Korean forms and applications

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by Kong Soo Do, Aug 15, 2012.

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  1. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Master of Arts

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    I may have posted this before, but here's a quote from the Kukkiwon website that fits:

    "From the technical viewpoint, the poomsae itself is Taekwondo, and the basic movements are no more than the preliminary actions to reach the poomsae. The Kyorugi is a practical application of the poomsae and the Taekwondo spirit is manifested not in an abstract mental philosophy expressed in the documents but in the actions of poomsae."

    For fun, here are a couple of videos of early TKD circa 1956 /57 (before the creation of the Taegeuk poomsae). The sparring shown here is not just kicking, but instead also features all kinds of hand techniques. It's also fairly clear to see at least some Shotokan influence. The step sparring remains as part of the Kukkiwon syllabus, but the freestyle sparring with hand techniques is in my experience not commonly practiced and I would guess is probably limited to only a few schools who choose to include it. With this kind of freestyle sparring it's easier to see how Kyorugi could have been considered the application of the poomsae.




     
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  2. andyjeffries

    andyjeffries Master of Arts

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    I must admit I find this thread and whole concept a bit moot. Let's look at the facts:

    1) Puunui has posted that his teacher was one of the creators of the Kukkiwon poomsae (one of/was the)

    2) Puunui said that his teacher has told him that there aren't hidden meanings of locks and throws in the poomsae

    3) Puunui has said this his teacher has told him that there are sparring applications if you change hand techniques for kicks

    4) While some people may have an issue with Puunui's tone/methods of debate, no one has ever accused him of outright lying about the facts in a situation

    So why is this still a discussion?

    It's been said that some of the sequences in Karate have hidden meanings behind them (locks and throws) and that the same sequences in Taekwondo poomsae exist therefore they must also have them. But this isn't the case, if the creators of the poomsae didn't intend for those meanings to be there then you are trying to retrofit applications from other martial arts that were not intended in this one.

    It's also been said that we shouldn't change the movements from hand techniques to kicks as this is changing the movement. However, the same folks are advocating changing things from blocks and punches to locks and throws. I don't know about anyone else but I'd find it impossible to throw someone using only the movements in Taegeuk 1 without distorting them from the movements specified; if for no other fact than in Taegeuk 1 there is no need to open the fists from start to finish.

    At the end of the day, I understand that some of the sequences in Kukkiwon poomsae exist in other martial arts and those guys may have developed those poomsae to include these hidden meanings to only reveal to their advanced/favourite students. However, it's been stated that although the same movements exist in Kukkiwon poomsae that there was no intended hidden meaning by the creator of the poomsae so any attempt to find/create them is purely an exercise in fun and fantasy on the behalf of the practitioner.

    I personally have better things to do than try to recreate hidden meanings that weren't there. I do believe that ponies are actually unicorns that had their horns sanded down and one day I'll find the secret to unlocking their magical power... Or maybe they were actually just ponies in the first place, but I hope I'm right!
     
  3. Markku P

    Markku P Blue Belt

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    I don't have much time so I train Poomsae to keep my Taekwondo skills higher. When I like to train joint locks and throws then I train Hapkido :)
     
  4. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Master of Arts

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    I totally agree and accept all of this, and just to make my position clear, I'm not saying that there's anything hidden in the Taegeuk poomsae. All I'm trying to do is further my understanding of how Poomsae is the essence of Taekwondo. This naturally involves a process of learning and understanding the history and lineage of these patterns. Since there is a clear relationship between the poomsae of Taekwondo and the patterns of other martial arts, gaining an understanding of the intent of the same movements in other martial arts is part of that learning process. I would also say that experimentation with the practicability of the movements in the poomsae in various situations (for their intended purpose or otherwise) is part of that journey. In my view, this kind of research is a positive thing and can only deepen my understanding and improve my abilities as a martial artist. If it's for me personally, and I'm not teaching it to anyone else, where's the harm?

    If I'm retrofitting for my own personal consumption and betterment as a martial artist, and not teaching it to others as the definition of the movement, is that a problem? Should I not do this?

    In my view, for personal use I'll change whatever I need to change to get a practicable technique out of it. Functionality first and foremost. I agree with puunui to a point, if a kicking technique works instead of a punch I'll shove it in there. I certainly would allow myself the opportunity to grab clothing, hair or a wrist in any application of Il Jang, but I'm still not sure I could make it work for a throw ;)

    Yaaay! Fun! Seriously, when I think about 'reverse engineered, retrofitted' applications, it only remains fantasy until I can make it work against a resisting opponent.

