Traditional Tae Kwon Do

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by Azulx, May 19, 2016.

  1. Azulx

    Azulx Black Belt

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    What does this mean? Our school markets itself externally and internally as a traditional school? What makes a school traditional versus non-traditional? I have seen a school market themselves as Non-traditional Tae Kwon Do.
     
  2. Jaeimseu

    Jaeimseu 3rd Black Belt

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    I don't think it has any real meaning anymore. I've seen Taekwondo schools that look nothing alike both market themselves as "traditional." I think the word "traditional" is about as ambiguous as the term "mcdojo." It means whatever someone wants it to mean.
     
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  3. Azulx

    Azulx Black Belt

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    I think we use it to differentiate ourselves from an Olympic Taekwondo school.
     
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  4. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Master of Arts

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    I dislike the term because it is not only used to differentiate but to imply superiority:

    Taekwondo is a young art, and most forms of it contain equal amounts of Korean tradition.

    It is an appeal to tradition as confirmation of legitimacy, which is a fallacy. It indirectly and falsely confers illegitimacy upon other forms of taekwondo.

    I have seen nothing from so-called traditional Taekwondo that is not offered or even improved upon in other forms of taekwondo.

    Traditional means static, not changing and evolving. That's not good IMO.



    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
     
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  5. Kinghercules

    Kinghercules Blue Belt

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    Im TRADITIONAL TKD!!! :happy: And Im proud to be that!
    I came up in the decline of TKD (the 80's). For the longest time I didnt know how to explain to ppl my style. Because nowa days majority of ppl are Kukkiwon or ITF and when ppl see me teach they ask why am I different. My predecessors told me to explain that I do Classical TKD. And basically its just the Korean masters that came from Tang Soo Do but didnt switch their style or curriculum over to KKW or ITF. Thats what traditional TKD is.

    When I was in Korea (Busan) I was asked to teach a class. When I did the instructor came up to me and said "you're old school. No one teaches like that any more." LOL! There's a guy named Master Sharma in MD that I use to work for and when asked me to teach a class so he can see if I can teach he said "OMG....man you're old school for REAL."

    So basically traditional TKD is just that old TSD.
     
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  6. TrueJim

    TrueJim Master Black Belt

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    Here's my two cents:
    • The school I attend does WTF/Olympic style sparring, was founded by a former K-Tiger, and is known for its Demo Team rather than it's self-defense. Nonetheless it bills itself as a "traditional" taekwondo school (it's on the school's website!) but what the owner really means is that he promotes traditional values (hard-work, discipline, respect, etc.).
    • To be fair, we do use Korean vocabulary in class, practice typical conventions for opening and closing classes, wear doboks instead of workout clothes, etc. -- so you could say we're "traditional" in those small ways too.
    • Bottom line: if even our school -- with its very modern style -- can bill itself as "traditional" taekwondo, I think almost any school could call itself "traditional".
    In terms of how I see the term commonly used:
    • Sometimes I see the term used to refer to Korean martial arts as practiced between the end of World War II and the formation of the ITF.
    • Other times I see the term used to refer to the non-Sine Wave version of ITF taekwondo.
    • Other times I see the term used to simply mean the emphasis is on self-defense rather than sport.
    • And then, as previously alluded, I see the term used to just mean that the school teaches traditional martial arts values, embraces its Korean roots, etc.
     
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  7. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    "Traditional TKD" has no meaning. I also can't help but wonder if it has any value whatsoever as a marketing tool since the public at large is not likely to impute any value to this term. Perhaps if it gets people in the door (Which I Highly doubt) to ask what that is all about, it has value.

    I would like input from other instructors out there, on this issue: Other than people who have a background in your specific org. or system, how many people (or percentage) looking for training have ever walked in your door and said I came here because you teach "X" system or style of TKD?
     
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  8. TrueJim

    TrueJim Master Black Belt

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    I wind up being heavily involved in recruiting new students at our school, and I think I can safely say it's less than 1% of our new students are looking for a specific style.
    • A lot of our new students are walk-ins who are drawn-in by the location. We have big glass walls* on 2 sides of the dojang so that everybody walking by can see what's going on inside the school...and there's plenty of foot-traffic near our school (we're next to a grocery store, a bank, a Baja Fresh, a McDonalds, and a Starbucks)**. Even people who don't take taekwondo at our school routinely glance inside the school and see what's going on as they walk by with their lattes. I wound up at this school because my 5-year-old dragged me into this school because he wanted to do 'what he saw going on inside the big windows'.
    • A ton of our new students come via word-of-mouth. We're a very large "fun" school: we have a locally popular Demo Team that performs often (local schools, shopping malls, local festivals***, etc.), a Poomsae Team that wins a lot at local tournaments, etc. So even though there's a big emphasis on being physically fit, having good taekwondo (in a poomsae/demo sense), etc. we get a ton of parents referring other parents to bring their kids to our school.
    Bottom line: 99% of our new students probably wouldn't even know one style from another, much less choose a school based on that.

