Good Tae Kwon Do History Books?

Discussion in 'Korean Culture and History' started by Lee Ch'a, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    This is a fair consideration. But if this is the case, why try to slam someone when they've offered good information at the time it was offered? To start a thread and list the person by name and then present post after post of what really amounts to personal opinion, bias or nitpicking isn't really helpful. Nor is disparaging them and their work, particularly when they aren't here to respond. It speaks of agenda or personal conflict.

    Here are the actual quotes, my bad in that it was 78, not 72;

    I would submit that a Kwan that issues rank, has a Kwan ranking heirarchy that may differ (and often does) from the KKW is more than a social club. Regardless of the interpretation, Kwans were not eliminated or closed down. This is what I mean by having a particular bias towards a particular organizations. It isn't factual information.

    In regards to this, the comment was Tang Soo Do.

    I agree. But it is also true that it is difficult to decipher fact from opinion on this topic. As I've mentioned, personal agenda, bias and one-upmanship can clearly be seen in many interviews, books, 'official' histories etc.

    We can go around and around on this, but as I've mentioned before, no one is likely to be 100% correct and it is up to the interpretation of the individual as to the specif conclusion they reach.

    That's fine and you are entitled to your view. Apparently there are a plethora of people who do not share this assestment. And it has not been my experience with him. He has no problem with a four year old being (for all intent and purposes) a black belt, but finds someone with nearly 40 years of actual experience holding a 7th as questionable? Me thinks he's been offended and it shows. O'well, doesn't really matter in the end.

    Bottom line again, pick a version and go with it. :uhyeah:
     
  2. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    Not to pick on you Jeremy, but as a point, if you're going to suggest against someone's post you should at least link to a resource to offer credence. In this way an individual can make an informed decision themselves. Here are a couple of Glenn's offerings to be considered with all of the other information offered in this thread;

    http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/sh...-Taekwondo-by-Dakin-Burdick&highlight=Burdick

    http://tkd.stanford.edu/documents/tkd_history.pdf

    In this way any individual has multiple resources to compare and contrast. They can then go with one, many, none or a combination as they see fit. :)
     
  3. miguksaram

    miguksaram Master of Arts

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    This will be my last posting in this particular thread on this subject. First I do most of my postings while tests are being ran at my job, so I don't usually go into deep explanations on things. Secondly the OP never even bothered to ask why I made the comment so I really never bothered to answer. Like most I am sure he will surf the next see pretty much the same history over and over, mostly based on the article that Burdick wrote, or on what Choi wrote, and then base his truth on that. Please note that I never said do not read the article. I advised not to use it as a source due to the flaws. Since you have already pointed him to Glenn's input I will not bother doing so. I submitted a brief insight to why I feel it is not correct, but I am not going to go much deeper than that because to do so would take more time than I am willing to devote. (I have a newsletter, 3 articles, and a curriculum to write in the next couple of days).

    Finally anyone who is serious about TKD history needs to study Korean history. This will be the only way to sift fact from hype. Thank you good night and God bless.
     
  4. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    Thank you for the reply Jeremy. My point is that if one is going to take the time to make a remark, one should back it up with something substantial. Not just for the OP but for all that read the thread. If one doesn't have the time necessary to do this then perhaps they need to refrain from posting.

    Best of luck with your projects :)
     
  5. miguksaram

    miguksaram Master of Arts

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    Since there is a lull in testing today let me revisit this once more. If you are going to use the advice of backing up your opinion then this is a two way street. You recommended Burdick's article but did not provide the reason why outside of it was published in AJMA and it was reviewed by his peers. Since you have been involved in Korean arts have you done any historical research that you personally can testify that Burdick's article is dead on?

    Also, on a side note of history, are you the same person that was being discussed on bullshido at one point?
     
  6. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    Yes I've done research on my own in regards to looking into our lineage. On many points, Burdick agrees with other authors I've read.

    I've never been a member of bullshido.
     
  7. miguksaram

    miguksaram Master of Arts

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    What other authors might they be?
    You are not the same David Shultz that they were discussing on that board?
     
  8. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    Couldn't tell you Jeremy, as I said, I'm not a member of Bullshido so wouldn't know what is discussed there. Looking at what you've quoted, it looks to be maybe five or six years old??? Why would you be posting something that old here in a discussion on Korean history books?
     
  9. The Last Legionary

    The Last Legionary All warfare is based on deception.<br><b>nemo malu

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    This isn't CessPoolCuddlerShido. Don't make it so.
    Talk about the dishonorable, disgraceful and other dumbasses in the Horror Stories area or start your own "Investigashun".
    Otherwise, youre just disrupting this or other threads and will get modsmacked for trolling, which lets the frauds and ********ters win.
     
