Opinions on GM Richard Chun's books?

sopraisso

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Hello everyone.

I've been thinking on acquiring books written by GM Richard Chun, for reference on Kukkiwon taekwondo, and I would like to know if people here know them and their opinions. I' specifically interested in the following books:
- Tae Kwon Do: The Korean Martial Art (2007) (Amazon.com link)
- Advancing in Tae Kwon Do (2006) (Amazon.com link)
- Taekwondo Spirit and Practice: Beyond Self-Defense (2002) (Amazon.com link).

One particular question:
- Are they updated and accurate regarding to current Kukkiwon standards?

I hope you can help me on this, cause I somehow "know" people here and highly evaluate their opinions.
Thanks in advance. :)

S矇rgio
 

MAist25

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I come from a Richard Chun lineage and train under his organization, the USTA, and I can tell you that his books are great for someone training in Kukkiwon Taekwondo.
 

mastercole

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Hello everyone.

I've been thinking on acquiring books written by GM Richard Chun, for reference on Kukkiwon taekwondo, and I would like to know if people here know them and their opinions. I' specifically interested in the following books:
- Tae Kwon Do: The Korean Martial Art (2007) (Amazon.com link)
- Advancing in Tae Kwon Do (2006) (Amazon.com link)
- Taekwondo Spirit and Practice: Beyond Self-Defense (2002) (Amazon.com link).

One particular question:
- Are they updated and accurate regarding to current Kukkiwon standards?

I hope you can help me on this, cause I somehow "know" people here and highly evaluate their opinions.
Thanks in advance. :)

S矇rgio

The best resource on Kukkiwon Taekwondo, is the Kukkiwon. Here you can find the latest textbook and DVD published by the Kukkiwon, the only authority on Kukkiwon Taekwondo.

http://www.sangmoosa.com/shop/shop_goodsview.asp?Top=9&Steps=000090010800109&g_code=2008826146115

http://www.sangmoosa.com/shop/shop_goodsview.asp?Top=9&Steps=000090011000111&g_code=2008826146121
 

puunui

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Are they updated and accurate regarding to current Kukkiwon standards?


In my opinion, no. I would get the materials published or developed by the Kukkiwon if you wish to have updated and accurate information regarding the current Kukkiwon standards. I read a recent article by Master Doug Cook, a student of GM Chun. In the article, Master Cook states that when training at the Kukkiwon the standards were different from what he learned from GM Chun, and instead of following the Kukkiwon standard, he chose to follow GM Chun's.
 

MAist25

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I trained under one of Chun's guys and I also train in a strictly Kukkiwon school and the differences have really been miniscule other than some tweaks in a few techniques. Obviously the Kukkiwon continues to change and evolve so the newest updated Kukkiwon textbook is the best reference possible but that doesnt mean Chun's books arent accurate references.
 

mastercole

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I trained under one of Chun's guys and I also train in a strictly Kukkiwon school and the differences have really been miniscule other than some tweaks in a few techniques. Obviously the Kukkiwon continues to change and evolve so the newest updated Kukkiwon textbook is the best reference possible but that doesnt mean Chun's books arent accurate references.

In what way does the "Kukkiwon continues to change and evolve"?
 

ralphmcpherson

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In what way does the "Kukkiwon continues to change and evolve"?
It must change and evolve to some degree because many years ago the club I train at was a kukkiwon club until our GM ceased involvement with them. Basically our curriculum (which was kukkiwon) froze at a point in time, and what we do seems very different to what kukkiwon clubs currently do, so Im sure it has continued to change over the years. For a start, they dont do palgwe forms anymore.
 

MAist25

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Yea the switch to the taegeuks was obviously a big change. But even besides that, the way I was taught how to execute techniques has changed from my more traditional Moo Duk Kwan Taekwondo school, which we still get Kukkiwon certified through, and my modern Kukkiwon school. The traditional round kick I learned was taught to be thrown with a snapping motion and we usually kicked with the ball of the foot or the folding of the food. The Kukkiwon school I train at now has us mostly kicking with the instep and we use much more follow-through, a lot less snap. The old axe kick was thrown from in to out and out to in and the toes were curled back to strike with the back of the heel. My Kukkiwon master teaches it as a straight forward kick and the foot is pointed, kicking with the ball. Same thing with hook kicks, i was originally taught to curl the toes up and strike with the heel, now I learned to point the toes and kick with the ball or bottom of the heel rather than the back of the heel. Same kicks, just some slight alterations.

