Black Belt – 1st Degree

1st Degree Core Elements

  • Core Techniques 1 to 15 – single attacker – static single hand grab – 50% resistance
  • Core Techniques – 2 up (5)
  • Sword (Kom) Patterns 1, 2 & 3 – standing
  • Sparring Techniques 1-5
  • Pole (Jangbon) pattern #1
  • Danbon Self Defence – with a partner
  • Advanced Wrist Techniques (10)
  • One-step sparring – lockup – against grabs
  • Defence Against Throwing (5)
  • Breaking Kicks – Double front kick or Turning kick off a wall

Core Techniques 1 to 15

You will be required to perform the Core techniques – in order – against a single attacker grabbing with a static simple same-hand grab – the attacker is to apply 50% resistance.

  • C1 Wing Lock
  • C2 Elbow Roll
  • C3 Z-lock
  • C4 Face Push
  • C5 Corkscrew Lock
  • C6 Fan Lock
  • C7 Hammer Lock
  • C8 Arm Bar
  • C9 Wrist & Shoulder Throw
  • C10 Leg Reap
  • C11 Hip Throw
  • C12 Step Behind & Throw
  • C13 Whip Throw
  • C14 Tornado Throw
  • C15 Neck & Chin Throw

Core Techniques 2 up

Combine 2 core techniques – demonstrate complete control of attacker from beginning to end – provide no opportunity for the attacker to escape or hit you during the transition – you can pick any two techniques – be creative but practical as well.

You should work out how to turn an attacker’s resistance into the next technique.

Have a set of about 5 combinations worked out for your grading.

Sword (Kom) Pattern – Standing

These sword patterns are part of traditional Korean swordsmanship. They are the first three patterns. There are many more but these three were chosen to give you an insight into the art of drawing the sword.

This art is very strategic and it is important that you understand exactly what you are doing (the application).
When you fit the sword to your belt, it is important that you use this moment to prepare your mind for the patterns ahead.

It is important that you treat the sword with respect and realise its potential to take away human life. Treat it like a 1 metre razor blade. Never practice in a crowded room.

All movements must be smooth and precise and must be done with full concentration. Imagine you are really facing someone with a sword.

Cut across eyes & strike down

Your attacker is directly in front of you and is standing. You bow, as a precaution your right hand remains on your sword.

As you bow, the attacker draws their sword to attack. You step out (RF) and cut across their eyes. They stumble back, you shuffle in and cut all the way down to the waist (Kyup).

Pull the sword back to your right shoulder, ready in case there are other attackers. When everything is clear, shake the blood from the blade and return it to the sheath.

Ribs, back & strike down

There are two attackers, A in front and B behind – both are standing.

  1. Attacker A attempts to draw their sword. You block their draw with the handle of your sword and strike at their ribs with the same movement (both hands on the hilt).
  2. Attacker B then attacks from a standing position, you thrust to the throat of B (sword blade horizontal).
  3. Pull the sword out of B and strike A with a direct cut all the way to the waist. (kyup).
  4. Pull the sword back to your right shoulder, ready in case there are other attackers.
  5. When everything is clear, shake the blood from the blade and return it to the sheath.

Twist Release, thrust to the front, strike behind

There are two attackers, A in front and B behind – both are standing.

  1. Attacker A attempts to grab your sword. Step forwards with the left foot, release their grip as you twist to the right, pull out your sword and before A can attack, thrust to the throat of A (sword blade vertical and supported by your left hand).
  2. Pull the sword out of A and strike B with a single cut all the way to the waist (kyup).
  3. Pull the sword back to your right shoulder, ready in case there are other attackers.
  4. When everything is clear, shake the blood from the blade and return it to the sheath as pivot 180 degrees back towards the front.

Sparring Techniques

Backfist & palm heel strike

Two attacks with the same hand. The first attack is a feint that draws the opponent’s guard away from the final target, the chin. Even though the first attack is only a feint, if it doesn’t threaten your opponent, they won’t react the way you want.

Lunge forward and attack the opponent’s temple with a backfist (RH). As they try to block the backfist, check their elbow with your other hand (LH) and strike their chin with a palm heel strike (RH).

After the strike, grab and throw or sweep while they are still dazed. As a variation try a reverse knifehand as the second strike. This has a slightly longer range.

Step change & sliding side kick

A quick step change that confuses your opponent and brings you closer, positioning your supporting leg for a long sliding side kick to the ribs.

