It's Gotta be the Hips

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Thanks @Tony Dismukes

I really appreciate it! My instructor does occasionally remind us to straighten our rear leg. I guess I haven't been listening. :p So many minute details to remember when performing poomsae. A lot of my focus is on memorizing the sequence.

In any case, that's great advice. I like the belt buckle analogy. I'll try to straighten my rear leg while simultaneously turning my hip. I guess it's just not a natural feeling movement for me, so I need to keep doing it and make it a habit.
 

JowGaWolf

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@Tony Dismukes
I recorded myself performing Taeguk Yuk Jang. I figured it has enough different moves to gauge overall usage (or lack thereof) of hips/waist/core. Thanks.

Ok. This is an easy fix. Think of your strikes as 2 major phases:
1 Ready Phase
2. Strike Phase.

You aren't twisting your hips because you aren't landing in a Ready Phase. In other words. You are landing in a position where your hips are already "twisted" for the strike. Here's what I'm talking about.

This is the position of your hips before you punch. I would tell students, that they won't have any power for the punch because the hips have already fired and are in the fired position. At this stage your hips should be in a "ready position" Your pelvis is facing the wall and it should be turned more towards the door, so that you can twist into the punch. Even at this camera position I should be seeing more of your back than what I'm seeing now.

1674769079521.png


This is what your hips look like after you punch. There is no different in the position of your hips, waist, and torso after you punch. Your hips don't twist because you are already in that twisted position. Your hips never entered a ready position to drive power to your punch.
1674769828292.png


Below is the position your hips should be in before the punch. This is the ready state for twisting into /driving power into this type of punch while in the bow stance.
1674769513601.png


This is how your hips look when you twist into a punch. But in your case, this is your ready position before you punch. Which means that you have no twist to give. No twist to drive the power.
1674770070724.png


So how do you fix this? You have to work on your footwork and stance transitioning like moving from horse stance to bow stance, moving from cat stance into bow stance. The angle of the back foot determines how much twist you are going to be able to get. When the toes of your back foot point at the wall then you will be in that fired position and your hips will face forward. If the toes of your back foot point 45 degrees away from you then your hips will be at an angle in a ready position. I'm 90% sure that this is the issue that you are having. There is a 10% chance that you may just be flexible and that your feet are landing in the right position but your flexibility just needs to be better timed.

You would have to do simple punching drills in order for me to know if it's the 10% issue or the 90% issue. For now it would be best if you just focus on how your place your feet and where your toes point.

This guy has the same issue with some of his punches. @1:43 pay attention to where his toes point before he punches notice how his hips don't twist.
 

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I agree with everything Tony Dismukes wrote. To expand on it (from my perspective) when you think of the belt buckle analogy consider this:

If the buckle needs to end square in front of you, it has to start off to the side. As an example,
- If you start in a front stance doing a low block, (let's say with your left leg in front) the buckle should be square.
- As you go to step forward and punch with your right arm over your right leg (also in a front stance) your hips do not remain square through the step.
- To generate power from the hip, let it fall behind you (maybe around 45 degrees) as you step.
- As you plant the right foot in front of you (straightening out the left rear leg as Tony mentioned) turn your right hip forward to square position at the same time as your punch. (Breath out at the moment of impact to help with timing).

This leads to my second suggestion... timing. There were several areas of your poomse where you planted into a stance, then blocked afterward. Along with your work on turning the hip, try to time the block to complete at the same time that your step completes.
(Such as after the rear leg front kicks. When the kick lands, try to finish the block at the same time).

As you mentioned, there are a million little details to work on, and you can only focus on so many things at once.

The good news is, once you get the hang of the 'how' to move in each position, that skill transfers into all future patterns. In the end, all the moves are built upon the same foundational method of moving and power generation. Drill, drill, drill, the 'how', and eventually you won't have to spend you brain space on that part (freeing it up to focus on the next improvement to your technique).

Stay positive. Just the fact that you're asking these questions and looking for feedback means you will get this sooner than you think. I wish more students were so engaged in figuring these things out.
 
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Thanks @JowGaWolf for the detailed analysis! It's funny the things we don't notice about ourselves. I'll work on landing in a ready position so I can better follow up with the strike.

Thanks @MadMartigan for the encouragement!
 

JowGaWolf

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Thanks @JowGaWolf for the detailed analysis! It's funny the things we don't notice about ourselves. I'll work on landing in a ready position so I can better follow up with the strike.

