Thursday, 26 November 2015

10 Steps to bring back Taekwondo as a MARTIAL art!

The development of Taekwondo the last 20 years or so has been going steadily toward more or less
Image Source:
Son Duk Sung
complete sportification of a once feared martial art. Today the dominant view of the public, and other martial artists from outside is that Taekwondo is not an effective art for self defense, nor is it particular effective in combat outside the very specific Olympic sparring paradigm on one hand and the ITF point sparring on the other. The question then is: "Is it possible for the current generation of Taekwondo students who only learned the sportive version of Taekwondo to redefine itself as a martial art once again? I believe the answer to that question is "Yes" and I will try to tell you how one approach can do this. The approach I am thinking about does not align with what I call "My Taekwondo" but I think it is a great leap in the right direction and especially for "normal" Taekwondo students.

The following steps are just laid out this way for the sake of convinience. Do not take the steps literally. You can apply all or any one of them if you so whish.

Step 1: Rid yourself and/ or your Dojang of sport mentality. Or at least dont be dominated by it.

The current publications being produced by the Kukkiwon or endorsed by the Kukkiwon are all heavily dominated by sport mentality. What I mean by this is especially apparant in the works on Poomsae. Ask anyone what the "traditional component" of Taekwondo is and the answer is likely its forms. The latest publications from around 2006 onwards have all more or less completely ditched absolutely all applications of the movements, and more importantly their only reasoning when explaining the way to perform Poomsae is to do it any other way than the way described here will result in deducted points (in competition).

Now for the people out there serious into Poomsae as a performance sport there is no problem with this approach, BUT for 95% of the students of Taekwondo who have no interest in sport but wants to practise a martial art this sport only reasoning is, in lack of a better term "dumbing" down Poomsae. As an example of this I once attended a Poomsae seminar. The teacher of this seminar had the performance of Poomsae down to a T. It was beautifull to watch, and he knew the exact way to perform each and every technique in each and every Poomsae. The thing was though that the students who attended the seminar had learned their Poomsae in a slightly different way so they kept asking him questions as to why the movement standard had changed (as it had changed in their point of view). The teacher consistenly brushed all questions off as "if you do it any other way you will get deducted for points". He was successfull in this until the Bittero sonnal bakkat makki (Twisting knife hand outward Block) found in Taegeuk Yuk Jang. Here there was a red belt that was corrected because he had his elbow of his blocking hand sticking very much out to one side instead of pointing down toward the ground as it is "supposed" to be. When corrected the student asked why it should be done this way, and the teacher answered with the deductive points reasoning. This was not a satisfactory answer to the red belt who did not have any interest in competition so he pressed the matter further. The teacher was unable to come with a satisfactory answer so it evolved into a discussion between everyone on the seminar.

What I noticed was that eventhough there were many high ranking people there, and that the teacher himself being highly ranked no one could agree on it so I stepped forward and explained the bio-mechanical reason being that turning the elbow outward made you lose the involvement of the large body muscles on the side of the upperbody and gave a much poorer aligment of the body. I also explained how used as a deflection lifting the elbow outwards made the block cover a lot less of your
Basic Application of an inward block
body than having the elbow pointed down. These are combative sound principles that should be obvious to anyone practising Taekwondo as a martial art, but because of the dominant sportive mentality the participants were pretty much oblivious to it. And all this is not even touching on "alternative applications". This was just one example, but a whole new generation of people are learning Poomsae movements with a "Do it like this or you get deducted points in competition" mentality.

Another way sportive mentality has broken Taekwondo is when it comes to free sparring. In the old days low kicks, punches to the head and grabbing + sweeps were the norm not the exception. I asked my teacher again about this fact a few weeks ago when I attended an instructors course held by the Traditional Taekwondo Union. He confirmed all of this. I can undestand why we dont do face punching but if I had my own Dojang I would throw Olympic sparring out and never let it back in! Poomsae movements are based on what you do in an emergency so there will never be a true complete overlap between sparring and Poomsae but there will be a lot more overlap between them if you started using hand techniques, simple kicks and grabs again. Simple changes that anyone can do but few dare to for some reason. The dominance of sport mentality in Taekwondo is one of its main problems today in my own opinion, and it needs to change soon because when or if we loose the Olympic sport status (which might happen very soon) those who have practised Taekwondo as a martial art will still have its martial art, but those who have only Olympic aspirations will have nothing.

