Old School Taekwondo Being Practically All Kicks

J. Pickard

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Well I haven't seen that sort of stuff in modern TKD.
Probably not in demos or sport because that doesnt attract people for demos, and its outside of the ruleset in the sport. As far as modern TKD texts that displays such techniques, they are everywhere including the new KKW text. I cant apeak to ITF/chang hon systems, but most old Kwan texts on the subject, as well as kukkiwon approved texts all have some display of grappling and takedowns. I have books ranging from 2022 all the way back to the 1960s that display it to some extent.
The first image is 1968 from GM Dson Duk-sung, the second is from 1976 in a book by Richard chun, and the last 2 are the newest from 2022. There are entire chapters in each book dedicated to takedowns and submissions.
 

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HighKick

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Probably not in demos or sport because that doesnt attract people for demos, and its outside of the ruleset in the sport. As far as modern TKD texts that displays such techniques, they are everywhere including the new KKW text. I cant apeak to ITF/chang hon systems, but most old Kwan texts on the subject, as well as kukkiwon approved texts all have some display of grappling and takedowns. I have books ranging from 2022 all the way back to the 1960s that display it to some extent.
The first image is 1968 from GM Dson Duk-sung, the second is from 1976 in a book by Richard chun, and the last 2 are the newest from 2022. There are entire chapters in each book dedicated to takedowns and submissions.
For clarification, is this in the one-step section of the book(s)?
 

J. Pickard

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For clarification, is this in the one-step section of the book(s)?
I don't have the books on me at the moment, but they appear in the first 2 in an application for self defense section, and in the KKW textbook in volume 4 which is all about sparring and applications.
 
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PhotonGuy

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Do you have any source for this? I tried googling it, and all that came up was a reddit post making this claim, and the Wikipedia post having a sentence on it, neither with an actual source. I'd be interested to know more about it.

That said, both of those also stated that a closed fist was banned, so savate initially used open-hand strikes instead.
I first remember reading about it in a magazine article about Savate but if you want a more current source as you pointe out there's Wkipedia.

As it states in Wikipedia: "It is conjectured that this kicking style was developed in this way to allow the fighter to use a hand to hold onto something for balance on a rocking ship's deck, and that the kicks and slaps were used on land to avoid the legal penalties for using a closed fist, which was considered a deadly weapon under the law."

 

Tony Dismukes

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My bad. I'm basing that claim on the fact that the dojos I've trained at teach this history. I should've thought that one through.
Yeah, so there's something we should keep in mind when debunking martial arts historical myths like the ones in this thread ...

Most martial artists, including instructors, are not historians. What most practitioners know about the history of their art (and others) is generally what has been passed on verbally from their instructors or what they read in a book or on a website. And there is a ton of misinformation that is out there from all 3 sources.

The oral tradition is like a generational game of telephone, except that in each generation instructors may spin the facts to impress students or invent stories to fill in the gaps of their own knowledge. Books and web pages are more often based on said oral tradition than on careful research and documentation. I've seen plenty of nonsense written about all sorts of martial arts by practitioners who are well-regarded experts in their systems. (I remember in college being told by a 3rd degree 'TKD black belt that Karate was just bastardized, Americanized Tae Kwon Do. He wasn't stupid - he just believed what his Korean instructor had told him.)

As always, the internet makes things both better and worse. It's easier to find accurate information that would have been difficult to locate when I was growing up. But at the same time there is just as much (if not more) misinformed malarkey. It takes experience and study to know which is which. (And the ability to distinguish the two is not necessarily correlated with a person's martial skill.)
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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I first remember reading about it in a magazine article about Savate but if you want a more current source as you pointe out there's Wkipedia.

As it states in Wikipedia: "It is conjectured that this kicking style was developed in this way to allow the fighter to use a hand to hold onto something for balance on a rocking ship's deck, and that the kicks and slaps were used on land to avoid the legal penalties for using a closed fist, which was considered a deadly weapon under the law."

But wikipedia does not provide a citation for that, and I can't find one anywhere. I'm having doubts if it's not something that can be verified, as it seems like it should be pretty easy to verify what the laws were when savate was created.
 

