Old School Taekwondo Being Practically All Kicks

wab25

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2. The first TK-D forms can be found in General Choi's 1965 book along with the Shorin and Shore forms they were built upon. The similarities are undeniable but to say they were Shotokan (not Shorin or Shorei) is an oversimplification 0
I stand corrected. I knew that they started with Karate Kata. I had made the assumption that they were Shotokan Karate Kata, since both Choi and Lee trained under and earned rank from Funakoshi, in Shotokan Karate. However, you are correct... the Kata they started with were from Shorin or Shorei.

I learned something new....
 
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PhotonGuy

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Sir, I understand your "belief" . Point of my post (and someone else on this board) is your belief is mistaken.
So when Taekwondo was first developed what was it like? Did it have an emphasis on kicks, an emphasis on hand strikes, or was it a combination of both?
 

Dirty Dog

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A lot of @Dirty Dog and @Earl Weiss information on the history of Taekwondo is first-hand or when it was "news". I would listen to them.
Thanks for reminding me that I'm old. Here's a rare photo of me inventing fire.
rarepic.jpg
 

Earl Weiss

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So when Taekwondo was first developed what was it like? Did it have an emphasis on kicks, an emphasis on hand strikes, or was it a combination of both?
"Emphasis " is in the eye of the beholder. A good resource would be General Choi's 1959 text but it is only available in Korean. Since TK-D did not exist before 1955 and I think it a safe assumption that a text published in 1959 would have to have been compiled well before the publication date (Considering no electronic word processing and or digital photography) so it would have been an early record of what existed at the time. Next would be the 1965 Text which shows the strong Shorin and Shorei roots. Again the assembly of material would have to have been done well before then, and the extensive use of hand attacks is readily apparent.
 

JowGaWolf

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Not a TKD guy but I've done alot of research on it and rhe development of it. TKD has always had hand strikes. I came across some old TKD teachers from Korea and they talked about how UT has changed and how modern TKD isn't the same. The teachers spoke about the many hand strikes and techniques in TKD. They showed how they trained their students and fron what I saw, they made modern TKD look really soft. These old guys were really tough about their training.

There are still a few schools that teain that way and they showcase their striking ability. There's quite a bit of old footage of TKD and their older footage have practical kicks nothing flashy.

I would post some, but I'm currently away from my computer.
 

JowGaWolf

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Well from what I've seen about Taekwondo and from what I've done, I have done some TKD as well, is that they do place lots of emphasis on kicks particularly high kicks. Also there is a high emphasis on arial techniques particularly at higher levels. So what you're saying is that they focused more on kicks to make their style look different than the Japanese arts?
The hyper focus on kicking is new. It's probably due to Olympic TKD and made worse by TKD tricking. Nothing is wrong with these things. The problem is focusing on kicking and neglecting punching to the extent that punching skills are below basic. TKD is strange because ive seen some say. "Don't punch my face but kicking the head is allowed".
 

JowGaWolf

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That's how I believe Taekwondo was when it was first developed although I could be wrong. I never said that any modern schools of Taekwondo aren't like that. From what I know some modern Taekwondo schools do incorporate lots of hand strikes into the material they teach, some don't.
Korea had fighting systems before TKD. Do some research on those systems and it will give you some insight about TKD.
 

JowGaWolf

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So when Taekwondo was first developed what was it like? Did it have an emphasis on kicks, an emphasis on hand strikes, or was it a combination of both?
Early TKD was well balanced and very practical. The fancy kicks we see today in TKD didn't exist.

There are a few documentaries on YouTube. You should check them out.
 

Tony Dismukes

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Korea had fighting systems before TKD. Do some research on those systems and it will give you some insight about TKD.
From what I've been able to tell, those earlier fighting systems were pretty much lost (suppressed by the Japanese occupiers or for other reasons) before TKD was created. There are historical records, but no unbroken lineage.

There are modern Korean systems like Hwarang-Do which make claims of being centuries old, but to the best of my knowledge these were cobbled together from various sources after the creation of TKD and Hapkido and then had a claim of ancient historicity slapped on top. This would have been around the same time that certain people in the TKD community were for reasons of national pride trying to promote the idea that TKD itself was an ancient art that predated Karate.
 

JowGaWolf

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From what I've been able to tell, those earlier fighting systems were pretty much lost (suppressed by the Japanese occupiers or for other reasons) before TKD was created. There are historical records, but no unbroken lineage.

There are modern Korean systems like Hwarang-Do which make claims of being centuries old, but to the best of my knowledge these were cobbled together from various sources after the creation of TKD and Hapkido and then had a claim of ancient historicity slapped on top. This would have been around the same time that certain people in the TKD community were for reasons of national pride trying to promote the idea that TKD itself was an ancient art that predated Karate.
Some things survived as dances and there was on lineage that was said to have survived. But it wasn't TKD. Taekkyonis what Korea now claims as their national martial arts.
 

