Essay Library

Performing Demonstrations

Mr Dan Jackson

A demonstrations purpose is to display to the public what Taekwon-Do is all about and demonstrate to junior Taekwon-Do practitioner’s what they can obtain with training. A demonstration should make people want to start Taekwon-Do and inspire other practitioners to continue. Demonstrations should be exciting, informative andimpressive.

The demonstration team should consist of a variety of ages and sexes which people in the crowd can compare themselves with as a peer. A demonstration must be appealing to people who have no knowledge of Taekwon-Do.

All techniques should be sharp, crisp and consistent. For example in destruction’s, a break that is so difficult that only half of the time it’s broken does not look as good as a less difficult break that is consistently broken. Extra difficult breaks should be practised at training until it is consistently broken, and then incorporated into demonstrations. Or if the break is of such difficulty that a full board cannot be broken for demonstration purpose’s a half board can be used.

The demonstration itself should cover all aspects of Taekwon-Do -patterns, step sparring, free sparing, destruction’s and self defence. Also since a demonstration is a show items which the crowd find exciting like skits, focus and items which interact with the crowd.

The demonstration team should have two demonstrations prepared, one for the public containing some basics and a demonstrtion prepared for crowds who hve knowledge of Taekwon-Do.

Patterns- I believe that too many patterns in a demonstration can become boring to the untrained eye (that of person who has no knowledge of Taekwon-Do). I feel that a demonstration should consist of no more than two patterns- a team pattern, and a pattern done by a single practitioner.

Step Sparring- Step sparring if well organised can be very impressive. But one step sparring when demonstrated with two or more pairs has the tendency to look not as disciplined. If well practised two pairs can make this an impressive item. Another option to having two pairs is two have one pair but introduce model sparring as well. Perform in slow motion first and then in fast motion. Having one pair makes it easier for the crowd to follow and watch the techniques more closely.

Free Sparring- Free sparring is very exciting for the crowd to watch. Therefore this can be incorporated more than once. Free sparring should be demonstrated with no contact, and with contact wearing protective gear. The protective gear worn should be exactly the same as the protective gear used in tournaments. Also the bout should be refereed and have winner. In this case also only one pair sparring at once.

Destruction’s- It is my point of view that all destruction’s in a demonstration should be extra special and impressive. A combination of hand and foot destruction’s. I think that
destruction’s are the key to an impressive demonstration. If perform efficiently, they are clean, to the point and very impressive to the crowd. You don’t not have to be a practitioner to realise the difficulty of destruction’s. I think that a demonstration should contain different breaking materials. For example timber boards, roof tiles, etc. For a demonstration more emphasis should be put into the difficulty of the break than the amount broken. Breaking for a demonstration is different to breaking for a grading or competition in which you can increase the amount broken. For a demonstration depending on the difficulty of the break half boards can be used but full boards used where possible. It is important that a team member can perform the same break regularly without hiderence of injury. But there has to at least be one power hand and foot as it is a important element. But before the power breaks are performed the announcer should put great emphasis explaining that this is a power break needing great power, control and technique. In the case when half boards are used the announcer can explain that these boards used are for demonstration purpose’s and explain that to perform these kicks more emphasis is put on difficulty. Besides, a half board broken looks better than a full board bounced and the general public would not be able to tell the difference unless they had further inspection.

Self Defence- This is a display of all techniques that can be used in a real life situation. This it has to leave the impression of being able to handle yourself in any situation. The attacks should be attacks that you would likely get in the street. For example a push followed by right hook, attack with a knife, two on one, etc. It has to executed so that it does not look rehearsed and it has to look painful.

Skits- Skits are a real crowd pleaser and are enjoyable for the team members to preform. There are a few problems with skits, one is to many things happening at once. To solve this have one “goodie” and two or three “badies”. This eliminates the mock war scene look. There has to be something defining the goodies from badies, for example a black beanie and vest on the badies. Also the skits have to be regularly practised, otherwise the skit looks real rusty as people miss cues and so on. Also skits have a tendency to drag on if there too long. A skit should be fast, defined and well organised.

Focus- This item displays accuracy and consistency. This impresses the crowd. The element of danger is important and holds the attention of the crowd as this item usually demonstrates how close you can get with kick or punch without actually hitting the person. This item should be done slowly first so the crowd have an idea of what is actually happening. Other ideas for focus is to place target on the head of team member to break. This item does not need to be displayed slowly first. But to build suspense time should be taken when sizing up the break. Focus can be incorporated into one-step sparring placing all techniques demonstrated as close as possible.

An important element to the demonstration is how the announcer comes across to the crowd during the demonstration. The announcer needs to explain what is happening, build each item up, and create suspense when needed. Introduce members of the team as the demonstration is in motion and to keep the crowds attention if fading. It has to be kept in mind that a demonstration is a show to the crowd, and all items should have emphasis put on crowd pleasing. The announcer should watch the crowd response to decide on wether an item should stay or not.

Here is an example of a demonstration.

  1. Whole team demonstrates some simple to difficult hand and foot techniques.
  2. Break one wooden board with flying high kick held by a person standing on shoulders.
  3. Team Pattern eg. Hwa-Rang
  4. Break 8-10 tiles with forefist.
  5. Model sparring incorporated with one step sparring (one pair)
  6. Two board knifehand \ Two board elbow
  7. Sparring- non contact.
  8. Break one wooden board held by person sitting on shoulders with flying high twisting
  9. Self defence- unarmed attacks, attacks with knife
  10. Multiple Break
  11. Sparring - Two on one
  12. Senior Dan pattern performed by single most senior person.
  13. Break one wooden board with twin turning kick / twin front kick
  14. Break one wooden board with tumbling kick
  15. Skit
  16. Sparring- contact with protective gear. Referee imposing tournament rules.
  17. Flexibility (with one or two people)
  18. Break one board with 360 Flying back piercing kick / 360 Flying reverse turning kick
  19. Focus- person balances cans in each hand and on their head. Knock cans held at
    shoulder height with flying side piercing kick, flying back piercing kick. Knock can off
    head with flying reverse turning kick.
  20. One suspended board held above head of a team member with Reverse turning kick.
  21. Twin flying crescent kick popping a balloon
  22. Flat fingertip thrust (half board)
  23. Focus - kick apple off a knife using 360 Flying reverse turning kick / Tornado kick
  24. Skit
  25. Overhead kick over 2 team member and 4-5 members of the crowd with member
    lying on the top (pyramid kick).
    Form up and team performs 9 punches (high, middle, low) yelling Tae-Kwon-Do on
    each punch.

The demonstration team itself has to run as one unit. All members of the team should have a equal spread of spotlight. Each member should have a break or item that they have perfected that is theirs to do in a demonstration.

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