Joong Do Kwan 중도관 [中道館] Tae Kwon Do or 'School of the Middle Way' is based in Perth, Western Australia. We are a small group of martial art practitioners and students who practice Traditional Taekwondo. Our lineage of Taekwondo was exported out of Korea in the mid 1950s and continues to enjoy its proximity to its Karate cousins. Joong Do Kwan uses the Chang Hon set of Taekwondo patterns as our main syllabus. Currently, Joong Do Kwan is headed by Colin Wee (6th Dan). The Traditional Taekwondo Techniques Blog has been a resource he started to help discuss techniques as they occurred in class.

23 Apr 2014

Personal Reflections on Taekwondo

I recently had an interesting conversation with a long-time associate of my school. The guy has been reflecting on his personal and social circumstances and was interested in finding out more about my practice of Taekwondo. It's his intention to continue his own training despite increasing social and personal time commitments, so wanted to know how I kept up with my own training.

Frankly, the several times a week I exercise, the twice formal trainings we do, and maybe one or two short private drilling sessions are a nominal effort on my part to keep my hand in the game. When I was in college, I was exercising 6 days a week and training officially 6 times a week - twice of those were pure 'fight' training.

What tips the scale in my favour as a taekwondo practitioner is the amount of visualisation training I do. I spend time visualising all aspects of our training. Some times to improve on the flow of techniques, but most often to understand the sequences within taekwondo patterns, and then to understand the physics behind the techniques.

This has been one of the main ways in which I have been able to improve as a practitioner and instructor, whilst leading a full and demanding social and private life. Without the sheer amount of mental discipline, I would not have been able to produce the quality of seminars or teaching material that I share freely with any other practitioner, regardless of style or school. Of course I am the first to admint not all of my material is original. Or at least it did not start off as original - I read extensively about martial history, research other authors, seek to understand the physics behind our techniques in order to build up insight and my own material pertinent to our style.

It is a running joke, but I often think of 'Traditional Taekwondo' as 'Progressive Taekwondo.' The patterns are the syllabus that need not change, it's just the material and the training methodology that needs to be addressed. Meaning if I wanted to train like the young black belt I was - happy only to spar hard and fast or throw some fancy kicks, sure ... there need not be any change. But if I was interested in surviving an attack that is more menacing, then perhaps I should make each technique manifest power in a more fearsome way. Or I should train myself to ensure I always fight tactically, as opposed to sportively.

Keep training, folks! But train ... inventively.

Links



Colin
--
Colin Wee
Principal, Joong Do Kwan (Perth)
[Taekwondo Techniques Blog | Subscribe | FAQs | Sitemap | FB]
Please support us by liking our FaceBook page click here

15 Apr 2014

Datu Kelly Worden NSI


Just recently I saw this picture of Datu Kelly Worden on a FaceBook group I keep up with. The pose was reminiscent of a particular move in a kata wildly popular with traditionalists called - amongst other things - Naihanchi.

In the FaceBook group I wanted to make a point that Datu Worden often shares his approach to 'bridge the gap' - making sense of standalone techniques within the entire flow of his functional and effective combative system. This is in direct contrast to the struggle some hard stylists have in order to explain the vast collection of technique sequences in the numerous pattern sets we practice. Basically as hard stylists we often try to figure it out 'ass backward' - we look at a specific phenomenon, then gain the necessary experience, then try to reason out it's meaning, and then try to justify it within what we do.



What Datu Worden does well? Simply, he 'destroys,' 'traps,' and 'locks.' He's happy to mix and match and go back and forth, so you'd see him strike a pose like the above, yet, just a few seconds before he would have deflected the oncoming strike, kicked out at the attacker's knee, tapped his groin, bust him in the neck, hyperextended the arm, strike the eyes, then trap/capture the arm resulting in the above kodak moment.

This is going to be verbose, but aside from this shot, he'd probably swing the opponent into the ground where he'd footstomp his ankle OR if there were a video cam around he might pull on the head and send him into that wall behind him. No, I don't earn commission from Datu Worden ... but a single shot just doesn't sum up the guy, nor should it sum up a pattern or the collection of skills needed to make each technique work.

Here's another admission I'd like to share with you ... I have personally benefited from his resources and his approach to combative systems. Seeing that kind of flow shows you what you need to make your cover, blocks, interceptions, and strikes work in a dynamic and fast paced setting. He's also really good on camera and is one of the best teachers I know who can use the medium to convey skills and experience to other martial artists.

