self-defense techniques from poomse ??

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foothill_dave

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I trained in WTF TKD for a while with a guy who was 99% sports TKD oriented. His self-defense techniques were useless (made-up I think). I have since switched to Kenpo as (1) I am pretty "non-aerodynamic" and it suits my body and age and (2) I enjoy the challenge of learning and mastering Kenpo's barrage of self-defense techniques (average 20-30 per belt test, plus Kata etc.).

The question I always had while learning TKD is: does anyone ever break the forms (Poomse) into useful self-defense patterns ?? I think in most arts (even Wu TaiChi I learned !) the kata/forms are combinations of individually useful "techniques" in a flowing pattern, whereas TKD's seem to be sets of "basics" not geared to defense against realistic attacks ?? I learned Taegeuk & Palgue sets as well as Koreo and Keumgang and a few other exercise sets (eight Kicho's etc.)

Anybody ever seen TKD Poomse used to teach self-defense ??

I think it would help students execute the forms if they could associate elements with street-useful techniques.

Kamsa Hamnida (Thank You)
 

Miles

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Welcome to MT.

I teach sections of poomsae as self-defense.

I also teach basic techniques have multiple applications (i.e. low block-arae makki is a "low block" to a kick, a strike to the leg, a release from a cross arm grab, etc.) Not sure if this was what you were asking though?

Miles
 

Han-Mi

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Since I have become a blackbelt I have strived to understand the poomse application to real life, and I believe you are correct in believing that they would be better executed if the students understood a reasonable street application. Obviously the forms are merely meant *** a way to practice the basics and focuse the mind. But there are certain real life applications to the combinations if you analyze the forms, and I have been imparting my personal revalations of this information to the students of our school. And often when I do explain why the tech is done the way it is, it allows them to become better at the formor at least that particular portion.

I think your experience with TKD may have been a bit tainted by the emphasis on sport. I also think that kenpo is more quickly applicable to real life situations whereas TKD takes more time to become very effective in a real life situation.

AND.... Our self defense is taught seperately from our forms. Parially torn from other arts as all have something to offer.
 

Miles

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Han Mi,

You mentioned you analyzed the poomsae to work out applications. Does your instructor teach the applications also? I teach different applications at different levels.

Miles
 
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foothill_dave

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Thanks all for replies.

I think I just have too narrow an exposure to TKD-inspired self defense. I have to believe with the large volume of WTF and ITF etc. forms that there are usefull practical sequences to be extracted. My own instructor and peers did not have this background, nor have I seen references to doing this in the many TKD reference books TKD I have bought.

Just seems like a neglected resource to me. Glad to hear some folks are using it.

Kyung Yeh (Bow)
 

evenflow1121

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foothill_dave said:
Thanks all for replies.

I think I just have too narrow an exposure to TKD-inspired self defense. I have to believe with the large volume of WTF and ITF etc. forms that there are usefull practical sequences to be extracted. My own instructor and peers did not have this background, nor have I seen references to doing this in the many TKD reference books TKD I have bought.

Just seems like a neglected resource to me. Glad to hear some folks are using it.

Kyung Yeh (Bow)
I too trained in WTF TKD and recieved my first dan there as well. Like yourself, I found what was taught to me completely useless, then upon joining Kenpo I was exposed to all these angles of attack, and I realized I truly knew nothing with regards to self defense. But, it wasnt TKD, it was the guy that taught me TKD. You see, this clown was interested in having a trophy farm, so he would just teach you what was needed for competition, which is not the same for self defense. It is not TKD in general however, TKD like any other system is a great system, if taught correctly. If you break down Koryo for example, there are a ton of self defense techniques in there, that could be used effectively in a real life situation, but you need the right teacher to expose you to them.
 

Han-Mi

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Miles said:
Han Mi,

You mentioned you analyzed the poomsae to work out applications. Does your instructor teach the applications also? I teach different applications at different levels.

Miles
My instructor does teach these applications in group classes from time to time. but mostly these applications are tought to students who are either having troubles with the poomse or come out and ask specifically about the poomse application. Many of the higher ranks are taught the applications more in depth because they are then able to impart the same knowledge to the lower ranks when they are able to teach and it makes them better as well. I do believe it is more of an advanced teaching, to show the street applicaitons of certain techniques in the poomse, and so it is held off until about a year into the training.
 

Miles

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Thanks for the reply Han-Mi.

I think it is interesting to learn how different instructors take different approaches in teaching application.

I teach the basic applications when I teach the form since I think (without any empirical data to back this belief up!) that it helps students remember their poomsae.

Miles
 
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jkdhit

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the problem is that most schools teach only for sport or art because actual combat is a bit more dangerous.

from my experience, forms shouldnt be used for self defense techniques. forms are only used to simulate combat and help achieve some balance.
 

Shu2jack

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I teach self-defense application for the form, but I study the Songham form set.

With forms, I focus more on perfecting the timing of the body and technique along with visualizing how the techniques can be used. From there, I can take individual techiques, movements, and combinations and work them on a partner.
 

FearlessFreep

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My instructor talks about practical applications of various form movements...a foot slide can be a leg sweep...this block can block a ounch coming in...and based on that postion the next strike hits the opponent here, etc...

Even today we talked about the first move in Il-Jang and how it can be practically applied to many situations. Chambering the arm could also be an upperward strike to the jaw, the downblock pivot to walking stance can be a break from a wrist grab, etc...etc...
 
