Sunday, April 23, 2017

Do-San: Additional Applications

Previous posts on Do-San:
Do-San Applications, Part 1

In this post I will finish providing applications for Do-San, focusing mainly on the spearhand strike and wedging block sets.

Head Hook Takedown

The supported spearhand thrust followed by the release motion and turn comes from the karate kata Heian Sandan, and has many applications. It can be used as a throw, for instance. Use the supporting hand to press on the small of the opponent's back while you turn and thrust their head downwards.
Source: Practical Kata Bunkai
There are many variations of this throw. Rather than press on the small of the opponent's back, you might overhook with the supporting hand, due to the way we setup the spearhand. From here you can grab the opponent and pull with the backfist motion as you spin. Push their head with your open palm.

Source: Practicaltaekwondo
Another variation is to link your arms when doing the takedown. This isn't what we do in the form, but it's common in other arts. However, the motion is reminiscent of the supported ridgehand strike in both Choong-Moo and Gae-Baek.

Knee/Hip block takedown

The above application doesn't utilize the wrist turn -- something re-added in later by Gen Choi (fnt. 1). However, Matthew Sylvester has another takedown utilizing the release motion with wrist turn as a knee block. Karate Culture has a similar application in the bellow image: using the rotated spearhand to block the hip as the other hand pulls.
Source: Karate Culture
Strike back of head

Source: practicaltaekwondo
Another application for the spearhand is a strike to the back of the head. I rather like this one because in my club we perform the spearhand strike at a slight downward angle (aiming at the ribs/solar plexus), meaning that in the right situation we can strike across the back of an opponent's head with our knifehand.

Wristlock escape

So the standard application you may have learned for the spearhand set is escaping a grab. You pull away with the release motion, then spin and hit them with the backfist. For a simple wrist grab this doesn't make much sense; why would you expose your back like this? However, some pattern analyzers have expanded on this idea and suggested that it's a wrist lock or armbar you are escaping, evidenced by the wrist turn (which also appears in the kata Heian Sandan).
Source: katashotokan
I can't say I'm a big fan of this one. However, I mention it because it's a commonly cited application.

In my previous post I interpreted the wrist turn as creating an armbar: turning over the opponent's elbow with your palm as you pull their wrist down towards your hip.

Sparring application

  KatarinaTerzic Conrad
Finally, a sparring application I was once taught for this set was to use the release motion to parry a front kick. You then follow up with a spinning backfist strike. This depends on how exactly your club performs the release (it seems that every club does it slightly differently), but if it's anything like the image on the left your grandmaster probably preferred the "parry a kick" interpretation.

Brush-grab-strike, armbar

Now on to the second backfist: since the backfist uses the same wrist-to-wrist chamber as the low block, we can also use the full motion as brush-grab-strike against a straight punch. After striking our opponent's face with the backfist, step out and turn 270-degrees, pulling the opponent's arm (outer-forearm block), and then pressing forward onto their elbow (back hand punch).

Roundhouse punch defense

For the wedging block set, there's an application from Russ Martin that I rather like. The block is performed at a 45-degree angle, so we can use it to stop a haymaker/roundhouse punch. From here you can front kick the opponent's knee or, as Mr. Martin suggests, use the rechambering of the front kick as an o soto gari sweep.

Source: RussMartinAppliedTKD

Application for front hand, back hand punch combination.
Source: practical kata bunkai
Russ Martin has some other application ideas for Do-San in the source video.

To add a little more detail to this: the first punch after you sweep can be used to hook the opponent's head and push it forward. The second punch can be used to crank their head -- something useful if they grab you -- finishing the throw.

Double lapel grab defense

Ignoring the 45-degree angle, this set can be used as a double lapel grab defense. There are two versions of this: first, you can come over your opponent's arms and press them down with the wedging block chamber, then grab their head and press into their eyes (wedging block). Follow with the front kick to their knee or groin. Perform a knee strike instead if you are too close.

Wedging block chamber
as a strike.
Source: Fighting Arts
The other version is to use the wedging block chamber to strike the opponent's radial nerves. This comes from, and the author claims he learned this from an Okinawan teacher. You then use the wedging block to grab the opponent's arms, and then pull them in as you kick the groin or inner thigh. Follow up with the two punches.

Tomoe Nage

If you want something fun and different to practice, wedging block followed by front kick may be used as a tomoe nage (circle throw) sacrifice throw. Read about it here. Use the wedging block to grab your opponent. Then, as you fall on your back, use the front kick to kick them up and over you.

Wedge Throw

The riding stance knifehand strike is commonly interpreted as a simple wedge throw. In Capoiera this defense is so common that it's been given the name of "Vingativa" (meaning "vindictive"), named because it is used as a quick counter to a missed kick. However, the movement may be used against a hand strike as well.

Capoiera's Vingativa. Source: Howcast
Use the knifehand strike with chamber as brush-grab-strike, deflecting the opponent's attack inward. Before or as you strike, step forward in riding stance, knocking your hips behind your opponents. Land close enough so that you can use your full arm (including elbow) to push.

From here you can sweep out the opponent's leg and pull their arm. Use the foot movement into the second knifehand strike as the sweep. You could also interpret the second knifehand strike itself as a further pull (if you keep your hand closed), although it's likely just practicing the motion on the other side.
Sources: Tom Hill's Karate Dojo and Tigon Karate

1) In the 1965 version of Do-San, there are no instructions for a wrist turn, and old performances of Do-San do not include it. However, it exists in Heian Sandan -- the form this set is taken form -- and Gen. Choi added the wrist turn back in by the time of the 1986 version of the Encyclopedia of Taekwon-Do.


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