Evolution of TKD, Part II

Zepp

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This is sort of an offshoot of this thread: http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15779&highlight=evolution - so I thought I'd call it a sequel. :)

Tae Kwon Do has definitely evolved over the past 50-60 years, and this evolution has resulted in different styles under different organizations. This evolution has often taken the form of incorporating techniques and teaching methodologies from other martial arts. If we take a look at some of the threads this particular forum, we see that many people here train at schools that include Hapkido in their teaching of Tae Kwon Do. Some schools add knife defenses learned from Filipino martial arts, some include grappling, others teach the use of non-Korean weapons such as nunchuku. I've even heard of schools that teach students how to throw roundhouse kicks with their shin (as in Southeast Asian arts like Muay Thai).

My questions to you:

Does Tae Kwon Do need to grow in terms of the techniques it teaches or the situations it prepares us for?

If so, is it necessary to bring in material from other arts? Does anyone think it's unacceptable to borrow?

If the curriculum inlcudes material that is not "native" to Tae Kwon Do, is it still Tae Kwon Do?

Is there a difference between bringing material from other Korean art compared to non-Korean arts?
 
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Disco

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My opinion, as stated before in other threads, is........TKD needs to go back to the original concept(s) that it started with. The origins of TKD came from the infusion of several different styles which unto themselves, were from other styles. We all realize that TKD won't revert back to what it originally was because of money. So in reality, everytime this subject or one similar comes up for discussion, all were really doing is just wishfull thinking out loud.
 
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Zepp

Zepp

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Disco said:
We all realize that TKD won't revert back to what it originally was because of money. So in reality, everytime this subject or one similar comes up for discussion, all were really doing is just wishfull thinking out loud.

Point taken. But even so, there are martial artists who take it upon themselves to help their own art evolve. I personally am interested in reading about the evolution that occurs in individual Tae Kwon Do schools, or the smaller organizations, even if it never influences the mainstream. I posted this hoping others were interested too.
 

TigerWoman

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In regard to what is happening to individual schools, our school seems to be evolving in to a family oriented center. I came back to see the #1 family on the cover of the current brochure, his family inside and "family" in all the classtimes instead of just "adult". I do not really like training with the small kids. It usually changes our routine so it is something that includes them. We didn't spar much before I left earlier this summer and we haven't sparred since I came back. I'm not sure what is happening...but I sure noticed not many are in class though. He says 35 have joined, probably mostly kids. Sounds like that is where the money is. Kids and family. TW
 

Sarah

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TigerWoman said:
In regard to what is happening to individual schools, our school seems to be evolving in to a family oriented center. I came back to see the #1 family on the cover of the current brochure, his family inside and "family" in all the classtimes instead of just "adult". I do not really like training with the small kids. It usually changes our routine so it is something that includes them. We didn't spar much before I left earlier this summer and we haven't sparred since I came back. I'm not sure what is happening...but I sure noticed not many are in class though. He says 35 have joined, probably mostly kids. Sounds like that is where the money is. Kids and family. TW
That's a shame for the adults that wont to train with adults!! Can he not have a class for adults only??
 

Langdow

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Does Tae Kwon Do need to grow in terms of the techniques it teaches or the situations it prepares us for?

Tough question to answer since not all schools are the same. I personally think that technique wise basics should be stressed and adding additional techniques to what is being learned could cause for to much to learn, and sub standard execution. I think what the emphasis needs to be put on his concpet based rather "scientific" based situation. Concept base allows for a student to grow and expand, developing their own ways to handle a situation by understanding the situation. By understanding concepts associated with self defense, or poomse, or what have you . . . it forces a student to do their own thinking instead of mimicking how they are taught. Summary, simple techniques, more emphasis on understanding and putting that to practice.

If so, is it necessary to bring in material from other arts? Does anyone think it's unacceptable to borrow?

Torn on this one. Right now I'm leaning towards the neccessity to bring in other material. TKD is a great art, however there are areas it does lack in, IE) on the ground. I think bringing in other ideas can help suppliment TKD training.

If the curriculum inlcudes material that is not "native" to Tae Kwon Do, is it still Tae Kwon Do?

Not really "pure" TKD, more of TKD based system. I personally don't see anything wrong with this. Allows for growth in different directions, for a student, and for the art.

Is there a difference between bringing material from other Korean art compared to non-Korean arts?

Nope, as long as the instructor has a firm grasp on the material he is using for a crossover I don't think there is much of a difference.
 

Han-Mi

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I had started out writing something that had nothing to do with the post. Obviously there is more money in kids and family, but hopefully the good teachers will learn to balance this with quality instruction.

As for the evolution of TKD, I find it hard not to involve the things I learn from other arts in my training and teaching. I am an avid believer in the "individual art", as I like to call it. Each person has their own strengths, weaknesses and prefferences. Though we should all keep strong roots in our traditions I believe that the evolution is our own to control. TKD is not what needs to evolve, it is the practitioners that should try to incorporate whatever it is that improves their own style.
 

terryl965

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TigerWoman said:
In regard to what is happening to individual schools, our school seems to be evolving in to a family oriented center. I came back to see the #1 family on the cover of the current brochure, his family inside and "family" in all the classtimes instead of just "adult". I do not really like training with the small kids. It usually changes our routine so it is something that includes them. We didn't spar much before I left earlier this summer and we haven't sparred since I came back. I'm not sure what is happening...but I sure noticed not many are in class though. He says 35 have joined, probably mostly kids. Sounds like that is where the money is. Kids and family. TW
Well as you know TW I teach children but only in children classes we have a family night once a week but for the Adults we have a Adult only class 4 times a week no children not even my sons that can keep up with the adults. I've seen so many schools try incorporate the classes together and it can't work for the benefits of the adults they need more time to work on there self defense and to get there muscle going the classes are an hour and a half or longer ussally!!! now the evolution of TKD--- until the inner circle check there ego's at the door and try to work together for the soul purpose of preserving the Art of TKD the evolution of TKD will never truely grow from withen so they must look outside for evolution. So many poeple forget the true meaning of TKD it was a fighters Art not a sport like it as become in todays world.....GOD BLESS AMERICA
 
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Zepp

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So far only two people have addressed the questions I asked in the beginning.

