discouraged by the TKD community

andyjeffries

Master of Arts
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
1,968
Reaction score
271
Location
Stevenage, Herts, UK
A search reveals that there are forms specific to Changmookwan. Other people here have confirmed this.

I think @dancingalone is right, some practitioners (in the USA) continue to practice the older curriculum, which likely was around before the standardisation efforts and either choose not to standardise or simply aren't aware that the Kwans no longer do those forms.

If you do not follow another curriculum but only follow the KKW curriculum what does a person do to promote in CMK (you said 7th Dan)? That is rather confusing.

You perform the Kukkiwon requirements for that rank but either in front of your direct instructor, the President or a panel of Changmookwan masters of one dan rank higher than the grade you're going for. It's the same requirements as the Kukkiwon promotion, but it's just less official (but to some of us means more, because our Kwan is our family).

My 6th Dan Changmookwan was given to me directly by the current Changmookwan President, Grandmaster Kim, Joong-young. There was no test, but he'd seen my poomsae and was happy for me to have that rank. My 7th Dan was given to me by my instructor Grandmaster Pan, Sim-woon after a test at my dojang. My 8th Dan (due to take Q1 next year) was supposed to be in front of Grandmaster Kim and the Changmookwan high dan panel, but given Covid restrictions may actually be performed via video now (which is the same as Kukkiwon now requires for 6th and 7th Dan).

I have trained in many schools and other Kwan schools who all had their own curriculum and many of them also included the KKW curriculum as a Compliment, not a replacement.

That still fits with my theory, international instructors that feel the need to keep the old ways alive while in fact Korea unified and the current Kwan leaders do 100% Kukkiwon standard Taekwondo with no additional patterns.

MDK for example has a specific set of gup rank forms and BB forms and curriculum.

KKW is the only entity claiming they are the only TKD. This is exactly what happened to TSD and to a lesser degree MDK.
That thinking it ripe for implosion.

I don't think they do claim they are the only Taekwondo. When I attended World Taekwondo Leaders Forum they spoke about being inclusive to other Taekwondo styles and helping them if they want to join Kukkiwon. Kukkiwon's view is that it's a vehicle for unification not just absorption. For that reason I don't think it is ripe for implosion. There's no real power play here to try to grab all of the Taekwondo in the world, just an open offer - join us.

To be clear as well, Kukkiwon always says that their syllabus for gradings is the minimum required and dojangs are welcome to add their own content in too. For some that may be extra pattern sets, others (almost all?) add in self-defence and step-sparring.

That may feel like a contradiction (given this thread), but to be clear - I choose not to add extra sets of forms in to our gradings because the Kukkiwon doesn't teach them and neither does my Kwan (nor others still HQ'd in Korea that I've spoken to), but it's fine by Kukkiwon if others do and still give Kukkiwon rank.
 

Dirty Dog

MT Senior Moderator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
18,024
Reaction score
4,871
Location
Pueblo West, CO
I think a martial arts branch that accepts black belt transfers is the same martial art.
You seem to think a lot of silly things. Perhaps the part where it was mentioned that you have to learn the appropriate curriculum?
Furthermore, your reference to 3 is completely arbitrary.
They have different founders, different orgs, different form sets, perform techniques in similar, but certainly not identical ways (although, granted, the differences might be difficult for someone like you to pick up on). Yeah, that's arbitrary... #facepalm
I boxed the ears off my fellow TKDoins for 4 years before finally joining a boxing gym for a few months + 3 years at home on and off. It's hard to quantify exactly how much it amounts to.
So, not very much.

[Additional silliness deleted]
 

MadMartigan

Green Belt
Joined
Apr 28, 2021
Messages
160
Reaction score
169
You perform the Kukkiwon requirements for that rank but either in front of your direct instructor, the President or a panel of Changmookwan masters of one dan rank higher than the grade you're going for. It's the same requirements as the Kukkiwon promotion, but it's just less official (but to some of us means more, because our Kwan is our family).
As an independent out in 'bug-tussle' rural canada, I have to say I'm confused also.
What it seems to me like you're saying breaks down something along the lines of:
- Grade for 7th Dan CMK (or other Kukiwan affiliated org) by performing the KKW requirements for 7th Dan.
- Pass this exam for 7th, receive CMK rank, but only receive 6th Dan from KKW (not the 7th Dan you just tested for).

Is there a separate exam date with different examiners for each of these ranks, or does the promotion happen concurrently from the same exam?

