Lower Block Beginner Drill

I thought I should use a photo which doesn't look like those pretty kata photos you see in many martial arts books. Here you see me doing a down block on top of my attacker's arm. Of course if I was doing it in the air and keeping still, I might still hold out for a picture perfect Kodak moment. The down block is one of the first few things I teach beginners. Often I teach it ahead of the punch! It's tough making a punch work right: you need proper angle, skeletal support, muscle tension, speed and distancing. But taking an attacker's limb and shearing it between two arms ... now that's much easier.

Chon-ji teaches you one clear combat strategy - if something comes close to you, you break it, you strike it, you take it down, and stomp on it. It's a great form for beginners to understand that you need to make up for your lack of experience with commitment and a clear plan of action!

In the above photo, the attacker has moved in with a grab, and it shows me applying a down block hard on his grabbing arm. If I was not fast enough, then I would have to deal with his secondary weapon. Yes - my blocking arm will need to become a windshield wiper, before it is used as a hammer on the grabbing hand. To make this a little more fun, I could have chosen to grab his fingers rather than his sleeve, and I could have applied the blocking strike on to the back of his hand or wrist instead of on top of his forearm. Similarly, something in which a lot of hard stylists don't think of ... when I strike the extremity, I can move backward, or diagonally sideways in order to stretch out the limb.

For a cool beginner's exercise ... and without needing much tutoring, get your beginners to first swing their arms back and forth. Then clap. Then clap their palms on their elbows. Make sure the arm which is 'folded' is held like they're 'answering the phone'. This exposes the 'corners' of their bodies (essentially allowing their elbow to connect with the oncoming limb). Get their opponents to make a grab for their t-shirt or uniform. And get your 'defenders' to 'clap' their palms and their elbows together - sandwiching the oncoming limb.

Aim for sensitive areas, and play around with timing and distancing.


Colin Wee
Coordinator, IAOMAS
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 28 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.


Terrence85 said…
Thats good stuff. much like a gan sau in wing chun. i study at http://www.sifuoch.com
SooShimKwan said…
I always like your drill posts.
Colin Wee said…
What a big compliment - from all of you. Thank you.

Actually, I really should get more of this on video ... rather than blabbing on and on.



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