Avoiding a Kick to the Gut using Tactical Body Movement from Hwarang

Taekwondo Pattern Hwarang Vertical Knifehand Step 6 to 7 is used as Tactical Body Movement to cave out the midsection of your body - shifting it so that it reduces the impact from an oncoming kick or strike or weapon attack. The elbow stretched forward means that the attacking limb has to move that much further to reach you, and gives you contact reference points in order for you to control the attacking limb and then apply strikes or takedowns as counters.

Much of hardstyle training begins with punching or kicking, and doesn't require the practitioner to think of any need of suppleness through the core - in order to avoid strikes or to better counter an opponent trying to control you. In Karate, many schools practice 'taisabaki' or body movement. This is absent in many Taekwondo schools.

Flexibility and the ability to move your trunk out of the way is an important skill so that you may gain a few centimetres - avoiding the brunt of most strikes. The elbow going forward whilst your trunk is pulled back means that the opponent has to go even further around your barrier before reaching you.

In Pattern Hwarang, the vertical knifehand comes around, over and down. In our example where we use the technique against a kick, it is very easy to reach over and push either from the front of the face, or pull from the back of the opponent until the opponent is taken off his base and falls backward.

The preamble is an interesting one - and discusses the trend you see on YouTube for all applications to always end in some form of takedown. This prescriptive type countdown seems to indicate that you might need to spend as much time doing Judo or another throwing art as doing Taekwondo - which is not the case.

Many of the throws and takedowns we use in JDK come naturally because we train in takedown concepts rather than in a particular techniques. When you do this, the throw or takedown occurs easily without need for a lot of practice to finesse moves.

I am not saying we can't learn anything from judoka - I am saying that it doesn't take a lot to gain a working level of skill and use that skill without need for some pattern sequence fussing or nagging you to end the encounter in a specific way.

If it's needed, yes, I take the person down. If it's not needed, I leave him to drop to the ground screaming in pain. The application doesn't need to tell me how it should end.

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