Exploring hidden techs.

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by terryl965, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. StuartA

    StuartA Black Belt

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    Indeed. But Im not speaking for all systems, just TKD. TKD decended from karate, specifically Okinawan Karate (originally). On Okinawa, when it was developed, Japan had banned all its citizens, including guards etc. from carrying weapons... hence any development involved defences that could be employed empty handed against both empty hand and weapons. They may have secretly practice weapons, but in the main, to me at least, based on the history of it all, it was empty handed combat techniques Verses empty hand and weapons as the main thrust. TKD patterns are a heritage of this history, therefore follow the same reasoning.

    That is not the same as military employing weapons based training, as of course they did/do.

    Now if TKD evolved from say japanese Jui-jitsu, then the premise of weapons based patterns would be more of a likelihood.. but it didnt.

    Just my thoughts,

    Stuart
    Ps. good to see you here Master Weiss - folks, if you want Ch'ang Hon TKD/Gen Choi/ITF info.. Master Weiss is a 'book of knowledge'
     
  2. StuartA

    StuartA Black Belt

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    Indeed... many of which are the same over and over dispite different blocks/techniques.

    As you know, I dont 100% agree with this, but do believe that originally they were (to the best of his knowledge, so it was not a fault) but in time he became more open minded to other stuff/applications like you experienced when training with him (credit for that)

    This I agree with and though I advocate more realistic applications for training, I do use these to help teach the techniques as they are much similar to grasp when teaching solo patterns.

    I dont wanna harp on as I did a big section about this in a certain book, so I am happy to agree to disagre on certain aspects.

    Stuart
     
  3. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    Not having read this entire thread carefully (limited time), I'm not sure where your argument comes from...I myself have no beef with your contention. The way I have been taught is that there are formal kata for empty hand and separate formal kata for kobudo. The reason for the separation is really another topic, but as anyone who has studied the forms can attest, the movements really aren't so dissimilar, particularly for the smaller weapons like sai or tonfa. One can certainly practice the pinan forms with a pair of sai in hand, and many do. Consequently, the applications of the form may be practiced as well with or without weapons. It's just an adaption one makes as bunkai is supposed to be 'actualized' in the moment, although surely distinct outcomes can be taught and drilled as building block bunkai.

    And perhaps I digress, but nothing within kata is really 'hidden'. If an h-pattern looks like a simple down block and lunge punch combination, it's because the onlooker lacks the training to recognize the substance behind the drill (I'm talking in general and not referring to the participants on this thread who are surely seasoned and skilled martial artists). I always recommend crosstraining in an aiki-jutsu art to karate-ka since the benefits are so large, particularly with sensitivity and bunkai training.
     
  4. SJON

    SJON Blue Belt

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    OK, I'll come clean. I operate a cult. PM me for personalised indoctrination and donations.
     
  5. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    Although I think you mistyped "Similar" when you meant simpler, I think EVERYONE needs to read and digest that statement. It is the genius of the simplified system, be it Funakoshi;s or General Choi. It simplifies teaching of the system. One the simplified version is used as a tool to teach "Good technique" (Good in this case being powerful, fast and well balanced motion done with practical efficiency. ) Then how you use the motion is only limited by your mental process and practical considertions.

    As Mr. Anslow says we have agreed to disagree on intended exclusivity of the applications.
     
  6. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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  7. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    I'll let other people deal with this statement. It seems like a gross generalization and white wash of plenty of good scholarship.

    Based on my research, it's a good chance you did NOT learn any real applications of the forms in the 70s or 80s. I don't know who your teachers were, but if they were connected to any of the kwan heads and you did not have access to Okinawan Karate training, then I would say that my comments are probably on the mark.

    The bottom line is that Koreans did not learn the applications of the forms from the Japanese or the Okinawans. They did not understand the applications for the classical karate kata and when they remixed them to form the "Korean" kata they still did not understand what they were doing.

    When I say "do not understand" I am very explicitly meaning that they were not taught what these moves really were for. The Korean Masters certainly invented a system of understanding the moves that was very complicated, but that system is demonstrably less effective then the system that was originally extant.

    The group of people involved in researching and changing the curriculum of the KMAs back to close quarter self defense based art is doing nothing cultish. To label it that, IMO, really just labels you as a reactionary who is very resistant to change. You may have learned your art one way and if you want to practice it that way, I have nothing against you at all. There is no need to disrespect people who may have discovered what they see as gaping holes in the credibility of the kwans and want to correct that.

