Taekwondo - Where is the Lock from?

Taekwondo has striking techniques, gap closing tactics, close quarter techniques, traps, locks and takedowns.

It is easy to say, hey, where did that wristlock come from; and similarly as easy to respond, it is a kotegaeshi wrist turn out from Aikido, or some leg reaping throw from Judo.

The fact however is that we don't train in aikido. Taekwondo's methodology is predominantly a linear-based style, a 'hard' style. We strike with hands and feet. But eventually any practitioner will have to forego the contraints of the methodology or style, look at objectives and do what is most appropriate at the time. Sometimes strikes and kicks flow into traps and locks. Eventually, some technique will be used that may not look entirely like kickboxing.

Kickboxing ... just to point out for arugment's sake ... is something which we do not do!

Aiki is something in which I enjoy greatly. But when it comes to our stylistic approach, whatever wrist lock or throw we use, is used and taught in the world view of a Taekwondo practitioner. It finds its place within the hyung we use, integrated with our self defence approach, and fits into our exercises hopefully in a useful and value-enhancing manner.

There is an idea that martial artists 'soften' with old age. For me, soften is not an accurate term, especially when looking at our stylistic approach. I am still a hard style, hip rotating, kicking and striking artist. 'Softening' is more accurately termed 'maturing' where I look at physical efficiencies and power generation tactics. But no, you don't see me turning into a predominantly throws and locks guy ... it's not going to happen.



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OldManKarate said…

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my question.

Many Thanks,

OMK – John
SooShimKwan said…
"whatever wrist lock or throw we use, is used and taught in the world view of a Taekwondo practitioner"

I can associate with this statement. Even though I have black belts in Hapkido, when I teach such techniques (locks and throws) to my Taekwon-Do students, I do so completely from my ITF Taekwon-Do paradigm.

As I get older I do find myself moving towards a "softer" approach, but for me this definitely doesn't mean "predominantly throws and locks" either; rather, for me it means more economical take out (not "take down") tactics.
Mir said…
Colin.. I tend to see a technique as having a strike happening at the same time as a controlling move which could be a lock, unbalancing action such as a throw, etc.

I can see your point that hard styles focus on "smacking", but I think that we don't mind softening up our opponent as we hit them. :-)
Tim Raymond said…
I really enjoyed reading this post, and I would like to invite other like minded martial artists to also check out my blog as well so that we may further grow together both as brothers/sisters within the arts but as well as individuals. Thanks!

My blog is located at

P.S. I really liked that you were comparing the two styles ^^
Colin Wee said…
You might say Locks and Throws in Taekwondo is a follow up post to the above and a response to some of the comments here. :-) Cheers, Colin

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