Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Opening of Taebaek Poomsae

Merry Christmas everyone:-D

I have often tried to showcase the practicality of Taekwondo Poomsae by showing practical applications derived from the Poomsae. I usually focus on simple techniques or the coloured belt Poomsae (Taegeuk series) since these are the Poomsae that most people practising Kukki Taekwondo are familiar with. I do however practise and study the black belt Poomsae as well as the Taegeuk series though and this time I thought it would be fun to give two applications to the opening movements of Taebaek Poomsae. If you are not familiar with it, it can be seen in the embedded video below (please let me know if the link dies) and you only need to watch the first sequence of movements (spreading low block, front kick, two punches to midsection and then repeated on the other side).

Friday, 20 December 2013

Three posts for the price of one! (mental traps, practical application and more!)

Here are three Things I want to adress this time. 1: Common mental traps you will be facing when researching Your forms for combative meaning, 2: Practical Application for knife hand guarding
Block and 3: why Taekwondo techniques are different from their Karate counterparts.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Micro post: Taegeuk Cipher DVD clip Taegeuk il (1) Jang practical aplication

Sorry for all the "Micro posts" lately. I planned to have one or two each month but lately there has been so much to share that the more "indepth" posts would have to wait. I will make this up to this blogs Readers by providing a 3 posts for the price of 1 on December 20th;) For those interested in practical combative Application to the Taegeuk forms Simon has shared another treat With us:

This is a Clip from the New Taegeuk cipher DVDs. This is from Taegeuk il (1) Jang and is the lang front walking stance and low Block followed by middle section punch without stepping sequence. It occurs twice in the form (it has different Applications in the DVD.

Note how this takedown is extremly basic and uses the stance and movement from the low Block to take Down the attacker. The fact that it is a basic takedown does not make it bad, it just makes it so much better to include in Taekwondo training since it so closely follows how we are trained to move and keeping it basic means that it does not rely on all that grappling training that we do not do (well we should include grappling as support techniques, but we primarily practise striking so it is logical to keep the grappling basic). For a Detailed review on the DVDs click here

 How to buy the DVDs and more information at www.palkwon.com . If you want to show Your support you can always go to https://www.facebook.com/taegeukcipher?fref=ts and "Like":-)

Friday, 13 December 2013

Micro Post; This months quote

This time I picked a quote from Simon O`Neills facebookpage (Author of Taegeuk Cipher) that I really liked. It is not directly linked to Martial Arts though if you think about it in a Dojang setting you will see why it resonates With me enough to include it here. Also it is just a brilliant thing to keep in mind this time of year when the stress is getting to all of us.

"Most people does not listen with the intent to understand;
they listen with the intent to reply"
-Stephen R. Covey
Which intent do you have when listening? And which is most important?

Monday, 9 December 2013

DVD Review of Taegeuk Cipher, Fighting and self defense applications of the Taegeuk Poomsae

If you read this blog regulary you will have read about Simon John O`Neill and his work; The Taegeuk Cipher in a few different posts lately. This one is also about him or his work, and yes, there is more to come in the weeks that follows:-) For information on how to actually get these DVDs please visit: http://www.palkwon.com/en/media.html.

I wrote this a while back but waited to publish it here so it could first appear in Totally Taekwondo Magazine. This is a DVD review of the DVDs I told you about in this post and to quote that post: Short story, buy it, I reccomend it and do not think anyone buying it will regret it. For a much more indepth review of the DVD series however please read on.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Micro post: Taegeuk Cipher DVD clip Taegeuk Oh Jang practical aplication

Here is a Clip from the New Taegeuk cipher DVDs. This is the ending sequence from Taegeuk Oh Jang which undoubtfully have puzzled many a Taekwondoin`s mind when it comes to practical aplication of the move Beyond kick and backfist strike.

