Hello Tried to start this post a few times and couldn't get a nice intro so I am going to just jump in with the question...
Do all movements have both knife hand and forearm variations?
I studied the ITF taekwondo patterns which are based, albeit loosely, on shotokan karate kata. As you work through the forms eventually you are introduced to both forearm/closed hand and knife hand/open hand variations of each movement. I was wondering if this also happens in the karate kata.
My intuition leads me to believe that it doesn't and only in a few cases are there both open hand and close hand variants.
An example would be the low block. While the main stream application has the forearm application of this as a defence against a kick to the abdomen, I was introduced to the knife hand version as for a kick aimed a few inches lower, to the groin.
Clearly making such a judgment is difficult to say the least.
However, if we take the application of the low forearm block as an arm bar then maybe there could be an argument for a knife hand version. 'Cutting' to the inside of the elbow to break balance perhaps rather than grasping and controlling.
A similar argument can be made for guarding block having both open and closed hand versions. The first to clear limbs for strikes the second to represent a stand up grapple.
When I look at other movements I have difficulty in giving application for both. It strikes me that the creators of the forms of ITF taekwondo sort of ran out of ideas and then created a whole load of extra movements by altering the hand positions thus creating more raw material for forms.
I would be interested to hear what other people think of this