Thanks @MadMartigan for the encouragement!
Video yourself doing Taeguk Yuk Jang again, but this time capture only your lower thighs and feet. Don't think about what anyone has said. get a copy of that so you can get an idea of your footwork and foot placement. This way you can focus on what is happening with your lower body. Just make sure you get enough to tell where the knee is pointing. You may want to do Taeguk Yuk Jang if you need to see which way your knees are pointing. Generally speaking your knees will often point in the same direction that your toes point in. This should help you analyze your videos and it should help you to develop a stronger focus on what the bottom part of your body is doing.
 
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I didn't realize how bad my anterior pelvic tilt looked, so that's another thing I've got to keep working on.

As I've gotten older, I've become more comfortable in acknowledging my flaws. But I don't want to say I'm comfortable with them or accept them. I want to keep learning and improving, even if I never reach perfection. I see life as a continuous journey of improvement.

I was eligible to test in February, but I'm no longer concerned with the color of my belt. I decided to hold myself back after narrowing down six areas where I want to improve: flexibility, balance/coordination, form/technique, speed, power, and left-leg kicks (being right-handed).

Thanks again.
 

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I'm no longer concerned with the color of my belt.
For the love of all things fashionable, please do coordinate it with the color of your shoes.

You've already received a lot of good advice. Something that's helped me tremendously with moving from the hip is sword work. You hold the sword in front of you, relax the shoulders and swing it from the waist. But that would require hands-on training. The next best thing, which you can do alone, are the following movement drills.

General guidelines: Stand up straight, keep your balance and soften (you should "relax" but not by collapsing like an undercooked pancake, you should rather picture a woman's long hair when you remove the hairpin: it is soft but gravity keeps it straight). Keep your hands in front of you without trying to move them. They will follow your hips (actually, they will follow your wrists which follow your elbows which follow your shoulders which follow your hips).

Try to replicate the instructor's movements (specifically from 11:00 onwards):


I'm sorry it's in Italian but that's the only one I've found that showed what I wanted. The video covers turning in place; pivoting on the front foot; stepping at an angle and adjusting your hips; and pivot-stepping.

I mostly do the drill below (irimi tenkan) in warmups (you may struggle a bit at first but you'll get there in no time, we have a 65 years old beginner who made it in a couple of months). I recommend starting with the movements above because you need to get a feel for the range of motion, but then once you can do irimi tenkan it will work on a lot of things at once:


Also, it's good to know a lengthy choreography but I've looked up Yuk Jang (I'm no TKD guy) and it looks like it's the 6th form out of 8. If you want to improve your mechanics you should focus on a few of the most basic techniques first so perhaps work more on your first forms. TKD people might want to give you more pointers on this.

Happy training.
 

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@Tony Dismukes
I recorded myself performing Taeguk Yuk Jang. I figured it has enough different moves to gauge overall usage (or lack thereof) of hips/waist/core. Thanks.

I don't know how much training and experience you have, but from your video, I would guess you're relatively new.

I would encourage you to re-read what @skribs, @Monkey Turned Wolf, and @Tony Dismukes wrote. There's some good stuff there, and they do a good job of breaking down some of the problems with your body position and such. I'm going to focus on one thing here. Power generation.

The short version is that you are generating power solely with your arms and legs. You're really not using your body at all. And that means your strikes are going to be weak, when compared to someone who uses their whole body.

A strike is not one movement; it is a series of coordinated movements. One example.

Assume a front stance. Now throw a middle punch. The first thing that should happen is your rear leg should push, and your hip should rotate forward. Then your torso should twist, moving your shoulder forward. Then finally, the arm itself actually moves, with the fist twisting to palm down at the very end of the movement.

The start of the various movements are separated by the tiniest of split seconds, and all of them should finish at the same moment - the moment of impact.
 

Dirty Dog

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I was eligible to test in February, but I'm no longer concerned with the color of my belt.
This is a great thing to see. Concern yourself with improving; belts just happen.
I've said before, it's better to wear a white belt and have people wonder why, than to wear a black belt and have people wonder why.
 

KenpoMaster805

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Bro all you need is just rotate your hips and remember the power is on the ground im 45 i started to joined kenpo at age of 35 and i did Taekwondo to i was yellow belt when i was a kid and i did shotokan too i was a high orange
 

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It's really easy for people to say "just do this!" or "twist your hips." I bet you're finding that it's not that easy to take the explanations into the real practice.

