|No first strike in Taekwondo?|
How a "Karate Maxim" made its way into Taekwondo is no great mystery. If you have not yet read the post on Taekwondo`s Karate roots please do so as you will see very fast just how close Karate`s history is to our own. I first encountered the Taekwondoin never strikes first mentality when reading a book on Taekwondo called "Taekwondo" by GM Cho. "Every Poomsae (form) starts with a defensive technique to symbolise that the Taekwondoin will never throw the first strike"; is actually a quote from that book allthough I have seen the statement almost word for word in numerous books, articles and other media.
I think this mentality and both "maxims" (all the first moves of Poomsae are defensive, and the Taekwondoin never throws the first punch) should be contompleted as they do limit both our practical applications of Poomsae and because the second maxim when intrepreted literally tells us to wait for the oponent to throw the first punch BEFORE we are allowed to defend ourselves. This is considered a very bad strategy by the worlds leading self protection experts. Did the pioners of Karate and todays (Grand)masters get it wrong? Karate was originally intended as a civilian self protection system, and Taekwondo was according to some pioneers of Taekwondo said to be developed to be a better system than Karate (For the record I do not think any is better than the other, just two different branches but growing out of the same tree trunk).
|Gichin Funakoshi (on the right)|
If we are going to discuss how to hinder an attack we should know just what it is that constitutes an attack in the first place. Lets look at the dictionary for this one.
v. at·tacked, at·tack·ing, at·tacks
1. To set upon with violent force.
2. To criticize strongly or in a hostile manner.
3. To start work on with purpose and vigor: attack a problem.
4. To begin to affect harmfully: a disease that attacks the central nervous system"
|Blocking a low attack|
or stiking the gorin
of the oponent?