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Deconstructing Taekwon-Do

U-Nam Tul: Taekwon-Do’s Lost Pattern

U-Nam Tul: Taekwon-Do’s Lost Pattern

What’s U-Nam tul, you say? First, let me ask you this: how many patterns are there in Taekwon-Do? 24? That’s only in the current syllabus. What if I told you there are 26? The more studious among you may know…
Review: TKD Black Belt Project

Review: TKD Black Belt Project

I first heard about the TKD Black Belt Project a few years ago, and I finally decided to pony up and buy the apps. I have to admit that my expectations were high with the promise of video tutorials from multiple-time…
How To: Knife-Hand Low Block

How To: Knife-Hand Low Block

The knife-hand low block is a lot like the outer forearm low block. But there are some important differences to remember. The most obvious is the blocking tool itself. The knife-hand is the area on the side of the hand…
Is Taekwon-Do Good For Self-Defence?

Is Taekwon-Do Good For Self-Defence?

Is Taekwon-Do good for self-defence? It’s a question that comes up often enough. People take martial arts for many reasons, and one reason is to learn to defend themselves. If you’re going to spend your time and money to learn…
Tournaments: An Exercise in Zen, pt. 4: Board Breaking

Tournaments: An Exercise in Zen, pt. 4: Board Breaking

Board breaking is hard. And it’s supposed to be. That’s the whole point. But breaking boards competitively is sometimes a little too hard. It’s not the physical act of breaking that’s the problem (although that is a worthy challenge). It’s…
How To: Outer Forearm Low Block

How To: Outer Forearm Low Block

In the early patterns, the low block is often done with the outer forearm. The outer forearm is the bony area on the pinkie-finger side of your arm, just above your wrist. It covers one third of your forearm, starting…
Sparring Tactics: Cutting Off the Ring

Sparring Tactics: Cutting Off the Ring

Let’s talk about cutting off the ring. One important way to help yourself win a sparring match is to control your opponent. If you can control his or her motion while imposing your own, you have a huge advantage. And…
Your Instructor’s Rank is Meaningless

Your Instructor’s Rank is Meaningless

I mentioned in a previous post that I don’t care about your rank; I care about what you know. That statement was aimed at students, but the same is true for instructors. A higher rank doesn’t necessarily give an instructor…
How To: Perfect Patterns Punches

How To: Perfect Patterns Punches

If you tally up all the hand and foot techniques used in the patterns, I would be surprised if anything is used more often than the good ol’ punch. I suppose that makes sense: a good punch is easy and…