My master says the Kukkiwon continues to evolve and he goes there every few years just to keep up with the new ways of doing things. The Kukkiwon is constantly looking for new ways to improve the art of Taekwondo and how to make techniques stronger and faster, etc. and because of this, the style will continue to change. But the changes will be minor ways to make things more efficient, and old ways will not necessarily be wrong, just not as up-to-date.
 

ralphmcpherson

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Yea the switch to the taegeuks was obviously a big change. But even besides that, the way I was taught how to execute techniques has changed from my more traditional Moo Duk Kwan Taekwondo school, which we still get Kukkiwon certified through, and my modern Kukkiwon school. The traditional round kick I learned was taught to be thrown with a snapping motion and we usually kicked with the ball of the foot or the folding of the food. The Kukkiwon school I train at now has us mostly kicking with the instep and we use much more follow-through, a lot less snap. The old axe kick was thrown from in to out and out to in and the toes were curled back to strike with the back of the heel. My Kukkiwon master teaches it as a straight forward kick and the foot is pointed, kicking with the ball. Same thing with hook kicks, i was originally taught to curl the toes up and strike with the heel, now I learned to point the toes and kick with the ball or bottom of the heel rather than the back of the heel. Same kicks, just some slight alterations.

My master says the Kukkiwon continues to evolve and he goes there every few years just to keep up with the new ways of doing things. The Kukkiwon is constantly looking for new ways to improve the art of Taekwondo and how to make techniques stronger and faster, etc. and because of this, the style will continue to change. But the changes will be minor ways to make things more efficient, and old ways will not necessarily be wrong, just not as up-to-date.
I dont know if its a KKW thing or not, but my mates who train at kukkiwon clubs dont use the heel to connect with the target in spinning hook kicks, they use the underside of their foot. We break with the heel. Is this a KKw thing or just something the kkw schools in my area do?
 

MAist25

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Nope, I first learned to use the heel at my Moo Duk Kwan TKD school but my KKW school teaches to kick with the underside of the foot for the spinning hook kick. I think its a Kukkiwon thing.
 

ralphmcpherson

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Nope, I first learned to use the heel at my Moo Duk Kwan TKD school but my KKW school teaches to kick with the underside of the foot for the spinning hook kick. I think its a Kukkiwon thing.
sorry to stray from topic, but do they use the heel in any of their kicks, or do they not use the heel as a general rule?
 

MAist25

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The bottom of the heel yes, but from what I've experienced is that Kukkiwon has gotten away from using the back of the heel as striking surfaces.
 

mastercole

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John and Ralph, those are stylistic technical trends that are particular to the schools that you train/trained at, those technical trends and any changes to those technical trends had nothing to do with Kukkiwon.

The curriculum that the Kukkiwon recommends has for the most part remained unchanged since the Kukkiwon first adopted it from the Korea Taekwondo Association, back in 1972, when the Kukkiwon first opened.

Example: that the standard round kick found in Poomsae employs the ball of the foot as it always has. Kibon Dongjak, or basic motions have variations on round kick, like with the instep, or with the knuckle of the toes, with toes curled back. These have always been there. Kibon Dongjak also has variations of stance, kicking, stepping, blocking, hand strikes, etc. Nothing of any significance has changed.

What is happening is that as Kukkiwon becomes more accessible to the world of Taekwondo, Taekwondoin are learning that they must adjust what they have learned to match the standard that has existed now for 40 years, a standard that many, many instructors were not complete aware of.

Also the Kukkiwon never changed over to the the Taegeuk Poomsae, the Kukkiwon started out with the Taegeuk Poomsae. Palgwe Poomsae was created in 1967-68 and was from the pre-Kukkiwon era.
 

mastercole

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Originally Posted by MAist25

Nope, I first learned to use the heel at my Moo Duk Kwan TKD school but my KKW school teaches to kick with the underside of the foot for the spinning hook kick. I think its a Kukkiwon thing.

sorry to stray from topic, but do they use the heel in any of their kicks, or do they not use the heel as a general rule?

Kukkiwon Kibon Dongjak (basic motions) has the heel as the striking point for spin hook kick. It also has several variations, including applying the bottom sole of the foot as the strike point, again, nothing new, nothing has changed.

What we have to get past is to understand that within Kukkiwon basic motions, there are additional variations on just about every technique. We should not think just because a technique is not applied in Shihap Kyorugi (Olympic Sparring), or Kyukpa (breaking), or mommakki (hoshinsul) like it is in Poomsae, or some other venue, that it is not correct, or standard. Taekwondo is and has always been much more diverse than that.
 

MAist25

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Im not saying the Kukkiwon never had these technical variations, but I do think that over the years the emphasis on how different techniques are executed has changed to varying degrees. I'm not stating the KKW never included kicking with the ball of the foot for a round kick, for example, I'm just stating that the stylistic trend of kicking with the instep is what you will see much more commonly when you walk into a KKW Taekwondo dojang today. Once again, there will always be variations in how to execute techniques, but an emphasis will usually be placed predominantly on one way regardless of those variations.
 

mastercole

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Im not saying the Kukkiwon never had these technical variations, but I do think that over the years the emphasis on how different techniques are executed has changed to varying degrees. I'm not stating the KKW never included kicking with the ball of the foot for a round kick, for example, I'm just stating that the stylistic trend of kicking with the instep is what you will see much more commonly when you walk into a KKW Taekwondo dojang today. Once again, there will always be variations in how to execute techniques, but an emphasis will usually be placed predominantly on one way regardless of those variations.

