What are some differences between Karate and Taekwondo?

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by NinjaChristian, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Messages:
    25,952
    Likes Received:
    4,107
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Location:
    England
    Exactly. To live under occupation, to be subjugated, beaten, tortured, have your children taken away, to see your whole culture destroyed, and dismissed for so many decades it's more than understandable that you would have no love or forgiveness for those responsible. There is no being politically correct in this, there is no 'oh it's racist for the Koreans to hate the Japanese', it is what it is. We should get on our knees thankful we don't know what this was like. It doesn't help that modern Japan is ambivalent even now about the apologies and compensation due to Korean and others. The OP is talking about the Japanese and Koreans of that time, not modern people but of the time of the atrocities etc, looking at it from a distance of many years perhaps some cannot understand the feelings of those involved, which is a shame because not understanding and remembering means not learning and not learning means repeating those horrors.
    We have people in our country who still suffer because of what was done to them by the Japanese.
    Flashbacks terror for Japanese prison camp survivor

    BBC - WW2 People's War - A Woman Prisoner of the Japanese
     
  2. Prototype

    Prototype Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2016
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    I can't hate in the abstract.

    One thing I find ironic is how little Choi changed from the basics of Shotokan, given his views on Japan and the urge to produce a nationalistic counterpart. Am I the only one perceptive of this paradox? The Chang Hon patterns are essentially tweaks of Shotokan Katas up until black belt level. The move order and techniques are just variants of those Katas. Slight changes here and there. I am aware of the changes but they would hardly be noticeable for the layman. Black belts patterns are indeed more flashy than Shotokan, but your average student isn't going to be doing those for quite a while.
     
  3. Prototype

    Prototype Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2016
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    I am referring to subsequent biographical writings.
     
  4. TrueJim

    TrueJim Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2014
    Messages:
    1,006
    Likes Received:
    367
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Virginia
    Over-simplifying in the abstract however...well...let's just say you have a gift. :)

    You should read "A Killing Art" -- the main thesis of the entire book is that Choi spent his life trying to distinguish taekwondo from karate...so no, you're definitely not the only one! Personally I think Gillis over-states his case for the sake of telling a ripping yarn, but still....it's a must-read.

    Some relevant excerpts:

    A Killing Art: The Untold History of Tae Kwon Do, Updated and Revised: Alex Gillis: 9781770413009: Amazon.com: Books

    “Why do you withdraw your hand after the strike?” the General asks him. The black belt explains that he is ripping off the opponent's scrotum. “No,” General says. “That's Karate and WTF style.”

    That reminds the General of a joke: “A woman told another, ‘Don't marry a guy who studied WTF.' ‘Why?' asks the second woman. ‘Because he has no weapon,' said the first.”

    Another one of his refrains is “This is a bad habit from Karate,” as if bad habits pass through dynasties, handed from instructor to instructor. But what the General is not telling us is that he developed Tae Kwon Do from Shotokan Karate and has been trying to cover his Karate roots for fifty years.


    ---

    To anyone who did not know the martial arts, the two blocks looked identical and protected the same area. Choi had simply moved the arm a couple of inches to the right, so that it stopped in front of the belly instead of to the side of the belly. For Choi, though, this was a start. He began thinking about a new martial art, one that would be better than Karate...

    ---

    Never one to give up, he began writing a Tae Kwon Do book, and after 1957, when Shotokan Karate's founder, Gichin Funakoshi, died, Choi borrowed many of his ideas and words. Choi felt that he was improving Karate. He wanted Korea to have its own art, one that would be superior to anything from Japan, but his lies were outrageous now: he accused Japan of taking Korea's T'aekkyon and renaming it Karate during Japan's occupation of Korea before the Second World War.

