Saturday, 11 August 2018

MA-Nerd alert! Deep dive into the Horse Stance terminology

Most of what I write is from a purely Kukki-Taekwondo perspective as that is what I practise (a

traditional version of it, coloured by my teachers experiences). This post however will perhaps be an interesting read for any Korean Martial Arts practisioner as we all use horse stance no matter if you practise Taekwondo, Taekwon-Do, Tae Kwon Do (WTF/Kukki, Chang Hon/ITF or independent), Tang Su Do, Su Bahk Do, Gumdo, Gyungdang etc. It is one of those universal stances that seemingly every martial art makes heavy use of. In Norway we have a saying that goes "A loved child has many names" (Kjært barn har mange navn), and while the translation of the various Korean name for this stance is remarkably consistent as "Horse Stance" there are a number of different Korean terms used to refer to this stance. One exception that has a unique English name for the stance is ITF Taekwon-Do which translate their Korean term into "Sitting Stance". In this post I will look into several different Korean terms for the stance, re-translate them into English and give a little background. Some people complain that Korean masters all seem to have their own Korean term for this stance but I think that within the different organisations in the main we see that the Korean terms are used consistent. It is when we look at different martial arts or organisations we see different Korean terms being used for what is essentually the same stance.

Friday, 20 July 2018

Using gloves in training?

I will make this into an article on a later date, but after reading a few comments from some “hard core traditionalists” saying we should never use gloves in training because there’s no gloves on “the street” I thought I should give an alternative view from another “traditionalist» :-) 

Monday, 9 July 2018

Product Review; Elite Sports Gloves and Focus Mitts

Introduction and background:

I am very fond of "Traditions" and "The Old Ways", but I am also very fond of making use of modern equipment and sport science to augument my martial arts jurney. One thing that I think main stream taekwondo can do better is to include more impact work for adult students with a bigger focus on hand techniques than what we normally see today. In my personal training I have been using the heavy bag and Kwon Go/ Dallyon Joo or Makkiwara for a few years now, and the Dojang that I train with purchased focus mitts last year for training hand techniques on my recommendation. I train bare-fisted AND with gloves, I do not believe in doing just the one or the other. I bought myself a pair of boxing gloves a long time ago, and I have also used "taekwondo gloves", the kind the WTF (or just the WT these days) implemented a few years back. The problem with impact work as I see it in my own day to day training is:

  1. Only training bare-fisted limits my training because of the impact. Sometimes if the training volume is large enough the usage of gloves is prefferable. It is not an "either-if" case, you need both if you train enough.
  2. Taekwondo gloves are meant to protect your fingers in a competition bout. They shred easily and can not take the continued punishment that impact training with them provides. They are OK for occasional use, but they just do not hold up in my own experience. This is OK for impact training is not their function.
  3. Boxing gloves does not allow you to truly make a fist. It also forgives you for not having correct aligment while punching. Using them in sparring also has a problem in that it is easier and more efficient to "hide behind the guard" than to use traditional taekwondo makki-techniques.
This means that I have been searching for an alternative, and when Ellen from Elite Sports approached me and asked if I was interested in doing a product review I felt that the planets had aligned and I could possibly look at new solution to my personal training problems, and do product review at the same time. We first had some correspondance on what she wanted, and I also had to make sure that I could give a 100% honest review or I would not do it. You are hopefully reading this so you can guess how this turned out :-)

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Guest Post: How to Keep Adults Hooked on Your Taekwondo Class

Introduction by Ørjan: Josh Peacock is in my own opinion a great example of a Taekwondoin who does not only practise Taekwondo but also study it. I fist came into contact with him online several years ago when he co-authored some very interesting articles on the white dragon blog, and we have stayed in touch ever since. His blogs has all been featured under the "interesting blogs" list which you can see if you watch the desctop or full version of this blog on the right hand side and for good reason. A few years ago he wrote a lot on Poomsae applications which as you will know if you are a regular reader of this blog is something I am very interested in. The last two (or three?) years he has delved more into the teaching methods and training methods with a focus on developing real life skills (which I also find fascinating). Josh is one of the persons I seek out if I want to have my views challenged (in a positive constructive manner), and he has helped my own personal development and understanding of Taekwondo through our online discussions and his written articles. When he approached me and offered to do a guest post on my blog I jumped at the chance, and said yes imidiatly. I know I enjoyed reading this article and I am sure you as a reader will too :-) So read on if you'd like to see a little of what Josh is working on:

How to Keep Adults Hooked on Your Taekwondo Class

Adult Learning Requires a Different Approach

Taekwondo has a low rate of adult participation, relative to other combat sports like BJJ
and boxing. Taekwondo is most famous for benefiting children through a highly
structured class style, similar to the military. But does this approach cater to the unique
needs and motivations of adult learners?

My suggestion is no, and here’s why.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Mini Lecture: Mu Duk Kwan and Hwang Kee in TKD history

Recently I was involved in a short discussion on Hwang Kee and Mu Duk Kwan and it’s role in Taekwondo history. I think that in early history Hwang Kee is important through his students and that he through his students left a lasting legacy within the Kukkiwon-Tkd

Friday, 15 June 2018

What is the meaning of the term "Taekwondo"?

I videotaped myself nerding out on the term "Taekwondo". I found it a fitting next video as my last nerding out was on how to write taekwondo in Korean using Hangul (The Korean writing system), but while I went into some detail demonstraing how to write the term I never touched upon the mening of the term. Taekwondo is often translated as Tae = Foot, Kwon = Fist and Do = Art (or way), but this is a very simplified translation of the term. Choi Hong Hi who came up with the term in around 1955 wrote several books on Taekwondo and he did also give us a very clear and consice translation on what the term meant, and this should be something we all should learn straight from his own works. In this clip I have included a paraphrasing of his translation, and the exact quote from his 15 volume encyclopedias. I have gone into a little history on the term, as well as a few different interpretations around what the term means in a wider sense (combative strategy, philosophical and descriptive of the system of the whole). I hope you enjoy the clip and as always: Any like, share, comment and subscription is highly appreciated:-)

Question of the day: What kind of topics would YOU like me to cover in a future "mini lecture" like this?

Friday, 8 June 2018

How to write taekwondo in Korean (태권도)

Many dojang has written tests in regard to their rank advancement and writing taekwondo in korean Hangul is a frequent task on these written tests. I’ve thought for a long time to make a post or video where I demonstrate how to do this, but I’ve never gotten around to it. The other day I had a few minutes to spare while waiting in my car and I thought “why wait?” and just went for it then and there :-)