Gen Choi honorary BB only?

Laurentkd

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Ok, I don't know much about him not being an ITF person, although usually WTF people have only not-so-great things to say about him. And I definitely don't mean any disrespect, but I read this on Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chung_Do_Kwan
A 1947 demonstration involving prominent Chung Do Kwan black belts and witnessed by then Korean President Syng Man Rhee resulted in Chung Do Kwan being required for all police and military training in Korea.[citation needed] The hardcore, almost brutal, training of that time was ideal for the needs of the police and military forces in Korea. Under the direction of army general Choi Hong Hi, all military personnel were members of Oh Do Kwan, a splinter group of Chung Do Kwan.[citation needed] Gen. Choi's policy was that only Chung Do Kwan black belts would be accepted by the Army as is-all other Kwan black belts had to retest before a panel.[citation needed] This was unacceptable to the other Kwan's as Gen. Choi was only an honorary Dan holder, and not an actual teacher. This policy was changed shortly after Choi instituted it.
Unfortunately, due to conflicts with the Korean government, Won Kuk Lee was forced to leave South Korea as a political refugee. He settled first in Japan, and eventually in Virginia where he lived the remainder of his life.
The first Chung Do Kwan President was Founder Won Kuk Lee, followed by Duk Sung Son, Gen. Choi (honorary only), and finally Woon Kyu Uhm. Uhm serves as Chung Do Kwan President to this day and is the current President of the Kukkiwon (World Taekwondo Headquarters) in South Korea.

Bold is my own. I have never heard this before! Was he really not a true Black Belt, but honorary only? Can anyone here enlighten me?

Edit: I thought I was in TKD not general korean arts... feel free to move it (of course, like I could stop you anyway!!)
 

exile

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Bold is my own. I have never heard this before! Was he really not a true Black Belt, but honorary only? Can anyone here enlighten me?

Lauren, as I understand it, Gen. Choi earned a BB—in Shotokan karate, under Funakoshi. He was second dan, I believe, when he got back to Korea. The BB they're talking about presumably is something to do with the Korean Dan system, not the Japanese karate that Choi learned and taught, and whose technical content made up the vast bulk of TKD/TSD in those days and to a large extent still does...
 

Dave Leverich

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It's my understanding that his earned ranks were in Shotokon, but honorary 4th degree was given (then rescinded years later) by the CDK. I am not aware of him EVER being Kwan Jang Nim of CDK, although he did found Oh Do Kwan with Lee Nam Suk (sp?)

I could be off of course, human fallability and all ;).
 

Dave Leverich

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One thing to consider though, Shotokon and TKD/TSD/KSD etc at that time.... pretty much apples and apples from where I'm standing.
 

Andrew Green

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Bold is my own. I have never heard this before! Was he really not a true Black Belt, but honorary only? Can anyone here enlighten me?


I think that you will find the more you dig around, the fewer "masters" have "legitimate" ranks, it's not a new thing.

Not too long ago there where no ranks, which of course should lead to the question of how that first batch of guys got promoted. And basically its a fuzzy system with fuzzy rules.

Not to mention that each organization only likes to recognize there own ranks and say the other organizations are not valid in some way.

Gen Choi is as legitimate as anyone at any rank. He headed a major organization and was a key figure in the developement of TKD. If he's not legit in his belt, then very few people are.
 

Brian R. VanCise

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Yup, we could turn him into a 4 ft tall hobbit with big hairy feet if we wanted.

Think about it, it explains why TKD is done barefoot...

:rofl: I just knew that was the reason!
icon6.gif
 

shesulsa

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Attention users: Thread moved to TKD forums per OP's note.

G Ketchmark / shesulsa
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zDom

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It's my understanding that his earned ranks were in Shotokon, but honorary 4th degree was given (then rescinded years later) by the CDK. I am not aware of him EVER being Kwan Jang Nim of CDK, although he did found Oh Do Kwan with Lee Nam Suk (sp?)

I could be off of course, human fallability and all ;).

Nam Suk Lee was involved in the Oh Do Kwan? You sure? The same guy who headed the Chang Moo Kwan?
 

bluemtn

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Ok- this is out of one of the schools in the association I'm in (full page is cited here for more refference):

Son, Duk Sung as the senior student, was appointed headmaster becoming the second leader of the Tang Soo Do, Chung Do Kwan School. In 1955, an effort was made by the various kwans to create some sort of unity in the Korean martial arts. Master Son and General Choi of the Korean Military, were on the panel that decided upon the name "Tae Kwon Do" (which means "foot and hand" fighting), for the marital art of Korea. At that 1955 conference, Master Son was the highest-ranking Korean karate practitioner and teacher. Master Son awarded General Choi an honorary 4th degree black belt.

There's nothing that states that his rank isn't legit there. Also, this is the internet, and we (all humans) aren't always the most accurate, and have a tendancy to be a bit biased. Also, there are some that feel that if you didn't get a black belt through them, you're not legit or as good, or whatever...
 

exile

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It's my understanding that his earned ranks were in Shotokon, but honorary 4th degree was given (then rescinded years later) by the CDK. I am not aware of him EVER being Kwan Jang Nim of CDK, although he did found Oh Do Kwan with Lee Nam Suk (sp?)