    Choi loathed the Japanese, whose armies and governments had bullied Korea. He thought nothing of stealing Funakoshi's “elbow,” “ball of the foot,” “back of the heel,” and “sword foot.” [13] It was only fair, perhaps, because Funakoshi had originally borrowed them from Chinese martial arts. Choi also took the “sword hand,” “four-finger spear hand,” and “two-finger spear hand,” all of which appeared in Funakoshi's 1943 Japanese-language book, Karate-Do Nyumon. Funakoshi wrote that to strengthen a fist, one should punch a tapered wooden post. [14] Choi described exactly the same post for Tae Kwon Do, and included Funakoshi's advice to bury it one-third in the ground and wrap it in rice straw at the top. These all went into Choi's book.

    His five-year-old creation myth became beautifully simple: “Tae Kwon Do is an ancient, Korean martial art,” a claim that would be emblazoned on gym walls and people's minds for the next fifty years. Always the dramatic storyteller, he added wondrous 1,300-year-old anecdotes about the hwarang warriors: “T'aekkyon was so advanced that the history books of that period describe martial artists jumping over the high walls and attacking the enemy on the other side.” Another, wrote Choi, described martial artists, “kicking a ceiling after jumping from a sitting position.” [15] The jumps were possibly the only true part of the myth, but the hwarang could not leap through time.

    Gillis, Alex (2008-11-20). A Killing Art: The Untold History of Tae Kwon Do (Kindle Locations 1157-1170). ECW Press. Kindle Edition.

    ...there's tons more, but you get the idea. You should give this a read. I don't know that it would directly answer any of your questions, but it might illustrate how complex, subtle, and nuanced any meaningful answer has to be.

    ========

    The analogy I like to use with people is this: suppose Al-Qaeda took over the U.S. and outlawed Christmas for 40 years. All the Christmas tree farms have been converted into corn fields, all the sheet music for Christmas carols have been burned, all the factories that made ornaments have shut down, and nobody remembers any Christmas recipes. Every book, article, and recording relating to Christmas has been destroyed.

    Nobody has sung a carol, decorated a tree, or seen a Christmas movie for a generation and a half. The only memories that people have of traditional Christmas are 40 years old. Some of the older people have some dim childhood memories of Christmas, but that's about it. People under 40 have never seen a Christmas at all. Your children and grandchildren have never celebrated Christmas.

    Worse, if you wanted to get a decent job during those 40 years -- and not have your sisters and daughters be abducted and raped -- you had to covert to Islam. So not only have you NOT been celebrating Christmas, you've been celebrating Islamic holidays instead.


    Now...oh happy day!...the occupation is over after 40 years, and you're allowed to recreate Christmas. Where would you even begin?
    • Would your "New Christmas" wind up incorporating some of the Islamic traditions that you have been using for the last 40 years? Yah probably.
    • Would your childhood memories of Christmas inspire you to change these traditions in important ways? Yah definitely!
    • Would you want to admit that there were any "Islamic traditions" at all in your New Christmas -- probably not.
    Your New Christmas would probably wind up being some weird mashup of Islamic traditions that are your recent memories, and very old memories of Christmas traditions that you're not quite sure you're recollecting correctly -- but you sure as hell will do anything to make sure get incorporated into the New Christmas that all your grandchildren will now start celebrating.

    I imagine it was probably kinda like that, with you doing your best to take dim memories of taekkyon and other indigenous traditions and mashing them up into your recent knowledge of karate, to try to make something that would honor the Korean traditions of the past to the best of your ability.

    So personally, I say...let's cut the original taekwondo pioneers a little slack. We haven't lived through what they lived through...not even close.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Azulx

    Azulx Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2016
    Messages:
    634
    Likes Received:
    191
    Trophy Points:
    58
    I own this book, have not finished it but i will definitely make taht a priority this summer. I remember reading about General Choi saying that is a bad Karate habit etc. It made me laugh because it sounded like something my instructor would say. Literally my instructor is in a incredibly watered down version of what happened to General Choi. He had a huge falling out with his organization, and has been trying to cover up his old organization "flavor" if you will in what he does for the past 8-10 years. Great analogy btw the Christmas Islam thing is a pretty interesting way to look at things.
     
