Exploring hidden techs.

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by terryl965, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. terryl965

    terryl965 <center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR

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    How do you go about finding the hidden techs in the poomsae you do? Maybe you just believe it is just suppose to be one way... why is that? Since poomsae's are old, do you believe we need to go and re-invent the wheel for today society? What is it that drives you to finds ways for the poomsae to be more realistic for today enviroment?
     
  2. exile

    exile To him unconquered.

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    I myself believe that street violence isn't technically any different now from what it was in Itosu's Shuri, Terry. I keep reading stuff that suggests that the nature of street assaults has changed, and maybe it has in terms of how many people you're dealing with and what kind of weapons you have to worry about... but even there, I think very little has changed, and I'm often frustrated that those who talk about 'keeping up with the times' are so rarely specific about just how the times have changed.

    So with that in mind, I'm guided by the Habitual Acts of Physical Violence framework, articulated first by Patrick McCarthy, and backed up by a lot of hard documentation from US Justice Department and UK criminal investigations units, about what kind of attack initiations you're most likely to encounter. And I try to read hyungs in terms of realistic responses to those kinds of attacks. Grabs, grab-and-punch, shoves, sucker punches. I try to apply the kind of analysis that guys like Abernethy, Kane & Wilder, and Rick Clark apply in Karate, and Stuart and Simon in TKD. And I try particularly hard to work out whether a particular move is purely decorative, or has martial content but maybe has been modified so as to 'Koreanize' it, or corresponds to the original application in a direct way. I think certain combat applications were 'lost in translation' from kata to the hyungs, so I'm always looking over the hyung's shoulder at whatever I can learn about the bunkai for the kata that the hyung moves were taken from. Trial and error, really... but I can't think of a more principled way to do it, at this point.
     
  3. Kacey

    Kacey Sr. Grandmaster

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    Well, as I said in response to another thread you created, our students create their own advanced 3-step, 2-step, and 1-step sets - so they use their own experiences to choose which techniques they will use and how they will apply them - so students are constantly interpreting tul (pattern) techniques to their own abilities, preferences, strengths, and experiences to create their own applications. While there are some applications that, upon demonstration, are determined to be ineffective, this system causes students to explore techniques and applications for themselves rather than learning preset techniques - and thus they tend to explore, and understand, more than those who learn step sparring as another type of pattern. I'm not putting down learning step sparring as a pattern - there are uses for that as well - but I think that, in the long run, students need to explore for themselves if thery are truly to understand.
     
  4. Brad Dunne

    Brad Dunne Brown Belt

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    Hidden techniques..........hmmmmmm kind of a mine field to stray into, but here goes. My personal assessment of anything to do with a kata/hyung has to do with the given movement that's being done. Lets take the 1st taeguek form. Opening move(s) 1) turn to the left, execute a left hand down block, 2) step forward with right leg and execute a right hand punch. Now those are the given structured movements of the form and I see nothing hidden. They are what they are, a simple down block and a step punch. Now I realize that folks want to see stuff and have been kind of directed into believing different things, but unless something different comes out of the given movement/technique, then there is nothing remotely possible that could be hidden. I've heard the arguments that it could be this and it could be that, if you did this or did that. But here is the rub, as far as I'm concerned. If I did this so it could become that, then I have in fact altered the given structured movement of the particular form and thusly have actually changed the form to suit the intention to see something else. It's called the end justifies the means and it has nothing to do with anything hidden, because there was nothing hidden. Look at whatever form(s) you practice and take the given movement at face value and ask yourself, is/are these practical self defense positions and would I use it/them in a real altercation?
     
  5. exile

    exile To him unconquered.

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    Those are also the first movements of Kicho Il Jang and Palgwe Sam Jang. And the down block is accompanied by a retraction chamber. So here is a non-obvious application that does not involve a single change in the actual movements that have been carried out, but is quite different from the simple down block/lunge punch that's standard interpretation for this sequence.

    The literal movements are

    (i) ready position, preparatory to a 90º turn into a left front stance/down block;
    (ii) 90º turn into a left front stance/down block with chambering retraction of the right fist;
    (iii) movement into right front stance/middle lunge punch with chambering retraction of the left fist...

    In one SD situation in which this sequence of movements is usefully applied, the attacker has grabbed the defender's arm or shirt. The corresponding moves are

    (i)' the defender covers the attacker's wrist with his own right fist, or reverses the wrist grab&#8212;this is one of the very earliest SD techs we teach them&#8212;and in either case, simultaneously (a) twists the captured wrist counterclockwise, and (b) turns quickly counterclockwise pulling on the wrist&#8212;this is the concealed meaning of the apparent presentation of the defenders left side to the the attacker at the outside of the form (something that would be suicidal to do in a street confrontation, obviously)...

