Sine Wave Article - thoughts comfirmed!

StuartA

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In 2003 I wrote an article called "Patterns - telling It Like It Is - The Sine-Wave!", which was published in 2004 by TKD & KMA magazine.
In short the article discussed how the newer sine wave wasnt good for Taekwon-do and how it was a political move. Many agreed with me, but many ITF stalwarts disagreed - which was fine as it was only my opinion after all, though also based on facts through research.

In successive years many discussions about sine-wave and this article have taken place, including many I have participated in where some would agree, others disagree and others partly agree.

The article discussed three major areas of history in TKD relating to the sine wave:

1- Pre-Sine wave - when TKD was karate like ie. horizontal motion
2- Original sine-wave - utilizng an up/down motion.. now termed Natural Motion by TKD Pioneers such as CK Choi
3- New Sine Wave - the down/up/down version now taught in the ITF/s

My arguments were mostly based on utilizing sine-wave for effective technique, however part of my argument was that sine-wave was a political move to say "This is TKD" by Gen Choi, something that has been discussed by myself and others over and over and that because of this, the motion is no good for self defence as it was now too slow to be used effectively.

The full original article can be read here: http://www.raynerslanetkd.com/ARTICLES_Patterns_Sinewave.html

However, the page remained open on the subject as most of those that discussed it (including myself) didnt have the resourses to go further than the discussion stage - until now!

Many have recognised Alex Gillis book (A Killing Art: The Untold History Of Tae Kwon Do) as very well researched (and I mean very very very well researched) and top notch for its facts and it was whilst reading this that I came across the following text relating precisely to my article that I wrote 5 years earlier.

In the passage it comfirms that sine-wave changed into a the 'bigger more bobbing' version it is now, nor was it 'relax, up, down' and simply miscommunicated.

Here is the passage: the passage follows information regarding the introduction of 'Juche' (so you understand its importance in the words as it says "a more important gift to NK....)

A Killing Art - Page 144

A more important gift to the communists, however, was a change to "sine wave", a series of subtle movements that applied to all techniques. Good martial artists had always slightly bent their kneess and rotated their hips before launching a technique (thereby creating more power), but Choi now wanted everyone to lower then raise the entire body, with no hip rotation, so that they could use gravity while driving downwards with a punch for example. Everyone had been practising a small sine wave (requiring a small knee spring and snapping of the hips) but Choi's gift was a big sine wave (requiring a big knee spring). The differences sounded subtle, but, when put into action, they gave Choi's Tae Kwon Do patterns a distinct style - a slower, more rhythmic, bobbing-on-the-sea look that dramatically distinguished it from Karate and Kim Un-yong's Tae Kwon Do.

Just as dramatic were Choi's sudden announcements that North Koreans were practicing "pure Tae Kwon Do" (because they were doing a big sine wave) and that all the other instructors on the planet were "fakes". As my instructor, Mr Di Vecchia explained, Choi inserted a three-dimensional signature on the martial art (sine wave), handed it to North Koreas and, in one move, disowned his wayward disciples, men who Choi viewed as disobedient and unfilial. In fact, disowning those surrogate sons was perhaps Choi's chief goal with sine wave.

Note: these facts, though written by Alex Gillis the author are footnoted to General Choi himself!

Conclusion: Although I am please to have my own work comfirmed and knew it was a politicial move to obstratice those not in the ITF at that time, I did not know it was done for (or seen as a gift) for the North Koreans - which I find both facinating and alarming, moreso considering the recent 'Juche' fiasco!
 

exile

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This is all fascinating, Stuart—I'd seen the sine-wave discussion in your book, but this business from Gillis' new one is really intriguing. The word 'vindictiveness' comes to mind...

BTW, I'm a bit baffled as to why Gen. Choi identified 'power' by means of a formula which is in fact nothing but the definition of kinetic energy. Power is energy per unit time, and the difference is critical. You can transfer the same amount of energy to a target by hitting it with a pillow (quite a few times) or slamming it with a 25lb sledgehammer (once). What makes the latter more, uh, effective is the relatively far shorter time span within which the energy is transferred.... makes all the difference in the world, lol!
 

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I have one question that perhaps someone here could answer.

I was with an ITF (I.T.U.)based group for a seminar with Master Mark McCarthy(Taekwondo International).
He told us that GM Choi would always wear shoes that had a bit of a heel which caused him to rise at the center of a foot movement. This and his age may have given it a pronounced rise, interpreted as the sine wave.

Master McCarthy was answering a persons question when he explained this scenario. I don't know enough about it but am interested to know of it's origin.
 

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I have one question that perhaps someone here could answer.

