I haven’t posted anything in a while due to being busy. However I do have a few articles in the pipeline. This month I want to look at double punch, and its application
It would be easy to assume that double punch is very common technique in the Taekwondo syllabus. Certainly it is common in both line drills and sparring. However, when we look at the patterns, double punch is not very common at all. In fact up to black belt, I can only count 4 patterns that contain the technique.
My first question when starting to investigate the double punch was, why does it exist at all? Everywhere else through the patterns a single punch in deemed enough to hit an opponent. If it is enough, why have a double punch at all? If is not enough why doesn’t every technique end with a double punch? Also why stop at double punch, why not double knifehand?
There may be an argument that sometimes you need to hit an opponent more than once. This is true but we can’t really build patterns on ‘sometimes’. Trying to account for every possibility in a fight would make patterns unmanageably long and is something best practiced in well constructed sparring. Also the principle of ‘sometimes’ is not reflected in any of the other patterns.
As with other techniques, we have to look at the double punch in context.
Let’s start with Do San. In the pattern we have a wedging block, a front kick, and then the double punch. I have written before about my own interpretation of this movement. However no matter what interpretation you practice, it is likely that the front kick will disrupt the opponents’ balance thus moving his head about. It would be difficult therefore to catch the head with a single punch as it bobs about. Watch any boxing or mma match and you’ll see this to be true.
If we consider this then we can say that the first movement isn’t a punch at all but a movement to relocate secure the head before punching. This is similar to principles that we can see all the way through the patterns. That of grabbing and hitting. Another application would be to grab the head and use the double punch motion to twist the neck.
As an aside this movement is taken almost directly from the karate kata ‘jion’ but instead on a double punch it is a punch, double punch. To me this strengthens the case that they are not all meant to be punches
If we look at Yul Gok, we can see a similar idea. In the opening movement of Yul Gok the foot slides out to form a sitting stance, when I learnt this pattern I was taught that the foot moves in a semi-circle, rather than moving directly sideways. To me this represents a reaping or unbalancing technique, the hands at this point aiding the unbalancing. Again this technique takes the opponent’s head far off the centerline and we need to relocate it in order to deliver the punch, equally we can also look at this as wrenching or twisting the neck.
Similar ideas can be taken from the opening of Hwa Rang, of unbalancing and the relocating the head.
When looking at alternative application, I think we have to be careful not to be over critical with the mainstream applications. Maybe you feel that the way the applications are presented are not all correct, but I don’t think we should assume they are all wrong either. In saying that, I do feel that double punch is one technique that appears simple but has some extra meaning behind it.
I hope you enjoyed reading this. Thank you