Koryo Application Breakdown

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by dvcochran, Oct 1, 2019.

  1. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    I thought this would be a challenging and informational exercise.
    I am going to attempt to do a step by step breakdown of Koryo explaining the possible application(s) of each move or sequence of moves. I hope this will lead to lively interaction and Q&A. Any of us who practice the Yudanja Poomsae know it is hard to find concrete explanations on application. My explanations will be general in nature.
    I feel there is ample knowledge base on the Form to get an informed consensus. So here we go.

    I will try to do a simple numerical/written description of each move using the Kukkiwon website as reference. Like my own your school/system may have subtle differences in how you do the form.

    1. Turn left, open hand middle block.
    Application - Opening defensive movement. General middle level blocking tool.

    2. Step forward and double side kick.
    Application - The first kick is low like a check, the second kick is a head level attack.

    3. Stepping forward after the second side kick, perform a middle knife hand strike.
    Application - It follows a high kick so it could be clearing any remaining aggressive motion from an attacker. The Kukkiwon example shows it dead level with the shoulder. This could be striking a hand/arm or the neck.

    4. Middle punch.
    Application - The knife hand strike created a mid-section opening.

    5. Closed hand inside block.
    Application - A punch or a roundhouse or other non-linear kick block.

    6/7/8. Repeat on the other side.

    9. Open hand down block w/left hand.
    Application - Defensive move for a low attack such as a front kick.

    10. Open handed lower jaw strike w/ right hand.
    Application - Lower jaw strike pulling the head down.

    11. Mid level front kick w/ right foot
    Application - Solar plexus strike with additional intent to drop opponents hands

    12. Open hand down block w/right hand
    Application - Repeat defensive move using other hand for a low attack such as a front kick.

    13. Open handed lower jaw strike w/left hand
    Application - Lower jaw strike pulling the head down

    14. Mid level front kick w/left foot
    Application - Solar plexus strike with additional intent to drop opponents hands

    15. Open hand down block w/left hand
    Application - Defensive move for a low attack such as a front kick.

    16. Open handed lower jaw strike w/ right hand. Kihap
    Application - Lower jaw strike

    17. Step forward with left leg turning 180°. Left leg becomes rear leg and perform double outside block
    Application - Changing direction and creating distance while blocking two middle level attacks from different sides.

    18. Middle level front kick with Left leg & step into an open hand knee check/break
    Application - Offensive Solar Plexus kick or check to stop forward motion immediately followed by a strike/check to the attackers knee.

    19. Slight shift back to Right leg front stance into double outside spreading blocks. Emphasis on spreading the blocked components.
    Application - Breaking the opponents base and creating an opening.

    20. Pick up Right leg and step back into back stance & with Left arm perform one handed open hand outside block.
    Application - General middle level blocking tool. The attack is coming from your back side and the block stops the attack, leaving the attackers body open.

    21. Horse stance Target punch
    Application - The hand is used to represent the attackers near side rib cage where the middle punch is striking.

    22. Step in front with the Right foot crossing stance and perform a Left leg side kick.
    Application - Covering distance to get in the best position for the kick.

    23. After the kick, Change directions 180° landing in a left leg back front stance, groin strike and simultaneously block the neck.
    Application - Multiple attackers; After the kick, turn to confront the second attacker who is very close. They are attacking high which is the purpose of the neck block, leaving the groin open for a strike.

    24. Step slightly back into a neutral position; left leg to the rear front stance and down block.
    Application - On guard position after attack.

    25. Step forward into a front stance pressing block.
    Application - Strong block for a low kick shifting the attackers leg and body to your front side.

    26. Step forward into a horse stance and perform a reinforced elbow strike.
    Application - The attackers side is open so the elbow is to the temple or ribcage.

    27 thru 32. Repeat the same sequence on the other side.

    33. Turn facing the beginning form line. Feet come together into ready stance and hands come together with a target down block with the left hand.
    Application - Turning to change direction, settling to face next attacker.

    34. Step forward with left leg and open hand (palm down) outside strike followed be an open hand down block.
    Application - Strike and block combination.

    35. Step forward with right leg and open hand (palm up) inside strike to the neck followed by an open hand down block.
    Application - Strike and block combination.

    36.
    Step forward with left leg and open hand (palm up) inside strike to the neck followed by an open hand down block.
    Application - Strike and block combination.

    37. Step forward with right foot and strike the philtrum. Kihap.
    Application - Finishing strike with emphasis.

     
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  2. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    Before I start, I want to say I appreciate the work you put into this. Please understand that my post, even though it's mostly arguments against what you say, is not trying to argue with you. I'm merely trying to discuss what you brought to the table, give you my thoughts on your thoughts, so that you can respond in kind and give me your thoughts on my thoughts on your thoughts. (You can guess what I plan to do after that!)

    First off, a nitpick: you have 5 steps starting to the left, and 6/7/8 are a repeat to the right.

    As to some the individual techniques:
    #3 and #4 (and the repeat on the other side) seem to have different philosophy. #3 is a head strike following a head kick, but #4 is a body strike following a head kick, which takes advantage of their guard going up in Step #3. Based on that, wouldn't we want to do something other than a head strike following a head kick in #3?
    #10/13 - how are you supposed to pull the head down with a jaw strike?
    #11/14 - why are we dropping their hands? We don't seem to be taking advantage of that motion with the next technique. (This is my criticism of the TKD poomsae that they are re-organized kata and lose most concept of combination because of it).

    #16-17 - you missed a few steps here. There's a kick, leg grab, and arc strike to the knee.

    #17 - there is a lot going on in that application, to turn around and quickly identify and properly block two attacks that were previously behind you.
    #19 - this is extremely vague.
    #21 - previously I had been taught to do a head-level block and punch, in which case the left hand was supposed to grab the back of their head. The application of that left hand seems really odd, especially since there aren't any other techniques in the form where we simulate the attacker's body with our hand
    #22 - what is the advantage of this kick over the cross-behind side kick? Both accomplish the movement task, but the step-behind kick gives you a better posture to chamber from.
    #25 and #26 - I think of this more as a hand-clearing motion for the elbow strike (whether it's blocking a punch or a guard clear). If they're kicking with their hands up, this wouldn't set up an elbow strike.

    #27 - 32 (this is 6 steps, you are repeating 7 steps, another numbering nitpick)

    #33 - what do you mean by "settling to face the next attacker"?
    #34-36 - this is one of the problems I have with a lot of poomsae (for example, Palgwe #1, Taegeuk #2) is that a lot of the "sentences" of the form end on a block.
    #37 - never thought of it as a philtrum strike, that's interesting. I've always thought of it as a neck strike. I'll have to consider that.

    And a few general thoughts to close out:
    • First off, I wish this discussion was more along the lines of "what else could these techniques be" instead of "what are these even supposed to be?" #21 is the perfect example of this.
    • As you can see in #11/14, and #34-36, I don't like the order of a lot of the techniques in the TKD poomsae. There's a guy by the name of Jesse Enkamp, the self-titled Karate Nerd on Youtube. He recently started doing a "critique my kata" series where people send him videos of their kata, and he will tell them what looks "off" that needs to be corrected (i.e. stances, posture, timing). One thing he said is that a kata should look like a fight, the moves should flow naturally from one to the other and should make sense in the form of a story. I realize that there's a bit of a gap between kata and poomsae, but the poomsae seem more like headlines than a story.
    • I don't understand why some things repeat and some don't. I was going to make an analogy to music, but I don't know why it happens in music, either. Sometimes things are done the same on the other side (the first part going left and then right). Sometimes things are the same, but the intro or exit is different (for example, the second part that goes left and right). Some things are similar, but functionally different (the double-outside block after the first low arc-strike vs. the second low arc-strike). And some things don't repeat (the straight chop and down block going back), and some things repeat multiple times (the down blocks and arc strikes going forward). Maybe I'm getting too far into the weeds, but sometimes I wonder why we do a technique once here, twice there, and 3 times there.
     
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  3. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    I expected I would have some moves/counts off. I hope not enough to derail the conversation.