  10. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    A word to the wise:

    Martial Talk has policies against harassing members, fraudbusting, and generally being obnoxious. We allow limited and polite discussion of qualifications in areas like Horror Stories and Investigations. But every member is expected to have read the Rules, and to abide by them. If you really don't like each other, use the Ignore button. But at least pay lip service to the slogan "Friendly discussion about the Martial Arts."

    What Martial Talk is not and WILL NOT be is Bullshido. They have their site, they run it the way they like, and if you like that atmosphere -- go there.

    In short, and in case I'm unclear:

    ATTENTION ALL USERS:

    Please keep the conversations polite and respectful.


    jks9199
    Super Moderator
     
  11. miguksaram

    miguksaram Master of Arts

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    .
    I am simply asking a question. Though I am curious as to how you know the age of the discussion. I was simply doing a search on different Korean arts and ran across this. Anyway, whatever, I am still wondering which authors you have read that would coincide with Burdick's article.

    JKS and Legionary, I am not trolling or starting a fight, I am simply asking a question as if this was the person they were talking about. Trust me, if I wanted to "bust" him on anything I would just simply do it within conversations to point out fraudulent or wrong information that he would post, if he did.
     
  12. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    The point, which you fail to acknowledge, is that this is a thread about Korean history books. If you were truly interested, a pm would have been the proper way to ask. Unless you feel you need an audience?

    With this in mind, please feel free to join Martial Warrior where we can devote an entire thread to you (and Glenn) busting me. And of course, we can make it a two-way conversation as I have some questions for each of you as well. This way you have your audience (anyone can view the thread) and neither of you have to hijack anyone elses thread here on MT. That's a pretty fair offer, I'll expect you and Glenn to join shortly so we can begin our discussion.

    Btw, I tried to simply pm this offer to you Jeremy, but your pm is full. I'll see you on MW.
     
  13. miguksaram

    miguksaram Master of Arts

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    Didn't realize my PM was full. It is empty now.

    It was not my intention to hijack the thread, as the original question was posted as a side note.

    That said, yes, it is a discussion on Korean history books, to which you have not answer my question yet. What books have you read that have supported the findings of Burdick? Since you are taking the side of Burdick as being a reliable source, have you personally checked his references to see if they were reliable?
     
  14. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    In Mr. Burdick's case, his "peers" are those who conduct research in a similar fashion that he does, namely, they take bits and pieces and tidbits from this or that written source and attempt to piece them together into their version of what happened. The problem that they face is that they, like you state, do not have a sufficient background in Korean history and culture to make the sort of leaps in logic required to understand what the writers of the original quoted sources were saying. And in many cases, they completely misconstrue what was being said. These peers of Mr. Burdick also overly rely on two main sources, Corcoran and Farkas' encyclopedia, and General Choi's writings, which creates all sorts of problems.

    My peers, on the other hand, have read what is out there but then take it a step further by actually doing first hand research by interviewing and reviewing as many original documents as possible. And what we have found out is that the stories of these pioneers, including but certainly not limited to Kukki Taekwondo pioneers, have a very consistent story. They basically all say the same thing about the major points in Taekwondo history. Over and over this has proven to be true.

    In other cases, Mr. Burdick and his peers make assumptions that are simply not true. One example is that Mr. Burdick says that Master PARK Yeon Hee says a certain thing. I used to sit next to Master Park at the USTU Annual and Mid Year Meetings, and got to know him. Once I asked him about that particular blurb quoted by Mr. Burdick in his book, and he said he didn't know what I was talking about. He then went on to explain his perspective on history, which again is remarkably consistent with the other seniors.


    The biggest issue with Mr. Burdick's work is that it lacks a central core and theme. Rather, he just force fits random information and misinformation together in a chop suey fashion. The result does not lead the reader to anywhere important. I mean if you have absolutely no information on Korean martial arts history, then reading Dakin's stuff is, I suppose, better than nothing. But if you take a step further from that perspective, then you quickly realize that Mr. Burdick's work is not the sort of framework to build one's understanding of Taekwondo history.
     
