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Martial Arts, Musings, Taekwondo

Applications – They need to be Practical


When looking for applications in your patterns, it is important to always be critical. When you’re doing this from a Practical Taekwondo perspective, it’s vital that you also be practical.

Take the picture below. Normally you see this sort of thing performed by people wearing doboks. I took it with us wearing street clothing to show just how impractical – and mostly downright dangerous – this application is. It looks bloody stupid when people are wearing doboks, but when they’re wearing street clothing it becomes absolutely ridiculous.

My balance is off due to my stance. If that kick was coming in with intent, Mr. Miles would be smashing me through the wall. Both of my hands are employed in blocking attacks, rather than using body shifting and maybe one hand to ward, and you can see that Mr. Arrell has another hand ready and waiting to smash me in the face approximately half a second after his first attempt is ‘blocked’. Mr. Miles will also be moving forward into me as he lands. This means that not only have I failed to stop the attackers, I’ve left myself well and truly open to follow-ups.

Is it an application? Yes, of course it is. But, if you apply the precepts of the Burgar Rating System by Bill Burgar, this application is something that is totally impractical from a Practical and Self-defence point of view. To be honest, in my opinion, it’s totally impractical from any point of view. There is absolutely no use in keeping this application.

There is a valid reason for teaching it, and that’s to show just what not to do when looking for applications.

This is an absolutely awful application that is, amazingly, still taught.

This is an absolutely awful application that is, amazingly, still taught.

About mattsylvester

Father of two beautiful daughters and married to the beautiful Karen, Matthew has been reading and writing fantasy and science fiction since he first read the Hobbit at the age of 7. Matthew was Features Editor, Technical Consultant and regular columnist for magazines such as ‘Fighters’, ‘Combat’, ‘TKD & Korean Martial Arts’ and ‘Traditional Karate’. These are the four leading martial arts magazines in the United Kingdom. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed 'Practical Taekwondo: Back to the Roots', which has been sold around the world. With regard to his martial arts background he has been studying martial arts since 1991. In 1995 he hosted Professor Rick Clark of the ADK and since then has been studying pressure points and their uses in the martial arts and on the street (initially as a Special Constable and as a Door Supervisor). All of this practical hands-on experience means that he is uniquely placed to write fight scenes that are not only plausible but some of which are based on personal or anecdotal experience. Matthew has had a number of short stories published by Fringe Works, KnightWatch Press, Anderfam Press and Emby Press.

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