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Jung Bong Sul, More than an Impact weapon
By Grand Master Michael De Alba


Believe it or not, all martial arts have more in common than you may think. There are many common threads in the vast array of techniques practiced in the just about all systems. For example, most arts will have a round kick. It may be called by many other names such as a chop kick, wheel kick, roundhouse, etc... but never the less it is still the same kick. The main difference would most likely be in the way it is applied. This will reflect the philosophy of the art or the attitude of the individual executing it. Some arts or individuals will use it in a snapping fashion, or possibly use it only below the waist, or maybe only as a means to close the gap with the opponent to then apply hand techniques, ect. In this way it conforms to the conceptual make-up of the art or individual.

This is looking at the arts on a more superficial level. If one goes deeper we will find two very important common denominators that all martial arts share. They are in reguards to character and ultimate purpose. The fact is,that when practiced with whole hearted truth and sincerity, the arts will help to develop all involved into a better, stronger person. The best one can be. This is the character part. As far as ultimate purpose, the bottom line in all martial arts is self defense. Hence MARTIAL art. When it comes to weapons, with little effort, it is easy to see that most arts practice some sort of defense of stick attacks (thrust and strike). Whether it be in the form of a club, bottle ect. the object is to defeat the impact of the weapon. Martial arts that include stick fighting in thier offensive arsenal are also generally geared towards hitting or striking with it.

Now anyone can pick up a stick and wack your lights out. That does not require training,but nothing can replace technique and experience. Remember, even in baseball, it takes a certain talent to hit a home run or a line drive in between 1st and 2nd base.

In the De Alba System - Modern Farang Mu Sul®, stick fighting is an important part of training, simply because, the weapon most commonly found is a stick of some sort. Training in the stick types (BONG RYU) of the De Alba System is very comprehensive and incorporates other elements of the art (beyond striking).

Within the stick types (BONG RYU), are various catagories of stick training, depending on the size and use of the weapon. The main branches include:

JANG BONG SUL - Long staff techniques (the staff is considered the parent weapon of the stick types)

JUNG BONG SUL - Middle stick tech (baton, club, Kali stick ect)

DAN BONG SUL - Short stick tech (with or without a cord)

SANG JYEL BONG SUL - Double jointed stick tech (nunchuku)

SAM JYEL BONG SUL - Triple jointed stick tech (3 section staff)

DAN JANG SUL - Cane techniques

Included in these divisions are specialized training sets that will focus on the particular strength of the given weapon. For example, the advantage of the staff is in itís length and powerful strikes, whereas the DAN BONG (short stick) is an extremely fast close distance weapon with a shocking vibrational empact. The JUNG BONG (middle stick) shares a certain amount of both of the previous two weapons qualities and is best used at a medium distance from the opponent (but is also very effective at close range).

JUNG BONG techniques are aimed at the boney protrutions, joints and the 360+ pressure points of the human anatomy. Techniques can be applied with the tip, butt end, first 1/4, middle and last 1/4 of the stick. Strikes are in the nature of a snap, whip or thrusting motion. These motions have six basic applications, they are:

1- Tip thrust

2- Butt end strike

3- Full swing

4- Snap strike (1/2 swing)

5- Continuous strikes (two or more connecting strikes)

6- Center stick

As with all weapons in De Alba System - Modern Farang Mu Sul®, JUNG BONG techniques also follow the 45 and 90 degree angles of attack and defense. These same angles apply to the smooth, fluid footwork and body positioning as relating to (effective) stick fighting.

The well balanced stick fighter trains with ambidexterity, for single and double weapon techniques. Reguardless of whether it is the free hand in single stick,or the second stick in double weapons, they must work closely together in order to maximize the effectiveness of the technique. Crucial to the versatile stick fighter is complete control of the 5 basic ranges as well as the applicable techniques for each of the distances. De Alba System's five basic fighting ranges are:

5th Longest Range- Here opponents are out of reach of both stick and all long range attacks (ie. rear leg or sliding-up kicks). The techniques applicable at this range are in the nature of charging kamakazi attacks, rolling into opponent, throwing of weapons etc...
4th Long Range- Fighters able to make stick to stick contact. The targets here are attacks to the hand (particularly the one holding the weapon) and kicks below the knee as they are difficult to block and expose upper targets.
3rd Middle Range- At this distance the stick is capable of body or head contact.Trapping and quick multiple strikes are the best tactics. The action is fast and furious so you must be able to dominate the opponent.
2nd Short Range- Opponents are now able to easily attack with the butt end of the stick. High sensativity and superb trapping skills are essential in order to control and be effective at this range.
1st Contact Range- This is the closest range. Here you have body contact. Grappling, disarms, chokes, joint manipulations, pressure points and leverage techniques are the most viable tactics at such close proximity.

