Tuesday, 30 August 2011

What is "Traditional" Taekwondo?

What is traditional Taekwondo? This is something I have struggled with for a long time. The thing that is truest to say for tradition in Taekwondo is Taekwondos tradition for change. Think about it a little. In 1944 Chung Do Kwan opened its doors in Seoul Korea and the first Kwan of what was to become Taekwondo was opened. Other Kwan followed in the years after the Japanese occupation ended and before and after the Korean war.

Are there practical applications in our forms???

Funakoshi demonstrating a throw.
This is from a Japanese source so
look at it from right to left:)
This is an application from Empi Kata
This question pops out time and time again. Go to any martial arts forum (martial talk, etc) and look at the discussion conserning poomsae/Hyung/Tul/Kata/forms and there should be several discussions centered around this question or theme. Even within several discussions that does not start out with this question you will probably get someone who raises the question. This is a trend that has been going on since we first got martial arts that had forms in them. The same discussions are being held in all the JMA (Japanese martial arts), CMA (Chinese martial arts), OMA (Okinawan martial arts) that employ forms. Its just that before the work of people like Iain Abernethy, Bill Burgar, Chris Wilder, Victor Smith, Patric Mcharthy etc the question was slightly different, but the theme of practical usage of the forms or the movements therein was still there.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Koryo the lost form of Taekwondo?

In my history studdies regarding Taekwondo and its evolution of poomsae I learned something very interesting (at least it is very interesting to me:-p ). In the 1960s what was to become the KTA (Korean Taekwondo Assosiation) started developing the Palgwe forms series as well as the Black belt poomsae series we use today. In the early to mid 70s however the Palgwe form set was replaced by the Taegeuk form set. Poomsae Koryo was also replaced by a "new" version which is taught to the vast majority of WTF/Kukkiwon affiliated Dojang around the world. For some reason the Palgwe poomsae survived to a great extent since many people used them as additional poomsae to the Taegeuk, but the original 60s version of Koryo seemed lost in the sands of time.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

How many poomsae do you know? Part 2

Could this be one
intrepretation for the move
in part one??

This is the 2nd part of two parts. Part one can be read by clicking here.

In my last posting I wrote a little about what it means to actually know a poomsae. I wrote that it was a lot more about your knowledge of how to apply poomsae movements and principles in self defense and combat than your performence of the patterns. The performance part does have its purpose, but it is not the end of poomsae practise.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

How many poomsae do you know?

What is the most
practical meaning for
this move??
"How many Poomsae do you know Teacher?" I was asked this question not long ago by one of my students. Usually I just answer with the number of Poomsae I can perform since that is what the students are really asking anyway. This time however I froze. And then I started something scary.. I started thinking.