Toi-gye: 'W' Mountain Block

Toi-gye Step 12 - 18 is typically represented as 'W' blocks (in Karate that would be yama uke or 'mountain block'), requiring you to perform them with a hard snap of the arm and a big 'stomp' with the foot. There are a few applications that I actually like which bring more combat value to this technique beyond the swinging of the arms and the stomping down hard.

Taekwondo 'W' block - as it is performed in the form Toi-gye step 13

The sketch above from my personal Taekwondo journal shows off the W block as a leg capture and take down. Step 12 requires you to bring your arms back to your hips and can be thought of as a guard or block/cover, and when your arms 'pop' back up, that's the leg capture to a kick thrown at you. To improve speed, you've got to look for the opponent's telegraphing of either roundhouse or side kick. You can perform this on any kick that goes for a good extension, so long as you step out of the way or work around the force of the kick.

You will also need to 'give' your same side arm permission to pop back up under the leg. Do this by increasing sensitivity for impact on the outside or top of the forearm - and when you feel that contact, pop back under the leg and crimp the leg with your arm. You might benefit from grabbing uniform or skinfold at the same time.

None of this will work if you stand still. You have got to be surging ahead whilst the attack is accelerating on its flight path. Protect your face region with the back hand. On contact with the leg, you should be able to reach the opponent with your back hand. This grabs on to uniform (somewhere around shoulder or lapel region) or hair (less likely if you're doing this on a long range kick) or outstretched arm (possible). The 'stomp' on the upswing is an attack to the lower extremity of the opponent or abdominal/groin region. Most hard stylists can ad lib here and wrap your leg behind or sweep opponent's leg to effect a takedown.

Am I breaching copyright here? You can do a reaping throw or sweep dependent on where you  strike and put your foot down. In the above shot you might have hit the opponent in the groin or abodomen and then performed the reap.

If you'd like to try something different, all you've got to do with the 'W' blocking motion is to pivot and move his entire body towards his extended leg. The 'blocking' motion ends up as an unceremonious body dump.

You can do this with the opponent looking towards you or looking away from you - see the following photos.

Applying the W block as a takedown with opponent facing away from you.

If you're in a bad mood, you could even lift the opponent in the air, and tip him onto his head. Again, the 'W' blocking move is where you shake him out of your arms.

Keep it safe!

Toi-gye Links
Pragmatic Self Defence Images
Toi-gye Jams the Leg and Throws the Opponent
Taekwondo's Applied or Augmented Blocks
Taekwondo Toi-gye Manji Uke
Pattern Toi-gye 'Y' Blocks
Toi-gye Mountain Block against a Shoulder Grab
Toi-gye Step 28: Manjiuke 'When you fight you need to get it almost right'

Colin Wee
Joong Do Kwan Chung Sah Nim
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Ørjan said…
We have the application from your journal in our standard syllabus under "Mechigi" (loosely translated as "Throwing").

It works as you say against a number of kicks (this is the way we practise it) but you could also use it by grabbing his leg without him kicking you first.

My teacher explained the strategy behind the application you have in your journal as the same used by swordmasters in ancient times. You lose an arm but the attacker looses his life, in other words it is a great back up technique for those kicks you can not dodge or completly get out of the way, you will get the kick with some degree of power but the opponent will be smashed to the floor.

In our training we move inside the effective range of the kick, grab his leg and his upper body just like in your drawing. Then we lift the opponent up (it really helps to allready be in the horse stance so you really only straighten your legs) and if it is in real combat smash him down to the floor as hard as possible and in training we "gently" put him down. Good excercise too:)
Bob Patterson said…
I always wondered about that. I was unofficially taught the WTF 2nd degree form and always thought the mountain blocks were just nonsensical stylistic flash.

Taekwondo Poomsae Kuemgang

Makes sense, now!
Colin Wee said…
Bob - Frankly I thought most of the patterns I learned were a bloody waste of time. Then I got to the 'W' blocks and thought I was embarrassing myself - and it was only because I was a black belt that no one was laughing! :-) Glad you appreciated this snippet of my book. :-)

Thanks for sharing, Orjan. I really like that bit of philosophy thrown in too. You should come in and expand on my posts more often! :-)

Potatoe Fist said…
I was fascinated by your treatise. We do the mountain block in TSD, but it's always explained as an upper body block (like for a strike at your head with a chair).

Nice as a lower catch for kicks and such. Great research.
Colin Wee said…
In addition to what I included, the W block is great as a way to hyperflex an outstretched elbow. Or it could be a way to get out of a full nelson hold. At a stretch, it's a body lift and throw. :-)

I suppose you could use it against a chair. But that'll hurt!


Kolade Ilori said…
I'm really enjoying this technique.
This 'W' block application is really interesting and I'm seeing it work perfectly against linear trajectory kicks such as side kicks, the horse kick and even the front kick.

Right now I'm thinking of it's application against a perfectly executed round-house kick, and I'm thinking the result might be pretty ugly cos of the kinetic energy that will be absorbed by the body of the individual executing the 'W' block in trying to hook the leg.

Could the solution to the round-house kick be that at the application of the block, the back leg (at the point of hooking)should move in the direction of the kick's trajectory to cushion the impact(with the front arm grabbing the attacker's shirt or neck), thereby making a little backward spin during the execution of the block and effecting a take down (or if really pissed, flinging the attacker into the air)?

Just thinking!
Colin Wee said…
Kolade, I think you're giving the roundhouse kick more than it deserves. Any lesson learned from a hyung or an 'application' is only as good as its final execution. I would recommend blocking the perfectly executed kick first ... because that's the most important thing. To ensure you don't hurt yourself, yes you can go with the flow and absorb a little of the kinetic energy. I would also use two hands to do this, especially against a competent technician. Capture comes next, and then the takedown. Perhaps you should play with this a little, and then come back here and share your results? Colin
Colin Wee said…
Bob and Potatoe ... :-) .... I've just added to this post and included some video. Come see ...


Colin Wee said…
Bob and Potatoe ... :-) .... I've just added to this post and included some video. Come see ...



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