Sunday, 12 December 2021

Short discussion on the learning of Poomsae

I have thought about this on and off for a very long time now. Actually I started thinking about this at the very beginning of when it dawned on me how Poomsae contained so much more than block kick punch methods of how to deal with combat. I quickly realized that the most logical way of training and teaching Poomsae was with application being taught first or at least along side the form move for move. This was later "confirmed" or at least some Karate researchers agreed with me (Patrick Mcarthy for instance) that Kata was taught after the applications had been mastered, as a way to remember them and as a solo excersise format. I have sometimes thought that if I ever get to "master level" (that would be 4th Dan in my org) I should start my own Dojang or perhaps take much more responsibility in the one I currently train and study in, and one thing I was wondering was if I should revamp the way we teach Poomsae. I have shared the way I view Taegeuk Il Jang quite extensively so my future students could in theory learn at least one "good" application for each move in the Poomsae with partner drills and live testing of some if not all applications very soon after they started training.

Thursday, 4 March 2021

[Norwegian lang] Live stream Taekwondo History Part 2: Founding of Kwan & modern development of TKD

Here in Norwegian language I pick up from last time starting with the founding of the different major Kwan (schools) in the 1940s and 50s and then go on to tak about the development of modern Taekwondo, the Korean Tang Soo Do, Taekwondo, Tae Soo Do and back to Taekwondo  Association, it’s counterpart The Korean Soo Bahk Do Association, the development of Korean forms Hyung, Tul, Poomsae, the development of modern competition sparring and kicking techniques and then I show examples of stuff we train today in our syllabus in traditional Taekwondo Union from older Korean martial arts manuals and Karate manuals. 

I am thinking of doing this again it in English as there has been some interest in this material :-)

Saturday, 13 February 2021

[Norwegian language] Live Stream Taekwondo history part 1

I just got ordered to stay relaxed and not train for one week. I already has planned the regular training session I run every Friday so I simply changed it to a theory lesson on Taekwondo history. It’s all in Norwegian so if you know Norwegian Swedish or danish you’ll be OK :-) If not let me know if you want me to do it in English in the future. 

This talk covers military and civilian classical martial arts, the development and rise of modern Mudo/Budo, the formation of karate styles and their founders as relevant for Taekwondo history, Koreans in Japan, Koreans in China, development and founding of the Kwan (plural). I have A LOT more material so I’ll have to do a follow up with the rest (1950s to present day). 

Sunday, 7 February 2021

Chulgi Chudan Hyung, essential learning for traditional minded Taekwondo students

I just did a “webinar” where I did a complete tutorial on Chulgi Chudan Hyung. In my opinion if you ever only learn one form outside of your curriculum you should really consider making that one form this one. It served for 100s of years as the foundation form for the root arts of Taekwondo all the way back to the time of “Tode” Sakugawa. 

It is also known as Kima and Naebojin Hyung in Korea or Naihanchi/Naifanchin and Tekki in Karate styles. 

In the webinar we go through opening and closing meditation, some sparring footwork and dynamic stretching and some kicking (there are no high kicks in Chulgi Chudan Hyung so I did include them in the training session so we got a complete Taekwondo training) and then most of the session focuses on learning the form itself. The emphasis is on the solo performance as I’m alone but I do talk a little bit on the practical applications of the form too. 

I hope you like it, and if you have something else you’d like me to do in the future please leave a comment or PM me :-)

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Online workshop English language 02 Feb anouncement


On February 2nd 2021 I’ll do a live class/Workshop focusing on teaching Chulgi Chudan Hyung. This form is also known in Korea as Kima and Naebojin too. In Okinawa styles it’s known as Naihanchi or Naifanchin, and in Shotokan it is called Tekki. 

Before the 1900s with the introduction of the 5 Pyungahn/Pinan/Heian forms, Chulgi Chudan Hyung was often the first (and only) form taught in Taekwondo’s root arts. Many early masters emphasised its importance both in training and in application. The workshop will obviously focus on the solo performance of the form. 

It is being held through Facebook live so go to my blogs Facebook page for more details 👍🏻 hope to see you there ;-)

Sunday, 6 December 2020

Another live training session :-)

I just published my second live training session on YouTube:-) This time I did:

- Opening meditation 

- Olympic sparring footwork

- Dynamic stretching exercises 

- Kicking (front, round, side)

- Basic Hand techniques in Horse stance

- Taebaek Poomsae in depth

- Taegeuk 5-8

- 2 step sparring 1-5 as practised in the TTU

- Stretching 

- End of session meditation 

It’s in Norwegian language but it will be easy to follow along for anyone regardless of language :-) it is live so there is no editing or anything. It is therefore complete with water breaks etc. Just plug and play :-)

So If you’re interested go to my YouTube channel here:

Or see it here

Saturday, 5 December 2020

(Epic) Guest post: The flower boys of old

 A long time ago (so long I don’t really remember if we were discussing history or what, Øyvind sent me a draft of an article he has started writing about the hwarang. It was easily one of the best pieces of writing I’ve ever read on them, so when he asked me if I remembered the draft he sent me and if I was willing to post his finished article I was overjoyed, humbled and homered all at once :-) I’ve been called a Taekwondo nerd many times, a badge I wear with honour, but Øyvind as you will see operates on a whole new level of greatness :-D This I am sure will be a great read for you, and unlike some people Øyvind has used good sources and critical thinking in his research. Thank you Øyvind :-) 

The flower boys of old

Written by Øyvind Kveine Haugen, independent researcher


If you have been involved with taekwondo for any period of time, you will undoubtably have been told that once upon a time, there were these mighty warriors in ancient Korea called "hwarang". They are usually mentioned in the curriculum when trying to explain the ancient roots of the martial art, right after the cave paintings of Goguryeo (37BC-668AD) but before the unification of Silla (668AD) and the Goryeo-Khitan wars (perhaps more correctly explained as a series of unsuccessful attempts of invasion, spanning roughly from 993-1019AD). In the ITF Chang Hon syllabus there's even a hwarang tul (tul being the ITF suffix for their forms, comparable to poomsae in WT style taekwondo), complete with the following description: "It is named after the hwarang group of scholar-warriors that originated in the Silla Dynasty in the early 7th Century." (Taekwondo Wiki).

The hwarang ideal has become a popular symbol in modern Korea. It has been used in the name of the Army Officers Training School, as the name of a high-ranking military decoration, as the name of multiple bars (one of which was frequented quite often during the author's stay in Seoul in 2010-11 due to its 3-hours-long "happy hour"), and generally brings about a sort of national pride mixed with romantic ideals of earlier days, much the same way as Shaolin monks are revered in China. However, this way of thinking about the hwarang is relatively new. It is an idea that has grown parallel to Korean independence after the war, and as far as I have been able to work out, the source of this idea might have been Yi Son-gun (李瑄根), who in 1949 published "a study of hwarang-do" (花郞道研究hwarangdo yon'gu), which reads like a, frankly, speculative essay on hwarang ethics and ideals, and how these ideals influenced the entire Korean populace in the centuries after.

So, today I'd like to dig into these scholar-warriors and try to separate facts from fiction. 

All translations are my own unless explicitly noted.