    * This neighborhood has two other taekwondo schools within a mile of our school, and two more within 3 miles. We're on good terms with the other local schools and they joke about how envious they are about our location: very large floorspace, prime location, a lot of curb appeal.

    ** See for yourself: Google Maps

    *** This week the Demo Team will be performing in Annandale at a festival marking the anniversary of the Gwangju Uprising. Fairfax County, Virginia has a high density population of Koreans so those kinds of holidays get noted around here.
     
  9. SahBumNimRush

    SahBumNimRush Master of Arts

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    Since I've started back in 1985, we've only ever had a handful of folks looking for "X" system or style of TKD. However, we were the only TKD school in town, and one of only 2 martial art schools in town, so I'm not sure how marketing "X" style/system really means anything when there aren't any other schools competing for students.

    As far as how we market ourselves as "traditional" TKD, it is how Hercules stated. We teach the same TKD that our KJN brought to the U.S. back in the 60's. We still where the traditional TSD uniform (although we where black belts not the midnight blue), teach the old form sets (pyung ahns, bassai, naihanchi, chinto, kang song kun, etc), there is less emphasis on acrobatic kicks (540, 720, 900 spins, etc), we put a significant emphasis on SD and teach applications from forms.

    But in the end, I agree "traditional TKD" doesn't have a specific definition, and therefore, doesn't really market to a specific audience.
     
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  10. chrispillertkd

    chrispillertkd Senior Master

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    Tradition comes from the Latin verb "tradere" which means "to transmit/to pass on, to give for safe keeping." In effect, "traditional" Taekwon-Do is that Taekwon-Do which you have learned from your instructor. He's handed it on to you for safe keeping. It's interesting to note that the original term has its origin in Roman Law and dealt with inheritance. Traditional Taekwon-Do is what you inherit.

    Unfortunately, most people are completely unaware of the actual meaning of the word and use it in a manner which isn't entirely correct. Most of the time people use it to distinguish what is merely old from what is new (and, obviously, improved!). In this sense, I do not see it implying that it's better than a new iteration of the art any more than people who make a point of advertising that they teach "Olympic Taekwondo" does. There are plenty of examples where the originators of new arts or even just new practice methods of already existing arts emphasize the "new and improved" aspect of whatever it is they're doing to indicate their superiority over those backwards, hidebound traditionalists.

    "Traditionalists" will use often use the term to indicate that they practice the original karate forms, like their Kwan founder (or the instructor of their immediate instructor) most likely did. "Modern" Taekwondoin will sometimes use the term to denote someone who is "with the times." But, the fact is if you learn your Taekwon-Do from your instructor and practice it as he taught it to you you are, in effect, part of the handing on of tradition. What is one generation's innovation is the next generation's tradition.

    Pax,

    Chris
     
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  11. Kinghercules

    Kinghercules Blue Belt

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    Im sorry but it does have a meaning. As I have posted earlier it means the old way of training. Still to this day everyone that I know that trained under Ki Whang Kim that has a school still spars with no gear or just the foot pads. When ppl first started inviting me to there schools to train with them I would just show up with me uniform and they would always ask "Wheres your gear?" LOL!! And I'd be like "What do you mean", cause we didnt wear gear. So I was use to sparring without gear and ppl would look at me like I was the crazy one. But thats old school. Thats tradition. From the Japanese to the Koreans to the Americans.
     
  12. WaterGal

    WaterGal Master of Arts

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    Very few, if any. Half of the people who contact us are looking for "karate" lessons for their kid, because they don't even know that there are different styles of martial arts, let alone different style of Taekwondo.
     
  13. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    No need to be sorry. It has a meaning to you. It has no universal meaning to the public at large. (Or most everyone else as I will illustrate below)

    We all operate in a very small universe. If my universe calls a tail a leg does that mean for everyone out there a dog has 5 legs?