How to buy the DVDs and more information at www.palkwon.com . If you want to show Your support you can always go to https://www.facebook.com/taegeukcipher?fref=ts and "Like":-)

The review I have written will be here soon:-)

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Micro post: This months Quote

I will try to get one quote for each month. They will be Martial Arts related and some will be funny, some will be serious, some will make you think (hopefully). First out is one quote I have hanging on my Office wall and that is something that you can apply to every aspect of life not only Martial Arts. Bruce Lee is often either hated or hyped up to be a Martial Arts Demigod. I will not hide the fact that he is one of my childhood heroes and that his philosophy is something that speaks well for me. I do not agree With all he wrote, I especially do not agree With most of his critizism of "traditional styles" but I recognize that at the time People did not know any better and many styles had recently been introduced so it probably was fair critisism at the time. Anyway here is the quote:

"Knowing is not enough
you must apply.
Willing is not enough
you must do." 
 -Bruce Lee

Friday, 8 November 2013

The Taegeuk self defense system!

I have refferenced, linked to and reccomended Simon John O`Neill`s book the Taegeuk Cipher to everyone who have the slightest interest in forms Applications and those interested in the Taegeuk forms series. He published a truly landmark book a few years back titled The Taegeuk Cipher. I have read that book to shreads and it is still one of my all time favorite martial arts books (and I have 100s). The only thing that could have made that book better was if there was bigger/clearer Pictures acompanying the Application section. I wished for a long time that someone could upload a few aplications on the youtube or something so it would be easier to see a few of the harder Applications but so far no one has. BUT THERE IS SOMETHING EVEN BETTER OUT THERE RIGHT NOW!!!! Simon has made a set of 4 DVDs where he demonstrates his now tweaked and updated Taegeuk self defense system and let me tell you it has been really hard to not say anything (I have known about the Project for some time) but now it has been officially launched in the Totally Taekwondo Magazine so I think it is safe to let the cat out of the bag now.

I am currently writing a detailed review but the short Version is: Buy the DVDs and you will not regret it. For those unfamiliar With his work here is the review I wrote on his book that I also reccomend for everyone (Even if they buy the DVDs there is enough different material in both Works that both are good to get). I wrote it shortly after it was launched a few years back. The DVD review will come here when it is finished:-)

Monday, 4 November 2013

1 simple training method for straight punches

When I teach beginners how to punch the Taekwondo way many flap out With their elbows or do "rounded" punches so they can feel that the punches are more powerfull than they really are. Early in my teaching days I had some trouble finding an easy way to correct this behaviour so that they could reap the benifits of the straigh punch. After some Heavy thinking I found a solution that was so easy it was brilliant (you know I have a big ego by now dont you?:-p ) What this training Method needs in terms of Equipment is one wall and an arm:-)

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

3 kicking drills that will improve your kicks

Here are 3 kicking drills that I am sure you will find both fun and challinging. They will also help to improve Balance, targeting, stringing kicks together and body Control. So without much further ado here they are:-) It has absolutly nothing to do With forms Applications or self defense but it is very Challenging (is that a Word?) and fun. The high kicks have been a part of Taekwondo since the 50s and are a Direct Korean influence. They are not good for self defense (at least not in the incarnation being drilled here) but they work extremly well in competition and friendly sparring:-) Doing them will also make Your legs stronger, and will make it easier to master the kicks to low targets as well:-)

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Bunkai in Taekwondo?

Bunkai is getting huge in the Karate circles around the globe. What started as a minor trend has now grown into a huge industry. For those who do not know "Bunkai" is a Japanese term wich is often
used for interpreting Your forms (Kata) for combative meaning. It is hard to pinpoint excactly when this trend started, I became aware about it in the early 2000s but I have read books about the subjects that date back to the early 90s. Many People today are saying that this has always been done and others who complain that this is a New fad says it was not done untill the rise of MMA popularity.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Is there grappling in Taekwondo?

The question pops up time and time again. On discussion forums, articles, blogposts, from prospective students and even some instructors(!) You see the focus on competition and rapid spread of the art and its inherent focus on strikes (most notably kicks) result in what seems to me to be a Whole lot of People practising Taekwondo purely as a striking system devoid of any grappling at all! This does come With a lot of consequenses in all areas of the art. If you remove all aspects of grappling from Taekwondo (which many seems to do) you are left With a very Limited skillset.

