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Fusion Martial Arts


ITF Taekwon-do + modern sports science + ideas from other Martial Arts

Day Time Location
Monday 6:15-7:15pm Macquarie
  6-8pm Barton (Telopea)*
Tuesday 6:15-7:15pm Holder
  6-7pm Belconnen*
Thursday 6-7pm Belconnen*
Friday 6:15-7:15pm Holder
  6-8pm Barton (Telopea)*
What Our Members Say...
  • 2 years ago, I was introduced to Taekwon-do by a close friend. My first impressions were how amazingly well-mannered the younger students were. As a father of 3 under 10 this is something I noticed immediately! I started my journey with Fusion and over time I got 2 of my children involved in training with Instructor Nick at Fusion. They now love training twice a week after school and practicing constantly. I love that they get a great mix of physical education, appropriate discipline and the feeling of accomplishment from learning the art of Taekwon-do. The skills they learn will always serve them well, and I encourage other parents to come along and try Taekwon-do with their kids.

    - Robert, Fusion Parent & Student

  • "I like to going to Taekwon-do because it is fun and I learn new skills and play interesting games"

    - Oliver (age 9)

  • "Our three children have been learning Taekwon-do with Fusion Martial Arts for nearly two years now and we could not be happier! Our children have learnt a range of valuable skills (including strong discipline) and improved their self-confidence, coordination and core body strength. Fusion Martial Arts has inspired our children to apply themselves in a diligent manner and we have been particularly impressed by Nick's dedication. Nick consistently puts a great deal of effort into his classes and is finely attuned to his student's needs. We would thoroughly recommend Fusion Martial Arts to anyone."

    - Zoe, Fusion Parent

  • "Nick is a good teacher who loves doing it and helps us a lot"

    - Sarah (age 12)

  • "If someone asks Nick a question, he listens and if he does not know the answer he will look it up for us.  He doesn't just ignore us"

    - Benjamin (age 9)

Blog

The 80–20 Rule (Pareto Principle) Applied to Taekwon-do

It is always a challenge for Instructor’s to practice patterns and exercises often enough in class due to the amount of time they require. Executing a pattern in your own time can take 2 minutes or more each, while working through them by numbers can take twice as long. In my own experience, when we preform Saju-Jurugi through to Choong-Moo once by numbers and once in our own time, it takes almost 1 hour of class time to complete without much individual instruction or questions! Even executing the Gup patterns/exercises twice each in your own time takes approximately 45 minutes (including the odd rest here and there).

Helping to tackle this issue is one of Canberra’s own 2nd Dan black belts; Mr Guy Pedashenko. Mr Pedashenko did his most recent black belt paper on applying the 80–20 Rule (Pareto Principle) to Taekwon-do Gup patterns and exercises. In short, this principle states that  “for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes”. From Mr Pedashenko’s analysis, over 40% of Taekwon-do’s “effects” (pattern movements) come from 10% of it’s “causes” (technique combinations). So while not a perfect fit, the general principle still holds that a small population of “causes” represent a disproportionate number of “effects”.

With Mr Pedashenko’s paper as a starting point, further analysis resulted in the development of 4 drills for Instructors to use in-class to help focus on and develop a majority of the skills required to execute the Gup patterns/exercises correctly. While these short drills should not replace pattern work, they can be used in class as a quick alternative to focus on key techniques.

 

Guy’s 40/10 Drill (7 movements x2)

This drill cover’s over 40% of the movements present in the Gup patterns/exercises; by the right and left.

Count Body Movement Feet In Motion Leg Technique [Tool; Line] Arm Technique [Tool; Line] Facing
*  (12) Parallel Ready Stance F
1 Moving Forward R R Walking Stance R Mid Punch [Forefist; Cr] F
2 L Mid Punch [Forefist; Cr] F
3 Moving Forward L L Walking Stance L Low Block [Outer Forearm; ~Cr] H
4 Moving Forward R R Walking Stance R Mid Block [Inner Forearm; ~Cr] H
5 Moving Forward L R L-Stance Mid Guarding Block [Knife-Hand; Cr] H
6 Moving Forward R R Mid Side Piercing Kick [Sword Foot; Cr] S
7 Turning L 90 (9) R Sitting Stance R Mid Punch [Forefist; Cr] F
8 Turning L 90 (6) L L Walking Stance L Mid Punch [Forefist; Cr] F
9 R Mid Punch [Forefist; Cr] F
10 Moving Forward R R Walking Stance R Low Block [Outer Forearm; ~Cr] H
11 Moving Forward L L Walking Stance L Mid Block [Inner Forearm; ~Cr] H
12 Moving Forward R L L-Stance Mid Guarding Block [Knife-Hand; Cr] H
13 Moving Forward L L Mid Side Piercing Kick [Sword Foot; Cr] S
14 Turning L 90 (9) L Sitting Stance L Mid Punch [Forefist; Cr] F
* Turning L 90 (12) Parallel Ready Stance F

 

Half Blocking Drill (6 movements x2)

This drill cover’s nearly 50% of the Blocking movements present in the Gup patterns/exercises; by the right and left.

