Wednesday, April 25, 2018

17. Toi-Gye ending: takedown and straight ankle lock

Source: ITFTuls
Lately I have neglected the color belt patterns. So for this post I'm going to discuss the last eight-to-nine steps of Toi-Gye. The set I'll be analyzing is:
  • Front stance high double forearm block
  • Three-quarters turn into low knifehand guarding block
  • Stance shift into left front stance circular block
  • Shift weight into right front stance circular block
  • Step with right leg into riding stance middle punch
  • Ready to closed ready stance C

We begin with the double forearm block followed by the three-quarters turn into the low guarding block. This set has its roots in the end of the kata Pinan Shodan/Heian Nidan, the difference being that the kata uses a closed-fist low block. The application is shown below.
Source: PracticalKataBunkai
In any situation where you can catch your opponent's arm (such as if they have grabbed you), use the back (left) arm of the double forearm block to smash down onto their inner-elbow. Then use the front (right) arm of the "block" to strike the side of their neck. From here, switch hands such that your right arm is grabbing the opponent's elbow. Reach around your opponent's head and pull them to the ground as you turn 270-degrees.

But in Toi-Gye the low block is open-handed, so we cannot grab and pull. Instead, we push from the front. This means that the takedown in Toi-Gye is more similar to the one shown below.
Source: OneMinuteBunkai
After striking with your right arm, press the opponent's right elbow inwards, causing them to lean over counter-clockwise. Then use your left knifehand to check across their face. Finally, from here use the 270-degree turn into the low knifehand guarding block as a throw, maintaining the arm lock with your right knifehand.

The Throw Fails

What if the above throw doesn't work? You try to use the low block as a throw, but you end up just moving your opponent around. Here Toi-Gye takes another page from Pinan Shodan: we follow up with a strike to the side of the opponent's neck. In Pinan Shodan a rising block is used, but in Toi-Gye we use a circular block, which translates into a backfist strike.
Failed low block throw followed by a strike to the side of the opponent's neck. Source: Chris Denwood
Using the circular block as a strike might seem counter-intuitive, but there is good reason to use it as such. A strike is a logical follow-up to a failed throw. Even if the opponent parries it, it distracts them and gives you time to switch to a new technique. The fact that the backfist ends up 45-degrees from our right means that we are striking through our target, which is what we want as this is more damaging. As always, the pulling hand may be used to control the opponent as you strike the side of their neck.

Now for the takedown: we use the second circular block as a leg pick, a more common "deeper" application for the movement. Scoop low, grab and lift the opponent's near (right) leg with our left circular block. Still lifting their leg, we step behind their standing leg into riding stance, and use the riding stance "punch" to push them over our right leg, taking them to the floor.
Circular block to riding stance punch as a takedown. Source: curranskarate
We're not done yet! The last motion in the pattern is the return to ready stance C. We use this to put the opponent into a straight ankle lock -- useful if they try to pull you to the ground with them.
Closed Ready Stance C as a straight ankle lock. Sources: Nick Drossos, Expert Village

The full set goes as so:
  1. Use the double forearm block to smash on the opponent's inner-elbow while striking their neck
  2. Use the three-quarters turn into low guarding block as a throw
  3. If the throw fails strike the side of the neck with your backfist (first circular block)
  4. If the opponent blocks pick and lift their leg (second circular block)
  5. Step behind their standing leg and push them to the floor (riding stance punch)
  6. Perform a straight ankle lock (closed ready stance C) to put your opponent in pain, allowing you to disengage and run away
Now, Toi-Gye is a symmetric pattern and we practice this set in pieces. This is why you do three circular blocks in a row near the end rather than two. The way I would visualize the movements while practicing Toi-Gye is like so:
  • 30: Double forearm block
  • 31: Turn into a low guarding block as a throw
  • 32: Throw fails, follow with strike to neck
  • 33: Practice low guarding block throw on other side (symmetry)
  • 34: Practice circular block as a strike on other side (symmetry)
  • 35: Practice circular block as a leg pick with right arm
  • 36: Practice circular block as a leg pick with left arm (symmetry)
  • 37: Step into riding stance punch as a throw
  • End: Straight ankle lock

1 comment:

  1. I view the circle block as a pass-parry block to get an opening for the punch.