I was with an ITF (I.T.U.)based group for a seminar with Master Mark McCarthy(Taekwondo International).
He told us that GM Choi would always wear shoes that had a bit of a heel which caused him to rise at the center of a foot movement. This and his age may have given it a pronounced rise, interpreted as the sine wave.

Master McCarthy was answering a persons question when he explained this scenario. I don't know enough about it but am interested to know of it's origin.

From a few vids that I've seen on Youtube of Choi giving instruction at seminars and such, he was teaching the physical up/down movements on purpose...he was trying to convey his point that more power could be generated, and was even guiding some of the students in the vid that I saw to do the up/down motion. The vid was posted on here about a month or so ago...I'll try to find it when I can.

I have tried doing the sine wave thing in my forms while practicing at home...it really doesn't help me with any power at all...I never understood the point, but now it does make sense that it was a political issue and not a funtional issue.

I didn't realize that politics have plagued TKD for that long...I thought that it was a more recent thing.
 
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StuartA

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I'm a bit baffled as to why Gen. Choi identified 'power' by means of a formula which is in fact nothing but the definition of kinetic energy.
Well, I am not speaking for the General or from a point of view that I know about all the physics and science, but IMO he used the formula to push his point that TKD was based on scientific principles (which was part of his reasoning that was why TKD was better than other arts), also, I was always taught that TKD utilizes kinetic energy. Perhaps a post on the forumla by you and others, would help people like me understand it more!

Power is energy per unit time, and the difference is critical. You can transfer the same amount of energy to a target by hitting it with a pillow (quite a few times) or slamming it with a 25lb sledgehammer (once). What makes the latter more, uh, effective is the relatively far shorter time span within which the energy is transferred.... makes all the difference in the world, lol!
Like I said, if you have time I would love to see all this in detail so not physics people lie myself can understand the differences!

Stuart
 
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StuartA

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From a few vids that I've seen on Youtube of Choi giving instruction at seminars and such, he was teaching the physical up/down movements on purpose...he was trying to convey his point that more power could be generated, and was even guiding some of the students in the vid that I saw to do the up/down motion.
I'm in agreement and feel for whatever reason it certainly wasnt accidental from wearing shoes!!Funny thing is, ITF-V did some scientific research on the sine-wave a couple of years back and in their conclusion they didnt mention power at all - just (they said) it increased speed! Either way, i still wasnt convinced but there ya go!

I didn't realize that politics have plagued TKD for that long...I thought that it was a more recent thing.
well I knew politics plagued TKD, but I never realised just how deep and how long it went on or indeed how bad it was!

Stuart
 

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How happy I am that I learned all the forms in the old way. (pre mega gigantic sine wave)
icon6.gif


You are quite correct Stuart in your opinion.
 

exile

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Well, I am not speaking for the General or from a point of view that I know about all the physics and science, but IMO he used the formula to push his point that TKD was based on scientific principles (which was part of his reasoning that was why TKD was better than other arts), also, I was always taught that TKD utilizes kinetic energy. Perhaps a post on the forumla by you and others, would help people like me understand it more!


Like I said, if you have time I would love to see all this in detail so not physics people lie myself can understand the differences!

Stuart

OK, I'm gonna try. I want to start, as I mean to finish, with the point that all martial arts, in fact all activities, use scientific principle in exactly the same way. I consider the 'scientisation' of what is really very straightforward stuff to be a marketing trick, as has already been suggested above. More on this below...

The expression that Choi supplies here is essentially a definition of the notion 'capacity to cause activity' that the concept 'energy' formalizes; it follows as an automatic consequence of the definition of force---change in momentum---from very early classical mechanics, and as I'll get to directly, doesn't seem to me to add much in actual value to Choi's or similar discussions. If the activity in question imposes a structure on nature in a certain sense, you have one kind of energy, which the formula Choi cites partly measures. (The other kind of energy is associated with 'waste' motion, involving friction, viscosity, and so on.) What Choi is giving is the basic expression for kinetic energy, which reflects the capacity to do work---which technically is nothing other than force over distance (and is subject to a certain conservation condition). That definition applies to everything that moves: in the simplest case, the amount of energy 'carried' by a moving object is 1/2 the mass of the object x the velocity of the object squared. If that energy were transferred completely to another object, by a collision, say, the kinetic energy would express exactly how much work had been accomplished in taking the target, originally at rest, up the the motion it underwent as a result of the impact.

