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Poomsae - Sa Jang

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An introduction for beginner to black belt and beyond

In the October issue, we covered Taegeuk Sam Jang, which is the third poomsae that is used in the basic development of Taekwondo techniques. This pattern has 34 movements counted as 20 consecutive counts with one Kihap at the end, performed over 20-25 seconds. This month we take a look at Sa Jang, the fourth form. Sa Jang has 29 movements counted as 20 consecutive counts with one kihap at the end and should take between 26-31 seconds to be performed, from sijak to baro.

Taegeuk Sa Jang is the pattern essential for progression from 6th KUP to 5th KUP (green belt, blue tag). If we consider the new movements in this form we have the following.

* Sonnal makki, in this case in sparring stance: “knife hand blocking.” This is made up of a front arm block and a rear hand covering the centre-line of the body. The wrist angles must be straight. The fingertips of the rear hand point directly and horizontally towards the front arm’s elbow. The front arm block is delivered similarly to previously discussed mid-section block with the angle at the elbow being 90-120 degrees, impacting at a 90 degree angle to any receiving attack.

* Pyonsonkket sewo tzireugi:“spear finger thrust.” This technique can also be describes as a “palm block simultaneously executed with spear finger thrust.” This is because the hand that is not attacking assumes its position beneath the striking arms elbow (also spear hand). The striking technique is executed as in a punching movement, from the waist with fist clenched to an open handed spear hand thrust to the solar plexus.

* Jebi poom mokchigi “open handed high block and neck knife hand strike.” The literal translation of this name is “swallow poom one handed hitting” taken from the similarity of the shape of the body on termination of the technique to a swallow’s indented waist, tail and two outspread wings. When executing this technique keep mind of where a high block should start and how a knife hand strike (chigi) should be performed. The starting positions therefore are the waist for the high block and behind the body at neck height for the strike. The difference with this technique is that the point of impact for both hands is the edge of the blade of the hand as oppose to the wrist used in a normal block (makki). * Yopchagi “side kick.” One of the fundamental kicks in Taekwondo, discussed in detail in previous articles.

* Momtong bakkat makki “mid section outward block”. The blocking arm moves from across the body to the front covering the mid section. The final position is at shoulder height with the arm at an angle of 90-120 degrees.

* Deungjumeok (olgul) apchigi “front hitting high section backfist.” Following apchagi (front kick), pull back and balance then strike from the centre line of the body to the philtrum (upper 1/3 of the upper lip in the centre line of the face) of the opponent. The area of contact is the back of the third knuckle with clenched fist.

Speed and consecutively delivered movements
In Taegeuk 4 jang, the consecutively delivered combination movements follow.

* Apchagi-Momtong Barojireugi: front kick, reverse punch. When delivering this the procedure should follow the same order every time; kick, pull back, balance, step forward into ap kubi seogi (long stance) and reversepunch. In this pattern, the right foot is the first to kick and therefore the left hand will be the first to punch. This is delivered once only in the form.

* Yopchagi-Sonnal Makki: which means side kick followed by twin knife hand guarding block.

* Apchagi-Momtong Anmakki: which is front kick followed by reverse inward block. In this case the move is performed twice consecutively first with right leg kicking, right hand blocking, then in the opposite direction, with the opposite limbs.

* Apchagi-Deungjumeok
front kick is swiftly followed by backfist in long stance as described above.

* Momtongmakki-Momtong
midsection block, double punch. This is performed twice at the end of the pattern with a kihap on the final movement.

 Pattern 4 is a visually pleasing form which many students find difficult to perform. There are more new techniques and consecutively delivered movements introduced in this form than any previous, thus preparing the student for the more advanced techniques that they will soon encounter in future forms. The use of a combination of kicks (front and side kick) will prepare the student for future sparring through improvement of balance and technique.

When doing this form it is important to ensure that you have symmetry and balance in techniques so that left and right side techniques are shown as mirror images. Visualisation of a real fight should be utilized when performing Poomsae. Attack and defence should be executed to centre line of your body. Please remember that defence is angular and circular. Attack is direct and straight. Power generation and force at deliverance of technique is generated by mass times acceleration and we are looking at being relaxed with tightening of core muscle groups occurring at the moment of impact.

From commencement to termination of a form it is important to remember that all movements balance out. This is shown through analysis of the forms, that the starting and finishing positions are the same. We are training to develop inner mental, physical and spiritual balance. Breathing and breath control is good for power development, relaxation and concentration, which will enhance performance.

Master Tony Vohra is always pleased to advise individual students, instructors and clubs and can arrange demonstrations, courses & seminars to suit any individual or groups both at home and abroad. For further details please contact:
President Grandmaster S. S. Vohra
(8th Dan), International School of Martial Arts UK HQ, Nottingham
School of Tae Kwon Do, IlkestonRd.,
Nottingham NG7 3FX, England.
Tel: 00 44 (0)115 9780439; Fax: 0044 (0)115 9785567
Photo’s: Master Jeff Scott-Smith 5th

Combat nov 09 1a
Combat nov 09 1b
Combat nov 09 1c
Combat nov 09 1d
Combat nov 09 1e

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