If you have the opportunity - you MUST visit http://www.kellyworden.com/ and check out his DVDs.

I don't benefit from this post - I share as my personal opinion. Meaning - it's a non-commercial plug for Datu Worden.

Related Links



Stay safe,

Colin
--
Colin Wee
Principal, Joong Do Kwan (Perth)
[Taekwondo Techniques Blog | Subscribe | FAQs | Sitemap | FB]
Please support us by liking our FaceBook page click here

3 Apr 2014

Taekwondo Techniques New Sitemap

Traditional Taekwondo Techniques Sitemap

Taekwondo Pattern Links

Traditional Taekwondo Techniques Workshop blog focuses on the techniques and tactics found in Taekwondo's Chang Hon pattern set. The following are posts which contain general links to all related posts pertaining to the individual Taekwondo patterns.
Colin talks about the Taekwondo Syllabus
Taekwondo Pattern Chon-ji Hyung List of Posts
Taekwondo Pattern Dan-gun Hyung List of Posts
Taekwondo Pattern Do-san List of Posts
Taekwondo Pattern Won-hyo List of Posts
Taekwondo Pattern Yul-guk List of Posts
Taekwondo Pattern Toi-gye List of Posts
Taekwondo Pattern Choong-gun List of Posts
Taekwondo Pattern Hwa-rang List of Posts
Kata Tekki/Chulgi List of Posts and Getting Punched in the Nose

Taekwondo Techniques Links

Taekwondo Roundhouse Kick Technique
Taekwondo Front Kick Equilibrium and Technique
Calibrating the Taekwondo Side Kick
Applying the Upper Block (Age Uke, Chukyo Marki, or Rising Block)
Applying the Yop Marki Middle BlockGet More Striking Power through Traditional Taekwondo
Angles of Entry

Interesting Articles
Toi-gye Mountain or 'W' Blocks
The First Part of the Word Bunkai is 'Bunk'

--
Colin Wee
Principal, Joong Do Kwan (Perth)
[Traditional Taekwondo Techniques | Subscribe | FAQs | Old sitemap | FB]
Please support us by liking our FaceBook page click here

Kick the Habit before it Starts

This Saturday is my pleasure to welcome Saseru Karate Do from Dunsborough to our humble little training area here in Perth. This is part of a series of Pre-Sept 13th IAOMAS Conference events that I'm scheduling to promote our IAOMAS event at the end of this year.

Don't Knock Short Range Kicks

When our gang journeyed from Perth down to Dunsborough last year, we looked at traditional stances, movement, blocking and striking. This time, I'd like our focus to be on Taekwondo's kicks.

And while we talk about kicks, I'm not talking about the strikes we do with our legs ... but rather the strikes we do with our bodies that end up with our leg or foot then hitting the target. This is the problem that I most often observe while working with beginners or intermediate students - the tactic in question is boiled down to a technique, which is further reduced to the last part of the striking limb. (You must read Slagging MMA Kicks.)

A popular 'Sport-based Kick Everyone is Doing' - and not doing as well as they could be, I may add.

It is a luxury to be able to have a person in front of you teach you martial arts. What you can't get from a book or a video is the general movement or dynamic of the rest of the human body. Let us do a technique, and I'll show you how my body moves first before that kick is ever raised off the floor. Let me convince you how important it is for you to use your core muscles - aside from your want to look good. We need to take your body mass, set it in motion, accelerate it, and transmit this power through the end limb and inject it into the opponent. Once I break it down, then let us do it smoothly and transition smoothly to deliver your payload into the opponent.

There will always be discussion as to what is the most powerful kick. But certainly we can improve the effectiveness of each tool we have in our arsenal in order to get the best of that technique when you require it as a tactical option. To do so, we must understand the kinematics of our body - how we compress, how we expand, how we swing, and how we whip (see Power Generation in Roundhouse Kick Videos). Without such mental or physical insight, you'd have to develop a far stronger limb with greater muscle mass to create the same amount of power. This goes for both hand strikes and leg strikes.

To train the end technique and to coax some effectiveness out of it, we should look at varying the type of drills or training tools that we use. Vary the power, so that you may gain accuracy by targeting it carefully. Use power shields interchangeably with the human body so that you may accurately gauge targets while referencing the silhouette of the body (see Training Aids that Wreck Combat Technique). Vary the angle of entries in order to navigate three dimensional space and bypass obstacles in your way.