Without any grappling you:
  • Have Limited yourself to only striking
  • Have movements and forms (Poomsae) that sometimes makes little to NO sense
  • Are open to "grappling attacks"
  • Are in big trouble once your opponent establish a grip on you

Friday, 23 August 2013

One Step Sparring

I have written before about predetermined/ formal/ step sparring and its Place in Taekwondo.
Lately With the Schools closed because of summer holliday and my various injuries finally letting go I have been able to have a few training sessions outside a couple of times a week where we have gone through Our organisations syllabus (something that often "drowns" in the focus of basics, forms and free/ competition sparring).

In these sessions that are just an unformal gathering of friends at black belt Level we have had a great deal of discussions around the different Things in the organisations syllabus, the one step sparring being one of them.

Monday, 12 August 2013

The obsession of wrist grabs

In Taekwondo we normally divide up Our training into the 5 pillars of Taekwondo; Basics, Forms, Sparring, Self defense and Breaking (or Gibon Dongjak, Poomsae, Kyorugi, Ho Sin Sul and Kyopka respectivly).

In the self defense part of Taekwondo the focus is normally on freeing yourself from various grips. At least that is how I often see it practised and taught. Personally I think that Ho Sin Sul is Applied Taekwondo as a Whole, and freeing Your self from various grabs is just one part of it all, but it is a very important skill nonetheless and especially so for Taekwondoin who focus on striking. Having an arm grabbed, or someone does a bear hug over Your arms for instance means that the opponent has tied up one (or more) of Your striking Tools. If you base Your self defense on striking the opponent to remain safe from harm, having Your striking Tools removed is not good... Therefore I do see why this becomes the main focus for many Peoples Ho Sin Sul training.

A thing that is a little facinating though is the seemingly Obsession With wrist grabs that You will find not only in Taekwondo and its sister art Karate but in almost every Martial Art of the East... It has gotten to the point that for some the releasing and countering to wristgrabs account for the majority of their Ho Sin Sul training and that cant be good, can it?

Friday, 9 August 2013

Soak Am Ryu forms

My teacher has studdied Taekwondo since just after Taekwondo`s inception in Korea. He has also studied other KMA and other related subjects like philosophy, training methods, Ki-training and Yoga. The result of his studdies is the Soak Am Ryu forms which is his psedonym given to him by his Ki-gong teacher.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Micro Post: Basic wrist grab defenses

Here is a clip of me and a friend going quickly through our organisations set wrist grab defenses. These are the starting point for wrist grab defenses for the students at Traditonal Taekwondo Union. Me and a few friends gathered today to go through a lot of the syllabus material that are not covered enough in regular class time, and the eight wrist grab defenses were one of the things we went through (the Soak Am Ryu Poomsae 1-4, Taegeuk Poomsae 1-8, Koryo, original Koryo, Keumgang, Taebaek Poomsae and the 4 set defenses against punches was not filmed but practised a lot today).

The weather was very unstable but it was great to be practising again after a short break and it is always great to gather a few friends for some unformal practise:-)

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Application to Taegeuk Oh (5) Jang 2

This time I would like to take a closer look on one of the most distinguishing features of Taegeuk Oh Jang. Except for the opening movements (low Block, hammer fist strike) which to me always symbolised the Taegeuk symbol of the form which is Wind (I always thought about a hurricane or a tornado when I first learned the form) is the infamous high Block, side kick/ hammer fist strike followed by an elbow strike into Your palm.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Application to Taegeuk Oh (5) Jang

The most searched for content on this blog seems to be the practical applications for our poomsae. That fact coupled with the fact that one Reader of the blog expressed great interest in the applications through comments  and mentioned that he studdied Taegeuk Oh Jang at this time made me inspired to write this post that focus exclusivly on Taegeuk Oh (5) Jang and the (hopefully) practical applications to that form:-)

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Who am I... Taekwondo`s identity crisis part two

This is part two. To read part one click here

This post is dedicated to Steve Nesky, Samir and Richard:-)

Last time I gave a general overview of the current situation where we saw how Taekwondo meant a lot of different things to different people. I gave some history to show how the perception of Taekwondo shapes our training (the uniform in my example from a thicker more durable y-neck uniform (Dobok) to a newer lighter less durable v-neck for competition. This time I would like to give a brief overview on the history of Taekwondo to see if this can explain the current Identity crisis of Taekwondo.

