Training Warriors for the 21st Century

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

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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