Friday, 25 November 2011

Part One: A Dan Promotion test in 1962

Have you ever wondered how a black belt test was in the old hard style Taekwondo? Would it not be great to go back in time and see what the students had to to get their next Dan rank? I know I would love to do that, but unfortunatly we do not have the technology yet. I do however have some idea of how it all went down after reading  a little of "A Modern History of Taekwondo" by Kang and Lee. You see this wonderfull book contains a great part on the Dan tests of old. Hong Jong Pyo kept the paperwork after the first promotion test that the Kwans did together in 1962 and Kang and Lee used his paperwork and testemony to show their readers how the test was conducted.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Hyung, Tul, Poomse, Poomsae, whats the difference??

Pyongahn Hyung
Most styles of Korean Martial Arts do some kind of forms in their training. ITF has its "Tul", Kukkiwon had "Poomse" but changed the spelling in the 1980s to "Poomsae" and GTF (Global Taekwondo Federation) and other styles of KMA has "Hyung" in their systems. What is the difference between all these forms and names you ask??? Why do some styles use Hyung while others use Tul or Poomsae? First of; good question. Click the read more button and you will become much wiser on this issue:-)

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

A combative study of the "forkshaped punch/Chetdari jireugi"

Chetdari jireugi anno 1986
Training and studying Taekwondo at a University in Korea made me do things I would not normally do. Being a "traditional" Taekwondo student I believed that you had to perfect your poomsae one at a time and only what was required for your grade. But at the Korean university all Taekwondo students had to learn how to perform all of the Kukkiwon Poomsae. This made me the only 1st Dan that I knew of that could perform all the Poomsae from Taegeuk Il Jang to Poomsae Ilyo (I never really got the jumping sidekick down but I know that Poomsae well enough to be well aqainted with it). One experience was that the higher the Poomsae the more "strange" and "exotic" techniques appeared. One of them was the "Cetdari Jireugi", also known as "forkshaped punch" or simultainious punch with both hands to the front.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

How old is Taekwondo??

Koogoryo toomb paintings
often seen as evidence
of Taekwondo`s existance
thousands of years ago
"How old is Taekwondo??" If I am ever going to make a FAQ (frequently asked questions) for Taekwondo this would probably be on the first five questions answered. Unfortuantly this is a difficult question to answer, and if you search the web you will find anything from 5 000 years old to 40 years old. Why this discrephancy and confusion? I guess you first need to be a little more spesific in the question. You see Taekwondo is different things to different people.

Friday, 4 November 2011

The Pillars of Taekwondo Training Part Two; Poomsae/Patterns

In an earlier post I mentioned "The pillars of Taekwondo training". I defined them as Basic techniques, Forms training, sparring, self defense and breaking.(The post I am reffering to can be read by clicking here:)This has long been the format of what is usually labeled "Traditional Taekwondo" and I thought that I should write a little more indepth about each "pillar" this time. In this the second part of this rant I will look closer on what many consider "the second pillar" of Taekwondo training namely Poomsae. Part one was about basic techniques and it can be read by clicking here

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Whats the fuzz about stances anyway?

The "horse stance". Perhaps
South east Asian martial arts
most famous stance?
Besides pulling our non striking/non blocking hand to our hip and leaving us completly open to (counter)attack, our great arsenal of unrealistic "blocks" (think blocking two attacks at the same time), one of the other major "faults" with Taekwondo as an effective combat system is all its seemingless static and unusable stances. This is somthing we share with our sister martial arts Karate. It is no coincidence that we share this with Karate as we share a lot of history with the Okinawan/Japanese martial art (click here for more info). The hand that we pull to our hip has allready been covered here, and allthough I have not really plunged myself into my view of "blocking techniques" I have presented them briefly in earlier posts. So this time I would like to explore our "unrealistic" stances and hopefully show that the stances are not really that unpractical after all.