Saturday, 28 July 2012

Practical Application from Taegeuk Youk (6) Jang

Image source
The Taegeuk series of Poomsae have been subject of countless debates as to how valid they are as forms in a martial art. They are very new in a forms paradigm setting. Naihanchi from Karate is many houndreds years old, the newer Karate forms (e.g Pinan) are over 100 years old but the Taegeuk form set was introduced in 1972 making it very young indeed when compared to other forms. Even so most building blocks of the Taegeuk series (basic techniques) are taken from older forms. Some are rearranged in such a matter that there is no direct counterpart in other forms making Taegeuk series unique. There are even a few techniques/sequences that ONLY show up in the Taegeuk series.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Practical Application from Taegeuk Oh (5) Jang

Image source (Note I do not know or
am affiliated in any way to this site. It has
a lot of pop ups.)
The last few weeks I have had a blast doing one post after another with a practical application from each Poomse one at a time. This time I have come to Taegeuk Oh (5) Jang. This particular technique is something I picked up in a Hapkido class in Korea. Our teacher taught us a wrist release technique followed by a strike. We were told to play around with our strikes so we could practise what was natural to each of us. I performed the wrist release, grabbed my partner with one hand and performed my strike. Only after doing it a few times did I notice that I was practising a segment from Taegeuk Oh (5) Jang in picture perfect form.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Practical Application from Taegeuk Sa (4) Jang

Todays post is about a movement that baffled me when I first learned it. It is the second movement from Taegeuk Sa (4) Jang; The infamous finger tip strike or spear hand as it is also known as. In official or normal application the first move of that form the knife hand guarding block and the second move is seen as one sequence. In my application I see them both as seperate variations on one theme. They both give you options on how to defend yourself from lapel grab. The official application have the defender blocking the opponents lunge punch with the first block, and then the opponent imidiatly launches a second punch without moving forwards, wich the defender blocks downwards with the open handed block and counters with the spear hand to the opponents solar plexus, changing his stance from back stance to long walking stance but without the step to make the distance work.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

The Relationship Between Sparring and Poomsae

Have you ever seen this technique
being used in sparring?
The relationship between sparring and poomase is something many Taekwondo practisioners ask themselves and their instructors when they have been training for some time. It is not only Taekwondo practisioners who asks this but also many other diciplines where Poomsae, Kata or something simular is used in training. The notion of a relationship between sparring and Poomsae or forms is often encouraged in the writings of past masters and newer textbooks. Most people training in a martial art "based" on forms will hear that if you are good in forms you will be good in sparring and vice versa.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Blogging Carneval

I wrote this as part of a blogging carneval hosted on

Image source
I have written about many things that has to do with Taekwondo over the course of this blog but I have never properly adressed the issue of self defense. This is a huge topic covering everything from "soft skills" to "hard skills". It is even difficult to know where to start with a post like this. I guess I will try doing something out of "common sense" as these days "common sense" does not seem as "common" as it used to be.

Monday, 9 July 2012

How to make official applications better/Practical application of Taegeuk Sam (3) Jang

Image source
In older Taekwondo textbooks movements from the forms are often explained with pictures and everything. These days however many no longer consider these official interpretations valid as they would never be usable outside the textbook. Even the striking applications that are pretty straight forward seems to be missing something as the illustrations often have the defender placing his non striking hand on his hip for no reason. In this post I want to share one tip that will often solve this problem with "official" applications and make them more combativly sound.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Practical application for Taegeuk I (2) Jang

Todays post is about another practical usage from a seemingly obvious technique; The high block. This is featured twice in Taegeuk I (2) Jang in short walking stance. I have as with many other techniques several applications to the technique in question other than the standard to block a high section punch or a hammer fist strike to the head. Those two applications are the one featured about 99% of all explonations on this technique and as beginners we take our teachers words without quetions and we never revisit the technique to see if there is other and perhaps more combativly sound usages for the movement.