Saturday, 15 February 2014

Micro Post; This months quote

I really enjoy making "This months quote" posts. I get to sift through a lot of interesting material and then choose one quote to share with the world. In the first "This months quote" post I wrote last year I wrote that I would chose Martial Arts related quotes and that some would be funny, some would be serious and some would make you think. I chose the following quote for 2 reasons:
  1. I get brilliant comments on this blog (both questions, discussions and further Insights to what I have written) and often they are just as good as the post itself. I relly want to highlight this fact by chosing a quote from the blog. (Sorry Richard this time it is not you, but to all the readers out there if you see a comment from Richard please make sure to read it as they contain a wealth of knowledge and additional Insights from an experienced and knowledgeable martial artist).
  2. Taekwondo history is very controversial because people like to believe in the 2000 years myth, and focus exclusivly on the Korean roots of Taekwondo. While the Korean side to Taekwondo is not to be ignored this view on Taekwondo history (ignoring all the other factors involved in the development of Taekwondo) can be likened to a guy researching his family history solely on his father side and ignoring what happened on his mothers side of the family tree. Obviously you are the sum of both sides just like Taekwondo is the sum of several different sources. The quote sums up a very healthy attitude on Taekwondo history that I think all should endevour to follow

So With that lengthy introduction (this is almost starting to become something else than a micro post) here is the quote itself:

"I'm convinced about the karate roots of taekwondo
(I know there is some chuan fa influence, too, although it is not explicit in KKW forms),
and I just won't deny them --
instead I will dig them up and try to use them in favour of our art"
- Samir Berardo


  1. hello
    i must say it is tough to lose a contest that you didn't even know that you were in! must feel like the Oscars when your starring movie was a bomb. thanks for the compliment anyway.

    with respect to Samir's quote: of course i have to agree. i have spent most of my martial art life delving into other arts and seeing how they all connect. the entrances sometimes are different, the emphasis can change, the philosophical outlook can even be radically different, but, in the end they all revert to a "final common pathway". that is why in my last submission to TTKD i refer to "stylistic purity" as pretty much a load of bunk.
    there is a lot of talent in the world and too many people are unwilling to look at it.

    1. Samir said it but it could just as well be you:p I think Samir said in those few lines what I have been saying in blog post after blog post:p And the compliment I gave you was well deserved. I do not get too many comments on this blog, but those who do take their time to comment often end up furthering the discussion or give additional Insights and this is extremly appreciated by me (and probably the other Readers as well:-) )

      Stylistic purity is nonsense, but a different flavour is expected. After all if the Martial Arts have their basis in effective self defense (or fighting which is another skill set) the most practical Application of the different arts will look remarkably similar.

      Your last line in Your comment is a real contender to the "this months quote" post in the future;)

    2. My friend is a Norther Praying Mantis practitioner and he likes to say that his style likes to attack people from the side using short strong punches from the hip, kicks to the lower extremities while ensuring that joint locks are used to keep the opponent from being able to fight back. To put it rather simply, one could assume that this would be the purest form of his style as he puts it.

      There is a Ho Sin Sul Application ("Number 10" in my 2 past schools) which involves:
      - Stepping to the outside of the opponents punch whilst using a push block to parry throwing the opponent off balance
      - double punch to the ribs
      - roundhouse to the stomach (person is supposed bend over grabbing stomach in pain)
      - inside to outside axe kick to the back of the head (this is done to come from behind the body to the back of the head because you are in close proximity and it is probably safer than the front)
      - side kick to the side of the knee (person falls down in pain)
      - jumping stomp side kick to the throat (assuming person is on ground at this point)

      Despite the apparent lack of joint manipulation and the axe kick, the act of parrying an attack to get to the outside and throw the opponent off balance cutting off his attack and striking vital lower areas fits the style of Northern Praying Mantis that my friend insists is in its purest form. In fact, most of the attacks he teaches me are from the front to the side and are a parry, eventually leading to a joint manipulation and finisher but one can see quite plainly that the above routine taught to me 22 year ago has all the same aspects and more. I could argue that it starts at "fighting distance" and ends in a "self defense distance" and even add joint manpulation and arm pulling/switching at the punch areas to allow me to kick the stomach more easily or even break the knee.

