Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Practical Application from Taegeuk Oh (5) Jang

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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.

Well almost in picture perfect form but you get the idea. The segment is the one with the long front stance low block followed by inward middle block in the same stance. Perhaps count number 13 if I am not mistaken (dont have the textbook with me now).

If you look below you will see the first "masterfully" crafted drawing:
Here I have unwittingly made a drawing of "typical" mainstream Dojang practise. There is very little realism in that drawing. The opponent would be pulling the defender off balance, or using the wrist grab as a set up for a series of strikes. Possibly the wristgrab could have happened in the middle of the altercation if the defender tried to attack the opponents groin, throat or eyes. The drawing just isolates the wrist grab and removes it from its combative setting. Just overlook that and try to picture yourself the wrist grab being used to set up a series of strikes instead. Anyway the opponent grabs your right wrist with his left hand.

Here is the preperation for low block. The grabbed hand is in front of you and the other is raised to your ear on the opposite side of your body. The raising and movement of the arm about to do the block is actually a failsafe as well as a prepetory motion as it is a great defense against the opponents most likely attack (a strike to your head) and it positions your hand to defend your self if he does something else. If your are fast enough however this movement will be just a prepetory movement so you can generate power for the next phase.

Just execute the low block in long front stance like in the form. Use both hands as in the traditional movement. The twisting and pulling action to your non blocking hand along with the forearm strike to your opponents holding arm will free your hand quite effectivly. Moving into front stance will make sure you use your whole body in the technique and not just your arms increasing the chances of success while also bring you in range for the next part. The forearm strike is also important as it will change the attackers mind set from "offensive" to a "defensive" mindset.

Here you grab any part of the opponent with the arm you "blocked" with (in the illustration I have grabbed the opponents wrist), pull him towards you and twist as you pull. At the same time you perform the inward middle block but now you use the whole movement (many shorten the movement to make it work as a block but now you use the whole movement) and the end postition might not be in the perfect height as in the form but maybe a little higher. The target can be any number of vital points along the jaw line or in general at the side of the head for that matter.

The whole sequence can be used to instruct the students in vital point striking as the first forearm strike should be targeted on vital points on the opponents arm (but the technique does not rely on the vital points it works just fine if you miss them), and the inward hammerfist strike should be targeted to vital points (again the technique does not rely on them you will no doubt give the opponent a good whack in the head anyway but the effect of any technique is always amplified if vital points are struck).


  1. Hi just wanted to mention the result of a "Taekwondo play date" the other day. The sequence in Oh Jang is low block, inward middle block, followed by front kick, put the foot down do low block and then inward middle block again. The application above only tell about the first low block and inward middle block. Well the other day a few friends and me came together to do a little training and I played around with that sequence.

    I did the low block against the wrist holding like above. Then I dragged his arm with my blocking arm back to my hip as above but I struck his elbow joint instead. I kicked his back leg with the front kick, and since I allready had his arm at my hip used the prepetory movement of low block as in the application for Taegeuk Il Jang I gave a few weeks back as an elbow lock. I performed the low block movement to his groin and then did the second inward block as a hammer fist to his head.

    The whole sequence flowed so beautifully it looked as I had never done anything else in my life:p The whole group became silent as I did this because that was a long secuence of Oh Jang at once and it all fitted so nicely together. Just wanted to share that experience:)

    1. I'll make sure even i try this, once the month of Ramadan(the Islamic month of fasting) ends and i resume with my training

    2. Let me know if you have any trouble applying it:-)