Step 2: Include the training methods included in the old Kwan (plural)

When we want to get back to martial art Taekwondo and we want it to be respected once again we should look back on the Taekwondo that was practised at the time Taekwondo was a respected martial art. This makes all the sense in the world to me, but few seems to be interested in it. If we get back to the subject of Poomsae we should all at the very least learn the hard style kick block punch applications that was ALLWAYS included in the older textbooks of Taekwondo. We might ridicule them today, but at least the students that were exposed to them had a starting point and knew how to use the most basic deflections, and strikes of Taekwondo. Today I often observe a total disconnect between "traditoinal basics" and the Olympic sparring basics. One is treated as outdated useless techniques and the other as highly refined competition techniques.

Strong traditional basics was one of the biggest strenghts of old style Taekwondo, but we need to understand them well if we are going to have strong basics once again. Look at the earlier example of the twisting outward knife hand block that perfectly illustrate this.

Another often used but by these days almost extinct training method (in the Kukki Taekwondo at least) is the formal sparring. I am here taking about 3, 2, and 1 step sparring. I have written a little about them before and many think that they are outdated and detrimental for the development of the practical minded martial artist. Personally I think that we should include them, but not be stuck in them. They are just a template for drilling. Great to introduce new concepts, or even starting to learn how to cope with another humanbeing standing in front of you. In short I would say that 3 step sparring drills how to receive an attack more so than how to counter. The counter is included at the end. The usable bit of 3 step sparring is the last bit, but you drill how "to get there" by including more steps. To include more steps you have to step backward. Stepping in any other direction you will find it akward to include more steps as the attacker would have to reorient himself to you for each step. 2 step sparring on the other hand is there to teach you how to shut down a combination to dominate an agressive opponent. 1 step sparring is there to drill how to receive and how to counter as well as how to enter your opponents space. In my org at least the 1 steps all move forward. The earliest ones on 45 degrees and the laster ones more and more straight forward. There are many faults with these drills and training methods when looked at in isolation but that can be said of anything we do in training. You wont hit anyone better by doing pushups alone, you wont be good at sparring by skipping rope, you wont be better at self defense by doing solo performance of a form yet all of these things are great to have in your training tool box. If your Dojang does not include formal sparring I urge you to reconsider their inclusion.

Step 3: Include basic grappling skills into Taekwondo

At the very least a Taekwondo student should master the following:
  1. How to break fall
  2. How to free himself from any grab
  3. rudimentary locks, throws and sweeps
All of this was widely taught in early Taekwondo. You can look at any of the old textbooks or even newer ones as both the 15 Encyclopedias of the ITF (volume 5) and the Kukkiwon Textbook BOTH demonstrates grappling etc. These days you are lucky if you learn how to free yourself from wrist grabs but this was not always the case. Step sparring is a great way to start including this stuff in your Taekwondo in a formalized safe way before introducing more live drills. I can not restate this enough, all 3 points in the list of what you should master in Takwondo was normal stuff to learn untill the sport focus became dominant the last 20 years. It was often covered by the Dojang`s Ho Sin Sul aspect of the syllabus. Ho Sin Sul being Self Defense.

Step 4: Include close range strikes into Taekwondo

By this I mean the things many now consider to be "not Taekwondo" but which again was common knowledge not that long ago. Knee strikes, elbow strikes, finger strikes, headbutts, strikes using the shoulder and hips to unbalance the opponent etc. These are all found within Poomsae and most likely they are in your step sparring if you do them. It should not matter where your opponent is in relation to you. If hes in kicking range you kick, punching range you punch, closer than punching range you knee strike, elbow or finger strike him (at a vital point) and set up a throw or sweep. If he grabs you,
you free yourself and keep on striking. I`m not saying to ditch the kicks of Taekwondo as they are the Korean Martial Arts Legacy, but we should not be so bound by them that once the opponent enters a closer range we are amiss as to what to do. We should be competent strikers for any range and our Taekwondo forebeares were just that. Their kicks might not be as pretty as ours, but they could effectivly strike from any range.

