Training Warriors for the 21st Century

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

27 Dec 2010

Eyes Wide with Shooting Pain Shows Me You Understand

I had a fighter come to my school a while back.

He shared with me an overview of his experience and his exposure to several fighting arts.

I insisted to show him Taekwondo's basic blocks. Chukyo marki, yop marki, hardan marki - Taekwondo's staple techniques.

The application of the blocks however, seem to be done very differently to what he's used to. Against a punch, a grab, or an attempted arm control - the folds of the blocks were done as limb strikes. No I didn't go for joint strikes - didn't have to. My elbows connected with his forearms, his wrists, the back of his hands, and fingers. The pull back hand? Provided me the other side of the 'jam sandwich'.

You could see the look in his eyes as the pain shot up his arm directly into his brain.

It's not like I've not talked about block applications like this before. My point is - I earned my black belt at 17yo, and it took me literally years ... yonks ... to return to these basic lessons, and to learn them correctly. My implications of the use of the word 'correctly' is to use such basic techniques to get every ounce of power and striking force as possible from them. We should see them as the lethal techniques they are - and not for them to be neglected for other more 'advanced' techniques which might be better used in a point scoring competition.

Link



-- Colin Wee Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia. Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB.

18 Dec 2010

Amateur Hour

Move aside instructors, it's amateur hour.

Call for a front kick. Amateurs think of only the foot and putting as much power into the leg as it strikes the bag.

Think about a jab. The amateurs again only focus on their fist and flip it out. Their elbows are low, and the punch is only powered by tricep strength.

In my hard style system, power is generated by body mass and momentum. A good stable stance is only good to propel the mass of your body toward your opponent. The breath out tenses the abs so that there is transmission of power from the lower body into the upper body. Finally, the upper body tenses in order to send the power of the entire body through the respective weapon.

The weapon is the last bit of the equation, and is chosen for it's tactical advantage.

The weapon should not be thought of first.

Unless of course, it's amateur hour.

-- Colin Wee Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia. Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB.

12 Dec 2010

Taekwondo Yul-guk: Side Kick and Cover

I could talk about the side kick from Won-hyo, but I won't.

The side kick from Won-hyo is introduced as either a proactive attack-based kick or a defensive kick.


Just found this really cute video of this kid doing Yul-guk ...

What I wanted to talk about was of a side kick that gets you to attack an opponent and attack again. That means, your opponent has tried to hit you, is hitting you, or will hit you. You are going to perform a side kick, deal with his attack and then counter.

You cannot do this unless you are prepared to cover and defend yourself during the kick itself. Look at the side kick from Taekwondo Pattern Yul-guk. One hand is extended, and there is the retraction of the chambered fist. Something is going on! Furthermore, after the kick is launched and retracted, the practitioner is required to counter with an elbow strike either to the neck or head.

What is the main place that beginners s*** themselves on? It is during the side kick when your hands are flung every which way. The front hand is swung to the back. The back hand is swung away from the body. You're just flailing around with your hands. This is no good at all. You need to keep your hands between you and the opponent at all times. Whatever kick you launch, you need to have the leg raised by hip muscle alone. The upper body should not move and should not telegraph any kick. If you have to move your upper body you are doing the kick wrongly.

The hands should - as a rule of thumb - be either up or down. One hand up, the other down. You should try protecting both your head and groin at the same time, and interchange your hands whilst doing the kick. Yep - it's not easy is it? But don't ... and get kicked there, and it's GAME OVER. There's no point in dreaming of other ways to end the fight, because your fight will be over for you.

Links



-- Colin Wee Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia. Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB. See Colin's other site SuperParents.

10 Dec 2010

Front Kick as Hard as a Side Kick

Colin, circa 1992 - raising that foot to the highest it's ever been.


If the front kick were 'leg only,' you'll only be able to hit as hard as the proportionate power from the muscles in your leg.

A teacher told me once that the side kick is the most difficult, non-gimmicky kick to do correctly. It is also the most powerful. It can be one of the benchmarks to measure all other basic kicks in terms of striking power.

Most beginners focus only on the lower aspect of the leg whilst kicking. Similarly most beginners focus on the end bit of the weapon when trying to generate power. For instance, if punching, they'll focus on the fist. If kicking they'll focus on the leg extending. In my school, I try to emphasize the power from most basic techniques coming from the ground up.

Stable base. Dynamic leg action. Knee drop. Hip twist. Breathing out. Abdominal tension. Shoulder rotation. Tightening of muscle structure to focus the strike. And then landing the weapon. See? The weapon is the last to impact. Beginners only think of the last few elements whilst trying to increase power.

For the front kick I was talking about, we want to send body mass through the leg. The leg muscles shouldn't have to work any harder to increase striking power exponentially. The support leg has got to be supple and dynamic. A stiff support leg is only good to hold you in a standing position. Bending the knee allows much more maneuverability and allows the support leg to push down and backwards on the floor.

The body in a state of forward motion cannot have it's mass transmitted easily if the hips are freely rotating either clockwise or otherwise. I try to tell beginners to align their hips so that the kicking leg is directly in front of the support leg. If you kick like you're doing some red army march, you'll see the kicking leg quite unaligned to the support leg. On point of impact there's going to be some triangulation occurring. Reducing this triangle allows you to transmit body mass through the hip and into the kicking leg.

If the kicking leg is kicking forward, what does the support leg do? The support leg has to drive into the ground and push back as hard as you're intending on going forward. Part of this is to shift body weight towards the opponent so the support leg doesn't have to do so much work. But you can't think that the kicking leg is doing all the work. You're learning a system aren't you? Well, this is the system. Everything is connected!

