Saturday, September 11, 2021

41. Tong-Il arm drag

I haven't posted an ITF application in a while, but I thought I'd share a recent one I found for Tong-Il. This is an advanced pattern, the last one taught in the ITF set, but you may find this simple application useful. This is for steps 3-6.

Tong-Il was significantly revised from the original 1965 version. The movements in steps 3-4 are not in the original. The odd move is the "low inward palm block". The block does move forward (as would a groin strike) or downward (as would a head push), but medially. It's not at that useful as a block, unless you want to push a kick directly into your groin.

Instead, we use this movement to set up an arm drag. Use step 3 (the middle front block) as a front backfist strike to the opponent's face [1], pulling their left arm with your reaction hand. Now use the palm block to push the opponent's left forearm down and in while grasping their triceps with your left fist. This is why the left fist moves towards your right chest. Pull the opponent's arm as you step forward into Step 5.

The arm drag. The opponent's tricep is pulls while the tori steps forward to get to the opponent's back. Still images from Kit Dale

To finish the opponent, we use the first "punch" as another grab, grasping the back of their shirt, to prevent the opponent from turning back towards us. Pull in as you punch the back of their head with the reverse punch.

In grappling arts, the arm drag is normally performed to get behind the opponent, where you may execute a choke or body lock. Two other ITF sets which you may use as arm drags are the two consecutive palm pressing blocks in Choi-Yong and Moon-Moo.

[1] How does a middle front block strike the face? In pugilism (bareknuckle boxing) a backfist was commonly used to chop down onto the opponent's brow and nose, hence why backfists were referred to as "choppers". While these blows were not powerful, they caused the opponent's eyes to water and occasionally cut skin, without the risk of hurting the attacker's finger bones. So to apply the block as a face strike, strike with some downward movement from face to chest level.

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