Chang Hon forms questions

bluewaveschool

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I have noticed some differences looking online at people performing the forms, and what I was taught. If I go and train/test somewhere, will I be faulted for knowing the forms 'wrong'? Somewhere along the way an instructor changed a few things.

Examples -

Dan Gun - Towards the end, the 4 rising blocks. I was taught that each movement was a down block then rising. From what I've seen, and from my form book by Hee Il Cho, the down block is only on the first move, the next three are strictly rising blocks.

Hwa Rang - I have seen the 3 reserve punches down at an angle, I was taught straight ahead. The double elbow attack following I was taught as a riding stance, I've seen it a fighting stance looking backwards over the right shoulder. I was also taught it begins with the Heaven Hands movement, which is apparent the start of Gwang Gae.

Also, explain to me the self defense purpose of the jump 360 spin in Chung Moo.
 

Earl Weiss

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I have noticed some differences looking online at people performing the forms, and what I was taught. If I go and train/test somewhere, will I be faulted for knowing the forms 'wrong'? Somewhere along the way an instructor changed a few things.

Examples -

Dan Gun - Towards the end, the 4 rising blocks. I was taught that each movement was a down block then rising. From what I've seen, and from my form book by Hee Il Cho, the down block is only on the first move, the next three are strictly rising blocks.

Hwa Rang - I have seen the 3 reserve punches down at an angle, I was taught straight ahead. The double elbow attack following I was taught as a riding stance, I've seen it a fighting stance looking backwards over the right shoulder. I was also taught it begins with the Heaven Hands movement, which is apparent the start of Gwang Gae.

Also, explain to me the self defense purpose of the jump 360 spin in Chung Moo.

First, if you want to learn the forms according to the most widely accepted standard use General Choi's books. They teach the technical specifications for the moves as well as the mves in teh patterns. He Il Cho is a great athlete and very knowledgeable but there are issues with his books. For instance would you buy a book of the alphabet containg all 20 letters. There is also a definite deviation in Se Jong. It is unknown if this was an editing error or something else.

Dan Gun - The low outer forearm block folowed by 3 rising blocks is correct.

Hwa Rang - stances are always "!/2 facing" the default position for the punch is to your center / solar plexus line, so therefore the punch is to the angle. The elbow is in an L stance.
As stated the 360 Jumb allows for avoin=ding a staff attack to the legs and checking all around you to see what attackers may be doing.
 

Earl Weiss

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I have noticed some differences looking online at people performing the forms, and what I was taught. If I go and train/test somewhere, will I be faulted for knowing the forms 'wrong'? Somewhere along the way an instructor changed a few things.

will you be faulted? Depends where you test.

Your post is a sad but common story.

Instructors purport to teach the Chang Hon system.

They change things and either don't tell people they change things and if they do, they never memeorialize the changes, sso the changes seem to change.

They screw things up and don't know it and the screwups proliferate.

There is an saying "The shortest pencil is better than the longest memory".

It is much easier to have a written standard, and even better with the advent of video supplementation.
 

dancingalone

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will you be faulted? Depends where you test.

Your post is a sad but common story.

Instructors purport to teach the Chang Hon system.

They change things and either don't tell people they change things and if they do, they never memeorialize the changes, sso the changes seem to change.

They screw things up and don't know it and the screwups proliferate.

There is an saying "The shortest pencil is better than the longest memory".

It is much easier to have a written standard, and even better with the advent of video supplementation.

Oh, I don't know that all or even most people who use the Choi forms purport to teach the Chang Hon system at all. For that properly, you obviously have to look to the various ITF groups for that as they follow General Choi's last words on how his system should be taught.

I've mentioned many times here that my TKD black belt came from people who learned from Jhoon Rhee. We used the Choi forms, but we certainly didn't do them to his final specifications, and this is knowingly so, with no disrespect intended to the General. For our purposes the He Il Cho book (1st one, at least which has the hyung up to Toi Gye) works fine as do obviously Jhoon Rhee's line of books on the same forms. Why so? Because we're not Chang Hon TKDists and we haven't been part of the ITF for decades, and we're fine with our TKD being something distinctly different from what the ITF groups teach now.

