The Development and Analysis of Specific Techniques and Movements

Over the years of teaching and observing technique, it has been become apparent that certain blocks are similar in nature.  Their similarities while performing floor techniques provide the instructor and student with a great opportunity to develop increased strength and knowledge of movement.  The outward block with the outer forearm (Do San), the inward block with the outer forearm (Song Song), and the high block (Dan Gun) lend themselves to comparison.  Their similarities are: their hand and wrist positions, their angle at loading or chambering, their line of movement, and their joint rotation.

 
THE OUTWARD BLOCK WITH THE OUTER FOREARM

The outer forearm block with the outer forearm loads (chambers) near the side of the head, with the fist turned toward the head. The angle at the elbow should be 120 degrees, with the wrist in a straight position.  Keeping the fist in a higher position, the arm is brought forward in a slight downward plane, keeping the angle at 120 degrees. 

As the fist approaches the ending point of the movement (as if performing a crescent back fist), a full speed rotation of the forearm and wrist is executed, to turn the fist to the outward blocking position.  This full speed rotation of the wrist adds to the power of the movement.  Other elements, such as, opposite and equal reaction force, as well hip rotation and matched timing provide a stronger and more powerful block than can otherwise be achieved.  The ending point of the block for patterns and floor exercises is generally in front of the shoulder.  The fist is not turned completely forward, but angled with the knuckle of the index finger in a higher position, and the same knuckle angled closer and toward the face.  

THE INWARD BLOCK WITH THE OUTER FOREARM

The inward block with the outer forearm is loaded (chambered) with the palm turned outward, in a straight line with the shoulders, with the leading hand reaching parallel and the palm down.     As the blocking hand moves forward, the lead hand is pulled to the hip, moving simultaneously, so as to end at the same instant as the blocking hand.  The blocking hand moves forward in a straight and slightly angled down plane, without rotating the hand until the ending of the movement.

The wrist remains straight during the entire movement.  The finished position of the block is in line with the opposite side of the face, and finishes on a slightly lower plane than the original loaded position.

 THE HIGH RISING BLOCK

            The high block loads at the hip, with the fist turned upward.  The angle of the arm should be 120 degrees.  The block is executed by keeping the angle of the arm at 120 degrees during the entire length of the block.  The shoulder joint acts as the fulcrum, while the rest of the arm, lead by the fist at approximately a forty-five degree angle across the front of the body, moving upwards.   The ending point of the block places the fist on the opposite side of the head, while rotating the wrist joint quickly.  

This movement facilitates a better ending point for the movement, as the arm is far enough from the face to prevent the arm from being pushed into the face too easily.

A comparison of the three above described blocks shows the following similarities:

  1. From the beginning of the movement to the end of the movement, the angle of 120 degrees remains the same.
  2. The wrist position is the same for all three movements.
  3. The ending point of each movement is the same distance from the face at its ending point.
  4. The wrist rotation to the correct ending position is the same.
  5. Each of the blocks has a central axis, being the shoulder.

It is my understanding and observation over time that prompts me to teach the movements in this

manner.  While teaching the class, each movement is described and demonstrated (step by step) until

the student acquires a general working knowledge of each movement and notes their similarities.  It is

beneficial for the student to compare visually, rather than just by description.

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