On point of impact you'll need to follow through and maintain optimal muscle tension. Are you kicking the shield or the person holding it? Stopping the leg on the wrong surface doesn't allow you to feel how to apply your power correctly.

Good luck!  

Links



-- Colin Wee Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia. Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB.

1 Dec 2010

Martial Arts Effectiveness and Religion

I'm talking through my hat when I say there are many instructors who extend their martial art practices to include not only spiritual growth, but religious thinking.

Much of good martial arts training focuses on combat effectiveness but also covers ancillary aspects of personal growth. I would like to think that this is a value add aspect of the training and in fact beneficial to combat effectiveness. Engaging in combat requires a person to be able to mentally focus on the task at hand (overcoming the opponent and reduction of risk) whilst being confronted with physical and mental intimidation.

Spiritual growth through the various forms of meditation and dedication through training creates maturity but more importantly is an activity that allows the practitioner to 'get into the zone.' Getting into the zone or mentally focused for optimal performance is an accepted part of modern sporting endeavours - but has been included in traditional training for a very long time.

Where we nowadays identify this aspect of traditional martial arts as being part of 'spiritual growth,' it was probably not always like this. Martial arts, mostly influenced by Asian culture, has practices intertwined with cultural norms. Where we now practice things such as bowing or other reverential motions or intonations, back in the day this was part of normal everyday living.

So when I visit a modern day martial art studio with instructors that have no cultural background that is similar to the source of its lineage AND I see that the instructor has taken some liberties to include additional religious information along with his training - I have to fight to keep a straight face.

I feel that very little value is added to 'accepted' practises leading to spiritual growth by forcing students to ingest semi-religious concepts labelled as Buddhist, Zen, Taoist, or what have you. Worse is to propagate these concepts in the name of Budo. Somewhat bad is to decorate your dojo with religious artifact to hint at a higher level purpose of your style.

If you want to transmit a religion, transmit a religion. Don't disguise it as a martial arts class.

And for goodness sake, if you find yourself having to continue talking about pseudo-religious Buddhist thought, at least please read about it. It's not at all about waving joss and bowing to a Buddha statue!

Please convince me that I'm talking through my hat. Anyone?

Links



-- Colin Wee Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia. Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB.

1 Nov 2010

FAQs

Q. Why do you do persist with 'traditional' training?
A real traditional system is actually one way to create a progressive, pragmatic, and goal-oriented mindset. Think about this - no pioneering martial art personality in history seeks to be dated or bound by limitations.

My lineage of Taekwondo predates ITF, and was not involved in either ITF or WTF machinations in the 20th century. Initially, I labelled myself as 'Traditional Taekwondo' to distinguish my school from other Taekwondo systems who've since evolved significantly away from the way practitioners such as myself practice our systems.

The word 'Tradition' sometimes connotates a stasis or a preservation or an unchanging of our system. This is not what we have sought to do. While we celebrate the lineage by keeping the patterns unchanging - performing them as we have received them, the essence of the hyung has guided us to address our tactical strengths and weaknesses.

We want it to be real. And we want the system to rise up to such challenges.

In saying so, there are changes along the way, but such changes celebrate the hyung, not diminish it. This is the kind of change which is what we have come to embrace. See My Traditional TaekwondoThe Problem with Hard Style Systems like Karate and Taekwondo and ... and that's found in Traditional Taekwondo? Also see the fantastic article by Hanshi Tony Anessi 'Killing the Art by Preserving It'.

Q. How do you see Joong Do Kwan Tae Kwon Do differing from modern Taekwondo schools?
Superficially, it is the equal use of both hands and feet. Tactically, we aim to engage opponents at mid to close range. We aim to shut them down by anticipating the attack, and curtailing their ability to launch counter measures against our own tactics. It is not simply just the fact we're doing everyone that's not allowed under sporting rules - the end goal influences our training, and how we tap into traditional methods.

Q. How do you see Joong Do Kwan Tae Kwon Do differing from Japanese Karate?
Anytime you have an over-institutionalised training methodology, there are huge benefits of injecting innovation and relaxedness to allow for greater self exploration and adoption of natural movement. While we adhere to Karate's Kihon-Kata-Kumite for some of our training, two drawbacks of Karate have always been its line drills and the prescribed (read 'contrived') official bunkai or pattern analysis. JDK seeks to break free from such rigidity.

Q. Who's behind this blog?
Colin Wee started training in 1983, got his first black belt in 1987, started training in American Karate and Taekwondo in 1991, and started Joong Do Kwan in Perth in the year 2000. Colin has trained on three continents and in three styles. Since 2003 Colin has worked tirelessly to research and promote meaning and applications of Taekwondo's Chang Hon pattern set. Colin is ranked 6th Dan through his affiliation with MLCAA Director Hanshi Tim White since 2003. Colin holds a 3rd Dan from his direct instructor Master Bryan Robbins from American Karate and Taekwondo Organisation. See Man of Tradition: Australian Taekwondo Magazine Interview, with additional links on the history of Taekwondo.

Q. Do you do link exchanges?
See the Link Exchange Page for more information.

Q. Where else can I find martial arts information like this?
There's a really good martial arts blog directory at Black Belt Wiki.

Q. Where are you located?
Joong Do Kwan has been based in Perth, Western Australia since 2000. We have typically operated out of rental facilities; the last venue was St Margaret's in Nedlands, WA. Temporarily, we have moved classes to a private address nearby.


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26 Sep 2010

The first precept of Sensei Gichin Funakoshi by Mireille Clark

" Karate begins with courtesy and ends with courtesy."