And that's why I don't really see that giving these fairly simple definitions of concepts from mechanics adds any value to the discussion. We're not talking about figuring out a detailed description of a physical system here; always, in such discussions, we're talking about very simple things, purely qualitatively, really---and qualitatively, all such formulae tell you is what you already know: it takes more work to get your fist moving faster, so the extra effort you have to put into getting that greater velocity in your striking translates into a greater impact at the target. You can increase impact in two ways: increase the mass of the striking limb, a practical impossiblity under normal circumstances; or you can increase the speed of the striking limb in the given direction, which is eminently practical. This holds for every MA, for every racquet or ball sport, and any other activity under the sun. Basically, the formula displayed in Choi's presentation (and a dozen other 'scientific' dressings-up of these fairly simple mechanical issues) don't add anything to what we already know strictly from experience; I interpret them, just as I interpret the use of the same formula in elementary ski-technique guides or analyses of the use of spin in table tennis or weight-training, as a way of dressing up something very simple to give it a veneer of scientific authority.


The formula itself, as I say, follows immediately from the definition of work asforce over distance. You can get a very rough idea of where that formula comes from by looking just at the units involved in that definition of work. Force is defined as change in momentum, which—writing 'a times b' as a x b—is identical to mass x acceleration, i.e., mass x (velocity/time). So if you look at what work x distance come to, given these definitions, you can see that it's [mass x (velocity/time)] x distance. But if you shift the denonimator on the middle term to the end (just as (3/8)x 16 = 3 x (16/8)), you get mass x velocity x distance/time, which is of course mass x velocity x velocity, which we can in turn write as mass x (velocity)^2. Now, evalauate this quantity at a time when the particle is at rest, i.e., its velocity is zero, so the work is 0. Evaluate it when it's travelled a distance z, and you have mV^2, where V is the velocity of the particle at the instant it is z away from its original position. Take the average of the two, and you get (1/2)mV^2, so that the energy to do this amount of work is the same, i.e., (1/2)mV^2, and Bob's your uncle. This is a crude derivation of the result, but it captures the essentials of the operations involved.

And the difference between power and energy is just that energy tells you how much work you can accomplish, but not the time duration involved; that's up to you. The more energy you supply in a given length of time, the more impact your strike will have. The same amount of work, carried out over a year, will change the world in no obvious way; carried out in a hundredth of a second, it will punch a hole in a half-inch thick plate of chrome-moly steel. Given a certain amount of energy, you need to deliver it faster in order to be more effective. This is news?

My main point is that once you've seen all of this stuff, you are still no further ahead in terms of practical MA understanding than when you started. We all knew before we learned any physics that if you want to have a greater impact when you hit something, you have to either use a bigger hammer or swing the hammer harder, i.e., faster. When I used to teach downhill skiing we'd sometimes have these bigshot senior instructors come in to seminars with us on technique and body mechanics, and they'd throw this stuff around (often getting the math wrong, which is pretty pathetic, considering that none of it is very high level) and I would always wonder, why are you wasting our time with this? Why don't you talk about something you really understand, like when in the turn to project your weight laterally if you want to keep your line very tight through gates, say? That's kind of what I feel like about this stuff. TKD isn't more or less scientific than any other MA; the kind of unnecessary decoration of technical discussion with simple mechanical formulae that Choi does here doesn't really help anyone understand how to increase their force generation. Everyone who does or teaches any MA knows that your strike is more effective the faster your striking limb is moving. And really, it begins and ends right there, I think.
 
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dancingalone

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TKD isn't more or less scientific than any other MA; the kind of unnecessary decoration of techical discussion with simple mechanical formulae that Choi does here doesn't really help anyone understand how to increase their force generation. Everyone who does or teaches any MA knows that your strike is more effective the faster your striking limb is moving. And really, it begins and ends right there, I think.

I totally agree, Exile. I'd add one more point. Consider all the various martial arts with a reputation for hitting hard, ranging from muay thai to uechi-ryu karate-do to wing chun, to whatever you please. Some of these arts have been around for centuries and presumably their people know a bit about generation of power through good body mechanics. I find it interesting that NONE of them use an exaggerated up and down motion such as is found in the current Choi-designed sine wave.

I know from reading and participating in countless pro/con sine wave threads here and elsewhere that sine wave proponents often say you ARE NOT supposed to bob up and down so largely, and that sine wave is effective if done correctly like the sping leg movement found in CMA. Well, I agree spring leg movement works. Using gravity to help amplify your strike also works. I won't dispute either method. That said, I have seen lots of sine wave tuls on Youtube, some performed by high ranking masters, and they all exhibit the large movement which I feel is actually counter-productive.

There's a disconnect somewhere within the ITF(s) camp(s).
 

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Exile, you caught me on a day when my brain is a vegetable! If I could only wade through all that great info, I'd come out the other side very, very smart! I did get your first post, though, and appreciate it. :)

Stuart, I read your article on Juche and also the info on sine wave in your book. I so appreciate what you have done for TKD! I have dealt with alot of people who have no respect for TKD, so it's really good to hear more great info about it. :) I have just loved TKD since I first began training. To me it makes alot of sense and I intuitively "get" TKD, unlike Kung Fu, which I greatly benefitted from studying, but it it takes more effort for me, like speaking a foreign language. From that you can understand why I appreciate this info so much.