    I truly understand how some people can feel resistant to these changes. I put a lot of time into learning my art and one wants to feel like that time was worthwhile and spent training in the best way possible. In a way it was, because you train the best you can with what you have. This information gives us more and the delusion that the art we practice is perfect is the only thing that prevents many of us from seeing how we can have more.
     
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  8. exile

    exile To him unconquered.

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    Quoted for truth.

    This is exactly the same kind of response that would have been justified if someone, faced with Champollion's deciphering of Egyptian hieroglyphics based on the Rosetta stone, were to have dismissed his discovery on the grounds that they had learned in school that hieroglyphics were just a bunch of funny pictures, and then went on to label the work of Champollion and his predecessors and successors as the 'hieroglyphic alphabet cult'. Very well said, maunakumu.

    So far as your point in the statement

    is concerned, we have excellent evidence that this is the case. As I mentioned earlier, Gennosuke Higaki, in his excellent study of bunkai for the Pinan/Heian kata set, noted that his own teacher Shozan Kubota, one of the last of Funakoshi's senior students, had been told explicitly by Funakoshi that the key applications for the kata were not supposed to be taught to the Japanese, and that he himself (i.e., GF) was breaching an understanding he had with his own mentors in Okinawa by doing so. Given GF's assimilation of his Japanese overlords' attitudes in most relevant matters, it would be very strange for him to have taught the applications for kata to the Koreans, when he was doing his best not to give them away to the Japanese. Higaki's book, btw, shows GF sparring with another senior karateka and using the 'double block' from Pinan Shodan as a deflection accompanied by a backfist to the attacker's neck, not as a simultaneous rising and outward middle block, the orthodox explanation for this move. This seems pretty eloquent testimony from GF himself that the combat construal of these moves was not the official Itosu-based 'packaging' that was retailed to the Okinawan school authorities.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2009
  9. seasoned

    seasoned MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Good book. [​IMG]
     
  10. Errant108

    Errant108 Purple Belt

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    There's no such thing as hidden techniques.

    There is such things as people who were clueless as to what they were actually doing.
     
  11. astrobiologist

    astrobiologist Brown Belt

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    My biggest eye openers were (1) meeting and training with Sensei Jay S. Penfil, his knowledge runs deep like a well, and (2) stumbling upon Sensei Iain Abernethy's website, followed by printing and sharing his articles, email contact, and an amazing seminar in Canada.

    Having come from a KMA background I can say this, the Korean Maters did not develop the same depth as the Okinawans did in their forms. That does not mean that the Korean versions of the older forms, or even some of the Korean-born forms, are bad or worthless. It just means that when you start to consider practicality, you may find yourself changing some of the details in how you perform your technique and your form. All the forms I train with have changed, for the better.
     
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  12. StuartA

    StuartA Black Belt

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    How true.. there are only techniques for open eyes and closed eyes!

    I think thats a bit harsh.. people were misled in a 'blind leading the blind' type of thing, but in todays society, with the information available, there is no excuse for perpertrating the same old misguided myths.. so I guess, those guys really are clueles in a way!

    Stuart
     
  13. exile

    exile To him unconquered.

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    I think there's a big difference between being uninformed and being clueless... if you're uninformed, it just means you haven't had access to certain information. Cluelessness, to me, includes across-the-board rejection of any information that comes your way which doesn't match your preconceptions, without even scrutinizing or testing it out. The Mediæval peasants who didn't know that the solar system contained other planets with similar properties to earth were uninformed. The guys who refused to look through Galileo's telescope to see the moons of Jupiter... they were clueless. It's a difference in attitude...
     
  14. terryl965

    terryl965 <center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR

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    I am simply amazed at some of the responses so far. I for one believe every tech. can have hidden movements inside them and can have more than one variation.

    I know alot of you here and it is like clockwork on the responses we are getting. Poomsae are more than just movements, now with that being said some of the newer ones may not have the same meaning as the older ones, but stil it has to have more than just a movement, there has to be practical application for Self Defense or why have them at all. Those that believe there is nothing beyond the movement than I feel sorry in a way of your training, Poomsaes means alot more and complicated than that. I hope I did not offend anyone but just my personal obsevation here.
     
  15. Brad Dunne

    Brad Dunne Brown Belt

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    I think Terry has hit upon half the equation........"can have hidden movements inside them and can have more than one variation."

    I lean more towards the "more than one variation" in lieu of the "hidden" aspect. You can take any form and within the context of that form, vary a movement/technique and you have uncovered nothing hidden, but just something different.
     
  16. exile

    exile To him unconquered.

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    Well said, Terry.

