The Kyusho Jitsu Down Block mechanically is the very same as any arts down or low block. But there is a a big difference in how it functions compared to the traditional interpretation.
To the average person seeing the block their thoughts will go to the idea that they are blocking a front kick. Therefore this is what most people think when they hear the term or see the block. However the Kyusho Jitsu Down Block has a very different interpretation!
Kyusho Jitsu the science of pressure point self defense exists in every martial art. It is an advanced part of all arts. However after WWII in particular the arts began to become watered down for consumption in the west.
Below is the traditional pattern Chon Ji from the International Tae Kwon Do Federation. Basic Kata with several Down or Low Blocks.
As you can see this is a nice clean simple beginners pattern. It is very easy to see how someone would assign a down block as being to stop a front kick. The trick is to begin to see other things within the limits of the Kata, then to learn to apply them. So now let's take a look at a different Kyusho Jitsu Down Block interpretation.
As you can also see when the interpretation is done correctly there is no wasted motion! Now this is only one Kyusho Jitsu Down Block interpretation.
What is the basis for interpretation?
First you need to understand that Kata is not a performance or a dance. This is a modern day idea used because of how sport oriented the martial arts have become. In their true form Kata is a representation of "battle" with many, most of the techniques within being "DEADLY."
You also need to understand the anatomy of an attack. There are ONLY 3 attacks possible and it is the escalation level that is different.
Beyond that the weapon used is what changes. These are as follows.
The next thing you need to understand is that the word "block" is a BAD interpretation from the language of the root of the martial art trained in. There are NO BLOCKS only strikes. The brain will by reflex block someone come at it. No training required.
It is instinct to either move out of the way or use the arms to protect. This does not need to be taught. Using a "down block" for a kick is like using a screw driver to change your babies diaper.
Unless you are targeting something on the leg, like GB-31 as an example.
Here is an example of "bad translations or understanding."
My original Grand Master instructor, Mr Chung Oh was from Korea. While his English was OK, it was not great. In our foundation floor exercises he had an move called. Double Palm Downward Block, done in "back-horse."
For years this was called "back-horse." It was his accent, he was saying "backwards."
GM Oh was an amazing martial artist and instructor. He passed several years ago now. He is always remembered.
But because people do not ask questions, and consider these men to be "Gods" things are taken at face value, and therefore often misunderstood! And the "Double Palm Downward Block" was not a block at all, but a strike to the spine of someone trying to take you to ground, attacking the Associated Alarm Points and Governor Vessel. Done correctly the attacker would NEVER walk again.
Do you see how much has been missed?
I do not teach Kata Interpretation, or technique interpretation the way most martial arts instructors do it. The reason is that just "showing" someone what a movement can translate to or mean does not program the brain to use it. Instead I lead the student to see the meaning themselves!
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Have a great day!
Yours in the arts,
Grand Master Art Mason
Grand Master Art Mason is a professional full time martial artists and Kyusho Jitsu teacher. He is available for seminars and study groups.
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