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This flowchart misses some things. The most glaring is "Does it make sense as described? No--> Learn more about the technique/determine why it was described that way." Sometimes things don't make sense at first, then after a bit of training with it, it just clicks.
Then "it's not X, it's Y" is not the right answer. "X is right, because ______" is the right answer.

This flowchart is in direct response to people telling me, "It's not X, it's actually Y." By doing this, they are agreeing with me that it does not make sense as described.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Then "it's not X, it's Y" is not the right answer. "X is right, because ______" is the right answer.

This flowchart is in direct response to people telling me, "It's not X, it's actually Y." By doing this, they are agreeing with me that it does not make sense as described.
I must have misread something. I didn't read anyone saying that. I've read them saying "it's both x and y". or "It can be y depending on the situation".
 
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I must have misread something. I didn't read anyone saying that. I've read them saying "it's both x and y". or "It can be y depending on the situation".
Dirty Dog has been very vocal that my problem with the technique is that I don't understand that a block is actually a strike. A few others have as well, but he's the one that's been the most aggressive about it. It's happened in this very thread. I say a technique that's described as a block should work as a block. Instead of telling me that it does, and explaining why, he goes into the "You don't understand that it's not a block, it's actually a strike" schtick.

This is a conversation that essentially goes back several years. Back when I first started looking for the application of specific two-hand blocks in the Taekwondo forms. The big one I was looking at was the purpose of the off-hand position in the double knife-hand block. I got a lot of "Well, it's actually not a block, it's a throw, it's a strike..." and even with all of that, they still couldn't explain the off-hand position in those applications either. Why is the palm up in that technique?

Then there's many of the 2-handed blocks which do have an explanation as to why you're doing them in the form, but the explanation doesn't make sense. Scissor block is blocking a kick and a punch. Is one person doing that? That's a weird thing to have to defend. Are two people doing that? Then we shouldn't be standing in the middle of them, but rather trying to isolate one of them. The technique looks cool. I will agree that the general idea of the scissor motion is useful in a lot of other applications. But the block itself isn't done in quite that way, and it doesn't make much sense as done and described in the form.

This is what I mean by "doesn't make sense". The scissor block doesn't really make much sense as a block. There's two ways to interpret the basic interpretation. One is fantastical from conception (a person kicking and punching at the same time with the opposite hand), the other is just bad tactics (being in the middle of two attackers instead of using your footwork to isolate them). Instead of defending this type of technique as a block and pointing to an attack or situation it would make sense, I get the runaround. I get the following:
  • It's not a block, it's actually a [strike | throw | joint lock] (and said very condescendingly)
  • It does work, but I can't explain it to you because I'm not going to spoonfeed you the information, you should be able to figure it out
In my mind, these are just excuses for one of three things:
  1. They don't actually know how to use the technique as described, so they appeal to mysticism instead.
  2. They do know how to use the technique as described, but for some reason are unable to articulate it, and so they lash out instead.
  3. They do know how to use the technique as described and how to articulate it, and choose not to because they want to hold it over me that they have some knowledge that I don't.
Or to put it another way, they're either angry at me that they don't have an answer to my question, or they're just jerks that are purposefully withholding information from me so they can pat themselves on the back for how smart they are.

With most people, when they resort to personal attacks or snide comments about my school or my Master, I just put them on ignore. Unfortunately, there are some people on this forum that you cannot ignore.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Dirty Dog has been very vocal that my problem with the technique is that I don't understand that a block is actually a strike. A few others have as well, but he's the one that's been the most aggressive about it. It's happened in this very thread. I say a technique that's described as a block should work as a block. Instead of telling me that it does, and explaining why, he goes into the "You don't understand that it's not a block, it's actually a strike" schtick.

This is a conversation that essentially goes back several years. Back when I first started looking for the application of specific two-hand blocks in the Taekwondo forms. The big one I was looking at was the purpose of the off-hand position in the double knife-hand block. I got a lot of "Well, it's actually not a block, it's a throw, it's a strike..." and even with all of that, they still couldn't explain the off-hand position in those applications either. Why is the palm up in that technique?

