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#169207 - 07/20/05 11:19 AM Applications for blocks in TKD forms
SANCHIN31 Offline
Former Moderator

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3783
Loc: Arkansas, U.S.
Hi there TKD guys and gals!
I posed this questions a while back in the karate forum and was looking for some good responses here as well.
What are your applications for your blocks? High,low,inside,outside.I think that's what they called them when I took TKD. Are they merely blocking or do you have deeper meanings? If one hand is merely blocking what is the chamber hand for?
Thanks for all the replies!
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#169208 - 07/20/05 12:27 PM Re: Applications for blocks in TKD forms [Re: SANCHIN31]
Leo_E_49 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/24/05
Posts: 4117
Loc: California
Well it depends really, I have seen only a few applications that I can think of at the moment. All of which derive from the WTF patterns. Apart from the ones I've seen, I can imagine that most of the blocks could signify grappling movements to position an opponent. Any knife hand block can clearly be changed into a grab, I will not cover this possibility because it is quite obvious.

It should be noted that these are only my personal analyses, I do not know of any official applications to these techniques. It is also quite difficult to describe these over the net, I will do my best. By the way, I do not think the chamber in TKD is used for much more than increasing strike power and protecting the limb against being grabbed. A large number of blocks in WTF patterns do not use a chambered hand, as you will soon discover.

The first that comes to mind is in Taegeuk Sah Jang, I interpret the initial movement as a downward block to a middle section strike (aimed at the solar plexus) grabbing the striking arm. The striking arm is then pulled down to expose the armpit to a vertical knifehand strike.

http://www.worldjidokwan.com/Forms/TaegeukSahJangFormfour.htm

See step 1 and 2 in the website.

I recently found a new application in the same pattern by watching my Jujutsu Sensei perform a throw. The technique is a knife hand upper block to a downward hand strike followed by a knifehand to the throat using the other hand. This strike was used as the beginning of a stranglehold takedown. (Although this may not have been the original intention of the movement because a front kick follows it)

See step 5 in the above website.

In Taegeuk Oh Jang, there is an outward knifehand block followed by an elbow, this is clearly a wrist pull followed by an elbow to the jaw.

http://www.worldjidokwan.com/Forms/TaegeukOhJangFormfive.htm

See step 10 and 11 in the above website.

A similar technique can be used by pulling an arm down from a downward strike and elbowing the unprotected face. (i.e. the arm is pulled down to chest leve after the strike hits the upper block and your elbow strikes above your opponents trapped arm).

See steps 15 and 16 in the above website.

I'm not too sure about this one, so please pitch in if you have a better clue. In Taegeuk Chil Jang, there is a technique which looks to me like a grab to counter a punch to the solar plexus followed by a palm strike to the bicep of the punching arm (limb destruction?). Then a backfist to the nose.

http://www.worldjidokwan.com/Forms/TaegeukChilJangFormseven.htm

See step 7 and 8 on the above website.

In the same pattern, there is a collar grab similar to a Muay Thai clinch, followed by a knee to the solar plexus. (Proof that knee strikes are used in TKD). This is followed by a takedown involving pulling and twisting your opponent by their dobok collar.

See steps 14 to 16 in the above website.

In Taegeuk Pal Jang, there is a peculiar technique which involves a horizontal arm held infront of your chest and an uppercut afterwards. I am at odds with my instructor as to what this move means. He believes it is a deceptive move, that the horizontal arm is used to hide the coming strike from the opponent. I personally believe that the horizontal arm is grabbing a punch to the solar plexus and then the other arm is used to strike the tricep (again limb destruction) or chin of the opponent (who should be pulled off balance and bending over).

http://www.worldjidokwan.com/Forms/TaegeukPalJangFormeight.htm

See step 9 in the above website.

In the same pattern is one of my favourite applications. I interpret it as a simultaneous collar grab and elbow to the temple, followed by a backfist using the same hand to the nose (which should be facing away from the initial strike) and finally a high section punch to the exposed larynx.

See steps 19 and 20 of the above website.

The last pattern I am able to comment on is Koryo (1st Dan pattern). This pattern has some of the most interesting applications. It clearly uses knee destruction roundhouse kicks similar to those used in Muay Thai.

http://tkdonline.free.fr/General/Poomsee/Koryo.htm (Apologies for the image quality, I couldn't find anything better)

See step 2-1 in the above website.

The pattern also demonstrates claw strikes to the larynx. (Many people don't believe me when I say that claw strikes ARE used in TKD).

See step 8-2 in the above website.

There is also what I interpret as a grab to intercept a strike to the solar plexus and a rising palm strike to the undefended chin.

See step 18-3 in the above website.

I think I've chronicled all the applications to techniques in WTF TKD patterns I can think of. Hope this answers your questions, even if it is only my limited experience which forms the foundation of these interpretations.