    I agree that the intent wasn't there with the Taegeuk and KKW BB Poomsae, and I won't be claiming to have found any 'secret' or 'deadly' applications, or revealing that the techniques that work for me are extracted from the poomsae. But it won't stop me using them as a constant source of inspiration in finding really useful and meaningful techniques for use in both sparring and self defence contexts. This helps me to see Taekwondo as one coherent system instead of a system fragmented into defunct poomsae movements and sport kicking. In my mind it fits with the overall philosophy of TKD and develops my understanding of some areas of other martial arts. I think that can only be a good thing.

    All I'm trying to do is pay due diligence to the movements included in the Poomsae, and understand their place not only in Taekwondo, but in the context of martial arts as a whole.

    So, please let the discussion continue, even if it is moot in your view.
     
  5. andyjeffries

    andyjeffries Master of Arts

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    It's part of learning why they are in those other martial arts, it's not part of understanding Taekwondo though - as accepted, they aren't intentionally in Taekwondo so it won't help in your understanding of Taekwondo.

    I have no issue what anyone wants to do. If you feel this is beneficial to you to have a play with this go for it.

    My issue comes when it sounds like these are the hidden/secret moves that you have to be a REAL expert to know and the fact is they aren't there. For example, the first movement of Taegeuk 1 is a low block and it's been discussed as a hammerfist strike to the "the groin, bladder, femoral nerve, common peroneal nerve...". As I work it, the bladder is an option, but with the blocking fist correctly two fist heights above the thigh it brings the strike too high to hit most of those potential targets. In order to work in this hidden meaning/alternative application you have to change the pattern.

    As I said, it can be fun if you're in to that sort of thing (what else could I be doing here), but it wasn't intended.

    I wasn't trying to stop it, I was just posting my opinion on why I personally find it a waste of time ;-)
     
  6. andyjeffries

    andyjeffries Master of Arts

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    puunui
    Account Suspended

    Seriously? Someone got butthurt and complained again?

    I understand that Puunui offends some people, but the fact of the matter is that he's one of the (if not, the) most senior Kukkiwon practitioners on here with close links to a lot of kwan founders and Kukkiwon seniors (so he has a lot of information direct from the source). This is useful/interesting to those of us that are Kukki-Taekwondoin and I'm sure interesting to those outside that want to understand/know more about Kukki-Taekwondo.

    How about everyone acts like an adult instead of running off saying "Miss, Puunui called me names and hurt my feelings, miss, miss..." like we're still in school.

    If you don't like what someone says, post something to clarify it (if you're worried about others reading it without a correcting fact) and then drop it/ignore it.
     
  7. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Master of Arts

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    I agree completely that Puunui puts forth some really valuable information, and over my time on MT, along with Mastercole, he's probably done the most to improve my understanding of many aspects of Kukki TKD.

    I've also found him to be approachable, helpful and civil when treated as such.

    The fact remains that if we are not just civil but reasonable with one another, then nobody has the opportunity to complain and nobody ends up suspended or banned.

    Sent from my GT-N7000 using Tapatalk 2
     
  8. Jaeimseu

    Jaeimseu 3rd Black Belt

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    Amen, brother. I think some things get taken personally when they don't need to be.
     
  9. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Right.

    Before this goes too far and derails what looks like an good potentially interesting thread, I think it's best to end the discussion of what's going on with puunui. His account is suspended due to his own behaviour, not anything else. Blaming the people who reported his posts is missing the point of his posts being report-worthy in the first place. The moderation team do not act on baseless claims, but do always examine every report to assess validity, and honestly that should be enough. But if you need more than that, I'd point out that rank does not absolve bad behaviour, knowledge of one field does not give authority over anyone else on the board, and actions (such as posts and messages) that go against the rules and spirit of the board are assessed on their merits with no special consideration for relationships, titles, ranks, schools, or anything else. If Glenn wishes to pass on the insight he clearly has to offer, he might be best advised to look to exactly how he's presenting it (and himself).

    Now, back to the topic at hand...
     
