Is Tang Soo Do Korean?

Discussion in 'Tang Soo Do' started by dancingalone, Nov 26, 2014.

  1. chrispillertkd

    chrispillertkd Senior Master

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    FWIW, and only because you mentioned that this was an ITF school you were at, all of the kicks you described are being performed incorrectly from an ITF point of view.

    Pax,

    Chris
     
  2. reeskm

    reeskm Green Belt

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    Good to know. Thanks Chris.
     
  3. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    The kicks, as described, aren't exactly "to code" for KKW or MDK either.


    Sent from an old fashioned 300 baud acoustic modem by whistling into the handset. Not TapaTalk. Really.
     
  4. reeskm

    reeskm Green Belt

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    Dirty Dog,
    could you elaborate?
     
  5. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, for one thing, leaning over "as far as possible", especially before extending the leg, is really a bad idea. The hip of the supporting leg is a fulcrum. The more you lean, the more weight is on the side of the fulcrum away from the target. That pulls power out of the kick. It also screws up your balance.
    Try this: stand up. Chamber a side kick. Now lean "as far as possible". Pretty hard to hold that position, eh?
    Now do it again, but lean only as far as absolutely necessary. Better balance?
    You cannot kick effectively from an unbalanced position. Unbalancing your opponent is one of the basic defenses against strikes.


    Sent from an old fashioned 300 baud acoustic modem by whistling into the handset. Not TapaTalk. Really.
     
  6. reeskm

    reeskm Green Belt

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    Thanks for clearing that up Dirty Dog. Yes, the way that TKD school did kicks was not correct and not safe. Who knows, it could have just been that assistant instructor that day who didn't know how to do them either? Or maybe they were just messing with me, I don't know.

    Also, if I said that I lean over as far as possible, I should correct: I learned the proper way to do this is a slight lean, and to try and keep the body straight as best as possible. Of course, this requires more flexibility.

    Back to the OP and topic,
    Since doing a lot more research into kicks found in Karate, especially in the 50s and 60s, all my cherished beliefs regarding TSD have been broken or challenged.
    For example:
    - I have found countless examples of beet chagi (reverse round kick) in Japanese Karate books and film footage going back to the late 40s. I have heard this kick called the "true blue tang soo do" or "original moo duk kwan" kick and heard claims that it could have come from Taekkyon. There is no evidence on either side of this debate (whether it is Japanese or Korean) to prove one way or the other what the origin of this kick truly is
    - I used to think that our forms had been modified a fair bit from Japanese Karate from the university and mainland schools in the 1940s. In actual fact, I have now convinced myself that, despite rhythm and timing differences, you can find an example on youtube or in a book that shows the Tang Soo Do/Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan forms matching a Japanese style of karate kata, move for move with almost no differences. Differences, if any, are minor and typical. For example, our Jindo hyung is identical to the Wado Chinto kata version.
    - it cannot be proven that flying, spinning or fancy aerial kicking techniques came to Karate from Taekwondo or Tang Soo Do. In fact, they both have the same techniques and methods, and in both cases the origins of these techniques date to the 1940s.
    - There were other "Moo Duk Kwan" prior to 1945. It is not true that there is only a "single moo duk kwan," like H.C. Hwang's current SooBahkDo organisation is promoting through it's trademark campaign. In fact, a quick contact to the Korean Folk Museum proved that easily. They have public record available in Korean to probe that there were Kendo (aka Gumdo) dojos operating in Korean during the Japanese occupation period using the name "Moo Duk Kwan". They were associated and branch dojos of the Butokukai (Moo Duk Hoe) located in Kyoto, Japan. Interestingly, Kendo uniforms are almost always died in indigo, or midnight blue.
    - countless Koreans remained in Japan after Korea's independance in 1945. So Nei Chu and Mas Oyama come to mind. They are by no means the only ones. They were also pioneers in Karate and legends in their own right. In Korean, you would call what they do "TangSooDo".

    It is clear to me now that the true meaning of TangSooDo being "Korean" lies not in the techniques themselves, but in the spirit of the pioneers of dojangs and the 5 original Kwan who brought the traditions of Okinawan karate from mainland Japan to Korea. They were Koreans, and so Tang Soo Do is "Korean" because they were, and I trace my lineage to them. I am not going to change that, and I will keep the small changes they made because I happen to like them, mindful of the differences with my friends who do Okinawan and Japanese Karate.
     

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