J. Pickard

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I know that with many of the styles of modern Taekwondo as its been practiced for the last fifty years or so they have added in lots of hand strikes but I believe originally when Taekwondo was first being developed it was mostly just kicks with very few hand strikes. The reason for this from what I heard was because the Koreans were skilled craftsmen so they needed their hands for the stuff they would do and so training the hands to be used as weapons could be detrimental to their jobs involving crafts. Much like in the M*A*S*H episode "Oh, How We Danced" where the character Winchester starts learning some kicking techniques.
Complete nonsense. Taekwondo is an amalgamation of Japanese Karate with a bit of Judo, a sprinkle of kung fu, and some very minor influence later on from reconstructed and formerly forgotten native Korean arts. There has always been a lot of hand strikes and even trips and throws in TKD. The emphasis was primarily put on kicks to show superior athletics to their Japanese progenitors and to try to give it a connection to the game of Taekkyeon. At one point General Choi even started making his students practice flying and jumping kicks until they could do it over the top of a car purely to show "superior athleticism". Not sure anyone was ever successful.
 
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PhotonGuy

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"Emphasis " is in the eye of the beholder. A good resource would be General Choi's 1959 text but it is only available in Korean. Since TK-D did not exist before 1955 and I think it a safe assumption that a text published in 1959 would have to have been compiled well before the publication date (Considering no electronic word processing and or digital photography) so it would have been an early record of what existed at the time. Next would be the 1965 Text which shows the strong Shorin and Shorei roots. Again the assembly of material would have to have been done well before then, and the extensive use of hand attacks is readily apparent.
What I mean by emphasis is the techniques and drills that are taught and practiced in a typical class. Are they mostly kicks, mostly hand strikes, or is it about fifty/fifty?

At the first Karate dojo that I went to (not a Taekwondo school) it was about fifty/fifty when it came to hand strikes vs kicks. With the techniques and drills we did in class about half of them were hand strikes and half of them were kicks.
 
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PhotonGuy

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The hyper focus on kicking is new. It's probably due to Olympic TKD and made worse by TKD tricking. Nothing is wrong with these things. The problem is focusing on kicking and neglecting punching to the extent that punching skills are below basic.
There are some arts that are, or at least at one time were, almost completely kicking arts. The French art of Savate for instance when it was first developed was almost entirely a kicking art. Savate today I know has lots of hand strikes but originally it did not as striking with a closed hand was illegal in France at one time.

TKD is strange because ive seen some say. "Don't punch my face but kicking the head is allowed".
Yes I know in some tournament rules you're allowed to kick to the head but punching to the face is not allowed. You even get more points if you kick to the head as opposed to kicking to the body but no hand strikes can be done to the head.
 

J. Pickard

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What I mean by emphasis is the techniques and drills that are taught and practiced in a typical class. Are they mostly kicks, mostly hand strikes, or is it about fifty/fifty?
This will vary from dojang to dojang and class to class.
 
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PhotonGuy

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Complete nonsense. Taekwondo is an amalgamation of Japanese Karate with a bit of Judo, a sprinkle of kung fu, and some very minor influence later on from reconstructed and formerly forgotten native Korean arts.
So you're saying early Taekwondo had takedowns and holds the way Judo does? Judo is primarily a grappling art that consists of throwing your opponent and then getting them in a submission hold once they're on the ground. Are you saying TKD had that in it?
There has always been a lot of hand strikes and even trips and throws in TKD. The emphasis was primarily put on kicks to show superior athletics to their Japanese progenitors and to try to give it a connection to the game of Taekkyeon. At one point General Choi even started making his students practice flying and jumping kicks until they could do it over the top of a car purely to show "superior athleticism". Not sure anyone was ever successful.
So it sounds to me that they were trying to make TKD more like ballet or Extreme Martial Arts because they wanted to look athletic. In other words, they were more interested in looking good for Hollywood with what they did with TKD.
 

JowGaWolf

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Hi
Complete nonsense. Taekwondo is an amalgamation of Japanese Karate with a bit of Judo, a sprinkle of kung fu, and some very minor influence later on from reconstructed and formerly forgotten native Korean arts. There has always been a lot of hand strikes and even trips and throws in TKD. The emphasis was primarily put on kicks to show superior athletics to their Japanese progenitors and to try to give it a connection to the game of Taekkyeon. At one point General Choi even started making his students practice flying and jumping kicks until they could do it over the top of a car purely to show "superior athleticism". Not sure anyone was ever successful.
Taekkyeon looks very different from TKD. I'm not sure why or who tried to make that connection. It seems strange yo me that General Choi would do that after using karate as a base for TKD. Early TKD doesn't look anything like Taekkyeon. I think Subak is the name of the other martial art that Korea says is native to Korea.

Lots of deep wounds between Japan and Korea.
 

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