Does Tae Kwon Do need to grow in terms of the techniques it teaches or the situations it prepares us for?

If so, is it necessary to bring in material from other arts? Does anyone think it's unacceptable to borrow?

If the curriculum inlcudes material that is not "native" to Tae Kwon Do, is it still Tae Kwon Do?

Is there a difference between bringing material from other Korean art compared to non-Korean arts?

Are these questions really that uninteresting?
 

terryl965

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Zepp said:
So far only two people have addressed the questions I asked in the beginning.



Are these questions really that uninteresting?
1) TKD by it self is very productive, it can stand alone and be a great means of self defense as long as you practice old school not the sport itself.

2) It is not unacceptible to borrow from other Arts, but if you practice tradition then you would not!!!!

3) No it is a half breed Art, one own style no Art (PERIOD)

4) no other styles no-matter what country is still another style not TKD!!!!!!
 

bignick

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everything evolves naturally on it's own...tae kwon do is not the same it was fifty years ago...wasn't a little more than fifty years ago and there was no "tae kwon do" at all...nor will it be the same fifty years from now...

and i agree about the sporting aspect, there is nothing wrong with competition, but people need to realize it is a subset of a larger art...
 

TigerWoman

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Zepp said:
Does Tae Kwon Do need to grow in terms of the techniques it teaches or the situations it prepares us for?

Since I know only my school, I think we need more self defense work and more grappling, throwing in the black belt classes.

If so, is it necessary to bring in material from other arts? Does anyone think it's unacceptable to borrow?

I think we have to keep the core strong up until black, teach it traditionally. Once students reach black they either leave or are motivated to learn more. There should be regular classes in self defense and sparring.

If the curriculum inlcudes material that is not "native" to Tae Kwon Do, is it still Tae Kwon Do?

I don't know what self defense moves we do now that date back to the original curriculum. I would tend to believe that they were already borrowed from other arts.

Is there a difference between bringing material from other Korean art compared to non-Korean arts?

It wasn't Korean to begin with, they borrowed it from other arts, took the good and left the bad, at least they thought. It is a way. I don't think the Koreans have a unique knowledge of all martial arts. Same for other nationalities. Each art has its weakness and strength, it seems. But its hard to do it all, as some have tried. Each individual has to go to their strength. I big chunky guy would not do well with TKD., probably would do better with Hapkido, etc.

But who decides to incorporate new ideas, is the question, when grandmasters and organizations cannot come together to unify Taekwondo, then how can the smaller schools teach uniformly. No, probably as my instructor/master has done they will bring in what they believe is good whether it is a little hapkido, juijitsu or kung fu. Because the egos of man will not allow unification. So much for humility in Taekwondo. TW
 

bignick

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TigerWoman said:
Each individual has to go to their strength. I big chunky
guy would not do well with TKD.

ahem...not always the case

seriously...i agree with a lot of what your post says and it is unfortunate how fractured taekwondo has become.
 
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Zepp

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I usually don't resort to bumping a thread that I started, solely to get it attention, but I was hoping for a slightly larger response.

Let me ask a simpler question: What is it that gives a martial arts style the right to legitimately be called by the name "Tae Kwon Do?"
 

Marginal

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IMO at it's core, it's the strategic doctrine that defines TKD. The leg's longer and more powerful than the arm, so the focus is on developing the stronger weapon. TKD is also primarially a barehanded striking art. Outside of those restrictions, I don't see much that's off limits.

Anyway, to go back into the inital questions...

-Does Tae Kwon Do need to grow in terms of the techniques it teaches or the situations it prepares us for?

I think the training methodolgy should change to better reflect the situations that the techniques will be applied in. Practicing in a rareified sparring environment with restrictive rules doesn't really help the techniques to be effectively utilized.

-If so, is it necessary to bring in material from other arts? Does anyone think it's unacceptable to borrow?

No. I don't think it's unacceptable to borrow as that's how the art was developed in the first place. (Why Choi and Gichin etc can study with multiple masters etc but we cannot seems like a pointlessly romantic notion.) On the other hand, it's not really a question of having to reinvent the wheel or go mining other arts for technique. The stuff's there. It just needs to be trained in an appropriate manner. (Or at least... TRAINED. Lots of stuff's flat out ignored as is.)

-If the curriculum inlcudes material that is not "native" to Tae Kwon Do, is it still Tae Kwon Do?

Depends. If you're basically boxing and wrestling, then it's been so fundimentally altered that calling it TKD'd just be a detriment to your school as student expectations would be completely at odds with what you're presenting them.

-Is there a difference between bringing material from other Korean art compared to non-Korean arts?

No.

Along those lines, here's another question to consider. Do you view TKD as a runaway locomotive, or do you view it as a horse? By that I mean do you view the evolution of TKD as something you can't change, something with unstoppable inertia, or do you view it as something that may have ideas contrary to yours, but something you can still directly influence?

Personally, I can't see the former view as anything but defeatism. Who's going to be influencing juniors, who's going to be (or currently is) teaching these classes? And if the answer is you, what's stopping you from making changes for the better? Positive change doesn't happen if nobody tries to effect said change.
 
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