  6. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Messages:
    25,952
    Likes Received:
    4,107
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Location:
    England
    That makes no sense. No one is asking you to hate anyone, what is being asked of you is to understand the history and stop making silly assertions based on what you think should of happened.
     
  7. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,559
    Likes Received:
    330
    Trophy Points:
    158
    I will check his Bio again. IIRC, he does not state he trained directly under Funakoshi. Would you care to point me to the page where he purportedly said this?
     
  8. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,559
    Likes Received:
    330
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Have the book. Read it, Sent a critique to the author. In some cases I understood his (mis) perception. I found some to be rash generalizations based upon limited observation. I had similar issues after one course with General Choi, (Gillis apparently went to one) but reasons became more clear after more courses. I.E. low outer forearm block remains at the spot to protect., it was a difference with a reason. At least he had the and stated them. Purportedly Hiding Shotokan roots. Apparently Gillis never read the 1965 Book. He "stole" paramaters from Funakoshi, yet he states Funakoshi Borrowed them from Prior Arts. Yet General Choi explicitly states the Shorin and Shorei roots so what he did was "Stealing" but what others did was "Borrowing" etc.
     
  9. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,559
    Likes Received:
    330
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Not paradoxical at all considering what he did. He assembled top MA Guys in the country in the 29th infantry division. Their background was typically largely Shotokan thru the CDK . He trained them as instructors to teach the new system using their foundation. They adapted and adopted his system, taught and spread it. He also recruited instructors in the USA - he Il Ch - Jhoon Rhee, again with CDK training to teach his system. History shows us how successful the plan was especially given what travel and communication was like in the 1950s-1960s.
     
  10. Prototype

    Prototype Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2016
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    You don't see the paradox in loathing Japanese representation, but in actuality producing something like Shotokan 2.1 (once the Chang Hon patterns were completed) instead of TaeKwon-Do 1.0?
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2016
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  11. Prototype

    Prototype Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2016
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Perhaps not but som biographical accounts do claim that.
     
  12. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,559
    Likes Received:
    330
    Trophy Points:
    158
    The only paradox I see is your inability to consider things in historical context.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  13. Prototype

    Prototype Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2016
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    I am saying that if he wanted to pay tribute to Japanese representation, he couldn't have done a better job. That was not however the stated intent. The intent was the exact opposite - to differentiate.
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 2
  14. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,559
    Likes Received:
    330
    Trophy Points:
    158
    The problem is you complain about and critique General Choi using some non specific and unsubstantiated reference. You make a reference to "Wanting to See" Funakoshi issuing a 3rd Degree after 3 years.

    The 1965 Book states he trained in Karate under a Korean Friend Mr,.Kim, and in just under 2 years attained first degree, then he went to prep school for 1.5 years, then high school, then to the University of Tokyo, and then after 2 more years attained 2nd degree. (Page 296) . So, no third degree is mentioned and it was much longer to reach 2nd degree, and no mention of Funakoshi. Also reviewed the Bio and found no such reference.

    If you want to be critical, fine . Go right to his texts for whatever he said or wrote instead of quoting (Misquoting) someone somewhere with bad information.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  15. TrueJim

    TrueJim Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2014
    Messages:
    1,006
    Likes Received:
    367
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Virginia
    Prototype, I think you find this observation both (a) new, and (b) interesting.

    Yes, taekwondo has karate roots. Yes, many of the early pioneers tried to distance themselves from those roots. Yes, those two things are at odds with one another. By all means -- why don't you and I meet up at nice air-conditioned Starbucks somewhere for a yummy latte so that we sit back comfortably and criticize people who spent decades living through mind-boggling horrific conditions and yet went on to sincerely accomplish great things in their lives.

    Or, Plan B, we could be a little more sympathetic to the fact that whatever paradoxes you and I may see in hindsight from 50 years later and half-a-world away were perhaps pretty darn understandable - and arguably even unavoidable - when taken in the context of the times.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  16. Prototype

    Prototype Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2016
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    I didn't criticize him for it, I stated that it was an ironic fact/paradox. You extrapolate that to mean something negative. That being said, had this been in the United States in modern times, Choi Hong Hi could have been sued his pants off by various Shotokan Karate organisations (in principle). Let's not pretend otherwise.
     
