Saturday 12 September 2015

Part 2: Self defense application of Taegeuk Il (1) Jang

I my last post I shared applications for the first 6 movements (move 3-4 were omitted as they were a mirror image of move 1-2). I have laid out some of the reason for why I love Taegeuk Il Jang in a previous post so I thought that I should dive right in on apps. I mentioned and tried to describe how move 5-6 can be used as a counter armbar for cross side wrist grab (he grabs your right wrist with his right hand for instance). I am not sure if I made it completly clear so I will start by revisiting move 5-6 and present that app again but this time I hope to be a little clearer:-)

Move 1-2 can be used against a same side wrist grab (i.e. he grabs your right hand with his left hand). Move 5-6 can be a logical follow up to finish move 1-2 but it can also be used against a cross side wrist grab (i.e. he grabs your right wrist with his right hand). So in the first form of Taekwondo in the first 6 counts you have a solution to two different "problems" you could face in any fight or self defense situation, as well as a joint lock. Well the app against a cross side grab is this:

Cross side wrist grab

You step to his outside as that is the safest place to be right now, creating more distance between you and his dangerous hand (the free one). He has to turn and follow your motion to punch you with it. You reverse the grip and chamber for the low block where the chamber for the low block places your forearm just above his elbow joint.

I reverse the grip and chamber for low block

You then execute the low block to lock his arm and position him so he is open for a  finishing strike.

Low block long stance

You then grab his shoulder to keep a tactile sense of his movments and punch with your other hand.

The punch (picture taken from a different angle)

Below is a photo series depicting the same app from a different angle:

Cross side wrist grab

Move to the outside and chamber for low block

Pivot 90 degrees and do the low block while sinking into long front stance

The next portion of the form is middle section inward block or momtong an makki and step forward middle section punch or momtong jireugi. 

Below you can see the Ji Do Kwan chamber for the block as well as the Kukkiwon chamber for the block. I was originally taught the Taegeuk forms with Ji Do Kwan techniques. 

First up the Ji Do Kwan chamber

Ji Do Kwan Chamber 

Then the Kukkiwon chamber

Kukkiwon Chamber

The block itself is a little different too. The same trajectory is used but the Ji Do Kwan one ends up with the fist at philtrum height (just below the nose) while Kukkiwon has it at shoulder height.
Ji Do Kwan block (Bad technique but you get the idea)
Kukkiwon block (bad technique but you get the idea)

In application I have chosen to lift the chamber a little as well as the end position but the movement is the same throughout.

Traditional or mainstream Application for middle inward Block, step and middle section punch:

(Sorry but no photos here. I forgot to take them in my hurry. I will try to take a few next week :-/ )

Block same side as the attack, Works well for straight attacks if hands are up and With no or little Chamber.

Alternative Application:

Ji do Kwan Chamber, against a haymaker, hook or round punch toward head

Someone has been verbally assaulting me, I have tried everything to deescalate, I can not flee and violence is imident. I use Geoff Thomspon`s "The fence" to keep control and distance. I have a narrow fence so either the opponent must grab, or somehow remove the obstacle or go around it with a haymaker, hook or circular attack.

Striking range. Note "The Fence" on my part
The opponent decides to throw a haymaker at me. I partially used "The Fence" to make the decision for him. I really really recommend "The Fence" by Geoff Thomspon if you have not read it yet. Short book but packed with great information.

I step forwards, while "chambering" for Momtong An Makki the "ji do kwan chamber". This means I stop his attack and elbow him at the same time. Incidently this is one "entry" we in Traditional Taekwondo Union practise in our one steps, as well as an entry I was taught during millitary hand to hand combat class. I see it show up in almost any art when it comes to self defense. If not this one then a close variation.