    (ii)' followed by simultaneously (c) driving the left forearm against the attacker's now forcibly extended right arm just above the elbow (the lower part of the `chambering' phase of the `down block'), (d) hikite of the trapped fist by the defender's `chamberinging retraction' of the right fist (pulling the attackers right fist into a maximally extended positon to give the defender's arm pin on the attacker maximum leverage and trapping the attacker in position) and projection of the defender's full body weight forward into the pin via the front-stance movement, forcibly driving the attacker's upper body down and exposing their lowered head to the defender's upcoming counterattack.

    Having driven the attacker into a lowered position via the arm pin described, the defender (e) quickly moves the left arm from its pinning position to near the defender's right ear into an arcing upward elbow strike to the side of the attacker's lowered head, continuing up to a position above the defender's right ear, and then lowers it in hammerfist strike or knifehand to major targets on the attacker's head: the carotid sinus or larynx. This downcoming strike can be subdivided at the defender's discretion into (e1) a spearhand elbow strike to the attacker's face (eyes are a good target) and (e2) the payoff hand strike to the selected target. The main lesson of the whole subsequence is contained here: if you can trap the attacker's arm while going outside, you own him and the fight is effectively over, assuming a correct continuation.

    (iii)' A smooth muchimi shift of the striking left hand to a grab on the attacker's ear/hair/collar is immediately followed by a simultaneous (f)hikite retraction of the left fist to pull the injured attacker in and around and (g) a right-hand strike (maybe a fist, but I think a palm-heel strike is sounder) to the attacker's face with the full weight of the defender's body moving into a right front stance.

    (iii)" An alternative analysis has (f)' the retraction translating to a grip on the attacker's ear or hair, pulling it back while at the same time (g)' the 'punch' supplies torque on the other side of the attacker's head so that a neck break results. Picture a good firm grip on the attacker's head with both hands and an extremely sharp twist (left hand pull while right hand pushes around) and you have the picture...​

    If you carry out the moves as described in (i)'-(iii)' or (i)'-(iii)", with no actual uke involved, you'll get a sequence of movements indistinguishable from (i)&#8211;(iii). What's hidden is not the movements, but the application of those movments: the retraction as a hikite trapping of the attacker's gripping hand, the down block as one or more elbow techs followed by a downward hammerfist, etc. It was Itosu himself who told us that the block/punch labels he gave to these techs, which were carried into Shotokan and its Korean development and finally into TKD, were not intended for adult practitioners, but were the children's version he was trying to get into the Okinawan schools.

    This is a fast, hard application that works well even with a completely noncompliant attacker. And things like wrist locks and arm pins would have been familiar to the Okinawans, who used techs like that in their tuite, and to Japanese MAists of Funakoshi's generation, many of whom had very likely been exposed to judo and jujitsu, which were taught in Japanese schools at the time that GF and other expats brought karate to Japan.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2009
  6. terryl965

    terryl965 <center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR

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    My personal assessment of anything to do with a kata/hyung has to do with the given movement that's being done. Lets take the 1st taeguek form. Opening move(s) 1) turn to the left, execute a left hand down block, 2) step forward with right leg and execute a right hand punch. Now those are the given structured movements of the form and I see nothing hidden. They are what they are, a simple down block and a step punch

    Ok but what happens if you grab the leg with an inside/outside downblock and wrap it with the upper arm and then srep though with the punch and a stomp on the person chest. I know I am getting a little carried away with it but wht could that not be what really needs to be done. This iswhat I am talking about.
     
  7. exile

    exile To him unconquered.

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    Rick Clark gives a number of variations on just the moves you've described as effective bunkai for the simple 'down block' movement in his book, 75 Down Blocks (i.e., 75 different bunkai for just that movement, grouped into subfamilies of application).
     
  8. Brad Dunne

    Brad Dunne Brown Belt

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    We shall agree to dis-agree on this subject. This is not the first time this has been discussed and the folks that seek the hidden truths, more power to you.

    :asian:
     
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  9. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    It really depends on where your TKD comes from. If it remains more closely connected to Okinawan karate, your contention could not be more incorrect, since Okinawan karate specifically teaches that the embusen (or floor pattern) should not trick you into rigidity. See Seikichi Toguchi's book, Okinawan Goju-Ryu II: Advanced Techniques of Shorei-Kan Karate for a short primer on the topic.

    Of course if you're firmly into the modern TKD camp, your interpretation may be entirely correct if that's how your teachers taught you. Form applications are rarely taught in TKD in my observation. It may be fair to say that they just don't exist as an official concept, the efforts of people like Stuart Anslow notwithstanding.
     
  10. SJON

    SJON Blue Belt

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    Just out of curiosity, for what percentage of sequences in the TKD patterns would you answer "yes" under the above conditions? If not the TKD patterns, how about the Pinan/Heian series?
     
  11. miguksaram

    miguksaram Master of Arts

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    I don't believe in the hidden techniques that people like Dillman try to preach. I do believe there are different interpretations on what a move can be used for. People tend to see what they want which is fine the more applications you can get out of a movement, the better.
     
