Exceptionally rough notes from the Seminar. This post will be improved over the next few weeks.
* Fiona: earned me a “very good” w- thumbs up when asked who her instructor was =)
* Joe: Rising blocks, Side Kick Hands
* Me: Walking stance back foot 30deg? (defined as 25deg?), L-stance too short, ensure walking stance front knee is over heel, Release from Yul-Gok, doing Po-Eun well (w-Mr Paul, a double compliment)!
* GM learned a lot as a 7th Dan as there were many things that he was doing wrong. Always be open to learn. We are allowed to forget, students are allowed to remind us, etc.
* Pay equal respect to ALL students; Kup and Dan. Spoke of instructor who didn’t want to bend down to readjust a student’s leg so he kicked it instead, GM found this extremely disrespectful. Have respect from Instructor to Student, be humble, be courteous, have integrity.
* GM encouraged us to sit in chairs at the side in order for us to be comfortable while we observed the seminar. This differs from the traditional but the GM specifically wanted us to be comfortable. Relax, ask many questions at any time. “feel better when you are relaxed” -GM. At belt presentation, specifically mentioned that my questions were good and help everyone else learn thanks to me asking them.
* Student’s should clearly say the pattern name “in respect for the man” they are named after. Grunting out 2 syllables was disrespectful.
* Took time to have the 9 Training Secrets read aloud
* Choi pronounced “CH-eh”
* When transitioning between stances, feet should not be any closer than 1/2 shoulder width. The reason for this is to maintain stability throughout the movement, should you be disturbed during transition (as narrower feet could result in loss of balance). This is also more of a natural motion/gait.
* When transitioning from full-facing to full-facing, facing should be maintained throughout the motion (e.g. no hip twist).
* Middle punches performed at shoulder height, but “water would run down the arm towards the fist” (so fist is to be slightly below shoulder). Middle blocks differ per type of block; but are of course meant to cover the mid-section (so use logic and don’t execute too high/low). E.G. Inner Forearm Block; palm/wrist in-line with shoulder (so like the punch just at/under shoulder height).
* Punches (e.g. arms) should reach for the target, but not shoulders. That is, arms should be at extension (but short of over-extension) with the sense of reaching.
* In the “relax, re-extend, execute” cycle of a technique, during Re-extend the punching (or otherwise) fist should not return to the hip, but just in front of hip with the wrist in a natural slightly rotated position. If the fist is returned to the hip, students have a tendency to punch incorrectly (elbow out). Once again, the focus was on natural movement.
* Per the General – Takeown-do movement is like a river; sometimes slow, sometimes fast, there are waterfalls and sometimes it stops.
* Minor breath on Connected motion first technique (much like, though more subtle than Continuous motion)
* Everything moves at the same time during a technique, not foot then hands, etc. all together
* Fist not fully retracted during fast motion, seemed to be more in front of belly/in natural relaxed position rather than re-chambered at hip between techniques 1 and 2.
* Continuous Motion; 1 breath, 2 techniques. Exhalation at technique 1 but breath continues throughout whole movement.
* X-Stance Technique timing; Execute technique as first foot lands as that is when the body is still in motion. If you execute at second foot landing you’ve lost all of the additive momentum from the forward body motion.
* Angle Punch is to reverse Breast line.
* Slow motion has no audible breath
* Connecting motion has audible breath at first technique, similar to Continuous
* W-Shape Block, driven by the body/arms come with body (so they don’t move?/move much?). Leg raise/foot stomp performed almost as an upward knee, not arching/relaxed but with purpose.
* Consecutive kicking motion – 2 kicks done without dropping the leg (kick/re-chamber/kick)
* The neck exists on the border of Middle and High section, and can be considered to be in both.
* Twin Outer Forearm (& Twin Knife-Hand Blocks & U-Shape Grasp); Arms are doing the work, body should not follow the arms/lean in. Focus on stability and not offering a target by leaning forward.
* Both Korean and English are the official languages of Taekown-do, so there is no issue with using English in class what so ever. But in Ref course, hand signals were put paramount in order to clearly communicate rather than using any language (Korean or otherwise).
* Bowing – to 15deg, don’t lose eye contact
Sine Wave/Knee Spring(SW/KS)
* Kinds of SW/KS:
#1 – Down…Up/Down: motion-based
#2 – Up/Down: stationary, no forward motion, vertical only
#2.1 – Down…Up/Down, Up/Down: fast motion (motion-based + stationary really)
#3 – Down…Up/Down, (down)Up/Down, (down)Up/Down[, (down)Up/Down]: continuous motion, minor initial (down) motion followed by full Up/Down (e.g. Po-Eun)
* #2 and #2.1 rear heel raised slightly, not too high, subtle
* Connecting (Continuous?) Motion described as “One AND Two”
* Coordination of motion; Step to happen with execution of technique. “Step” seemed to be placement of the heel as opposed to contact of the ball of the foot with the ending position. Heel seemed to function as the baseline/drum beat for timing of the entire technique.
* Peak of the Up portion of the SW/KS is as the feet are passing parallel.
* Naturally “fall” (or really crest) into second Down.
* While described as “fast motion” still take your time to execute the SW/KS correctly
* After jumping techniques, SW/KS #1 should still be performed on 1 leg
* Up (second driving leg) very important
* First down motion assists with the up motion. Second down adds gravity to the strength of the punch. Analysis/Opinion: This is very much in-line with the Bujinkan interpretation of the SW/KS. Bujinkan looks to which leg is “driving” the motion. In order to produce drive off the initial leg, a bend in the knee is required (e.g. the first down) and the first driving leg/loading of the second driving leg results in the upward motion, while the extension of the second driving leg results in the final down motion (or drop in the Bujinkan vernacular). So in addition to “down…up,down” the SW/KS can also be thought of as “driving leg 1, driving leg 2, technique execution”
* Chon-Ji: Focused on SW/KS, especially executing technique in coordinating with foot landing.