Count Body Movement Feet In Motion Leg Technique [Tool; Line] Arm Technique [Tool; Line] Facing
* (12) Parallel Ready Stance F
1 Moving Forward L R L-Stance Mid Guarding Block [Knife-Hand; ~Cr] H
2 Moving Forward R L L-Stance L Mid Block [Twin Outer Forearm; ~Cr] H
3 Moving Forward L L Walking Stance L High Rising Block [Outer Forearm; Cr] H
4 Moving Forward R R Walking Stance R Mid Block [Inner Forearm; Cr] H
5 Moving Forward L L Walking Stance L Low Block [Outer Forearm; ~Cr] H
6 Spot Turning R M1 (6) L;R R Walking Stance R Low Block [Knife-Hand; ~Cr] H
7 Slipping Backward R L L-Stance Mid Guarding Block [Knife-Hand; ~Cr] H
8 Moving Forward L R L-Stance R Mid Block [Twin Outer Forearm; ~Cr] H
9 Moving Forward R R Walking Stance R High Rising Block [Outer Forearm; Cr] H
10 Moving Forward L L Walking Stance L Mid Block [Inner Forearm; Cr] H
11 Moving Forward R R Walking Stance R Low Block [Outer Forearm; ~Cr] H
12 Spot Turning L M1 (12) R;L L Walking Stance L Low Block [Knife-Hand; ~Cr] H
* Moving Forward R Parallel Ready Stance F

 

Two-Thirds Attacking Drill (8 movements x2)

This drill cover’s nearly 66% of the Attacking/Release movements present in the Gup patterns/exercises; by the right and left.

Count Body Movement Feet In Motion Leg Technique [Tool; Line] Arm Technique [Tool; Line] Facing
* (12) Parallel Ready Stance F
1 Moving Forward R L L-Stance R Mid Outward Side Strike [Knife-Hand; ~90] H
2 Moving Forward L L Low Front Snap Kick [Ball Of Foot; ~Sr] F
3 Moving Forward L L Walking Stance L High Thrust [Flat Fingertip; Cr] F
4 Moving Forward R R Walking Stance R Mid Punch [Forefist; Cr] F
5 L Mid Punch [Forefist; Cr] F
6 Slipping Backward R R Fixed Stance R Mid Side Punch [Forefist; ~90] H
7 Moving Forward L L Mid Side Piercing Kick [Sword Foot; ~90] S
8 Turning R 90 (3) L Sitting Stance L Mid Punch [Forefist; Cr] F
9 Turning R 90 (6)
Moving Forward L R L-Stance L  Mid Outward Side Strike [Knife-Hand; ~90] H
10 Moving Forward R R Low Front Snap Kick [Ball Of Foot; ~Sr] F
11 Moving Forward R R Walking Stance R High Thrust [Flat Fingertip; Cr] F
12 Moving Forward L L Walking Stance L Mid Punch [Forefist; Cr] F
13 R Mid Punch [Forefist; Cr] F
14 Slipping Backward L L Fixed Stance L Mid Side Punch [Forefist; ~90] H
15 Moving Forward R R Mid Side Piercing Kick [Sword Foot; ~90] S
16 Turning L 90 (3) R Sitting Stance R Mid Punch [Forefist; Cr] F
* Turning L 90 (12)
Moving Forward R Parallel Ready Stance F

NOTE: The drills above document both the right and left side executions of the techniques, so they look to be twice as long as they actually are. It would be the same as documenting Saju-Jurugi by the right and left in a single write-up. This was done to document the middle turn.

 

Two-Thirds, One Half And One Sparring Drill

This drill is still a work-in-progress and may well require some tweaking to allow for a return to the starting point as well as ensure that angles and distancing is correct. It is intended to demonstrate the colored belt basics of Taekwon-do in a sparring context.

Count Body Movement Feet In Motion Leg Technique [Tool; Line] Arm Technique [Tool; Line] Facing
* (12) Parallel Ready Stance F
     * (6) Parallel Ready Stance F
1 Moving Forward R L L-Stance R Mid Outward Side Strike [Knife-Hand; ~90] H
     A Moving Backward L L L-Stance Mid Guarding Block [Knife-Hand; ~Cr] H
2 Moving Forward L L Low Front Snap Kick [Ball Of Foot; ~Sr] F
     B Moving Backward R L Walking Stance L Low Block [Outer Forearm; ~Cr] H
     C Moving Forward R R Low Side Piercing Kick [Sword Foot; ~90] S
3 Moving Backward L R Walking Stance L Low Block [Knife-Hand; ~Cr] H
     D Moving Forward R R Fixed Stance R Mid Side Punch [Forefist; ~90] H
4 Moving Backward R L Walking Stance L Mid Block [Inner Forearm; Cr] H
5 Moving Forward R R Walking Stance R High Thrust [Flat Fingertip; Cr] F
     E Moving Backward R L Walking Stance L High Rising Block [Outer Forearm; Cr] H
6 Moving Forward L L Walking Stance R Mid Punch [Forefist; Cr] F
     F L Mid Block [Outer Forearm; Cr] H
7 L Mid Punch [Forefist; Cr] F
     G Turning R 90 (9) R Sitting Stance R Arm Extended F
     H L High Punch [Forefist; Cr] F
8 Slipping Backward L R L-Stance L Mid Block [Twin Outer Forearm; ~Cr] H
     I R Mid Punch [Forefist; Cr] F
9 Moving Backward L L L-Stance R Mid Block [Twin Outer Forearm; ~Cr] H
* Moving Backward R Parallel Ready Stance F
     * Turning L 90 (6) R Parallel Ready Stance F

NOTE: Side A follows the Numbers, while Side B follows the Letters.

 

Thanks to the work of a number of the region’s black belts, and thanks to the grading requirement of research paper’s for Dan applicants, innovation has occurred for in-class pattern work. Hopefully with the use of these drills by your instructor in-class, your own Gup pattern execution will improve.