Trash talk is common in many sports. Verbal insults, swear words, and threats are sent towards one's opponents in order to "psych out" or intimidate their opponents. It is done to unnerve, distract, frighten, and/or lower the confidence of the person in order to gain an advantage. Talking trash talk also seems to help motivate, and build up the person sending the insults. This behavior happens despite the fact that each sport has sanctions against disrespecting one's opponent. Why does this happen? Because the benefits of using this competitive "tool" outweighs the penalties that might occur. "By distracting and unnerving their opponents, while arousing themselves at the same time, athletes hope to shift the sometimes fine line between victory and defeat. As LoConto and Roth explained, "The goal is demean opponents and cause enough imbalance to diminish their performance"" Website

Read more: http://www.faqs.org/periodicals/201009/2111895311.html#ixzz10eJrBliP

Young athletes learn by the age of 11 years old from their peers, opponents, parents, and even coaches that trash talk is not only effective, and accepted, but that it is a desired behavior and attitude. According to studies, 42% of boys, and 22% of girls felt that it was acceptable to trash talk their opponents, and this number may be rising.

Traditional Martial Arts training however stresses the opposite behavior. We are exhorted to control our emotions, de-escalate violence, avoid engaging in the fight if possible, and show respect at all times. I believe that this is due to the understanding that we are not training in a sport where no one is injured at the end of the confrontation. According to Sensei Gichin Funakoshi, "When two tigers fight, one is certain to be maimed, and one to die."

When we are placed in a self defense situation, we have to be ready to do whatever is necessary to survive because our opponent is seeking to harm us. It is not an accumulation of points, or goals that we are hoping to achieve, we need to walk away from that moment with our lives intact. This may mean breaking limbs, gouging eyes, even killing the attacker since they are threatening our lives.

We need to feel a deep respect for what we can do, and would do if placed in that situation, and therefore we seek to de- escalate violence as much as possible.

In a website dedicated to prison staff learning how to control violent behavior in inmates it emphasizes "NEVER THREATEN: Once you have made a threat or given an ultimatum you have ceased all negotiations and put yourself in a potential win lose situation."website

Verbal de-escalation techniques is to use closed sentences that stops conversation as responses to questions sent in your direction:

"If you're asked “What are you looking at?” the easy answer is to say something along the lines of, "Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you were someone I knew. My mistake, sorry," and start to move away. If after this the guy pursues the issue, you know he is just out for a fight and you must then prepare for self defense. To reduce the ‘squeaky voice’ effect common when you get a heightened level of adrenaline in your system, look down slightly as you speak. Looking upwards makes your voice squeakier.

Making open statements only invites more conversation. If someone has engaged you in a verbal confrontation, they haven't yet justified in their mind a physical attack. They may still be trying to figure you out as a fighter, looking to distract you to set you up for a proactive strike, or simply cannot yet justify physically attacking you yet. What they are looking is for a reason, and using open statements and questions keeps you in the conversation longer. Give yourself more rope, and eventually they'll find a reason to escalate to a full out attack."
website

Therefore, you respect yourself enough that you do not need to defend your pride, masculinity/femininity or honor against their insults. You respect your opponent enough that you chose not to confront them if unnecessary, and you allow them the option to desist. You focus on your goal of walking away safely from any potentially dangerous situation as quickly as possible. If the situation comes that you must fight, then you make sure that you are the tiger that goes home. You do not spend your time or energy with words, but go straight into action.

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22 Sep 2010

Taekwondo's Fighting Stance

We're all in a Taekwondo fighting stance. Weight is more or less equal on both feet, with a little more on the front foot. Hands up up for coverage, chin is tucked in for support. There's optimal tension in our bodies. You hear the count, "1," and you lean back, bring your knee up, send your hips out, and fire off the front kick. Then you snap it back like a champion, and set it back on the ground.

Except you're not longer in a fighting stance. Your COG is now on your back foot. Your hands were flapping around, and you're not covered as well as you were before.

Line drills notoriously screw around with your brain. You get to the line and you typically switch off thinking about what you're trying to do. That's why you need to visualise your opponent in front of yourself. In Taekwondo, there is NO POINT just kicking for the sake of kicking. You need to aim and tactically launch a kick that's going to land. If there is no angle of entry or target exposure, don't fire a kick or make to strike the opponent. It's foolish.

So at the line, after you fire off what you've got to fire off, you have to force yourself back into a Taekwondo fighting stance. The opponent must always be kept guessing as to what you've got to do. Favouring a side kick or back kick or roundhouse kick without thinking about it is not to your advantage. Unless of course that is what you want your opponent to think!

Keep kicking!




-- Colin Wee Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia. Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB.

13 Sep 2010

Jumping Side Kick

One of the kicking Jumping Side Kick drills I wanted my green and blue belts to practise on Sunday's practise was what my old master would call a 'split' side kick. Essentially a small jump, folding both legs close to the body, and landing both support leg and kicking leg at the same time.



What I wanted to see was sharp crisp movements. I didn't need to see air time or huge jumps. I wanted the legs to be pulled in tighter to the body and the kick and landing to be at the same time.

Kicking for sparring is not like that. You stretch out much more. You are more relaxed. You try to get your kicking speed increased. Etc. etc. etc.

But kicking for self defence needs the legs to respond to you irrespective of what you wear, what foot wear you've got on, and the opponent is not waiting for you to make a mistake. The kick has got to short and sharp. Your legs have got to return you back to fighting position and you've got to be ready to cover and strike with your hands.

That's little place for a kick to return back to the ground at it's own time. It needs to be snapped back quickly and your COG has got to be returned to fighting position.

The last time I talked about the jumping side kick, I told my intermediate belts -- the jump is more for tactical advantage than to get your kick up to the horse-riders level. Forget Hollywood. If your opponent thinks you're jumping to kick his head, you should hold your kick back until you land and then break his ankle.

