Monday, 15 May 2017

Is Keumgang a basic form?

Reading through an online discussion on an old forum the other day I came across question regarding
Palgwae Poomsae or rather who still teaches them. It was an old thread, but one of the first replies came from a 6th Dan school owner who said and I am slightly paraphrasing here:

"We teach Taegeuk and Koryo to black belt level, and then have everyone learn Palgwe 1-8 along with Keumgang for their 2nd Dan. Keumgang is such a basic form to study at that level so they need the additional material".

I am all for perserving history, and allthough I have never formally studdied the Palgwae set, I do see their appeal, and they also represent the first form set made by most of the all Kwan. I used to want to study them, but the more I studied the Taegeuk and all the Judanja (Black belt forms) I was given in Korea, plus now my teachers own creation (Soak Am Ryu Poomsae) and some of the old Kwan forms (most noteably Chulgi Chudan Hyung, Won (Original) Koryo Hyung and Ban Wol Hyung) I have more than enough for a lifetime study. I still might do it one day, but I do not yearn it like I used to do, back when I was a real and truly a forms collector. But how someone can say that Keumgang Poomsae is so basic that it is taught almost as an afterthought is beyond me.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Taekwondo "Blocks"

This will be a post that focuses on the application(s) of Taekwondo "Makki-techniques". Makki is a
Korean word that is usually translated into "block" in English. Makki being "block" is a valid translation so I will not say that it is a mistaken translation, but it is a simplified one. If you look closer on the Korean word you will get more translations, and you can look at an older blog post of mine where I did examine the word Makki and its root word Makda. In my view Makki should be translated into "defensive technique" instead of simply "block". Being defensive does not mean that you are simply lifting your arm into position to create an obstacle between you and the attacking limb (this is what you might picture in your head when reading the word "block"). Neither does "defensive technique" stop at merely swapping the attacking limb away as in a "parry". Defensive technique in this case relates to something you do to your opponent so that you receive, redirect or in any other way hinder an attack while gaining an advantageous position. This can be, but is not limited to: parries, blocks, checks, locks, pre-emptive strikes, various limb control techniques etc. This view is supported by the applications to "makki-techniques" in the Kukkiwon textbook where on at least two different occasions "blocks" are applied as joint locks!