A Killing Art: The Untold History of Tae Kwon Do

miguksaram

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But carvings found on a first century BC flower pot clearly show padded hogu and headgear. And close inspection reveals a Vee neck dobok and a 2" belt!

How can you argue with such irrefutable proof??:p

Daniel

Actually it was a U-neck, becuase they have no 'V' in their alphabet. :D The 'V' was added later ha.ha.ha.
 

zeeberex

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Yo! Double ditto for me. It's time people actually got this idea into their heads thaqt there's another, much harsher side to TKD. Thanks to Stuart for getting the ball rolling with the discussions in his book of Tra Binh Dong and the ROK Marine and commando units, and to Simon for his newsletter and book discussion of the take-no-prisoners military aspect of TKD. Now it looks as if we have a book-length continuation of the theme.

I get a sense from the appearance of this book that the tide is turning in the perception of TKD, spurred on by the new combat realism in pattern interpretation and application that we see more and more in the MAs generally. This, on top of books such as Stuart and Simon's, makes me very hopeful that we'll be seeing much more attention paid to this side, institutionally and in terms of curriculum.

The techniques you learn in any art can be applied with lethal or harsher intent, the point is how the art is currently taught because how you are taught is how you will react will the bleep hits the fan.
 

BrandonLucas

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The techniques you learn in any art can be applied with lethal or harsher intent, the point is how the art is currently taught because how you are taught is how you will react will the bleep hits the fan.

It's actually a combination of how you're taught and the techniques that you are taught....you can have a great teacher who doesn't know the proper techniques...or, conversely, you can have a horrible teacher who knows all the proper techniques....you have to have both in order to learn properly.

Be that as it may, the book sounds quite interesting, whether it's completely truthful or not. Maybe it can bring the right kind of attention to TKD.
 

bluemtn

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There is almost always some truth to go along with fiction. It definitely would be interesting to read, and worth shelling out a few bucks...
 

miguksaram

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There is almost always some truth to go along with fiction. It definitely would be interesting to read, and worth shelling out a few bucks...

Here is a quote from the author during an interview:

"The book was extremely difficult to research because many of the
facts were unbelievable, bizarre and took enormous effort to
corroborate. I began by reading most of the mainstream works about Tae
Kwon Do and conducting a couple of crucial interviews (to see if I
could gain access to the deeper stories), then I dove into obscure
sources, including more than 4,000 pages of U.S. Congressional
documents about Koreagate (the scandal that followed Watergate in the
1970s), documents that contained previously classified details about
martial arts leaders and secret-service agents in Tae Kwon Do in the
1960s and 1970s, which was when Tae Kwon Do became as hot as Karate and Kung Fu.


I interviewed some of the pioneers of the art after much of the
research was done interviews that were the most challenging in my
life as an investigative journalist. In once case, I had to interview a
former martial arts assassin. In a second, I needed to corroborate that
a martial arts instructor had been a Korean CIA agent in a highly
publicized presidential kidnapping. In a third, I had to triple-check
that a cult had been involved with Tae Kwon Do. I found at least two
sources, usually three, for every fact"

I'm reminded of another book that was supposed to be true where the writter had inside knowledge of seedy Korean secrets called Race Against Evil by David "Race" Bannon. You should look him up on google to see the results of his labor.
 

zDom

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... In once case, I had to interview a
former martial arts assassin. ...

Wonder if he is talking about Pu Gil Gwon, another Korean, or a U.S. martial arts assassin.
 

Deaf Smith

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I intend on getting the book myself.

Really, when you think about it, TKD, if practiced hard many times a week and take very seriously, is a very good fighting art.

The real problem as been 'McDojos". If you have ever seen the ROKs train, they don't do one hour twice a week and spend tons of time on small matters and many forms. They do lots of physical training (good old PT) and are very no-nonsense in their techniques.

Imagine having to work out 2 hours three times a week, with alot of that time in hard PT with lots of SD and sparring mixed in.

Actually, that sounds good! Wish I knew of a school like that in America.

Deaf
 

zDom

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Imagine having to work out 2 hours three times a week, with alot of that time in hard PT with lots of SD and sparring mixed in.

Actually, that sounds good! Wish I knew of a school like that in America.