Enough said. :-)

See other posts on the Taekwondo Side Kick at Calibrating the Side Kick.

Cheers,

Colin

-- Colin Wee Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia. Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB.

2 Sep 2010

Taekwondo Non-contact Sparring Exercise

I took a page out of the Judo club's training book last weekend for our taekwondo sparring training. When I see my children at their Judo class, they're trying their hardest at 'randori' which is similar to freestyle sparring for Judo kas. They're not intimidated by their opponents nor scratching their head wondering what to do.



So last weekend I told everyone that sparring training was going to be light with no contact. This doesn't mean flippity flip techniques or speedy gonzales footwork - movements should be smooth and fluid. I also invited them to let their opponent slip some techniques through - their job was to observe the technique, work on movement, coverage and to continue steady deliberate breathing. They were also supposed to play with their techniques - fire off things they've never done before. Use your left side. Your right side. Mix it up.

The session was some of the best we've seen in recent times. It gave us a good cardio workout, but also allowed us to 'free our minds' ... to use techniques that we do in slower drills, but with good control. Techniques were tight and focused. Best - no one got hurt AND they weren't afraid of getting hurt.

Keep training, folks!

Click on Taekwondo Sparring Posts for more information on the topic.

Colin
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2 Aug 2010

Always Innovate

Taekwondo, all martial arts, is about overcoming obstacles. It's not necessarily about beating the opponent senseless. Check out this video of a bouncer dealing with a very aggressive customer.



Link to Self defence posts

-- Colin Wee Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia. Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB.

22 Jul 2010

My Review of Shotokan's Secret

Please see my review of Shotokan's Secret Expanded Version at Amazon. As I said, the book is a "treasure trove" of information, and despite my practising Taekwondo, am enthusiastically recommending it to anyone who is a serious martial art practitioner.

Links



-- Colin Wee Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia. Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB.

19 Jul 2010

Chon-ji Step 1 & 2: No Opponent Wants to Get Hit

Sooner or later in Taekwondo, you'll find yourself in front of an opponent in a sparring session. Many meginners have real difficulty starting this aspect of their martial arts training. You fumble trying to decide what technique to use and how to land it, you're scared of getting hit, and you're trying to figure out how to not get hit. When you think of moving you might move left and right, and if  you're really jumpy - you might backpedal when your opponent surges in to you.

This is a real problem of standup fighting - an opponent not rooted in the ground can move around! And even if you can land a strike on your opponent, he might relax and absorb the strike and/or backpedal. Yesterday we practiced a basic skill - grabbing on to the opponent before striking. In Taekwondo pattern Chon-ji, the first move is a down block to the left. Before the lunge punch starts - the down block is extended forward in what should only be a reach out into a controlling grip on the opponent - and this is done in order to land a fully committed strike on an that can and may try to move backwards away from you.

So in our drill, we practiced stepping forward and 1) grabbing the opponent's extended arm with palm facing out, and 2) grabbing the opponent's arm held in a combative stance. For both we use a cross handed reach with the back hand (which of course becomes the front hand when you step forward). We then progressed to  grabbing on to the opponent's uniform. This is done slightly differently - instead of just making a circular move to grab onto an extremity, we lunged deep, applied a trap or forward pressure either on opponent's lead hand or straight onto the lapel or shoulder region before getting a control on the opponent's uniform.

When you get a grip - you need to strike immediately using other hand.

Taekwondo Sparring List of Posts
Bulldog's Martial Arts and Me Sparring Post

-- Colin Wee Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia. Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB.

13 Jul 2010

Following Sensei Gichin's 20 precepts by Mireille Clark

Awhile ago, I wrote a posting concerning Sensei Gichin Funakoshi's 16th Precept:

Keeping Safe by Mireille Clark

Lately, I've been focusing my Martial Arts contemplation on these precepts. I have just returned from a 2 week Road Trip to Florida, and through this experience I gained insight on the 7th Precept " Accidents arise from negligence."

I had always assumed this to refer to negligence of attention, and focus. We have seen how distractions, and inattention can cause problems. In fact, I'd wager that most car accidents are caused by this fact.

I'd like to add a different slant on this concept. Deep within us is a quiet small voice that recognizes danger. It's like a sixth sense that whispers to us that something isn't right in the environment. We can't really place what is wrong, but that inner voice insists that we need to be on alert. I believe that we have to pay close attention to that part of us, and listen carefully.

I felt that sort of inner voice moment happening to me. My husband, and I were enjoying a walk around a tourist attraction in Florida, and all was smiles, and joy until deep within me I felt a sense of "danger". I couldn't tell you what was causing this alert. Nothing had seemed to change around me, but I could feel that same inner feeling as if I was being targeted by an opponent during sparring. I decided to listen to that quiet voice. I pulled on my husband's hand saying "I don't feel safe here.. let's go over there." The rest of the day went smoothly, and I set aside this strange moment. The next day, in the news, there was coverage of a tourist being stabbed 4 times in a parking lot by a drug addict. I had to ask myself if my sudden dangerous feeling, and quick change in direction had helped me avoid a similar fate? I can't prove that it had done so, but I can't prove that it didn't.

I found an article on the internet that speaks of Brain studies that have pointed to a "sixth sense" that helps us to avoid danger:

"Following the Asian tsunami, scientists struggled to explain reports that primitive aboriginal tribesmen had somehow sensed the impending danger in time to join wild animals in a life-saving flight to higher ground. A new theory suggests that the anterior cingulate cortex, described by some scientists as part of the brain’s “oops” center, may actually function as an early warning system — one that works at a subconscious level to help us recognize and avoid high-risk situations.