Then there's many of the 2-handed blocks which do have an explanation as to why you're doing them in the form, but the explanation doesn't make sense. Scissor block is blocking a kick and a punch. Is one person doing that? That's a weird thing to have to defend. Are two people doing that? Then we shouldn't be standing in the middle of them, but rather trying to isolate one of them. The technique looks cool. I will agree that the general idea of the scissor motion is useful in a lot of other applications. But the block itself isn't done in quite that way, and it doesn't make much sense as done and described in the form.

This is what I mean by "doesn't make sense". The scissor block doesn't really make much sense as a block. There's two ways to interpret the basic interpretation. One is fantastical from conception (a person kicking and punching at the same time with the opposite hand), the other is just bad tactics (being in the middle of two attackers instead of using your footwork to isolate them). Instead of defending this type of technique as a block and pointing to an attack or situation it would make sense, I get the runaround. I get the following:
  • It's not a block, it's actually a [strike | throw | joint lock] (and said very condescendingly)
  • It does work, but I can't explain it to you because I'm not going to spoonfeed you the information, you should be able to figure it out
In my mind, these are just excuses for one of three things:
  1. They don't actually know how to use the technique as described, so they appeal to mysticism instead.
  2. They do know how to use the technique as described, but for some reason are unable to articulate it, and so they lash out instead.
  3. They do know how to use the technique as described and how to articulate it, and choose not to because they want to hold it over me that they have some knowledge that I don't.
Or to put it another way, they're either angry at me that they don't have an answer to my question, or they're just jerks that are purposefully withholding information from me so they can pat themselves on the back for how smart they are.

With most people, when they resort to personal attacks or snide comments about my school or my Master, I just put them on ignore. Unfortunately, there are some people on this forum that you cannot ignore.
The common phrase (which I think is what DD used) isn't "You don't understand that it's not a block, it's actually a strike". It's "Every block is a strike and every strike is a block". And that's the general idea. Something can be two different things at once, especially blocks and strikes. If I block someone's arm, I'm also striking it. If I throw a knifehand to someone's neck, it can also be a collar grab. People aren't (typically) saying "a block isn't a block".

I can't speak to the parts about not explaining the applications of the blocks as I haven't read everything since I don't train TKD, or comment on your school/teacher for the same reason with the exception of my earlier post comparing it to my school. But the above paragraph is what I have read, and what seems to be miscommunication.
 

tkdroamer

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Dirty Dog has been very vocal that my problem with the technique is that I don't understand that a block is actually a strike. A few others have as well, but he's the one that's been the most aggressive about it. It's happened in this very thread. I say a technique that's described as a block should work as a block. Instead of telling me that it does, and explaining why, he goes into the "You don't understand that it's not a block, it's actually a strike" schtick.

This is a conversation that essentially goes back several years. Back when I first started looking for the application of specific two-hand blocks in the Taekwondo forms. The big one I was looking at was the purpose of the off-hand position in the double knife-hand block. I got a lot of "Well, it's actually not a block, it's a throw, it's a strike..." and even with all of that, they still couldn't explain the off-hand position in those applications either. Why is the palm up in that technique?

Then there's many of the 2-handed blocks which do have an explanation as to why you're doing them in the form, but the explanation doesn't make sense. Scissor block is blocking a kick and a punch. Is one person doing that? That's a weird thing to have to defend. Are two people doing that? Then we shouldn't be standing in the middle of them, but rather trying to isolate one of them. The technique looks cool. I will agree that the general idea of the scissor motion is useful in a lot of other applications. But the block itself isn't done in quite that way, and it doesn't make much sense as done and described in the form.

