Saturday, January 1, 2011

Fighting Techniques

Beginners often don't know what to do when placed in a sparring situation, so we have developed these eight techniques.  Naturally, these are just to get the student used to the concepts of blocking, striking, and kicking; and actual fighting would rarely see these combinations in this exact order.

If nothing else, these will teach that combinations of techniques are important (one-and-done rarely works, even though that is a goal). These also helps to develop a sense of timing, distance, and control.

These fighting techniques should be performed from a Fighting Stance.
  1. Block, Punch
  2. Block, Punch, Right Leg Round Kick, Left Leg Round Kick
  3. Block, Punch, Right Leg Round Kick, Left Leg Round Kick, Back Kick
  4. Block, Punch, Right Leg Inside-outside Kick
  5. Left Leg Round Kick, Block, Punch, Inside-outside Kick
  6. Block, Punch, Right Leg Outside-inside Kick
  7. Block, Punch, Turning Right Leg Front Hook Kick with the back leg
  8. Block and Jump Back Kick in one continuous motion 
In my classes, I spend a great deal of time on the first one, for two reasons - first it is the basis for all of the others and second, it needs to become so ingrained in a martial artist's mind as to be instinctive.Punches aren't sexy, but they are very effective.

Lastly, and this cannot be overstated, the block must be executed without moving, unbending, or extending the elbow.  The entire blocking motion must come from the waist.  If you have to reach out to block a punch or a kick, then the attack was not real - it was too far away to hurt you. By pivoting the waist you add control, better power, speed, and ensure you won't be faked-out and thus create an opening for your opponent.

Note: Tang Soo Do is a defense martial art and as such the vast majority of our techniques begin with a defensive move.  This is nicely illustrated with these techniques.  Number 5 is the exception that proves the rule.

1 comment:

  1. One of my best experiences in TSD, was in fact, the training of simple combinations (apart from 1-steps & self-defense). I'm glad to see M. Meredith emphasize perhaps the simplest of the them all--the block / punch combination.

    When it comes to free sparring & formal karate competition, the far majority of the time, we / I see little emphasis by karate practitioners on effective defense and subsequently offense through the use of blocks.

    The issue of effective blocking defense becomes even more clouded when what I will call the sport-karate fighters claim it is nearly impossible to block a well thrown punch. Even more 'experts, then chime in that the standard karate blocks are not blocks and so don/t work in defense. These various experts go on to claim that the standard karate blocks are really strikes or hidden grappling maneuvers.

    Notwithstanding the latter, what motivates me to address this issue is M. Meredith's strict adherence to traditional TSD in a very analytical way. Yet M. Meredith in the MMA blog states how impossible it was for Mike Tyson's opponent to stop his punches from landing.

    Again, not withstanding that physically trying to stand up to Mike Tyson is akin to taking on a freight train, it's my turn to say "Balderdash!!!"

    M. Meredith's blog goes into great detail about proper technique, here blocking, yet we have the colloquial wisdom that blocking doesn't stand up in live fighting.

    Let's dispense with the criticism that everything taught in traditional karate isn't 'perfect.' My position is that the standard karate blocks do work. You just have to have the mental discipline to use them. Most don't.

    As M. Meredith points out, the block must be performed correctly in order channel the strength of the entire body against a strong assault. M. Meredith also points out that the block must be applied in the proper zone of defense. We must tactically match the block to the type of attack. Finally and critically, we must be able to exert that control in the face of aggression and not be wavered. Defensive blocks must be linked to the counter offense in order to defeat the opponent.

    Why waste time with the simple KARATE block / punch combo? Because MENTALLY, it's not simple at all.


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