Training Warriors for the 21st Century

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

31 May 2008

Koryu Uchinadi HAPV 2 Person Drills Seminar

I had the immense pleasure of being invited by Kancho Nenad Mazzali to the new Wu Wei Dao Traditional Fighting Arts Academy Hombu in Bayswater today for a fantastic seminar by Renshi Chris Mazzali 6th Dan.

Can I brag about how good my day was? Firstly, Kancho Nenad's new dojo is absolutely fantastic. Good comfortable size, very nicely done up (on the verge of being trendy but not quite), and with excellent wooden floor boards. Now this is a man who is proud of what he does, the place he's set up, and you could see the happiness and satisfaction beaming from him!

Meeting Renshi Chris was like meeting an old friend again. Really a great guy, friendly, confident, an excellent all round teacher. I knew from the warm ups that it was going to be a fantastic seminar. He creates a good rapport with the class, communicates well, and has an amazing range of warmup and drill excercises. The best thing? He uses fantastic analogies! Few instructors in my mind do that well - he does.

Renshi Chris was introducing Shihan Patrick McCarthy's HAPV 2 Person drills. While these are not new to me, they do not appear in our core practice; the drills are an excellent way to learn block or lock flow with a second partner.

Renshi Chris taught us two sets of HAPV drills, and introduce concepts throughout the session. He was extremely generous with his time. We were to have originally gone from 11:30am to 1pm, but the class was extended to 3pm instead! What a fantastic bonus.

Throughout the session he would try to link his techniques to natural movements and to those stylised movements we learn from basic karate kihon or taekwondo techniques. He liked it when I compared one of the drills to the opening sequence of tekki.

All in all, it was a great training session, made all the better by the fact I wasn't teaching, and didn't feel responsible for anyone (even though I had a student there).

It's a shame there were only 2 non-Wu Wei Dao participants. At $20, this was a fantastic opportunity to share time with a very very good instructor. If you're in Perth, you should check out the Wu Wei Dao news blog for their latest events.


Hanshi McCarthy's HAPV Drills and other Martial Arts Videos on Youtube

28 May 2008

Self Defence - A Basic Taekwondo Perspective on How to Be Effective when Fear Strikes

Self Defence

I typically like to start the semester with a break from the taekwondo syllabus and focus on practical self defence drills. Lately I've been remiss due to the amount of material we need to cover. However, we got to do a close quarter drill last night involving a head butt, elbow to the face/neck, and knee strike into the nags or thigh. It was well received and the self defence drill flowed smoothly and I was able to expand on challenges and key points for success.

At one point, we talked about the exhalation of breath with the strike and compression of the body. Compression meaning as I exhale, I tighten the abs in order for the top half of my body to be more connected to the bottom half of my body - thus increasing the mass supporting any strike to the opponent. I then asked about the reasoning behind why we breath the way we do. I was extremely proud of the response - yes, in an aggressive encounter fear is going to affect the student practitioner badly, and the forcible breaths out help to keep the body primed for action.

This is exactly why we focus on breathing and always force the breath out with any defensive, offensive, or other tactical movement. Fear causes a surge in adrenaline. This adrenaline dump causes the body to take shallow breaths, narrows your vision, clams up your mouth, gives you the shakes, and basically robs you of our effectiveness to self defence. What does it mean? It means that whatever technique you launch is not going to be a significant show stopper - and your aggressor (who is probably going to be a seasoned and violent crim) will wipe the floor with your butt.

Relying on your basic taekwondo or karate training means first using larger abdominal muscles to force your breath out, re-oxygenating your blood, relaxing your tensed up muscles and allowing you have the wherewithal to perform self defence techniques. This helps you get over the 'hump' -- your own psychological barrier preventing self defence action. Relying on basic training also means bringing your hands up in a 'please don't hurt me stance,' drops your chin, and corrects your centre of gravity.

Most of all, relying and having faith in your basic self defence training means recreating the EXACT conditions of timing, distance, and subterfuge that is practiced in our training hall. The example is that if we practiced an elbow at this very close range if if you try to hit the aggressor at a longer range with this one technique, you're going to fail and mess up your chances to escape. For more on the subterfuge required for self defence, please check out the link at the bottom of the page 'Patrick Parker Brings the Beef'

Lastly, I noted for the headbutt that a successful strike will result in an aggressor being out of commission for maybe a few seconds. So what, I asked then, is the goal of self defence? I stated that an aggressor needs to be shut down for several minutes. This is a way to communicate how much force your entire body needs to generate when hitting an opponent -- and how you have got to hit the opponent more than once if necessary to make your point.

