30 June 2010

Low Section Punching

Downward angled punches are often considered somewhat strange, especially to non-martial artists who are so used to sport combat (e.g. boxing) that focusses on higher targets. However, many martial arts include attacks to the lower section. Some martial arts, like Hapkido, have major emphasis on attacking your opponent's danjeon 단전. The danjeon is supposed to be the plase where one's Ki is stored and is about two centimeters below and behind the navel. More practically, the danjeon is usually where the body's centre of gravity is, so by attacking the danjeon you are almost certain to upset your opponent's balance. In Taekwon-Do we generally devide the body into three sections for attack: high section, middle section and low section. Each of these sections have a prime target. For the low section it is the umbilucus, or more specifically, the danjeon.

In the video below, Instructor Tim White demonstrates how easily a downward angled punch, aimed at the danjeon (pelvic section), breaks a person's balance.

Attacking the inside of the hip from the front, rather than centring the punch for the danjeon, is also quite effective at causing loss of balance. An attack to the danjeon, however, is usually considered better according to the traditional arts, as it not only disturbs the opponents balance, but also his centre of Ki. The punch is also quite effective if performed when facing the opponent from the side and attacking his hip bone. Striking the hip down at a forty five degree angle shocks a nerve point (Gallblader 30), which, apart from causing a stinging pain or even momentary loss of function of the leg, causes the pelvis to swivle.From behind it is possible to hit the tailbone, targeting the Governing Vessel 1 point. Having never done or recieved an attack to that target, I'm not sure what the effect would be, but I suppose one could at least expect a loss of balance, similar to the other attacks to the targets around the pelvis / hip area.

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