Monday, 30 March 2015

First ever book on Taekwondo (1959) will be available for download!!!!!

I have written numerous times that the first book on Taekwondo ever written was published in 1959 and written by Choi Hong Hi. The closest thing I (and 99% of the people I know) have come to it is the 1965 English book (first ever English Language book on Taekwondo also by Choi Hong Hi). After discussing the 1959 book with George Vitale he said the content and layout of the 1959 book and 1965 book was very different. He shared a very interesting post on facebook revealing that the first ever book on Taekwondo will be available for download on Taekwondos Birthday 11th of April :-) Read below for George facebook post and details:
On April 11, 2015 we will make available the first ever book on Taekwon-Do. Of course this book was written by General Choi Hong Hi - Tae Kwon Do Father who can rightfully be known as the principle founder of the original Taekwon-Do. This book is further undeniable evidence of that statement. It will be another step in proving General Choi Hong Hi's invaluable contributions, as without,there would simply be no Taekwon-Do.
The book will be available as a free download at:
For that that are interested visit that website now and you can download for free the program from the 1959 historic first ever Taekwon-Do demonstration team to travel outside of Korea to perform Taekwon-Do. That team was of course led by you guessed it, General Choi! The team included among others, Master-Sergeant Bok Man Kim. The sharing of the program was made possible by the generosity of GM C.K. Choi. The book was made possible by the generosity of Master Nathan Doggett (WTF).

Friday, 27 March 2015

Interview with Jeff Rosser; Author of "Combative Elbow Strikes"

Interview with Jeff Rosser;  
Author of “Combative Elbow Strikes” 
By Ørjan Nilsen 
Originally published in the December issue
of Totally Taekwondo Magazine
A while back I got the pleasure of reading an article series on combative elbow strikes done by a man I had yet to hear about; Jeff Rosser. I was and still am very impressed with his writings, practical applications and learned a whole lot about elbow strikes and how to apply them after reading the series. Doing some light reading online I learned that he was on his way on publishing a whole book on the subject and I got curious to learn more about him, what he had studied to get to where he was and to learn a little more about the book project. Living in the informational age I contacted him on facebook and asked if he would grant me an interview which he did grant me. The product of our e-mail exchange can be read below. Q is me and A is Jeff. 

Monday, 23 March 2015

Review of "Combative Elbow Strikes" by Jeff Rosser

Combative Elbow Strikes;

A Guide to Strikes, Blocks, Locks and Take Downs

Review By Ørjan Nilsen
Originally published in the January issue of Totally Taekwondo Magazine

Friday, 27 February 2015

Makki - It is more than you think! Part 1

Image Source:
Kukkiwon Textbook 2006 edition
In Taekwondo there is a few things that is very well understood these days. Two of those things are Taekwondo defense and combat distance. Taekwondo defense these days amount to either hard blocking (smashing the attacking limbs away from you) or dodging the attacks (sometimes there is also a focus on dodging and countering in the same movement). I am
not saying that hard blocking does not have their place (I think they do), but to exclude all neuances in "Makki" and dogmatically apply everything as hard blocks each and every time is something I think is wrong. Likewise with the focus on sport sparring the distance techniques are applied in is just plain wrong. Taekwondo as a martial art is relativly "new" when compared to other Martial Arts out there, but the techniques it contains are a lot older than the art itself. This is important to understand.
Some techniques are meant and developed for sport, other for combativly "duelling" (fighting) and yet others are old school self defense techniques. The forms we have and practise today largely consists of techniques and sequences of the latter which is why so many fail to see the link between application of forms and the performance of forms.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Back to the Source(s) Part 5; Grappling in Contemporary Sources?

In part 4 we started to look at contemporary sources because eventhough the sources are clear on wether grappling is a genuine part of Taekwondo or not and that the series has largely seen positive feedback, one negative one centered around the fact that the sources I used to draw my conclusions from were too old. We are talking about sources specific to the KMA from 1958-1968 here, allthough
I also referenced earlier ones from the root martial arts of Taekwondo to illustrate that there were much more in the original martial arts as well and not just in Taekwondo. In part 4 we looked closely on the Kukkiwon Textbook and how trips, take downs, joint locks and throws are as much part of Taekwondo as any "Taekwondo kick" out there. It is not the "kukki Taekwondo system" that is lacking, rather it is the knowledge about the system that is sorely lacking, something that even very high ranking masters is clearly displaying when they say stuff like: "In pure Kukki Taekwondo there is no grappling". In this post I will focus on the 15 Volume Encyclopedia written by Choi Hong Hi or more specifically Volume 5 in that series. Many practisioners today learn Taekwondo (wether WTF/Kukki/ITF/Chang Hon) as a pure kick block punch art with little to no grappling at all.

I can understand that "Kukki Taekwondo" People believe that there is no grappling because of the sport focus that has been relentless since the 1970s, and the fact that the Kukkiwon Textbook was hard to come by until recent years (just order a copy on Amazon). The thing I do not understand is how ITF or Chang Hon Ryu groups of Taekwon-Do claiming to follow the teachings of Choi Hong Hi can claim that there is no grappling in the art. The man himself documented his art in the most comprehensive way that has ever been done in any martial art (that I have come accross). A book series of 15 Volumes each book being houndreds of pages thick, everything illustrated in 1000s and 1000s of photographs and the 1986 version is available online for free! Sadly this unrivaled incredible resource is not often used in a pragmatic way, most of them that do use them usually look at how forms should be performed and thats it.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Micro Post; This Months Quote

Here is the latest quote. The original quote is a little longer and explains more about the role throws have in Taekwondo (they should only be used when the oppertunity presents themselves and the opponent can not counter) but the thing I wanted to get across was that Choi Hong Hi himself said in writing that a Taekwondo man should know how to throw an opponent and gave examples of how to do just that. Unfortunatly few people practise this skill set today be it in Kukki, Chang Hon Ryu or independent Dojang (plural). Therefore I think this "Picture-Quote" (new word for the new format) is very important to share. Not just with those claiming to follow the system that Choi Hong Hi designed but all of Taekwondo. Oh Do Kwan representatives were a part of the formation of Kukki Taekwondo so this applies to us as well:-)

"Though the throwing techniques are not
so important as the falling techniques,
situation may sometimes dictate their use;
furthermore, a Taekwon-Do man should
also know how to throw the opponent."
-Choi Hong Hi
Founder of Oh Do Kwan

Monday, 9 February 2015

Practical Application for Gawi Makki/Scissors Block

Image Source
Gawi Makki
Many come to this blog in search for combative meaning to puzzling movements that seems to make no sense. I like to believe that sometimes the blog helps them find that meaning and I also hope it
helps them see things in a different light. One technique that I found very strange (to the point I felt it was useless) was the Gawi Makki (scissors block) that you see in Taegeuk 7 Jang and Taebaek Poomsae. The official applications to the block did nothing to alter my view for it being useless but I stumbled upon a few different ideas that changed my view completly.