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  10. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    A couple of thoughts:
    1. Much has been said about patterns as sparring. I think the focus is misplaced. The systems as a whole do not advocate patterns as a replacement for sparring, but simply another part of the art. This is similar to the discussion of WTF sparring as SD, as an anaolgy with regard to missing techniques made with regard to Judo sparring and SD. Does anyone say Boxer's speed bag work or jump rope is bad for sparring? Also ignored is how patterns relate to combat / SD.
    2. Rather than "Real" or "Hiden" applications I think (feel free to disagree) a better term is "alternate applications." Different arts, same motion and different application. Both real, neither hidden.
    3. As addressed in my Totally TKD article, at some point a motion is morphed so greatly in order to perform an alternate application that most an resemblance of the original motion is lost. This would be something new, and not truly an alternate application. At what point in the morphing does this occur? You decide.
    4. The point about only what a founder intended as being the application IMNSHO is wrong since it is contrary to: A. The principal I cite in my article that the applicatin is but a tool to help you understand the concept. Understand 100 applications and you may understand one concept. Understand one concept and you may understand 100 applications; and B. At Instructor courses, General Choi who would often use the socratic method would often have this exchange: GC "What is the purpose of this technique? Precoscious student "It is XXX sir." GC pointing to another student says: "He says it is YYY, what do you say." PC being smug says "Sir, your book sayss it XXX." GC again pointing at another student says: He says he doesn't care what my book says, how do we solve this problem?" The solution was to have the other student demonstrate the alternate application. GC would then say "If it works, then it is a good application."
    So, there you have at least the intent of one system founder. He did not mean for the application(s) he stated to be exclusive.
     
  11. d1jinx

    d1jinx Master Black Belt

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    this is what it has come too.
    If you notice, many of the others who were regulars arent posting anymore either. and Ironically, they are all KKW people.
    coincidence?
    Yet seems the non-kkw people wish to discuss KKW related items and NOT want to hear what the KKW people have to say about it.
    We used to have some reputable people here.

    my $.02. bye bye.
     
  12. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Amen to that.
     
  13. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    Agreed. I don't think the term 'hidden' is the most appropriate, rather simply 'application'. As you mentione above with Gen. Choi, there may well be several different applications that use the movement sequence as described by the form. If the application works, then it works.

    This touches on my previous comments on the other page. If were talking about a specific movement sequence in a form, we need to stick with the movements contained within that sequence. As a side note, I would encourage anyone/everyone to get Totally TKD if they haven't already. It is a valuable resource.

    Agreed. Well said. Thank you.
     
  14. miguksaram

    miguksaram Master of Arts

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    I'm confused. If forms are created for a specific reason, then why couldn't puunui be correct in his statement that these forms were created to also be an easy transition to sparring using a kick in stead of a punch?

    If there is no need to change in and of itself then by definition, a kick is a kick, a punch is a punch and to assume anything else would be contridictary your statement.
     
  15. StuartA

    StuartA Black Belt

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    I was refering to all forms/patterns/katas that followed the 'make up' of karate kata and are based on the p/k/b methology! Whilst I understand that the new taegueks were more kicking based, as to represent the style more, I have never read anything that says they were 'designed for sparring'... I see designed to be more KKW/WTF'y as a seperate thing and I can agree with that.. because AFAIA, the Palgwe were considered 'too karate' and not 'taekwondo' enough, hence why the new set was made to be closer to what is perceived as Taekwondo the kicking art! But, the same system was used to make the Taegeuks as was used to make the Palgwes, just things were added, altered etc. to be more like they wanted them to be and represent Taekwondo better.

    Sure, I could be wrong, as I havnt studied the KKW forms at all.. with the exception of a few books... but I have seen them and they do not look any closer to sparring than ITF patterns do IMO!

    Stuart
     
  16. miguksaram

    miguksaram Master of Arts

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    I could be wrong but, if you are going to go this route then Kata=Patterns=Tul...not poomsae. Tul means pattern, as in a pattern you can make from a cookie cutter. There is a difference in the Korean language when saying tul vs poomsae. I believe the closest would be to say Kata=Patterns=Tul=Hyung. The mindset/rules of kata is definetely seen in taekwon-do tul, but you will find that the creators of taekwondo poomsae moved away from that for whatever reason.

    Before making a definitive statement in regards to KKW TKD forms, I would recommend speaking directly to the creators of the Taeguk poomsae to find out what they had in mind in when developing the forms. You may be absolutely correct, but you may also be wrong as well.

