Taekwondo Limb Destruction

Limb Destruction works a treat. It's easy to learn. You're not risking breaking your fingers on the hard corners of his skull. And most people can generate a good amount of force without needing to train too hard for it.

I had a former golden gloves boxer come to my school about a dozen years ago, saying he wanted to learn 'something useful,' and how he's not seen anything worthy from other traditional martial art schools he's visited. So I decided to show him how basic blocks could be leveraged against a grabbing or striking arm. Almost immediately he started to flinch from the pain shooting up his arms. Then he turned beet red and started sweating. Like he was going for some super spicey ramen challenge. Well, he did ask for it.

Our conversation following talked about the difficulty of teaching an absolute beginner how to punch. Not just throwing a balled up hand in the air. But using a punch as a tactical weapon in a real situation. And yes, we both agreed that it'd take about at least a half year to make an adequate weapon that would function well combatively.

The blocks smacking against his arm though ... lol ... could be used almost immediately. Someone grabs you, you destroy their wrist. You numb their forearm. You render their bicep or tricep non-responsive. You hyperflex their elbow. AND you don't have to think too hard to get the job done. You just smash a part of the opponent's body between your two arms.

In the video above, I'm setting up a defence against one step which uses not just one but two downblocks. The first one insinuates my arm inside the attacking limb and uses an underhook to then hold the arm still. The second down block or hardan markgi then is dropped on top of the attacking limb. You can strike to the back of the hand all the way up to the tricep or shoulder, if the angle and perspective permits.

If you haven't figured it out yet, limb destruction isn't limited to this one technique. Anytime you have your two arms being directed away from each other, this is an opportunity to perform limb destruction. You have your opponent's arm sticking away from his body and is close to yours, or better still is placed across your chest? This is an example of what I think are 'non-techniques' within our traditional forms. It's only your awareness that drives this, don't you think? If you think of Taekwondo as only jabs and roundhouse kicks, you'll be wanting to step back and flick out that lead leg. If however, an opponent has an arm laid out across your body, and you spin those hips and happen to hyperflex his elbow or shoulder ... where is that located in the form? Or does anyone really care?

The truth is that these fundamental skills are endemic or should be assumed present throughout the forms. I say this because there is just so much that 40 moves can really communicate.

Keep training hard!

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