    For instance in your post #5 you say: " My predecessors told me to explain that I do Classical TKD. And basically its just the Korean masters that came from Tang Soo Do but didnt switch their style or curriculum over to KKW or ITF. Thats what traditional TKD is.

    When I was in Korea (Busan) I was asked to teach a class. When I did the instructor came up to me and said "you're old school. No one teaches like that any more." LOL! There's a guy named Master Sharma in MD that I use to work for and when asked me to teach a class so he can see if I can teach he said "OMG....man you're old school for REAL."

    So, it seems your predecessors referred to it as "Classical" as opposed to traditional, and someone else used the term "Old School" , so apparently to them "Traditional" was not the moniker.

    Further, a logical argument could be made that "Korean masters that came from Tang Soo Do but didnt switch their style or curriculum over to KKW or ITF." if they practiced a style that existed before any system called TKD, or even the name TKD existed, that they could not be doing TKD of any sort because it did not exist.

    Then you get into the whole issue of defining what is or is not TKD.

    So, as is typical, there can be no meaningful discussion unless participants agree on how terms are defined. I expect that get an agreement on what is or is not Traditional TKD will be just as impossible as getting an agreement on what is or is not TKD.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
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  14. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Can't think of any, honestly. Let's face it, unless you're already fairly familiar with TKD, you're not going to know the Moo Duk Kwan from Moo Goo Gai Pan.
     
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  15. Kinghercules

    Kinghercules Blue Belt

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    Ok....if you say so.
    :cool:
     
  16. Kinghercules

    Kinghercules Blue Belt

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    LOL!
    True.
     
  17. Balrog

    Balrog Master of Arts

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    To me, traditional martial arts of any kind means a martial art that concentrates on training the student to be the best person they can be, and not just the best fighter they can be.

    One of our seniors said something once that resonated with me: we teach life skills and we use Taekwondo as the teaching medium.
     
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  18. TrueJim

    TrueJim Master Black Belt

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    When teaching children you can get at some of these same life skills by having the children participate in sports: soccer, flag football, softball, etc. My son does those sports as well, but what I particularly like about martial arts (and I suppose a few other types of activities, like gymnastics) is that these activities are year-round, available almost every day of the week, rain or shine. There's a powerful continuity in the lessons themselves, the people teaching the lessons, and the people you're learning with.

    For example, we just finished up Spring flag-football season yesterday, and I was struck again by the fact that the team my son was on was now completely disbanded. The football coach was a fantastic coach (all about the life lessons, with football as the medium) but my son won't likely get that same coach again next season. My son made some friends on the team, but they'll not likely be "teammates" again. It's tough to make progress in teaching life-lessons when all you get is these little seasonal sprints and then it's all over!

    And then of course there's the practical aspects: my son and I can go to taekwondo in any of several evening timeslots almost every day of the week. But football practice for kids in his league was just twice a week.

    I know a lot of armchair warriors on the Internet like to complain that the sacredness of their black belts has been sullied by all the supposed McDojos out there teaching martial arts to children, or teaching after-care programs...but when you adopt the philosophy "we teach life skills and we use Taekwondo as the teaching medium", there are few activities out there for children that have the same kind of continuity.
     
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  19. Manny

    Manny Senior Master

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    Hello everyone, for me Traditional TKD or Clasic TKD or Old School TKD is the TKD previous to it's aceptance as an olimpic offcicial sport. The Olimpic TKD is the prevalent in the dojangs around the world and you can see it because the TKD classes are focused on olimpic kyorugi sparring and/or poomsae nowdays. Well this means that the trainings are oriented almost completly to olimpic sparring techniques and poomsae tecniques (where high kikks way above the head are cherished).

    Traditional or Old School TKD focuses in the whole martial art, for example, basics, kicking techs,blocks, parries, dodges,hand techs, arm techs, even low kicks,sweeping, trowing,locks,stances,board breaking,self defense, poomsae and kyorugi, also filosofy,good maners, respect, and all the good values and TKD tenets are in every day classes.

    Traditional or Old School TKD focuses in the developement of the individual in all the aspects of TKD and not only in the competition thing.

    El Manny
     
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  20. Jujutsuka

    Jujutsuka Yellow Belt

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    I agree with this post. As long it's something that's passed down from student to teacher, you can still call it tradition. (And as long as those awesome kicks are still passed on to me, I'll be one happy, butt-kicking taekwondo practitioner :) .)123
     

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