  12. K31

    K31 Blue Belt

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    I wish our instructors would explain what the movements are supposed to mean.

    The owner of my school was watching us perform a hyung one day recently a berated us on performing a downward block with (I guess) what was less enthusiasm than he expected. He went on to explain that the block was supposed to be removing an adversaries grip from your arm. Ok, now we know, but that was one of dozens of moves in scores of hyungs. I'd like to know that, maybe it would help me to remember some of the form as more than just rehearsed motions.
     
  13. clfsean

    clfsean Senior Master

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    Do they not teach the application as they go or in drill work prior to learning or reviewing something?
     
  14. Brad Dunne

    Brad Dunne Brown Belt

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    Since some folks have asked specific questions of me, I will re-enter the discussion, but it's very doubtful anything different will transpire.

    I am not going to convince anyone, who is of the mind that there are hidden movements/techniques within a kata/hyung, otherwise. But I will offer this assessment of a particular movement that was offered by another poster.

    "The owner of my school was watching us perform a hyung one day recently a berated us on performing a downward block with (I guess) what was less enthusiasm than he expected. He went on to explain that the block was supposed to be removing an adversaries grip from your arm."

    You folks go and do this for yourselves and then come back and give us your review.

    I offer this for any folks who would like to really get down to an honest show and tell and openly evaluate this subject. A meet and greet is currently being addressed and our good friend Terry has offered his dojang. This would be a great time to visually and physically evaluate this subject.
    The old saying, a picture is worth a thousand words, could prove true here.
     
  15. K31

    K31 Blue Belt

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    If they are teaching self defense, yes, but what the meaning of a movement is in a hyung, very infrequently. Like, I said, I wish they would. I remember one underbelt "helper" was showing a couple of us a move one time where one arm comes up in a fist while the other chops and she said, "Think of it like you are grabbing your opponent with one hand and chopping with the other" and that's how I always think of it now.

    I was watching a video of a hyung performed the other day and narrator used the term "groin pull" for a move. I thought to myself, "so that's what that's supposed to be". Maybe out of decorum or fear some of the younger students might try it, it was never referred to as that in class.
     
  16. K31

    K31 Blue Belt

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    I think the term I should have used here was "low block" although if I see or read the term for some in 5 places it usually has 5 different names.

    The point is, I (we) always thought of it as a block. Get the hand down as fast as possible never mind the in between. To the instructor/owner it's "break the hold" exaggerate the move away from the arm/shoulder.
     
  17. exile

    exile To him unconquered.

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    Here's my question: given that we have a technique in which (i) the left arm swings the elbow forward so the fist come to rest next to the right ear, and then (ii) abruptly drops down to end a small distance above the lower part of the left thigh, during which motion of the left hand (iii) the right hand rotates palm upward to create a fist, and pulls back to the right side, why do we think that this technique is actually a block?. Yes, it's called a block in Japanese, but that's because it was called a block when Funakoshi and the other first-generation expatriates brought karate to Japan with Itosu's labeling of the moves attached. And Itosu was explicit in his insistence that grade-school karate was not the true art, but a safe version for children. So why should we start from the assumption that material which was specifically labeled for a diluted, kid-friendly version karate should be interpreted in the same way for adults training for survival in unarmed combat?

    This is what Simon's post is pointing to, I think. The literal interpretations of blocking techs in kata make little or no sense, because, as Abernethy points out, 'the modern interpretation of the kata often has every other move explained as a block'. For a choice example, take a look at Palgwe I Jang, moves 5&#8211;7&#8212;a double knifehand downward 'block', a middle knifehand 'block' and a 'rising block'. Who in their right mind would take use three precious 'tempi' (taking the term from chess) with a blocking move, and only then following up (as in move 8 of that Palgwe) with a strike? Block, block, block, punch... really? Anyone who's been in an openendedly violent episode knows that this is just begging to be damaged beyond repair.

    And the crazy rationales for the so-called 'double block' in Pinan Shodan/Palgwe Sa Jang are exactly the same. What moves are you likely to be facing such that simultaneous blocks outward and upward are necessary, followed by an uppercut that only makes sense if your attacker is docilely standing there waiting for you to hammer him? This is the key argument, the really persuasive one I think, for taking the movements in Karate kata (and, derivatively, KMA hyungs) to not be the literal children's-karate versions, but something much more practical&#8212;the sheer screaming impracticality of the standard interpretations, based on Itosu's deliberate camouflaging of the intentions of each move. As Abernethy reminds us over and over in his books, uke doesn't mean 'block', literally&#8212;it means, reception or response.

    My money, if I had a chance to bet, big-time, is that Itosu would be baffled by the fact that his children's version of the art was taken to be the adult version and that people were actually seriously advocating the low-impact child-safe karate lite he had introduced into the schools as the basis for self defense in do-or-die street violence.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2009
  18. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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  19. exile

    exile To him unconquered.

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  20. K31

    K31 Blue Belt

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