Monday, 15 December 2014

Micro Post; This Months Quote:

First movement of Kanku Dai
performed by Funakoshi in
This months quote was featured here on this blog in early 2012. I chose to republish it here because eventhough it was published here 2 years ago I had a talk with a 2nd Dan ITF practisioner on forms and the reason for the chambering of movements, the "ready positions" and the hand that goes back to the hip. She had been practising for 10 years and "knew" all that was to know about "traditional
Taekwondo" not sport like I practised. She knew how to apply everything in combat and not the sports arena. I asked here a couple of questions that she answered pretty much as I thought she would straight from the Taekwondo Encyclopedia of Choi Hong Hi. I then showed here applications for the pulling hand, the Chambers of most of the basic Blocks and the usage of stances and she became very quiet until she said: "This is NOT Taekwon-do!". I answered that everything I had shown could be found withing traditional Taekwondo either as Ho Sin Sul or as applications of the art (think Sihak Henry Cho`s 1968 book for instance). She refused to talk more about Taekwondo after that and thats OK, but I could not help but think about the following quote from Gichin Funakoshi (again):
Compare this to the
picture above
Sorry for the "republish" but read the quote again anyway as it is pretty profound yet very simple when you grasp the meaning. As for the relevance Gichin Funakoshi has to Taekwondo? He taught
the founders of Oh Do Kwan, Yoon Moo Kwan, Song Moo Kwan Chung Do Kwan and influenced the rest indirectly. I think that speaks for his relevance when it comes to Taekwondo dont you?

Friday, 12 December 2014

My Taekwondo is not the same Taekwondo that your kid is practising!

When People learn that I practise Taekwondo I often get comments like: "Ah I practised Taekwondo as a kid. I think I even got a yellow belt", or "My (insert kid relative here) also practise Taekwondo. He/She has (insert colour here) belt". I appreciate that they are only doing small talk and trying to
relate what I do with their own experience(s) but what annoys me a little is the assumption that what this person trained as a child himself/herself or what his/hers young relative practise today is the same as what I practise. The short answer is that there is some foundational overlap between "my Taekwondo" and "their Taekwondo" but it is not very large.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Micro Post; Quote of the Month

This months quote comes from my nightstand, or to be more precise "The book of five rings". It has nothing to do with "The Lord of the Rings" but everything to do with real life strategy for survival. It was written by legendary swordman and winner of many many life and death duels Miyamoto Mushashi. First time I read the book I was too young and inexperienced but every time I read it these days I learn something profound and new from the book. It will not suprisingly make an appearance in my reccomended reading series as well at some point;-)

The reason I choose this quote is that allthough he is strictly speaking about weapons it is a danger that many Taekwondoin faces in their studies and training. We rely so much upon the longest weapon on our body; the feet that we often neglect closer range weapons such as our arms, knees, elbows and grappling. Relying on one over the others and specialize is in my opinion not the worst thing that can happen. What is a real danger though is neglecting all other aspects so much that you are no longer able to use the other aspects. You often see this with "Taekwondo players" who are masterful kickers but once you get inside that range they no longer function as fighters. 

“You should not have any special fondness for a particular weapon, or anything else, for that matter. Too much is the same as not enough. Without imitating anyone else, you should have as much weaponry as suits you.”

-Miyamoto Mushashi

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Recommended Reading Part 5:

Alas we have reached the end of "Taekwondo books" in the series (for the time being at least). I know of several other books on Taekwondo that I have on my whish list but I decided early that the books that I recommend in this series will be books that I own and have read over and over again so I can vouch for them. Books are expensive and it takes time to read them so I will honor my readers by only recommending stuff I 100% know they will enjoy (if they enjoy the blog in general). So what is it this time? Click on the read more buttom and you will see:-)

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Variations of Poomsae; Have we lost something?

Previous in my blog I have made the case that the Kukkiwon has changed its standard over the years. These days I believe that the Kukkiwon standard has been largely if not completly the same all this time but the emphasis on standarisation became much larger after 2006. Many masters around the world tweaked the KTA forms based on their own experiences and experimentations along with whatever Kwan lineage they belonged to or hailed from. Some practise and study under insecure imature instructors who demand an almost religous cult like obidience and "loyalty" from their students, insisting that they study with them and them alone and it is not tolerated if they study under different instructors or God forbid different arts.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Micro Post; Martial ART

The word "art" has two meanings in English (Thank you teacher Ron):

1: Noun which is the most common way to use the word expressing aestaetics works of art or
2: Verb to be skilled at something.

In the word Martial Art I believe the second usage is the true meaning, but sometimes you see something so good and so beautifull you stop breathing and are just in pure awe of what you see. The hairs at the back of your neck rises, your peripheral vision ceases to exist and all your imagination and focus is drawn into the thing you see.

I had that kind of moment when I watched the clip I share below. It was simply perfection, poetry in movement and never before has the two meanings of "art" been so closely related.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Facebook page launched

Traditional Taekwondo Ramblings is getting more and more popular. I thought when I started writing that I would Write in English so I could comunicate With anyone who was interested in what I wrote but primarely I wrote because it was/ is a great way to gather and organise my thoughts and increase my Learning experience. After blogging since 2011 I have gone from a few hits a day to 200 hits a day and this has slowly but surely increased day by day since I started. Launching a facebook page for the blog is a logical step to comunicate better With the Readers of the blog since it is a lot easier to ask questions that are not directly related to the posts they are Reading but which they want answers to nonetheless and it will be easier to share interesting content both from me and to me:-) I do not have all the answers (never said I did) but I do love questions as they force me to think. Indeed many posts on this blog is the direct result of a question asked from a student or fellow practisioner.

If you want to see the facebook page (not much content there at the moment but there will be soon) and give me a private Message or share some interesting visit and if you like this blog give me a "like" in there;-)

Thanks to Samir for helping me setting it up and for designing the background picture (included in this post and now proudly displayed at the top of this blog as well)

Best regards from Ørjan.