Dan-gun: Is a Block Just a Block?

I though to highlight a recent response from my friend Dan in my post Dan-gun: Applying the Up Block as a Taekwondo Technique. I think there is always the chance that a beginner or intermediate student might dismiss the first few lessons or techniques they learn because they think that a basic technique might not have the efficiacy or lethality necessary in the martial arts. This mindset is wrong. Every bit of your martial arts, karate or taekwondo program is useful dependant on how you apply those techniques to accomplish certain goals. I have personally seen basic techniques blossom after practicing them over 25 years. It's really a testimony to how much you can get from the martial arts irrespective of your age. (see Keeping on the Path of Traditional Taekwondo

Dan Djurdjevic said...
Funnily enough, just last night we were doing a lot of sparring and I wondered which block I used most frequently. I took careful note of what I was doing and found that the upper block was by far the most useful!!!

Colin Wee said...
I was in a tough dojo once upon a time and neck deep sparring this one training partner, a real battler. He was close to knocking me out with a spinning backfist - 'close' in that if I had left my guarding hand next to my head, the backfist would probably have penetrated through that meager defence. Luckily, I decided to put an up block there ... which stopped the backfist cold. It was then I realised that I had been using a variation of the up block to cover the front (similar to the basic technique) as well as the side of the head (a little like a vertical elbow). Previous to that I had always dismissed the technique as only the 'prescribed' method of blocking someone stabbing downwards with a knife -- which isn't a very good basic application at all. Nowadays the up block has taken on a whole different level of lethality for me. It's turned out to be a good little block after all. :-) Colin

Dan on Control v Missing - check out his amazing video on the upper block

Colin Wee
Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]


Patrick Parker said…
I really enjoyed that story about being neck deep with a battler and learning a new appreciation for a rising block.

A lot of times I approach randori as a thing that I do to train my subconscious. I sort of 'just do it' without thinking too much about the outcomes. As a result I have a hard time articulating the 'AHA! moments' when I learn something in randori.

Don't know if that's the way it should be (just do it) or if I should put more of my analytical mind into randori??? I giess time will tell...

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