Any feedback you have on these drills would be most welcome!

 

Analysis Backing These Drills 

From Saju-Jurugi through to Choong-Moo (omitting Saju-Tulgi), there are 68 unique technique combinations (e.g. Walking Stance Punch, Side Piercing Kick, etc.) and 291 movements (14+16+19+21+24+28+38+32+37+29+30=288 + 3 releases). From Mr Pedashenko’s analysis, we learn that a mere 7 technique combinations encompass over 40% of the movements across these 11 Gup patterns/exercises:

Technique Combo Count % Of Techniques
(Running Total)
% Of Movements % Of Movements
(Running Total)
Walking Stance; Punch [Forefist] 40 1.5% 13.8% 13.8%
L-Stance; Guarding Block [Knife-Hand] 22 2.9% 7.6% 21.4%
Walking Stance; Reverse Punch [Forefist] 16 4.4% 5.5% 26.9%
Walking Stance; Low Block [Outer Forearm] 12 5.9% 4.1% 31.0%
Walking Stance; Mid Block [Inner Forearm] 10 7.4% 3.4% 34.5%
Side Piercing Kick [Foot Sword] 9 8.8% 3.1% 37.6%
Sitting Stance; Punch [Forefist] 9 10.3% 3.1% 40.7%

From this analysis, “Guy’s 40/10 Drill” was developed to logically bundle these technique combinations into a easy to remember in-class drill (see above).

As the analysis resulted in a 40/10 split rather than an 80/20 split I decided to take another look at the data, focusing on Blocks and Attacks/Releases as two individual categories. In the Gup patterns/exercises, there are 30 Block technique combinations and 38 Attack/Release technique combinations. This analysis found that 8 Attack/Release technique combinations cover nearly 2/3rds of the Attacking movements, and 6 Block technique combinations cover nearly half of the Blocking movements:

Attack/Release Technique combo Count % Of Techniques
(Running Total)
% Of Movements % Of Movements
(Running Total)
Walking Stance; Punch [Forefist] 40 2.6% 25.8% 25.8%
Walking Stance; Reverse Punch [Forefist] 16 5.3% 10.3% 36.1%
Side Piercing Kick [Foot Sword] 9 7.9% 5.8% 41.9%
Sitting Stance; Punch [Forefist] 9 10.5% 5.8% 47.7%
L-Stance; Front Snap Kick [Ball Of Foot] 7 13.2% 4.5% 52.3%
Fixed Stance; Mid Punch [Forefist] 7 15.8% 4.5% 56.8%
Walking Stance; High Thrust [Straight Fingertip] 6 18.4% 3.9% 60.6%
L-Stance; Strike [Knife-Hand] 5 21.1% 3.2% 63.9%
Block Technique Combo Count % Of Techniques
(Running Total)
% Of Movements % Of Movements
(Running Total)
L-Stance; Guarding Block [Knife-Hand] 22 3.3% 16.2% 16.2%
Walking Stance; Low Block [Outer Forearm] 12 6.7% 8.8% 25.0%
Walking Stance; Mid Block [Inner Forearm] 10 10.0% 7.4% 32.4%
Walking Stance; Low Block [Knife-Hand] 8 13.3% 5.9% 38.2%
Walking Stance; Rising Block [Outer Forearm] 7 16.7% 5.1% 43.4%
L-Stance; Mid Block [Twin Outer Forearm] 7 20.0% 5.1% 48.5%
Walking Stance; Mid Block [Outer Forearm] 6 23.3% 4.4% 52.9%
Walking Stance; Circular Block [Inner Forearm] 6 26.7% 4.4% 57.4%
Walking Stance; Mid Block [Double Forearm] 6 30.0% 4.4% 61.8%
Sitting Stance; W-Shape Block [Forearm] 6 33.3% 4.4% 66.2%
Bending Ready Stance Type A 5 36.7% 3.7% 69.9%

From this analysis came the “Half Blocking Drill” and the “Two-Thirds Attacking Drill” (see above).

An argument could be made to include the top 10 Blocking technique combinations rather than the top 6 whereby making both drills cover two-thirds of the Gup technique combinations. However, the intention of these drills is to keep them as short as possible while still covering a large percentage of movements, and as Blocking lines 7-10 barely outweigh their representation (3.3% of technique combinations versus 4.4% of movements) it seemed cutting the Blocks at the top 6 was the most logical decision.

The development of the paired sparring drill “Two-Thirds, One Half And One Sparring Drill” came at my regional instructor’s suggestion as a demonstration of the application of basic Gup-level techniques. This drill is still a work in progress to ensure that the participants return to their original starting position (“as any good pattern should”) as well as to ensure that the distancing and angles are properly maintained throughout the drill.

 

 

Taekwon!

Instructor Nick

Sample Theory Questions

Hello Students and Parents of Fusion Martial Arts!

I have been working on a new revision of the Green Book (Student Manual) today and something I thought would be very useful is a new section per Gup level with Sample Theory Questions to assist students in preparing for gradings. I am known across the region (and beyond) for being very good at Taekwon-do theory, but I primarily focus on technical knowledge and pattern interpretations. Mr Bower prefers to focus on pattern interpretations, historical and encyclopedic theory. All of this information has been available in the Green Book, but it seems not everyone is fully anticipating the theory questions that are going to be asked and as such part of our theory knowledge is falling down.