If you have met the KKW requirements for 7th in front of qualified examiners, and if there truly are no differences in curriculum, what is the point of the rank distinction?

(Honestly curious. I believe there must be a reason. I just can't for the life of me think of what it might be).
 

Dirty Dog

MT Senior Moderator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
18,024
Reaction score
4,871
Location
Pueblo West, CO
As an independent out in 'bug-tussle' rural canada, I have to say I'm confused also.
What it seems to me like you're saying breaks down something along the lines of:
- Grade for 7th Dan CMK (or other Kukiwan affiliated org) by performing the KKW requirements for 7th Dan.
- Pass this exam for 7th, receive CMK rank, but only receive 6th Dan from KKW (not the 7th Dan you just tested for).

Is there a separate exam date with different examiners for each of these ranks, or does the promotion happen concurrently from the same exam?

If you have met the KKW requirements for 7th in front of qualified examiners, and if there truly are no differences in curriculum, what is the point of the rank distinction?

(Honestly curious. I believe there must be a reason. I just can't for the life of me think of what it might be).
I suspect you're interpreting it backwards.
The Kwan may use the same form set, but at a different level.
So you do the KKW curriculum for X Dan. But that curriculum is X+1 Dan by the Kwan standards. Or it could be X-1 Dan by the Kwan standards.
In our MDK branch, we use X-1 Dan. So a student has to know the curriculum up to and including Koryo to test for 1st Dan. The student who passes is awarded a 1st Dan from either the KKW or the MDK, their choice.
It's important to remember that the KKW curriculum is considered the minimum standard. There's nothing that says you can't add more, or (in this case) adjust rank requirements.
 

andyjeffries

Master of Arts
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
1,968
Reaction score
271
Location
Stevenage, Herts, UK
As an independent out in 'bug-tussle' rural canada, I have to say I'm confused also.

Sorry about that, I'll try to clear it up.

What it seems to me like you're saying breaks down something along the lines of:
- Grade for 7th Dan CMK (or other Kukiwan affiliated org) by performing the KKW requirements for 7th Dan.
- Pass this exam for 7th, receive CMK rank, but only receive 6th Dan from KKW (not the 7th Dan you just tested for).

OK, so the Kwans (I'm talking in general terms, but definitely specifically CMK) allow you to have one rank above your Kukkiwon rank (only in exceptional circumstances will they break that rule).

So when I tested for 7th Dan CMK, I effectively tested using the 7th Dan syllabus for Kukkiwon (which CMK supports 100%) and the 6th Dan Kukkiwon syllabus combined in to one single test. My instructor then applied for both ranks for me with each body.

My instructor felt that going one above Kukkiwon rank with Kwan rank is used for when you have missed tests, to get you where you should have been on your journey. I don't know if Changmookwan HQ feels the same, but I'll ask next time I visit them.

Is there a separate exam date with different examiners for each of these ranks, or does the promotion happen concurrently from the same exam?

As above concurrently with the same exam. It could be done with different examiners on different dates, but in reality Changmookwan GMs are also Kukkiwon GMs or high dan holders, so the same test can suffice for both.

If you have met the KKW requirements for 7th in front of qualified examiners, and if there truly are no differences in curriculum, what is the point of the rank distinction?

As above, I missed lots of Kukkiwon test opportunities, eventually receiving a jump dan for one rank, but I was still behind where I should have been. The Changmookwan President felt I warranted one rank above my Kukkiwon for where I should be.

There is no real rank distinction, one is of the official Kukkiwon rank, the other is an "as your family we consider you X Dan" sort of rank. Both have meaning for me, and it's really common to have both, at least in senior Taekwondoin (modern generation in Korea just has Kukkiwon). The seniors in Korea love it when we as international Taekwondoin still show respect and love for the Kwans by maintaining our relationship and having Kwan rank.

(Honestly curious. I believe there must be a reason. I just can't for the life of me think of what it might be).

Hope that helps, but if you have any other questions, I'm happy to answer.
 

InfiniteLoop

Brown Belt
Joined
Aug 30, 2021
Messages
437
Reaction score
90
They have different founders, different orgs, different form sets, perform techniques in similar, but certainly not identical ways (although, granted, the differences might be difficult for someone like you to pick up on). Yeah, that's arbitrary... #facepalm

So, not very much.