This is what I mean by "doesn't make sense". The scissor block doesn't really make much sense as a block. There's two ways to interpret the basic interpretation. One is fantastical from conception (a person kicking and punching at the same time with the opposite hand), the other is just bad tactics (being in the middle of two attackers instead of using your footwork to isolate them). Instead of defending this type of technique as a block and pointing to an attack or situation it would make sense, I get the runaround. I get the following:
  • It's not a block, it's actually a [strike | throw | joint lock] (and said very condescendingly)
  • It does work, but I can't explain it to you because I'm not going to spoonfeed you the information, you should be able to figure it out
In my mind, these are just excuses for one of three things:
  1. They don't actually know how to use the technique as described, so they appeal to mysticism instead.
  2. They do know how to use the technique as described, but for some reason are unable to articulate it, and so they lash out instead.
  3. They do know how to use the technique as described and how to articulate it, and choose not to because they want to hold it over me that they have some knowledge that I don't.
Or to put it another way, they're either angry at me that they don't have an answer to my question, or they're just jerks that are purposefully withholding information from me so they can pat themselves on the back for how smart they are.

With most people, when they resort to personal attacks or snide comments about my school or my Master, I just put them on ignore. Unfortunately, there are some people on this forum that you cannot ignore.
Nowhere have I read anyone withholding information. It is more your resistance to take the information given and flesh it out for yourself. Time is your ally only when used properly.

The martial arts was/is never been intended to be purely a written learning. Yes, written format is a useful tool for a person who has or is actively learning their art. You are high enough in rank to know this, but I question your time and training given your responses.

I get that you are looking for an answer. This is not a bad thing. But when you question the answers given to you, purely at face value, with no apparent work on your own, it makes the people taking the effort to offer answers feel like there is no point in answering.

Now, go ahead and deflect.
 
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The common phrase (which I think is what DD used) isn't "You don't understand that it's not a block, it's actually a strike". It's "Every block is a strike and every strike is a block". And that's the general idea. Something can be two different things at once, especially blocks and strikes. If I block someone's arm, I'm also striking it. If I throw a knifehand to someone's neck, it can also be a collar grab. People aren't (typically) saying "a block isn't a block".

I can't speak to the parts about not explaining the applications of the blocks as I haven't read everything since I don't train TKD, or comment on your school/teacher for the same reason with the exception of my earlier post comparing it to my school. But the above paragraph is what I have read, and what seems to be miscommunication.
I think what you did in this thread is kind of put yourself into the crossfire. You've put yourself in the middle of a years-long argument between me and him.
 

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I think what you did in this thread is kind of put yourself into the crossfire. You've put yourself in the middle of a years-long argument between me and him.
I'm aware. Just in the last two posts though. But I've been reading the arguments for years (not dogmatically) and every time I do it seems to come down to that one miscommunication.
 
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I'm aware. Just in the last two posts though. But I've been reading the arguments for years (not dogmatically) and every time I do it seems to come down to that one miscommunication.
The problem is, even though he's saying that, he's still not justifying the technique as described. He may not be saying "It's not X, it's Y." But when I ask how it works as X, instead of explaining X, he says "It's also Y."

He may have in the past used the "It's not X, it's Y" language, or I may be lumping him in with everyone else. However, the message is the same. He is not explaining how it can be used as described in the form. And it comes across that the reason he can't justify the explanation is because I'm dumb, and not because that surface-level description is incorrect.
 

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The more I follow various threads on this forum, the more I am thankful for the school and instructor I have. I'm the oldest black belt (at 67) in the school. Working on 2nd, but it's getting to be a challenge. I'm learning that all that "black belt" means is, "Welcome to grade school, dude." I am continually asking, "Why," when we are learning forms, or grappling. He has the ability, and patience, to get across just what it is that we are doing to our invisible opponent and it makes it easy to grasp. At least, for this old guy. So, I have had that benefit and blessing that some of you seem to express has been missing in your own training.

But, now, memory is killing me. "Rote" doesn't always work. Of the previous 12 levels . . . well . . . let's just say that only about half of the katas have been easily retained. It's the ones that require kneeling, standing, and/or rolling that seem to evaporate. I would say that it's because of an aversion to having my body strained like that, but it's probably caused by my inability to remember to take my gingko biloba or ginseng or whatever.