I could be off of course, human fallability and all ;).

I think this is correct. The tangled history is well covered in a1997 article published in Journal of Asian Martial Arts by Dakin Burdick, titled `People and events of Taekwondo's Formative Years' (which he significantly expanded three years later to give more coverage to showing the completely spurious nature of the alleged physical/archaeological evidence for an `ancient' TKD/TSD as claimed by the (Japanese!) cultural historian Taitashi Saito; it's available at http://budosportcopelle.ml/gesch.html). Actually...Dave, was it you who first pointed me to Burdick's work?
 

Kacey

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From Gen. Choi's biography:

[FONT=Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, Sans Serif]In Kyoto, Choi met a fellow Korean, Mr. Him, who was engaged in teaching the Japanese martial art, Karate. With two years of concentrated training, Choi attained the rank of first degree black belt. These techniques, together with Taek Kyon (foot techniques), were the forerunners of modern Taekwon-Do.

There followed a period of both mental and physical training, preparatory school, high school, and finally the University in Tokyo. During this time, training and experimentation in his new fighting techniques were intensified until, with attainment of his second degree black belt, he began teaching at a YMCA in Tokyo, Japan.
[snip]
[/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, Sans Serif]He became the author of the first authoritative book on military intelligence in Korea. He organized and activated the crack 29th Infantry Division at Cheju Island, which eventually became the spearhead of Taekwon-Do in the military and established the Oh Do Kwan (Gym of My Way) where he succeeded not only in training the cadre instructors for the entire military but also developing the Taek Kyon and Karate techniques into a modern system of Taekwon-Do, with the help of Mr. Nam Tae Hi, his right hand man in 1954. [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, Sans Serif][/FONT]

Per the website linked above, this information is
[FONT=Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, Sans Serif]Reproduced, with permission, from "Taekwon-Do" (The Korean Art of Self Defense) also known as The Condensed Encyclopedia.
Fifth Edition 1999, All rights reserved
Copyright 1988, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1999 General Choi, Hong Hi.
[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, Sans Serif][/FONT]
 

terryl965

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Yes indeed he was an honerary BB but the facts remain he was a great Martial Artist.
 

Dave Leverich

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Ack, it was Nam Tae Hi, not Lee Nam Suk. My bad. I'm getting better with those but, shesh why didn't they have this kind of history instead of Western Civ in college ;).

Not sure Exile, I did find it some time ago, great great read.
Btw, that link is dead, here's a backup:
http://www.dmafitness.com/tkd/tkdhist.htm
 

bluemtn

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I like threads like this, because you learn something new (at least I did with this one)! And I couldn't agree more with Terry:

Yes indeed he was an honerary BB but the facts remain he was a great Martial Artist.
 

terryl965

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I like threads like this, because you learn something new (at least I did with this one)! And I couldn't agree more with Terry:


Thank you like I have always said it is not the belt but the person wearing it.
 

Dave Leverich

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I for one am quite glad that I'm not the only one becoming a TKD history buff ;)

It sure makes finding information easier.
 

exile

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Btw, that link is dead, here's a backup:
http://www.dmafitness.com/tkd/tkdhist.htm

This is an intermediate version of the 1997 paper (funny that it's dated a year earlier). Too bad the 2000 paper isn't available at that site anymore... well, I may have saved it as an Adobe file... lemme see. The 2000 version goes into still more detail about how the archaeological evidence actually undermines, in pretty severe fashion, the carefully cultivated legend of ancient TKD. I'll dig around....


I for one am quite glad that I'm not the only one becoming a TKD history buff ;)

It sure makes finding information easier.

I think a lot of us have a sense that the only counter to the imaginary lineage of TKD as a late survival of an deeply ancient, uniquely Korean
combat art is to acquaint ourselves with the reputable, disciplined work on KMA history that people like Henning, Burdick and a few others have done; and that this is important because the mystification of the KMAs that nationalist politics and international sport-glory ambitions have createdleading to a serious distortion of TKD's technical content, the big baddie from our point of viewdepends crucially on the merchanising of this fake legendary history. When you examine the archaeological, textual and philological evidence carefully and see that it all points unequivocally to the modern striking KMAs as Korean karate, and that their combat persona is still Korean karate, with some additional kicking techs as add-ons, it makes it possible to take advantage of the tremendous depth of research on realistic applications of karate techs that has been done in the past decade; and of course this is exactly what Stuart Anslow and Simon O'Neil do for TKD (and our own Upnorthkyosa does with Tang Soo Do). SO'N is particularly influenced by Abernethy's work, and his bunkai (not coincidentally, I'd say!) for both ITF and WTF hyungs is correspondingly brilliant as a result. So history isn't just decoration for the likes of us, I think; it's a crucial key to understanding the contemporary fighting content (and implied best-practices training methods) of our martial art.
 

Dave Leverich

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Good lord, well said exile, well said.
If you do find the later version of that paper I can host it on atacards if we don't have other spots for it.

To be able to go back and be a fly on the wall...
 
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