 

Utilizing the 45 and 90 degree angles, the basic attack and defense zones are to the OUTSIDE of the body, and to the INSIDE of the body. These two zones are further seperated into:

- HIGH (head, neck, collar bone and shoulders)

- MIDDLE (arms, hands and trunk of the body)

- LOW (lower abdomen, groin and thighs)

- EXTREME LOW (knees, shins and feet).

When using a stick, almost any target hit will cause damage, but the most dangerous targets to aim for (as well as defend) are the head and knees as these have incapacitating effects. Also once hit solidly, all other target are virtually easy shots. If the opponent is armed with a stick (or any weapon), the primary target should be the hand holding the weapon. This disrupts any counter moves on his part and will then allow you to reach the other more dangerous targets safely.

Skill and experience with the JUNG BONG is aquired by combining the four basic practice formats in the De Alba System - Modern Farang Mu Sul®:

1- Self defense sets

2- Solo forms

3- Practice drills

4- Sparring sessions

The basic self defense technique sets cover a wide range of tactics that incompass striking,joint locking pressure point attacks and more. They include:

KI BON JUNG BONG MAKI BOP - Basic counter/ defense set

KONG GYUK JUNG BONG SUL - Basic offense set

JUNG BONG KWAN JYEL GI SUL - Basic joint manipulation set

JUNG BONG YUK SUL - Middle stick retention and attack reversal set

JUNG BONG MU JANG HEJE SUL - Middle stick disarms set

JUNG BONG CHURU GI SUL - Middle stick choking set

These basic sets will give the student a number of options to virtually any situation, on any of the ranges of combat he may be in. The practice drills utilized in De Alba System - Modern Farang Mu Sul® envolve applying all of these sets,worked into as many of the combat ranges (distances) where ever appropriate. Starting with basic self defense techniques, then adding variations and personal modifications. The drills are done slow at first and eventually speed up to engrain the movements as natural,instinctive reflexes.These skills are now to be further tested refined with the use of specialized sparring sessions. Using protective equipment, communication and safety always be of first consideration. The skills of the stick fighter will be elevated beyond any static type of practice. Sparring sessions should include: -Stick vs Stick -Stick vs Empty Hand -Stick vs Knife -Single Stick vs Double Sticks -Single Stick vs Double Knives -Double Sticks or Double Knives vs all the above

Using creativity and imagination, one can come up with numerous sparring situations that are both fun and valuable learning methods. In order to be a more complete and confident stick fighter, it is important to intergrate all of the elements of stick training. The weapon forms will develop fluidity in movment. The practice drills remove the thought process from the actions, allowing the student free spontinatity. And sparring sessions bring all elements together, with unihibited applications of the practice sets as well as develop a feel for the all important ingredients of strategy, timing and distancing.

Probably one of the worst feelings during any self defense situation is that of drawing a blank, just not knowing what to do. We are then forced to discard all our training and blindly plow our way out of the situation. Yet, when on more familiar territory, such as in a simillar scenario that we have practiced or rehersed, we not only have all of the confidence in the world, but we react with surgical precision. The key lesson here is that practical, effective training develops the experience and confidence to deal with most any situation. One can not truly appreciate the elephant without looking at it from all sides.

With stick fighting, we should not lock ourselves into any one single mentallity. Maintaining an open mind will allow us to discover deeper meanings of the martial arts as a whole. Valuable skills will elude us by staying so rooted in traditional, accepted modes of training of any given system. We need to be willing to experiment and add new techniques and training routines. Remember,One can not expect to discover new frontiers with out leaving old ones


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