[Additional silliness deleted]

You my friend are on the record saying that there is no difference between the Dollyo Chagi in ITF and KKW and that it is the same art
 
Last edited:

InfiniteLoop

Brown Belt
Joined
Aug 30, 2021
Messages
437
Reaction score
90
Maybe he changed his mind. No crime...

Really? They're not the same art?
Wow... how did I earn Dan rankings in both ITF- and KKW-style Taekwondo (WTF is not a style, just FYI, it is a governing body for a sport) without noticing that?
Hmmm....
What they are, is different styles within the same art. Styles with far more shared traits than different.

Damn, I had no idea I knew so many different arts! The WTF, not being a style, doesn't define any techniques.
The KKW, on the other hand, does indeed have roudhouse kicks that are done quite precisely the same way as those done in the ITF.

What can I say? Don't run for office...
 

dvcochran

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
6,565
Reaction score
2,010
Location
Southeast U.S.
I think @dancingalone is right, some practitioners (in the USA) continue to practice the older curriculum, which likely was around before the standardisation efforts and either choose not to standardise or simply aren't aware that the Kwans no longer do those forms.



You perform the Kukkiwon requirements for that rank but either in front of your direct instructor, the President or a panel of Changmookwan masters of one dan rank higher than the grade you're going for. It's the same requirements as the Kukkiwon promotion, but it's just less official (but to some of us means more, because our Kwan is our family).

My 6th Dan Changmookwan was given to me directly by the current Changmookwan President, Grandmaster Kim, Joong-young. There was no test, but he'd seen my poomsae and was happy for me to have that rank. My 7th Dan was given to me by my instructor Grandmaster Pan, Sim-woon after a test at my dojang. My 8th Dan (due to take Q1 next year) was supposed to be in front of Grandmaster Kim and the Changmookwan high dan panel, but given Covid restrictions may actually be performed via video now (which is the same as Kukkiwon now requires for 6th and 7th Dan).



That still fits with my theory, international instructors that feel the need to keep the old ways alive while in fact Korea unified and the current Kwan leaders do 100% Kukkiwon standard Taekwondo with no additional patterns.



I don't think they do claim they are the only Taekwondo. When I attended World Taekwondo Leaders Forum they spoke about being inclusive to other Taekwondo styles and helping them if they want to join Kukkiwon. Kukkiwon's view is that it's a vehicle for unification not just absorption. For that reason I don't think it is ripe for implosion. There's no real power play here to try to grab all of the Taekwondo in the world, just an open offer - join us.

To be clear as well, Kukkiwon always says that their syllabus for gradings is the minimum required and dojangs are welcome to add their own content in too. For some that may be extra pattern sets, others (almost all?) add in self-defence and step-sparring.

That may feel like a contradiction (given this thread), but to be clear - I choose not to add extra sets of forms in to our gradings because the Kukkiwon doesn't teach them and neither does my Kwan (nor others still HQ'd in Korea that I've spoken to), but it's fine by Kukkiwon if others do and still give Kukkiwon rank.
This even more supports the idea that you are in a bubble. TKD is not just in Korea. Hasn't been for going on 60+ years. There is a LOT more going on.

On one hand when you say (paraphrasing) "Korea says X is the only correct way" but on the other hand say "yea they have an open format and do not push anything on you" yes, that is a clear and present double standard.
In the KKW format there are shades of truth here, but Only in that format.

No disrespect to anyone, but I am completely lost on the value of a Kwan belt when a person does not have to learn anything new.
When someone is awarded a belt from another style for doing the same stuff that raises some big questions. When I got my 7th Dan MDK it was surprisingly grueling at my age, lasting about 4 hours. I will always appreciate that. This does not include the volumes of documentation I created. And it was Completely different from my KKW Dan test.

I encourage you to research the current activity of the Kwan's because if certainly appears you are taking a "ignorance is bliss" approach. This is good for no one; the exception possibility being you in the short term.
Most Kwan's are alive and well.

Again, not trying to enemies. Just willing to be the 'bad guy' if it helps someone expand their horizons.
 

dancingalone

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 7, 2007
Messages
5,312
Reaction score
263
I think @dancingalone is right, some practitioners (in the USA) continue to practice the older curriculum, which likely was around before the standardisation efforts and either choose not to standardise or simply aren't aware that the Kwans no longer do those forms.
This is an interesting discussion and I thank you and dvcochran for having it without too much acrimony. I would like to add my own perspective as a person that started TKD (ITF-ish but not really) as a youth, moved onto karate and other arts for most of my life, and then came back to TKD (Kukki at that) later on when the opportunity arrived to purchase a successful dojang.

