Two blocks at once

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There exists several blocks in the Taekwondo forms that are two blocks at different angles. In particular, (and correct me on the names if I'm wrong).

  • In Keumgang, the Diamond Block (down block to one side, high block to the other)
  • In Keumgang, the Mountain Block (outward block to one side, inward block to the other)
  • In Keumgang and Koryo, the Double Outside Block (two outward blocks)*
  • In Keumgang and Taebaek, the Double Low Block (two low blocks out to the side, closed fist in Keumgang and open fist in Taebaek)
  • In Taebaek, the Scissor Block
*This is not to be confused with the augmented/supported outward block I discussed in another thread

In this thread, I'd like to look at these techniques. And, as before, I'd like to look at them specifically as blocks. I understand how several of these techniques could be a grab break, a grappling move, or a combination block+strike.

With that said, I understand there may be reasons to use two hands in a block. We often do in our defense drills, usually either for the sake of grappling (i.e. deflecting a punch, then grabbing the arm to do a throw), or for the sake of coverage (i.e. defending against a roundhouse kick, one arm protects your body and the other protects your head). However, these blocks are often on different sides of the body, so that application doesn't make sense.

My question is this: is there a practical application for these blocks in a one-on-one fight? The simplest explanation I can come up with is defending against two attacks.

Or am I thinking too much into this and that is what they are?
 

Jaeimseu

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There exists several blocks in the Taekwondo forms that are two blocks at different angles. In particular, (and correct me on the names if I'm wrong).

  • In Keumgang, the Diamond Block (down block to one side, high block to the other)
  • In Keumgang, the Mountain Block (outward block to one side, inward block to the other)
  • In Keumgang and Koryo, the Double Outside Block (two outward blocks)*
  • In Keumgang and Taebaek, the Double Low Block (two low blocks out to the side, closed fist in Keumgang and open fist in Taebaek)
  • In Taebaek, the Scissor Block
*This is not to be confused with the augmented/supported outward block I discussed in another thread

In this thread, I'd like to look at these techniques. And, as before, I'd like to look at them specifically as blocks. I understand how several of these techniques could be a grab break, a grappling move, or a combination block+strike.

With that said, I understand there may be reasons to use two hands in a block. We often do in our defense drills, usually either for the sake of grappling (i.e. deflecting a punch, then grabbing the arm to do a throw), or for the sake of coverage (i.e. defending against a roundhouse kick, one arm protects your body and the other protects your head). However, these blocks are often on different sides of the body, so that application doesn't make sense.

My question is this: is there a practical application for these blocks in a one-on-one fight? The simplest explanation I can come up with is defending against two attacks.

Or am I thinking too much into this and that is what they are?

Ive seen an application of the scissors block defending a jab-cross combo. The down block hand parries the jab on the way down and the other hand catches the cross on the way up.


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punisher73

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I am not a TKD student, so what they teach may differ. But, many of those moves were taught in karate and were taught as double blocks and were not taught much further in depth. In actual practice, most of those "double blocks" are joint breaks/manipulations or grappling/throwing techniques.
 
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Ive seen an application of the scissors block defending a jab-cross combo. The down block hand parries the jab on the way down and the other hand catches the cross on the way up.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

How does a down block protect against a punch to the face?
 

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Keumgang is a strange form. I learned "mountain block" as a sweep, and that that's why you step in that weird way when you do it. I cannot imagine any situation in which blocking way out of the line of your body like that could be useful as a block, but it makes sense as a sweeping technique. As for the "keumgang makki" (high & low blocks w crane stance), from what I understand, that's not a "real" move so much as a balance training exercise and cultural reference to an old statue of some ancient Korean warrior that stood like that.
 
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Keumgang is a strange form. I learned "mountain block" as a sweep, and that that's why you step in that weird way when you do it. I cannot imagine any situation in which blocking way out of the line of your body like that could be useful as a block, but it makes sense as a sweeping technique. As for the "keumgang makki" (high & low blocks w crane stance), from what I understand, that's not a "real" move so much as a balance training exercise and cultural reference to an old statue of some ancient Korean warrior that stood like that.

