Monday, 9 February 2015

Practical Application for Gawi Makki/Scissors Block

Image Source
Gawi Makki
Many come to this blog in search for combative meaning to puzzling movements that seems to make no sense. I like to believe that sometimes the blog helps them find that meaning and I also hope it
helps them see things in a different light. One technique that I found very strange (to the point I felt it was useless) was the Gawi Makki (scissors block) that you see in Taegeuk 7 Jang and Taebaek Poomsae. The official applications to the block did nothing to alter my view for it being useless but I stumbled upon a few different ideas that changed my view completly.
Image Source: Kukkiwon
Textbook 2006
Official App for Gawi Makki
Writing the "Back to the Source(s)" series (which turned out to be a huge succsess on this blog) I once again looked through the Kukkiwon Textbook. Instead of looking at the Poomsae Application sections after each Poomsae I focused my attention to the Kyorugi section of the book. My organisation has a very well organised and varied Kyorugi section in their syllabus so I must admit that this section was not used that much by me. One of the pictures leaped out of the page the moment I saw it and I imidiatly understood why. There are several applications to the Gawi Makki, and one that I have used fairly long now is a simultanious block and counterstrike. This works a lot better than the official application where you block one opponents punch and kick (which he delivers at the same time with his right leg and left arm or vice versa) or two opponents simultanious attack.

Image Source: Kukkiwon Textbook 2006
Personally I like to change the trajectory a little more and deliver a rising punch (uppercut like punch) instead of the back fist but it is a great example of an application. Note that Kukkiwon Textbook does not state this to be an application to any specific Poomsae at all, this is from the Kyorugi section but the Kyorugi section is the section where they demonstrate how you can use Taekwondo as a whole. I just recognized it as one of the applications I use for the movement.
As for an application I would label this a Gibon Dongjak Eungyoung (Application of basic technique) because I believe that the section of Taegeuk Chil (7) Jang where this technique shows up (and a few moves after the scissors blocks) is demonstrating how to take and control the center line when the arms of you and your opponent clash. Taking and controlling the center line is a vital part of many self defense systems (perhaps Wing Chun Kung Fu is best known for this) but you can bet that if it is so effective a concept to be a center part of several system`s strategy it will be found in practical combative applications in Poomsae as well.
Dont let that stop you from teaching, practising and applying it the way it is demonstrated in the picture above though. It is a simple straight forward application in line with Taekwondo`s overall self defense strategy so it is a good one (In my own opinion at least).
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  1. There are a few ways I use this:

    - Block of kick whilst up close with lower hand, grab back of head or arm and then use the mirrored side to complete a take down/toss.

    - Breaking of a clinch (Taught to me by my Tanglangquan friend as he was taught). You snake the arms inside (over and under) then complete the movement/block. This works on a larger opponent on even super tight clinches.

    - Your last point with regards to general hand movements is another way I interpret as well. This perspective comes from a more softer and sticker Taijiquan ("Push Hands") approach as taught to me as well. You can also see how sticky hands work and feeling positions works for this in many of Abernethy's videos on Naihanchi and how he uses the blocks to grapple/attack/dislodge himself. Ryan Parker's videos are on the same level as well, if not even more detailed.

    1. I use it in other ways as well :-) I remember you commenting on another post the different usages of the Gawi Makki (not sure if the breaking of a clinch was in that one though, I need to test it because it fits very well into that portion of the form and I like it). I chose this one for the post to show that there is an answer to the technique in the Kukkiwon Textbook itself if you connect the dots on your own, it is simple striking application so it is fairly easy to apply right away and because it is allready illustrated I do not need to draw a very ugly picture or find someone willing to pose with me in a picture.

      I follow Ryan Parkers blog and videos (and try to read as much as I can from him on his facebookgroups) and I gennerally like what he has to say.

  2. ... Gawi Makki also appears in Palgwe 5

    1. Thanks David. I am not so familiar With the Palgwe :-)

    2. A nice set of 6 DVDs - "WTF Standard Taekwondo Poomsae" - were released in 2003 by Dartfish and apparently "Recognized by the WTF". All the palgwae patterns are shown in addition to the taeguek & higher level black belt patterns.

    3. It is a Nice DVD set. I have it, and I like watching the Palgwe but I do not train them myself so eventhough I watch them from time to time I do not feel competent in writing about them etc. That is why it was great of you to make it apparant that the Gawi Makki appears in the Palgwe series as well :-)

  3. I also use at is an albow joint strike and break. Grandmaster Kyu Hyung Lee on the arirang Taekwondo step by step videos explains it as such.
    Also Master Jeong from youtube uses it as a break off of a grab by trapping the arms. Also deflecting 2 attackers.

    1. Yeah a friend linked it too me and I was very pleasantly suprised that he had a grappling application for it. Especially when there are so many ignorant people out there who refuse to believe that there are more to Poomsae than kick block punch :-)

  4. I read this article which is interesting that I am not the only one that find some movements in forms or poomsea that have more than one application. This movements beside the official conception and the other functional mentioned here I found other set of combination. Example: The official interpretation is that both hands are blocking a kick and a fist, others use a low punch and a high punch. In my case I found in sparring that works as a double punch, one goes to the face and the other to the solar plexus or lower, this one leave you vulnerable for any attack, because you are not protecting yourself. Or the high arm is an inside-outside middle block and the lower arm goes to strike the solar plexus or lower. These are my two other use for this blocking, I don't know if anyone else saw this as the way that I see it; but it could be a another application. Try it & let us know. My 2 cents here. :)