Despite holding KKW rank, I don't really see the kwan identities as perfectly entwined with the Kukkiwon itself. Instead I think the lineal connections foremost. This undoubtedly comes from my stronger experience from Okinawan karate and aikido and the jujutsu arts. Who your teacher is and your connection to him is the basis of your martial identity. So I think of the kwan heads like founder Hwang Kee of the Moo Duk Kwan or the first and second kwanjang of the Chung Do Kwan like Lee Won Kuk or Son Duk Sung when I think of kwan identity. As you probably know these men either never were part of the TDK unification movement or they pulled out from it in the end. You could probably count Lee Nam Suk of the Chang Moo Kwan in that group in the last decades of his life.

While it is true that the students of these men that stayed in Korea fully embraced the standardization of TKD under the auspices of the schools they succeeded to, I don't fault at all those who find more meaning in curriculum, rank, or recognition derived from their teachers and up the line to the likes of Hwang Kee, Lee Nam Suk, etc. To me that makes sense. Ultimately you follow your teacher because he is your 'father', giving you everything he has, and in return you honor him and pass the knowledge on that you received. For some that means an identity outside of KKW. For others like yourself the two are one and the same. Neither is wrong.
 

dvcochran

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
6,565
Reaction score
2,010
Location
Southeast U.S.
This is an interesting discussion and I thank you and dvcochran for having it without too much acrimony. I would like to add my own perspective as a person that started TKD (ITF-ish but not really) as a youth, moved onto karate and other arts for most of my life, and then came back to TKD (Kukki at that) later on when the opportunity arrived to purchase a successful dojang.

Despite holding KKW rank, I don't really see the kwan identities as perfectly entwined with the Kukkiwon itself. Instead I think the lineal connections foremost. This undoubtedly comes from my stronger experience from Okinawan karate and aikido and the jujutsu arts. Who your teacher is and your connection to him is the basis of your martial identity. So I think of the kwan heads like founder Hwang Kee of the Moo Duk Kwan or the first and second kwanjang of the Chung Do Kwan like Lee Won Kuk or Son Duk Sung when I think of kwan identity. As you probably know these men either never were part of the TDK unification movement or they pulled out from it in the end. You could probably count Lee Nam Suk of the Chang Moo Kwan in that group in the last decades of his life.

While it is true that the students of these men that stayed in Korea fully embraced the standardization of TKD under the auspices of the schools they succeeded to, I don't fault at all those who find more meaning in curriculum, rank, or recognition derived from their teachers and up the line to the likes of Hwang Kee, Lee Nam Suk, etc. To me that makes sense. Ultimately you follow your teacher because he is your 'father', giving you everything he has, and in return you honor him and pass the knowledge on that you received. For some that means an identity outside of KKW. For others like yourself the two are one and the same. Neither is wrong.
Very well said.

I feel it would be great to hear from others in the various TKD ranks about this subject here on the forum. Perspective can be galvanizing and sometimes limiting.
I am very interested to hear others experience and perspective on the value of lineage, school/instructor following, or whether that even matters to some.

Again, I appreciate @andyjeffries efferies candor and openness and thank @dancingalone for jumping into the fray.
 

SahBumNimRush

Master of Arts
Joined
Dec 17, 2009
Messages
1,781
Reaction score
134
Location
USA
Very well said.

I feel it would be great to hear from others in the various TKD ranks about this subject here on the forum. Perspective can be galvanizing and sometimes limiting.
I am very interested to hear others experience and perspective on the value of lineage, school/instructor following, or whether that even matters to some.

Again, I appreciate @andyjeffries efferies candor and openness and thank @dancingalone for jumping into the fray.
I've spoken about this a few times on this site, but here is my experience and lineage:

My KJN moved to the U.S. in the late 1960's. He was part of the Moo Duk Kwan that supported the unification process. He supported Olympic development early on, and he was involved back in the earlier years (80's and early 90's). During that time period, we competed on the those types of circtuits (Jr. Olympics, Pan Am games, etc.). We never had any strong Kukkiwon ties, and back in the USTU days, my KJN's reputation (he was VP of USTU for a time) was enough (i.e. we didn't need kukkiwon rank certificates).

