Discussion in 'Tae Kwon Do' started by Smitfire, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Does anyone, with some understanding of Korean perhaps, know if the word "makki" (or makgi) (interpreted as "block" in Korean martial arts) has a similar meaning to the word "uke" in Japanese?
    Uke in Japanese is now commonly said to mean "receiver" rather than "block" (which is why the person receiving a technique in a drill is called the "uke") and as such that opens up more nuance in interpreting or applying "blocking" techniques. Using something to "receive" carries a whole host of different assumptions and ideas than using it to "block".
    narcsarge likes this.
  2. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Moderator Supporter

    Mitch and Smitfire like this.
  3. Oerjan

    Oerjan New Member

    I wrote a short post on this topic a long time ago on my blog. Here's a copy paste from the post:

    "Makki"; Does It Actually Mean "Block"?

    Makki (막기) is often translated as "Block" in most Taekwondo Textbooks but if you care so much about Taekwondo that you actually look it up in a dictionary you will find that it can be "prevent" or
    "avoid" not a single "block" in sight... The word Makki is a conjugated word from the word "Makda". If you look up the unconjugated verb "Makda" (막다) you get all sorts of meanings:
    • Obstruct
    • Block
    • Occlude
    • Jam
    • Prevent
    • Keep off
    • Ward off
    • etc

    We do get a somewhat defensive theme going on, but the english word "block" allthough a simple enough word and a valid translation it seems does not really convey the meaning of Makda/Makki but rather just one aspect of it. Yes these are "defensive movements" but it seems that the "static blocks" you automaticly think when you here the word "block" there is all sorts of neuances in the original language of Taekwondo. Look at the top word in the bullet list above: "Obstruct" here the techniques are used to obstruct the attack but how? Thats up to your imagination. The second word block is where an attack i made and the defender tries to slam it away with a static "block". As for the third word "Occlude" I can safely say I have no idea what it means:) Hey English is not my native language and they surely did not teach us "occlude" in school:p

    "Jam" is another concept of defense that I find intriguing. A telegraphed haymaker winding up before comming forward? Jam it at the bicep area and the harder he hits the more pain he gets. That was just one single example but hey its only your imagination that sets the limits. "Prevent" conjures up a whole new view. Instead of waiting for the attack to acutally happen and then staticly block it here is a technique that actually prevents the attack alltogether!

    Keep off and ward of? Also far away from the mental images that "block" conjures up in my mind. The first might be a concept of closing his attacking limbs maybe by crossing his arms or something or maybe release techniques from holds? Ward off is not really the concept of parrying that I first thought.. Parrying is where you kinda "slap" the attacks away from you with short movements. Ward of is much more moving the attacking limb out of the way and "sticking to it" rather than a parry in my mind. I might be mistaken about this but hey thats my own limited understanding.

    The point of this post? Look at all the various "Makki" techniques you have at your disposal being a Taekwondo student and try not to tranlsate the word "Makki" with block. See if the movements does fit in with the other translations instead. That might be one "key" to open up a lot more "practical" approaches to "Makki" techniques than what is usually portrayed. "

    I usually translate Makki as "defensive technique". That way it can be a block, a party, jamming action, limb control, joint lock as a response to a grab etc. The Kukkiwon Textbook identifies three joint locks in poomsae application that are labelled Makki in terminology when looking at the movement. The hecho Santeul Makki (outward W block in pyongwon) is one of them. In that example the application is to lock the opponents elbows as a response to him grabbing you.
  4. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Great explanation Oerjan :)
  5. Oerjan

    Oerjan New Member

    I'm glad you enjoyed it. Sorry for my poor spelling and grammar. I studied Taekwondo for one year in Korea were I also studied the language. 막기 (makki) was one of the first words I started to look more in-depth at. I guess you could say that I am somewhat of a taekwondo nerd:)
    narcsarge and Mitch like this.
  6. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    I looked up "uke" (or whatever the verb form is - I can't remember any more - ukeru? ukete?) in a Japanese dictionary once and I think the top definition was "catch". Since then, I've liked that as the definition of "uke" in karate (so, maybe the equivalent in TKD too). Block sounds too hard, receive sounds too passive, but if the job of the defence is to "catch" the attack, it kinda captures the idea of actively neutralising or even trapping the attack.
    Smitfire likes this.
  7. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Depends what you do with it once you've received it. :)

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