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jkdhit

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yeah but in actual combat, no one really moves like that :p
 

FearlessFreep

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yeah but in actual combat, no one really moves like that


If by that you mean four people attacking one at a time from four cardinal positions, yeah, you are right. If you look inside each position change and motion, and how it could apply...what it could work against, then I think there is a lot in it that is practical.

Like I said, start with just Taegeuk Il-Jang. First motion is to chamber for a downblock and turn into a downblock into a walking stance.

Now, the obvious attack that this defends against is a low strike from your left. Think about the motions in more detail, though, and you can see the chambering of the left hand as being a strike to the jaw. Or a wrist grab escape...you draw your left arm up and then twist your hips and pull you hand away to break the grasp. Or your left hand chambering is pulling up against a wrist grab while the downward chamber of the right hand becomes a strike against the grabbers wrist. Or the turn to block becomes a grab or trap, and then as you step forward to punch with your right hand, you are pulling the attacker by their arm or leg (whatever they attacked with) as your left arm is pulled back, to get more force into the blow. There's a later point where you are in forward extended stance with your right hand extended from a punch and you stand and turn to your right with an outer block. Well, instead of and outer block from an attack to the right, think of the chamber motion of your right hand as a trap, and then the pivot right with the block as being a pulling of the trapped limb and a strike into the back of the elbow.

So as a whole, yeah, it's not very covincing, but it's dozens of motions that if each motion is really looked at, can become various attacks or defenses against all sorts of situations in miniture. A block can be a trap, or a strike. A punch can also be a trap or grab. A chamber can be a pull, or a grasp break. A hip twist becomes more force in an escape or a strike, a big turn could be a throw, especially if you are doing a block or strike that could also be seen as grabbing or forcing the opponent to go with the motion, or maybe even a leg sweep.

Some of the motions are a bit stylized and to make them practical you have to modify the angles a bit, or the hand positioning, but if you break it down to 'my hand is here...and moving to there, my foot is hear, and moving to there....my hips and shoulders are twisting like such', and think about how that would match against a given type of attack, it becomes a collage of minuture movements, each with a practical application against a punch, a kick, a grab, etc...
 
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jkdhit

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Marginal said:
They don't throw punches, kicks, or grapple? What's left?
im not saying kicks, punches, and grapples but i mean the way that they're executed. i was trying to say what fearless said :p
 

Marginal

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The problem with that, is you weren't saying what Jay said. You were saying that if attacked, a forms/kata/pattern practitioner would start moving around in a I shape or whatever which is assinine at best.
 

FearlessFreep

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Well, I said two different things in opposite directions...one was "yeah, someone's not going to attack like that" in the broad sense, but then followed it up with describing each specific motion as a specific attack or defense against a particular opponent posistion.

I just sorta assumed he was agreeing with my first sentance :)

But the more I think about what I wrote (and credit to my Sabomnim for starting me thinking along these lines in general), the more I realize that the forward walking stances, especially coming off of turns make a bit more sense as being practical movements. I know some here have critisized the Taegeuk poomsae for having those stances because they are too 'easy' or not practical, but I think they can be.

It also makes me realize that TKD has a lot more potential for tighter hand strikes, joint manipulations, traps and breaks, etc...than it is usually given credit for by those who ony see the sparring competition or only see the forms competition as a sort of artistic abstraction of basic techniques.

In fact, here's another one that just sorta came to me *again* just from the first motions from Taeguek Il-Jang. An attacker either punches to your face or shoves to your chest. So the upward chamber of your left arm is really a grab or trap to his hand. Then as you turn into the 'downblock', your are pulling the opponent forward and over as you twist your hips and chaber your right hand back. Then you pull their hand back into your body as you step forward to punch their ribs.

Again, the motions are a bit stylized, but can also be practical, if thought of a little differently
 

Adept

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I find forms or patterns to be anathema to good SD training.

In most cases, you will fight the way you train, because under the stress and adrenaline of the situation, your body will react through muscle memory. Your higher brain functions shut down, and Trogdor the Learning Impaired takes over. In this situation, if one has extensively trained in patterns or forms as "the essence of martial arts" as I have heard some instructors claim, then their movements will not be as effective as they could be. Try a simple exercise. Go through a pattern of your choice, any pattern you like, and have an opponent try to hit you. You are not allowed to deviate from the pattern in any way. You aren't allowed to deviate because when you practice a form, you practice it in one set way every time. So when you need to use it, you will find it very difficult to adapt it to the fluid, fast and confusing situation that can be the SD encounter.

Having said all that, I find that patterns can be a good source of techniques for SD training. Patterns have their place, but I disagree with the instructors who claim (not on this forum) that proficeincy at forms equates to the ability to defend oneself in case of attack.
 

FearlessFreep

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Well I definitely wouldn't use forms as exclusive self-defense training :)

Mostly I have thought of forms as teaching a 'proper' technique, plus balance, focus, etc... I really thought of my TKD training as being "forms, sparring, and self-defense", as three prety separate entities. After a bit, I realized that two things; that the techniques in sparring are not well suited for self-defense, but that I could use sparring to train reaction time, response to a random opponent, stress management and relaxation, focus, moving fast and hitting hard, etc...which would play into a self-defense situation.

Similarly, I think the body motions in forms can be used to get your body used to moving with power in certain ways, especially if you think of them from the perspective of different kinds of attacks. They cannot replace a targetted SD training approach, but they can re-inforce it.
 
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