In an effort to assist students in studying all aspects of theory effectively and efficiently, I have added a Sample Theory Questions section to each Gup level in the new revision of the Green Book. Please use these questions as samples of what you may be asked at the grading. Most of the time, you will be asked approx. 10 theory questions, so the approx. 198 sample questions I have below should give you a very good idea of what to expect to be asked! Now… this won’t do any of our current students any good, so I thought I would extract the new elements from the Green Book and post them below. I encourage you to print these out and include them in your Green Books.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

 

Taekwon!

Instructor Nick

 

10th Gup – White Belt Sample Theory Questions

While not a complete list of questions you may be asked at a grading, you should be able to answer these questions correctly and confidently if asked:

9th Gup – White Belt / Yellow Tip Sample Theory Questions

While not a complete list of questions you may be asked at a grading, you should be able to answer these questions and any questions presented above correctly and confidently if asked:

8th Gup – Yellow Belt  Sample Theory Questions

While not a complete list of questions you may be asked at a grading, you should be able to answer these questions and any questions presented above correctly and confidently if asked:

7th Gup – Yellow Belt / Green Tip Sample Theory Questions

While not a complete list of questions you may be asked at a grading, you should be able to answer these questions and any questions presented above correctly and confidently if asked:

6th Gup – Green Belt Sample Theory Questions

While not a complete list of questions you may be asked at a grading, you should be able to answer these questions and any questions presented above correctly and confidently if asked:

5th Gup – Green Belt / Blue Tip Sample Theory Questions

While not a complete list of questions you may be asked at a grading, you should be able to answer these questions and any questions presented above correctly and confidently if asked:

4th Gup – Blue Belt Sample Theory Questions

While not a complete list of questions you may be asked at a grading, you should be able to answer these questions and any questions presented above correctly and confidently if asked:

3rd Gup – Blue Belt / Red Tip Sample Theory Questions

While not a complete list of questions you may be asked at a grading, you should be able to answer these questions and any questions presented above correctly and confidently if asked:

2nd Gup – Red Belt

Four Stages Of Self-Defence

  1. Don’t be there! Do not go into the dark alley! Do not go into an angry crowd; don’t go into the seedy dance club. Be aware of your surroundings and if you begin to worry about your safety or the safety of your companions (friends, family), leave!
  2. Talk your way out of it. Apologize, even if it wasn’t your fault. Buy the jerk a beer. Tell the aggressor that you do not want to fight. Hold your hands up in front of you in a “stop” position with your elbows in front of your body and maintain a safe distance to avoid a “sucker punch”. Do not take a formal stance, do no ki-hup. Never turn your back to the aggressor. Avoid direct eye contact; use this to try to identify if they have any friends that may want to hurt you as well. Do anything you can to defuse and deescalate the situation.
  3. Run! If you can run away from the altercation while not leaving any of your companions behind in a dangerous situation, do it. You can call the restaurant/club/whatever later to settle the check or retrieve your belongings. If you are being mugged, always give them what they ask for. Never go with them to another location. Yell “Fire!” to attract help if necessary. Your wallet or purse isn’t worth getting hurt over (or worse). Toss it to the ground in the opposite direction of your escape route, and then run! Report the incident to the local authorities.
  4. Defend yourself. Only after all of the steps above have failed and you or your companions are under physical threat do you utilize the techniques we learn in class. Defend yourself only to the degree you feel absolutely necessary to allow you to run to the nearest safe location to call the local authorities to report the incident. If you are afraid to contact the authorities, then that is a sign that you may have misused your Taekwon-do training. Do not misuse your Taekwon-do training!

In furthering these points, fear is a very useful emotion in the first three stages presented above. Fear will not serve you well in point four, however. If you ever feel the need to defend yourself or your companions, your fear has already failed you, so leave it behind. Instead focus your anger on your opponent as they do not want to let you go home tonight, and that is not acceptable. You will go home tonight, and if you have to go through your opponent to do that, then that was their choice, not yours. But just because they made a poor choice doesn’t mean that you can decide if they are going home tonight, so use the least force possible to maintain your safety and the safety of your companions.

Sample Theory Questions

While not a complete list of questions you may be asked at a grading, you should be able to answer these questions and any questions presented above correctly and confidently if asked:

1st Gup – Red Belt / Black Tip Sample Theory Questions

While not a complete list of questions you may be asked at a grading, you should be able to answer these questions and any questions presented above correctly and confidently if asked:

 

Taekwon-do Dad: 6-year old daughter makes father proud

I follow a few different Martial Arts websites and blogs, namely Wim’s BlogMartialArts.StackExchange.com and Reddit’s /r/martialarts. Today, Reddit brought in a little piece of gold thanks to a Taekwon-do Dad:

Very young daughter makes father proud

My child (6 year old little girl) was playing outside with the neighborhood kids as my neighbor and I were watching. A little boy (same age, maybe a year older at most) starts picking on her and her two friends. She tells everyone to ignore him and they keep playing. The boy must have been upset that his insults were being ignored and decided to march up to my daughter and kick her from behind. She immediately went into her fighting stance.

The little boy she was playing with grabbed the bullies hand and said to him, “that wasn’t nice and you should apologize.”

Needless to say the bully just pushes the kid off him onto the ground. Then he turns around and goes to punch my daughter! Well, she dodges the punch just like at sparring and kicks the kid square in the chest, knocking him on his bottom.

Afterwards she walks over to him and asks, “Are you OK?”

Dumbfounded, he just looks up with big eyes and and slowly nods. After a couple minutes he recovers and tries to become everyone’s friend. My daughter then welcomes him into the group and they play together until all the mothers call everyone in for the night.

