Joong Do Kwan 2015

Joong Do Kwan 2015
Joong Do Kwan School of the Middle Way

16 Aug 2016

Roundhouse Kicks - The Long and Short of It



In the picture above, I show what's possibly one of the more popular kicks in our arsenal. Or at least I show two variations of the ever-popular roundhouse kick. The upper right and bottom show the long range version of the kick, and above left shows a short range version of the kick.

At most schools, the long range version is currently practiced to the point where the short range variety is hardly ever seen. And the reason why is that the dual combination of long range roundhouse and fairly similar long range turning kick are easy to learn, keep the opponent at bay, and are dynamic techniques which look good and empower the practitioner.

This over-focus on the long range kick is a pity as the short range version of this kick - performed even passingly well - is one of the more devastating techniques I would use in the close range. The long range technique feels strong because you swing that kicking leg over a good distance. But where it fails is that the transmission of mass which is crucial to generate power, diminishes because of the distance from technician to the target.

The short range kick however allows you to transmit a fantastic amount of body mass which increases the power you can generate through this one strike. The tactical benefit with the short range - while counter-intuitive to practitioners who are used to the long range - helps you immediately engage with the opponent with hand strikes. Definitely a technique to practice and to use after gap-closing on the opponent.

Related Kicks



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15 Aug 2016

2016 Update

The Impetus to Share 

The garage sets the scene, and the quality is gritty at best. But you're pulled into our private training session, and the 'Cheap and Cheery' tone keeps it feeling 'real'. This has been what we've doing since December 2015 when we stuck an IP surveillance camera over our training area. The impetus to output these videos was to showcase Traditional Taekwondo training methods with Taekwondo instructors and practitioners worldwide. Almost 45 videos to date have been published to a FaceBook group called The Study of Taekwondo 태권도의 공부.

2016 A-KaTo Instructor of the Year 

It was a huge honour for Colin to be invited back by parent organisation American Karate and Taekwondo Organization for their 40th Anniversary Celebrations in March 2016. Held in Dallas, it featured a special training session for out-of-town instructors, a full day of seminars, and then a dinner banquet. The highly unexpected award for Instructor of the Year was an emotional moment for Colin in his 33+ year martial art career. Presenting this award is one of the most inspiring gentlemen I know GM Keith Yates.

The Joong Do Kwan Training Method

The videos we've been showing have hinted at a Joong Do Kwan training method. This has been adopted by us to make sense of the immense number of possible applications within a pattern. Many instructors may present options for various techniques from their patterns. This is like an unfolding of a syllabus - we do that too. However, the capacity to learn is limited by ability and the dynamic nature of an encounter - something which we recognise, and we seek to resolve. We do this by presenting applications and techniques in ways where student practitioners can gain an understanding of how things 'work' as to just having a collection of cool skills that they would struggle to use.

Ging Mo Free Form Fighting 2016

Colin has been involved with Ging Mo Free Form Fighting as a corner judge for more than two years now. End of last year, he participated in bringing Ging Mo Free Form Fighting to Singapore as part of the 4th International Wushu  Competition, and this year he was involved in the 2016 Australian Kung Fu Wushu Championships.

The Study of Taekwondo 태권도의 공부

Colin has been one of four moderators for this FaceBook group. The group comprises over 520 Taekwondo practitioners worldwide, and was started by Ørjan Nilsen, a Taekwondo blogger situated in Norway.


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Colin Wee
Principal, Joong Do Kwan (Perth)
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25 Jan 2015

Sensei Gichin Funakoshi's 20 Precepts: #8

 Precept #8 : "Do not think that karate training is only in the dojo."

I just experienced a life lesson that has opened my eyes to the meaning of that precept.

I always thought Karate happened when I put on my gi, walked onto the dojo floor, and started training.. but it's not like that.  All of the tools that you learn from your training can be applied into  your life.

The patience that you need to work on lifting your knee into the proper chamber position for a kick can overflow into the patience that you need to have when you are working on your car, and not getting the result that you thought you would get.

The courage, and mental control that you need to face an oncoming attack is the same courage that you can call upon when one of your customers is yelling angrily at you about their issues.

The humility you develop from realizing that the technique that you thought you had learned well still needs fixing is the same humility that you need when you make a mistake at work. If you don't admit to the problem, you won't be able to correct it.

Every time that you stop yourself from having a "knee jerk" reaction to a situation, and you use your skill sets to put that moment to your advantage, and gain from it.. you are using Martial Arts in your life.  We train SO hard to improve ourselves in the dojo, and achieve our goals, I believe that this should overflow into our lives.

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Colin Wee
Principal, Joong Do Kwan (Perth)
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6 Nov 2014

Force = [ (Mass x Acceleration) - Fallacies ]

I tire of hearing this equation bandied about by people using it to talk about power.

