"All Poomsae consists of roughly the same building Blocks as Karate Kata. We agree that Karate Kata had practical Applications. We are both fans of the excellent work that Iain Abernethy, Vince Morris, Patric Mcarthy, Jesse Enkamp and others has put forth on Karate Kata. They all say that each technique in Kata can be several Things however. So each basic technique has several different Applications. Making New forms out of the same building Blocks would therefore be like playing Scrabble With only the white pieces (the ones without letters). They can be any letter you want so eventhough there are New unique sequences in KTA Poomsae that are not found within Karate Kata we can still make Words and sentences With them."
Now after letting this linger in my brain for a few days I thought that I could see if I could prove that basic techniques has different Applications by choosing some of the more frequent techniques and seeing if we can apply them against different attacks and different situations. For the first post in this series I would like to look closer on the most common way of applying the high Block/ face Block / eoulgeul makki as a Block/ deflection using mainly the primary movement of the technique. Below you can see the Kukkiwon standard on how to excecute the technique in question (This Clip will follow each post of the series and each Application I will provide will have its basis in this way of doing the technique):
I have previously said that simple single handed "Blocks" like low Block, middle Block and high Block can be used as defensive techniques pretty much as in normal mainstream Application. Note that I say pretty much and not "as is". Boxers (bare knuckle boxers at least), old School Karate, Myu Thai Boran, and pretty much all civillian self defense arts have used the high section Block as part of their arsenal. Not excactly like the big movement that you see in traditional main stream taekwondo Application but it is there if you know where to look. The old School Application of the high section Block is also in Our forms:-)
Before we look at how we should apply the high section Block as a Block lets look at the starting point that traditional Taekwondo gives you:
Here you see a straight punch aimed at a point just below the nose. The defender steps back and do a high section Block, redirecting the punch above his head. The first high section Block actually has a few good Points:
- Arms are low to start With so Block starts roughly from where you allready have Your hands (little chambering)
- Defender drops into long front stance which allready puts him almost out of the way of the attack
- body moves Down and Block moves up making an efficient use of the deflection that helps applying the technique as a Block
So what are the weak Points?:
- Chambering takes too long
- Other hand at the hip little safety in motion
- Other hand moves With no function
- (on step 2 and 3) no body evasion except backwards.
- Moving backwards is not the best strategy in self defense and combat
- Attack is stylistic Karate straight punch
- (Please comment if you find more)
- Remove chambering and simply Block from wherever Your hand is
- Keep other hand up to protect yourself. In front of solar plexus or better yet at Your chin.
- Other hand ready to attack or defend
- Use body evasion and either move forward in a straight line or 45 degrees. Start from a high stance move into a deeper stance this will drop Your head and aid the deflection.
- Consider changing the attack to a Wild haymaker. This will make the end position of the Block more relevant as the beding of the arm Ensures better coverage of Your head if Your timing is off. Better redundancy.
So where on Earth can you see this used in Our forms without the stylistic Chamber and the hand at the hip? What about Jitae? Here against a right handed haymaker he moves forward inside the attack and deflect it while simultanious Counter attacking With his left arm!
You also see a similar defense in Chonkwon Poomsae. The side punch might not actually be a side punch but rather part of a nifty easy takedown along With the stance.
How about Taebaek Poomsae where you have Keumgang Momtong Makki? Could not find a video of the technique but it can be seen here at 25 Seconds in.
So should we stop practising the big movement labelled high Block and its basic Application? No I do not think so. Each to their own, but I feel that there is merit in keeping the basic Application and that I learn transferrable skills by doing that. Should you at higher ranks start practising the way I show above? Yes undoubtfully. The problem is that this is simething few People do as they are content at staying in color belt land their entire career.
By the way here is the Picture of the technique if you do not get youtube to work:
Click here for part 2 where I will look at Eulgul makki as a wrist hold release
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