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June 1, 2008 Wyoming Black Belt Class
at Master Martin's

Wyoming State Director Mr. Robin Johnson, VI Dan from Sheridan was Black Belt Instructor for June. The lesson for the day was a practical study of the Training Secrets of Taekwon-Do.

1. To Study the Theory of Power Thoroughly.
The Theory of Power consists of 6 parts:

  • Reaction Force- Two kinds: 1) from the opponent (large object) coming into your attack (small tool) either to land a devastating blow or to simply redirect, or to use your attacker's momentum and a minimum of you own power to throw the opponent off balance. 2) your own, created when a punch with one fist is aided by pulling back the other fist to the hip. Hear the fist hit the hip.
  • Concentration - Can mean mental or physical. Mentally, simply give your attention to the task at hand. Physically, more pertinent to the Theory of Power, mobilize every muscle of the body into the tool, and apply the technique to the smallest target area. Focus at impact.
  • Equilibrium - Balance is crucial. It's important to keep your weight low in your body to maintain balance. There is dynamic and static stability - we must work on both. Maintain good posture. Keep the pelvis in a neutral position. Imagine your pelvis as a bucket of water, and don't allow it to spill in any direction. To control rebound, the heel of the rear foot must be on the ground at the moment of impact.
  • Breath Control - Must come from the lower abdomen. Breathe in as you draw yourself to center. The breath should be exhaled throughout the delivery of a techinque, with a slight burst at the moment of impact. It may be a more quiet exhalation than what we are accustomed to. The burst should expend nearly all the air in your lungs, from the bottom up.
  • Speed - Acceleration: This must be done smoothly and without hesitation. We are often prone to a pause about halfway through the delivery of a technique. Start slow, and continue the acceleration to the point of impact.
  • Mass - Our mass doesn't change (much). However we can utilize mass more effectively by executing sine wave, and using hip twist to deliver the most power into the smallest tool.

2) To Understand the Purpose and Meaning of Each Movement Clearly.
When learning how to execute a technique, knowing these gives a reason for the movement, how to move, and an understanding of why it is executed in a particular manner. This is what allows us to execute a technique with realism.

3) To Bring the Movement of Eyes, Hands, Feet, and Breath into a Single, Coordinated Action.

4) To Choose the Appropriate Attacking Tool for Each Vital Spot.
In Taekwon-Do this is decided on a scientific basis, according to the structure of the human body.
The proper tool to vital spot achieves the desired result with a minimum of expended energy.
The tool when blocking should intersect the attack at an angle to create the most advantage, generally at a right angle. When attacking the tool should be delivered at a right angle so the power does not deflect.
The size and shape of the tool is selected to contact the vital spot effectively.

5) To Become Familiar With the Correct Angle and Distance for Attack and Defense.
Step Sparring - Position yourself in a proper stance with striking or blocking tool appropriate to a vital spot.

6) Keep Both the Arms and Legs Bent Slightly While the Movement is in Motion.
Allows the body to relax and move fluidly.
Gives the leg greater flexibility to use momentum and speed.
Aids in dynamic stability.
Encourages one to pivot on the ball of the foot.

7) All Movements Must Begin With a Backward Motion With Very Few Exceptions.
However once the movement has begun it should not be stopped or slowed, then restarted before reaching the target. Begin slowly and accelerate smoothly through the technique.

8) To Create a Sine Wave During the Movement by Utilizing the Knee Spring Properly.
Sine wave must have motion along with up and down.
Sine wave increases mass and speed.
Helps maintain rhythm in patterns.

We did several drills to work on these ideas:

  • Bring the hands up towards the shoulders, then turn the palms down and press past the hips and down, pressing and keeping the weight low in your body...all movements begin in the lower abdomen, which is the center of the body.
  • Dynamic stretching against the wall - We gain from both dynamic and static stretching, and while they are both necessary parts of our training, Taekwon-Do primarily requires dynamic flexibility. These stretches can mimic Taekwon-Do techniques.
  • Walking stick drill - this drill works on several points...stability, maintaining good posture, focusing on the lower abdomen, sine wave, balance, stepping smoothly into a stance, maintaining consistent stances, moving with your partner, i.e. reading and reacting to your parter's (opponent's) movements.
  • More partner drills:
    1) Attacker steps in, defender sidesteps, blocking the attack and throwing the attacker off balance, using the attacker's momentum against him - reaction force.
    2) Backfist to the opponent's open hand - shorten the technique, working on speed, relaxing/tensing the correct muscles, execute at 90% so that antagonist muscles are not working against protagonist muscles.
    3) Knife hand guarding blocks to the inside as well as the outside, also the same blocking drill with the double forearm and the double arc hand - works on understanding the purpose and meaning of each movement; make sure you set the attack to correspond to the desired level of the block you want to practice. This drill can be used to work on almost all of the Training Secrets of Taekwon-Do.
  • Patterns while concentrating on one or another specific idea such as hip twist, or drawing back to the center of the body after each movement, then moving from the center of the body outward to execute the next one, or accelerating smoothly throughout each technique.
  • We even had a little bit of time for the tennis ball drill - front, side, turning, 180 back kicks! What a fun way to work on timing, coordination, focusing on a small target, hitting the moving target. Hand techniques work well with the tennis balls too.

There was some discussion of the World Camp dates backing up directly to the Wyoming Color Belt Test, so the date of the testing was moved back to July 26.

* Master Martin invited all those training to stay for lunch, and he provided sandwiches, chips and drinks for everyone! It was great to stay and visit and catch up with folks from all over the state. That was a real treat - THANK YOU Master Martin!

Upcoming dates to remember:
Next Black Belt class will be July 26, after the Color Belt Testing.
Sereff World camp July 13-18.
Wyoming Color Belt test Sheridan July 26.
Referee Course @ HQ August 23.
Wyoming Invitational Sept 20. Demos welcome.









Wyoming Black Belt Class, June 1, 2008

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