"Modern Taekwondo" has its roots from the different Kwan (Schools) founded in Korea in the 1940s-50s but they themselves had deeper roots from foreign sources.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Who am I? Taekwondo`s identity crisis.. Part One

I really think that we can all agree that the current Taekwondo comunity is suffering from an acute identity crisis that really should be adressed by the governing bodies. With all the ITF`s out there, the independent Dojangs, the "WTF Taekwondo" and the Kukki Taekwondo out there we can not even agree wether Taekwondo is a Sport or a Martial Art anymore. We can not agree what the history of Taekwondo is, some saying it is a 2000 year old Korean Martial Art, some saying it was invented by one man in the 1950s and then "stolen" by many others, some saying it was relabeled Karate and that is just the history, lets not get started with the purpose...

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Traditional Taekwondo??

 In this post I would like to delve a little into "tradition" and how we can call Taekwondo traditional.

I practise "Kukki Taekwondo", and the "Kukki" Taekwondo does as its name implies follow the "Kukkiwon syllabus" as outlined in the Kukkiwon Textbook (I am trying to see if anyone will react to my overly use of Kukki and Kukkiwon in one paragraph:p ). Actually I do not usually tell people that I practise "Kukki" Taekwondo when asked about what I do on my free time, I usually refer to it as "Traditional Taekwondo". This is to differntiate "my Taekwondo" from what they might have seen in the Olympics. I too practise the Olympic sparring as it is a great workout, maybe the best way to develop kicking skills against an opponent and it is plain fun to do, but it is just a very small part of my overall system as I define as "Traditional Taekwondo".

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Japanese or Korean terminology in Taekwondo?

It`s been a while, but recently I read the term "Taekwondoka" on an internet forum discussing Taekwondo. The person who wrote that used it instead of "Taekwondo student/ exponent/ practisioner" etc. The "ka" ending in Taekwondoka is a Japanese term that is used in Japanese Martial Arts. Examples: Judoka, Karateka, Kendoka etc. Having spendt a lot of time in Korea (one of my stays was for a whole year) seeing this "mishmashing" of different foreign languages is like being in the classroom where someone with long fingernails starts scratching them along a blackboard. I realize that for people who have not been to Korea or have much interest in foreign cultures and languages it might be nothing to worry about, but I still wonder why people choose to put a Japanese word ending onto a Korean name for its Martial Art.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

What is the point of Basic Forms (Kihon Kata/ Gibon Poomsae/ Hyung/ Tul)

I have seen the question in the headline so many times on different discussion forums over the years
Image source: Tae Kwon Do 1965
By Choi Hong Hi
that I think it warrants its own post on this blog. The question in a nutshell is two fold:
  1.  What is the point of the basic forms if the time spendt on those could be used in teaching the more advanced ones? (The viewpoint of purely form not function)
  2. If the basic forms were developed only for movement education and not applications should we only teach/ practise the advanced forms so we learn both movement and application? (The viewpoint that the basic forms does not have applications)

Friday, 26 April 2013

Boonseok (분석) Analyse your forms for meaning

I have written about this before but I really do want to get the word out there so people will start researching their forms for themselves (and share their findings with the world). The Korean Martial Arts were developed largely from Chinese and Japanese/ Okinawan sources; all of which placed a
heavy emphasis on solo forms for the preservation of the key concepts of the system.

Somewhere along the way however the Korean Martial Arts seems to have lost their link back to their forms, treating them solely as performance sport rather than the encyclopedia or basis upon wich their practical application of the Martial Arts rest. It is unfair to say that this is only a problem in the Korean Martial Arts as there are similar situations in both Chinese systems (Tai Chi for instance is often trained solely as performance art for health benifits) and Japanese systems (several styles of Karate train them for grading purposes and for maintaining "Tradition").