While some scientists discount the existence of a sixth sense for danger, new research from Washington University in St. Louis has identified a brain region that clearly acts as an early warning system — one that monitors environmental cues, weighs possible consequences and helps us adjust our behavior to avoid dangerous situations."


You can read more from this article here: http://scienceblog.com/cms/node/7036

According to this article, the more that you put your brain into moments where you activate this sixth sense, the better you can learn to recognize the signals that it gives. I would suggest that this would mean that experiencing sparring/kumite moments would be essential to developing a sensitivity to that part of your mind that recognizes dangerous cues. I believe that this sensitivity would help you avoid dangerous situations in the future.

Links



-- Mireille Clark

10 Jul 2010

Just Got Criticism for blue-sky Thinking

Check out the criticism I got from a respected author, experienced Taekwondo instructor, and a good friend of mine at Taekwondo Yop Marki with a Vengeance. His response was targeted at a favourite book of mine Shotokan's Secret and a forum that's linked to it. Check out my response at the link above.

That entire forum post is an exercise in fantasy and denial. It badly shows up the authors complete lack of any sense of reality in his martial training.

Fine for him but not ok if he is teaching this rubbish, we all get tarred with the same brush when his students see through it.

We live in the age of pressure testing, via ufc style competition or the influence in our clubs of reality-based defence systems.

People dont just believe because we say so anymore, they can read and watch and research and test.



And when you treat that forum post as a legitimate argument you call your own judgement into question.



I realise you are a fan of this guys work but if you want to teach valid self-defence to anybody, then this entire mode of thinking has to be abandoned.

Martial arts are not magic. Not even a little bit.


-- Colin Wee Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia. Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB.

2 Jul 2010

Shotokan's Secret Expanded Version is Out!

If ever you think that you're lacking inspiration, not knowing where your martial arts is taking you, don't understand why you do martial arts the way you do martial arts, and scratch your head trying to explain certain drills - you know it's time for you to get Shotokan's Secret. The first book I got my hands on contained profound revelations that forever changed the way I practice and teach hard style systems. The book literally confirmed many of the doubts I was having and literally helped me progress my own skills just through the insight it shed on many basic and fundamental issues.

Today, I was honoured to receive the expanded version. Dr Clayton Hanshi was more than generous to have mentioned my in his book - but more importantly, I noted that the additional sections contain amazing new material. From our email conversations, I know he has captured high level martial concepts some of which reflect my own insights from my 26+ years of training. I know no one else who has documented such profound knowledge and wisdom.

I strongly recommend this book to all enthusiasts. I intend on making this a mandatory purchase for my Traditional Taekwondo school.

Find and add Dr Bruce Clayton Hanshi on FaceBook.

Links



-- Colin Wee Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia. Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB.

21 Jun 2010

Women Self Defence

The post No One Wants to be a Victim is a response to true life story of a mummy blogger's post on her horrific experiences being raped by a person she respected and admired. My post features a link back to the original post and also my discussion of the difficulty of self defence and the realities of fear that come from physical intimidation - with or without a weapon. I also list down ways in which to become a tougher target. I'd like to welcome all martial artists over to my parenting blog to give your two cents worth on women self defence and how you could become a tougher target. Please be considerate and sensitive when discussing the subject matter.

Links



-- Colin Wee Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia. Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB.

6 Jun 2010

Knee Strikes and Take Downs

Nicole is currently studying taekwondo patten do-san. So this drill is an extracurricular one that draws on other aspects of her training with us. Gap closing requires her to deflect and slap the oncoming strike away, control opponent, knee strike, shift his weight backwards and take his leg out from under him. The video is of her starting the drill - so you can see the process of learning has just started and the execution speed is still a little tentative (as is the case with the next video). This drill was inspired by Sabumnin Stuart Anslow.

Nicole Knee Strikes

Christian is doing Taekwondo pattern Yul-guk, which has elements of this drill through the form. Step 7 scoop block, the side kick as 'knee', elbow strikes, and the open palm tension presses as deflections are all utilised in this drill. Christian gap closes, strikes, controls, knees the opponent, wraps his arm around the opponent's neck and turns the person to executive yet another elbow on the back of the neck. This drill was inspired taken from Datu Kelly Worden.

Christian Knee Strikes


-- Colin Wee Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia. Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB.

2 Jun 2010

Look at Me, I'm Doing Taekwondo and That's Why I Look as Stiff as a Board

I'm looking at some of the popular articles on my blog like Taekwondo One Step Sparring, Taekwondo Chon-ji Grading Oral Test, Taekwondo Pattern Chon-ji Down Block Drills, and Won-hyo: Kihon Kata Koma, and I'm reflecting on the class I had last weekend. I was doing line drills with two beginners, starting off with lunging backfists, and mixing it up with jabs and loose roundhouse punches on a half step/slide.

One of my students, in trying to emulate all the lessons over the last year (basically white belt to orange), had shoulders straight, back upright and a very mechanical gait. And you know what? It's all due to the system in which we teach. Basically what Bruce Lee termed the 'Classical Mess.' We drill students day in and day out in their first few belt ranks to ensure proper 'focus' - what karate would term 'kime'. That's when you get the body decelerating hard and you've got muscle lock down so that the entire momentum of your body is transmitted into the target.

But is this how you should be fighting all the time? Not on your life. Being able to deal with attacks and to counter requires you to be fluid, and to be responsive. You cannot hope to be responsive if you're stiff as a board, trying to replicate a fore balance whilst going for increased reach, or for body deflection. It's just impossible! Taekwondo and karate is really NOT like this. You only go for muscle lockdown at the point of impact. Before then you should be able to perform your taekwondo and karate as naturally and with a good amount of fluid grace.

Cheers,

Colin

-- Colin Wee Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia. Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB.