The mountain block (which we call "keumgang makki", as Keumgang means Diamond Mountain, if I understand right) I can see as a couple of things, if you do the moves a bit different.
  • The chamber position of the leg could be a knee strike, a fake kick, or a shin block. It could also just be avoiding a sweep with the stepping leg, or else just an exaggerated step to bring the power down with the motion.
  • If the outward block is done the same way, but the inward block is done in front of you instead of to the side, it's like some of the defense drills we do in our White Belt class which involve a simultaneous block and a chop to the neck. (Except this is a hammerfist).
  • If the outward block is in front of you instead of to the side, and the inward block is in front of that block, it can be an effective way to block a punch with both hands.
However, like you, I don't see a practical purpose for blocking with both hands out to the side like that, and even most of the block/strike combinations or sweeps I can think of wouldn't look like that.
 

wab25

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Or am I thinking too much into this and that is what they are?
Yes. You are thinking way too much into this.

The application for a technique is given, not because it is the best use of the movement or even a workable use of the movement. The application for a movement is given because it is the best teaching tool, to teach you the movement. All these moves you are asking about... you are asking about the surface level, teaching tool part. These applications are only to teach you the movement. Once you start to learn the movement, and the principles, you can find endless applications for them. Do these moves as you were taught, if you were told its a block... make it a block. Focus on your body for the movement and principles. Then, look for applications. Don't worry about keeping the training wheels on.

I know you don't want this to be the answer. But, I can't change that.

However, like you, I don't see a practical purpose for blocking with both hands out to the side like that
There is no practical purpose, aside from teaching you the movement and principles. That is the answer to all these questions. These applications are teaching tools, or training wheels, nothing more. You use them to learn how, then you take them off. You should eventually learn to do things the training wheels would not let you do, because you understand the principles and the movements that you began learning with the training wheels on.
 
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Yes. You are thinking way too much into this.

The application for a technique is given, not because it is the best use of the movement or even a workable use of the movement. The application for a movement is given because it is the best teaching tool, to teach you the movement. All these moves you are asking about... you are asking about the surface level, teaching tool part. These applications are only to teach you the movement. Once you start to learn the movement, and the principles, you can find endless applications for them. Do these moves as you were taught, if you were told its a block... make it a block. Focus on your body for the movement and principles. Then, look for applications. Don't worry about keeping the training wheels on.

I know you don't want this to be the answer. But, I can't change that.

There is no practical purpose, aside from teaching you the movement and principles. That is the answer to all these questions. These applications are teaching tools, or training wheels, nothing more. You use them to learn how, then you take them off. You should eventually learn to do things the training wheels would not let you do, because you understand the principles and the movements that you began learning with the training wheels on.

Then why not name them as such.

Calling it a block, when it is confusing as to what the block is, is counterproductive. It makes it hard to visualize the technique in context.
 

wab25

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Then why not name them as such.

Calling it a block, when it is confusing as to what the block is, is counterproductive. It makes it hard to visualize the technique in context.
If they were named strikes, this thread would be about "two strikes at once" instead of "two blocks at once." But, there is already a thread on that...
 

Kung Fu Wang

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However, like you, I don't see a practical purpose for blocking with both hands out to the side like that, and even most of the block/strike combinations or sweeps I can think of wouldn't look like that.
If you question about double block, you should also question about body stop during blocking.

In fighting, you will not block your opponent's punch and freeze there. You will continue to move. So since to post at the end of the blocking is wrong, why so many forms train this way - post at the end of a block?

Some old saying said, "A block is like to raise a curtain and walk under it." In other words, there should be no posting during the block.

In some form, it remind you a car with "square wheels" that turns as 1, 2, 3, 4 and still 1,2,3,4, ... Should a wheel turn in smooth circle instead?
 
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If they were named strikes, this thread would be about "two strikes at once" instead of "two blocks at once." But, there is already a thread on that...

Which, the motions of most of these would merit the question "how does this work as a strike." In the Mountain Block, it would work if you're striking 2 separate attackers (back to the same question about blocks) or it would work if your enemy is in the prone position on a shelf roughly head high. The diamond low block would be even more confusing as a double strike.

However, label them as a throwing move, if the intend application is to teach a throwing move, and suddenly it makes more sense.

If you question about double block, you should also question about body stop during blocking.

In fighting, you will not block your opponent's punch and freeze there. You will continue to move. So since to post at the end of the blocking is wrong, why so many forms train this way - post at the end of a block?

Some old saying said, "A block is like to raise a curtain and walk under it." In other words, there should be no posting during the block.

In some form, it remind you a car with "square wheels" that turns as 1, 2, 3, 4 and still 1,2,3,4, ... Should a wheel turn in smooth circle instead?

