"Taekwondo does not have any grappling", "Taekwondo does not have throws/trips/take downs" etc? If you are not one of those who say and write it I can guarantee that you have been reading all about it for several years. Not to mention the "fact" that "those who practise grappling/throws/trips etc in Taekwondo these days only do so as a direct influence of the UFC and MMA". I have repeatedly stated that Taekwondo can be (and still is some places) practised as a martial art first and a sport second (while the general mainstream seems to be all about sport). For those who do practise Taekwondo as an holistic martial art throws, trips, pressure against joints etc have allways been part of the studdies. Its not Hapkido/Judo/Aikido in Taekwondo it is simply "Taekwondo Taekwondo":-)
I for one have grown tired of seeing my beloved art being "dumbed down" and "simplified" into a pure kick block punch system or even worse; a kick and dodge system as it is often seen. I have also had my share of people asking me if I can show them the 720 degrees jump spinning kick that "everyone who practise Taekwondo can do". Taekwondo today is often practised as a childrens martial sport instead of a grown ups self defense/ personal development martial art that it used to be. Can it be enjoyed as a childrens sport and as a grown up version and can they co-exist? Yeah of course they can. Its just that most of the money lies within teaching the childrens martial arts instead of the grown up version or even worse, the childrens martial art disguised as the grown up version. The lack of knowledge by instructors who starts to teach too soon without a solid understanding of the art, or who stikes out on their own without anyone to guide them (a teacher, master, grandmaster, anything) must also take their blame in this. Or even instructors knowing full well that throws are part of the system but dont teach it because they dont know them themselves and fail to take action to learn them.
So did Taekwondo contain throws before 1990s when the MMA and UFC craze began? Yes Taekwondo did contain them and here is proof from way back in 1965 when the MMA and UFC was not even thought of yet:
As you can see above the quote and pictures are from Choi Hong Hi`s 1965 book on "Tae Kwon Do". This predates the Kukkiwon, WTF and the ITF. At that time Taekwondo was simply Taekwondo and eventhough it does contain the "Chang Hon Hyung" (Choi`s forms) it also contains the Karate Kata that was widely practised at the time, making this a functional textbook for all KMA stylists of the era. I especially like the beginning of the quote where he says falling techniques are more important than the throws because that is so true on so many levels. Most of us will luckily never have to use what we study for self defense, but most of us will at some point in our lives fall, and breakfalling techniques will save you. It has saved me twice allready in my life and I am still "young". Also if you practise a martial system that makes use of high kicks you will also fall down sooner or later because of a mistake in timing or that you are swept down by the opponent. And then there is the safety issue, you can not practise throws if you can not fall correctly making falling techniques more fundemental than the actual throws.
So this is 1965 but what about other Kwan (plural)? Do we have earlier sources that demonstates throws and trips etc? How about a picture from Hwang Kee`s textbook from 1958?
Note that I am not saying that Taekwondo had a well defined grappling syllabus that could compete with Judo or any other dedicated grappling arts, but I do say (and so does the sources) that simple trips, throws and take downs along with break falling techniques were and still is a part of the overall system. If you are practising throws as part of your training you are not doing "not Taekwondo" but in fact you are indeed doing "Taekwondo Taekwondo", and if you are not practising throws as part of your overall art I just got to ask you: "Why not?"
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