I was having a discussion with another black belt about a technique which is found in Choong-Moo as well as other of our ITF Tuls.
Upset fingertip thrust from left walking stance and then shift into right L-stance and execute low forearm block and a rear strike with back fist.
Why don't we look backwards while executing the backfist strike behind us? I've always been taught as a color belt to look where I'm striking. Keep your eye on the target and etc. Yet we don't look behind us when executing this particular technique. Note: When I say look back, I don't mean a full second with the head turn, but rather a very quick head turn to see your strike hit it's imaginary target and then look to your front. Just a quick momentary glance backwards then back forward.
We do however look backwards in Bending Ready Stance B, elbow thrusts to the rear and other techniques. Why don't we with the backfist strike in the case of Choong-Moo or the side block in Sam-Il?
When I think about it I can argue this in different ways. We are both blocking and striking at the same time. What takes priority? I would say the block because if you miss with a strike you will be ok, but if you miss with a block you could be done for.
On the flip side since the backfist strike is so close it is important to see what you're striking. It's a knife technique for those who understand what I mean by that statement.
Master Peter Sanders from the Netherlands explained to me that in Toi-Gye Tul, General Choi taught him that you don't look behind you in technique #3 because you are using the opponent's eyes who is standing in front of you to see the person behind you who is receiving the backfist strike (I actually like that explaination).
If there is a technical reason for it, please share so I can explain why we don't look back to my students.
Michael Munyon, VI Dan
US-ITF Armed Forces Director
Serving America, Armed Forces and the ITF