It's not that the equation is irrelevant to the generation of power. The problem is that the equation is regularly abused by people using it to promote their own pet concepts, or to seem more clever than they are.

Whatever you think of power, the true worth of a practitioner is measured by his understanding of risk and reward. Meaning all the skills that help him cover against strikes or block them coming his way need to always be present. Next is the tactical understanding that the closest distance between your tool and the intended target is a straight line. Pull your tool back and chamber for more power, and you might find yourself on the ground nursing a black eye.

The two factors that help you generate Force - which is what martial artists are interested in are the interplay of mass and acceleration. In a discussion recently I stated that a practitioner will find his upper limit of speed and acceleration rather quickly. What I mean by that is that with a little training and maintenance, most people will achieve the maximum they can ever achieve in a short amount of time. How much fast twitch muscle fibre you have is how much you'll have. If you're genetically gifted, that's great ... but it'll take a huge amount of additional effort to eke out very marginal gains after you first get it.

Mass however is a very different part of the equation, and this is where I find myself having the most contention with some colleagues. Jesse Enkempe in How to Get Massive Power in Your Karate Punches hit the nail on the head when he said "If you are a beginner ... the only mass you'll be able to move into the target is basically your hand. If you train a little longer, you might finally get the whole arm behind the punch. That's a few more pounds! And if you train even more ... you might finally get your whole body's mass behind the punch."

The trick is not attempting to put on mass by waiting for the effects of resistance training or by going to Macca's. And the fallacy of thinking is that everyone's mass is the same. Your mass might be the same if you're standing still, but I can assure you that an untrained person cannot shift his mass as effectively as I can. Simply put, I can accelerate and decelerate more of my mass to support a wide range of striking tools.

In the post Creating a New Upper Limit to Your Punching Power, I talk about creating more mass using compound muscles to drive the strike. The body structure supports both the initial acceleration, and the final deceleration. This closed system type of process helps transmit mass into the point of impact. This is the secret to striking with the body as one.

This contrasts heavily with people trying to throw their strike as a flail into the target. This is a haphazard motion - which while capable of generating force is not generating force effectively. Meaning you will need a strong person to strike the target strongly. With the traditional punch as I described above, a smaller person will have a new found upper limit to punching power that will simply be astounding.

I urge you to re-examine these concepts. After thirty years in the martial arts, this insight gives me cause to return to much of my previous assumptions, and in discussions with other people who have experienced similar gains, we agree that everything is 'the same, yet different' - just through this new insight.

And this new insight directly affects my ability to generate a huge amount of power. Against other respected and experienced instructors, I have used simple strikes whilst they hold strike mitts, and the bruising which occurs as the power blitzes through the target is serious. I have literally had instructors complain about their bruises without mentioning that there was a target that existed between their body and my fist.

I'm not saying this to boast. I am saying that with what feels like minimal effort on my part, the power generated is so frightening that all martial artists should explore this training in order to fully appreciate the value of traditional training.

Keep safe.
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Colin Wee
Principal, Joong Do Kwan (Perth)
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5 Nov 2014

Dan-gun: Twin Outer Forearm Block as Uppercut (Step 9 & 11)


Uppercut with back hand held up for cover

Uppercut to body with back hand held high

Twin Outer Forearm Block - a dead ringer

An uppercut is an excellent versatile strike that comes from underneath, between arms and can find a target in tight situations where a straight punch might not land. It's a fairly easy strike - so there is absolutely no logical reason why I should wait until Kwang-gae Step 2 & 3 to learn an 'upset' punch which is more or less related to the uppercut, but which strikes towards the body not upwards toward the head.

Kwang-gae's Upset Punch - a Little Too Late?
Uppercuts are done close range, with body torque allowing you to find holes through the opponent's defences in order for the punch to land. Entering close range means to put frontal pressure on the opponent using gap closing tactics.

Most cross-training nowadays will help you achieve a decent punch. Hand mitts are held facing downward and toward you and you strike upward. To improve on the strike you should try not to let the arm move freely from the shoulder, but to support the striking motion with body torque and leg expansion.

The Twin Outer Forearm block done as strike is not a boxing tactic. The raised arm is there as a cover and as a grab-control. If the person punches you and you attempt to do this, your opponent will retract his arm and you will be dragged forward AND your strike will be unsuccessful. If you however attempt to strike the opponent with your back hand, the opponent will seek to block or jam your strike. When he does this then you punch under his arm toward his head.

The back hand indicates that you should explore ways to control an extended arm - this does not mean the opponent will give you his arm willingly.

The turn of pattern Dan-gun indicates that you are best using this tactic when you approach the opponent from the side - rather than front on.

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Colin Wee
Principal, Joong Do Kwan (Perth)
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