Chulgi: Punching Across the Body

App 1: Chulgi's or Po-eun's 'double punch' applied as a blow to the back or side of the opponent's neck
App 2: Chulgi's 'punch-across-body' applied as a blow to the side of the opponent's neck.
When does your arm travel across the body in Taekwondo? Well, below black belt you've got the ol' Tea Cup Saucer position in Won-hyo, the tension press open palm 'block' and double augmented block in Yul-gok, the punch-across-the-body in Joon-gun, and the punch into the fist and the side punches-across-the-body in Hwa-rang.

I wasn't happy with the standard explanation of the punches across the body. Some of what I saw showed demos of double punches landing at the same time, some showed short range punches, and others tried to explain it with kyusho or some other esoteric explanation. What I like about the two apps above are the simplicity of the movement, the ruthlessness of the technique, and the elegant way in which they resolve the movement and tie in with each other. Aside from these, I have space in my heart for explanations that include elbows to ribs, joint hyper-extensions, and some escapes (but not all).

I could never swallow explanations for short punches because the reverse snap punch which is a very powerful strike should be the primary weapon of choice for any short range encounter that required a strike at mid level. Why would I choose a less powerful weapon when all I needed to do was to turn my body and fire off a reverse punch? 

App 1 has the defender deflecting the oncoming strike. If you are trying out variations with the form, try step 1 and bring both hands together, same side hand stops the blow, and the other opposite side can redirect it over the top and then draw the attacker toward you. Moving forward you open the back of the neck as a target area and you can land a good strike with shoulder rotation.

App 2 has the defender wrenching the attacker to one side using a pull of her elbow from opposite hand. The defender then reaches around the head, grabs onto chin or nose and turns the attacker using a 'lower block' motion, and this opens it up to strikes to the side of her neck. Done repeatedly, if necessary. A kick to the side of the knee or the ribs ends the struggle.

It's interesting to know that these two techniques work better when you're closer to the opponent. It's like a dance, a slow dance. If you're too far, you're disconnected. Don't forget to cover and raise your guard, and never just stand in one place. Be ready to move away from the opponent's primary, and then secondary weapon.

Note: Chulgi or Iron Horse is the same pattern as Naihanchi (Okinawan) or Tekki (Japanese). Our lineage learns Chulgi at Black Belt because that's what GM Jhoon Rhee taught when he brought Tang Soo Do, Korean Karate, and Taekwondo over to the United States.

Chulgi List of Posts

Colin Wee
Joong Do Kwan Chung Sah Nim
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richardc said…
one concept that should be considered is the "biceps bump". the striking surface paperers to be the fist, but in actuality is the biceps muscle group. that is why the arm appears to be a hook punch, it is a very devastating technique when the neck is struck as it really whips the brain stem around.
it is easy to do and really doesn't hurt you at all.
Colin Wee said…
I would concede that striking with the forearm or striking with a ridge hand or thumb knuckle while contracting the bicep is something I might be keen on doing. But striking with the bicep ... isn't something I'm overly keen on exploring. But yes, I do get what you're saying. Colin

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