I will post if I discover any more interpretations later.

I'll say again that these are NOT official interpretations, only my personal opinion. I don't want to start any arguments over this.


Edited by Leo_E_49 (07/20/05 12:32 PM)
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#169209 - 07/20/05 12:41 PM Re: Applications for blocks in TKD forms [Re: Leo_E_49]
SANCHIN31 Offline
Former Moderator

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3783
Loc: Arkansas, U.S.
Leo,
Those are good applications and if it works, use it.


Quote:

I do not know of any official applications to these techniques.




Official applications? Do they have to be recognized by some big organization making money by telling people what they want to hear or can they just be real applications that work?

Quote:

By the way, I do not think the chamber in TKD is used for much more than increasing strike power and protecting the limb against being grabbed. A large number of blocks in WTF patterns do not use a chambered hand, as you will soon discover.





I was in TKD for 3yrs. every block we practiced was with the opposite hand chambered.
I would like to submit that the applications can be the same from style to style official or not. The high block in karate means the same in TKD or any other arts.
The chamber will not increase power by drawing it back quicker,that's a misconception. Your hand will have the same power chamber or not.
One use of the chamber is for reversing control of an attacker who has you grabbed by the wrist. The simultaneous 'block' is a grappling application or strike to a vital target such as the trachea or side of neck with the high block.
Anytime you have your hand on your hip it is for a reason. Saying you are adding power is a copout for not knowing the true applications IMO.
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#169210 - 07/20/05 12:50 PM Re: Applications for blocks in TKD forms [Re: SANCHIN31]
Leo_E_49 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/24/05
Posts: 4117
Loc: California
I am glad you like them.

I know that "official" interpretations of these techniques do exist. They probably have more of a symbolic rather than practical meaning though. All of the Taegeuk patterns have a connection to various elements and are structured to represent them. (For example, the "earth" pattern, Taegeuk Pal Jang, has a structure of footwork which represents the Korean symbol for earth. It also uses a large number of grounded techniques and stances with low centre of gravity). However this topic has been discussed to death by all styles of TKD. I prefer the uncommon practice of looking at patterns to inspire practical applications and I hope this thread continues this way.

By adding power, I do not mean that by the pulling motion the punch increases power. I mean that you increase the distance between your fist's starting position and the opponent. This increases the amount of space which you have to accelerate your fist, thus increasing its maximum speed and power on impact. Similar to how in boxing a jab is faster but less powerful than a cross.

I admit that I may have missed applications where the fist is chambered, although I have never heard of them in TKD before.

I hope this thread sparks discussion which reveals such applications.

Oh and by the way, what federation/style of TKD did you study and what belt rank did you finish with? This could explain why you have only encountered chambered blocks. The patterns I cited are not beginner patterns. The beginner patterns are relatively straightforward with seemingly no alternate applications. Only after the fifth pattern do two handed blocks become readily apparent.


Edited by Leo_E_49 (07/20/05 12:57 PM)
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#169211 - 07/20/05 12:55 PM Re: Applications for blocks in TKD forms [Re: SANCHIN31]
Christie Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 07/12/05
Posts: 872
Loc: Waterloo, ON
Another application of the chamber is multiple attackers where the chamber is an attack in itself, an elbow to someone behind you. Also when you bring your arm up to chamber after blocking when a punch follows after a kick etc. or when chambering to do a block, that arm is blocking any possible counterattacks from the opposite side or depending on the movement following the chamber it may also be a "reach-punch", so grabbing the person and pulling them towards you as you perform the next movement. Same with when bringing the opposite knee of the kicking leg up when doing jump kicks, that the knee is an attack also in the event you are too close, you may miss with the kick but you end up kneeing the person instead.

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#169212 - 07/20/05 01:01 PM Re: Applications for blocks in TKD forms [Re: Christie]
Leo_E_49 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/24/05
Posts: 4117
Loc: California
Interesting, I also know of a theory that the leading leg in a 360 roundhouse kick is a check for an incoming kick to the knee. I have heard that the leading leg in the 360 hook and back kicks is intended for stepping/stamping on your opponents knee or gut (I have infact seen this stamping move executed on a heavy bag and it did work. It may have been dodged if executed on a real person but you'd have to move quickly and dodge the second [and possibly third] kicks).

Of course, these techniques are rarely seen in forms.


Edited by Leo_E_49 (07/20/05 01:02 PM)
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#169213 - 07/20/05 01:06 PM Re: Applications for blocks in TKD forms [Re: Leo_E_49]
SANCHIN31 Offline
Former Moderator

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3783
Loc: Arkansas, U.S.
I'll submit some applications for blocks.