    To your response:
    #3 - has always been vague to me since Kukkiwon shows it dead level with the shoulder. That is why I said a neck or hand strike. We do this move as a closed hand outside block. I hope to hear from others on this.

    #4 - is a middle punch so it tracks with your logic of a middle attack following a high kick.

    #10/13 - picture the web of your hand pushing directly forward on your chin. This is going to either open your mouth or pull your head down. Probably both.

    #11/14 - if someone kicks you in the gut it is very likely you are going to drop your hands in an attempt to block. I say emphasis to set up the next move.

    #16/17 - I will work to clarify. I don't think we are on the same page.

    #17 - agree. We do a full turn which makes it more difficult. Intent is on positioning against the attacker. More of a TSD thing.

    #19 - often referred to as a cat stance. Often done as a short front stance with the front heel off the ground; hence the "slight shift". Not sure what else may be vague. Please expound.

    #21 - agree. Yours is a common reference of the same idea. Kukkiwon says it is a middle punch which is why I said an attack to the ribs. You would not be facing the attacker from the front in this series to the ribs seem to be a natural target.

    #22 - stepping behind does make s side kick easier but predictable. Stepping in front covers greater distance and should not greatly hinder the side kick.

    #25/26 - the Kukkiwon version from a walking stance could fit the hands clearing scenario. We do it more deliberate stepping back into a deep horse stance. This motion is more fitting of clearing a kick. We also do a palms up elbow to the midsection. Again, more of a TSD thing.

    #33 - just a reference that there is a change in speed/pace of this movement. A balancing motion.

    #37 - philtrum is direct Kukkiwon reference. I have always been taught this.

    Great response. I hope this keeps going with others getting involved. If this takes off I look forward to going through all the Yudanja Poomsae.
     
  4. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    Re: Numbers - wasn't trying to derail the thread. Just to be thorough.

    #3/4 - I was mostly talking about the difference in theme here. #3 is high attack - high attack. #4 is high attack - mid attack. The theme of #4 is consistent with what you say elsewhere (use an attack to draw the guard and then exploit the open hole). But #3 follows a different concept, one I may not be understanding. If you kick high, the guard is high, and already high for the chop.

    #10/13 - Maybe it's just my strong neck from my wrestling days, but I don't see the hand winning. Even if the hand is stronger, I just find it more likely to push their head back than pull it down. That's not a very good leverage point.

    #11/14 - I agree that it would get their hands down. I just don't think the next move in the form (down block) capitalizes on their guard being pulled down.

    #16-17 - Going down the line, it's:
    • Left leg turn to the front, down block, arc strike
    • Right front kick, down block, arc strike
    • Left front kick, down block, arc strike + kiyhap
    • Right front kick, scoop the knee and break
    • Step forward and pivot 180 and double outside block
    You skipped the red part.

    #17 - I agree with the footwork. The idea you're doing a double block (which I already don't like most double blocks as a practical application) alongside the movement is where I have an issue.

    #19 - More on what "Breaking the opponents base and creating an opening." means. I just don't know what you mean by it (hence: vague). Also, I believe it is a walking stance, not a cat stance.

    #21 - why wouldn't my attacker have his front towards me? Also, I'm not arguing with where the target is, I'm arguing with why our left hand has to simulate the ribs. There isn't another time I can think of, out of the 8 Taegeuks and 4 Yudanja that I know, where we simulate a target. Any other time our hand is out there, I've always seen it as a grab and pull.

    #22 - I guess I don't see it as that predictable, because there are a lot of techniques that I have that step behind, including the hook kick, the backfist (i.e. the end of Taegeuk #5), or to use that step in a spinning elbow or chop. In front moves you a little faster, but then you lose that efficiency when you chamber.

    #25/26 - Where are you learning this? We're talking about a KKW form, so I assumed we were talking about the KKW version of the form. Both of these are steps forward.

    #33 - I am more confused by what you said in post #3 than post #1.

    #37 - Where did you get that reference?

    Please note that if I'm complaining about the form itself, then it's not your application I have an issue with. (I've been very vocal of my dislike of some of the moves in the forms). But sometimes it seems we're trying to force a square peg of an application to the round hole that is a body exercise.
     

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