My daughter made me so proud with her restraint and understanding, but her willingness to protect herself and her friends. I owe her Taekwondo training for her understanding and ability to handle this conflict with such maturity.

Oh, and the neighbors jaw dropped when she knocked the bully on his bottom and he said, “I’m going to put my kids in martial arts.”

Gala/Trivia Night for the 2013 Worlds Australian Taekwon-do Team

Hello Students and Parents of Fusion Martial Arts!

Next Saturday May 18th there is a fundraising Gala/Trivia Night at the Ainslie Football Club. This Gala Event features trivia, two course dinner, a live dancing troupe (including Instructor Charlene), silent auction, physical challenges and Taekwon-do demonstrations (including Mr Bower).
This night is going towards supporting the Australian Taekwon-do Team at the 2013 World Champs in London (I am attached as a tentative traveling coach). Tickets are $70 per person, or $650 for a 10-person table. Tickets can be purchased via tkd.gala@hotmail.com or phone 0408 879 269.
I’ve personally never understood the Aussie phenomena of Trivia Nights, but I’ll be there in support of the team. If you have a free Saturday evening next week and would like to witness my exposure to this Aussie-ism, please do come along!
Instructor Nick
Inline image 1

New Fusion Dojang in Macquarie every Monday 6-7:15pm opens tonight!

Fusion is opening a new dojang this evening at Macquarie Primary (46 Bennelong Crescent; http://goo.gl/maps/e7vJQ), behind the Macquarie shops. This dojang is open to all of our students atno additional cost and is run from 6-7:15pm every Monday (even during school holidays, but not public holidays). If Macquarie isn’t a long slog for you and you have even just a few minutes this evening, we’d love to see you for the opening night of training.
Instructor Catherine will be taking the first few classes/weeks, so those of you looking forward to being tortured trained by Mr. Campbell will have to wait a couple weeks at least.
Below is a local map with the dojang’s hall indicated by the red circle, or use the following link for directions: http://goo.gl/maps/e7vJQ
Inline image 1
Hope to see you this evening!
Instructor Nick

The Broken Board Holder: The Collapsable Martial Arts Board Breaker made from broken boards!

Around the beginning of 2012, I spent some time online trying to locate a freely available design for a martial arts board holder. At the time there was nothing available. So after taking some inspiration from a few commercially available compact designs (see: http://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&q=board+holder+martial+arts) I came up with my own.

In this HowTo, I will show you how to make a collapsible martial arts board holder entirely out of broken Martial Arts boards. It can be easily attached to a heavy punching bag, held by a partner or supported against/hung on a wall.

Finished Board Breaker Collapsed Board Breaker

From this pile of broken boards and equipment, we have everything we need to build it (plus a staple gun, which I forgot to put in the picture).

Broken Boards Equipment

This HowTo details my Mark 6 version. I have used my Mark 4 version for nearly a year in my own classes with much success and durability. My Mark 5 and Mark 6 designs are an attempt to further simplify and refine the design (not to mention detail the process for this posting).

This build will take 2-4 hours start to finish (likely faster for someone who is a better carpenter than I) and about $10-20 in supplies. With a tiny bit of planning, these steps could be done in an assembly line fashion. Maybe at the yearly club BBQ a few members can work together to make a bunch of board holders for all the students who want one!?!

For this build, I will assume Martial Arts boards that are 290mm x 290mm x 19mm (11 1/2″ x 11 1/2″ x 3/4″). There is a bit of variability in each batch of boards, but we will address that issue as we go.

For reference, I recently found another HowTo detailing the build process of a non-collapsible board holder that has some very nice design ideas: http://www.karate.gregoryzone.org/?p=219 . It is worthwhile to have a look at this design to compare and contrast.

Disclaimer:

Board breaking/power breaking is not for beginners! The design presented below is intended for in-class use under the guidance of a professional instructor. The design and build instructions provided below are for informational purposes only. I assume no responsibility or liability for any injuries you may receive using a board holder based on the design detailed below.

 

Equipment:

Power Saw (preferably a Table Saw and a Drop Saw), Power Drill, Hammer, Tape Measure, Safety Glasses, Ear Plugs, Red Pen, Blue Pen, Black Pen, Drill Bits (sizes based on Screws/Eyelets), Philips Screw Head (matching Screws), Staple Gun (not pictured), Vice Grip (optional), Sand Paper/Sanding Block (optional).

Supplies (per board holder):

Non-toxic PVA/Elmers Wood Glue (100ml, 4oz), Non-Slip Fabric (two 290mm x 50mm, 11 1/2″ x 1 1/2″), Bungee Cord (two 1000mm, 40″), Philips Countersunk Screws (Sizes), Eyelets (four large enough for the Bungee Cord to pass through), Bungee Cord Hooks (optional)

General Tips & Tricks:

Pilot Holes: Since we are working with thin pieces of soft wood, pilot holes are essential to help ensure that the boards do not split when the screw is drilled in. In order to drill a proper pilot hole, you need to select a drill bit that is just a bit smaller than the center stalk of the screw (not including the threads). If you drill the hole too big, the screw’s threads won’t bite into the wood. If you drill a hole too small then you will not get the advantage of the pilot hole. Saying that, having a pilot hole that is too small is better than too big.