Start in a sparring stance with your right foot forward. Swap your feet, stepping out with the left foot at 45 degrees.

Push off the left leg and side kick to the ribs with the right leg. The motion looks like a zigzag.

Jab, cross & turning kick

Simple combination of three basic strong techniques. Hard to stop if the range is correct. The jab and cross raise the opponent’s guard and force them onto their back foot.

The turning kick leaves straight after the cross and strikes the thigh, ribs or head. The timing is 1-2-3 with very little gap. Keep your guard up as you kick.

Front kick feint & downwards hook

If you go to Korea (or anywhere in Asia) you will see many statues in front of temples performing the first part of this technique.

The front kick (RF) draws your opponent’s guard down to protect their stomach, the left palm pushes down and traps their guard while the right hand strikes downwards to the face, striking the nose first. In the class, this technique is practised by striking the chest with a loose fist.

This technique works best as a huge leap forward where all three techniques are performed in the air. It is important to move the top and bottom halves of your body in opposite directions to generate maximum power.

When you do the front kick, your right hand is pulled right back (fist near your ear), when you do the punch, your right leg kicks backwards.

Low turning kick & low spinning heel kick

The first low turning kick aims at your opponent’s front leg just above the ankle. This forces your opponent onto their back leg, during which time your low spinning heel kick attacks the back of the legs (or one leg if they lifted their front foot).

If your low turning kick doesn’t reach there is no way the low spinning heel kick will be close enough. The first kick must be threatening.

Don’t look at the feet before you start. The second kick must start as soon as the first kick finishes.

Hand roll, backfist & wrist throw

Push down your opponent’s right forearm with your right palm, check their elbow with your left palm and strike the temple with a backfist (RH).

This is done in a rolling motion, rolling up their arm. If the opportunity is there and while your opponent is still dazed, grab their right hand (their palm away from you, thumb to the right) and throw (like inner wrist lock).

Against turning kick: spin inwards & elbow strike

If timed correctly the elbow strikes at the moment they thought their foot was going to strike. This technique relies on entering past the kick’s danger zone and is performed as soon as the kick leaves.

Lean forwards, guard your ribs and face (left arm straight, right palm near your ear), pivot on your front foot the moment you feel contact, and strike with you left elbow to the face or head. Be very careful to control the elbow in the class.

Pole (Jangbon) Pattern #1

The Pole (Jangbon in Korean) requires many hours of practice (by yourself) to get the required co-ordination. You just have to put in the hours. Try target practice (leaves on a tree?) to ensure you can control the pole. Practice striking at different ranges (short, long) and practice changing from long to short and back to long. Also practice blocking strikes using the pole.

Korea´s oldest weapon, the pole, has its roots in family or tribal martial arts. When ancient fighters discovered they could keep their enemies at bay with long sticks, the pole became the primary weapon. After metal blades were developed, staffs were still important among selected groups, such as farmers and Buddhist monks.

In Korean the pole is called a Jangbon.

Basic strikes and swinging

In Walking Stance:

  • Head Strike
  • Wrist Strike
  • Knee Strike
  • Uppercut
  • Blocks.

Pattern #1

  1. Step to the left into Horse-riding Stance & strike upwards to wrist, Step in to the right & strike to knee, Step out & strike to the head
  2. Pivot 180 & strike upwards to the wrist, double-handed backwards spin (5), pivot 180, double-handed forwards spin (5), thrust to the throat with left foot behind right.
  3. Pivot 180, step backwards, strike downwards to wrist, strike to knee, strike upwards to chin, thrust to throat.
  4. Feet together, spin clockwise in front, behind then in front again, spin behind, turn & single-handed forwards spin alternating hands at each step (5), pivot 180 degrees & single-handed backwards spin alternating hands at each step (3), double-handed backwards spin (2), lift right leg to avoid strike to knee & strike upwards to head.
  5. Pivot 180 & step back, strike down to head
  6. Step up and then to the right, jumping spinning strike swinging the pole around the waist, small step back, stepping in, spin over head then mid-section strike.
  7. Jumping spinning strike swinging the pole around the waist, small step back, stepping in, spin over head then mid-section strike.
  8. Pivot 180 & single-handed mid-section thrust (RH) in very long walking stance.
  9. Catch Pole and return to Jhoon-bee.