Tony Dismukes

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But wikipedia does not provide a citation for that, and I can't find one anywhere. I'm having doubts if it's not something that can be verified, as it seems like it should be pretty easy to verify what the laws were when savate was created.
I have no idea how easy it would be to find an online reference showing the details of 200 year old French law, but I suspect it might be a bit tricky. I'm sure there are historians of the French legal system who know how to find the answer, but they aren't necessarily contributing to Wikipedia pages on martial arts. (Also they will likely be using primary sources that might not be available online.)

I've certainly seen those claims made about the creation of Savate, but I think they fall into the category of oral tradition. My previous comment points out how unreliable I find that tradition to be. I'd file them under "might be true, but I have no way of knowing if so."
 
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PhotonGuy

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My bad. I'm basing that claim on the fact that the dojos I've trained at teach this history. I should've thought that one through.
Well at all the karate dojos that I've seriously trained at none of them required in depth knowledge on the history of karate back before 1800. Most of what was required for black belt was skill in the techniques, skill in applying the techniques, and to a certain extent strength and endurance.

At the Goju Ryu dojo I go to they do require some knowledge of the history of the art. To get a black belt there you do have to know some stuff about Chojun Miyagi whose the founder, and some stuff about his predecessors, but you don't have to know about the history of karate in ancient times.
 
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PhotonGuy

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Yeah, so there's something we should keep in mind when debunking martial arts historical myths like the ones in this thread ...

Most martial artists, including instructors, are not historians. What most practitioners know about the history of their art (and others) is generally what has been passed on verbally from their instructors or what they read in a book or on a website. And there is a ton of misinformation that is out there from all 3 sources.

The oral tradition is like a generational game of telephone, except that in each generation instructors may spin the facts to impress students or invent stories to fill in the gaps of their own knowledge. Books and web pages are more often based on said oral tradition than on careful research and documentation. I've seen plenty of nonsense written about all sorts of martial arts by practitioners who are well-regarded experts in their systems. (I remember in college being told by a 3rd degree 'TKD black belt that Karate was just bastardized, Americanized Tae Kwon Do. He wasn't stupid - he just believed what his Korean instructor had told him.)

As always, the internet makes things both better and worse. It's easier to find accurate information that would have been difficult to locate when I was growing up. But at the same time there is just as much (if not more) misinformed malarkey. It takes experience and study to know which is which. (And the ability to distinguish the two is not necessarily correlated with a person's martial skill.)
Well first there was books and magazine articles which is where I got much of my information, or misinformation, about the art before the golden age of the internet. I read that much of the weapons they use in karate are derived from farming tools such as the bo staff which was used to carry buckets of water or the kama which started out as a sickle for wheat and so forth. That would imply that many of the practitioners of traditional karate were farmers.
 
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PhotonGuy

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But wikipedia does not provide a citation for that, and I can't find one anywhere. I'm having doubts if it's not something that can be verified, as it seems like it should be pretty easy to verify what the laws were when savate was created.
I also remember reading a magazine article about it but that was a long time ago. I don't really know much about savate other than that it's a French art where kicks are emphasized. Apparently it was in the 19th century when a closed fist was considered a deadly weapon in France. A friend of mine from school tried savate out for a while but he didn't like it because he said it was too loopy.
 

isshinryuronin

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I read that much of the weapons they use in karate are derived from farming tools such as the bo staff which was used to carry buckets of water or the kama which started out as a sickle for wheat and so forth. That would imply that many of the practitioners of traditional karate were farmers.
Much of what was written about karate in the past was inaccurate. As I stressed before, early karate was for the upper classes as a rule. I think MA weapons can be put in two categories:

1. The farmers and fishermen you refer to did adapt tools to be used as weapons: The kama is a sickle and oars (eku) were used by fishermen. The use of such weapons had no connection to early karate. The bo is a simple long piece of wood - similar items were probably used by cavemen in prehistoric times (even apes have been seen using branches and sticks to confront enemies.

2. More sophisticated weapons (as well a bo) were used by professionals such as sword, sai, and others. Some may have originated in China or even Southeast Asia. While some early karate practitioners may have been skilled in such weapons as part of their job, they were not part of karate study, but rather a separate discipline called kobudo. One may have practiced just kobudo, just karate, or both. The same is true today.

I believe the integration of kobudo into some Okinawan karate styles was a recent event (post 1930
Taira Shinken, and to a lesser extent, Mabuni Kenwa were collectors of traditional MA knowledge/kata and played a part in this.

I hope this clarifies the subject.
 