24 May 2010

Do You Hate Taekwondo Pattern Yul-guk?

If you are convinced Taekwondo pattern Yul-guk Step 15 and 16 are two horizontal open palm 'pressing' blocks don't read any further.

I suppose pressing blocks may be used as a way to slowly prise aside a clinch or grab or bearhug. My research into patterns or kata also indicates that slower techniques are done slow because of the risk of injury (indicating level of lethality) and thus have to be performed more deliberately with your training partners.

These two techniques are poor examples of pressing blocks. Aside from the main way of teaching them as arm locks (kaitenage and takiotoshi), yesterday we ran a drill that used the two 'pressing blocks' as a takedown involving the control of the opponent's legs.

The Yul-guk Drill

#1 The opponent throws a left lunge punch. Deflect and strike toward the face using your right hand. Reach down with your left hand and wrap your forearm under his leg. Think of a large steering wheel, turn to the right, and drop the opponent onto his back.

#2 The opponent throws a right lunge punch. Deflect and strike toward his face using your right hand. Wrap your right hand around his neck and tuck his neck under your armpit. Reach down with your left hand and wrap your forearm under his leg. Think of a large steering wheel, turn to the right, and drop the opponent toward his face. (see #4 Yaritame in Throws and Locks in Karate).

The great thing about this technique is that it works whether or not you get the technique right. So long as you deal with the strike and counter, you can throw the opponent forward or backward easily. Just bend over, grab the leg, and steering wheel the guy where you want him to go.

Yul-guk list of posts
Aikido and Taekwondo

External Links



-- Colin Wee Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia. Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB.

14 May 2010

Taekwondo Front Kick Equilibrium and Technique

Last night, amongst other things, I was drilling my taekwondo yellow belt on the basic front kick from Taekwondo Pattern Do-san. We were working striking an opponents body behind the cover provided by the front arm. As a beginner was performing the kick, I noticed disequilibrium occurring in the front kick. Essentially, the body was jerking forward in an attempt to balance out the weight of the kick as it was being lifted up. The front kick was inefficient, and had to be modified.

My thinking was to first get the front kick practiced with a more relaxed manner than previously done by this student. A body that is too tensed means a student wasting too much power and who's probably going to be too tired to concentrate on minor changes. A taekwondo student trying too hard at any drill is not in the best mental state to accept changes to his form.

My next instruction was to get him to lift up his knee and balance himself out. I called this a 'balance point.' What I wanted was for him to remain relaxed, go for the balance point - with body just slightly held back, hip slightly rotated on the vertical, and with knee held out. I said to forget about the kick, get to the balance point whilst calibrating on the target. The focus on the target will eventually get him to send the hip out and land the front kick on the striking zone.

Focus too much on the 'end bit' of the entire weapon and you forget that karate or taekwondo is driven by the entire body. Most taekwondo beginners and intermediate students just forget all about how power is generated - through the mass shifted by legs and hips. The structure of the body then transmits this power into the striking tool. Many taekwondo beginners think just on the end bit of their weapon. And invariably only can perform up to the strength of their arm or leg. More advanced taekwondo students strike with their entire body and can generate lots more striking force with much less effort.

There were a few other fine tuning points that I discussed - pertaining to the support foot. The weight has to tend towards the ball of the foot rather than be left on the heel. The support foot should also provide support. Just because a more adept kicker looks pretty relaxed doesn't mean there's a deficit of optimal tension. Tension is always there, but when it's balanced out, the tension is there appropriately to support the forward striking force. No tension and the kicker will fly backwards. That's NOT traditional taekwondo. :-)


Colin

-- Colin Wee Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia. Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB.

7 May 2010

Shotokan's Secret - With New Material

Shotokan's Secret - by Kyoshi Bruce Clayton PhD

Some of you might think I'm in love with Dr Clayton with the number of times he and his book Shotokan's Secret is mentioned on my blog:

Taekwondo Yop Marki Middle Block With a Vengeance
Dan-gun Power Generation in Karate Styles
Australasian Taekwondo Magazine

Reading Shotokan's Secret was a life changing event for me as a martial artist. At a time when I was researching forms and understanding applications and drills from my own style, the book helped to clarify my thoughts on what it was like living my life as one of the old masters of karate. It made my martial arts more real for me, and raised my enthusiasm and passion for this hobby back to an all time high.

I thank Dr Clayton for giving me the opportunity to meet him when I was in the Napa Valley in 2006, and for being so kind as to mention my meager participation on his forum and communications through emails. I have enjoyed talking with this bona fide martial art historian, and am thankful for the large inspiration he has played within the development of my own practice and understanding of the martial arts.

People like Dr Clayton make me proud to be practicing what I do, and make me confident in the quality of people in the martial arts industry. Please do yourself a favor and check out his book. See follow up post Shotokan's Secret Expanded Version is Out.

Colin

-- Colin Wee Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia. Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB.

5 May 2010

Developing a Relationship with Your Taekwondo Patterns

I've often been asked whether I get bored teaching the same s*** over and over again.

Last night I taught Tekki/Chulgi, Taekwondo Yul-gok, and Taekwondo Dan-gun.

I've practiced these Taekwondo patterns for around 20 years. Know what? I totally enjoyed the session. We mixed it up with some applications from the patterns, some drills, and of course the technique sequences. I also got to talk about what each pattern was urging us to accomplish. It's like a personality - the more you reflect on it, the more you understand it.

Teaching them is like introducing friends to each other. Each of your friends don't know the other, but you're the mediator and you think they'll get along fine. So you make the first introduction, then perhaps talk separately to each of them about the other, then let them develop their relationship themselves.

Good luck to developing your own martial relationship with your Taekwondo patterns.