I know that my KJN is ranked in the Kukkiwon, which I believe was more of a political statement, with his officer position in the USTU. For what it's worth, he was ranked through the KTA (which only issued certificates for a short time, before the kukkiwon was established), and the Moo Duk Kwan. We never taught any of the newer formsets. We practice the old patterns, Pyung Ahn, Bassai, Naihanchi, Chinto, Kong Sang Kun, etc.

It has been my experience that there were many Koreans who had similar experiences in the U.S. I have competed in tournaments all over OH, WV, PA, KY, VA, DC, IN, and NY, and their directors ran similar curriculums/dojangs. I can't personally speak to why my KJN never supported the continued progressive curriculum that the unification process produced.

I have entertained the idea of getting my kukkiwon certification, but I always end up with the same conclusion; I don't teach that curriculum, I see value in the curriculum I teach, and I don't have time to teach both curriculums. So I've always stopped short. I don't hold any disregard towards any of the newer stuff, but it's just not the same as I teach. I have my own dojang, but I have a full time day job, and only a few evenings a week to dedicate to teaching TKD. I have to triage my commitments.

My path has sent me towards my Japanese-Okinawan roots over the newer Kukki curriculum. I have personally found exploring the roots of my patterns, to deepend my understanding of the forms that I do practice. Perhaps when/if I retire from my day job, I'll have to the time to explore the newer curriculum that Kukki-TKD offers.
 

WaterGal

Master of Arts
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
1,731
Reaction score
551
That's the thing, I think a lot of the differences between the Kwans as practiced in America (and to a lesser, but still somewhat, extent internationally) is due to those early instructors that left Korea to teach abroad, but didn't keep up with the standardisation that happened in Korea. Some do, for sure, for example MDK's Secretary General was taking his 1st Class Master certificate when I did my 2nd Class, but it's my theory on why there are so many people that attend the Kukkiwon courses but are so far removed from current standards in technique.

I think you're probably right. I'm not really involved in the, I don't know, TKD politics and stuff. But yeah, the impression I get is that a lot of Korean instructors left Korea for the US and either didn't bother to keep up with unification, or actually intentionally avoided it.

I think, in the 50s, 60s, 70s, and even more recently... from the US, Korea seemed very far away, and keeping up with what KKW was doing probably seemed like a lot of work (and some sacrifice, if you have an emotional attachment to the things your teacher taught you) for no reward at all,

My first TKD instructor was one of Joon Rhee's American students, and in the 90s was still basically teaching Rhee's 50s/60s pre-KKW curriculum as "traditional TKD". I think that was a case of intentional avoidance. I also remember talking to a school owner from another state a few years back who was still teaching Palgwe forms, despite issuing KKW rank, because that's what his teacher had done, and also he wasn't sure how to change his curriculum without stressing out his existing students.
 

MadMartigan

Green Belt
Joined
Apr 28, 2021
Messages
160
Reaction score
169
the impression I get is that a lot of Korean instructors left Korea for the US and either didn't bother to keep up with unification, or actually intentionally avoided it.
It probably comes as no surprise to anyone that those issues are far from confined strictly to the KKW side of the TKD house.

Our original master from Korea came over in the early 70s with the ITF.
He taught the Chang-Hon forms similar to how Shotokan practice their Kata. The curriculum leaned hard on line work and fundamental movement drills.

He eventually left the martial arts in the late 90s. Up to that point, our school remained something of a time capsule.

It wasn't until we went to a couple open tournaments where other ITF practitioners were competing and YouTube became a thing in the 2000s that we even heard about the Sine Wave pattern method. (Guessing in hindsight that those annual ITF membership fees were not too likely making it to where they were supposed to... but that's a different issue).

As some others have said, we have found value in continuing to practice the style we were taught. We haven't seen any value in changing to follow where an organization went later. Our grading syllabus remains very close to what is was 40 years ago (obviously with more extras trained around the margins).
 

Dirty Dog

MT Senior Moderator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
18,024
Reaction score
4,871
Location
Pueblo West, CO
Maybe he changed his mind. No crime...


Hmmm....


What can I say? Don't run for office...
You still don't get it. People learn more than one way to do a given kick. You apparently don't, but that's sort of your problem, not anyone elses.
 

Wing Woo Gar

Green Belt
Joined
Sep 30, 2021
Messages
106
Reaction score
24
Switching to this type of punching was not a matter days of training, even though I was a very capable puncher.

I really want to see this capable punch, is it like that kick video you posted? You know the one that knocks people out every time you land it? Please, please please post it again!
 
Top