Sunday, July 23, 2017

Hae Sul 4: Gae-Baek elbow lock takedown

10-10-2017: There is a second, more literal application of the set I have added below.

So much for the first double arc hand block in Gae-Baek. Now for the second.

There is a locd called hiji kime osae (elbow arm bearing pressure) in Aikido and waki gatame (armpit lock) in Judo, We can use Gae-Baek moves 25-28 to create this lock. The set is:
  • Front stance double arc hand block
  • Maintaining stance, back hand upset punch
  • Half step 180-degrees into horizontal elbow strike, left palm hitting right elbow
  • Leap forward into rear foot X-stance double forearm block
Sources: HowCast, coshigould
Besides the source video, another example is here. Details
  • Assume a same side wrist grab against your right arm. Rotate your right arm counter-clockwise, and use your left palm to grab the back of the opponent's hand. (Double arc hand block)
  • From here you can grab your opponent's knifehand and peel it off and down with the upset punch, pronating the opponent's arm in the process, which allows you to...
  • Turn 180-degrees and match your elbow with your opponent's, putting them into an armbar. The left palm in this case is bending your opponent's wrist in towards their body, putting them into a secondary wrist lock.
  • Use the leap as a quick-and-dirty takedown. Put forward pressure on your opponent as you lean your weight on them and bend their wrist and arm towards their body with the double forearm block.
Aikidoka perform this lock more continuously, so step 2 -- using an upset punch motion to pronate the opponent's arm -- is barely noticeable because it's done while the defender is turning. The takedown can be done either by dragging the opponent out or by putting forward pressure on them. If you don't wish to harm your opponent, then don't use the literal leap. Leaning onto your opponent should be enough, and might explain the use of rear foot X-stance: placing all your weight forward.

The preceding move in the form -- the twin vertical face punch -- may be used as an initial strike: a quick pop to the face if an opponent grabs your wrist.


You may have noticed that the aikidoka first raises his opponent's arms to head level, just like our double arc hand block. However, other martial artists have argued this is a bad idea, and that it's better to keep your opponent's wrist close to your body. Alain Burrese, a Hapkidoin, says you never need to raise your opponent's arm above your armpit. He also performs the takedown by leaning back on his opponent and sitting down.
Source: Your Warrior's Edge
Although it's not a leap, you can still see the use of the double forearm block, bending both the wrist and arm in towards the opponent's body.

A more literal application

Block and palm strike application for
the double arc hand block.
Source: Kata for Self Defense
The use of the upset punch as merely transitional may seem like a stretch to some. There is a more literal application to the set I recently came across.

The double arc hand block can be used as an actual block, or more accurately a simultaneous block and palm strike, similar to the karate version of the open-handed twin block. It is aimed off at a 45-degree angle because you are blocking a hook punch with your back arm, while palm striking with your front arm.

After this you want to grab your opponent's right shoulder with your right hand. Why? To avoid head collision as you pull them in with the reaction hand. Perform the upset punch with your left fist as you pull them in. Now you have gotten your opponent to lower their head. Perform an elbow strike to it while turning 180-degrees, taking them off balance. To complete the set, use the leap into rear foot X-stance as a throw. The double forearm block acts to push the opponent's already unbalanced body.

The major problem with this application, I think, is that by pulling the opponent in so close they are very likely to bear hug you and take you to the ground with them. You might avoid this by repeatedly elbow striking their head before you do the throw. This may get your opponent to let go of you and try to defend their head, at which point the throw is safer to perform.


  1. I'll be taking an indefinite break from this blog. I hope I've done my small part to help taekwondo rediscover its martial roots.

  2. great post yet again. I hope you return from your break soon a give us more great posts like this one.