Shoulder Roll and Upset Punch

This is an integrated Taekwondo lesson for senior students and black belts that takes a concept of an elbow roll/wing block/bong sau from Dosan, and pairs it with the upset punch from Kwanggae.

There are many hard stylists who train predominantly in patterns. Nothing inherently wrong in that, only when you need to tactically deploy the concepts in those forms. The upset punch being one of them.

It seems to be an easy motion, but there is a tendency to put more of a hooking flight path on it than is necessary. As a traditional move, if you need to make it happen, it needs to be fired off from 'where it is at.' The most direct path is a straight line to the opponent. If you veer from that line, the distance that punch needs to cover increases, thereby decreasing your time to land the strike.

The next issue is the shoulder roll and why you need it ... sometimes the lead arm is down. You've tactically brought it down because you needed it. You've deflected, parried, or are controlling the opponent. You are defending against a possible throw. You are checking for weapons.

An oncoming strike when the lead arm is down requires you to move your shoulder, or deflect with the raised back hand. That is if the back hand is raised in the first place - which it should be. The shifting of your body and clears your centre of gravity from the line of fire. And then when you clear past the strike, you shift and stutter step, firing the back hand directly to the opponent.

Need I say it? You connect with your foreknuckles to a flat and soft target. Not the teeth. Not the chin. Connecting with a 'corner' of the head like the jaw may increase the probability that your fingers will break - taking you out of the fight.

Lastly ... when you fire that strike ... power is generated through compound motion torquing the body and spinning the hips toward the target. The arm isn't what powers into the opponent. The arm only transmits the power that is generated from the body mass shifting toward the target. Hope that is clear.

When you're drilling on the bag? Make sure you don't feel a huge amount of effort from the arm or shoulder muscles. The reverberation should go right through the body, and the main effort is focused on locking the arm - using the lats - to your side.

The next video is a response to the one I posted where Joshua Lay shows us how to drill this tactic on both sides. Really nice to have this continued study.

Don't forget - when you train at home, don't damage furniture! If you want to practice the strike, reduce power and aim at something light and flexible like curtains. Make sure not to connect with the window!

Keep well.


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