Training Warriors for the 21st Century

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

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.