Won-Hyo: Defensive Side Kick

Won-hyo Steps 7-8 Defensive Side-kick
See also Won-hyo Side Kick

Our green belts did a drill off Taekwondo's Won-hyo last night - a defensive side kick from steps 7-8 against an opponent reaching out to strike or grab with the hand. Opponent steps forward and reaches out with the hand. Defender slaps hand down, shifts COG on back foot, and performs a defensive kick to opponent's ribs.

Like all other taekwondo drills, this is of course repeated a few times. When I came to check, one of the students had returned to a 'fighting stance' with COG on the back foot. This should not be the case. To reduce telegraphing your intentions, you need to adopt an aggressive fighting stance that means business. Any opponent will think twice to step within a range where you can hit him with a hand technique. This means the student needs to look like he's going to lash out with either hand for a knockout blow ... not have his COG on back foot so that only his front foot looks 'dangerous'.

The shifting of COG from front to back leg when you perform the slap down on the striking hand then allows you to get your front leg off the ground properly. If opponent comes light on (read: being nice or not committed), it is easy to throw a standard penetrative side kick. You do this by bring the front knee up (like performing a front kick), and sending the foot out to the ribs.

If the opponent is rushing at you and applies much greater forward pressure, distances will be shortened immensely and you will not be able to extend your leg comfortably with the standard side kick. This is the reason why each side kick in Won-hyo is set up differently! With the distances between the two players closed, the student has to keep his front knee close to the back supporting knee. The heel of the kicking foot is then lifted up toward the target and 'mule kicked' out and upwards to wards the ribs.


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