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PASmith's picture
Yul Gok applications

I'm on a quest to break down applications for the ITF patterns*. I'm using Iain's work of course, the work of Stuart Anslow and Matt Sylvester and also my own training in Thai, Karate, Arnis, BJJ etc. Comparing the pattern elements to the Karate kata they came from, seeing where the influences are. I'm pretty happy with what I've got so far for Chon-ji to Won-hyo but a couple of moves in Yul gok are a bit opaque.

Using this video as reference...


The 2 hooking blocks and the punch (starting at 22 seconds). I like hooking block on its own (brush parry, hook, grab is common in Iain's work) and it feeds well into limb control and other applications but two together don't seem to lend themselves to much. May just use it as a reference that you can block inside and/or outside the attackers arms with your arms (inside outside both arms makes 4 blocks).

The jump into x-stance (from a reverse punch) into a backfist and then into an augmented "block" (at 55 seconds). The x-stance jump is obviously from Pinan Yodan (and others) with the back fist being horizontal rather than vertical. I've seen the vertical backfist used as a dropping elbow (changing the focus on what part is doing the striking) but the horizontal backfist negates that to a large degree.

*I'm aware that the ITF patterns have been put together from an aesthetic point of view rather than a pragmatic one but I'm happy trying to work with the tools I have already rather than put them down and pick up another tool box. :)

PASmith's picture

And so of course I watch one of Iain's clips on Gojushiho and see the hooking block (as a forearm slam and hooking the neck) that lends some insight into the TKD hooking block. :)

Heath White
Heath White's picture


My $0.02:

I would think of the two sequential hooking blocks as responses to a 1-2: you block his left then his right.

The jump into cross-legged stance with backfist is seen in a couple of forms.  I think it is significant that you always turn around immediately (incl here).  Think of the cross-legged stance as entering for a hip/shoulder throw.  So you enter with a strike, insert your right arm under his right armpit, turn and throw.  The actual throwing motion is not  shown in the form.

PASmith's picture

Yes!. Just went out onto the fire escape at work and run through that part of the form with some visualisation and a throw entry seems a reasonable fit. One reason I didn't spot that I think is that in my time in Judo I was a right handed thrower primarily and so that kind of entry with the left hand didn't match my internal idea of a throw entry. It also make more sense when the backfist (entry) and double forearm block (turning motion) are done smoothly after one another rather than pausing (as in the pattern).

Really food for thought.