  17. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Messages:
    15,779
    Likes Received:
    3,668
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Location:
    Pueblo West, CO
    That being said... who cares? Pick any event in history. Had it occurred in modern times, it would have been very different.
    The problem seems to be your inability to grasp the difference between your modern viewpoint and the viewpoint of someone in that time and place.
     
  18. Prototype

    Prototype Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2016
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    I do understand the context of history. That's exactly why I fond it curious that Choi didn't depart his Chang Hon-system more from Karate.
     
  19. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Messages:
    5,186
    Likes Received:
    164
    Trophy Points:
    188
    But that's an entirely subjective complaint you have there. From my equally subjective perspective, I think Chang Hon varies the most by far from Japanese karate in things like blocking chambers and sine wave execution compared to KKW TKD or Chung Do Kwan TKD. When I decided to recommit towards growing in TKD after years in karate, I actually ruled out ITF-type instructors precisely because the sine wave was too different for me to accept.

    Unless you come up with an accepted scoring rubric based on research models to evaluate the degree of departure Chang Hon TKD has from Shotokan karate, you're just being opinionated. Which is fine and all, but it's about as relevant as me not liking the ITF uniforms aesthetically or the flavor of Rocky Road ice cream for that matter.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2016
  20. TrueJim

    TrueJim Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2014
    Messages:
    1,006
    Likes Received:
    367
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Virginia
    In principle, you can sue anybody for anything...literally. I can sue you for having nostrils that are too far apart. The question is, will I win? It's up to a judge to decide if my case has merit.

    I take it you're suggesting that Choi could have been sued by some karate organizations for Intellectual Property infringement? I don't think a judge -- then or now -- would rule that that case has any merit:
    • In the case of copyright, only the copyright holder can sue for infringement.
    • In the case of inventions, only the patent holder can sue for infringement.
    • In the case of trademarks, only the trademark holder can sue for infringement.
    There are no karate organizations to my knowledge that hold any copyrights, patents, or trademarks on traditional karate techniques or forms.

    In other words:
    1. For a kata that was developed in the early 1900s by some karate master in Okinawa, I doubt the karate master ever applied for any IP protection for the kata.
    2. And for kata that's older than that, you're predating the existence of most IP law anyway...and the applicable law would be Okinawan, not U.S. or Korean, which gets you into the territory of IP treaties. And even if IP protection had been granted way back then,
    3. There are no karate organizations now (or in the 1950s) to who that IP would belong. Not unless the organization has some legal documentation which states that they represent the personal estate of that karate master.
    4. Barring a will or other document that passes the IP rights to the estate of some karate organization, in theory the IP (if it even existed, which it probably didn't) would now belong to the master's descendants -- but for IP that old, the protection would have expired by now (and by the 1950s) anyway.
    That having been said...my understanding is that the American Taekwondo Association (ATA) does consider their poomsae to be the intellectual property of the ATA. I know the PDFs they provide to their schools have copyright notices on the bottom (which makes sense, since copyright doesn't cover ideas, only the expression of ideas)...but I've always wondered what intellectual property protection they consider to apply to their poomsae? In theory you can also copyright choreography, so I've always wondered whether or not ATA considers their poomsae to fall under the IP category of choreography. You'll notice that I don't diagram the ATA poomsae on the taekwondo wiki...and that's why. I don't know what the IP status of this diagrams would be.

    But ATA aside, that's why people can make diagrams, write instructions, write books, or make videos about kata, teul, or poomsae to their heart's content without worrying about IP infringement. None of those things -- to my knowledge -- have any associated IP protection.

    How to Copyright Choreography
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
history of taekwondo iirc
,
itf taekwondo
,
karate ready stance
,
karate stance names
,
marsal art taeko ech kata video
,
shorin ryu stances
,

taekwondo itf

,
tkd itf
,
wado ryu karate stances
,
wing chun stance names
,
wkf fight pic