See a follow up to this post Taekwondo Self Defence Setup.


Traditional Taekwondo Self Defence Links
Women Self Defence
Martial Arts and Self Defence
Nat from TDA Training Asked if I am Causing Conflict ...
Martial Arts Against Martial Arts (The Best Blog Post)
Aikido Philosophy, Taekwondo Technique ... Is it possible???
Self Defence: Trained v Untrained
Your Nuts With Taekwondo
Basic Taekwondo Perspective on Self Defence - How to Be Effective when Fear Strikes
Poomse teaches proper mental attitude towards self defense by M Clark
Fantastic Self Defence Vid Posted at Mokuren Dojo
The One TKD Book You Must Get, 15 Jan 2008
Martial Arts Blogs
Multi-person Drill
Relying on What You've Got From Traditional Taekwondo
Won-hyo: The Kihon Kata Koma
Black Belt Coaching Course
Taekwondo Self Defence Against Shoulder Grab from Behind
Article: The Best Defence
Always Innovate
I fear for my students
Knife Defence

External Self Defence Links
No One Wants to be a Victim
Carpark Safety for Parents
Child Safety at School
Child Playground Safety
TDA Patrick Parker Brings the Beef
Jujitsu Sensei: What you learn from a punch to the face
Women Self Defence and Gut Instinct
Nat from TDA Asked if I am Causing Conflict
Michele from Just a Thought: Where are the Men?
Child Safety means Self Defence Training
It's Okay to Hit Bullies
Women Self Defence Tips

14 May 2008

Taekwondo Do san: Front Kick Drill

This drill is done in an open stance to get feedback on how the front kick lands on a human target. The striking area is on the side of the oblique abdominal muscles above the belt line.

Problems yesterday encountered:
1. Kicking too hard
2. Kicking too high
3. Kicking with sub-optimal foot position
4. Guarding hands not providing coverage

THe kick is done as a way to get feedback from the opponent, having a balanced power output and not kicking the opponent too hard means you can kick him many more times before he gets fedup of the entire exercise. Furthermore, kicking light to moderate allows you to calibrate distance and accuracy to 'group' the kicks onto the target area.

Much of the problem last night stemmed from just wanting to kick. Many people ... beginners, just focus on the primary kicking motion. Unfortunately, with the upward front kicking leg snap, this means that the kick seems to be travelling upward. So instead of kicking the side of the abs, you end up kicking your opponent's chest. With this trajectory, little penetration or effect will occur. This drill is about driving the kick horizontal and punching or punctuating the upward motion with a forward thrust. The strike is perpendicular to the body - not something to give your opponent a breast lift.

Front Kick as Hard as a Side Kick


7 May 2008

Taekwondo Do san: Front Kick

Beginning the Front Kick

Last night, my newly promoted orange belt was working on her front kick. The front kick is aimed towards an opponent standing in front of you, as opposed to an opponent grabbing onto you. This means that the kicking foot is flexed forward in order to strike the body of a standing opponent. Notice how beginners would figure the kicking motion out quickly - meaning to get the right balance and power that the kick goes out smoothly and comes back without too much wobbling. However, most beginners, especially those working on 'traditional' technique forget to 1) engage hip movement to generate power, and 2) have great difficulty in keeping the COG low. Hips have got to be rotated in order that the kicking motion is driven by body mass without hip movement, you're only kicking with the leg, rather than the whole body. Keeping the COG low and not stand up whilst kicking allows you to control the supporting leg and drive yourself forward as you remain connected with the ground.

Colin Wee
Joong Do Kwan Chung Sah Nim
[Traditional Taekwondo Blog | Subscribe | FAQs | Sitemap | FaceBook]
And help us rank on Google by clicking the '+1' icon, why don't you?
How much do you know of Taekwondo? Come take our Taekwondo quiz to find out.

3 May 2008

Re-acquainting myself with Kwang-gae

It's good to see my old pal Jon Alster, 13-14 years younger on A-Kato's official forms DVD performing Kwang-gae. I've been remiss and haven't practiced a lot of my upper belt Taekwondo forms, choosing to focus on the Karate Kata instead. In the last week, I've done the form maybe half a dozen times or more a day. After not doing the form for more than a year or so, it took me about two days to get reacquainted with it.

BTW - please check out GM Keith Yate's new book Complete Guide to American Karate and Tae Kwon Do. I have ordered myself a copy, and I'm really looking forward to it.

It's my turn to disappoint the class. I've cancelled tomorrow's training because I'm going on a survival course!

Have fun kids!