Step 5: Include vital point knowledge into Taekwondo

Rudementary vital point knowledge should be taught with the very first technique and be expanded upon thoughout the students studdies. A black belt should know how to aim his strikes to vital points on any part of the body (face, back of the head, stomach, leg, arm etc) while the masters should have "advanced" knowledge of how to manipulate the vital points. "Keupso" is Korean for vital point and in Taekwondo the knowledge of where to hit was common knowledge until the sport focus took over. A red belt should without trouble be able to list 30-40 places to direct his strikes toward. A black belt should with ease be able to list a couple of dozen more. This knowledge (how to manipulate the vital points through striking them) is known as "Tae Heol bop" in Korean. The other one which should be taught along appropriate techniques for grappling is "Ap Heol Bop" or manipulation of vital points through pressure or grasping. It requires strong fingers and accuracy but it can for those who are sensitive put them straight out of the fight alone or at the very least be helpfull when applying other techniques that require grabbing.

Example of Ap heol bup to release from grab:
You cant rely on it to work as well as here for self defense though. Some will be more sensitive than others. Other factors like clothing, drugs, alchohol etc must also be at the back of your mind. In the above video it works, but if it does not work at the very least it will give you some room to move about "down there" as there is a mechanical response of him moving his underbody away from me because of me pressing my thumbs into him. If it works as in the clip great, if not than at least you have secured yourself some room to apply something else.

Another example of where ap heol bop can be applied can be seen below:

You block, grab and punch to disrupt. The initial grab can be used to manipulate the vital points around the wrist. After the dirsuptive punch I grab his arm with my other arm. Here when I do it "harder" and not to make just a quick video reference like I do here I use ap heol bup to press into the vital points on his arm. On some opponents they drop down on their knees screaming from that alone pretty much making everything else that follows redundant and useless. On others I give them an unpleasent and painfull experience that makes the application of the following lock all the more easier.

Step 6: Include Dallyon as part of your training

Dallyon or forging was something seen as very important in the old Kwan (plural) and if you look to any old textbook odds are in the favour of you finding at least some reference to this kind of practise. Breaking is in part dallyon at least in old school Taekwondo. Another is the inclusion of the Dallyon Joo or Kwon Go which is perhaps better known as a Makkiwara in the west. References to weight training implements, striking boards/Makkiwara, gripping jars etc abound in the older writings on Taekwondo. Choi Hong Hi`s 1965 book and even his 15 volume Encyclopedia gives perhaps the most thorough introduction to them. He being the founder of Oh Do Kwan makes this important as it was a very influential Kwan in the beginning of Taekwondo. Shihak Henry Cho also makes references and demonstrates the striking board, weight training, speed ball and Heavy bag in his book: "Better Karate for Boys" so we have written testemony that these things were in use in Ji Do Kwan also (My teacher also has confirmed this to me several times). Son Duk Sung demonstrates both dumbells training and the striking post in his books which means that this was also included in Chung Do Kwan. In "A modern history of Taekwondo" by Kang and Lee we see in the history section of the Song Moo Kwan that the training consisted of roughly 1 hour of punching the makkiwara with at least 100 strikes and weight training before the actual training even began! Apart from this body conditioning excersises such as striking each other with blocks etc using forearm drills and others was also widely taught. All of this made for tough, strong Taekwondo people that were feared martial artists. Contrast this with how we often see black belts that are out of shape and overweight. I recognize that sometimes we are talking injuries or other health related problems to be the culprit in this, but for many pure lazyness and easy training is the true culprit. You would be hard pressed to find an out of shape Taekwondo black belt in the early days of Taekwondo but today they are all over the place.

Step 7: Introduce a "new" Dobok

This is actually related to several steps in this post. What I mean is that as late as the  1980s in Korea you could still find Dojang and Taekwondo students wearing what we today would call a "Karate gi" or Y-neck. These were essentually what those of traditional Karate styles today wear. They were a lot thicker than the modern V-neck and could therefore withstand grappling, break falling and self defense training. The modern V-neck was supposed to be a uniform strictly for competition not for training. But people being poor meant that they had only enough money to buy one uniform. So instead of buying one for training and one for sport competition they bought the one for sport competition. Soon the V-neck was the prefferred uniform in use. These days the man originally responsible for the V-neck regrets making it part of Taekwondo as it has in part influenced the training that can be done with it. Case in point: at a black belt seminar (actually this has happen many times while I have been present) there was a guy who had just bought a crisp new competition v-neck dobok that was great at what it was designed to be: An Olympic sparring uniform lightweight so it would not be as warm when competing. As part of our syllabus we have throws where we dump the opponent down on the floor. We often find ourselves without matts however so when drilling these we try to hold back so the opponent does not get hurt too much. In this guys case my teacher demonstrated, lifted him up using his own momentum against him and held back so he would get a softer landing. The result was that my teacher was standing holding to pieces of cloth one in each hand and the man who had just been demonstrated upon got a hard landing after all.