    But you have to bear in mind that there are people who do not see SD as the driving force behind (or even, in some cases, as a valid motive for) MA practice. Sport TDK and sport karate partisans seem to take this view with depressing consistency. In part II of his superb article 'The History and Evolution of Karate-Do Kata', Harry Cook observes (Classical Fighting Arts 2.12, p.23) that

    In 1989, Fusajiro Tagaki, then the Executive Director of the Japan Karate Federation and Secretary General of WUKO, wrote in Karatedo Nippon Magazine Vol. 6 that karate was a modern sport and should not be considered a Japanese martial art. He accepted the idea that if 'there is a tradition that karate should preserve, then that must be kata', but from the whole tone of this article, and others he has written, it is obvious that the idea of karate as a method of self defense is to be minimized, while the modern idea of a competitive sport, where athletes train to fight people doing the same techniques, is to be promoted.​

    This also appears to be the view of notable people in the sport TKD world, like Steve Capener. People of this stripe seem to wish to see the CQ combat blood sucked out of the body of the karate-based MAs. At bottom, I believe, people like this are interested in forms solely because they're something they can pin the label 'traditional' to, as in Tagaki's remark. Increasingly, there are people in the karate-based MAs who regard this attitude as a crock, and who are going to look more deeply into kata for precisely such CQ self-defense possibilities&#8212;the original purpose of MA forms. Now that we've begun to learn how to recover these meanings, it's clear that the various MAs are going to split into those who see them as the foundation for effective fighting skills, as embedded in the kata/hyungs/etc., and those for whom the forms a nothing more than choreographed dance performances with vaguely violent appearance, to be judged on the same kinds of basis as figure skating or diving competitions. The arts are going to divide along these lines, and new organizations, publications and curricula are going to come to the fore.

    Wait, did I say 'are going to??' Sorry about that&#8212;it's already started! ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2009
  17. Red Menace

    Red Menace Yellow Belt

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    I find this discussion pretty interesting. I'm new to the concept of the forms containing "hidden" techniques. The idea of variations makes a lot of sense to me. In my school, we are taught that the forms are self-defense techniques and each move is explained in terms of what we are doing in response to an attacker. It's all very much straight forward though: a low block is a low block, etc.

    I have always felt that some parts of the forms (we learn the palgwe forms by the way) are practical and others are part of the "art" of taekwondo or are done for conditioning or coordination developing purposes. Do those of you who believe that the forms contain hidden techniques feel that the less obviously practical parts of forms are actually hiding a more practical technique and are not just added in for "artistic" purposes? Do you think that as the forms were being created that some parts were just for show?
     
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  18. exile

    exile To him unconquered.

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    Good question, RM!

    My own sense is that it has to do with the point in time at which the hyung was created.

    The palgwes are, I believe, the oldest layer of the Kukki-variant of TKD hyungs still having official 'sanction' (the Heian katas, which simply taken over as the Pyung-Ahn set&#8212;the Okinawan name, but the Japanese progression order, a somewhat odd combination&#8212;having been ejected from the syllabus as part of a systematic elimination of the Kwan-era 'Korean karate' parts of the syllabus). They are transparent recombinations of subsequences of the Pinan set (e.g., Palgwe Sa-Jang's opening sequence is simply lifted from the beginning of Pinan Shodan, and the later spearhand strikes are a transparent reference to the sequence of spearhands in that kata) and maybe a couple of the other 'classic' katas such as Naihanchi. I think that when you get to the Dan forms, though, a fair number of moves there are of the 'decorative' variety you're referring to. It would be a major&#8212;and extremely worthwhile&#8212;project, for an 'experimental hyung' research team to systematically investigate the KKW hyungs, identify whatever sources can be found in Okinawan/Japanese kata for the recombined subcomponents, and to study the Palgwes and especially the BB forms such as Koryo, Kamgeung and so on for combat applicability. My guess is, the later in time the hyungs were introduced, the more performance/decorative components you'll find in them. It would be good to get Simon and Stuart's input on this question...
     
  19. seasoned

    seasoned MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, what an awakening to do techniques a certain way for many years, only to discover what was the obvious all along. The best way to hide something is in plain sight, while calling it something else.
     
  20. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    Very true! To add a bit more, you cannot learn or use bunkai effectively unless you actually drill in a method that is conducive to furthering 'open-ended' fighting instincts. You must engage in spontaneous 'bull in the ring' drills. You must engage in 3/4 speed semi-cooperative kumite with a purpose in mind to practice various locks and tackdowns. Too much line-based kihon and jiyu kumite may actually be harmful to your development as a 'real' fighter, and that's a concern I specifically guard against after seeing too many students that have engrained bad habits or closed off their creativity from overly rote training.123
     

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