Sounds like the dojang kwanjang and I trained at in the early to mid '90s ;) :)

Maybe not quite as hardcore as the ROK, but it was some great training.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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I intend on getting the book myself.

Really, when you think about it, TKD, if practiced hard many times a week and take very seriously, is a very good fighting art.

The real problem as been 'McDojos". If you have ever seen the ROKs train, they don't do one hour twice a week and spend tons of time on small matters and many forms. They do lots of physical training (good old PT) and are very no-nonsense in their techniques.

Imagine having to work out 2 hours three times a week, with alot of that time in hard PT with lots of SD and sparring mixed in.

Actually, that sounds good! Wish I knew of a school like that in America.

Deaf
That is the kind of school I'd like to open.

Daniel
 

Miles

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I think I'd read it at the library but don't know if I would spend any money on it. Gen Choi's son recently returned to ROK and mentioned his involvement in the kidnapping/assassination scheme. I think most of this information is already available from other ITF sources. For me, the interesting thing would be the interviews with the pioneers. If I like what I read and thought I'd re-read it, I'd buy it.
 

terryl965

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I intend on getting the book myself.

Really, when you think about it, TKD, if practiced hard many times a week and take very seriously, is a very good fighting art.

The real problem as been 'McDojos". If you have ever seen the ROKs train, they don't do one hour twice a week and spend tons of time on small matters and many forms. They do lots of physical training (good old PT) and are very no-nonsense in their techniques.

Imagine having to work out 2 hours three times a week, with alot of that time in hard PT with lots of SD and sparring mixed in.

Actually, that sounds good! Wish I knew of a school like that in America.

Deaf

Well you can always come over to my school and give it a try.
icon10.gif
 

Cirdan

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As much as I love a good hard workout I think I should point out the following: In any properly run MA school around 90% of the time will be spent on fairly low intensity, technical training.
 

zeeberex

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As much as I love a good hard workout I think I should point out the following: In any properly run MA school around 90% of the time will be spent on fairly low intensity, technical training.

true, but sparring should almost always in my opinion, as opposed on randori, which I personally consider more of a training excercise, should be full contact.
 

Cirdan

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true, but sparring should almost always in my opinion, as opposed on randori, which I personally consider more of a training excercise, should be full contact.

I can see your point. Personally I do think of sparring as a training exercise. I do it to improve my skills, it is not a goal in itself.
Being a traditionalist "full contact" to me would be no rules and no protective gear, someting you can`t do in class because it leads to hospitalizing people.
 

FearlessFreep

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I can see your point. Personally I do think of sparring as a training exercise. I do it to improve my skills, it is not a goal in itself.
Being a traditionalist "full contact" to me would be no rules and no protective gear, someting you can`t do in class because it leads to hospitalizing people.

In trying to describe the role of sparring as training as part of a larger picture, the analogy I've come up with is...

"The Army doesn't train to win wargames, the army uses wargames to train to win a war"

Sparring...is wargames
 
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StuartA

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Personally I do think of sparring as a training exercise. I do it to improve my skills, it is not a goal in itself.
The goal is to improve your skills as you said.. there for it makes it a training exercise. After learning something for the first time, isnt this what training is for!!!

Being a traditionalist "full contact" to me would be no rules and no protective gear, someting you can`t do in class because it leads to hospitalizing people.
Im a traditionalist as well, training heavy/full can still be done.. if the older schools had the safety gear we had, do you not think they would have used it to allow safer, more productive training? That said, I think limited protective gear is best (mouth guard & gloves is all we use). All training has to have some rules, simply from a safety viewpoint, I cant think of any art that had all techniques allowed, full contact, with no rules at all.. people would be losing eyes and breaking limbs every session!!

Stuart
 

zDom

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It's a fine line that must be tread:

mixing it up with enough intensity to train for real situations,

but

not being counterproductive by causing injuries.

After all, what is the point in training self defense to avoid injury from people if you are being even more seriously injured during training/testing?


Pinpoint focus skills combined with mutual respect and care for training partners are invaluable in treading this fine line.

i.e.,

"Make me FEEL the body shots, let me know I got hit in the head and didn't slip the strike, but don't break my ribs, splatter my nose, cause brain trauma by knocking me out/giving me concussions; and I'll do the same for you."
 
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