Training Warriors for the 21st Century

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

21 May 2011

Anti-Bullying Blogging Carnival Proposal

To Martial Arts Bloggers and FB Page Owners

Dear Respected Martial Arts Instructors, Sensei, Sabumnim, Blog Owners, and Authors:

There are blogging circles on the net who use 'carnivals' to help increase interest and traffic to their sites. These carnivals focus on a particular theme, get bloggers to collaborate with each other, and the link swaps make for some interesting reading.

I would like to propose an Anti-bullying Carnival to be launched amongst our network of martial arts blogs.

How it works
1. Write an anti-bullying article by the submission date OR repurpose an existing article and re-publish it by the submission date. Publish this submission to your blog OR create a FaceBook note. Make sure to add a comment at the foot of this post to include where your submission is.
2. I will then send you a preamble, a button and a link to the carnival page on this blog on April 14 2012, which you should stick at the footer of your post. If I do not have your email address, I will add a 'comment' at the foot of your post with the instructions.
3. Once you're set and if your post hasn't been published yet, you email me the location of your post, and I'll create a list of links on the carnival page.
4. To make it interesting, I will create a few 'Best of Carnival' awards which you can then stick on your post.
5. On the day of launch, all of us tweet and FaceBook the presence of the carnival to our adoring fans. :-)

The Button
Here's the button which will adorn the Anti-bully page. Please stick it on your website to help support this carnival.








Background
I didn't think too hard about this. I just came up with a post yesterday called Martial Arts Parables talking about how it might be good to use story telling to help children understand high level concepts. Just thought it might be interesting to help develop this issue in respect of the training most of us provide, or the self defence advice we usually dish out in the course of our activities. For a sample post, see Vaughan Jackson takes Martial Arts to Avoid an Abusive Parent.

Submission Date: April 12 2012
Final Edits (Recognitions on Your Post): April 14 2012
Carnival Launch: April 15 2012

Your Article
Like other blog articles, or most blog articles, you can keep it informal. But the best posts should be thoughtful, presenting good information, and should relate back to what we know of the martial arts. You might like to think about what other people are doing in regards to anti-bullying. It's up to you. The article you submit should be not less than 250 words. Pictures would be great.

Collaborating with Other Articles
If you'd like, use the comments section below to highlight your thoughts so that other people can collaborate with you or create an article that is related to yours but done from a different perspective.

Submissions so far


Future Direction
If it goes well, we can use this blogging carnival idea, and this little mailing list I've compiled to develop other topics that might be interesting to the community. I'm happy to take turns with other blog owners to host such a carnival run.

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 on FB.

17 May 2011

Ten Ways to Improve Your Front Kick

Ten Way to Improve Your Front Kick


The front kick we learn is introduced in the third Taekwondo pattern Do San.

These are ten ways to make your front kick more effective:

10. Strike with your hands! Learning to land a strike with your hands teaches principles of timing, distancing, and application of power - all great skills to have whilst trying to launch a heavier, less responsive striking tool (i.e. your leg).

9. Train to improve your own innate abilities - increase your flexibility, spatial awareness, strength, and endurance. Always apply your strengths, not your limitations!

8. Use a variety of training methods. If you just stick with one type of equipment, you are not doing yourself any favours. See the above picture where we've ditched the kick shields and are landing controlled kicks on the body. Kick under water. Kick the air. Kick different types of targets. Kick the base of a heavy bag. Kick whilst in the shower. 

7. The striking 'tool' as you see it is a leg extended out to the opponent, so when you try to increase power, you 'juice' up the leg muscles - your quads. The way I increase kicking power is to connect my support foot solidly to the ground, to shift my hips forward providing structural support, then tightening my abs to transmit this mass shifting, and then lastly to accelerate my foot towards the opponent. The secret to good kicks? Good kicks start from the ground up! Great kicks use the entire body connected with the ground!. 

6. To gain more control over your front kick, try to understand the flight path of the foot as it shoots toward the opponent. This flight path has to bypass obstacles through 3D space to land solidly on the opponent. Lots to think about, so when you start sparring, make sure you spend time observing how your opponent moves to block your kicks.

5. The end bit of your kicking tool (your foot) is not very large - you can make the weapon fit into a very small area. When you train, ask your partner to cover his core as well as he can with both forearms leaving a small gap between then. Then fire your foot right between that gap and land it on the body. This drill helps you calibrate your front kick for angle of entry.

4. Start with less power and aim to get more control over the flight path of your front kicks. 

3. No front kick is going to work if you're firing it from a huge distance. You need to step up to the opponent and then fire the kick! Do it quickly and smoothly. 

2. People don't like to get punched - so make like you're going to punch your opponent and then launch your front kick. 

1. Most beginners move or shift their upper body up and back to haul up their kicking leg. Worse still their arms open up and or shift downwards. This telegraphs any kick! So don't do that. Kick lower if you have to. but the top way to improve your front kick is to get it so that the opponent doesn't see it coming.

What other tips can you add which have helped your front kick?

Links



--
Colin Wee
Principal, Joong Do Kwan (Perth)
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11 May 2011

Why Yet Another Set of Side Kicks?

In Taekwondo Pattern Won-hyo, you have the first introduction of a defensive (stepping backwards) and offensive (stepping forward) side kick.

There is the inclusion of the side kick yet again in the following Taekwondo patterns:

  • Yul-guk can be to highlight the difference between lead leg and rear leg side kicks.
  • Choong-gun can be to highlight 'hooking' side kicks to exploit gaps in opponent's guard.
  • Hwa-rang can be to highlight short range side kicks for close range combat: using chambering as a knee strike and kicking towards the lower extremities, or performing a side thrust kick to kick 'upwards' into an opponent. 
  • Choong-moo can be to highlight strategic use of jumping side kicks on mid to low range targets, and combinations of kicks to increase chances of landing your strike.

While it looks like the same kick, you should be schooled in various tactics in which to make sure your kick lands on a non-compliant opponent. It's also an exercise in mental gymnastics; to look at one technique and to see it applied in various ways allows you to break free from basics and to respond to the risk at hand, not the situations you were taught to deal with.

What have you found works for you when using the side kick?

External Links for Choong Gun


-- 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 on FB.

6 May 2011

Traditional Taekwondo Perspective on The Chambered Fist

We chamber the fist on the ribs.

You find this level at a tug of war - pulling that rope back, you don't hold it above your shoulder or at your hip. You hold it somewhere at your ribs so that your lats can apply as much pull on the rope as possible.

But the level isn't the only thing we look out for. The forearm of the chambered fist points forward. In a lunge punch for instance, the chambered arm is readied for the next iteration of the punch. In the case of the back balance and soodo marki (knife hand block), the back hand (all the way to the elbow) is pressed against the body again pointing forward to strike the target in front of the practitioner.

From the soodo marki knife hand block in back stance, slide into a forebalance and pull your chambered fist from where it is at solar plexus to the side of the ribs. Do it at the same time, and repeat back and forth. You should see that the arm should stay more or less pointing forward.

From the front stance and with the chambered arm held tightly against the ribs, now pull the back leg slightly forward into a loose fighting stance. Bring the chambered arm up with fist at shoulder height. The fist is now right in front of the shoulder joint, and ready for a straight jab or roundhouse punch.

What I find important to communicate is that there is an optimal tension for the chambered hand. While relaxedness is important, 'linking' your arm to your main body mass is important -- and thus your reverse hand should be stabilised to your side using your lats and your pecs. This is more so for when you're chambering on your body, rather than holding your fist up for a jab or roundhouse punch.

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 on FB.