Won-hyo: Defending Against a Kick Punch Combination

Most normal people, having access to most common weapons, will mostly attack you in predicatable ways.

One of those ways to gap close, is to kick (as a long or mid range weapon) and then punch (as a mid or short range weapon).

Today we did a taekwondo green belt drill from Won-hyo defending against standard martial arts kicks to centreline, and defence against either same side or opposite side punch. This was taken off step 19 of Taekwondo's Won-hyo tul: a step forward in forward balance and reverse scoop block with right hand.

The scoop block is modified from the kata by allowing the body to turn more freely - allowing the elbow to cross the centreline, and allowing the arm and forearm a better angle to deflect the kick. Without more torso freedom, the block does not travel enough and is not very effective. After performing the lower half of the scoop, the arm continues its circular path and is used to block the punch at face level.

Here the scoop block is performed like a mid block. The point of it is not to use 'arm only' power, but to strike the oncoming punch with the dropping weight of the body. Sideways and downward motion supported by the weight of the body makes the Yop marki 'middle' block an effective combat technique -- without which it remains a big question mark. In fact, just try it ... get a buddy to hold out his arm and perform the mid block on the inside of his forearm, dropping your entire body weight on the arm as you strike it with your forearm. Make sure to lock up your muscles upon impact. Now think of the strike on the shoulder or neck. This is not a light weight backfist to the nose kids - this is heavy!

Gap closing at the start of the technique, when you first see the opponent starting the kick allows you to block the kick and then perform this middle block against the opponent's upper body before he is allowed to regain centre of gravity. This application makes the move a very powerful traditional taekwondo technique.

Scoop block versus kick punch combo

If you check out my previous post on the topic, you can see I referred to 'natural motions' through Taekwondo patterns. I've been looking for natural and reiterative motions through patterns in order to increase the effectiveness of students performing the same technique against many different strikes. This helps reduce learning time and increase the ability of the student to do something that may reduce the consequences of getting it wrong. This scoop block drill is part of a bag of related 'tricks' that the student can rely on both in the martial arts dojo or on the street.

Colin Wee
Traditional Taekwondo Technique Workshop


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