Cheers,

Colin

Links
Chulgi: Punching Across the Body
Toi-gye: Mountain Block

--
Colin Wee Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia. Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB.

4 May 2010

What role does body hardening exercises play in Taekwondo?

During Taekwondo sessions, I often let my students land kicks or hand strikes on my body with increasing force. While it's not yet full power, the strikes are approaching it, and have been described by other blackbelts as 'old school' (ala Uechi Ryu Karate's Hojo Undo). What benefits arise from getting struck like this? Aside from increasing tolerance to pain or body hardening (which I don't really believe in or promote), why would we do this? In sparring, at full speed, does this help? Typically not. Full speed taekwondo or karate attacks to body most often land without the receiver able to totally prepare themselves for the strike. However, accepting strikes to the body during practice teaches a major lesson - and that is that the effective range and location of the impact for most kicks have a very limited ' range of effectiveness. For instance, if I can move my body one or two inches away or rotating around the strike, most kicks will be absorbed or deflected without me having to shift my whole body weight away or toward the kicking leg. You will not however be able to play with this nicely unless you get your partner to commit and land very hard strikes or kicks on your body. You need to feel the pressure, synchronize your timing, and modify/collapse your body structure in order to nullify the force of the kick or strike. Cheers, Colin

Taekwondo Sparring Posts
Cross Style Comparison: Body Hardening

External Links
Hojo Undo Quotes
Shaolin Monks v Maori Warrior
How Hard Should You Beat Your Body?
Fighting Gear
Sanchin Shime
Are You Tough Enough?
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Colin Wee Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia. Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB.

3 May 2010

Yul-guk: Side Kick, Grab, and Elbow ... What???

My blue belt was practising his side kicks from taekwondo's won-hyo pattern. He was doing a nice 'plain vanilla' side kick against a target. To his credit, the kick was nicely done and generated a lot of power. I however approached him and was looking through his pattern requirements for blue belt. Taekwondo's Yul-guk requires you to perform a side kick, then a control and elbow to your opponent. There's no way you can perform any elbow strike if your side kick sent your opponent flying. So I advised him to change the side kick and strike the target with a short range, close quarter snapping side kick. It's the karate type side kick that's almost undistinguishable from a roundhouse kick if done in the air. Of course he was none impressed with the down shifting of power. You don't get to whallop the target as hard with this kick. This short range snap side kick is not to be applied similarly to the other normal side kick. Firstly it is more versatile and can be used as a takedown tactic. Secondly, it should be applied much lower on the body than a regular side kick. Think of it as a stomp to the knee or shin or foot or fallen opponent. Once you think of it outside the realms of competition or the kick shield, then you'd begin to understand the true worth of it as a self defence or combative weapon.

FTT3SK9DS428
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Colin Wee Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia. Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB.

1 May 2010

Taekwondo Yul-guk: Neck Manipulation, Leg Defence, and Backfist

Today at Taekwondo class my blue belt practiced

Yul-guk: If you control the Head, you control the Body (Steps 15-17)

... this blogging thing is great, I don't have to re-write my old posts on the subject!!!

We also practiced a leg defence using step 11 & 12 where we catch the oncoming striking kick using a variety of capturing techniques. Instead of sweeping the support leg, we lift the striking leg aggressively. To good effect I added in the front kick to the nuts, though my uke was already not impressed with the net results ... nearly falling, smashing his head on the decking, and tearing skin off on the exposed nails.

We also chatted about

Yul-guk: Step 35-36 Jumping Backfist in X-stance - It Could be Taught as the Most Useless Technique Ever!!!

I'm really loving my blog.

Anything to add?

Colin
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Colin Wee
Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia. Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB.

20 Apr 2010

Taekwondo Sparring Bingo

I'm bringing to training a cool game in which I created some time ago but have not used in the last few years. It's a taekwondo sparring bingo sheet ... 9 taekwondo techniques listed on a single sheet of paper (several sheets are produced to increase variety). You cross out each taekwondo technique you successfully perform during the sparring session. Once you've finished with the entire sheet, you get to sit down. Taekwondo sparring shouldn't be the best techniques against weaker opponents all the time - this is the worst use of this practice! This isn't good practice, and many traditional masters like Gichin Funakoshi totally disagreed with free sparring. Sparring should teach proper breathing, coverage, movement, speed, and reactions. Allowing yourself to use different techniques helps build a broader range of skills, and helps you test the tactics as studied from taekwondo patterns. Keep challenging yourself and you will definitely BINGO!

Five Freestyle Karate Concepts that Win Every Battle
Breathing During Sparring
--
Colin Wee
Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia.

Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB.

9 Apr 2010

Taekwondo Back Kick

As a progression from the various side kicks taught to my blue belt, we added in the back kick to his bag of tricks. The drill starts off in a horse stance side on to the target. The turn is a 90 degree backward turn. The heel is picked up leaving the kicking knee close to the support knee. The head is turned enough to see the target in the peripheral vision. The kick is performed so that the heel hits the target and the toes are pointing downwards.

Mistakes that kickers do is to turn hard, spinning more than necessary. This is a back kick and not one that generates power with the turn. Make sure the turn is small and conservative. Another mistake is that kickers turn and raise the the kicking hip higher and counter balanced with a tilted body. This allows kickers to perform nice head high side kicks. This is not a spinning side kick. The back kick should be able to come under an attacking leg - like a roundhouse or a side kick.

The start point needs to have the kicker's backside pointing at the target, and during the drill it might be useful for the kicker to turn, stop, wait, then kick at the target. Keeping the knee tight to the support leg allows the kick to come up from 'under' ... making it very difficult to defend against.

Power generation if for the front kick involves pushing the hips forward with the support leg. With the back leg, the support leg pushes the backside toward the target.