Friday, 19 April 2013

Essentual Reading For All Taekwondoin!!!!!!!!!

I frequently write about "lost things" within Taekwondo. Stuff that we had in the beginning but lost under the expansion and development into at martial sport, or stuff we have currently in our system but not trained in the mainstream.

I came accross this post today and found it so important that I highly reccomend that all Taekwondoin study it and apply this "new" knowledge in their training and teaching.


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Exploring the Traditional "Double Blocks"

In my previous post I wrote a lot about blocks being blocks, at the same time I do acknowledge that in a dynamic context in forms there are a multitude of practical and sophisticated applications that can be derived from them ranging from defensive to offensive, but at the same time we do need to acknowledge that we need defensive techniques as well as offensive ones. In the bullet list in the previous post where I listed some of the most often heard critizism of traditional blocks I listed
unrealistic double blocks. I did make in my own opinion a good case for traditional simple blocks like arae makki (low block), han sonnal bakkat makki (single outward knife hand block), eolgul makki (face block), momtong an makki (inward middle block), but I did not mention the double blocks at all. You know the ones I mean: the infamous W shaped block is one of them:-)

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Exploring The Traditional "Blocks"

I have written extensivly about forms application, and showed many applications to different blocks not being blocks at all. For instance if you have read through all the different blog post you will have
Image source: Secrets of Korean Karate
by Henry Cho in 1968
seen low block "arae makki" as a wrist release, straight arm bar, hammer fist strike to the groin, "rising elbow lock" and hammer fist strike in one movment etc etc.

I mean we all know the reasons why a block cant really be a block right?

Monday, 8 April 2013

Creating your own Poomsae?

Creating your own Poomsae? Many people would scuff at even the idea of creating your own
Defense against double wrist
grab followed by kick.
Poomsae. Our official Poomsae are sacred and holy. They are ancient forms developed over thousands of years through the history of the Korean people and they are perfect in themselves. Well that seems to be the general idea in Taekwondo, but the truth is that our Taegeuk Poomsae was introduced in the early 70s and our Black belt Poomsae was started in development in 1965 byt the KTA (Korean Taekwondo Association).

I love our Poomsae do not get me wrong, but I also think that creating your own Poomsae might help you and your understanding of the official Poomsae that we allready have. I have created several Poomsae over the years, but I have also discarded them after a while and I have never taught them to anyone else. My creative poomsae are mine and mine alone and I have only done them to help me understand what we allready have, not looking to outdo the KTA masters.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Traditional Taekwondo Training Equipment

Today one of Taekwondo`s strong points as a leisure activity is that there is no training equipment that is really needed and training space is also not that big of a consern. Likewise you really do not need any special training uniform to do Taekwondo, all you need is a somewhat flat training space (a couple of square meters is enough) and the will to train.

You can train attributes for Taekwondo like strenght in just about all of the body, or maybe basic techniques, or forms or shadow boxing not even needing a partner to train with. Today numerous Dojang that operates
out of school gyms (very common in my country) or other such places does not have or make use of any training equipment what so ever. Not even matts (wich makes the training of Nak Bup/breask falling difficult). That being said traditional Taekwondo did make use of a lot of training equipment most practisioners has probably never even heard of today.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Kihap in Poomsae

I have written a little about Kihap before on this blog, but something that happened last training session really made me want to write a little about Kihap in Poomsae. You see what happened was that we were doing Poomsae training (the excecution of Poomsae) and everything was going great. People really got what I was trying to say about true power comes from relaxation and not through muscling through each technique (wow that should definitly be a seperate blog post in the future!!). The students were doing the Poomsae on my count with me watching them, again after I gave some instruction on things to look out for with me doing the Poomsae with them, and then once again without counting at all.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Korean terms for "lost concepts" Part Three