I step in and stop his haymaker punch with the "chamber" and elbow him at the same time
 From the position in the above photo I grab the opponents free arm, to eliminate a follow up punch from him, while I flow from the "block" into an inward hammer fist strike. Targets can vary depending on situation but temple, jaw, ear and just below the ear are good targets.
Grab his free arm, pull toward hip, flow from "block" into a hammerfirst strike
 From the hammmerfist you grab the opponents arm as in the photo below. This can be eliminated from app in the chaos of combat, but it is easier to grab the arm you allready know where is and it is tactically good to have some control of your opponent. This can be seen as the chamber for punch.
The "blocking arm" flows from the hammerfist to take hold of the opponents arm
 After securing the arm you step in and deliver a punch while pulling the opponents arm toward your hip. Not how the pull to the other hip turns the free hand of the opponent away from me.
From the previous position step in and punch while pulling the other hand to hip
Now you are almost in the same position as in move 2 in the form and a natural follow up can be the armbar that was shown in the previous article. This armbar can be said to be the second "long front stance, low block, middle section punch combo" in the form.

Same app from a different angle:

The show down

Step in and "block" elbow strike

Inward hammer fist strike secure other arm

Change arms to keep control

Pull in and strke. Natural follow up is armbar from previous article.

Alternative Application:

Kukkiwon Chamber, against a haymaker, hook or round punch toward head

The Kukkiwon chamber follows the same "logic" but is a variation, and it opens up a couple of new options too.

Same attack and entry but this time a punch is used instead of elbow strike.
Distance is a little longer too.

Grab/secure the opponents free hand

Pull to hip while deliver the hammer fist strike

Change hands to keep control (dont search for the other hand when you know
where this one is)

Deliver a punch while pulling to the opposite hip. Note how the other hand
of the opponent is turned away from me because of the pulling hand.

Kukkiwon chamber entry with jamming action

Below is the same idea as before. But this time you step in, block the punch and "jam" his free arm so he can not follow up. From this slightly different entry the same application flows the same way as before.

Step in, cover and block + jam his free arm in one move

Grab the "jammed" arm and pull toward hip while delivering a
hammer fist strike to the opponents head
Change the arm that grips

Step in and strike (follow up with arm bar if you wish)

Byonhwa eungyoung 변화 응용 (Variation application)

Byonhwa eungyoung is an application that strays from the techniques from the Poomsae but are "close enough". It is also the "What ifs" where you change the applications slightly to meet likely alternative scenarios. If you practise with the Kukkiwon standard and therefore use the Kukkiwon chamber the Ji Do Kwan methods presented in this article will be considered "Byonhwa eungyoung". The application below is one that I sometimes teach, but it is only loosely based on the movements of the Poomsae so it is indeed a "byonhwa eungyoung".

Momtong An Makki/Momtong jireugi  as a "S-lock"/"Z-lock" (against lapel grab)

Before you start lamenting me lets get a few things clear:

  • This is (in my opinion) not a primary application for the moves 
  • No, not all poomsae moves are sophisticated grappling techniques
  • Yes this one does work if you do it correctly
  • No, I do not think this is the original intent behind the movements
  • etc

Opponent grabs the lapel. I step back to straighten his arm

I grab and twist his wrist and smash his elbow joint (the momtong an makki)
This is in effect a wrist lock pinned against my chest and an arm lock
in one move. I shif the weight forwards into the wrist lock.

Adding pressure on the wrist while grabbing the opponents elbow

Pull opponents elbow in while stepping in and twist both the elbow and
wrist as if I was wringing a wet towel. This is "the punch" in the form.

If done correctly the opponent will be in a great deal of pain (the pain on
his face is quite real). If the opponent does not go down you keep twisting on his
wrist and elbow joint while turning like you would in the Poomsae (to do another
inward block punch on the other side.) The turn and twist take the opponent down.

As the opponent is down I finnish with a low hammer fist strike and sink into
long front stance (ap koobi arae makki as in move 5)

Keeping control of his arm I finish with a punch to the head
The last two moves is again a variation on move 5/6 or 11/12 (long front stance, low block middle punch combo).

Click here to go directly to part 3

I hope this makes any kind of sense to you and I hope it is something that if you can not use then perhaps you can be inspired by it to make your own application. If you liked the application and want to see more of this in more Dojang around the world please share this post so as many people as possible can get the chance to see it ;-)

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  1. I just found your blog. I really like your research, especially about poomsae application. I will read your blog more after this.

    1. Very happy you like it :-) I have a ton of applications articles on here. If you’d like to see some of them on video I do have a YouTube channel if you search “traditional taekwondo Ramblings” on YouTube :-) And I have a Facebook page with the same name as well ;-)