If you desire to accomplish great things, then do it while you are young. The future holds too many divergent paths and it is difficult to prepare for them all.
 

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Then "it's not X, it's Y" is not the right answer. "X is right, because ______" is the right answer.

This flowchart is in direct response to people telling me, "It's not X, it's actually Y." By doing this, they are agreeing with me that it does not make sense as described.
I don't recall anybody saying this, certainly not me. What I have said is that it is, in fact, X. It is also Y. And Z. And sometimes it loops back around and is A again.
Dirty Dog has been very vocal that my problem with the technique is that I don't understand that a block is actually a strike.
I do think your problem is understanding, as evidenced by the simple fact that you don't understand what I've actually written. Because this is not it.
A few others have as well, but he's the one that's been the most aggressive about it.
I think aggressive is the wrong word. Persistent is perhaps a better choice. That's a trait many teachers have when someone doesn't understand.
It's happened in this very thread. I say a technique that's described as a block should work as a block. Instead of telling me that it does,
I explicitly said exactly this. Apparently you missed it, or ignored it.
and explaining why, he goes into the "You don't understand that it's not a block, it's actually a strike" schtick.
Nope, not me. Never said that.
This is a conversation that essentially goes back several years. Back when I first started looking for the application of specific two-hand blocks in the Taekwondo forms. The big one I was looking at was the purpose of the off-hand position in the double knife-hand block. I got a lot of "Well, it's actually not a block, it's a throw, it's a strike..." and even with all of that, they still couldn't explain the off-hand position in those applications either. Why is the palm up in that technique?
Because palm up is the way the designers of the form want it. Because forms are inherently stylized. In application, it may be palm up, palm down, or knife edge down. The hand is positioned in front of the solar plexus because extending the lead hand creates an opening to target the solar plexus and this provides protection. It's also there because that allows for a strike to follow up your block. It's also there because it can support the block of the front hand. It's also there because the two hands can be used to grapple the attackers arm.
None of this is anything that hasn't been said repeatedly.
Or to put it another way, they're either angry at me that they don't have an answer to my question, or they're just jerks that are purposefully withholding information from me so they can pat themselves on the back for how smart they are.
Or maybe they don't see any reason to get into explanations of 15 techniques until you grasp the explanation of the first one. Information overload does nothing to aid learning.
 
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I think aggressive is the wrong word. Persistent is perhaps a better choice. That's a trait many teachers have when someone doesn't understand.
You are not my teacher. I am not your student. I'm just another person discussing stuff on the internet with you. It is a very, very different relationship than if we were teacher and student.

"Doesn't understand" and "doesn't agree" are also two very different things. Even then, when I have been in situations as a teacher explaining things to students who don't understand, I make it my goal to help them understand.
Because palm up is the way the designers of the form want it. Because forms are inherently stylized.
This has been my point all along. The forms teach stylized versions of techniques that often are not practical the way they are executed. This point has been received as blasphemy by many folks on this site. As if forms must either be A) perfect teaching tools that will teach you everything in the martial art or B) utter crap that do nothing and make you worse as a fighter than if you had no training. I'm instead positing that it's somewhere in the middle, and folks act like it's a personal attack.

If forms are inherently stylized, then treating them as if their primary purpose is the style is not an insult. If anything, it's a celebration of what they are. It's what my journey has led me to. If you then take those stylized components and find deeper meaning in them, that's fine. But if you try and say that those stylized components on their own teach you those deeper meanings, I think you're missing a step.

As I said in another post, I think MDK does things closer to the Karate way in terms of forms (based on conversations with you and other MDK folks). My experience in KKW schools has been that the forms are purely a recreation of art.
Or maybe they don't see any reason to get into explanations of 15 techniques until you grasp the explanation of the first one.
Again, you get ahead of yourself. Because that is what I was asking, the explanation of the first one. The explanation of the one being discussed, at the first level, before digging deeper.

You can't dig a hole in water. You need something solid to dig through to get to a deeper meaning. If you're claiming the technique is practical, then the solid piece must be a practical application. If you're claiming the technique is artistic, then the solid piece is the recreation of that art.