I look forward to talking more about this.

Colin
--
Colin Wee
Principal, Joong Do Kwan (Perth)
[Traditional Taekwondo Techniques | Subscribe | FAQs | Sitemap | FB]
Please support us by liking our FaceBook page click here

23 Mar 2014

Yul-gok Step 7 & 8 - The Korean Occupation

Niaal Holder (2nd Dan) from Joong Do Kwan talks about Taekwondo Pattern Yul-gok Step 7 and 8. This refers to the Taekwondo Technique 'Yop Marki' or middle block done in a front stance, and a front kick performed using the back leg.

While Niaal has been training with me for over 10 years, I like it that he teaches and explains the techniques and concepts differently from me. In fact, he often varies the manner in which he performs drills just because he is different to me. This is our gain.

My take on the middle block and the front kick is this - why do a middle block in the first place? Why can't we do an upper block or heel palm. Why can't we knock him out with a punch to the neck? We perform the yop marki because unlike the forearm strike or knife hand strike the turn of the forearm outwards and then downwards is advantageous to us. Meaning, I can hit him hard going forward, and then I can also rotate him around to his back foot, swinging his centre of gravity around and out of his base. When that happens I can control his body, and then choose to destroy his support leg or send a devastating strike to the head.

video

When I was practicing the drill I dealt with the oncoming strike with my forward hand, then controlled it with my back hand. I think this is a far superior way of dealing with a lunging type attack. Of course all Taekwondo techniques are more or less modular ... and you can mix and match. So once you gap close, you can then do the neck strike as per this video and follow through with the kick.

Niaal performs the mid block and turns it into a open hand grab to the neck. You may choose to try and stick with the close fist first, attempting to affect the body and opponent's centre of gravity with your forearm contact. Try working the steps of Yul-gok first, and then test out the variations. You'll be surprised what works for you.

Last bit of advice, don't be afraid to push and pull on the opponent's body. Don't be afraid to use *NATURAL* motion to shove your opponent. You've pushed a car? You've done tug of war? Did anyone teach you a stance? But you still were able to do it right? Well same thing. Keep playing!

Related Links



Cheers,

Colin
--
Colin Wee
Principal, Joong Do Kwan (Perth)
[Traditional Taekwondo Techniques | Subscribe | FAQs | Sitemap | FB]
Please support us by liking our FaceBook page click here

17 Mar 2014

TakeONEdo STEPS

I feel my opponent tightening up to surge forward. He's going to use a lunge punch, that's for sure, as we're practicing one steps against each other. But I;m opening up my awareness to his body language and the movements of his other limbs just as a precaution.

His legs bunch up under him as he shifts his body forward. If I was doing another tactic, I'd be exhaling forcefully and powering my own legs at this time. But I'm keeping still and waiting for him to explode out of his static stance. I now register his body coming forward and his attacking arm pistoning forward. I'm not looking at it directly but I can feel the explosive ballistic intent.

Just before it hits full speed and before it reaches me, I swivel my body to close down the target area. I'm also sending my centre of gravity into my left foot. I want to go outside his strike. At the last possible moment, I fire a single yop marki middle block to the outside of the arm. Just at this angle, the block applies pressure to the outside of the elbow, and the back hand sandwiches my opponent's wrist. With his forward motion, and my swiveling around my left foot, had this connected his elbow would have at minimum been hyperextended and at best broken. If he had not rotated his punch totally out and have gone with a grab to my lapel, I would have continued the move into a bent arm and would have wrenched his shoulder instead.

Fortunately for my opponent I'm doing this in a controlled class environment. But unfortunately for him, I'm still in motion. My centre of gravity is still turning but riding high - so I decide to drop it all on his extended arm. I drop my weight into a deep stance and with that drop I cut his arm with a harden marki, a lower block. My opponent tenses as it hits the top of his forearm. Even controlled, it hurts. I could have easily struck his bicep or the inside of the elbow. All would result in his losing control over that arm for the next few moments.

