Training Warriors for the 21st Century

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

27 Jul 2007

Beginners' Mistake on Striking a Target

I made a point to the white belt beginners on Thursday - when they were working on their forward lunge punch. The point was that when you're striking a target, you need to focus on the target, and not on the human holding it behind.

I noticed that power was not being delivered when it should because the punch was being 'calibrated' for the person holding on to the hand mitt. This means that 'kime' or strike focus was not occuring.

When proper striking focus happens, the technique is sound, the muscles lock up properly, and the power of the practitioners' legs are delivered into the hand mitt. Otherwise the punch may look powerful, but does not end up hitting the target powerfully. So, when you're aiming at a hand mitt, focus on the face of the mitt and one/two inches behind it.

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23 Jul 2007

Tekki: Slap and Serve

We had two veterans come to our club over the weekend - they've got previous training a couple of years ago and are now in the 'master's category'. Given that they've got different needs to my other beginners, I have sorted them into a separate training from the other beginners.

We got them immediately on Tekki's first two steps. Side cross step, big stomp into horse stance and open back hand block. This was applied to defence against hook punches to upper and mid section. We started with simple hand slaps using both hands to deflect the various hook punches. Then moved to the Tekki opening move - using right hand to deflect hook punches from both left and right sides. Then gap closing to slap forearm into opponent's neck.

The move is like rotating a big steering wheel with both hands. The strike in itself is not a light 'whipping' motion. It is a strong, body-driven slam using mid to upper forearm.

One major move broken into a block/strike to improve speed and to match one technique against a varied number of strikes.

Related Links
Chulgi: Punching Across the Body
Chulgi Application: Double Punch as Deflect and Strike to the Back of Opponent's Neck
Tang Soo Do: Chulgi (Tekki)
Motobu Choki Book

20 Jul 2007

Do-san: Introduction to Sparring

Last night our Orange belt student (the other orange belt student has sustained a rugby injury) was put through 'introductory sparring'. Meaning he got his sparring gear on, and I launched strikes at him in order for him to learn what to expect during sparring, learn how it feels like to be struck, how to keep hands up and moving (change direction every 3-4 seconds), keeping his chin tucked in, and for him to deflect strikes with elbows and forearms. The class before that included some similar exercises done in a 'one-step' sparring environment - but the intro sparring session was continuous and lasted 3 rounds of about 3 minutes - in order that he understands that he needed to synthesize the basics into a fluid and responsive pattern to meet what was thrown at his direction. I used wide swings, straight heel palms to the forehead, pushing kicks - basically slamming my forearms into his elbow for good effect (though my arms are a little sore today). As you'd expect he was dripping with sweat and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.


ps. The big lesson is ... martial arts is way safer than rugby, folks! ;-)

Warmup Drill to Increase Coverage to Body
Hwa Rang Step 10 and 11
Getting Punched in the Nose
The Jon Alster Lunge Punch
Getting Kicked in the Gut
Where are your eyes on the back of your arse?
Black Belt Coaching Course
Beginning Sparring: Problems Encountered

15 Jul 2007

Chon-ji: Breakfalling

I teach a simple leg reaping throw as an interpretation from the last two motions of Chon-ji - which are two forward punches done stepping backward. The punches are a way to push the shoulders back and the step back is a way to slice the opponent's legs out from under him.

To do a throw, one has to be able to do a breakfall first. We do ours progressively from a simple rolling back and forth on our backs to a roll backward and then forward to a kneeling position. All the while looking down and our belt knots to keep our heads off the floor. Hand slaps occur at a 45 degree downward angle from the body. The breath is exhaled sharply when you slap the ground. The slap is important to teach timing and safety - breaking any habits of sticking your hand out to the ground to stop your fall.

Today I applied a simple lock to the beginners in order for them to perform a breakfall from standing and to one side. The rule of thumb is to get one leg bent and the other leg straightened in order for the ankles not to knock into each other. The slapping of the ground is still essential.


Shut up and teach

12 Jul 2007

Taekwondo Do san: Rising Block

Rising Block. Chukyo Marki. Age Uke.

The first two belts, and as highlighted in previous blog posts, we used the lower block and the middle block to strike downward and sideways on an incoming limb. The back (folding) hand typically may add a deflection to the strike and the blocking arm strikes the oncoming limb. Today, we used the rising block to strike the oncoming limb from the underside. It is a nice drill to wrap up a developing theme for the beginning martial art student - and that is that it is not absolutely necessary to strike the body core to do damage to an opponent or an aggressor. Striking the limb hurts badly and because that limb is attached to the rest of the opponent may ultimately affect the opponent's centre of gravity so that follow up strikes or throws will add a coup de grace to your defence.

The upper block strike to the underside of the arm should be preceded with a lowered centre of gravity, a dropped head in order to go under the attacking limb, and your using the back hand to add to the deflection of the oncoming strike. One major problem I've noticed is for the beginner to move their feet, arch their back backwards and then perform the technique. My suggestion is for them to think to 'sink and surge' - or sink their COG forwards first before pushing forward with their legs.

Also the blocking tool should not be a reactive or static technique. It should go outward and toward the opponent in order for you to proactively meet the force before that striking force is amplified at the point of its target.

This drill is applicable either against an upper body or lower body striking limb. It is best used against an attack above the shoulder line. The user needs to ensure that COG is kept low and HAS to drop the forehead forward to mitigate against the probability that the initial deflection misses.


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