* Dan-Gun: Twin Outer Forearm (see rules)
* Do-San: Release, turn wrist to release ~90deg to rotate “oval” from advantageous for opponent to weak/thru gap. Release done with forward body movement, not arm.
* Do-San: #2 et’al, SW/KS #2
* Won-Hyo: #1 weight shift to R leg to allow movement of L leg (e.g. load R leg to allow movement, first Down and prep for Up of SW/KS).
* Yul-Gok: X-Stance technique timing (see rules)
* Yul-Gok: #1 is a measurement for the punch (minor is to prepare for reaction force). Arm is moved Horizontally into position as you lower your body from Parallel Ready Stance into Sitting Stance; no (not much) up and no down movement of placed arm.
* Jhoon-Gun: #1, #2, Twin Palm Heel (et’al) don’t lean, let the arms extend and keep the body vertical.
* Jhoon-Gun: Back fist to Release; Front foot slips from L-Stance into Walking Stance as the grabbed arm drops into an almost upset punch position. Elbow comes to hip and forward body movement is used to effect the release. Arm is dropped vertically rather than in an arc. Straight shot between Back Fist position to Upset Punch-esque position. Fist is in Upset Punch-esque position before body is fully finished moving forward.
* Tae-Gae: #3 back fist position to upper lip/philtrum of opponent at side/back.
* Tae-Gae: Back Fist/Low Block combo, Spot back fist before/at start of motion
* Tae-Gae: W-Shape Block (see rules)
* Hwa-Rang: Ready Stance C left over right with left 4 fingers over right 4 fingers (L pointer finger to R pinky)
* Hwa-Rang: pointed out Vertical Stance
* Hwa-Rang: Hand grab/release, grabbing hand’s palm placed over fore fist with fingers/thumb gripping at sides (as opposed to palm on top or thumb on top). Grab and pull with body, moving punching arm to approx 45deg bend. Rear foot heel raised slightly. Grab/pull done without body, body/rear foot follows to near original position of the punching fist.
* Hwa-Rang: Turning kicks, kick, land foot at half shoulder width and kick again. Name of motion not mentioned, but it was not Consecutive kicking motion.
* Hwa-Rang: L-Stance Obverse Punch #1 (Funky Punch), Encyclopedia incorrectly illustrates a U-shaped motion, while it describes a pulling of the front foot back. Written description is correct. Pull front foot from Walking Stance to L-Stance WHILE executing the punch (so the pull of the foot is additive to the punch).
* Choong-Moo: This is a dan-level pattern.
* Choong-Moo: Jumping side kick performed at below hip height (p 190 v10) and to land with both feet. The trick here is that unlike every other kick we train in TKD, this kick is not retracted (though Mr. Paul did retract to a small degree thanks to height of his jump). GM was content with a below hip height kick that was then “dropped” into the landing with the leg left extended. This can be thought of as almost a kick to the knee followed by a scrape down the front of the shin (but performed higher up on your opponent). This was practiced from #5-#8.
* Choong-Moo: U-Shape block done in Fixed stance (believe the E says L-Stance?). Fixed stance makes more sense as this is one of the few techniques we lean forward into, and leaning forward while maintaining a 70/30 weight distribution in an L-Stance seems odd.
* Kwang-Gae: Reviewed this in separate groups (I was with Mr Bower) and GM oversaw. No corrections made for our group.
* Po-Eun: #6-#12 Continuous Motion uses SW/KS #3 (full SW/KS-lite), ensuring to “stop” after each motion a the minor first down is performed.
* Po-Eun: “Pulse” inward side fist block done in front of body
* Po-Eun: U-Shape Grasp (see rules)
* Po-Eun: Twin elbow slow motion; From U-Shaped Grasp, arms separate then come back to center then execute Twin Side Elbow. Feet moving slowly entire time, hands have to keep up with feet.
* Po-Eun: Post twin elbow, look forward for side-back fist (as opponent is to the side back, not back so in peripheral vision)
* Po-Eun: Wedging block performed across, no looping back/rolling of the wrists
* Gae-Beak: Has all motions; fast, connecting and continuous
* Gae-Beak: #3-4 SW/KS is #2.1, focus was on the second half of the fast motion SW/KS ensuring back heel only came up slightly.
* Gae-Beak: Double Arch-Hand block done with SW/KS #2. Lead hand forward, rear hand back but further out from body with both palms on an approx 45deg plain down and back. Hands do not touch/make a diamond but you do look thru the gap. performed in reverse half facing and powered by the hip twist (per GM to Catherine when she asked about hip twist, it’s still in ITF!). Defense against a twin kick (“I don’t know how realistic” -GM).
My Own Analysis/Opinion
* Heavy focus on sitting stance punching due to simplification of Sine Wave/Knee Spring (SW/KS). Once timing of SW/KS was consistent, moved into Walking Stance/Mid Punch while still focusing on SW/KS. Then onto L-Stance/Mid Inner Forearm in prep for Chon-Ji. Also focused on coordination of Hand, feet, breath, eyes.
* Heavy focus on natural movement and to a lesser degree conservation of movement. E.G. move naturally but only when you need to (as with no hip twist when going from full-facing to full-facing).
* Heavy focus on continuing to learn, and to help each other learn. When students, be they senior or junior were brought up to the front mistakes were corrected but not criticized. Everyone was encouraged to make corrections to seniors and juniors alike, and seniors were encouraged to take this constructive criticism on-board. To paraphrase the GM: “if you could do everything correctly, you wouldn’t be at the seminar”.