10 Years of Biggleswade Taekwon-Do

On Saturday 21st January Mr Owen hosted a seminar to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the founding of the UTA Biggleswade club. Master Glenn Horan was invited to conduct the seminar and share his vast knowledge with over 50 students ranging from yellow belts at the start of their journey in Taekwon-do up to 5th and 6th Dan black belts.

The theme for the seminar was an examination of the Training Secrets and as such we started with the six elements of the theory of power. Firstly, sitting stance punch was used to demonstrate reaction force; indeed this fundamental technique proved its usefulness as a teaching tool as it was also used to explain backward motion and sine wave later on in the seminar.

Master Horan then explained the principals behind concentration, equilibrium, breath control (without spitting!), and mass, and how they contribute towards the final element: speed.

Next we moved on to the second training secret: “To understand the purpose and method of each movement clearly“. Master Horan stressed that if we know the intention of each technique then the way in which it must be performed becomes clearer. He noted that it is important to realise that some movements have multiple applications – for example a rising block can be used not only in defence against an attack coming downwards towards the head but also against a high punch to the face. With this in mind we did a few minutes of partner work using rising block and 9-shape block on smartie pads, attacking from different angles.

We also worked with partners in doing one step sparring to work on ensuring that we were all using the appropriate attacking tool for each vital spot and judging the correct angle and distance for attack and defence.

Several individual techniques were used to highlight specifics within the training secrets; low block to work on using the eyes, hands, feet and breath in one single coordinated action; several knifehand blocks and strikes to check that the arms and legs remain bent while movements are in motion; and a hooking block/punch combination from Yul-Gok to demonstrate the correct type of breath control for a connecting motion.

To finish off, Master Horan talked about the history and development of Taekwon-do and in particular how, in the 1980s, power was gained by engaging the hips and that since then, while technical accuracy has generally been improved, it has been at the expense of power. The progression now is to re-emphasise the use of the hips without compromising sine wave and correct technique.

Many thanks go to Master Horan for his time and effort in delivering a thoroughly engaging and insightful seminar that was without doubt of great benefit to all in attendance, serving as a reminder that the founding principles of Taekwon-do remain as important in our training as ever.

And finally, congratulations to Mr Owen for ten successful years at the Biggleswade Club.  

J. Marshall IV Degree

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