Doing Chark Jong (breaking of the guard) today, my instructor pointed out that I was tensing up too much, and comitting myself to a big forward rush, when I should have been simply walking forward in my correct stance. After this and some more demonstation, I had an ephinany and things suddenly clicked. Here is my summary of how to do the technique more correctly:

  1. Put on a correct stance.
  2. Imagine yourself being sucked up towards the ceiling head first, or that your body is suspended from a thread going from the top of your head to the ceiling. This will straighten your back and neck and relax your spine.
  3. Mirror your oponent’s guard with your guard.
  4. Imagine your arms are very heavy, and relax all the muscles in your arms and shoulders. Your arms should be rotated up and forward by your shoulder ball joint, holding the ultimate angle, but otherwise completely relaxed. Your elbows should feel as though they are pointing towards the floor.
  5. Step forward naturally from your waist.
  6. As you close with your opponent’s guard (preferably a bit above it), allow your arms to drop down under their own weight, while focusing strongly on a point (eg, on the centre of your oponent’s chest). Don’t stop walking as your do this. The combined forward movement of your body and downward fall of your arms will mean that you collapse your oponents guard and hit through to their chest.
  7. Pull back both hands with a circular movement driven from your elbow, like in the form. This will catch the remains of your oponent’s guard and further disrupt their stance. If this move isn’t working for you, don’t overdo it – be careful not to come out of your stance.
  8. Finish by stepping foward from the waist (imagine your belly button is leading the way) and drive your arms forward in a double palm strike.

When it clicks, it feels like the calmness in the eye of a storm. You are relaxed, in control and uncomitted, with time respond to any counters your oponent may choose to do.