  15. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    I have been told that the english translation of "A Modern History of Taekwondo" has revolutionized the world's understanding of Taekwondo history. Up until that translation was presented, no one in the english speaking world had a clear written reference to what actually happened, from the pioneer's first hand perspective. The most important thing that I got of the Modern History book is the sense of unity that the pioneers strove for. Those pioneers who made the biggest contributions were the ones who worked well with their peers. Those that had the most problems were the ones who had an individualistic, selfish perspective. The best thing about the Modern History is that it gives us real life examples about how these real life situations were resolved, and the approaches that were taken. Different people took different approaches to different situations. Some worked, others did not. These lessons are applicable today, in USAT, PATU, ETU, WTF, Kukkiwon or other organizations. How do you get a large group of leaders with diverse backgrounds working together? What are some of the important points to remember from the pioneer's experiences? Not everyone got what they wanted, but perhaps they did get things in exchange. These are the things that I am looking at and studying when I read and re-read the Modern History translations. I want to understand the process and I want to understand some of the techniques and principles used by the pioneers which are applicable to today's organizational environment.

    Put another way, those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it. We are moving towards a new era at the USAT. Hopefully we all learned from the mistakes that we all made and this time get together and take Taekwondo to a better more unified place, just like the pioneers did in Korea. I used to think that the events from 2004 until the present was a waste of time, but now I think that the experience was necessary for the continued growth, maturity and development of those who hopefully will approach the coming rebuilding with a fresh perspective and a new willingness to cooperate.
     
  16. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    I have about 95% of the sources quoted by Mr. Burdick in my library. There are a couple of obscure books and non-martial arts books that I don't have. But I basically can tell you where Mr. Burdick got most of the information in his article, down to the page and paragraph of the original quoted source. And I did in fact, I had a very protracted point by point public discussion with Mr. Burdick soon after the article came out. The end result was a concession by Mr. Burdick that he is not an original researcher and that he relies on original researchers like myself and others to publish or post things, so he can include it in his historical articles. He has quoted me at least once in one or more of his works.

    Compared to the past, historical debates about Taekwondo history has really died down. Just read the Modern History translation and you will get a very good framework upon which to build on. It only gives a broad overview, and because of that, people can add their own perspective or branch quite easily. I have seen many people do just that, point to the section in the Modern History book that applies to them, and then expand on a particular point, with their own or their instructor's or lineage's information.

    Or if you don't wish to do that and instead want to believe some other version, for whatever reason, then do that. I have already stated my interest and focus in studying martial arts history, especially Taekwondo's history. If other people have a different focus and a different perspective, then go for it.

    And just for comparison, I also study Hapkido history, but I get a very different perspective. Taekwondo's story is about a group of diverse practitioners from different schools and different instructors coming together to form a unified art and a unified organization. Hapkido is almost the exact opposite, which is one major root and one major school spreading out into a very diverse and very non-unified art. People who fight for individuality in Taekwondo or uniformity in Hapkido are those who choose to swim against the current and as a result, suffer the most problems. Conversely, those who go with the flow and shoot for uniformity and unity in Taekwondo and/or individual expression in Hapkido experience the least issues. Just my perspective on two very different arts, going in very different directions. That is why I study both, because I get conformity and a sense of belonging from Taekwondo, while at the same time experience individuality and creativity in Hapkido.

    But that's just me. If you have a different perspective and a different approach, then you are welcome to it.
     
  17. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    I think the most telling point is the fact that Mr. Burdick's last work was in 1997, and since the Modern History translation came out, he has not written any updates and has pretty much disappeared from the Korean Martial Arts scene completely. Since the Modern History translation has come out, it has been quoted in numerous books, magazines, webpages and in posts on bulletin boards. I see quotes from the Modern History all over the place. When doing the translation, I embedded all sorts of hidden links, things like certain phrasing, the romanization of people's names and so forth. I can basically tell when someone is taking information from the Modern History translations.
     
  18. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    I never said the Kwan were abolished. And I would never had said that because I have been a Chung Do Kwan regional director for almost 25 years now. And as far as I far as I know, at the time of my appointment up until very recently, I was by far the youngest and also the only non-Korean to be appointed to such a position, over many senior Korean born practitioners in my area, including my own teacher. Today all of the remaining kwan operate the same way, they all have adopted the Kukkiwon curriculum and issue Kukkiwon certification first and foremost. They still issue kwan dan certification and other types of certificates, but these are secondary to the Kukkiwon. So as a compromise, the Kukkiwon allows the Kwan to exist and even gives Kwan Jang (Kwan presidents) special privileges such being allowed to promote members outside of Korea. Kukkiwon regulations states that an instructor can only promote someone to Kukkiwon rank inside their own country, barring certain special circumstances. The kwan jang are allowed to promote outside of Korea as an acknowledgment to the fact that the seniors in in other countries need to get promoted too, and the only ones who have the authority are the Kwan Jang from their particular kwan.