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But wikipedia does not provide a citation for that, and I can't find one anywhere. I'm having doubts if it's not something that can be verified, as it seems like it should be pretty easy to verify what the laws were when savate was created.
I found an article here that looks interesting.


Ill see about getting a copy of it tomorrow in hopes it sheds some light in the subject. It appears to include citations, so heres hoping. I obviously wont be able to share it online but if theres a relevant passage that could fall under fair use, Ill post it.
 

JowGaWolf

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I have no idea how easy it would be to find an online reference showing the details of 200 year old French law, but I suspect it might be a bit tricky.
It's easier these days. AI "does most of the searches" that you would normally have to search.

During the 17th century, dueling was a common practice in France among the aristocracy 1. However, it was not illegal to fight with fists in France during that time. In fact, duels were mostly fought with swords or pistols 1. The tradition of dueling was based on a code of honor and was fought not to kill the opponent but to gain satisfaction, that is, to restore ones honor by demonstrating a willingness to risk ones life for it 1.
I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.
Learn more
1en.wikipedia.org2nationalgeographic.co.uk

I had my own doubt when I saw some of the techniques used in Savate that looked just like some of the ones I use in Jow Ga. Those techniques are not closed hand techniques.

"One of the most famous examples of fist fighting in 17th century France was the War of the Fists, which took place in Paris between 1688 and 1698. This was a series of organized brawls between rival gangs of apprentices and journeymen from different trades, such as carpenters, masons, tailors, and shoemakers. The fights were usually held on Sundays or holidays, on bridges or in public squares, and attracted large crowds of spectators and gamblers. The War of the Fists was eventually suppressed by the authorities, who arrested and punished the leaders and participants of the fights3.

If you want to learn more about fist fighting in 17th century France, you can check out these web search results:

Fist Fights on Venetian Bridges | Amusing Planet
France - Baroque, Enlightenment, Revolution | Britannica
War of the Fists - Wikipedia

1. amusingplanet.com
2. en.wikipedia.org
3. britannica.com
4. amusingplanet.com

Based on what I've read from other sources about the Ware of Fists. It seems as if some history may have gotten mixed up To me it makes sense that the fighting was illegal and not the fist. After all they used to duel with swords. There is some old video of people doing that.
 

JowGaWolf

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Apparently it was in the 19th century when a closed fist was considered a deadly weapon in France. A friend of mine from school tried savate out for a while but he didn't like it because he said it was too loopy.
The loopy punches or loopy kicks?
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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I have no idea how easy it would be to find an online reference showing the details of 200 year old French law, but I suspect it might be a bit tricky. I'm sure there are historians of the French legal system who know how to find the answer, but they aren't necessarily contributing to Wikipedia pages on martial arts. (Also they will likely be using primary sources that might not be available online.)

I've certainly seen those claims made about the creation of Savate, but I think they fall into the category of oral tradition. My previous comment points out how unreliable I find that tradition to be. I'd file them under "might be true, but I have no way of knowing if so."
If I were just looking for a law in general, I would agree. But when we know exactly when the law would be, it's an odd law, and there's a specific context that people would know for it, then it should be easier to find. Not saying it would definitely be out there, but not being able to find it makes my spidey sense tingle.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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I found an article here that looks interesting.


Ill see about getting a copy of it tomorrow in hopes it sheds some light in the subject. It appears to include citations, so heres hoping. I obviously wont be able to share it online but if theres a relevant passage that could fall under fair use, Ill post it.
That does look promising. I'm not curious enough to pay $50, and don't have any subscriptions that might get me it unfortunately. But if you do find anything in the article, even if you have to summarize, I'd appreciate it.
 

JowGaWolf

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If I were just looking for a law in general, I would agree. But when we know exactly when the law would be, it's an odd law, and there's a specific context that people would know for it, then it should be easier to find. Not saying it would definitely be out there, but not being able to find it makes my spidey sense tingle.
It's out there. There were laws against dueling and laws against fighting. The same as it is today. I couldn't find any reference other than Wikipedia and sites that reference Wikipedia that mentions that it was illegal to make fists.

Savate is said to have some of its origin in street fighting. I've never heard a gentleman's street fight among the lower class. I tried to look up traditional savate vs sport savate and so far it's a bunch of kicking and refere ce to the sport and not to the street fight.

I found better resources when I looked it up by its original name and what it was called in the streets.
 
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