Stick defence...taekwonstick style!
It couldn't have been a more beautiful setting.
Stunning Korean mountains on our left side.
Cherry trees filled with pink blossom on our right.
And the early morning sun warm in our faces.
This was the brilliant backdrop for our stick defence lessons with Master Won-Kyu Cho.
Taekwonstick is a stick defence system developed by Master Cho Won-Kyu.
The system uses blocking and striking techniques adapted from other martial arts.
The stick is merely an extension of the arm.
It's simple and effective. And great fun!
We started with footwork.
And as we already knew from taekwondo sparring. Unless the footwork is right. The sparring won't be right.
And like all the Korean Masters we trained with. Master Cho paid great attention to detail.
He tested our co-ordination and reaction times.
As we stepped and slid forwards, backwards. Left. And Right.
He made sure that we transferred our weight accurately and cleanly.
And after a while we weren't looking too bad!
Master Cho Won-Kyu
Master Cho is a great martial artist. His background is taekwondo - he is a student of Grandmaster Lee.
And like all the masters we trained with his knowledge of martial arts is extensive.
Master Cho is also a lovely man. Who couldn't do enough for us.
His English is excellent. And he was very patient in accurately answering our many, many questions.
One day he sat with Deb for half an hour and explained in detail the origins of Korean yoga and Taekwondo.
And on Neil's birthday.
He arranged a beautiful surprise cake.
blocks and strikes
Now blocks and strikes.
Working with one stick wasn't too difficult.
And we started to get a bit of speed and accuracy going.
It got a bit more difficult when we tried to do one thing with our left stick. And something different with our right stick.
While we coordinated our feet. All at the same time!
The key (as always in martial arts!) seems to be relaxation.
As soon as our shoulders tensed up.
Or our grip tightened on the stick.
We became stiff.
And the speed was lost.
stick defense against a sword
We had some fun at the end of each session.
We had to defend ourselves against multiple sword strikes.
Using a set sequence of moves.
It looked easy when Master Cho demonstrated.
And Master Jason Smith makes it look pretty easy here!
But it wasn't quite so easy when we gave it a go.
We probably all need to practise our stick defence a bit more.
Before we face a real sword attack that is! ;-)