Saturday, January 28, 2017

Chon-Ji and Dan-Gun: Additional Applications

Previous posts:
Chon-Ji: Using chambers to parry attacks
Chon-Ji: The front stance middle punch
Roundhouse punch defenses in Dan-Gun

In my last post on Chon-Ji, I gave three applications from the form.
  • Brush, grab, strike followed by takedown
  • Parry-pass followed by punch and then takedown
  • Takedown (o soto gake) counter
Just three seems paltry considering that karateka have said that low block followed by lunge punch has anywhere between 20 and 50 applications. However, I don't think this sort of application overload is very helpful; if you learn 30+ applications, how many of them will you actually practice? Nonetheless, here are a few more applications to Chon-Ji that I personally like. I will also discuss the remaining two roundhouse punch defenses from Dan-Gun and some alternate applications for those sets.

Chon-Ji: Front Bear Hug Defense

Believe it not, the ready position (junpei) actually has applications. It's traditionally performed by bringing the arms up to chest level, and then down again, sort of like a double low block. This could be used to push down the arms of an opponent doing a double grab.

Another use, however, is to push out the hips of an opponent bear-hugging you. You may then attempt to throw them by turning into front stance low block. This is shown in the below images, which I've stolen from Art of Manliness, but they originally come from Modern Judo and Self Defense by Harry Ewen.


Chon-Ji: Hammer-down, push

Something even simpler than the groin strike is use the low block to press down the opponent in some way. You can push down the opponent's arm (by striking inside the elbow) after deflecting inward, or if you deflect a punch outward you can use the low block to strike and push down the opponent's head, as in the gif below:
Source
Follow up with the lunge punch to both hit and shove your opponent away from you.

Chon-Ji: Lapel grab defense

The inner-forearm block may be used to trap the arm of an opponent grabbing you, an application commonly used for the similar circular block in Won-Hyo. Wrap your arm over the opponent's arm first, then perform inner-forearm block to shift the opponent off-balance. Step forward and strike them across the face.
Source: Evangelos Efseviou
Chon-Ji: Rolling backfist
Source: Tao of Peace Martial Arts

Karateka sometimes argue about whether the inner-forearm block makes a good strike or not. I don't think it works as a strike to the neck -- as some use it -- but it can make a good rolling backfist to the face. Use the reaction hand to push down an opponent's guard during the chamber, then roll up your backfist to strike the opponent.

Chon-Ji: Rear bear hug escape

One thing I'm neglecting in these applications is the 90-degree and 180-degree turns, but people have come up with applications for them. Low block with a 90-degree turn can be a powerful pull, for example.

The front stance middle punch can be used as a quick bear hug escape. The punching arm releases, but the back arm, which comes back to your hip, functions as a rear elbow strike. Then, turn around (180-degree turn) and use low block to strike your opponent's groin.
Source: Blind Sensei
The source video for those images has several other applications for low block followed by lunge punch, in case you are interested.

Dan-Gun: Roundhouse punch defenses

I skipped two roundhouse punch defenses in my last post on Dan-Gun. The twin outer-forearm block itself can be used as a roundhouse punch defense; in fact, this is likely its primary purpose. You see similar twin blocks in other arts; e.g. it can used to simultaneously block and grab your opponent's shoulder. However, the front arm can also be used to strike the opponent, either with the forearm or the elbow.

The full defense uses:
  • Twin outer-forearm block
  • High punch
  • Turn 90-degrees into low block
After blocking, use an arm drag (reaction hand for high punch) to get the opponent's arm out of the way. Then use the high punch to strike across the jaw and also bar the neck. Finally, turning 90-degrees and performing low block will throw your opponent. Russ Martin performs a similar application below, except that he uses inner-forearm block to do the throw.
Source: Russ Martin
The reason I don't prefer this one is because the follow-up at the beginning of Won-Hyo -- an inward strike to the neck -- is much faster. Dragging the arm gives the opponent time to react with their other arm; unless your forearm strike is effective, that is.