As was said above, the classic reverse punch, sometimes called a lunge punch, where the punching hand is opposite the stepping foot is an easy place to start because it's a very straight forward movement. In fact, most people end up making it TOO hard because it must be "MARTIAL ARTS!" I presume you walk about in your daily life. Unless you take teeny tiny mincing steps, your hips naturally turn as you walk, and your opposite hand naturally swings forward. It's how we're built... and the reverse punch just takes this motion and makes it into a punch. So... start by looking at your walk... see how your hips swing with your step and your hand. Then, let's do a "martial arts step."

Take your normal front stance. For convenience, let's just start with our right foot forward so that we're on the same page. Move to your left foot forward front stance (we have a really fancy name for this in martial arts -- STEPPING), and just let your hands and hips move naturally -- don't punch (yet) -- we're still looking at the feet and hips. Pay attention to how your left foot will push off, and the left hip pull the leg forward while the right hip swings back. Feel your weight shift forward, and notice how, as the left hip advances, your right arm and shoulder naturally move forward. Then try it on the other side. Experiment with this for a few minutes.

Then, add your punch motion naturally to the step. Go slow, because it's not as simple as that sentence applies. But, once it clicks, it will be that easy.
 

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It's really easy for people to say "just do this!" or "twist your hips." I bet you're finding that it's not that easy to take the explanations into the real practice.

As was said above, the classic reverse punch, sometimes called a lunge punch, where the punching hand is opposite the stepping foot is an easy place to start because it's a very straight forward movement. In fact, most people end up making it TOO hard because it must be "MARTIAL ARTS!" I presume you walk about in your daily life. Unless you take teeny tiny mincing steps, your hips naturally turn as you walk, and your opposite hand naturally swings forward. It's how we're built... and the reverse punch just takes this motion and makes it into a punch. So... start by looking at your walk... see how your hips swing with your step and your hand. Then, let's do a "martial arts step."

Take your normal front stance. For convenience, let's just start with our right foot forward so that we're on the same page. Move to your left foot forward front stance (we have a really fancy name for this in martial arts -- STEPPING), and just let your hands and hips move naturally -- don't punch (yet) -- we're still looking at the feet and hips. Pay attention to how your left foot will push off, and the left hip pull the leg forward while the right hip swings back. Feel your weight shift forward, and notice how, as the left hip advances, your right arm and shoulder naturally move forward. Then try it on the other side. Experiment with this for a few minutes.

Then, add your punch motion naturally to the step. Go slow, because it's not as simple as that sentence applies. But, once it clicks, it will be that easy.
As a matter of fact, this is the origin of the TKD Walking Stance, and one reason why it is among the first things a student learns. Stand up. Take a step forward. Congratulations. You've learned the Walking Stance!
 

JowGaWolf

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It's really easy for people to say "just do this!" or "twist your hips." I bet you're finding that it's not that easy to take the explanations into the real practice.

As was said above, the classic reverse punch, sometimes called a lunge punch, where the punching hand is opposite the stepping foot is an easy place to start because it's a very straight forward movement. In fact, most people end up making it TOO hard because it must be "MARTIAL ARTS!" I presume you walk about in your daily life. Unless you take teeny tiny mincing steps, your hips naturally turn as you walk, and your opposite hand naturally swings forward. It's how we're built... and the reverse punch just takes this motion and makes it into a punch. So... start by looking at your walk... see how your hips swing with your step and your hand. Then, let's do a "martial arts step."

Take your normal front stance. For convenience, let's just start with our right foot forward so that we're on the same page. Move to your left foot forward front stance (we have a really fancy name for this in martial arts -- STEPPING), and just let your hands and hips move naturally -- don't punch (yet) -- we're still looking at the feet and hips. Pay attention to how your left foot will push off, and the left hip pull the leg forward while the right hip swings back. Feel your weight shift forward, and notice how, as the left hip advances, your right arm and shoulder naturally move forward. Then try it on the other side. Experiment with this for a few minutes.

Then, add your punch motion naturally to the step. Go slow, because it's not as simple as that sentence applies. But, once it clicks, it will be that easy.
He is having problems because his bow stance us like a forward exercise lunge step where the hips face forward. Hus hips have be at an angle when he moves into the bow stance.

he should practice standing in horse and then shifting into bow stance. He should it should only take 3 or four times for him to get the feel of how the twist should be.
 

skribs

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As a matter of fact, this is the origin of the TKD Walking Stance, and one reason why it is among the first things a student learns. Stand up. Take a step forward. Congratulations. You've learned the Walking Stance!
Depends on the school. Neither of the schools I went to used the walking stance until you got to the Taegeuks or Koryo (depending on the school). Our Kibon forms in both schools used the front stance.

Even the school I'm looking at joining here in my new town, the first two forms use a front stance, and then you start the Taegeuks.
 
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