Master Lamberth's First Idiots Guide
Nothing quite beats your dojang but this is an interesting experiment for Instructors and students alike. Can you explain to your students and other students how to do a technique? This really test your in depth knowledge, even with the simplest of techniques physically. Explaining them by using words is a challenge, can you do it?
Thanks to Annie for the latest question on explanation and application of a specific Tae Kwon Do technique. Remember if it is a question for you it is worth asking it’s only easy when you know the answer. Everyone has to learn even Instructors.
I will give it the best of my descriptive powers.
Walking Stance / Rising Block Gunnun Sogi / Chookyo Makgi
Again please take my explanation as just that, my explanation. Your own Instructor’s interpretation may indeed differ slightly. Listen to Her / Him. These thoughts on what we are doing are my concept. There are plenty out there, no right or wrong options just practical and impractical. I feel I give simple and effective reasons and explanations. When the dojang re opens you are all welcome to visit us and I can show you and guide you on what we do and why.
Let’s put the left foot forwards and right foot behind. Try and sit your body centrally giving 50% body weight on the front and rear leg. Your front leg should have toes facing forwards and a bent front leg. The back foot is also toes forwards but obviously comfortable to your body tolerance, back foot may have a slight outwards angle to toes. Your back leg in walking stance should be straight, Approximately 2 shoulder widths in length and 1 and a half to two shoulder widths wide. Remember you need to have good stability in your stances. Your foundation is critical in Tae Kwon Do moves especially in the technical world of gradings and competitions.
Starting / chamber position for the arms, raise your arms, for this block with the left foot forwards the left hand should be closest to your face with your knuckles facing away from your face and the right hand on the outside furthest from your face with your knuckles towards your face.
Twist your hips towards the chambered arms and pivot the feet towards your crossed arms. Now you are poised to utilise the block; the left arm needs to be raised above your head, rotating the outer forearm to the outside in the last couple of inches of the move. Your right arm should travel downwards to the outside of your right hip, you will need to rotate / twist it onto your hip for the last 2 inches. Reaction arm should finish with the watch face of your forearm facing towards the floor. The blocking arm and reaction arm should travel roughly equal distances to their finishing positions. Therefore the action arm (block) and reaction arm should have equal force and speed.
Your target with this move is to block, use reaction arm and complete stance facing the correct direction all simultaneously.
Blimey that sounds confusing but read again and visualise, practise it and then you will get an understanding of what I am trying to describe. Get in front of a mirror and see what you are trying to do.
Compare it to the description, keep practising until it feels almost natural.
Why is the blocking arm angled with the fist higher and above your head? This is so you can protect yourself from a downward blow, the arm is angled for the purpose of deflection, hopefully the attack will slide off your arm and away from your head.
We teach this move as a block but it could also be used as an attacking method, imagine driving the blocking arm up under the jaw of an aggressor. I think it would be very effective as a defensive attack. 🙂
A little story that is one of my senior grade memories relating to Chookyo Makgi. Upon queueing for my theory questions moments before going onto the Bristol Academy dojang floor and taking part in the physical 5th Dan grading, one of my compatriots who coincidentally broke his arm during destruction but carried on his grading exploits, not knowing it was broken of course. Carrying on with adrenalin and nerves is common to most people during gradings. He was asked what rising block was in Korean; he floundered around and could not fish an answer from his brain. Amazing what nerves can do, this is a block us seniors teach on a daily basis but things can desert you when put under stress. He obviously was asked more taxing questions and got them correct may I add. When it was my turn after him I respectfully walked and bowed to the 8th Degree Question Master and requested ‘Could have Rising Block as a question?' as I knew it was called a Chookyo Makgi. He smiled, (thankfully) responded with an emphatic 'no" and for your cheek give me the meaning of Ul Ji. Thankfully I did and passed the intense 5th Dan Grading, but it goes to show a rising block is taught at 9thKup or even 10th Kups but you need to keep on top of your knowledge even at the latter end of the grading cycle. Remember always respect the basics ….