Getting Punched in the Nose

Actually How NOT to get Punched in the Nose

The last session began with a few laughs at the expense of the green belt in training - but is a very good lesson to all beginners.

Our resident green belt during sparring came in with a left lunge punch but didn't cover his face nor use his left shoulder to shield himself. So it was that I deflected the punch with my right forearm, elbow up and open hand pointing downwards, swung the arm around like a bong sau, and connected my forearm to his nose.

Basically what we teach as the intro to Tekki - a deflection followed by strike to the upper gate. The lesson is extremely pertinent, and whilst I was drilling a white belt and our veterans, I made sure to show them how force is received to the face with different head positions.

If the head is forward, the force is sent deep into the skeletal framework and dissipated. If the head is held upwards or back, the force gets sent into the first point of leverage - the neck. This results in a knockout or TKO.

Dropping the Chin to NOT to Get Punched in the Nose

What you need to do even in a forward stance is to drop the chin slightly - the nose gets 'tucked' back under the forehead. Go check it out in the mirror. It also decreases the perceived facial real estate to an opponent standing in front of you. The closer they get, the more your face has got to drop. This is one of the best tips to improve coverage when sparring (or in fact for any other sports where something hard and fast is coming towards your face).

Keeping your Guard Up

It's hard to understand this at a beginner level, but you've got to keep your hands up, and mobile in front of your face. The more movement, the less likely a punch is going to bypass these obstacles and connect with your face. It's like using your hands to rub your head - this creates a 'helmet' around the head, and you get the protection of your hands, elbows, and forearms. For beginners, we teach the lower block or the hardan markgi with a wider sweep over the front of the face. This can easily be to the side of the head or even reach back to the nape of your neck. (See JDK Establishing Cover listed under the Online Resources for Beginners below).

Lastly ... Keep Your Head Moving

We do a lot of techniques in place when you're a beginner. We also do a lot of line drills to get you moving and performing those techniques. This isn't how we fight. When you look at intermediate and senior belt sparring ... they move around a lot. This starts with head movement, and then includes footwork and ownership of the floor. But to get there, you need to building blocks of the system and a mindset that allows you to remain mobile and relaxed.

Online Resources for Beginners

  1. Body Movement Drills: Complementing Line Drill and Developing Footwork
  2. Blocking Leg Attacks and Warm Up Drills
  3. Chonji Across the Years
  4. Helping Beginners Learn Chon-ji: This is the Starting Pattern
  5. Helping Beginners Learn the Forebalance
  6. Applying the Forebalance: Why is this Stance Important?
  7. JDK Establishing Cover: Desensitization Training
  8. JDK Method v Hard Style Training: Line Drilling
  9. Helping Beginners Learn the Centreline Punch
  10. Helping Beginners Learn Hardan Markgi: Lower Block
  11. Heaven, Earth, Wind and Fire: Lower Block Application
  12. Limb Attack and Control
  13. Chonji Lower Block Lunge Punch Solo Practice: From Heave, Earth, Wind, and Fire
  14. Helping Beginners Drill Yop Markgi: Middle Block
  15. Chonji Middle Block Lunch Punch Solo Practice
  16. Helping Beginners Learn the Leg Reap: Takedowns from Chonji
  17. Helping Beginners Learn Dosan
  18. Up Where We Belong: Upper Block Application 
  19. Helping Beginners Apply the Knife Hand from Dangun: Soodo Markgi Lesson
  20. Helping Beginners Apply the Knife Hand from Dangun Solo Practice
  21. The Knife Hand has a life outside of a line drill: Knife Hand Application
  22. Block Flow Drill: Various Basics are Applied to a Jab Cross
  23. Knife Hand and the Chamber: Teaching the Knife Hand
  24. Dosan Outer Block Drill: Techniques Build Tactical Control
  25. Reverse Snap Punch Solo Practice: Short range punch to be learned during Dosan
  26. Front Kick Biodynamics, Lean Back and Hip Thrust
  27. Ten Ways to Improve Your Front Kick
  28. Dosan Wedge Block Gap Close: Application against Various Punches
  29. Dosan Against a Hook Punch: Variation in Application
  30. Dosan Spearhand: Dealing with a dynamic opponent in an unscripted setting
  31. Dosan Applying the Trap: Modifying the trap dependent on where the strike comes from
  32. Dosan Spearhand Solo Training
  33. Applying Dosan's Shoulder Roll and Turn as a Hard Style 'Wing Block'
  34. Trapping Hands and Knocking on Doors - Backfist through a Lead Guard
  35. Limb Attack and Control: Folding of a Block Deflects a Strike Pedagogy of Block Training
  36. Rear Leg Turning Kick Solo Practice: Technique to Help in Sparring
  37. Over-the-Shoulder Assisted Breakfall Solo Practice

External Online Resources for Beginners

  1. Jean-Claude Van Damme's First Martial Arts Basics Class at FB HQ by JCVD
  2. Nimble Ninja at Home a Lesson for Kids for Home Practice by Rei Academy
  3. Saju Jirugi & Saju Makgi by Stuart Anslow
  4. Taekwondo Beginner Hints: 9 Step Blocks Beginner Drill by GM Keith Yates
  5. Practicing Blocks Using Belts for Solo Practice: Master Starnes at NTKA
  6. Traditional Taekwondo Defences/Blocks Explained by Manuel E. Adrogue
  7. Chon Ji Hyung by Master Eric San Jose
  8. Tan Gun Hyung by Master Eric San Jose
  9. Basic Blocking Applications by GM Keith Yates
  10. To San Hyung by Master Eric San Jose
  11. Do-San tul, taken to task by Stuart Anslow
  12. Some ITF Intermediate Position Applications by Dr Sanko Lewis
  13. How I Teach the Basic ITF Taekwon-Do Turning Kick by Dr Sanko Lewis
  14. Improving Your Kicks (Solo) 1 by Stuart Anslow
  15. A Training Session by Rhee Tae Kwon-Do Victoria
  16. Practicing Patterns in Confirmed Spaces by Stuart Anslow
  17. The End of the Roll: Not a Toilet Paper Joke by Ben Couch
  18. TKD Drills to Pass the Time During COVID-19 Days by David Henry
  19. Kihon Kumite One Steps: Practical or Not? by GM Keith Yates
  20. 2-Step Flow Drills by Ben Couch
  21. Home Practice: Controlling Your Techniques by Ben Couch
  22. WMA Workshop | 2 | Dan Gun by Whitlock Martial Arts
  23. Taekwondo Basic Kicks by Gary Foster
  24. Kicking Exercises by Master Phillip Lear
  25. Pull and Shove Self Defence by Master Stephen Starnes
  26. Bully Prevention with Martial Arts Advice for Children by Sensei Mike Proctor
To set yourself up for Online Collaborative Learning see Resources


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  • Integrate easy throws into a hard style syllabus.
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    ugh JDK. Additionally, please do not offer certification as a token of appreciation to any JDK member. 

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