Image source:
Taekwondo; Secrets
of Korean Karate
This post will look further down the list for lost concepts as listed in the excellent article series "The Okinawan Elephant in the room" (part 4a) by Ciarân McDonald. If you have not done so allready, I will advise that you start at part one and work your way through the series in the order they were published. This is the last part and I will look at the last two concepts that the author of The Okinawan Elephant in the room" gave in his article series part 4a.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Korean terms for "lost concepts" Part Two

Image source:
Taekwondo; Secrets
of Korean Karate
This post will look further down the list for lost concepts as listed in the excellent article series "The Okinawan Elephant in the room" (part 4a) by Ciarân McDonald. If you have not done so allready, I will advise you to read the first part of this series:-)  As researching of forms has not been emphasised in the Korean Martial Arts (I think that was an understatement) we have no terminology to help us in that department. The Japanese Martial Arts comunity on the other hand has been researching their forms more or less since the start (allthough the applications has historically since the 1920s onwards been of the simple kick, block punch kind) and has therefore developed a terminology for use in that field. This series is my attempt to introduce these concepts and to give them Korean terms so that Taekwondoin can if they feel like it reintroduce them into their training/ teaching.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Korean terms for "lost concepts" Part One

Gichin Funaksohi
In the latest issue of Totally Taekwondo Magazine (one of the best Taekwondo Magazines in the whole universe in my own humble opinion) there has been one "series" of articles that I have enjoyed a lot. It is called "The Okinawan Elephant in the room" and as the title suggests it is a series examining the relevance of Karate Kata to our Taekwondo Patterns (well the Chang Hon ones anyway). At the end of Part 4 in the latest issue in that magazine everyone should read:p there was an interesting part:

"Lost concepts - Knowledge of the concepts that were essential study in ancient Kung-Fu and Toudi is vital when attempting to understand the Kata/ Tul (Poomsae). Though many of these concepts have all but disappeared from modern Karate and Taekwon-Do there are at least Japanese names for these concepts; even if their translations never made it into Taekwon-Do." - Ciarân McDonald

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Taekwondo in the Olympics, What good did it bring?

I rutinely see, hear and read about Taekwondo in the Olympics and all the bad things it brought forth and how it has wrecked Taekwondos reputation etc. I have my self written a little about how I see that the focus on sport has watered Taekwondo down (let us not make believe anything else) from a once respected Martial ART to a ridiculed Martial Sport, but I would also be in the wrong not to tell you about some of the good things it has brought that you might not normally hear about or even realise:-) Now this is just me rambling on, you will not see any concrete evidence to support this, as it is my own impression through my training, travels and experiences.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

"Makki"; Does It Actually Mean "Block"?

Makki (막기) is often translated as "Block" in most Taekwondo Textbooks but if you care so much about Taekwondo that you actually look it up in a dictionary you will find that it can be "prevent" or
"avoid" not a single "block" in sight... The word Makki is a conjugated word from the word "Makda". If you look up the unconjugated verb "Makda" (막다) you get all sorts of meanings:
  • Obstruct
  • Block
  • Occlude
  • Jam
  • Prevent
  • Keep off
  • Ward off
  • etc

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

"Basic Applications" to Taekwondo Forms

I rutinely search google and youtube for "Taekwondo Poomsae Application", "Taekwondo Forms Application" etc to see if I can get some new ideas. Well more often than not the only thing I get from Google is my own stuff on this blog (so please if you are into researching your Taekwondo forms dont be shy, share with the world:-) ) and there is little activity on youtube as well. The little Taekwondo applications you will find there is most often of ITF/Chang Hon Ryu Taekwondo and not the Kukkiwon Taekwondo that I am researching. I was therefore pleasently suprised when I came over a new clip (one day old at the time of writing) that promised practical applications to Taekwondo forms (Kukkiwon forms).

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Does Taekwondo Teach Elbow Strikes and Knee Strikes?