Eyelet Pilot Hole

Another aspect of pilot holes to consider is that there is no need to drill deeper than the screw will go. In fact, I tend to drill a little short of the full depth to guarantee some full bite at the tip of the screw. As you can see in the image above, I placed the Drill Bit into the Drill such that I cannot over-drill the pilot hole’s depth for the Eyelet.

Lastly, be sure to sand/remove any fragments from the bottom of the pilot holes before gluing and screwing as an errant chunk of wood can keep you from getting a good flat gluing surface.

Countersunk Screws: I greatly prefer to use countersunk screws for safety and ascetic reasons; plus you can sand after screwing the pieces together. If you are using countersunk screws, make sure you consider the extra length this will add when selecting your screws.

Sanding: It is far easier to sand each piece individually before using it on the board holder, but some sanding will likely be required after assembly as well. Make life easier and sand as you go! Just remember to wipe surfaces clean of dust before gluing.

Gluing: I cannot stress enough how important it is to glue every piece. The Wood Glue will greatly extend the lifespan of your board holder. Once the glue has fully dried the screws are almost no longer required; it is that strong! If you forget, it is worth the time and effort to unscrew, glue and re-screw (which even I had to do on a few occasions while building my 5th and 6th board holders for this HowTo).

Always use enough glue to fully fill the gap between the pieces, but not so much as to make a big mess. You should always get a bit of wood glue that leaks out when you put the pieces together. Wipe off the excess with your fingertip, and use it to in-fill any previous gaps or edges. But note that Wood Glue is a pain to sand once it’s fully dry, so don’t just wipe it over every surface with the expectation that you can sand it off later.

 

1) Find two suitable boards to use for the Vertical Supports

Broken Board Broken Boards

Matching the two sides of a board from a pile of halves can be a challenge, but they are in there. Be sure to clean any board fragments from within the break to ensure that the two pieces can be cleanly and snugly glued back together. Also ensure that these boards are the same size as they will work as a pair to support the boards in the Board Breaker.

NOTE: You can use two unbroken boards if you wish for the Vertical Supports (but that is far less cool).

 

2) Start stripping!

Board Strips

With your table saw, start cutting the remaining broken boards into approximately 2.5cm (1 inch) strips, cutting with the grain. You will need at least 17 of these Board Strips for each holder (plus one for the ruler). I suggest making at least 25 Board Strips, just so you have plenty of spares just in case.

NOTE: It is worthwhile to save the offcuts of the broken boards as I make these into picture frames for belt certificates (this will be detailed in a future HowTo).

 

3) Make the Ruler

Ruler

While this step isn’t absolutely necessary, it is a good idea to make up a Ruler so that you can quickly mark up the Board Strips. This Ruler will also be referred to in later steps.

Grab the ugliest of your cut Board Strips (or an offcut) and make the following markings:

 

 

NOTE: These measurements are primarily to ensure that screws are run down the centerline of perpendicular Board Strips that will be attached in later steps. If you are off by a few mm (1/16″)s then it won’t matter too much. The crosses denote the location of the pilot holes to drill.

 

4) Prep the Back Board ends (Ruler’s red markings)

End Board Strips (red)

Grab the Ruler and two Board Strips, marking a 25mm (1″) face on each one with the red markings. Ensure these boards are the same length as they will form the ends of the Back Board.

Once your holes are marked, grab a drill bit smaller than the diameter of your screws and drill pilot holes at each dot.

 

5) Prep the Vertical Support Strips (Ruler’s blue markings)

Vertical Support Strips

Grab the Ruler and six Board Strips, marking on a 19mm (3/4″) face on each one with the blue markings. As you can see in the picture above, my Board Strips vary in length by more than a few mm (1/16″), line up one end with the end of the Ruler (the right side in the photo above) marking the dots from that point. On the uneven ends, mark the 19mm x 25mm (3/4″ x 1″) tops with a “T” to indicate these are the tops (which we will cut off in a later step).

Once your holes are marked, grab a drill bit smaller than the diameter of your screws and drill pilot holes at each dot.

 

6) Prep the Back Board sides (Ruler’s black markings)

Side Board Strips (black)

Grab the Ruler and four Board Strips, marking a 25mm (1″) face on two of them with the black markings. Ensure these boards are the same length as they will form the sides of the Back Board.

Side Board Strips Glued (black)

Once your holes are marked on two of the four Board Strips, flip over the marked Board Strips and put a reasonable amount of Wood Glue onto the back. Attach the marked Board Strips to the unmarked Board Strips, ensuring that their edged meet up.

(Optional) attach vice grip to one end of the glued Board Strips prior to drilling to help ensure alignment. Alternately you can let the Wood Glue cure for a few minutes, allowing it to become tacky enough to hold the pieces together.

Grab a drill bit smaller than the diameter of your screws and drill pilot holes at each dot through the two boards. Once the pilot holes are drilled, put a screw in each end of the glued Board Strips to ensure a tight glue joint.

 

7) Grab your Vertical Supports and start gluing

NOTE: You can skip this step if you are using unbroken boards for your Vertical Supports.

Broken Board (Glued)

Put a good amount of wood glue down one side of the break on each board, enough to ooze out a bit but not make a mess. Go ahead and do both boards as this will give the glue a few minutes to setup a bit to assist in the next step.

 

8) Attach the Vertical Support Strips

NOTE: You must ensure that the screws you use for this step do not poke through the Vertical Support! Any screw heads that poke through the other side will damage boards and limbs during breaks.

Vertical Support Break Angle

Double check that you have the glued Vertical Support Board with the proper face up, ensuring that any angles in the breakpoint down and into the Vertical Support Strips you are about to attach. See image above; the glued break runs from top left to bottom right within the red circle. And always run the Vertical Support Strips across the grain of the Vertical Support, else it can crack much more easily.