Going back to the scissor block. If the teaching in the form is that the scissor block is to block both a kick and a punch, and you are claiming that the technique is practical, then you should explain how it works. Then, you can show how it can also be used in other applications.

Another approach to the scissor block is to acknowledge that the description is merely there to help you perform the technique as described in the forms, but then how you can modify the motion to transform it into a practical technique. That's not to say anything bad about the form. If the goal of the form is to build muscle memory of the scissor motion, and do so in the best-looking way possible, then it has achieved that goal.

I can think of numerous ways to use that scissor motion. We've used similar motions to set up figure-4 locks (mainly from either a hand grab defense or knife defense). We've also used the downward block to pull down a hand and the outside block as a backfist, or simply blocking a kick and doing a backfist. I think this is what you're trying to get at.

For me, those associations come from learning the application, and then tracing it back to the form, instead of the other way around. It's been more of an Easter egg than a main component of the forms. I don't personally think that takes away much from the forms, because you still have that muscle memory from the forms, and students still learn the practical application. If only a handful of students see the connection, then it might make them appreciate the form more. What it took for me to appreciate the forms more is to see them as stylized exercises instead of fight choreography.
 

tkdroamer

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The more I follow various threads on this forum, the more I am thankful for the school and instructor I have. I'm the oldest black belt (at 67) in the school. Working on 2nd, but it's getting to be a challenge. I'm learning that all that "black belt" means is, "Welcome to grade school, dude." I am continually asking, "Why," when we are learning forms, or grappling. He has the ability, and patience, to get across just what it is that we are doing to our invisible opponent and it makes it easy to grasp. At least, for this old guy. So, I have had that benefit and blessing that some of you seem to express has been missing in your own training.

But, now, memory is killing me. "Rote" doesn't always work. Of the previous 12 levels . . . well . . . let's just say that only about half of the katas have been easily retained. It's the ones that require kneeling, standing, and/or rolling that seem to evaporate. I would say that it's because of an aversion to having my body strained like that, but it's probably caused by my inability to remember to take my gingko biloba or ginseng or whatever.

If you desire to accomplish great things, then do it while you are young. The future holds too many divergent paths and it is difficult to prepare for them all.
Well said, Sir.

What @skribs hopefully hears in your post is that you were learning while training. You were getting tactile feedback. Not many people can learn by one type of feedback only.
 
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What @skribs hopefully hears in your post is that you were learning while training. You were getting tactile feedback. Not many people can learn by one type of feedback only.
Are these big revelations that you think I don't know?
 
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Because of the respect I have for the both of you, I humbly bow out so as not to be caught in the cross-fire or be used as a weapon against either of you.
I apologize that you were dragged into this. My complaint was not directed at you, but at the other guy for calling me out over it.
 

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Maybe this flowchart will help. It presents two options should a technique work as described, and a method of fixing that incongruency if the technique does not.
View attachment 29357
What do your fellow TKD instructors think about the technique that you say is only a block?
 
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What do your fellow TKD instructors think about the technique that you say is only a block?
My Master just called it a block.

We never really drew application from the forms in either of our classes. Typical class is:
  • Punching drills in formation
  • Kicking drills in formation
  • Pad work
  • Forms
  • Jump kicks
  • Sparring
  • Self-defense (with application)
Punching drills never really went anywhere, since we can't punch in sparring. Forms are their own thing. A lot of the kicking stuff led to sparring. Self-defense is its own thing.
 

JowGaWolf

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My Master just called it a block.

We never really drew application from the forms in either of our classes. Typical class is:
  • Punching drills in formation
  • Kicking drills in formation
  • Pad work
  • Forms
  • Jump kicks
  • Sparring
  • Self-defense (with application)
Punching drills never really went anywhere, since we can't punch in sparring. Forms are their own thing. A lot of the kicking stuff led to sparring. Self-defense is its own thing.
Thanks. Were students allowed to ask questions or was it considered rude?
 

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