High block- Attacker has you grabbed by the wrist. While pulling inward and reversing the grab(even if you have to step forward from a strong arm) the block comes behind the attackers elbow and rotates quickly upward while you go into your lowered stance. Attackers elbow becomes dislocated and ends the confrontation enabling you to retreat. There are many,this is just one.

Downward block- attacker has you grabbed by the wrist again (stupid attacker!) Again you reverse the grab while pulling inward(chamber) go into your lowered stance(probably horse stance)and smash the attackers groin,temple,middle of forearm, neck etc... doing the maximum damage and ending the attack.

These do not have to be merely form a wrist grab and will allow you to explore how the body reacts and works for these applications so you won't get bored.

Quote:

By adding power, I do not mean that by the pulling motion the punch increases power. I mean that you increase the distance between your fist's starting position and the opponent. This increases the amount of space which you have to accelerate your fist, thus increasing its maximum speed and power on impact. Similar to how in boxing a jab is faster but less powerful than a cross.





If you are striking you want to keep your non striking up right? So the chamber would not be the application for striking,you should only bring your hand down to control an opponent meaning you have something grabbed whwther it be the wrist or handful of hair. Noone punches from the hip right? It's the body mechanics involved that increase the power not the distance you are coming from otherwise a haymaker would be more powerful.
Good posts Leo. Are you sure you're 19?
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#169214 - 07/20/05 01:41 PM Re: Applications for blocks in TKD forms [Re: SANCHIN31]
Leo_E_49 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/24/05
Posts: 4117
Loc: California
I turn 20 in September so I think 20 take 1... 19! Yep sure is. I've been training since I was 4 years old, so a lot of this stuff comes naturally. I've been a BB for about 5 years now and had about 9 years of training formally (I took one year off because my instructor retired). I spent a lot of time waiting to become a black belt, because I couldn't become one until I was 16. As a result I had plenty of time to contemplate this sort of thing.

I'm sure that the power which could be added by chambering is neglegible. I don't even train chambering anymore unless I'm forced to in class. I use a sort of modified boxing guard (more side on with the arms extended further for easier defense against grappling [principle being, standing locks are easy to escape and keeping a grappler far away is top priority for a striker]).

I'm impressed with your use of the chambered upper and lower blocks. I shall contemplate these further.

I really want to hear what other TKD people have to say about this subject. In all my years of training, I only heard theories about this sort of thing from 3 of my instructors and very little speculation otherwise.

Note: I just realised one other. An inward crescent knifehand block could be you intercepting a punch with one hand and pulling it down to your waist level (chamber) then swinging in the knifehand to the locked elbow, dislocating it.


Edited by Leo_E_49 (07/20/05 01:45 PM)
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#169215 - 07/20/05 01:42 PM Re: Applications for blocks in TKD forms [Re: SANCHIN31]
Dereck Offline
Prolific

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10413
Loc: Great White North
Wow ... lots here but found too much to read so skimmed over. Just last Thursday I had a talk with my Instructor about blocks. How it has been explained to me is as junior belts then are taught "blocks". As you advance to a senior belt such as myself then you must start thinking of them as "strikes" not blocks.

For instance somebody throws a haymaker at you. You don't just block it you strike it hard and follow it up with solid punch to the jerks jaw ... or palm strike him to his smug face ... or grab the arm and hip toss his sorry butt to the ground followed up by blow after blow with your fist ... or snap the arm at the elbow. You have to use your imagination as how to incorporate it and how you will follow up with it afterwards.

If you just block it like you learned in your initial training or how it is used in your patterns then that is all it will be. But if you incorporate it as a strike then it will be more useable in a real life situation. Whether it is a low section block, middle section block, high section block, etc. Now think of it as a strike that you are planning on doing damage to the individual and following it up with further damage.

I find blocks slow and defensive. Strikes are fast and aggressive. Strikes serve two purposes ... to protect yourself and to hurt your aggressor.

Edit: Videos for the patterns above can be found under Taekwondo & Form on this website. http://www.brown.edu/Students/Tae_Kwon_Do/index.html
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#169216 - 07/20/05 01:57 PM Re: Applications for blocks in TKD forms [Re: Dereck]
SANCHIN31 Offline
Former Moderator

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3783
Loc: Arkansas, U.S.
I don't agree with blocks being strikes for several reasons. One is most blocks are shown to be using the ulna(small bone of the arm) is wouldn't be hard to break with a decent kick. Also the mechanics are wrong for this. You are trying to meet force with force when facing a haymaker. The punch will get through because of the muscles and mechanics involved.(pushing out vs. pushing in) In wins!
The block in this way also puts you both back on equal ground which is not what you want.Keep in mind that the arts were created so that small people could defend themselves against big people. Strike for strike and forced blocks wouldn't work in that case.
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