Attach the Vertical Support Strips.

Put a reasonable amount of Wood Glue onto the back and attach the first Vertical Support Strip at the far left edge of the Vertical Support you prepared in step 7. After ensuring the bottom of the Vertical Support Strip lines up with the bottom of the Vertical Support, screw in the two screws that are on one side of the break in the Vertical Support. When attaching the third screw, be sure to force the Vertical Support together to ensure a tight fit.

Put a reasonable amount of Wood Glue onto the back and attach the second Vertical Support Strip. Use a Board Strip as a spacer at the far right edge of the Vertical Support, such that the second Vertical Support Strip is 19mm (3/4″) off the far right of the Vertical Support (we do this so that the two finished Vertical Supports can be stacked back-to-back). As before, after ensuring the bottom of the Vertical Support Strip lines up with the bottom of the Vertical Support, screw in the two screws that are on one side of the break in the Vertical Support. When attaching the third screw, be sure to force the Vertical Support together to ensure a tight fit.

Attach third Vertical Support Strip

Put a reasonable amount of Wood Glue onto the back and attach the third Vertical Support Strip. Use five Board Strips on the left side and six Board Strips on the right side to position the third Vertical Support Strip slightly off center (we do this so that the two finished Vertical Supports can be stacked back-to-back, see image below). The twelve Board Strips should fit pretty snugly. After ensuring the bottom of the Vertical Support Strip lines up with the bottom of the Vertical Support, screw in the three screws.

Remove the spacer Board Strips, clean up any excess Wood Glue with your fingertip (working the excess into any gaps) and set the finished Vertical Support to the side.

Repeat this procedure for the second Vertical Support.

 

9) Cut Vertical Support Strips along top

NOTE: The table saw in the picture is missing its blade guard in order to show the angle of the blade only. This is a very dangerous configuration. Do not use a table saw without a blade guard installed! Also note that the tops of the Vertical Support Strips can be knocked off by the blade during the cut, so be very careful with this step! Before committing to the cut, ensure that the top screw will not come into contact with the blade!

Vertical Support Strips - Cut Vertical Support Strips Cut Detail

As the Vertical Support Strips are located on the outside of the Board Holder, there is an outside chance that a strike could hit these supports. As a safety measure, these supports are cut at a 45 degree angle to limit damage should a strike come into contact with them. The trick with this step is to ensure that the Vertical Supports end up the same height. My table saw doesn’t make a full cut, so I have to do a secondary cut to level off the top of the Vertical Support.

Collapsed Board Holder Collapsed Board Holder Detail

Now the Vertical Supports are complete. As you can see above, we offset the Vertical Support Strips to allow for back-to-back stacking on the finished Back Board (which we will get to in the next step).

NOTE: Be sure to cut off the tops marked with a “T” in step 5 as the other end should be in line with the bottom of the Vertical Supports.

 

10) Assemble the Back Board

NOTE: Be sure to read through this step once or twice before proceeding as it is somewhat complicated.

Assembled Back Board

Take the Board Strips you prepared in steps 4 and 6. Remove the screws from the glued side Board Strips (Black).

Position an end Board Strip (Red) at the 38mm x 25mm (1 1/2″ x 1″) end of one of the Black Strips and drill a pilot hole into the Black Strip through the hole in the Red Strip. Put a reasonable amount of Wood Glue onto the 38mm x 25mm (1 1/2″ x 1″) Black Strip end and screw the Red Strip onto the Black Strip. Repeat this procedure for each of the remaining three corners. (Optional) Using the vice grip to hold the glued end together can be helpful.

NOTE: It is critical that the faces of the boards line up at the corners to ensure square corners as well as a flat back surface of the board holder/Back Board for power breaks (as this area will be held against a solid wall and should sit flat against it).

Once you have the outer Back Board frame glued and screwed together (forming a rectangle), we need to cut the three internal supports from Board Strips. You want to ensure that these three Board Strips fit very snugly into the inside of the frame, so cut one at a time a little long and slowly cut each it back with the drop saw until you can just barely shove the board into position. This snug fit helps to ensure a solid Back Board.

Once you have each Board Strip cut to size, remove it, put a reasonable amount of Wood Glue onto the faces that come into contact with the Back Board and put it back into positon. Drill out the pilot holes through the Red and Black Board holes and screw together. Note that the Board Strip in the middle is positioned with the 19mm (3/4″) side up, while the two outer Board Strips are positioned with the 25mm (1″) side up. In order to make it easier to have a flat front and back face on the Back Board, the two outer internal supports are positioned in the center vertically.

 

11) Attach Vertical Support Footings to the Back Board

NOTE: As with the internal supports from step 10, it is important that these Vertical Support Footings are very snug. This snug fit helps to ensure a solid Vertical Support and is the most critical part of the build.

Vertical Support Footings - Measure Vertical Support Footing - Snug Fit

Cut one Vertical Support Footing at a time a little long and slowly cut each back with the drop saw until you can just barely shove the board into position.

Vertical Support Footing - Marking

Once you have each Board Strip cut to size, remove it and mark one hole on each end on a 19mm (3/4″) face approximately 30mm (1 3/16″) from each end on the centerline.