Danbon – self defence – single attacker

Use Danbon as an extension to your own self defence. Using sensitive areas around forearm, shin, triceps, Achilles tendon, etc. Use powerful triangle. Practice these against a single attacker.

Strikes to the body – thrust to solar plexus, collarbone, shins (when they kick you)

Against Grabs – single hand, cross hands, double hands, two hands onto one, double lapel, shoulder, hair, bear hug, headlock, punch, front kick, turning kick

Self Defence – Advanced Wrist Techniques

These techniques show some advanced manipulations of the wrist, forearm and elbow.

They must be done quickly and with confidence (like a Black Belt).

There must never be a moment during the technique when the opponent could slip out.

All techniques are done from a single hand grab. For this explanation, your right hand is being grabbed.

Wrist lock using thumb

Thumb turns under and place to the outside of their wrist, grab their hand, left hand to pressure point and lock up using gooseneck lock.

Wrist & lower forearm lock

First Z-Lock then add the pressure point between the Radius and Ulna bones in the forearm.

Wrist & upper forearm lock

First Z-Lock then add the plus pressure point near elbow (on brachio-radialus).

Wrist lock, pulling in lapel

First Z-lock then reach under their arm (over their arm if you are taller) with your right hand, grab their uniform (lapel) and pull it towards you. Keep their wrist against your chest.

Spiral in & elbow lock

Hand spirals under their wrist, over their forearm, back under and finishes over the rear of their elbow. Put the left hand on top of your right hand and push down. Their arm should finish straight and sitting in the vee of your elbow joint.

Spiral in & shoulder lock

Hand spirals under the wrist, over the elbow, back under and finishes past the shoulder. The left hand helps bend the arm. Their arm should finish in a hammer lock position.

Spiral out & arm bar

Hand spirals, put your left palm on the back of their hand, step in and place your bent under their straight elbow and push towards their other shoulder. Keep them on their toes.

Inner wrist lock using index finger

Hand spirals, put your left palm on the back of their hand, form a pistol with your right hand and apply the ridge of your finger to the underside of the Radius bone. Lock the position with your thumb.

Spin, swap hands & wrist lock

As your opponent pushes, step to the right with your rear foot, continue the spiral (try to keep an eye on your opponent) and swap hands behind your back.

Continue the spiral, grab their hand with both of your hands and lock the wrist (fingers up, their palm away from you).

Arm bar through legs

Swap hands and push the arm between the legs, get behind and grab their belt and pull the hand upwards to apply more pain.

Their palm should be facing downwards and their elbow should be at their groin pointing upwards.

One-step sparring – lockup – against grabs

One step sparring – lockup is aimed at helping you develop the finishes on your self defence techniques. During multiple grabbing there is often not enough time to finish a technique by locking up the attacker.

You face your attacker in whatever stance or position you like – the attacker grabs you – anywhere.

You need to apply your self-defence technique to completion – that is – finish with the attacker locked up and unable to continue – either on the ground or standing.

Try to use the momentum of the attack – keep going – keep the motion flowing.

When you get better at your techniques encourage your attacker to grab more realistically.

Be careful not to bend forwards when locking your attacker – keep you body upright and bend your legs to get down to the attacker. After all, their friends may be around waiting to attack you. You should remain aware of what else is happening around you.

Defence against Throwing

These techniques are to defend against someone trying to throw you in a classical hip throw.


Lower your centre of gravity and block their hip using an X-Block. To throw you (unless it’s a sacrifice throw) your opponent will try to get their hips close to you. This technique stops them from doing this.

Back of knee

Push the back of the leading leg as they place it in position to throw you. Check their distance with your elbow.

Grab hair

Grab their hair and pull them down as they come in to throw you. Check their distance with your elbow

Twist head

Grab their head and twist and as they come in to throw you. Step to the right at the same time.

Around & throw

Jump around as they come in and perform a hip throw.

Breakfall & throw

Let them throw you, but as you are going over, grab their neck or belt. This will throw them as you land. Don’t let them get away.

Breaking Techniques

You will be asked to demonstrate one of the following in the grading – practice both in the class.

Double front kick – together & apart – 1 board

Again practice on focus mitts. Practice every time you train (after the lesson for 2 minutes).

Turning kick off a wall or off someone’s back – 1 board

Place your foot at chest height on the wall. Don’t forget, when you break, you will have to strike with the ball of your foot.

During practice, get used to the angles you need so that at a grading you can set it up correctly. Most people miss because the board is in the wrong place.

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