Monday, June 2, 2008

How to Do the Side Step Counter 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 provide instructions on how to sidestep before performing a counter attack.

Preparing For A Counter-attack
Step 1:
Begin by facing your opponent in the basic fighter's stance. Right leg forward, left leg back, and hands ready at just below chest height. Your opponent should be mirroring this stance.

Step 2:
To attack, your opponent must take a step forward with his left foot before kicking or punching. When he begins to do this, take a long step with your right leg forward and to your right. Your left leg should not move from its starting point. Because of this you will be putting all your weight on your right leg in what looks like an exercise to loosen the hamstrings.

Step 3:
When you sidestep make sure you are still angled toward your opponent's body. You are now in the perfect position to drive a counterpunch into the side of your opponent's ribs.

Step 4:
Pull your right fist back underarm so your wrist is pointing upward.

Step 5:
Drive your clenched fist in a powerful, close-range underarm punch into your opponent's midsection. If in competition this will win you a point in the match. If you're in an actual combat situation this punch should knock your opponent off to the side.

Tips & Warnings
This move is counter-intuitive when under attack. Our natural reaction is to pull backward, but in order to place yourself in a good position for a counterattack you must move forward in range of your opponent. This move is most effective when used against an opponent who must step inward with their left leg to attack. If you and your opponent are both right side dominant you will both face off your right legs forward. To attack directly your opponent must step forward with his left foot. If you sidestep to your right then you are facing your opponent's side and have the opportunity to strike at any of his vital points.
A full force punch into the side has the capacity to crack or break your opponent's ribs. Be careful not to do this to a friend.

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