Training Warriors for the 21st Century

Training Warriors for the 21st Century
Joong Do Kwan Traditional Taekwondo cross training with Kidokwan Perth

23 Jun 2007

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18 Jun 2007

Taekwondo Do san: Spearhand + Open Palm Block

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Sonia the blue belt circa 2004 - sorry I forgot to resize the photo.

From left shuto in back balance, step forward blocking downward with left open palm and chamber spearhand at side of ribs. Complete the technique by striking out with spearhand to throat.

It's easy with Jacob, who stands at about 5'4". His punch comes and is easily deflected with the downward horizontal open palm block. I strike him easily with the spearhand - right next to the adam's apple and right on the carotid artery. My fingers are slightly cupped and the middle finger is supported by 1 and 3.

Pieter at 6'6" is a different story. His punch comes hard and powerful. I have to focus on striking his punch with my horizontal forearm, it becomes less of a deflection than a strike with 'kime' or striking focus. The spear hand is angled up quite severely.

We continue the technique by stepping into the opponent, bringing our hips toward the back of his hips. During, I add in another ridge hand strike to the left side of opponent's neck. Then pushing my arm deep, I clasp my right fist and bend the opponent backward.

At 5'7", after I strike Pieter's neck, I had to hop up and drag Pieter backwards. This is similar to kokyunage done in Aikido - you use your whole bodyweight to pull the opponent down.



Related Taekwondo Do san pattern links
Rayners Lane Chang Hon Seminar feturing Do-san
Practical Martial Arts
Do-san at TMAC Forum
Do -san at TKD Tutor

8 Jun 2007

Do-san: The First Kick

My students were wondering if they were ever going to learn how to kick. Well, here it is ... the front kick. We've been stretching and strengthening their legs in the last half a year. Drilling the knee kicks. Now we're using all of this to drive that front kick with a powerful hip motion. You may not see it in the picture above (I ripped it from the net), but the front kick is driven off by the hip. We trained using a back balance, bringing up the leg in a chambered position, kicking and pushing the hips out, striking with a rigid foot, flexed out to hit with the ball of the foot, and then snapped back into the chambered position. Breath is the same as with a hand strike - it starts as the technique starts, goes until the muscles are locked into a 'kime', and then relaxed as the technique is retracted along the same line. Anything else I missed for beginners?



6 Jun 2007

Chon-ji and Dan-gun - Vertical Fist

Might I say how irritating it is when another styles keeps harping how this particular approach (from another style) is not so good (and how ours is better)? I went to a Wing Chun class once, and because the guy knew I had trained in some hard style he kept on saying how Karate or Taekwondo was wrong and that his Wing Chun was better. Gawd. How irritating was that? You can have a lesson without negative reinforcement, you know.

Re: vertical fist. Hey ... we've got that crap in our style too. Notice how I don't eschew Wing Chun tactics, mate. In fact, our last training session featured hand slap drills and these circular punches. It was great to get some fluidity, relaxedness and speed into some 'self defence' drills.

Why is the vertical fist found in our hard style? Well, the essence of the style doesn't necessary advocate punching with a vertical fist. HOWEVER, the vertical fist is part of the punching life cycle. The basic chamber at the side and punch requires that the punch be dragged close to the side of the body, columnate itself to the centre line and then rotate into the target. If you look at that closer, the vertical fist punch starts from where ours 'columnates' and stops before it turns more than 90 degrees into the target.

What I like to remind students is that it is sometimes beneficial to do techniques in a different way in order to learn skills that can be included in our own repertoire. Too much power in the punch slowing you down? Well ... these light relaxed vertical fist type chain punches show that you can go faster by relaxing your upper body. And power generation? If you don't get your hip into it, doesn't matter if you've got a strong arm, you're only hitting with your arm. Relaxedness and dynamic increases in tension are core skills that link both punches. Ours just reaches out a little further and drives the body into the opponent - but it is not to say we can't hit anyone closer.

Learn. Don't bitch!

Peace my brothers.


1 Jun 2007

Taekwondo Do san Pattern: Firing from the Hip

We were working on a reverse snap punch for the orange belters - in conjunction with Do-san pattern

The drill was done off a back stance, and the challenge was to perform a hip vibration - then send this motion into the arm. The arm is held tightly to the body with the lats, so that the forearm points directly at its target. 'Hip vibration' starts from the legs and the gluts. A movement is pulsed upward into the core of the body, and then transmitted into the arm. The arm is held tightly to the body by the pecs and lats. As the arm is 'punched' out, the legs snap back to their starting position. The movement does not have to be overt. It just has to pulse through the body and 'vibrate' a good mass of the body forward and back perhaps an inch or two. If you do it quickly that distance will visually appear much less - thus the term 'vibration'

Most beginners fire off the snap punch using the shoulder - negating the power that the legs can create. A roundhouse punch or a punch driven by the shoulder is different from this strike. There is no dishonour in using a roundhouse punch that requires shoulder rotation. There are advantages in raising the arm and cresting over the opponent's defence. But the shoulder rotation punch requires a good deal of muscle to create a good enough striking force. Not many people can get such power in a short enough time. 

If you do the hip vibration however, the power of the punch will be phenomenal. It will seem like its going in slo-mo ... it feels effortless because there's no spike in shoulder tension. The secret is that you are accelerating a good portion of your body mass forward and then shunting it into the weapon of choice. The 'transmission' is done without much arm movement - in fact, the less your shoulder gets to rotate the better. 

Reverse Snap Punch on Makiwara
One Armed Karate-ka
Heian Pinin Sono Ichi

Colin Wee
Joong Do Kwan Chung Sah Nim
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