Training Warriors for the 21st Century

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

17 Aug 2011

Hwarang: X Block Drill

Just found a list of beautiful pattern diagrams at Taekwondo Club of University of Virginia - though I wished they could have included a list of numbers along with techniques. And to include the front face of techniques during a turn. This post is about step 24, a downward X block - though all you see from the diagram above is the back of the guy. Anyway, we use the x block - possibly one of the most ill taught of traditional techniques - very much as a 'sequence' of related block-deflections, starting from the open hand/elbow strike in Yul-gok to the swipe down next grab in Toi-gye, and the upward x block-stripping away striking arm in Choong Moo. Hwa-rang's x block is done against a mid section strike, either directly to your gut or upwards. It strikes down hard on the arm, and rotates the opponent's arm inwards toward his body, ending up in a 'mountain block' as you would see in Toi-gye, hyperflexing the arm at the elbow. If the opponent is doing this drill with standard basic punches, your lead arm will be ready to come down hard on the next strike, and you can continue doing the rotation and applying pressure to the next elbow. Tips for success are to strike the oncoming arm hard and early, and to apply lots of forward pressure on the arm and opponent. Not to do so will have the opponent pulling the arm back quickly and will result in you getting yourself stabbed or punched multiple times. There is an absolute winner post 72 Bunkai to Juji-uke at KaratebyJesse covering multiple applications of the x block. 


Just found this cute video of this kid performing Hwa-rang ...

Enjoy!

List of Posts on Taekwondo Hwarang


Colin
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Colin Wee
Principal, Hikaru Dojo Traditional Taekwondo School
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 Traditional Taekwondo FB page. And help us rank on Google by clicking the '+1' icon, why don't you?
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12 Aug 2011

Deliberately Losing Your Sparring Match ...

... But Not Your Game.



You need to get used to having strikes thrown at you. You need to be able to defend and cover. You need to be able to control your breathing to increase your endurance. You need to be able to exhale sharply to be able to absorb the hit if have to. Then you have to learn distancing and timing. You should know how to land just one technique consistently. Not a whole bag of different strikes. Just land one upper body strike. Once you get confident, this distance calibration helps you land other strikes far easier.



The person you are working with should not be thought of as your opponent. He is your training partner, and it is his job to make it appropriately simple or difficult for you so you need to work towards improving your own game. But his role is to help you, and therefore when beginners partner off, an environment of mutual cooperation and respect is needed. Such collaboration requires you to exchange strikes, not engage in mortal combat. One-upmanship will result in slower progression ...

Your mindset should therefore not be on winning, nor about deliberately losing. You should be using such an opportunity to learn about body movement, distancing, dealing with a dynamic situation, and applying the techniques you've learned. Respect your partner for offering you his or her body as a target by applying good control and keeping each other safe!

The real fight? It's both out there and in your mind. It is never on the mat.

Enjoy the weekend.

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7 Aug 2011

The 3rd Precept of Sensei Gichin Funakoshi by Mireille Clark

Karate is a great assistance (an aid) to justice.

Justice has always been a severe concept. Justice has no mercy, and no compassion. Justice is about setting things right. As in, someone breaks your window, therefore it needs to be replaced by the one who broke it. Justice embodies "An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth." and one can assert that this can be a difficult balance to achieve. Usually when one seeks justice, they can easily go too far into revenge. How many times has one been in the place of "you struck me hard, therefore I will strike you harder"?

The mental state and training achievable in Martial Arts aids the practitioner to find balance, and to seek appropriate levels of justice. We train to anticipate the strike, avoid it, deflect it, or even to use it to our advantage. Justice becomes a creative expression of power, and balance which puts us in a position of control of the situation. We learn how to "stop the battle". The literal translation of the Japanese Kanji of the word "Budo" is "to stop the spear" or in other words to protect/ stop combat. Martial Artists seek "power" over justice. The character Schindler from the movie "Schindler's list" explains it extremely well in this clip:

http://www.wingclips.com/movie-clips/schindlers-list/that-is-power

Each movement of our Kata is meant to take control of the situation, and stop that confrontation from continuing. Within less than 30 seconds we seek to either put them in a locked position, break a limb, throw the opponent, blind them, etc. Take for example this random bunkai video that I found on youtube showing some various applications for the very first movement sequence of the Kata Seienchin (Goju Ryu Karate)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TXEi80xRFM


In that short video we see demonstrated by Sensei Tom Hills approximately 5 different locks, and 4 throws which are based on one simple set of movements. Each one of these applications allows Sensei Hills to take the position of advantage over the attacker, and changes the outcome of that moment. The attacker now becomes the victim, and probably only would wish an end to the shock, pain, and embarrassment. He/she may even think twice about attacking again, and walk away from the fight.

Our training allows us to blend justice with power and affect our world in a positive way.

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Mireille Clark
Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap].