Application of Keumgang Makki, Hakdariseogi, and following motions

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Gnarlie

Gnarlie

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Thanks to all who have commented so far, this has brought out some really interesting perspectives! The practice of self defence technique has and always will be my main personal motivation for practicing martial arts. Whilst the spiritual and character building aspects are important added bonuses for me, it's the successful physical application of simple and effective technique that keeps me motivated and coming back for more.

If I can see eye gouges, strangles, chokes, sweeps, throws, vital point strikes and so on in the poomsae, whether they are intended to be there or not, the poomsae are a great source of inspiration. I've found in my classes that people have quite an appetite for application treatments of the poomsae - it gives them the motivation to practice poomsae that otherwise they might have neglected in favour of other more immediately accessible aspects of the art. Breaking out poomsae techniques a great way to learn to analyse and experiment with movements and find out what works for you and what doesn't. It also gets people talking and thinking about the fundamental principles that are at work within the technique.

I like my self defence with a heavy dose of reality. Some of the techniques within the poomsae can form the beginnings of a self defence syllabus for practice and development within hoshinsul self defence drills and one-step sparring. In many cases, the application of a poomsae technique stands up better to a reality check than some of the traditionally practiced drills. In Hoshinsul, I'd much rather see a convincing application of the wedging block, knee, twin upset punch from Taekgeuk Chil Jang, than the terribly unrealistic and sometimes downright dangerous 'crescent kick the fist away' techniques that somehow manage to survive the test of time in those drills.
 

puunui

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In many cases, the application of a poomsae technique stands up better to a reality check than some of the traditionally practiced drills. In Hoshinsul, I'd much rather see a convincing application of the wedging block, knee, twin upset punch from Taekgeuk Chil Jang, than the terribly unrealistic and sometimes downright dangerous 'crescent kick the fist away' techniques that somehow manage to survive the test of time in those drills.


that's one application, the inside crescent kick block of a punch to the face. Another sparring and/or self defense application for the crescent kick striking you own hand is that before the crescent kick, you place your opposite hand on the opponent's spine. Then, if you close your eyes, you can still see his entire body and feel his intention through touch. By placing your hand on your opponent's spine, you can easily kick him in the head, without looking. Try it the next time in class. Close your eyes, place your hand on your partner's spine, and see if you can visualize his entire body. If so, then there are tons of permutations and applications off of that.
 
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Gnarlie

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I totally agree puunui - my favourite application for those steps involves a "lower risk" crescent to the back of the knee, bringing the head down with that 'feeling' hand, meaning the target elbow meets the back or side of the head via proprioception. You're absolutely right, there are many many permutations. Some are more practical than others, and that's the point I was trying to make. I don't think any amount of practice will ever allow me to meet an oncoming punching fist with a crescent kick...I have a hard enough job meeting punches with a hand!
 

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I like my self defence with a heavy dose of reality. Some of the techniques within the poomsae can form the beginnings of a self defence syllabus for practice and development within hoshinsul self defence drills and one-step sparring. In many cases, the application of a poomsae technique stands up better to a reality check than some of the traditionally practiced drills. In Hoshinsul, I'd much rather see a convincing application of the wedging block, knee, twin upset punch from Taekgeuk Chil Jang, than the terribly unrealistic and sometimes downright dangerous 'crescent kick the fist away' techniques that somehow manage to survive the test of time in those drills.

Maybe you missed my question above. "You must have explored WTF Olympic Sparring Training Methods very deeply?" in other words, how deeply did you explore WTF Olympic Sparring Training methods in order to determine they were not for you?

The link I posted with that question did not work, here it is again, hopefully it works this time.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/grandmastercole/sets/72157628639006141/

It's commentary by the elderly Great Grandmaster who was a chief architect of Shihap Kyorugi (what some folks call WTF Olympic Taekwondo Sparring)
 

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I don't think any amount of practice will ever allow me to meet an oncoming punching fist with a crescent kick...I have a hard enough job meeting punches with a hand!

Maybe not a punch, but what if someone was trying to grab your neck, a grab coming generally slower than a punch? Can you do that one? Or maybe they already have one or both hands around your neck.... Not every self defense technique or response has to be necessarily a violent one.
 
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Gnarlie

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Maybe you missed my question above. "You must have explored WTF Olympic Sparring Training Methods very deeply?" in other words, how deeply did you explore WTF Olympic Sparring Training methods in order to determine they were not for you?

The link I posted with that question did not work, here it is again, hopefully it works this time.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/grandmastercole/sets/72157628639006141/

It's commentary by the elderly Great Grandmaster who was a chief architect of Shihap Kyorugi (what some folks call WTF Olympic Taekwondo Sparring)

Hi Mastercole, sorry, I thought the question was rhetorical! I've played, enough to determine that I can only view Olympic style sparring as a game - albeit a game that does offer many benefits. I had managed to find your flickr feed without the link, and read the articles in question. Very interesting reading, thanks again, and I agree with many of the points made, and am beginning to understand why the ruleset is as it is.

That said, I must respectfully disagree on some points relating to my own personal motivation for practising the art. I'm not convinced that Olympic sparring alone offers me personally as much in terms of effective self defence as it does if supplemented by other drills I am doing. I understand that it helps me to improve timing, distancing, power, speed, accuracy, agility etc. But as stated in the article, some techniques have been eliminated from the ruleset as they would hinder the development of excellent kicking skills. When all of that timing, distancing, power, speed, accuracy, agility etc can be nullified by a judiciously placed leg sweep, for example, then I've not been training in the most practical way that I can to reach my personal goals.

For me personally, the development of excellent kicking skills is nice to have, but is not the most important thing on my agenda - I'm looking for a high return on investment in terms of (time and effort invested in) vs (self defence effectiveness out).

Sparring techniques can be hampered by many of the techniques disallowed, e.g. leg sweeps, face strikes, clinches. This is the fundamental reason why I'm looking primarily outside of Olympic style sparring for effective self defence applications. There are some transferable skills from sparring, but they need to be supported by something extra.

Techniques have been eliminated on the grounds that they would hinder each other in a free fighting environment. But that doesn't that they cannot and should not be practiced in a meaningful and practical way, surely? Were they eliminated because they were dangerous to practice, or because they clashed with kicking?

I feel like I'm teetering dangerously close on the precipice of an 'effectiveness' discussion, which has been done to death on this and other forums, and is off topic for this thread, which after all was about the application of a poomsae technique, so I'm going to stop now!

Thanks again for your thought provoking responses :D
 
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Gnarlie

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Maybe not a punch, but what if someone was trying to grab your neck, a grab coming generally slower than a punch? Can you do that one? Or maybe they already have one or both hands around your neck.... Not every self defense technique or response has to be necessarily a violent one.

Yes, slower attacks are also possible and the punch could be considered an analogy for a grab. I was referring to actually seeing people crescent kicking versus a punching fist in a one-step sparring situation. This for me is unrealistic and impractical. Even with a slower attack or grab, there's just no way I would risk a high kick where an unbalancing scenario is highly probable, when it would be far easier to step and evade, or use a hand to receive. Anybody crescent kicking a punch away is surely already out of range of that punch even if they don't kick...?

I agree that it doesn't need to be violent, but I'd go for the stable evasion with two feet on the ground rather than the unnecessary engagement with one foot on the ground. That's what I meant in the original post.
 

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I've played, enough to determine that I can only view Olympic style sparring as a game - albeit a game that does offer many benefits. I had managed to find your flickr feed without the link, and read the articles in question. Very interesting reading, thanks again, and I agree with many of the points made, and am beginning to understand why the ruleset is as it is.

I am glad you read it, 21 pages is a lot. Please, tell me about your full experience with Olympic style sparring training and why it does not offer you as much as something else. There are things that can be learned from Olympic style sparring that related directly to Poomsae Keumgang, not only in a spiritual sense but also in a technical, skills based sense. But we will have to discuss your Kyorugi experiences, deeply to get to those points.

That said, I must respectfully disagree on some points relating to my own personal motivation for practising the art. I'm not convinced that Olympic sparring alone offers me personally as much in terms of effective self defence as it does if supplemented by other drills I am doing. I understand that it helps me to improve timing, distancing, power, speed, accuracy, agility etc. But as stated in the article, some techniques have been eliminated from the ruleset as they would hinder the development of excellent kicking skills. When all of that timing, distancing, power, speed, accuracy, agility etc can be nullified by a judiciously placed leg sweep, for example, then I've not been training in the most practical way that I can to reach my personal goals.

What makes you think all that timing, distancing, power, speed, accuracy, agility can be nullified by a leg sweep?

For me personally, the development of excellent kicking skills is nice to have, but is not the most important thing on my agenda - I'm looking for a high return on investment in terms of (time and effort invested in) vs (self defence effectiveness out).

I solved most of my dangerous physical self defense fights with a punch, I rarely ever kicked, unless it was to the groin. What skills are giving you a high return on your investment?

Sparring techniques can be hampered by many of the techniques disallowed, e.g. leg sweeps, face strikes, clinches. This is the fundamental reason why I'm looking primarily outside of Olympic style sparring for effective self defence applications. There are some transferable skills from sparring, but they need to be supported by something extra.

When you have these rules it allows one to develop the basic skills of striking to a very high level. So high that sweeps, elbows, wrist grabs, whatever become ineffective.

Techniques have been eliminated on the grounds that they would hinder each other in a free fighting environment. But that doesn't that they cannot and should not be practiced in a meaningful and practical way, surely? Were they eliminated because they were dangerous to practice, or because they clashed with kicking?

It was to allow all the most basic, primary skills to be applied at full contact with the bare fist and foot. Even though Taekwondo contains punching skills to the face, ridge hand strike to the neck and eye gouging with the fingers, they could not be applied to sparring in the full contact mode. Because if you are not training full contact, you are not sparring, and you and not gaining ANY self defense value from your physical training.

I feel like I'm teetering dangerously close on the precipice of an 'effectiveness' discussion, which has been done to death on this and other forums, and is off topic for this thread, which after all was about the application of a poomsae technique, so I'm going to stop now!

Thanks again for your thought provoking responses :D

I don't think the discussion is going that way at all. Keumgang contains an element of great value in technical martial arts, that is what I hope we are getting to. No need to stop now.
 

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Yes, slower attacks are also possible and the punch could be considered an analogy for a grab. I was referring to actually seeing people crescent kicking versus a punching fist in a one-step sparring situation. This for me is unrealistic and impractical. Even with a slower attack or grab, there's just no way I would risk a high kick where an unbalancing scenario is highly probable, when it would be far easier to step and evade, or use a hand to receive. Anybody crescent kicking a punch away is surely already out of range of that punch even if they don't kick...?

Can I ask you why you are so focused on self defense? Are you employed in an area which requires such skills? Do you live in a dangerous neighborhood or frequent dangerous areas, for whatever reason?
 
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Can I ask you why you are so focused on self defense? Are you employed in an area which requires such skills? Do you live in a dangerous neighborhood or frequent dangerous areas, for whatever reason?


Hi Puunui - three main reasons for my SD focus:

I come from an area where the crime rate is relatively high, and a significant proportion of that crime involves violence and alcohol (I am English, and this is a problem in some areas). That said, I always tried to avoid confrontation.

Regardless of my avoidance tactics, violence has found me on numerous occasions. I've tried quite a few things. Some work. Some don't. Adrenalin can have some interesting effects.

I am responsible for the teaching of others. It's not so much that what they learn must be only SD, but I would like what they do learn of SD to be grounded in reality. I try to steer students away from fantasy. If I present something, I want to be pretty sure that after practice it is easy to employ and effective.

A fourth and perhaps less important reason is that I like to analyse what I train - it keeps me interested, continuously improving and able to offer something fresh. This involves periodically reviewing everything from a new perspective. I've done fitness, competition effectiveness, efficiency of motion, conservation of energy and so on, constantly adjusting. I've been analysing poomsae for applications since I learned Taegeuk Il Jang. I can't help it!
 

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I come from an area where the crime rate is relatively high, and a significant proportion of that crime involves violence and alcohol (I am English, and this is a problem in some areas).

Out of interest, whereabouts are you? I'm in Herts.

Adrenalin can have some interesting effects.

For me in high fight/flight scenarios (sparring - light, moderate or full contact - doesn't do this to me) my legs shake. I never know if it's is visible to others or not, but I learnt that it's just part of the way my body deals with it and to not worry about it. When I was much younger it actually made me feel more scared when my legs shook (I was bullied as a child so experienced it often) and I think it got me in a negative cycle of it making me feel more nervous, increasing the shake and debilitating me.

As I got older I realised that it wasn't actually causing me negative effects (except for being more muscularly tiring, but generally these situations are over quickly so fatigue wasn't an issue) so I could ignore it. It actually has lessened considerably over the years so the last time I'd say it feels more like a twitch than a shake (and I'm in complete acceptance of it now and virtually ignore it).

I worked on the door for a few years (bouncer, security, whatever in your country for those non UKers) and this helped me experience it more often and get used to it.

As you said though, it does have interesting effects.

For me things seemed to slow down (like I moved much faster than others around me) and felt like I was seeing things clearer/easier. Again though, this doesn't happen during sparring (or the few times I competed), only during serious confrontations. Those were the positives to balance out my negative legs issue.
 
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Gnarlie

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Hello Mastercole - I'll break this up to answer if I may:

I am glad you read it, 21 pages is a lot. Please, tell me about your full experience with Olympic style sparring training and why it does not offer you as much as something else. There are things that can be learned from Olympic style sparring that related directly to Poomsae Keumgang, not only in a spiritual sense but also in a technical, skills based sense. But we will have to discuss your Kyorugi experiences, deeply to get to those points.

I'm not sure what you want to know...extensive pad work, partner drills, footwork drills, attack and counter drills, full contact sparring in class and competition (local-national, I'm not that great at it!), plyometrics, stretching, motion analysis...this is a long list. It's not that I'm writing off Shihap Kyorugi, it's something that I spend a lot of time on, and I love it as a sport. I can appreciate that training in this way does offer me transferable skills, and knowledge of full contact to use in analysis of other techniques. I just find it challenging to view it as standalone self defence when so many aspects are excluded. If you can help me establish more of a link between, then I'd be very grateful.


What makes you think all that timing, distancing, power, speed, accuracy, agility can be nullified by a leg sweep?

Unfortunately, personal experience. A well timed leg sweep has brought me crashing to the ground more than once. If leg sweeps were allowed as part of Shihap Kyorugi, I would certainly spar differently. Don't people spar differently under the other rulesets where more techniques are allowed? Doesn't the ruleset drive the behaviour? If not, then why aren't sweeps allowed under the current rules? The article you linked to leads me towards believing that these techniques are excluded because they are incompatible with kicking...

I solved most of my dangerous physical self defense fights with a punch, I rarely ever kicked, unless it was to the groin. What skills are giving you a high return on your investment?

Things I've used with success: Punch to the face, palm heel to the face, eye poke, shin kick, push with the hands, tripping takedowns, knee strikes. The relatively simple things, that don't take too much fine skill to deliver with adrenalin in the equation. Focusing on adrenal recognition and control has also given me a high return on investment.

When you have these rules it allows one to develop the basic skills of striking to a very high level. So high that sweeps, elbows, wrist grabs, whatever become ineffective.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Are you saying that a highly skilled player under the Olympic rule set is somehow impervious to having a leg swept from under them during a kick, being grabbed and elbowed in a clinch, pushed or even thrown? Or do you mean that the likelihood of such a technique functioning against such a player is reduced due to his or her evasive and/or striking skills?

It was to allow all the most basic, primary skills to be applied at full contact with the bare fist and foot. Even though Taekwondo contains punching skills to the face, ridge hand strike to the neck and eye gouging with the fingers, they could not be applied to sparring in the full contact mode. Because if you are not training full contact, you are not sparring, and you and not gaining ANY self defense value from your physical training.

Boxing applies punching to the face full contact. Is there another reason why this couldn't be allowed in TKD other than it jams up kicking skill development? Sparring with full contact punching to the face allowed is something I've done, and it certainly changes the kicking behaviour.

The other techniques you listed in my view still have value for SD purposes and can still be trained in a realistic full contact scenario with careful padding / simulation. Lessons learned from full contact experience in any form can be applied to these techniques, as long as one is aware of the limitations of that experience versus reality.

I think one can gain limited SD value from non-full contact training, for example just giving someone the idea of a pre-emptive eye poke will increase their chances of success versus them having no plan at all. One can also bring analogies across from full contact experience. But I fully concur that any technique I intend to put forth as self defence to students needs to be pressure tested in a situation as close to reality as possible for that technique.

The poomsae applications that I have suggested in this thread are merely that - suggestions. I'm thinking out loud (or in type, as it were). These are not pressure tested at all.

I don't think the discussion is going that way at all. Keumgang contains an element of great value in technical martial arts, that is what I hope we are getting to. No need to stop now.

I really hope so! Keumgang is one mysterious beast of a Poomsae, I think more so than any other. Thank you for taking the time to respond in such detail, I really appreciate it. If any of this appears argumentative in tone, it's not intended, it's because I'm arguing this through with myself! I'm asking myself as much as I'm asking you. I'm my own devil's advocate at times.
 
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mastercole

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Hello Mastercole - I'll break this up to answer if I may:

I'm not sure what you want to know...extensive pad work, partner drills, footwork drills, attack and counter drills, full contact sparring in class and competition (local-national, I'm not that great at it!), plyometrics, stretching, motion analysis...this is a long list. It's not that I'm writing off Shihap Kyorugi, it's something that I spend a lot of time on, and I love it as a sport. I can appreciate that training in this way does offer me transferable skills, and knowledge of full contact to use in analysis of other techniques. I just find it challenging to view it as standalone self defence when so many aspects are excluded. If you can help me establish more of a link between, then I'd be very grateful.

To clarify, I would not view Shihap Kyorugi as a stand alone self defense. I would also work on eye gouge, elbow strike, etc, but for full contact experience, Shihap Kyorugi is enough, that is my point. I would also think of using weapons, either on my person (make sure you know the law) or weapons from my environment, and what a lot of people fail to do is use mental deceptions.

Unfortunately, personal experience. A well timed leg sweep has brought me crashing to the ground more than once. If leg sweeps were allowed as part of Shihap Kyorugi, I would certainly spar differently.

I have had people try to sweep me too, it never worked, and I was not an elite fighter. That said, if you work very hard, and develop your time, explosiveness and your technique, not only to where you are extremely fast (quick), but also extremely powerful with your punch or kick, chances are they won't have time to sweep you, or kick and punch you, or do anything. Have you ever met anyone like that?

Don't people spar differently under the other rulesets where more techniques are allowed? Doesn't the ruleset drive the behaviour? If not, then why aren't sweeps allowed under the current rules? The article you linked to leads me towards believing that these techniques are excluded because they are incompatible with kicking...

No, those other skills they eliminated from Shihap Kyorugi were incompatible with the goal of developing kicking, punching, time, distance, accuracy, etc to it's highest potential level. After several decades of full contact sparring under the Shihap Kyorugi rule set, they expected highly improved methods of training for the skills of kicking, punching, time, distance, accuracy, etc. to improve Taekwondo over all. Those skills that they eliminated from Shihap Kyorugi, including knife, bayonett, eye gouge etc, are found in the other types of Kukkiwon Taekwondo Kyorugi.

I've used with success: Punch to the face, palm heel to the face, eye poke, shin kick, push with the hands, tripping takedowns, knee strikes. The relatively simple things, that don't take too much fine skill to deliver with adrenalin in the equation.

Constant training to use your hands and feet for kicking, punching, grabbing, etc under severe adrenal stress will enable you to develop the use of your fine motor skill technique under the most extreme adrenal stress. If you are not use to functioning in the way, under extreme adrenal stress ---- adrenal stress will also shut down gross motor skills and of course clear and decisive actions as well.

So your attacker just stood still and let you "Punch to the face, palm heel to the face, eye poke, shin kick, push with the hands, tripping takedowns, knee strikes" ? How were you being attacked?

Focusing on adrenal recognition and control has also given me a high return on investment.

How is that you are getting a "high return on investment" with adrenaline, if you are not doing what you do under the REAL threat of personal injury and even knockout with dangerous full contact strikes raining down at you?

I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Are you saying that a highly skilled player under the Olympic rule set is somehow impervious to having a leg swept from under them during a kick, being grabbed and elbowed in a clinch, pushed or even thrown? Or do you mean that the likelihood of such a technique functioning against such a player is reduced due to his or her evasive and/or striking skills?

Anything can happen to anyone on any given day. That said the likely hood of anything working against him is reduced by his superior time, distance, speed, skill and iron will power. And that being said, an Olympic fighter can easily decide to elbow in clinch, punch someone face (they do it all the time in matches), kick a shin, sweep someone off their feet, or kick them in the groin.
I don't know if you could imagine it or not, but if you can, envision getting kicked in groin, or punched in the face by an Olympic level Taekwondo athlete, and then envision that if they decided to do that, there would be nothing you could do to stop it, unless you were are their level. And they could do it over and over and over again, but it would only take one.

To me, that is a good goal to enhance your self defense, train to that level, like an Olympian, with the goal of giving an Olympic level **** beating if needed :)

Boxing applies punching to the face full contact. Is there another reason why this couldn't be allowed in TKD other than it jams up kicking skill development? Sparring with full contact punching to the face allowed is something I've done, and it certainly changes the kicking behaviour.

The original intent was that in Shihap Kyorugi we were to learn to strike a thinking moving target with the bare fist, and the bare foot, like they would in self defense. They eliminated the face punch because it was something that was A) they wanted to keep the bare fist, and full contact method B) and as trained fighters, it would be very likely for them to bust out teeth, shatter jaw bones, etc. So allowing them to punch full contact, starting just 6 inches lower, would allow them to retain full contact punching with the bare fist. Also, by making the rule that the punch had to be so hard, it had to induce trembling shock into the body, would guarantee that if they decided to aim 6 inches higher in a self defense situation, it would practical kill their attacker, hold true to the "one strike, one kill" early philosophy.

And if you are thinking that because during Shihap Kyorugi, they are not worried about face punching, so when they are in a situation without rules they would easily fall prey to face punching, or anything else, think again. Do like I did, find a truly elite fighter, or several. Spar with them, then ask them if you could put on gloves (or not) and do that same, but now with face punching allowed, from both sides. Let me know how that works out.

The other techniques you listed in my view still have value for SD purposes and can still be trained in a realistic full contact scenario with careful padding / simulation. Lessons learned from full contact experience in any form can be applied to these techniques, as long as one is aware of the limitations of that experience versus reality.

I have my doubts about that. Maybe you can clarify these methods, and shed a new light on them, or maybe it's something I have never tried before? Please expand.

I think one can gain limited SD value from non-full contact training, for example just giving someone the idea of a pre-emptive eye poke will increase their chances of success versus them having no plan at all. One can also bring analogies across from full contact experience. But I fully concur that any technique I intend to put forth as self defence to students needs to be pressure tested in a situation as close to reality as possible for that technique.

I have found, from many many personal experiences that without participating in the "all hell raining down on you" full contact fighting experience (over at least a several year period of time) all the analogies, plans, and "close to reality situations" go right out the window when such a person take the first hard explosive blow, and then the immediate following hard explosive blows turn their defense into a train wreck.

The poomsae applications that I have suggested in this thread are merely that - suggestions. I'm thinking out loud (or in type, as it were). These are not pressure tested at all.

Actually you are on the right track, I think. This whole conversation may not seem like it, but it is centered around what is of true value that is found within the Poomsae Keumgang, which is the point of this thread. We just had to take a some side roads to get to there.

I really hope so! Keumgang is one mysterious beast of a Poomsae, I think more so than any other. Thank you for taking the time to respond in such detail, I really appreciate it. If any of this appears argumentative in tone, it's not intended, it's because I'm arguing this through with myself! I'm asking myself as much as I'm asking you. I'm my own devil's advocate at times.

I never see it as an argument.
 
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To clarify, I would not view Shihap Kyorugi as a stand alone self defense. I would also work on eye gouge, elbow strike, etc, but for full contact experience, Shihap Kyorugi is enough, that is my point. I would also think of using weapons, either on my person (make sure you know the law) or weapons from my environment, and what a lot of people fail to do is use mental deceptions.

Then I think I agree. Sparring full contact allows us to experience hitting and getting hit by a fully resistant moving opponent, at some (limited) risk. Some of that experience is useful in drilling non sparring techniques.



I have had people try to sweep me too, it never worked, and I was not an elite fighter. That said, if you work very hard, and develop your time, explosiveness and your technique, not only to where you are extremely fast (quick), but also extremely powerful with your punch or kick, chances are they won't have time to sweep you, or kick and punch you, or do anything. Have you ever met anyone like that?

I think regardless of my own ability level, it depends on how well practiced the 'sweeper' is, and how hard they have worked on their technique. So yes, I've met people like this - sparrers who seem almost infallible. But my point is I've also met people at the same level with techniques like the standing leg sweep. They had trained with sweeps more regularly than I had. Their greater experience with those techniques relative to my own cost me, as I had vulnerabilities I was unable to perceive due to my lack of insight into those types of techniques. Nobody is infallible, and I like to try and keep an open mind. I'm all for being strong & fast in the bread and butter techniques, but the point I'm making is that training outside of the sparring rule framework can help identify potential vulnerabilities in my perception of how combat works.


No, those other skills they eliminated from Shihap Kyorugi were incompatible with the goal of developing kicking, punching, time, distance, accuracy, etc to it's highest potential level. After several decades of full contact sparring under the Shihap Kyorugi rule set, they expected highly improved methods of training for the skills of kicking, punching, time, distance, accuracy, etc. to improve Taekwondo over all. Those skills that they eliminated from Shihap Kyorugi, including knife, bayonett, eye gouge etc, are found in the other types of Kukkiwon Taekwondo Kyorugi.

And it's worked if that was the aim. I don't think anyone with actual TKD experience would dispute the power of the kicks. It's my lament that some of the techniques from the poomsae and the other types of Kukkiwon Kyorugi appear somewhat less practised, and my aim (for my own training) to keep what I consider a healthy balance in terms of training time.

Constant training to use your hands and feet for kicking, punching, grabbing, etc under severe adrenal stress will enable you to develop the use of your fine motor skill technique under the most extreme adrenal stress. If you are not use to functioning in the way, under extreme adrenal stress ---- adrenal stress will also shut down gross motor skills and of course clear and decisive actions as well.

So your attacker just stood still and let you "Punch to the face, palm heel to the face, eye poke, shin kick, push with the hands, tripping takedowns, knee strikes" ? How were you being attacked?

It's nowhere near the same now I'm in Munich, which feels much safer, but in England I lived in a pretty scary place where some form of violence is pretty much the norm on any given night of the week. I've had several actual, recent experiences of being attacked (not getting into 'fights', but being attacked). I can totally agree on the adrenal stress point. 5 or 10 years ago, the thought of a violent encounter would have rooted me to the spot with terror, frozen and unable to act (and sometimes still can, depending on the situation leading up to and the nature of the encounter). Experience with TKD, the writings of Geoff Thompson on adrenal control, and trying to recognise and deal with some real situations have allowed me to gain some degree of control over my adrenal responses.

No, you're right, people don't just stand there. Oh wait, one of them sort of did. I was walking home from the pub on Christmas eve with 2 of my friends, and he and his mate were walking in the other direction, and became confrontational. He was waving a beer bottle around like he was going to hit me with it. Managed to talk him into throwing it away, but even after that, when I tried to leave, they blocked my path. He stood in front of me with his fist raised at face level and said 'you're going nowhere' or something to that effect. With hindsight, I should have struck pre-emptively at this point. As it was, he punched me in the face (a glancing blow, but splitting my lips open), at the same time as I launched a heavy back kick into him. I was dazed having spun to the ground but somehow stood up facing his accomplice, who I poked in the eyes, then grabbed the 2 girls I was with and we ran off. The original hitter must have been out of the game, as he just seemed to disappear. I don't know, I had tunnel vision and what felt like a massive panic attack coming on.

On another occasion a gang of six men set about me with a metal sack trolley as I walked home from a friends house in daylight, breaking bones in my foot, fingers, and face, causing blunt trauma and making threats of further comebacks if the police were involved. The weeks following this were some of the worst of my life. I suffered depression for a long time after.

Another time I saw one of said gang alone, and prevented said comebacks through words and a push alone.

Another time someone tried to suckerpunch me after asking whether I had the time, then smashed my head into the door of a McDonald's. I responded in kind, then cried all the way home.

I'm not going to list out every encounter with violence I've ever had, and I want to say that I don't go looking for it, it's just the way it is in that town. The police were involved in all the above cases. From these situations though, one can learn to recognise and deal with adrenal responses, and also discover what works, what's realistic and what is too fancy / complex. In my experience things with a single, simple, balanced movement work well - low kick, hit, poke, push etc. This is also where I noticed that you can only do so much against six assailants armed with a metal sack trolley, so what you do do needs to be devastating.


How is that you are getting a "high return on investment" with adrenaline, if you are not doing what you do under the REAL threat of personal injury and even knockout with dangerous full contact strikes raining down at you?

I'm educating myself in the physiology, psychology, recognition of and methodology for dealing with adrenal stress. I get a high return on that invested time by waiting for the next adrenalin-heavy situation to arise (pretty much inevitable), and applying what I have learned. I'm getting better at dealing with it, but every occurence is slightly different in nature. The fear of being knocked out in the ring doesn't compare to that of having your fingers broken and head stoved in with a sack trolley, for example. From there, it's a fairly simple leap of the imagination to ask 'would THIS have worked if I was feeling like THAT?', and to be honest with youself when answering.

