The Tao of Taekwondo

Notes and reflections from a deeper practice of traditional taekwondo

Saturday, December 15, 2007

One step sparring

Trained today in some 1st Dan curriculum. I got Taebek down for the first time, and now need to imprint that. Then my partner and I worked on our 1st Dan one step sparring curriculum. We have five techniques for wrist graps, shoulder grabs and what we call "falling" techniques, which are largely kicking techniques delivered from the ground.

The wrist grabs are fairly basic and practical, in order they go like this:

  1. Inside wrist and force down on the forearm.
  2. Outside wrist
  3. Grab and step under opponent's right arm and then take gim down with and arm bar.
  4. Grab and step under opponent's left arm and force him up on his toes and throw.
  5. And Aikido move, redirection and reversal.
The shoulder grabs are a mix of practical and impractical. The first two are static and the last three are for an opponent running towards you with arms outstretched:

  1. Peel and turn inside wrist
  2. Distract with a palm strike to the chin and then outside wrist
  3. Extend arms, right arm under opponent's left and left arm over the opponent's right. Turn and lay your hip into the opponent as you throw him over your back.
  4. Extend left arm around opponent's head and right arm under his arm. Fall back onto your left leg and choke him out while somthering.
  5. Turn to the left and extend the right arm outto grab opponent's left arm. Switch stance, buckle knee with left arm and pull hm over top of you as you fall to your right knee.
As practical self-defense techniques, the last three in particular are next to useless I think. There is another benefit in learning them though. The student has to really think about these moves because they are complex and counter intuitive. In learning them the student learns more about his or her own body mechanics. You go through a physical learning curve of awkwardness, comfort and mastery of these techniques. I think these are more for training the mind-body connection rather than the practical application of self-defense.

The falling techniques have similar value.

  1. Fall to the left side and deliver a right leg roundhouse kick to the opponent's midsection. Follow that up with a foot lock on the oppoenet's ankle and a side kick to the shin or knee to drop him.
  2. From a right traditional fighting stance, drop to your right knee as you sweep with your left foot. Then turn over and lock your legs in your opponent's legs, roll over once to your left to bring him down and finish with a roundhouse kick to his jaw.
  3. From joonbi drop on to your right knee, and grab opponent's ankle, buckle his knee with your shoulder and push into him, dropping hm on his back.
  4. From a left fighting stance, grab opponent's right arm with your left hand, lock left leg around his right leg and push him back, holding on to his arm. When he is on the ground, deliver a right leg axe kick to his head.
  5. From right fighting stance, sweep with the left leg, and then execute a right leg spinning hook kick as you fall to your left knee.
Again, the practical application of these techniques is dubious, but the act of learning to go down and develop kicking mobility of the ground is valuable.


Friday, December 14, 2007

Preparing for second Dan

I've been invited to consider preparing for second Dan, and so I'll do that. I have set a goal for myself to be ready to do it in June. It means getting a bunch of curriculum down pat, but there is another piece that is alive for me too.

I am enjoying teaching and helping out in the adult beginner class, as well as preparing the balck belt candidates we had who made their promotions last week. For the next six months, I want to work the curriculum to the point where I not only know it, but can teach it.

* * *

Last night some great drills featuring two targets. Kicking in one minute all out sessions to a target in front and one behind. We worked simple kicks: roundhouse, back kicks, side kicks and tornado kicks. It's a good drill. Also we did some ankle and calf conditioning with standing stretches, moving up and down on the balls of our feet, and then with the feet turned in and then out.

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