Monday, June 2, 2008

How to Do the Outside to Inside Block in Soo Bahk Do

Soo Bahk Do is a form of martial arts developed by Master Hwang Kee in 1945. He combined fighting styles from his native Korea with Chinese Kung-Fu as well Confucian and Tao philosophies. The principals behind this Soo Bahk Do emphasize the importance of spiritual growth and the use of force only as form of discipline or in the defense of oneself or others. Soo Bahk Do is broken down into a series of forms or postures which provide the artist with a series of possible attacks or defenses to choose from. One simply moves from form to form, reliant on reacting to an opponent’s stance and movement to attack. Though this technique is taught with the stern mindset that it is only be used to protect, it also ascribes to the philosophy that in order to effectively defend oneself or others it is sometimes necessary to take the initiative and actively remove a potential threat. For this reason the majority of the attacks in Soo Bahk Do are made up of powerful long range kicks, accompanied with close quarters locks and holds. Footwork is considered essential as the majority of the defensive moves rely on moving around an opponent's attacks rather than directly blocking them. Should getting around an opponent's strike not be an option, the hands are kept free for this very reason. This guide will explain the necessary steps to performing an Outside To Inside Block

Outside To Inside Block
Step 1:
Begin n facing your opponent in a long stance. From the side you should look bow-legged, with your rear leg stretched back and slightly to the side. This is different from most Soo Bahk Do blocks in that you start in an "open" or vulnerable position and from here will move to a "closed" or protected position rather than vice-versa.

Step 2:
Hold the arm corresponding to your front leg straight and angled downward so your fist reaches level with your belt. The arm corresponding to your back leg should be held out to the side with your upper arm horizontal to the ground and your forearm and fist held vertical. Your fist should be level with your ear and just a few inches to the side of it.

Step 3:
Push off with your back leg and step forward extending yourself well into your opponent's reach.
Step 4:
Twist so that the arm held forward is pulled back and the other which was held back swings forward in a vertical bar. Your vertical forearm should impact hard with your opponent's strike and knock it to the side. If done correctly your opponent's strike will be thrown so far to the side that your opponent will be open to counterattack from the arm you just pulled back.

Tips & Warnings
This block is used as a pre-empt to an attack, first stopping cold a high punch or kick and then continuing to drive forward while your opponent is off balance. The harder and more violent the swing of your arm, the better. The strength of this block comes from the twisting motion of the waist as you step forward and pull your front arm back.
Don't try to block an incoming weapon strike; you'll just end up with a broken forearm. Sufficient force used in this blocking move can break bones in the attacker's hand or foot, or your arm if you haven't trained enough to toughen the bones of your forearm.

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