Image source:
Taekwondo; Secrets of Korean Karate
Published in 1968
This is one question I often hear or read. Many a prospective student of the Martial Arts ask these questions since arts like Muy Thai and MMA often display these techniques in a devestating way. The other day at work I overheard a few customers in their late teens discussing wich Martial Art they should start to practise. Taekwondo was one of the first arts that was proposed but it was quickly turned down by the fact that it is only leg fencing and it does not contain any close range weapons like knees and elbow strikes.

The guy who came out with this fact? 2nd Dan hoder of ITF Taekwondo! I did not step in or say anything since it would be out of my place to do so, but I could not help but wonder what kind of Dojang he belonged to.. I have no expertise in the subject of ITF Taekwondo as I have never formally trained in it, but I did believe the organisation was somewhat better to keep the "Martial Ways" of old than the Kukkiwon wich has been so dominated by the WTF (a pure sporting organisation).

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Kihap and Chumbi Seogi in Matchoe Kyorugi

In my last two posts I wrote a little more indepth about"Chumbi Seogi" and "Kihap" as well as their role in Taekwondo. This time I wanted to shed some light over the role of Chumbi Seogi and Kihap in Matchoe Kyorugi (in our Dojang at least).

When you do one, two, three step sparring you do a lot of Kihap, as well as Chumbi Seogi. Even though it is considered an external hard excercise it does contain a lot of inner soft training as well. The Kihap and Chumbi Seogi as Ki excersises have been dealt with (albeit shortly) in my last two previous posts so I will not repeat myself to much in this one as both Kihap and Chumbi Seogi does have a few extra roles in Matchoe Kyorugi.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Kihap, "Taekwondo`s spirited shout"

Beginner students are the best! They ask great questions and sometimes I find myself learning more about Taekwondo teaching it than studying it. Last week I was asked about information on the "Kihap" that we frequently do during training. Apparently he had googled "Kihap" to learn more about the subject but google had turned out to be very silent about the matter for some reason. There were a few simple wiki answers and yahoo answers and an occasional thread on a discussion forum but there was very little indepth writing about Kihap, its place in Taekwondo etc. This topic fits in nicely here on the blog as last post I discussed Chumbi Seogi as a Kigong (excercise to practise Ki).

Thursday, 10 January 2013

A Discussion on "Chumbi Seogi/Ready Stance"

As an instructor I usually teach beginners first the "attention stance" or "Charyot Seogi", then the bow, followed by "Chumbi Seogi" (ready stance) followed by Juchum Seogi (horse stance) and low block (Arae Makki). Other teachers teach in a different order, but I feel this order shows of much of Traditional Taekwondo Philosophy. But I am digressing (allready!) and to get us back on track; the point is that Chumbi Seogi or ready stance is one of the first things beginners learn in Traditional Taekwondo Dojang no matter wich "style" of Taekwondo you belong to. The instruction varies from "Copy my movement and look serious" instruction, to a more detailed one where the instructors shows the student all the movement details (how wide the stance is, where the toes point, the weight ratio of each leg, etc etc) and if he is lucky (the student that is) he is also taught to breathe along the movements. Unfortunatly this is where it starts and stops for most Taekwondoin, they perfect the movement but it is somehow "shallow" and it is only done because of "Tradition". Note this article discusses "Gibon Chumbi Seogi" from now on refered to as Chumbi Seogi. Below you will see a clip from how Kukkiwon wanted it performed in 1995. Today the hands are opened completly and then made into fists as they come to the solar plexus. 97% the same as this clip demonstrates:-) Look at 0:11 seconds into the clip.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

2012 retrospect plus what would you like to read in 2013?

Happy new year everyone. I trust you all had a nice celebration and that we are all happy that the world did not end just before Christmas??:-)

Before I start looking back at 2012 I think it is prudent to look forward and ask: What would you like to read about in 2013? Is there anything you think would make a great blog post theme? Would you like more "how to?" posts? more history? more Kyorugi? more applications from the forms? Or something completly else like philosophy? Ki? Taegeuk? Meditation? If you are following my blog and you have an opionion or ideas please submit a comment:-) (You do not have to give any names if you do not want to)

The new year is finally upon us and I thought it would be great to just write a little about how the blog did in 2012.