Anything can happen to anyone on any given day. That said the likely hood of anything working against him is reduced by his superior time, distance, speed, skill and iron will power. And that being said, an Olympic fighter can easily decide to elbow in clinch, punch someone face (they do it all the time in matches), kick a shin, sweep someone off their feet, or kick them in the groin.
I don't know if you could imagine it or not, but if you can, envision getting kicked in groin, or punched in the face by an Olympic level Taekwondo athlete, and then envision that if they decided to do that, there would be nothing you could do to stop it, unless you were are their level. And they could do it over and over and over again, but it would only take one.

To me, that is a good goal to enhance your self defense, train to that level, like an Olympian, with the goal of giving an Olympic level **** beating if needed :)

I agree, all you can do is increase your chances, but for me it comes down to the equation of time invested versus reward. Undoubtedly my footwork, kicking abilities and experience of ring and assault adrenalin helped in the above situations. I'm not sure that I would have fared differently versus the 6 guys with any amount of olympic training. If 6 people decide to hit you with a sack trolley, they are probably going to do it, it's just a question of how many you can take out. I do agree that you have to train something, though, and delivery of quick strikes is part of that package that I see as valuable in the experience that I've had.

The original intent was that in Shihap Kyorugi we were to learn to strike a thinking moving target with the bare fist, and the bare foot, like they would in self defense. They eliminated the face punch because it was something that was A) they wanted to keep the bare fist, and full contact method B) and as trained fighters, it would be very likely for them to bust out teeth, shatter jaw bones, etc. So allowing them to punch full contact, starting just 6 inches lower, would allow them to retain full contact punching with the bare fist. Also, by making the rule that the punch had to be so hard, it had to induce trembling shock into the body, would guarantee that if they decided to aim 6 inches higher in a self defense situation, it would practical kill their attacker, hold true to the "one strike, one kill" early philosophy.

And if you are thinking that because during Shihap Kyorugi, they are not worried about face punching, so when they are in a situation without rules they would easily fall prey to face punching, or anything else, think again. Do like I did, find a truly elite fighter, or several. Spar with them, then ask them if you could put on gloves (or not) and do that same, but now with face punching allowed, from both sides. Let me know how that works out.

I'm not suggesting that at all - it depends on the person. I do note, however that in my experience, small changes in the rules (addition of punching, or sweeping, or changes to the scoring system) significantly change the way that people behave in the ring, and I believe for myself that if I don't train it, I won't do it. Therefore, punching and palm heels are high on my agenda for repetitive training in motion.


I have my doubts about that. Maybe you can clarify these methods, and shed a new light on them, or maybe it's something I have never tried before? Please expand.

Get a red man suit ;). The attacker can still move pretty freely, can still advance and attack with intent, and responses to the attacks can be full blooded, contact strikes, gouges, bites, whatever.

Alternatively, aggressive padwork in motion is effective, IF all the practitioners have experience of real assault situations and can translate what they are practising to reality and vice versa.




I have found, from many many personal experiences that without participating in the "all hell raining down on you" full contact fighting experience (over at least a several year period of time) all the analogies, plans, and "close to reality situations" go right out the window when such a person take the first hard explosive blow, and then the immediate following hard explosive blows turn their defense into a train wreck.

I agree that this is true to a point, until one can (partially) learn to at least tolerate the 'getting hit' part, and start to deal with psychological and physiological issues associated with initiating a response and dealing with consequences. But I think those with experience of actual violence can use that experience to gain valid results from their simulation training.



Actually you are on the right track, I think. This whole conversation may not seem like it, but it is centered around what is of true value that is found within the Poomsae Keumgang, which is the point of this thread. We just had to take a some side roads to get to there.

Yes, Keumgang, the poomsae that mystifies me with it's content from a practical perspective! If there is meaning beyond the symbolic / spiritual, I'd love to better understand it.




I never see it as an argument.

I'm glad. I'm doing my best to think and give a considered, balanced response. I'm not sure I always succeed in doing so, but I will always keep an open mind. Sometimes I have a nasty habit of stating my opinion as fact (working on ironing it out), but I'm always open to suggestions.

Thanks again for your considered responses.
 
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