Augmented block. Source: Fight Method
The second defense uses:
  • low block, rising block combination
Use the low block chamber as an augmented block, stopping the opponent's punch (see right image). You then hammerfist the opponent's ribs or groin (low block) and, as your opponent bends over from the blow, use the same arm to strike their jaw with the rising block, pulling them in with your reaction arm for extra force. The reason I don't prefer this one either is that striking low leaves your head exposed to their other hand, but there are close-range situations where this can work.

Here are other uses for these two sets.

Dan-Gun: Wrist grab defense

Suppose an opponent grabs your wrist same-side. Performing the outer-forearm block with your front hand twists their wrist and exposes their elbow. Push their elbow up over their head (rising block with back hand), and then walk forward while raising it (high punch), throwing them.

Source: Dan Djurdjevic

There is a similar defense against a cross-side wrist grab in the same video.

Source
Dan-Gun: Grab defense, and low punch defense

A common application for the low block, rising block combination is to strike down on the arm(s) of an opponent grabbing you, and then strike upward with the rising block, smashing them in the jaw/neck. (Right image)

Yet another one, if you are facing a puncher, is to block a low punch (like an upset punch or maybe an uppercut) with the low block. Circle around their arm (rising block). Then, walking forward into the next rising block, defend against their other arm. You are now in the position where you are pulling one arm and pushing up the other one, off-balancing your opponent. Step out with back leg and rotate 270-degrees to throw, as you do later in the form.

Dan-Gun: Straight punch defenses

Throat punch
Some of the sets in Dan-Gun can also be interpreted as straight punch defenses.

First: knifehand guarding block followed by high punch.

After you deflect a straight punch outward with the guarding block, slide your front hand forward and use it as a palm strike to your opponent's face. Your target here is the chin; you want to push it upwards to expose their throat. But if you get their nose; well, that's okay too. Come forward and punch through your opponent's throat with the high punch. (I should point out, however, that a fore-knuckle strike is better for punching the throat than a fist).

The twin outer-forearm block, since it chambers with the rising block on the outside (canonically anyway), can be used as a parry-pass, using the rising block to deflect an attack inward. Use the front arm to strike the opponent while raising their punching arm; then follow up with the high punch with your other hand.

Twin block followed by high punch application. Source: Dan Djurdjevic

Twin outer-forearm block as parry-pass
and shoulder grab. Source:
Dan Djurdjevic 
The only issue is that this better suits the karate version of the twin block, which uppercuts with the front arm. However, in the Encyclopedia sometimes the move is performed with a half-turned front fist, as if doing a backfist (see above image), so I believe that a parry-pass followed by a backfist strike is an appropriate use of this technique.

Another option is to grab their shoulder, as shown in the right gif, we can then pull them down while stepping forward and striking upwards on their jaw (high punch).

Finally, the knifehand strike itself makes a good straight punch defense. Utilize the chamber as a parry and trap. Pull the opponent's arm in as you knifehand strike their neck. Following up with the high punch might be unnecessary, but you can always circle around your opponent's legs and use it as a throw. The gif I've chosen for this comes from a 1956 taekwondo demonstration; noteworthy not just for its age, but because you see the use of the chamber and the pulling hand.
Source
Leg Raise

One final application for the high punch (and also a rising block): grabbing a leg and lifting it upwards. It may seem simple, but sometimes that's all you need. If you utilize the back arm of the guarding block to overhook a front kick, then you can attempt a takedown simply by walking forward and lifting the opponent's leg.

Sources

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gE6Sww8EE6U
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtCNLzsfrkg
http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/03/14/don-draper-judo-unarmed-self-defense-from-the-mad-men-era/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iNpsGzVlGQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWXwUQ-SLyA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6um-MbDelvU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_ad1ez-5ug
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BI6qUqmw2uc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fll9-s8G97E
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAx466yXTD0
https://www.iainabernethy.co.uk/article/pinan-heian-series-fighting-system-part-two
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGofiMEtW1E

2 comments:

  1. These posts are great sir! I've been studying very similar sources, but you are a good many steps ahead of me. Thanks for filling in some gaps for me. (2nd degree ITF TKD)

    ReplyDelete