In TTU (Traditional Taekwondo Union) we have a thicker Dobok which is opened all the way down as a Y-Neck. This makes it possible to include all the aspect of traditional Taekwondo as a martial art and not just the modern components of Olympic sparring and performance sport poomsae. If you have any kind of "power" I urge you to introduce a thicker more durable Dobok in your Dojang. Dont get overboard though: The colour should be kept very simple and it should be as little writing as possible on them. I think many who have introduced Dobok often go overboard with the colour schemes making the martial artists look more like a circus act than actual martial artists. Again in the TTU we have a white uniform for white belt to 1st gup. A black jacket and white pants for 1-3 degree black belt. a White jacket and black pants for 4th degree to 7th degree black belt. And a white uniform again for 8-9th dan. My teacher is a 9th Dan and he simply wears a normal white uniform. Those who have read this thouroughly will notice how it all goes in a circle and ends up like it was in the beginning. This is OK. What I do have a problem with is when you have the right upper part of the uniform, and the left lower part of the uniform in blue, and the other side in red for instance. Or if it is chock full of patches patches and more patches. I swear some martial artists have more patches than a NASCAR driver.

Those were some of my personal opinions, but the factual need is for us to (re)introduce a Dobok that can stand up to traditional taekwondo training, and which should be so designed as to make us look the part we are seeking: As a Martial Artist and not a circus act.

Step 8: Throw away breaking for demonstration, bring back breaking for testing stopping-Power!

This one is something I have close to my heart. In the Kwan (plural) and in traditional Taekwondo breaking was seen as a way to test stopping power of your technique. Today especially in Korean demonstrations of Taekwondo the boards are laughable thin and there is so much cheating with the roofing tiles and slabs that their breaking demonstrations has been of no source of "awe" for me. Give me a solid simple front kick that can go through an untampered wooden board a couple of inches thich over a triple sommersault kick barely breaking a wooden paper board a fraction of a fraction of
Image Source:
Choi Hong Hi 1965
an inch thick any day. In Korea we did a demonstration and I did breaking with a reverse punch. I used 10 boards of the ones often used in Korean demonstrations together and broke them with one punch. That is stopping Power and something to demonstrate. The whole avenue was more excited for that one break than all the sommersaults and flipkicking breaks that was demonstrated later. It was the one thing people talked about afterwards.

Taekwondo techniques are very powerfull but we need to demonstrate this to ourselves, other martial artists and the general public and stop flipflopping through what is essentually a "thick" piece of paper! Stop doing the showcase movie breaks and bring back the simple powerfull power strikes that was once a feared and respected part of Taekwondo. And dont give me that "Boards dont hit back" comment. Of course they dont, but learning how to develop power and testing it on a stable motionless object is the first step before being able to apply that to a live moving target.

Step 9: Introduce the "real history" of Taekwondo

Taekwondo has a proud history in its own right. Im not talking about the 2000 years myth, but the recent repackeging and reformatting of Chinese Martial arts (Hwang Kee, Yoon Kwae Byung and Yoon Byung In), Shotokan Karate (Choi Hong Hi, Chun Sang Sup, Lee Won Kuk, Hwang Kee, Ro Byung Jik), Shudokan Karate (Yoon Byung In and Yoon Kwae Byung) and Shito Ryu Karate (Yoon Kwae Byung) as well as the indirect influence of Korean culture and cultural memory of Taekkyon (the focus on mobility and leg techniques). Once we embrace this "true" history of Taekwondo we can start looking at our roots for more insights to our current system. This has opened up so very much for me that I can not even start to begin to tell you. All of that knowledge would be out of my reach if I did not know where to look for it. Those who deny any ties to the root martial arts of Taekwondo also cut themselves off from all that knowledge. Accepting and embracing it would put an end to one thing that has made people from other martial arts make fun of us for so long. It is so apparant that we have a strong kinship to Karate that denying it is just sad.

Once it is accepted we can look at the writings of Kenwa Mabuni and Gichin Funakoshi to name a few who can teach modern Taekwondo students a whole lot about how Poomsae functioned in the root martial arts of Taekwondo, how to apply the basic traditional techniques and so much more.

