Monday, July 10, 2017

Hae Sul 2: Gae-Baek drop takedown

In General Choi's books the double arc hand block is portrayed as catching a frisbee or throw pillow -- something that got a chuckle out of me the first time I saw it. Here I'll analyze the first time the movement appears in Gae-Baek and get something else out of it. The set is:
  • Front stance rising block 
  • Maintaining stance, low block
  • Maintaining stance, double arc hand block
  • Lift and bring in front foot to bending ready stance A
Of note, this is the first time in the ITF forms that a bending ready stance is not followed by a kick. In my club we tend to turn an extra 45-degrees as we perform the stance, in preparation for move 9.

A common interpretation for the last two moves is a two-handed "push" followed by a sweep. To avoid retreading old ground here's a different application, shown in the combined gif below:
Sources: One Minute Bunkai, Maul565
  • Assume an opponent grabs you. Use the rising block as an upward strike to their jaw (not in the gif) as you grab a hold of their wrist with your reaction hand.
  • Use the low block to crank their arm
  • Continue the crank into the double arc hand block. The top arc hand strikes the opponent's jaw
  • You can use the bending ready stance as a knee strike to the back of the head, but the interpretation I like is stepping behind your opponent and dropping to one knee, throwing them to the ground.
There are a couple other uses for the rising block. In the form you move backwards into it: it could be that your opponent is doing a grab-and-punch to the head and you are defending (a rising block, properly used, makes a good round punch defense). Another option is that your opponent is doing a double grab, and the rising block is breaking one of the grabs. Something similar is shown in the images below.
Left: rising block against a round punch. Right: rising block and low block against a double grab.
Sources: KDCombat System, Richard Moon
Edit 10-11-2017: For another, similar application, I recently stumbled across Paul O'Leary's old blog. You can read his application for the set here.


  1. Excellent interpretation. I have done this technique and have practiced this same takedown though I've not attributed it to this form. After you get the idea of one takedown - they all start to blend together.

    1. Yup, once you get the principle of a technique down you can apply it in several ways. I didn't mention it, but I originally saw this as an application for Heian Shodan/Chon-Ji. Low block followed by lunge punch followed by turning into another low block can be used as basically the same technique.

  2. David - the content you are generating for your blog is excellent. You might want to think about categorising your posts by 'Name of Pattern' or technique. Check out what I've done with my blog. Look at the categories on the right hand pane. Having a convenient way to filter through your collection would be a major benefit to any serious student or practitioner of Taekwondo. Colin

    1. Thank you for the suggestion. Posts are now organized by pattern name and are listed on the sidebar.