Vertical Support Footing - Screws Vertical Support Footings - Positioning

Drill out the pilot holes and screw in the screws so that they stick out slightly from the bottom. Position the Vertical Support Footing back in the Vertical Support, then place the Vertical Support on top of the Back Board above the Red Board ends such that the sides of the Vertical Support line up with the sides of the Back Board, and the Vertical Support Footings line up with the ends of the Back Board.

Vertical Support Footing - Marking Pilot Holes

Use the Hammer to tap the heads of the screws, marking the position of the screws into the Back Board. Drill the pilot holes into the Back Board then put a reasonable amount of Wood Glue onto the bottom of the Vertical Support Footing. Screw in the Vertical Support Footing.

Vertical Support Footings

Repeat this procedure for each of the four Vertical Support Footings.

 

12) Attach Internal Vertical Support Footings to the Back Board

NOTE: As with the internal supports from step 10, it is important that these Internal Vertical Support Footings are very snug. This snug fit helps to ensure a solid Vertical Support and is the most critical part of the build.

Vertical Support Footings - Internal Footings

Cut four approximately 38mm (1 1/2″) Board Strips for use as the Internal Vertical Support Footings. Mark a pilot hole in the center of a 25mm (1″) face of each Internal Vertical Support Footings, drilling each pilot hole and putting a reasonable amount of Wood Glue onto the bottom of each of the Internal Vertical Support Footings.

Using a spare Board Strip, position it in the place of the Vertical Support. Wedge this Board Strip into place with the Internal Vertical Support Footing, screwing each one into place.

Vertical Support Internal Footings

NOTE: There is no need to drill a pilot hole into the Back Board under the Internal Vertical Support Footings as the screw will be in the gap between the sides of the Back Board.

Vertical Support All Footings The Broken Board Breaker

 

13) Attach Eyelets and Bungee Cords to the Back Board

Vertical Support Internal Footings

Mark pilot holes under each of the Internal Vertical Support Footings, ensuring to miss the screws holding the Internal Vertical Support Footings. Drill out the pilot holes and install the Eyelets into the Back Board.

Bungie Cord

Get an approximately 850mm (33 1/2″) length of Bungee Cord, threading each end through an Eyelet on each side of a Vertical Support.

To attach the Bungee Cord, you can simply tie a knot in the end (as pictured above) or use some Bungee Cord Hooks like those pictured below.

Bungie Cord Hooks

Using hooks like this will allow you to also use the eyelets to attach the board holder to a heavy punching bag, tree, post or otherwise (as Ryan Gregory did with his holder, see: http://www.karate.gregoryzone.org/?p=219 ).

 

14) Attach Non-Slip Fabric to Vertical Supports

Bungie Cord

Using a Staple Gun, attach a double thickness of Non-Slip Fabric to the top face of the Vertical Supports. The Non-Slip Fabric, along with the Bungee Cords keeps the boards in place.

Bungie Cord

 

Final Product

Finished Board Breaker Collapsed Board Breaker

One of the newest features/improvements with the Mark 6 is the attachment of the Bungee Cords to the Back Board rather than the Vertical Supports. Im still getting used to wrapping the cords around the Vertical Supports when in storage, but I think the parallel approach below works the best:

Collapsed Board Breaker next to 4x UMAB Boards

Also note that when collapsed, the board holder is only slightly taller than my four UMAB re-breakable boards. Not a bad footprint at all!

 

Q: “Yea, that looks cool and everything, but how well does it actually preform?”

A: Let’s go to the YouTube…

 

So… while I wouldn’t recommend The Broken Board Holder as a “power frame”, it still performs extremely well under some rather large power breaks. Plus due to the fact that it’s collapsible, if things go wildly wrong it should be more forgiving to limbs than a rigid holder would be. Notice how the holder is strong enough to allow for the breaking of the 4x UMAB boards in the video above, yet the Vertical Supports break away when they are pushed from the inside.

Best of luck, and happy building!

Taekwon

HowTo: Figure Out A Gup Pattern’s Diagram

While working with our class on theory one evening, we came up with an easy way to figure out (rather than remember) the diagrams for all of the Gup Patterns and Exercises. Now all of our students know the diagrams to all of the Gup patterns, even the ones above their grades because they can figure them out!

By remembering 2 facts and 3 ½ simple questions, you can figure out the diagram of every Gup-level pattern and diagram. First, we have the facts; the two scholars are Yul-Gok & Tae-Gae. Second, the questions:

  1. Is it an Exercise or does it want to be like its friends?
    • YES: The diagram is a plus sign (+).
  2. Does the Pattern name have an “S” in it?
    • YES: The diagram is a capital “S“.
  3. Is it named after a scholar?
    • YES: The diagram is the Chinese character for scholar (““, or an “airplane”)
      1. Is it the 5th Gup Pattern?
        • YES: The diagram also has a “V” at the middle bottom (because the Roman numeral for 5 is “V”).
  4. Else… the Pattern diagram is a capital “I

And that is it! For whatever reason, we humans find it easier to remember a series of questions than a series of facts. Plus we have far less questions to remember than all the facts: “+ + + I S I 士v I 士 + I I“.

So… who “wants to be like it’s friends”? Chon-Ji Tul (9th Gup Pattern) is learned after the Exercises Saju-Jirugi and Saju-Makgi, both of which diagrams are plus signs (+). Since Chon-Ji is learned directly after two Exercises, we say that it “wants to be like it’s friends” and therefore also has a diagram of a plus sign (+).

How about “does the name have an ‘S’ in it”? Think about it… once you’ve first eliminated the Exercises, no Gup-level Pattern other than Do-San Tul has an “S” in it.