Step 10: Seek what the founders taught and sought. Do not blindly follow their footsteps.

The Kwan founders (those who founded the different Kwan in 1944-1950s) taught a martial art. It was only later that these founders lost Power and a younger generation started developing it as a martial sport. They did a great job with this but they also lost a lot on their way to get there. We should study what the founders of our art wanted us to learn: An holistic martial art for Health benifits, physical education, moral culture and self defense. Sport might have been a part of that vision but only a tiny aspect of the whole. Today it is pretty much the dominant if not only factor within Taekwondo. We should never stop questioning what has been passed Down to us however as there are things that was taught in the old Kwan that would be bad for your health such as excessive "dallyon" for instance. We should seek what they sought, not blindly preserving but keep taekwondo alive and developing it further. But we need to know where we came from to understand where we are now and most importantly know and understand where we should go from here.

(Bonus Step 11: Share this post on facebook, twitter, etc)


  1. Just switch to ITF Taekwon-Do. Simple. Effective.

    1. Modern ITF taekwon-do is plagued by the same problems. Don't make this into a WTF vs itf discussion. Simply switching to ITF does not really solve anything.

    2. You should probably read this Jeroen:

    3. This doesn't need to be an ITF v WTF discussion. However I find that almost all the items you listed here are already embedded in out ITF grading syllabus or don't apply to most ITF. Power breaking is already a requirement for grading, and competition power breaking already exists to give this. All patterns are taught to give practical applications of techniques - and grading & competition scoring is based on this. We already allow head punching in sparring. We have self-defence in our gradin syllabus that includes releasing from grabs, sweaps, close range attacks, throwing and break falling as well as self-defence on the ground and low attacks. There is also a significant amount of theory and history to learn that is tested at gradings.

      You say not to say this is just about ITF v WTF - but you don't include any balanced information from an ITF perspective. Please update this blog to include the above components from the ITF perspective to make this a balanced article for all Taekwon-Do for this to be meaningful.

    4. I'm happy to hear that your subjective experience of ITF taekwon-do is good and that this article is not relevant to you and your group. My subjective experience with both ITF and Kukki Taekwondo suggest that in both camps there are dojang that would benifit from reading this article. The article has received praise from both Kukki tkd exponents and ITF exponents alike. I will therefore not update it further.

  2. Many years ago (about 30) I was in Tae Kwon Do. Even back then we didn't learn Ho Sin Sul, grappling and throws, formalized one step sparring. I don't think they even knew what a Makiwara was. Sparring did not allow strikes to the head (considered too easy and not honorable). I saw sparring matches where people stood toe-to-toe, eyeball-to-eyeball and didn't know what to do because they couldn't go "head hunting". I watched one tournament where the "winner" had a swollen face from where the non-TKD trained folks punched him in the head and were disqualified for same. He didn't even try to block the techniques. He's get killed on the street in a New York second. And this instruction was under a world recognized 8th Dan.
    Fortunately for me, I had previous training in a very traditional minded Okinawan school but it was also the root of many issues I had in TKD. Sounds like things haven't changed much in the past 3 decades.
    How I long for the days when people valued the Martial side of the Martial Arts, when they realized that performing and understanding Forms is invaluable in training and that there may be times where you have to "Bring the rain, the thunder and the lightning" - too few Paper Dragons clutching their participation trophies out there!
    I'm 62 years old and the aging process has not been kind. I'm not a great martial artist by any stretch of the imagination but I do believe that, should I have to defend myself, I might not win but at least my opponent would know I was there.

    1. Just wanted to say "thanks" for your articles. They are insightful and well thought out. I might not always agree with what you are saying (heck, I argue with myself some days) but I am glad you are out there making people think. Keep speaking out - you might be surprised at how many are listening.

  3. Hi Roger and thanks for taking the time to share your experiences :-)

    "Many years ago (about 30) I was in Tae Kwon Do. Even back then we didn't learn Ho Sin Sul, grappling and throws, formalized one step sparring. I don't think they even knew what a Makiwara was. Sparring did not allow strikes to the head (considered too easy and not honorable). "

    About 30 years ago that would be in the mid 80s. When I talk about my old teacher referencing the older way of free sparring I should have added that this was early 60s to 70s in South Korea. I am aware that Kim who ran the WTF changed the rules during the 70s and removed head punching as an important step to spread Taekwondo and make it into a popular sport. The references to Makkiwara and other training implements was almost all from the early days of Taekwondo until early 70s (Sihak Henry Cho`s book better karate for boys was published around 1971 if I am not mistaken). Despite the fact that Choi Hong Hi documented the different training implements all the way through his publication of the 15 volume Encyclopedias they are not widely in use in ITF today. The throws, locks and sweeps in the Encyclopedia does not seem to be widely taught either (this is my subjective opinion based on correspondance with many "ITF" People).