    However, we have reached a point in Taekwondo history where the majority of the Kwan Jang's first generation students who are still active are at the Kukkiwon 9th Dan rank. Those with direct Kwan relationships are becoming fewer and fewer, and one Kwan, the Kang Duk Won, has ceased to exist with the passing of GM LEE Kum Hong. Soon other Kwan with follow suit and in 25 or 30 years, we might not have any kwan left.

    You get a taste of this from the Modern History book, and this is again another example of a compromise solution to having a unified curriculum and dan certification, and yet allowing for the needs of the Kwan. Two competing interests, and in this case the agreed solution to honor Kwan Jang while making the Kukkiwon and its mission first and foremost in Taekwondo.
     
  19. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    No need to contact JAMA, if you own a copy of the actual issue, like I do. With respect to "peer review" JAMA states in the front each issue: "each submission will be reviewed by at least two members of our editorial board". Looking at the long list of the JAMA editorial board reveals no one who I recognize as having authored any sort of Korean Martial Arts history article or book. There is one member of the board that Dr. Willy Pieter. I remember Dr. Pieter from his days on the USTU Sports Medicine Committee back in the 80's and have his book regarding coaching in both english and german which he autographed for me. Dr. Pieter is involved in mostly biomechanical research regarding Taekwondo; he is not into history. In fact, in his book, there is not a single sentence devoted to history. Therefore the "peer review" for Mr. Burdick's history article was done by people who have not engaged in any type of Korean Martial Arts historical study or research.

    Also included in every issue of JAMA is a "Disclaimer" which states in part: "Responsibility for opinions expressed and for the accuracy of facts published in articles and reviews rests solely with individual authors." This tells me that JAMA does not "guarantee" or in anyway verify the contents contained in Mr. Burdick's article, or any article published by JAMA.

    Given these sets of facts, I would submit that the JAMA "peer review" process adds nothing to the legitimacy or accuracy of any work published by JAMA, which in this case is correct, given the numerous factual errors in Mr. Burdicks' work, something which he has admitted to me personally, during the course of our public discussions on this article, fourteen years ago.

    Again, if you have nothing else available to you, then go ahead and read Mr. Burdick's article. But there are more accurate published works out there, "A Modern History of Taekwondo" being just one. The follow up work "The History of Our Taekwondo", published by the same authors, is another. Dr. Un Yong Kim's autobiography is yet another.
     
  20. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    I hear this type of "opinion" from people who only read other people's historical works and never engaged in any historical research of their own. But again, if you speak to the pioneers who actually lived through this and were present when these events happened, then a very clear and consistent picture emerges. Each has their own perspective, but the main story remains the same.

    As for bias, I recently had a very interesting conversation with a long time Taekwondo practitioner. I was on the east coast during the summer and walked past a martial arts supply store. I walked in and learned that it was being run by a senior ITF member. This person has been featured in martial arts magazines in the past so I recognized both his face and his name. We started talking about Taekwondo and he revealed some very interesting facts.

    He said that he was present during the 1954 demonstration in which GM NAM Tae Hi broke 13 roofing tiles in front of ROK President RHEE Syng Man. This ITF senior was GM Nam's direct student at the time. After GM Nam broke the tiles, President Rhee exclaimed "That's Taekkyon!". Everyone's response to that, including General Choi, was "What's Taekkyon?". No one there had heard of Taekkyon before President Rhee mentioned it. So General Choi started doing research to find out what Taekkyon was. They were also intensely interested in finding the chinese characters (hanja) for Taekkyon, because in Korea at the time, everything was written in primarily hanja, as opposed to hangul. When they were unable to find the chinese characters for Taekkyon, the committee was formed to look for a suitable substitute. What they came up with was "Taekwon" which was supposed to represent Taekkyon. The name of the art was supposed to originally be "Taekkyon" or Taekkyondo but only after the search for the hanja proved fruitless did they come up with Taekwon. It took four months for President Rhee to finally approve of the name in April 1955.

    The point? Taekwondo was not founded on April 11, 1955, but rather was supposed to be a continuation of Taekkyon, which some argue is 2000 years old. And number two, General Choi never studied Taekkyon under HAN Il Dong, his alleged calligraphy teacher, because he never heard of Taekkyon until President Rhee mentioned it in 1954.

    And because I heard this from an ITF senior, does that mean that the ITF is also "kukkiwon biased", like I allegedly am? I think not. The more probable answer is what I have been saying all along, which is that speaking to the people who were actually there will result in a much clearer and much more consistent picture of history than reading some third hand misconstrued article, no matter how many cites it contains.
     
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