    So then there are deep hidden techniques that the Koreans put into Taeguk poomsae, that we are not made privy of, just like some feel are in karate kata?
     
  17. StuartA

    StuartA Black Belt

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    "didnt intend" is vastly different to "didnt know" and if the system of creating a poomsae is based off previous systems of creating forms... then certain traints will carry through, even if combinations are altered a bit. Sure... like the ITF tuls, some bits are simply added 'because'... but a kick is a kick, a punch is a punch and the hand is still pulled back to the hip - just taking the hand back to hip part shows (in my mind) that they did not know why this was originally done, but the fact that it still performed, means that 'hidden, alternative, whatever' applications can still be found within the poomsae.


    From my research into patterns, movements remain pretty much the same, often the only difference is.. a fist is a grab rather than a punch or pull back hand, but once in motion, the fist is a clenched fist again, just like the form.

    I cant speak of that but i have done seminars on pattern applications and sometimes see students struggling to excute the 'alternative application' and its usually always because they are looking at the end result and trying to achieve it in a different fashion to what the pattern shows - when I tell them to simply execute it as the pattern shows, they find it much much easier.



    Like I said earlier.. you cant intend to add or not add something if you didnt know about it to begin with! The proof of this is right there in 24 of the 25 ITF patterns.. even the 25th one (Juche) which I originaly though would be worthless in reagrds to realistic applications, I have found it not so... because, even though its a 3rd generation pattern (meaning it was build off the Ch'ang hon tul, as opposed to the Shotokan kata). the simple fact it was built this way allowed it to retain much of what we are talking about here!

    I think hidden and even altenative meanings are the wrong choice of word for this subject... 'misunderstood' would be better IMO.

    Stuart
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012
  18. StuartA

    StuartA Black Belt

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    Tomatoes/Tomadoes... the point being made was that they all follow the same structure!


    I do not have to do that.. beacuse you can see that by looking at them - if they were for sparring - when in WTF sparring do the students pull their hand to their hip? Or execute ANY of the blocks found in the patterns? I don't recall seeing any knifehands scored at the Olympics either!!! And I know for a fact, high ranking Masters hardly (if ever) will admit even that there 'could' be more to it than they knew when designing them, as this would mean a deep loss of face!


    Who said the Koreans put anything in there.. as I keep saying.. you cannot make a concious decision to include/excude thinsg you do not even know about to begin with!

    Stuart
     
  19. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    Let me see if I can explain my point. In the movement sequence he described, IIRC, it was two steps and a punch using the rear arm. Now, anyone can take any portion of any form and switch out the components as they see fit...but it is no longer the movement sequence that the creator of the form intended for that portion specifically. If they wanted to demonstrate a kick at that particular portion, they would have put in a kick instead of a punch.

    More specifically, a movement sequence can have more than one application. One application may be the more readily apparent b-p-k type of application. Using the first movement sequence from Il Jang, as descibed by Mr. Simon O'Neill in his book, the 'readily apparent' application is a down block followed by a step and a punch. That's all well and fine. But as Mr. O'Neill demonstrates (and I have successfully used in real life against a resisting bad guy), another application using this movement sequence is an off-balancing principle followed by a strike using a different part of the right arm (the bottom portion of the forearm or even the bottom portion of the fist) against what would be at this time the side part of the upper torso/head area. I described this in the other thread as well. Now, this application uses the movement sequences as seen in that portion of the form itself. Now, if someone on a whim were to take out the down block and stick in a high block or outside middle block or whatever, the fundamentals of the afore mentioned application just went out the window. By sticking in a different 'block' the dynamics change completely into something else. Now again, a person can mix n match as they wish to come up with all types of variations on a theme, but it is a variation on a theme, not an application using the movements demonstrated in the form.

    As I and several others have posted, applications on specific movement sequences shouldn't alter the form to fit the application. The application is there and fits the form.
     
  20. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    As some of us have talked about, terms like 'deep' and 'hidden' aren't necesarily an apt description. But as an example, if a specific movement sequence in a karate kata means 'A,B and C' then it will also mean 'A,B and C' if that same movement sequence is repeated in a Korean form. The creator of the Korean form may have:

    • Known about application 'A' but not 'B and C'.
    • Known all three but chose not to pass 'B and C' on as general information because he/they wished to emphasis 'A' for a reason.

    None of this is disrespectful and is not to be taken as such.123
     
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