|Funakoshi demonstrating a|
grappling attack that looks
suprisingly as if it was taken
from Koryo Poomsae!
- Chigi (strikes)
In my last post I posted a beautifull quote from Gichin Funakoshi
"You may train for a long time, but if you merely move your hands and feet and jump up and down like a puppet, learning karate is not very different from learning a dance. You will never have reached the heart of the matter; you will have failed to grasp the quintessence of karate-do."So he believed that to truly understand both Karate (Taekwondo) you need to understand what you are doing, or else you are just learning movements without meaning (wich he describes as being akin to learning how to dance). What is also a little interesting about the quote is that he seems to think that your martial art need practical content for the exponent to truly understand "Do" (the way).
There has been a lot of discussion going on in the last few years that "Do"-arts do not practise in a practical way and lack realistic skills. "Jutsu" (or "Musul" in Korean) arts on the other hand is believed to contain all the pracitcal training methods that develop realistic skills that the "Do"-arts lack. Here you have one of the greatest pushers of Karate as a "Do"-art wich later influenced Taekwon to include the "Do" ending too, saying that to understand and reach "Do" you need to master "Musul" first.
But this is not a post on the difference between Musul and Do or how "Do"-arts today practise lack pragmatisism it is a post on wether our martial forms contain other tactics than the usual blocks, kicks and strikes. I here chose once again to look to our teachers teacher so to speak. Today Karate and Taekwondo is usually believed to contain only kicks, strikes and blocks. No holds, no joint locks and no throws or sweeps are usually attributed to Karate and Taekwondo. This has not always been the case however here is one quote from Kenwa Mabuni (teacher of at least one Kwan head):
“The karate that has been introduced to Tokyo is actually just a part of the whole. The fact that those who have learnt karate there feel it only consists of kicks & punches, and that throws & locks are only to be found in judo or jujutsu, can only be put down to a lack of understanding … Those who are thinking of the future of karate should have an open mind and strive to study the complete art”
|Choki Motobu demomstrating a |
lock that looks as if it could be
from Sipjin Poomsae!
(often seen as a double punch)
Did the founders learn this part of Karate? This is an ongoing discussion but I think we can safely say that the Karate that our founders learned contained a lot more grappling than the modern Karate styles have. Throws and locks are shown both in Kukkiwon Textbook (only in the "sparring" chapter) and they have their own chapter in the Taekwondo encyclopedia of General Choi Hong Hi. Throws as well as locks are shown in the writings of all the Karate Pioneers (even in Funakoshi`s who is often said to not know any shows numerous locks and throws in his writings).
So Karate contained more tactics that kicks blocks and strikes, were these aditional tactics recorded within the "Hyung" that the founders of Taekwondo learned? Here is what Gichin Funakoshi has to say:
“In karate, hitting, thrusting, and kicking are not the only methods, throwing techniques and pressure against joints are included … all these techniques should be studied referring to basic kata”Notice the last part of the quote (emphasis added by me). He says this quite clearly that the Hyung that the founders of Taekwondo learned all contained both throws, and locks. The forms we use today are not the same as the ones they learned, but the building blocks (basic techniques) are usually the same. There are two ways you can look at it and they are
- The locks and throws are in Kukkiwon Poomsae by accident as the basic techniques are the same as those used to reccord those movements in the original Taekwondo Hyung.
- The locks and throws are in Kukkiwon Poomsae by deliberate design.