So for Bluewave, it really depends on whom he is trying to affiliate with. If he is trying to join an ITF, then yes, he needs to learn the forms from a source that can give him the exact currency required. If not, then let's realize that plenty of smaller TKD orgs and independent schools in North America use some variation of General Choi's forms, and plenty of them likewise would happily admit they do not follow his curriculum as outlined in the Encyclopedia.

It's a lot like the Pinan forms used in karate which General Choi studied himself a form of. There are many variations on them, even within Shorin-ryu karate ryu-ha before you even get into Shotokan or Wado or the Korean derivations. It's all good so long as you have a reason for performing them the way you do, and if you have drills that make the pattern meaningful beyond conditioning and artistic merit.
 

Marginal

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Do you believe this is a realistic application? I would prefer another explanation.

Realistic? It's just a basic application. It helps folks get up to a decent height at least. It's also good for strengthening the legs.

If you wanted to come up with a combat application, it works better in conjunction with the preceding move IMO.

18. Lower the left foot to the right foot and then move the right foot to C forming a right fixed stance toward C while executing a U-shape block toward C.​

Weapon disarm.

19. Jump and spin around counter clockwise, landing on the same spot to form a left L-stance toward C while executing a middle guarding block to C with a knife-hand.​

Could be an evasion and counter strike with the stolen weapon.
 

dancingalone

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Realistic? It's just a basic application. It helps folks get up to a decent height at least. It's also good for strengthening the legs.

Explaining it as a conditioning/strengthening move is fair enough. Even invoking artistic license would be OK imo. However, jumping with both legs high up in the air at 360 degrees would have to be one of the most unsound actions you could take against someone wielding a staff. Not sure how this found its way into TKD, but I've heard the same explanation for the Shotokan kata Empi which has a similar move in it. This explanation is equally unlikely there.

If you wanted to come up with a combat application, it works better in conjunction with the preceding move IMO.
18. Lower the left foot to the right foot and then move the right foot to C forming a right fixed stance toward C while executing a U-shape block toward C.​
Weapon disarm.
19. Jump and spin around counter clockwise, landing on the same spot to form a left L-stance toward C while executing a middle guarding block to C with a knife-hand.​
Could be an evasion and counter strike with the stolen weapon.

Ugh. That sounds like something cribbed from the [bad] bunkai used to explain certain hand movements in the Shotokan kata Jitte (Sip Soo to our Tang Soo Do friends). You are not going to disarm someone wielding a staff barehanded, even if that person only has a moderate level of competence. Just won't happen... I have extensive kobudo experience and that's my opinion.

No offense intended with this by the way. I am passionate about pattern applications and I am saddened to see their immature nature in TKD.
 

Marginal

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Explaining it as a conditioning/strengthening move is fair enough. Even invoking artistic license would be OK imo.
Conditioning is more the intent.

Ugh. That sounds like something cribbed from the [bad] bunkai used to explain certain hand movements in the Shotokan kata Jitte (Sip Soo to our Tang Soo Do friends). You are not going to disarm someone wielding a staff barehanded, even if that person only has a moderate level of competence. Just won't happen... I have extensive kobudo experience and that's my opinion.

Heh. Idle thought on my part.

The U shaped block is supposed to be stopping a staff strike though. (The idea being that you're checking it before the attacker gets the staff up to speed.)
 

bribrius

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Conditioning is more the intent.



Heh. Idle thought on my part.

The U shaped block is supposed to be stopping a staff strike though. (The idea being that you're checking it before the attacker gets the staff up to speed.)


so to clarify. Are you two saying that you CAN'T stop a staff?
 

Earl Weiss

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Oh, I don't know that all or even most people who use the Choi forms purport to teach the Chang Hon system at all..

The set of forms Chon Ji Dan Gun, etc. are the "Chang Hon ' Pattern system.

So, if you teach those forms and claim not to teach that system then what the heck are you teaching? Chang Hon light?
 

