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.


charlie said…
I like it. I practice Karate and too many applications are over simplified (in both Karate and TKD). Many of the "old applications" only work if pre-arranged with a complient partner. Things like you describe above make much more sense.
Colin Wee said…
Hi Charlie, thanks for stopping by. My thinking over the last few years has been that hard 'styles' and their resulting systems are teaching methodologies. We do what we do because someone has decided that it's a good way to teach students and teach teachers. Meaning, the 'applications' you have probably been taught are official examples to highlight lessons, rather than as a way to drill students on a particular skill. What I'm saying is that teachers should use those lessons as a departure point and to associate their 'on-the-job' skills and experience to the officially sanctioned curriculum. :-) I've been doing that for the last few years and have been totally enjoying my practice! :-) Regards, Colin
charlie said…
I agree with you. I think that the idea behind much of what we practice is not so much that we learn a set of techniques, but that we learn a set of principles. Once we have learnt those priciples we can apply them in many different way.
If we had to learn a technique for every circumstance, it would be endless, but learning a few principles we can cover a multitude of scenario's.
For example, we have both written articles on Hikite (pulling hand). We both describe the same principle, but have come up with different (but equally valid) applications for it.
With respect
Colin Wee said…
The problem nowadays is that I think there's a lack of discussion. I have the suspicion that when the original masters were working on their techniques and skill, they would be happier to discuss what works and what doesn't seem to work with their mates. Nowadays I think the opportunity for this granular discussion isn't there. Or if it is there, it's shadowed by questions like "what is the most powerful kick" or "was Bruce Lee really all that great?" Take my blog for instance ... I've literally spent 2+ years diligently adding in really good information. Yet ... there's very few participation or feedback from students. Thanks for responding. Colin

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