Visiting Tae Kwon-Do Ki-Do Kwan in Perth

The last two to three months have been massive. I attended and enjoyed an urban combatives course though unfortunately sustained a back injury that messed me up for nearly a month. Thankfully, I healed in time to return to the US last month so I could train with both of my instructors. Even after all these years, they are not only teaching me fantastic martial arts, they are also providing solid life coaching and personal development - I am blessed to have such teachers and mentors. Over the weekend, I led class for Master Peter Wong of Tae Kwon Do Ki-Do Kwan.

Back in Dallas July 2013 - getting coached by my instructor Bryan Robbins. It's a one on one session - where I am the main student. There were also other uke or 'attackers' for me to work with. How can it get better than that?

I write about this most recent experience because it is difficult for me to walk into someone else's school and presume that anything I offer will be of value, is going to stick, and is going to be remembered.

The core focus of the class was a series of one-steps that I wanted to run participants through. These are taken directly from techniques featured in Taekwondo's Chang Hon pattern set - the same pattern set we both use. One steps are excellent to talk about self defence from an instructor's point of view (see Taekwondo Grappling: Letter & Reply).

I knew the time would be tight, so my idea was to demo one-steps from the first three patterns, overviewing each as I go, and letting them choose one which they would then work with. I'd then continue with the other patterns drawing one technique from each and asking them to choose one out of the three.

The first one step from Chon-ji went to the outside, performed an arm destruction and a strike to the ribs. The second featured a knife hand block from the outside, a trap to the lead arm, and a high punch to the neck. The third from Dan-gun featured a block from the outside spear hand to the neck and a takedown. The group chose to look at the second which was a knife hand block to the outside in a defensive stance, a trap, and a punch to the neck.

Some of the participants had difficulty with the conservative movements I was using. I wanted the blocks to be small, and for the recipient to shift tactically and then occupy a smaller space. Also the end punch showed many of the strikers using a shoulder driven roundhouse punch where I felt a shorter jab would be a more effective approach.

The second one step chosen was one from Yul-gok - using the pressing block as a application for takedown. Well chosen, it features an arm control from the inside. We bypass the strike to the inside, and wrap the arm closest around the elbow, grabbing onto the attacker's tricep. Then we strike to the head/neck using an elbow or heel palm, and push the face away from the striking hand. Using both extended (but trapped) arm, and head as a 'steering wheel' - we shove/twist the attacker's head under the punching arm. This is a takedown where the attacker is twisted to the ground.

Land on the attacker with your knee and prepare for the leg kicking up as a secondary weapon. You can also trap the attacker's lead arm and perform a shoulder lock. Smash the attacker's face for added effect.

I was surprised that this was easier to learn. Major mistakes were people bending over after the takedown, rather than pile driving the knee into the fallen attacker. Also, coming in from the inside seemed to be a little foreign - so I took a few moments to talk about body movement in combination with the stances (see Had enough of that traditional nonsense).

Unfortunately - along with the other drills and discussion, and sparring to end off, we only had time to do the two one steps. Next time, I hope to be able to show the other few to black belt, and then to let them decide which they like.

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