We are in agreement that what you find in a Taekwondo Dojang, Kukkiwon or not, will vary and change from time to time. My point is that Kukkiwon did not make those changes, nor did Kukkiwon influence those changes. Those variations and changes that we notice comes from the dojang instructor, not the Kukkiwon.

Sure, students may notice that their instructor goes on a trip to the Kukkiwon, comes back and says "these are changes I learned at the Kukkiwon." What has happened is their instructor flew off to Korea, when to the Kukkiwon and learned the correct techniques, that have existed for 40 years now. It's hard to come back to your students and say "I went to Korea and found out I was teaching you the wrong way for the past 15 years, so starting now let's change over to the right way!" I don't know of many instructors who would actually say something like that. Most will come back and say "the Kukkiwon keeps changing everything"
 

lifespantkd

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It's hard to come back to your students and say "I went to Korea and found out I was teaching you the wrong way for the past 15 years, so starting now let's change over to the right way!" I don't know of many instructors who would actually say something like that. Most will come back and say "the Kukkiwon keeps changing everything"

I am proud to say that the instructor under whom I became a 1st and 2nd dan would do exactly that. I respected her all the more for having such integrity and honesty. She was and is a great model for staying open to learning and trying to get as close to the primary source as possible for learning. Kukkiwon Taekwondo is a complex, vast art. There's no shame in not knowing everything and needing to unlearn and relearn as we advance.

Cynthia
 

puunui

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Sure, students may notice that their instructor goes on a trip to the Kukkiwon, comes back and says "these are changes I learned at the Kukkiwon." What has happened is their instructor flew off to Korea, when to the Kukkiwon and learned the correct techniques, that have existed for 40 years now. It's hard to come back to your students and say "I went to Korea and found out I was teaching you the wrong way for the past 15 years, so starting now let's change over to the right way!" I don't know of many instructors who would actually say something like that. Most will come back and say "the Kukkiwon keeps changing everything"


The ones who can say "I went to Korea and found out I was teaching you the wrong way for the past 15 years, so starting now let's change over to the right way!" will in general make the fastest progress, because if they can say that, then they will have nothing that will stand in their way of going forward.
 

Earl Weiss

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The ones who can say "I went to Korea and found out I was teaching you the wrong way for the past 15 years, so starting now let's change over to the right way!" will in general make the fastest progress, because if they can say that, then they will have nothing that will stand in their way of going forward.

Just a tip . Sime idea, different perspective. After training 18 years in General Choi's system with top ITF guys in the world who had trained with him I went to an instructor course taught by him. Often I would hear stuff and my brain would scream "That's wrong" because it was different than wnat I learned. When I checked the books I found he was 95% consistent with what it said. The 5% ha to do with about 2-3% errors in the books and the rest were refinements or issuse with language. You could see how stuff either got changed as it passed from person to person, like the old "Telephone game", or in some cases if you were familiar with an instructor's lineage how it was a holdover from their habits developed thru training in another Kwan system which were never changed.
I wrote down over 150 things I needed to fix.


I tell people our instructors taught us as best they could. If , as instuctors we do things right, our students should be better and more knowledgeable than their instructors because our students will have had better instructors than we had:) (Just as hopefuly our instructors had better instructors than their instructors instructors.)

When I got back to the school I started making all the corrections and almost faced a mutiny. Peopel don't like change. I then learned I could sneak in the changes. by simply making one or two a week saying this is how we will do this. Less resistance to this approach.
 

andyjeffries

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It's hard to come back to your students and say "I went to Korea and found out I was teaching you the wrong way for the past 15 years, so starting now let's change over to the right way!" I don't know of many instructors who would actually say something like that. Most will come back and say "the Kukkiwon keeps changing everything"

I have heard exactly the last phrase you give, so believe me I'm with you.

However, this doesn't have to be an either or - either "I was wrong for 15 years" or "the Kukkiwon keeps changing". It could be easily explained as "I've been teaching as I was taught by my instructor, keeping things as faithful as I could to that so you weren't taught a watered down version. However, there is now a growing push for standardisation, so we're going to switch to the way that the world headquarters is pushing to have everyone do things, so everyone learns the same things to the same standards".

At the end of the day, as long as people switch that's what matters (although I'd rather they didn't badmouth the Kukkiwon at the same time, as the Kukkiwon is doing a good thing here).
 
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