Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Practical Usage of Taegeuk Pal Jang

I was sitting around with nothing to do so I started "drawing" on a piece of paper. The result was a great work of art wich contained one of my main applications for the double block (low and high) from Taegeuk Pal Jang. This move is frequently interpreted as a block against two opponents attacking your head from behind and a kick from the front, and the defender blocking both attacks (eventhough he does not even see his attacker from the rear).

Iain Abernethy said in a small movie clip on youtube that he calls these interpretations "spiderman bunkai". Spiderman has "the spidersense" that warns him of imediate danger and this type of interpretation would suggest that the defender posesses this "spidersense". I have more than one interpretation, application, boonhae or what you want to call it to this move but one of the main ones can be seen in the picture below (warning due to graphic detail viewer discression is adviced):

This "Masterpiece" is signed Oerjan Nilsen:p
Not even sure if you can see it though, but the essense of the application is that you grab, or somehow get a hold of the opponents leg (maybe he tried to kick you?) and you lift the leg up while using your free arm to sweep the opponent over your front leg. The stance and arm movements fit the double block from Taegeuk Pal Jang exactly, wich is why I like this application.  That and the fact that it looks so good when I draw it:p If you cant see where in Taegeuk Pal Jang this fitts in see the opening picture as that is the technique I am trying to give an application for.


  1. Nice post Oerjan, I also teach this application during my classes. I have thought a great deal about this application myself, and have a few ideas why this application seems plausable.

    Note how the move (Oesantul Makki) starts by crossing the hands, with the low-block/sweeping arm in a middle-block position, and the high-block/leg-catching arm in a low-block position. This creates a <-shape, where a leg (during a roundhouse/pushing kick) would nicely fit into. The idea is much like Wing Chun's Kwan Sao, (, which also uses both arms to cover as much surface as possible.

    From here, the low-blocking arm goes up, succesfully catching the leg, and the other arm is used to push the opponent down. You don't need to throw him over the leg, he will fall down either way. You can also grab the collar or hair to pull him down. The stance (which makes Oesantul makki so strange) is actually very logical since you want to stand in the opposite direction of where you're throwing him to. Stretching the back leg will make sure you won't be pulled along with him if he tries to grab hold of you while falling down. If you would stand with your toes in the same direction, you wouldn't be stable enough.

    As you've drawn it, it would be an application against a pushing kick, moving to the outside of the kicking-leg. If can also be done on the inside of the leg (which happens with a roundhouse kick as well), but then you'd have to kick his leg from under him to really get him down.

    cheers -Thomas

  2. Thanks Thomas. Both for your feedback (greatly appreciated), your indepth explonation for how it works from your point of view and for the interesting Wing Chung link:) I am always facinated to see how different martial "styles" overlap and your link and the prepetory motion of the technique we are discussing are very close indeed.

  3. Sir, i am a blue belt in WTF Taekwondo from India. I want to say Thank You for explaining the use of this technique (and for every post on your blog). I tried using it on one of my friend and it was fun understanding the use of this mysterious move