Outline of Yongmudo Techniques :
Yongmoodo training develops proficiency in a variety of skills.
These skills allow a variety of choices in response to a given
◊ Rolls & Falls
◊ Strikes & Blocks
◊ Submission Wrestling
Rolls & Falls
Rolls are essential for being able to "get along" with the environment around us. Rather than having our bodies fight against the ground when we fall, we can redirect our own energy to be able to get up with scrapes and bruises rather than broken bones. Bottom line: when we fall, we can bounce back up and keep up with the action.
BETTER FALLS, BETTER THROWS...WHAT? "You don't understand a throw until you learn how to fall" is a common saying of ours. Learning to fall correctly is an essential skill. Improving throws through practice requires a partner that can get back up afterwards to be thrown again -- and again -- and again. Then, the roles are reversed and you become the thrown -- it's only fair.
WHAT'S THE POINT? The objective of throwing is to cause the opponent to become unbalanced and then take immediate advantage before they can recover their stability. It is not about trying to out-muscle an opponent. In fact, the beauty of effective throwing lies in how solid technique can negate an opponent's reliance upon brute strength and do it in spectacular fashion.
BASIC THROWS. The first throws we learn are hip throw, shoulder throw, major outer reap, and a sacrifice.
UNITE & TAKE CHARGE
The literal translation of hapkido is "the way of uniting energy" (hap - unite; ki - energy; do - way or path). Throwing techniques highlight this goal. The idea is to bring the bodies together and control the combined body mass. Rather than working separately, the defender must commit to getting closer rather than farther away from the other person. A certain amount of courage and resolve is required to make an effective throw.
Yongmoodo offers a choice: rather than resisting outright, a defender can yield to another's force and then redirect it -- similar to judo. An effective throw begins with a) the opponent's voluntary action; and/or b) manoeuvring, enticing, or forcing the opponent into the desired position, or action. In judo, this is called tsukuri and essentially means "breaking the opponent's balance."
TIPS FOR BETTER THROWS
1) Learn the techniques.
2) Do not resist and try to out-muscle the opponent. Instead, help the opponent to get off-balance.
3) Develop speed and timing.
Strikes & Blocks
Aside from wrestling, striking and blocking are probably the most easily recognized and familiar techniques in the Yongmoodo repetoire. It takes little imagination to understand raising or swinging our arms for protection and then striking out with a closed fist or open hand. These are very direct movements.
Perhaps more than any other skill, striking is a spontaneous action that anyone can perform. Learning how, when, and where to strike is a valuable lesson and the bones in the hand are not ideal for strike the skull -- despite what we see in the movies and on television.
We cover basic blocks: down, middle, upper and strikes (punch, knifehand strike, hammer fist, elbow).
Wrestling is familiar to just about everyone around the world. Nearly every family experiences some form of it between brothers, sisters, cousins, and friends from an early age. It was familiar to many societies in the ancient world and formalized into a competitive sport in the Ancient Olympic Games. In Ancient Japan, wrestling was even used to decide imperial succession at least once.
Learn about a few similarities and differences between Yongmoodo and freestyle wrestling.
WHAT IS SIMILAR? Yongmoodo and freestyle wrestling are similar in that the idea is to grab the arms, legs, and/or torso and control the other person with various holds. No striking, kicking, hair-pulling, eye-gouging, finger/toe bending or breaking, fishhooks, pinching, scratching, or other "dirty" techniques are allowed.
WORKING FROM THE BACK. Probably the most familiar move in freestyle wrestling is the "pin" where the victor forces the opponent's shoulders/shoulder blades in contact with the mat for three seconds. In freestyle wrestling, being on your back for any length of time is bad; a competitor will fight hard to stay off their back. Even more, people in general still think that being on their back means that they are defenseless if not helpless.
In Yongmoodo, however, working from the back is completely fine because it allows the use of the legs and feet to help control the opponent and even secure a submission hold such as a triangle choke and win a match. This characteristic is perhaps the most striking difference between these two wrestling styles.
JOINT-LOCKS & SUBMISSION HOLDS.
Joint-locks and submission holds such are arm- bars, leg locks, and chokes Disallowed in freestyle wrestling but are key techniques in Yongmoodo for causing the opponent to tap out, "submit" to the victor, and end the match.
During both training and competition, "tapping out" by tapping or slapping the ground, the other person, or oneself with a hand, foot, arm, leg, or head is the universal signal that "You got me; I give up from the pain (or potential pain) -- STOP! and release me NOW!"
CHOKES. Yongmoodo allows the use of non-naked chokes with the agreement between two partners. Non-naked chokes are those that utilize an arm next to the head/neck. Non-naked chokes greatly reduce the stress applied to the neck and spinal column.
GRABBING THE UNIFORM. Yongmoodo wrestling allows grabbing of the opponent's uniform for control. This is why a thick uniform is needed otherwise wrestling
singlets, t-shorts, sweatpants will get ripped apart fairly quickly.
STRATEGY. Freestyle wrestling is fast and furious action of moves and countermoves requiring a great deal of strength, stamina, and agility within a set time period. Yongmoodo wrestling can be limited by time or simply keep going until a hold is applied that causes a partner to submit.
A short version to this difference is that freestyle wrestling goes for hold then position; Yongmoodo goes for position then hold.
Even without the submission joint-locks or chokes, Yongmoodo wrestling offers an incredible workout involving just about every muscle of the body.
TAKE DOWN THE BIGGEST ATTACKER. Attacking the joints is an effective method to subdue, restrain, immobilize, or injure even the largest opponent. Each joint -- wrist, ankle, knee, elbow, shoulder, fingers -- functions well in very specific angles. When a joint is moved into certain angles with even minimal pressure, it can result in pain, lots of pain. With increased pressure, a joint can be dislocated or broken causing severe injury. An attacker of any size can be quickly discouraged from aggressive intentions and immobilized due to the intense pain and injury caused by an effective joint-lock.
HEY! ROUGH PRACTICE IS UNNECESSARY. That's right: you don't need to break bones -- yours or someone else's -- to learn. But, developing these specialized skills requires a certain amount of maturity to practice. Clowning around can result in severe injury. Because these techniques can quickly result in injury, attentive care is needed to practice the techniques and still keep the partner healthy and in one piece. This is why children are not taught these techniques. Not so much because of any cruel intentions as much as a child's tendency to become distracted and get careless at exactly the wrong moment.