Punching Drill: Same-side Jab, Opposite Cross (How not to do it if you are a Taekwondo practitioner)

The drill we did yesterday was a single count left step forward jab with lead hand and cross punch with back hand on '1'. '2' does the drill on the right.

The hands are held high, not jaw height, but temple high. Holding it at the jaw is great if you have gloves on. But it won't stop anything if you were fighting empty hand. Elbows are pulled close to the chest to cover solar plexus and ribs.

The jab punch skill starts at 8th Kyu or when you're learning Dan-gun for our school. The jab is not the same centreline extension as the basic lunge punch. The jab gets your elbow raised and utilises shoulder rotation to generate power. The cross requires hip and shoulder rotation in order to strike at the right reach and distance.

After about 20m of drilling this line, the step that we were taking was lengthened in order to make this jab cross effective for real engagements. The step drag routine was discussed - the front foot sliding forward across the wooden floor was too easy. We introduced another thought - that of sliding the foot forward on uneven territory. So the front foot is pushed forward with outer blade of the foot pointing straight ahead. In normal walking, the inside of the foot points forward. We point our foot inward in order to use leg muscles to drive ourselves forward. For uneven ground, we also need to pick the toes up - like how the nose of the plane rises in order that the wheels hit the ground correctly.

Taking the longer step forward you see an immediate problem - most people end up weighting their COG on their back foot. Now - if you wanted to intimidate your opponent you need to make him think that you are going to smack him in the face with your fists. Doesn't matter if you're going to try and break his kneecaps with a kick - you must be weighted forward in order to use your hands.

Taekwondo practitioners listen up - in a combat situation you need to launch your kicks whilst looking as though you are going to punch your opponent out!!! That means more weight on your front foot and back foot poised to push you ahead. Not leaning backwards and favouring your speedy roundhouse kick or your back kick to save the day!

Also for god's sake ... your hands need to be up and your head needs to be down and tucked in! The last thing you want to do is announce to the world that you're a taekwondo look-at-me-just-like-what-you-saw-at-the-Olympics black belt. It is not going to save you. (Especially if your opponent is a referee or some sporting judge).

Once breathing starts being rhythmic we changed the exercise and got people to do the drills backward. This is for when an aggressor is in your face, pushes you backward and comes at you. So students get a target stuck right at their faces and on my count step back and fire off two shots.

Continuation post at Do San Defending Against Straight Arm Blast


Patrick Parker said…
Hey, great technique commentary. Here's my follow-up:

Colin Wee said…
Why thanks, Pat. BTW - you should make your link a clickable link.

Everyone - Pat's post can be found at Don't Just Do Tsuki Forever.

In fact, Pat's Tsuki post is spurring me to come up with my own follow up -- defence against the jab cross. I'll do that over the next few posts.


Bob Patterson said…
"Also for god's sake ... your hands need to be up and your head needs to be down and tucked in!"

This should be on a patch and there should be a rule that any takwondoist has to wear it! Ha!
Colin Wee said…
Too right. Anyone listening?

Anonymous said…
Yep, I am listening. That's why I do kickboxing and not taekwondo. Basically kickboxing is the result of karate and taekwondo being used in the ring with gloves and full-contact. That's when they realized alot of the classical stuff simply doesn't work against somebody who's honestly trying to take your head off: your hands should always be guarding your head as soon as you're in striking-distance to the opponent, the shin should be down at all times and you should be crouching down in order to make yourself less vulnerable and offer the least amount of possible targets to the opponent. Not protecting the head and adopting a classical stance (forward stance with one hand at the hip) is what is going to get you knocked out. I don't see what the big deal is with taekwondo anyway: sure they're great at kicks and very flexible but over half of those kicks (especially the jumping and spinning variants) are next to useless in a fight and might actually make you very vulnerable to counterattack. But I guess that's what you get when a MA degenerates into a point-based competition sport or a form of higher atlethics. In kickboxing and certainly muay-thai only a few kicks are used and that's because they work, not because they look pretty. Kinda like the exact opposite of taekwondo.

However I do like the style that's being used by the Korean military: that's hardcore training meant to injure or even kill another human-being and the open handed techniques of original taekwondo (knifehand, spearhand) are pretty deadly and highly effective. Too bad modern taekwondo left all that behind (even punches): it's sad when even black belts can't fight anymore but only dance around eachother (exposing vital targets like the kidneys or groin that would be easy pickings in a real fight) trying to tap eachother with their feet. I once saw a sparring-match between a kickboxer (a friend of mine, started training less than a year ago) and a 3d dan taekwondoka: at first the kickboxer didn't really know what to do with the flurry of kicks coming at him (he did the sensible thing and just covered up) but then he started lowkicking his opponent's tigh: after three kicks the guy was out and couldn't stand up anymore. That's what real kicking is designed for: functionality and not aesthetics or show.
Colin Wee said…
You make many valid points in this post. No discounting the logic. This post is in fact not as rude as the previous two.

Thanks for taking the time.


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