I'm now almost side straddling my opponent's right hip. In a 'real' situation, I could stand up again and head butt him in the face. But we're onto our one steps, so instead I fire off a reverse snap punch into his ribs. My elbow is held close to my ribs - so I'm pulsing a hip rotation using my legs, glutes, hips and core muscles. The punch fires short range but carries all this power and unleashes it short range. Most people have no idea how much power can be created in close - but if that punch landed, the opponent would have doubled over with his mouth open and head forward, breath knocked out of him, with his ribs moving unnaturally on their own. His exposed neck - and its brachial nerve - floating somewhere at chest high for me would then have been the target of a second snap punch which would have ended that encounter.

Basic techniques. Make them work for you.

Related Links



--
Colin Wee
Principal, Joong Do Kwan (Perth)
[Traditional Taekwondo Techniques | Subscribe | FAQs | Sitemap | FB]
Please support us by liking our FaceBook page click here

11 Mar 2014

How Traditional is Your Tradition?

I have been asked how traditional is my Traditional Taekwondo.

I would answer with a question - how traditional can you be if you were focusing on being progressive?

When my lineage of Taekwondo was exported out of Korea, Taekwondo was in its infancy. The instructor who brought it over to the United States was a Chung Do Kwan practitioner. Since then, however, Taekwondo worldwide continued evolving due to its political and social climate.


Would a school that claimed to do 'Traditional Taekwondo' still look like it was practicing like how the practitioners do in the above video?

My school performs patterns fairly similarly to those practitioners. However, I believe we have finessed the hyungs a little more from that era. I would like to think that we're trying to achieve more deceleration of each technique, punches which are tighter, and keeping centre of gravity steady for most of the steps. Note that none of that includes any mention of the Sine Wave - which is not part a methodology I use in my school.

Application is where our practice differs significantly. In my school, one steps are only a small part of the overall training; our attacks a little less scripted. Such 'traditional' scripted training scenarios are still included, but are just a small part of the overall 'gym bag' of exercises.

I believe the cornerstone of good traditional training is always to move onwards and upwards.

Related



Cheers,

Colin
--
Colin Wee
Principal, Joong Do Kwan (Perth)
[Traditional Taekwondo Techniques | Subscribe | FAQs | Sitemap | FB]
Please support us by liking our FaceBook page click here

4 Mar 2014

Toi-gye Step 28: Manji-uke 'When you fight you need to get it almost right'

Who thinks that just with a little training, they're going to do all the right things when confronted with a charged up, smack talking, on-the-juice home boy?

There's no way all your techniques are going to do exactly what you want them to do. You may have guessed wrong. Your timing may have been off. The angle was just screwed up. The guy didn't telegraphed exactly like how all the other sheep in your dojo do. And yeah, sorry that you're bleeding out while he sticks that knife into you as you reflect on your usual flawless technical delivery.

This video on baton defence was not put together specifically for this post - as you can see the dialog doesn't exactly convey the flow of thought. So before you play the video and say ... hey, Colin doesn't make sense here, read on and let me clarify.

video


Many of you should be familiar or should have seen a technique where the attacker is swinging a pool cue, or a chair, or a baton ... you capture both of the attacker's arms with yours, and you apply an over the shoulder throw. This is a good simple defence that works nicely - many practitioners learn over-the-shoulder throws, and used against an attacker that giving it a good swing, the technique makes it really easy.

When you compare a two handed swing with a one handed swing - a one handed swing comes much faster. You need to be able to block, and strike, and then capture the arm - in that order. The attacking limb requires you to work harder to get control. In the video, I demonstrate two techniques that allow you to get this control whilst gap closing. The techniques can be seen associated with Taekwondo patterns you are familiar with.

However, if you're fried by battle stress AND you attempt to do the technique you were using for the two-handed attack, your distancing and timing will be challenged. If you are off, and you are not able to wrap your opposite arm under the attacking limb - you are still able to apply control by pulling the attacking limb down with the closest hand and wrapping your opposite hand around attacker's neck.

The techniques I show apply a manji-uke from Toi-gye step 28 (high back fist with low outer forearm block) while defender is in front of the attacker. Mark Cook from Oldman's Bubishi just showed me the same manjiuke technique where you are behind the attacker, grabbing the attacking limb and flexing attacker's head back by his hair - with very similar end results.

Related



--
Colin Wee
Principal, Joong Do Kwan (Perth)
[Traditional Taekwondo Techniques | Subscribe | FAQs | Sitemap | FB]
Please support us by liking our FaceBook page click here