      There is no pure style, people borrow what works and play politics. It is argued that Funakoshi didn't want to step on Kano's toes so he deemphasized a lot of the grappling aspects of the Karate style he taught. I believe I read that Funakoshi used to engage in Okinawan grappling against multiple opponents in order to learn how to get off his rear when in a fight.

      There is also a good video showing "Koryo Grappling" on youtube. The gentleman isn't the best on camera presenter, but when you look at Koryo lying on your back and you take the movements he has surmised you can use the first part similarly to an "Uppa Escape" in BJJ. Taking my own twist on it and using what I learned in BJJ class you can use all the moves in a self defense way.

      - The Koryo Joonbi can be used to loosen the grip on your throat
      - The Doo Sonal Makki can be used to lock onto the arms, break the opponents posture down and bring them into your chest
      - The Dwi Koobi can be used to wrap around your opponents legs locking them into a position where they cannot block the sweep.
      - The 2 side kicks can be used to a) bridge up b) kick over landing in a full guard postion
      - Assuming the opponent has full guard you can use the knife chop action to stick your hand into your back between his locked ankles
      - The punch could be used to nail him in the testicles
      - Assuming the 2 previous steps caused enough pain :) then use the Momtong Makki to list and push their legs to the side freeing you.

      That sounds like some "pure TKD style". :)

  2. I understand, though disagree, with the notion of the 2000 year myth. In general it is apparent spin doctoring of facts to push an agenda, in this case TKD's identity, IMO. There is a reason why Taekkyon is on UNESCO's ICHL list (IMO, Ssireum should be as well) and not TKD and that is because TKD is probably a 100 years old, give or take a decade or 3.

    As a person of Greek decent, I see my culture "misused and misunderstood" a lot in the media for peoples agendas. In terms of Martial Arts, I found it odd that no one ever told me we had an "All Powers" Martial Art or Pankration until I was about 8 years of age and even then I never knew what it really was until I started watching MMA. All I knew is that we had boxing and wrestling. And even then when I look up the histories of those sports, I find that they are Martial Arts and pieces of a greater Art. Once I put aside my pride (ignorance) of "we invented everything in the world" I found joy in discovering the Hieroglyphs of the Beni Hassan in Egypt which depicts the Top and Ground game or a "complete" form of grappling. I wonder who the Greeks could have learned something from (assuming Egyptian kingdoms come before Greek ones based on history lessons :D )? I also don't see Jiu-Jitsu, especially BJJ, in the same historical light anymore considering the content of those Glyphs.

    Mr. Berardo's comment is one that I wish most TKD practitioners (people in general) would embrace. I find it more beneficial to realize that the human body moves in similar ways and that humans can look past boundaries and share and influence each other. We would be blind not to see the same moves (espcially in the Palgwe and Black Belt forms) in TKD patterns in our Karate Counterparts. It would be foolish (I believe I read it in one of your old 2011/2012 blogs) about "Dan Jun" breathing exercises not being equivalent to the Chinese "Dan Tien" excercises. It would be hard not to find information to say that "Gwonbeop" is the Korean rendering of the Chinese "Chuan Fa" (wikipedia states upfront).

    Ignorance makes me rant.

    Keep up the blogging!

    - Starfish

    PS: I recently read/watched/reviewed the "Old Koryo" Book/DVD from GM Chun and Master Cook. Have you seen/read it yet? Also, I read your review on Taegeuk (Korean for "Tai Chi" I believe) Cipher and am hoping to purchase. Thanks for covering it!

    1. My computer is acting up so I have to answer you when I get Access to a different one, but thank you so much for commenting Starfish:-) I will keep on blogging:-)

  3. I just recently ran across your blog, and love how active and descriptive you are with each post. I really believe in Taekwondo, and if you train correct for it, it also helps you avoid being bullied and builds a lot of confidence! I just wrote a blog myself, and would love for you and fellow Taekwondo members to check it out and let me know if it was educational!

    I've linked the page onto my name as I'm not sure if I was able to post a link in the comment. Thanks for your time, and hope you can check it out! Thanks Nilsen!