    As for the set sparring, ho sin sul etc it has allways been taught by my teachers (everyone of them) and most of the current drills we have today in the TTU actually date back to the Ji Do Kwan (so one unbroken line from the Ji Do Kwan until today). I know GM Richard Chun also taught this based on his books and correspondance with two of his students (Richard and Doug Cook).

    Perhaps the sportification started earlier than I thought? Perhaps when you started in 1985ish Taekwondo was allready well on its way to becomming sportified?

    "Just wanted to say "thanks" for your articles. They are insightful and well thought out. I might not always agree with what you are saying (heck, I argue with myself some days) but I am glad you are out there making people think. Keep speaking out - you might be surprised at how many are listening"

    Thanks for those kind words:-) I am allways suprised to meet people at seminars and such who say they enjoy the blog. I get easily embarrassed by it but I do like it. Makes me feel like a Movie star :-P I am amazed at how many who read it though. I can see it in "blogger statistics" but until I get comments on the blog, discussion forums or people I meet, the statistics are just numbers.

    This post has been incredibly popular though. In a normal day (24 hours) I have maybe 150-200 people reading the blog divided throughout the everything I have written (which now is nearing 250 blog posts). This blog post has in a very few days been read 1 200 times which is just plain awsome for me :-) The topic is Close to my heart and obviously many people have felt the same and shared it on facebook (as step 11 suggested). I hope people continue to share it as it is one of my favorite posts of 2015.

  4. Hi Orjan from Australia,

    I added a comments on a previous blog but thought I might add to this discussion.
    I Have been following your blog for a while now and find it extremely informative.
    Thankyou for showing Taekwondo in the light of what it was intended to be and within the true sprit of Taekwondo and Budo.

    The question I had, and I notice you have mentioned it in step 3, is on break falling,
    (I think in know the answer already already). I would like to know your thoughts on break falling. I have the 2007 Kukkiwon text book and there is no mention of it at all. I also have read some of the texts you have recommended on your blog and find no mention of it in them either. I wonder if Gichin Funakoshi taught break falling. I wonder how can break falling be omitted from discussion when locking, pinning, throwing and takedowns are involved . My teacher would teach a very limited type of break falling, but I have found in my studies of Ju Jitsu and Aikido their break falling is quite more advanced. In Aikido, ukemi role is just as important as Tori role . They place a heavy emphasis on it from the beginning. Learning to receive techniques is equally as import. This seems non existent in Taekwondo and Karate. I recently opened my own school after 15 years of study in Taekwondo and Ju Jitsu and now in my 3rd year of Aikido studies and I teach my students early on how to break fall and roll, from my kids to my adults. I recently had a 4th Dan student from Korea come and train and she said this is not taekwondo. We chatted about Taekwondo in Korea and found the Taekwondo she studies to be worlds apart from the Taekwondo I know and teach. I showed her the Kukkiwon text book and she did not even know it existed. She attributes break falling and rolling to Judo. Why do you think there is not a big emphasis on this when discussing basics and why the ukemi role is not emphasised or is it never mentioned?
    Look forward to hearing from you

    yours in Budo

    1. I think I answered this in Your other comment, but in short: I believe break falling is a Natural thing to teach when you teach throws and sweeps. I do however think it is often easy to forget about it when writing or going over grappling material very fast. It is also easy to forget about it and take it for granted if you are used to the audience/students have a background (allthough perhaps only a Limited one) from a grappling oriented art.

      As the sportification has happened to both ITF and Kukkiwon (as in self defense and grappling has been deemphisised) it is only Natural that the break falling has fallen into the wayside along with the throws etc. I do think it is an important element and I do also believe that it was widely taught in the beginning of Taekwondo. I know they are included in the writings of Richard Chun, and I am 99% certain they are documented within the 15 Encyclopedias but you are right in that more often than not you will not find much on them in Taekwondo writings.

  5. Thanks you very much for sharing these links. Will definitely check this out..