This is an issue I've often had, although most of our forms that end in a block, the next form is a fairly similar pattern and ends in a strike after the block. Now, I haven't trained much in the Taegeuks, but in our forms there are often blocks followed by strikes. I agree that simultaneous would be better (but it might be easier to teach one at a time), but the timing of Taekwondo forms isn't realistic. To me, the forms seem to show the pure technique, as it would exist if perfectly executed. It's sort of an exaggeration of the precision, but done so in a way that makes sense.

One reason I can see for ending a combination in a block (which doesn't really apply to Keumgang) is that you may strike and then prepare for an incoming strike. I'm breaking my rules a bit here, and I'm jumping threads a bit here, but if you tread the double-knife-hand block as a guard position, it can be remaining alert after striking.

---

Off-topic - I just had an interesting idea. I want to do Keumgang with nunchucks.
 

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However, label them as a throwing move, if the intend application is to teach a throwing move, and suddenly it makes more sense.
Which makes more sense?
  1. to learn that your "throwing" move is also a block, a strike, a joint lock and an escape?
  2. to learn that your "blocking" move is also a throw, a stike, a joint lock and an escape?
If it makes more sense to you as a throw, and you can keep the same body motion and principles, then change the application of that technique to a throw for you. As long as it teaches the same movement and principles, think of it as whatever makes sense to you.

You probably learned the throw o'soto gari as walking steps in TKD, without knowing it. (Shotokan people are taught o'soto gari on their first day, but they are told they are learning walking in a front stance)
 
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Which makes more sense?
  1. to learn that your "throwing" move is also a block, a strike, a joint lock and an escape?
  2. to learn that your "blocking" move is also a throw, a stike, a joint lock and an escape?
If it makes more sense to you as a throw, and you can keep the same body motion and principles, then change the application of that technique to a throw for you. As long as it teaches the same movement and principles, think of it as whatever makes sense to you.

You probably learned the throw o'soto gari as walking steps in TKD, without knowing it. (Shotokan people are taught o'soto gari on their first day, but they are told they are learning walking in a front stance)

What makes more sense depends on the technique. The Mountain Block doesn't make sense as a block or a strike. In fact, it doesn't even make sense as a throw because typically at least one hand goes down during a throw.

Since I'm having trouble with that motion, let's take the motion of moving your right hand from in front of your right shoulder to your left hip, and back in front of your right shoulder. This motion can be a block, grab, and wrist lock. It can be a block to the left and then to the right. It can be a block to the left and then a backfist. In can be a grip break. It can start with a lapel grab and bend your enemy down, and then be a downward elbow. It can be lots of things.

If I teach it to wave your arm down and back, with no application, it's going to be hard for someone to understand it. So let's look at each application I discussed and how it would be different:
  1. Block a punch, grab the hand/wrist, and pull back into a wrist lock. I would have my hand almost in the rocker symbol (grab with my thumb, middle, and ring finger, and have my pointer and pinky extended). I would also probably grab their wrist with my other hand as I pull back, and would pull back close to my body.
  2. Block left, then right. I would have my hand bladed for both blocks, the direction of the force would be going outside on the second block.
  3. Block, then backfist. I would have my hand bladed for the block, and then close tight for the backfist. The direction of the second move would be more forward than the previous application.
  4. Pull down and elbow. In this one, after the pull down, I would chamber higher before striking down. My other hand would probably be busy pinning their arm or holding their shoulder to keep them from standing up.
If I were to take the motion in #1 and call it a strike, it wouldn't make sense. People would probably be figuring out how extending two of your fingers makes the strike better, and end up breaking their fingers on a heavy bag trying to apply it. But if I teach it as a wrist lock, it would make sense.
 

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As for the "keumgang makki" (high & low blocks w crane stance), from what I understand, that's not a "real" move so much as a balance training exercise and cultural reference to an old statue of some ancient Korean warrior that stood like that.

Aside:

The stone sculpture known as the Kumgang Yoksa depicts two figures, each about 2 meters tall, flanking either side of a doorway in a Buddhist temple in ancient Silla. The sculpture appears to depict two men in unarmed combat. The sculpture has been dated to the 8th Century.

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punisher73

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Then why not name them as such.

Calling it a block, when it is confusing as to what the block is, is counterproductive. It makes it hard to visualize the technique in context.

Charles Goodin has a really good article about this. Basically, the movements didn't originally have names in Okinawan karate. It wasn't until they started making books that they had to put labels on the movements and started naming them. This "locked" in place the use of the movement and made it hard to see past the label.

The Why of Bunkai: A Guide For Beginners
 
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