Monday, 12 October 2015

Searching out practical applications to Poomsae?

Image Source: Karate Do Kyohan 1935
by Gichin Funakoshi
The last few weeks I have presented many practical applications to Poomsae. I have covered all of Taegeuk Il (1) Jang from start to finish, as well as a sequence in Taegeuk Oh (5) Jang and a sequence
containing similar techniques in Taebaek Poomsae. Some have asked me how I come up with these and I plan to share some of my methods of finding them in Totally TKD Magazine when I`m finished with rewriting the Taegeuk il Jang series there but as readers of this blog often the first rough draft of these articles for the magazine end up here. In truth I have some difficulty answering the question because despite what people believe I dont have a "fixed" process like others do. My process if I can call it that is very intuitive and sometimes messy. I hope that I can streamline it for better results in the future and putting my thoughts down on paper (digitally at least) will be a very helpfull first step in doing that for me.

So how do I find the applications? Sometimes I can read a book and see something that I recognize and then read another book that gives another piece of the puzzle and so on until I have a functional application. The start of the sequence I demonstrated in Taebaek is a very fine example of that so I will show you just where I found it :-)

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Practical application from Taebaek Poomsae

I am hoping (but never sure) that I might try to get my 3rd Dan within the next 12 months or so.
Because of that I am turning some of my attention in privat training toward Taebaek as that is the Poomsae I need to demonstrate for that rank. One of its key sequences occurs in the middle of the Poomsae with a double block, (Keumgang momtong makki), reach, grab and pull in punch (dangkyo teok chigi), middle section punch (momtong jireugi), side kick and hammer fist strike into an elbow strike.

Many strugle to make combative sense of this sequence, and for those few who dont they divide it up so that only the first half of the sequence is one application and the second half (starting with the sidekick is an unrelated application to the first half). The reason why they believe that is that the first half occurs in many Karate Kata while the rest of the sequence is a Korean "add on" to that sequence. As many believe that the Koreans knew nothing about the art they were making they dont stop to consider that perhaps this add on is just fine as is? I will share one of my takes on this sequence in this post and hopefully if it does not sit well with you at least you can stop and think that perhaps while my take on it is not your cup of tea, you can consider the posibility that there might be an application out there that fits :-)

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Taegeuk Oh Jang Application for Taekwondo fighter

In his post: "Taekwondo is a long range martial art. Right?" Josh or "Taekwondo fighter" makes an
interesting case on how he views kicks and their function in Taekwondo Poomsae. The blog post is well worth a read and the blog in general is great (I see it as a "sister blog" to my own as me and Josh share many similar thoughts while also disagreeing enough to keep the fun of reading ) so what I am trying to say is that I recommend the blog, the post and all its content :-) Anyway, in the comments to that post I said something along the lines that simply by lowering the height of the kicks most KTA Poomsae kicks will fit in with the medium to short range and I gave a well known sequence to Taegeuk Oh Jang as an example. Josh countered and told me that for it to work you needed to kick with the front leg to make it work, or to evade too much with the parry pass method. Now a form demonstrating what to do if you position yourself too far away is a good thing, but then he would be right and not me:-P So what did I do? I tweaked my original application so it still works as in the form :-P For my unaltered application and his comment that spurred this whole post read his post and then the comment section below it.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Moo Duk Kwan; Taekwondo`s forgotten Kwan?

In my recent post "Taekwondo is not and has never been a "kick block punch" system!" I referenced
a lot of Taekwondo books to demonstrate how Taekwondo has emplyed more tactics than just blocks, punches and kicks since the Kwan era. The oldest book was written by Hwang Kee in 1958 with the title "Tangsoodo textbook". In one of the comments I was asked why this book was referenced in Taekwondo history when Hwang Kee never truly joined the Taekwondo movement and developed his art into Soo Bahk Do. This post is not only a result of that comment though. This and similar questions on why I choose to count Moo Duk Kwan and Hwang Kee into Taekwondo history has been asked many times in discussions both in person, on online forums, e-mail and on this blog. I am sure I am going to need to explain this again in the future, but I hope this post will contribute a good answer to those who have wondered but yet to do the asking:-)

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Taekwondo is not and has never been a "kick block punch" system!

Recently (at the time of writing anyway) a guy posted the following paraphrased question in a study
group I belong to. "If Taekwondo was taught as a pure kick block punch system would it still be effective?" A little later it was pointed out "effective? Effective in what?" and the clarification was effective in self defense (other forums would have gone into the trap of discussing it without this clarification but not this one :-D Anyway; I quickly answered the question that Taekwondo has proven itself effective in the Korean war, in Korea after the Korean war and in the Vietnamese war. Sure Taekwondo the name was not in use until 1955 (two years after the Korean war ended) but most of the Kwan that served as the foundation of Taekwondo was in place before the Korean war. I did add if Taekwondo was taught with the Ho Sin Sul aspect intact.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Part 3: Self defense application of Taegeuk Il (1) Jang + Bonus!!!

I have really enjoyed this months unrelenting focus on Taegeuk il Jang. If you have not read the last few posts on this blog I recommend that you start with my "love letter to taegeuk il jang", and then read practical applications part one and practical applications part two before reading this one. That way you will see why I love this form so much, and learn practical applications from start to finish.

This post of this (dare I say) groundbreaking article series will focus on the "eulgeul makki, ap chagi, momtong jireugi" combination (high block, front kick, middle section punch).

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Part 2: Self defense application of Taegeuk Il (1) Jang

I my last post I shared applications for the first 6 movements (move 3-4 were omitted as they were a mirror image of move 1-2). I have laid out some of the reason for why I love Taegeuk Il Jang in a previous post so I thought that I should dive right in on apps. I mentioned and tried to describe how move 5-6 can be used as a counter armbar for cross side wrist grab (he grabs your right wrist with his right hand for instance). I am not sure if I made it completly clear so I will start by revisiting move 5-6 and present that app again but this time I hope to be a little clearer:-)