Training Warriors for the 21st Century

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

23 Mar 2014

Yul-gok Step 7 & 8 - The Korean Occupation

Niaal Holder from Joong Do Kwan talks about Taekwondo Pattern Yul-gok Step 7 and 8. This refers to the Taekwondo Technique 'Yop Marki' or middle block done in a front stance, and a front kick performed using the back leg.

While Niaal has been training with me for over 10 years, I like it that he teaches and explains the techniques and concepts differently from me. In fact, he often varies the manner in which he performs drills just because he is different to me. This is our gain.

My take on the middle block and the front kick is this - why do a middle block in the first place? Why can't we do an upper block or heel palm. Why can't we knock him out with a punch to the neck? We perform the yop marki because unlike the forearm strike or knife hand strike the turn of the forearm outwards and then downwards is advantageous to us. Meaning, I can hit him hard going forward, and then I can also rotate him around to his back foot, swinging his centre of gravity around and out of his base. When that happens I can control his body, and then choose to destroy his support leg or send a devastating strike to the head.

video

When I was practicing the drill I dealt with the oncoming strike with my forward hand, then controlled it with my back hand. I think this is a far superior way of dealing with a lunging type attack. Of course all Taekwondo techniques are more or less modular ... and you can mix and match. So once you gap close, you can then do the neck strike as per this video and follow through with the kick.

Niaal performs the mid block and turns it into a open hand grab to the neck. You may choose to try and stick with the close fist first, attempting to affect the body and opponent's centre of gravity with your forearm contact. Try working the steps of Yul-gok first, and then test out the variations. You'll be surprised what works for you.

In this next video, I set up the Step 7 and 8 technique using the opponent's reaction against a previous attack and control against his front raised guard.



Last bit of advice, don't be afraid to push and pull on the opponent's body. Don't be afraid to use *NATURAL* motion to shove your opponent. You've pushed a car? You've done tug of war? Did anyone teach you a stance? But you still were able to do it right? Well same thing. Keep playing!

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Cheers,

Colin
--
Colin Wee
Principal, Joong Do Kwan (Perth)
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17 Mar 2014

TakeONEdo STEPS

I feel my opponent tightening up to surge forward. He's going to use a lunge punch, that's for sure, as we're practicing one steps against each other. But I;m opening up my awareness to his body language and the movements of his other limbs just as a precaution.

His legs bunch up under him as he shifts his body forward. If I was doing another tactic, I'd be exhaling forcefully and powering my own legs at this time. But I'm keeping still and waiting for him to explode out of his static stance. I now register his body coming forward and his attacking arm pistoning forward. I'm not looking at it directly but I can feel the explosive ballistic intent.

Just before it hits full speed and before it reaches me, I swivel my body to close down the target area. I'm also sending my centre of gravity into my left foot. I want to go outside his strike. At the last possible moment, I fire a single yop marki middle block to the outside of the arm. Just at this angle, the block applies pressure to the outside of the elbow, and the back hand sandwiches my opponent's wrist. With his forward motion, and my swiveling around my left foot, had this connected his elbow would have at minimum been hyperextended and at best broken. If he had not rotated his punch totally out and have gone with a grab to my lapel, I would have continued the move into a bent arm and would have wrenched his shoulder instead.

Fortunately for my opponent I'm doing this in a controlled class environment. But unfortunately for him, I'm still in motion. My centre of gravity is still turning but riding high - so I decide to drop it all on his extended arm. I drop my weight into a deep stance and with that drop I cut his arm with a harden marki, a lower block. My opponent tenses as it hits the top of his forearm. Even controlled, it hurts. I could have easily struck his bicep or the inside of the elbow. All would result in his losing control over that arm for the next few moments.

I'm now almost side straddling my opponent's right hip. In a 'real' situation, I could stand up again and head butt him in the face. But we're onto our one steps, so instead I fire off a reverse snap punch into his ribs. My elbow is held close to my ribs - so I'm pulsing a hip rotation using my legs, glutes, hips and core muscles. The punch fires short range but carries all this power and unleashes it short range. Most people have no idea how much power can be created in close - but if that punch landed, the opponent would have doubled over with his mouth open and head forward, breath knocked out of him, with his ribs moving unnaturally on their own. His exposed neck - and its brachial nerve - floating somewhere at chest high for me would then have been the target of a second snap punch which would have ended that encounter.

Basic techniques. Make them work for you.

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--
Colin Wee
Principal, Joong Do Kwan (Perth)
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11 Mar 2014

How Traditional is Your Tradition?

I have been asked how traditional is my Traditional Taekwondo.

I would answer with a question - how traditional can you be if you were focusing on being progressive?



When my lineage of Taekwondo was exported out of Korea, Taekwondo was in its infancy. The instructor who brought it over to the United States was a Chung Do Kwan practitioner. Since then, however, Taekwondo worldwide continued evolving due to its political and social climate.

Would a school that claimed to do 'Traditional Taekwondo' still look like it was practicing like how the practitioners do in the above video?



My school performs patterns fairly similarly to those practitioners. However, I believe we have finessed the hyungs a little more from that era. I would like to think that we're trying to achieve more deceleration of each technique, punches which are tighter, and keeping centre of gravity steady for most of the steps. Note that none of that includes any mention of the Sine Wave - which is not part a methodology I use in my school.

Application is where our practice differs significantly. In my school, one steps are only a small part of the overall training; our attacks a little less scripted. Such 'traditional' scripted training scenarios are still included, but are just a small part of the overall 'gym bag' of exercises.

I believe the cornerstone of good traditional training is always to move onwards and upwards.

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Cheers,

Colin
--
Colin Wee
Principal, Joong Do Kwan (Perth)
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4 Mar 2014

Toi-gye Step 28: Manji-uke 'When you fight you need to get it almost right'

Who thinks that just with a little training, they're going to do all the right things when confronted with a charged up, smack talking, on-the-juice home boy?

There's no way all your techniques are going to do exactly what you want them to do. You may have guessed wrong. Your timing may have been off. The angle was just screwed up. The guy didn't telegraphed exactly like how all the other sheep in your dojo do. And yeah, sorry that you're bleeding out while he sticks that knife into you as you reflect on your usual flawless technical delivery.

This video on baton defence was not put together specifically for this post - as you can see the dialog doesn't exactly convey the flow of thought. So before you play the video and say ... hey, Colin doesn't make sense here, read on and let me clarify.

video


Many of you should be familiar or should have seen a technique where the attacker is swinging a pool cue, or a chair, or a baton ... you capture both of the attacker's arms with yours, and you apply an over the shoulder throw. This is a good simple defence that works nicely - many practitioners learn over-the-shoulder throws, and used against an attacker that giving it a good swing, the technique makes it really easy.

When you compare a two handed swing with a one handed swing - a one handed swing comes much faster. You need to be able to block, and strike, and then capture the arm - in that order. The attacking limb requires you to work harder to get control. In the video, I demonstrate two techniques that allow you to get this control whilst gap closing. The techniques can be seen associated with Taekwondo patterns you are familiar with.

However, if you're fried by battle stress AND you attempt to do the technique you were using for the two-handed attack, your distancing and timing will be challenged. If you are off, and you are not able to wrap your opposite arm under the attacking limb - you are still able to apply control by pulling the attacking limb down with the closest hand and wrapping your opposite hand around attacker's neck.

The techniques I show apply a manji-uke from Toi-gye step 28 (high back fist with low outer forearm block) while defender is in front of the attacker. Mark Cook from Oldman's Bubishi just showed me the same manjiuke technique where you are behind the attacker, grabbing the attacking limb and flexing attacker's head back by his hair - with very similar end results.

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--
Colin Wee
Principal, Joong Do Kwan (Perth)
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