, change direction of his attack, put him out of balance, avoid a counter and set him up to iriminage. I have hard time to imagine how to do it without strong control of attacking elbow.
Just forget all this non blocking fantasy.