Earl Weiss

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Do you believe this is a realistic application? I would prefer another explanation.

Lets just say it would not be among my top ten favorite things to do. Patterns are not strictly about realism. There is "Art" development of athleticism, learning body mechanics and more.

Now, if you want to talk about "Realistic" applications, we can start with bringing the opposite hand to the hip when punching.
 

dancingalone

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The set of forms Chon Ji Dan Gun, etc. are the "Chang Hon ' Pattern system.

So, if you teach those forms and claim not to teach that system then what the heck are you teaching? Chang Hon light?

I may be entirely wrong, but from my perspective I don't believe the bulk of General Choi's system is imparted strictly through the patterns. What about self defense or the fanciful kicks? They are taught outside of the pattern framework in stand alone drills are they not?

If so, then it's hardly an accurate claim to say the patterns in of themselves are the system.
 

dancingalone

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Lets just say it would not be among my top ten favorite things to do. Patterns are not strictly about realism. There is "Art" development of athleticism, learning body mechanics and more.

Now, if you want to talk about "Realistic" applications, we can start with bringing the opposite hand to the hip when punching.

Patterns should be primarily about realistic usage, otherwise we are just dancing and we might as well drop the time used in their practice in favor of something else. This was one of my frustrations with the TKD I learned that ultimately led to a different path and now in my own TKD class I AM using the Choi patterns as a vehicle to teach fighting concepts and applications. (But I don't claim at all to be teaching Chang Hon. :) )

Regarding the return of the opposite hand to the hip, surely I don't need to define the 'hikite' arm. It's one of the keys to making sure any pattern has martial meaning.
 

dancingalone

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Heh. Idle thought on my part.

The U shaped block is supposed to be stopping a staff strike though. (The idea being that you're checking it before the attacker gets the staff up to speed.)

<shrugs> Gotta go with what your teacher tells you, I suppose.

How often do you practice trying to disarm someone with a bo/jo using a u-shaped 'block'? My guess is seldom if at all, otherwise it wouldn't even be brought up as a possible application.

In Okinawan karate or Gung Fu, it's generally translated as a two level 'punch' or better yet a combination block/punch or a reaching, pulling motion. I would argue a grappling application is a far better explanation for this motion and when my TKD students reach a sufficient level to be taught this 'block', this will be the application given and DRILLED.
 

jks9199

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so to clarify. Are you two saying that you CAN'T stop a staff?
I certainly wouldn't want to try to stop a staff swung with any real intent with any of the techniques described... Might work, but seems like a high risk of injury to yourself, no? As to the jump-360... both functional explanations offered seem unlikely. You're jumping and spinning; how much can you really see as you go around? And what are you going to do if you do see an attacker while airborne? The explanation of conditioning is better...

We have a 360 degree jump step. It's an evasion technique for attacks at the lower body and allows you to deliver a powerful strike as you land. You could also use it to attack, a la spinning back kick or spinning hook kick.
 

terryl965

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Well for me any variation from General Choi's way would be couinted against any tester in front of me.

As far as the 360 degree spin, I would never try and stop a blow by a staff doing that tech. maybe to avoid a attack to the lower body but that would be it.
 

rlobrecht

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We've often joked with our Kyosanim about breaking your thumbs off if you really tried using a U-shaped block to block a staff.

While we're on the subject of not terribly useful moves, what about the W-shaped blocks in Toi Gye? I read somewhere they are to block two simultaneous jump side kicks to the head. Blocking multiple punches is more likely.
 

Marginal

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<shrugs> Gotta go with what your teacher tells you, I suppose.

How often do you practice trying to disarm someone with a bo/jo using a u-shaped 'block'?

About as often as we practice the rifle disarm...

In Okinawan karate or Gung Fu, it's generally translated as a two level 'punch' or better yet a combination block/punch or a reaching, pulling motion. I would argue a grappling application is a far better explanation for this motion and when my TKD students reach a sufficient level to be taught this 'block', this will be the application given and DRILLED.

Someone ought to get Stuart Anslow in here. He probably has a few more ideas.
 
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