The Art of Dae Ryun - Building the Foundation, Part 2

Sun, 03/02/2014 - 3:32pm — Grandmaster

The Art of Dae Ryun - Building the Foundation, Part 2

In part 2 of our series on the Art of Dae Ryun, I want to discuss Yak Sok Dae Ryun or pre-arranged sparring in more detail. To do this, we need to break down Yak Sok Dae Ryun into three basic categories. These are:

1. Il, E, and Sam Soo Sik (One, two, and three step sparring)

2. Structured sparring using flow sets

3. Reciprocal sparring using creative combinations

Il Soo Sik Dae Ryun

I recommend that all students practice Il Soo Sik Dae Ryun or one step sparring to better develop their timing, distancing, balance, focus, speed, and targeting. This traditional method of training involves ceremony and allows the practitioner to practice their foundational skills in a safe and very structured manner. The student practicing proper Il Soo Sik Dae Ryun learns that all one-step, two step, or three step technique has a proper start or beginning, a good middle, and a very strong finish. The basic steps consist of:

· A proper bow to your partner from the attention position

· Choon Bee or “ready stance” together

· Measure distance by extending the arms fully (sun bae or senior stays put and hu bae or junior moves forward if necessary)

· Junior side steps back with a Ha Dan Mahk Kee and a good strong ki hap.

· Senior side responds with a good strong ki hap

· Junior side steps in with focused attack to target area (no contact or “Gun Nun”)

· Senior side executes block and counter as prescribed in the Il Soo Sik exercise

· Both sides return “Ba Ro” together upon completion

As part of above exercise, it is extremely important that the practitioner demonstrate proper Moo Do by bowing mindfully to their partner. Bowing to our partner in Tang Soo Do demonstrates respect and courtesy as well as discipline and a complete understanding of our Moo Do values. As all sparring involves potentially dangerous technique, it is important that we start and finish with the proper mindset. The physical action of bowing shows the constant mental awareness and concentration that is required to refine the practitioner’s core competencies. A deep bow (San Ho Kan E Kyung Net) also demonstrates that we bow not only to our partner but to the art and all it stands for. As I have often taught my students, a good bow is more than physical. It is also mental and spiritual (of the spirit) and is therefore both neh gong (mental exercise) and shim gong (spiritual exercise). This is why the best bows come from the heart.

Structured Sparring Using Flow Sets

Structured sparring is always practiced with no contact or what we call “Gun Nun Dae Ryun” or non-contact sparring. The reason for this is twofold. First, it helps the newer student learn the fundamental basics of sparring in a safe environment. This ensures the student is able to practice the foundational skills without fear of injury. Two, it better develops the students timing, distancing, balance, speed, and focus. It is also always easier to hit rather than pull a technique just short of its target. I like to use the analogy of driving education. Just as a driver’s education instructor would not ask their student to go as fast as they can in a car and hit everything along the way, the same holds true for a good martial arts instructor. The good martial arts instructor teaches control of mind, body, and spirit. Once control is taught and thoroughly learned, the students is given permission to practice free sparring or “Ja Yu Dae Ryun” with light contact to select target areas such as zone two or the torso.

It is during this phase of training that the student learns some important principles of sparring that we will cover in more detail in the next section. These include:

· The Initial Move

· Closing the Gap

· Getting Out or Strategic Retreating

Reciprocal Sparring

Reciprocal sparring is a pre-arranged exercise which allows both sides to practice sparring in not only a safe manner but also reinforces what we call UM/Yang theory. UM/Yang theory as it relates to sparring suggests that both offensive and defensive tactics must coexist in harmony. That is, to become a well-balanced sparer, the student must not only give but take. When this exercise is practiced properly, both the senior and the junior are able to take turns demonstrating offensive and defensive moves. This makes for better overall practice and allows both sides to work on their initial move, closing the gap, and getting back out or retreating. It also helps the student develop their timing, endurance, distancing, speed, and targeting. It is during this phase that we emphasize targeting to all three zones using fakes or feints, full extension technique, and low/high, high/low, and re-directional combinations. It is also during this phase that we introduce graduated speed drills which we will cover in more detail in the next part. 


Tang Soo!!