If the kick is done well you should be able to drop the kicking foot right next to the support foot. If equilibrium or balance is out, your head will wobble either left or right and your feet will land separately.

Make sure to keep one hand covering the face - I like to use my back hand crossed over. The front hand can be kept down to cover the ribs and the groin.

Links



Colin

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Colin Wee
Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia.

Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB.

31 Mar 2010

Your Kid's TKD Class is Not My Karate on 24FightingChickens

I was asked to include more posts for senior students. Here is something from 24FightingChickens for my intermediate and senior students. Your Kid's TKD Class is Not My Karate.

I was having a similar conversation with a parent friend of mine yesterday about motivation. I was talking about how I motivate myself, and how I ... at 40yo, am still punishing myself on a regular basis doing my pushups, training, visualisation, etc. All of it is an objective oriented exercise not for some personal self glory. While maybe it once was, the black belt however is not there to pull chicks.

The video below is of my nephew at a coloured belt grading doing a sparring session. Don't get me wrong, they're doing really well for their age. But by and large, sparring is all like this. This is an example of what I do not do.



I train for an unthinkable situation - home intrusion. There would be multiple opponents, mostly armed, at night, in a high target environment (where my kids are the targets), they're jacked up on whatever they've just dosed themselves up on, and we're facing off in a tight space. I myself would probably be bedraggled, may or may not be armed, and am the last and only line of defense.

I will not fail.

Keep safe, my friends.

Check out
My Work as a Curator of a Taekwondo System
Karate v Taekwondo



How well do you know Taekwondo?
Come take my Taekwondo Quiz and find out!
Then join us on FaceBook to discuss your answers.


--
Colin Wee
Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia.

How to Practise Martial Arts at Home

Prompted by my 5th kyu, I have invited all my students to train at my house tomorrow. In essence, I wanted to discuss how each they should practise with the equipment on hand.

Typically students show up at class, get spoon fed some training, and are left on their own devices at home. Practice is extremely variable - it may either be cardiovascular, or in my case when I was a teenager, just focused on technique and getting hand eye coordination happening.

I want to cover:

The objectives of self practice: how to vary it and mix it up between practising objective oriented tactics to just getting a nice workout.

The parameters described by basic techniques like the front and roundhouse kicks, and how to apply that on a punching bag (either hanging or as in 'Bob' one with a water base)

How to vary individual technique whilst in front of the striking target in order to train gap closing, accuracy, timing, and angle of entry skills.

How you can use the base of the striking target to practice some really valuable self defence skills.

How we generate power with hand techniques and how to hit harder - basically to finish off the fight.

How to integrate a training journal into your training and take control of your progress through the arts: documenting what you are doing, how often, and what you are wanting to focus on next.

And if I install my striking post on the wall ... how to generate a lot of power in a short distance with a reverse snap punch.

Colin
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Colin Wee
Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia.

Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB.

25 Mar 2010

Dan-gun: Stepping Aside for an Oncoming Attack

Today we practiced Taekwondo Pattern Dan-gun: Shuto Knifehand into a Roundhouse Punch. Essentially it's stepping aside and doing a shuto block to the outside of an oncoming punch. The step is doing with the back leg stepping diagonally back and the front leg dragged into place and facing the opponent.

There was difficulty establishing distancing for the retaliation. There was difficulty getting the jab over the striking arm. What we want to do is to learn stepping aside, but also trying to get it so that the distancing is correct so as to allow the punching hand to land without overly reaching out. Don't sweat it. An oncoming opponent like that is likely to just bowl you over -- step aside, cover with the knife hand, track the opponent and jab loosely.

Stand there and 'take it like a man' and you'll end up on your behind ... with the opponent trampling all over your face. The block has got to allow the opponent to race past you - his power is surging linearly after all. There is a time and a place to deflect the strike minimally so you can use the opponent's force against him. But remember, this is an 8th kyu requirement. So the student needs to be able to deal with big movement, and corresponding defences.

Keep training!

Colin

--
Colin Wee
Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia.

Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB.

16 Mar 2010

Handlocks for Hard Stylists

Checkout a previous post on the subject at: Taekwondo v Aikido

Unlike Aikido practitioners, hard stylists like taekwondo practitioners don't really get handlocks. Sure many may go through the motions, but at the end of the day the technique is usually sent packing and the joint in question is muscled into submission.



We don't practice Aikido. So while there is room to improve, we'll just have to take it like a man ... and put up with our skill in joint manipulation. In my curriculum, locks and throws serve primarily to complement multi-person sparring. You take the person down and place them between yourself and the opponent. So whatever arm is offered or available, the lock you place has to be used to hold the opponent between yourself and his girlfriend.

Of course joint locks can be used to immobilise a single opponent, but that's something else.

Last two weekends, we've taken advantage of the break after grading to practice joint locks and throws. To complement the signficantly aikido session, I also taught a few gap closing skills. This allowed us to surge into the opponent, trap one or two of his hands whilst striking to the face, and then putting on the handlock. Trapping the hand is as simple as placing an open palm on top of his forearm, pressing it into his chest.

Lots of this surge allowed a forward pressure on the lead hand of the opponent. This results in the opponent *immediately* pushing back ... which is the basis for you to use one of your hands to grab and separate his arm from the rest of the body. Another related method is to trap one hand, smack his head, and then go for the opposite hand.

Or else you trap the hand, smack the head, and then go for the neck ... ala Yul-kok.

Or if you're inspired by Basai ... you trap the hand, then go for the legs.

But practice surging in and using both hands to occupy the opponent before applying the lock or the throw. As I've said before, simple stuff works best... so vary it and practice!

Cheers.

Colin



--
Colin Wee
Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia.

Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB.