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.

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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Colin Wee
Principal, Joong Do Kwan (Perth)
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