On to the current thread. I do not want to say anything bad about Choi b/c I do want to honor the origins of my art. But he obviously works with different motives than I have.

My opinion is that martial arts is just too divisive due to fragile egos and lack of respect within the martial arts. Personally, I think that is a huge turn off to the growth of martial arts in general. Sounds like Gen. Choi wants (or wanted) to continue this dark side of martial arts and increase it, at least where TKD is concerned, whether it was to cozy up to the North Koreans or some other reason, the point is, he made decisions about the "real" TKD that had NOTHING to do with making his followers stronger or more capable... (wow, I think that is the longest sentence I have ever constructed in my life!!) What I dislike so much is decisions made in order to achieve his goals which have NOTHING to do with my gaining effective fighting skills. Personally, I think that is an absolute travesty. And it is a shame that that can eclipse the great things he did for TKD.
 

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I totally agree, Exile. I'd add one more point. Consider all the various martial arts with a reputation for hitting hard, ranging from muay thai to uechi-ryu karate-do to wing chun, to whatever you please. Some of these arts have been around for centuries and presumably their people know a bit about generation of power through good body mechanics. I find it interesting that NONE of them use an exaggerated up and down motion such as is found in the current Choi-designed sine wave.

Exactly, dancingalone. I have trained in KF, am learning Kenpo, and they all use th e same body mechanics to generate power as I do in TKD.

Find any sport at all that uses that kind of bobbing motion. (Gosh, I half expect someone to come up with something obvious. I know I will feel like a total dork if someone does, but I have not found anything and I have pondered it a few times).

Stop the presses. I have it: Sine-wave has the hidden bunkai of training the bobbing and weaving of boxers!

Man, I don't want to bash sine wave or anyone who does it. I just don't want to do it myself.
 

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Having been to several seminars with Gen. Choi, I can say that there is a disconnect... and it rose more from misunderstanding than anything else. When Gen. Choi would teach sine wave, he would watch the back lines (comprised of first dans) and say "bend your knees!!".... the first dans, being totally freaked out at who was talking to them, would nod wildly, and stand still, making no changes in their techniques. The front lines, meanwhile, would be bending their knees more each time Gen. Choi yelled at the first danns... and he wasn't watching the front lines; he was watching the back lines. So while the back lines nodded like idiots and made no changes, the front lines went lower and lower each time they stepped, and exaggerated the movements of sine wave more and more; then went home afterwards and took notes on how sine wave "should" be done - notes that were based on that specific misunderstanding - then taught their own students to move the same way.

Sine wave, when done correctly, should be the relatively minimal movement described in the article - but people who misunderstood Gen. Choi's instruction, as above, exaggerated the movements and taught that exaggeration, which then spread. Since that time, as more seniors talked about seminars they'd been to at which that had happpened, and especially talked to those students who had been corrected (differently) by Gen. Choi individually, the misunderstanding has become understood, and the correction is spreading through various ITF affiliates and off-shoots. Because my sahbum is one of the students who was individually instructed, the only time I've done the exaggerated motion is when I was learning it myself - when it was exaggerated deliberately to teach the motion, and then later damped down - and when I use the same method to teach my own students. But the correction has come from within the ITF, and has nothing to do with articles such as those stated above - people who left the ITF before the correction spread more widely are often unaware of the source of the correction.
 

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Having been to several seminars with Gen. Choi, I can say that there is a disconnect... and it rose more from misunderstanding than anything else. When Gen. Choi would teach sine wave, he would watch the back lines (comprised of first dans) and say "bend your knees!!".... the first dans, being totally freaked out at who was talking to them, would nod wildly, and stand still, making no changes in their techniques. The front lines, meanwhile, would be bending their knees more each time Gen. Choi yelled at the first danns... and he wasn't watching the front lines; he was watching the back lines. So while the back lines nodded like idiots and made no changes, the front lines went lower and lower each time they stepped, and exaggerated the movements of sine wave more and more; then went home afterwards and took notes on how sine wave "should" be done - notes that were based on that specific misunderstanding - then taught their own students to move the same way.

Sine wave, when done correctly, should be the relatively minimal movement described in the article - but people who misunderstood Gen. Choi's instruction, as above, exaggerated the movements and taught that exaggeration, which then spread. Since that time, as more seniors talked about seminars they'd been to at which that had happpened, and especially talked to those students who had been corrected (differently) by Gen. Choi individually, the misunderstanding has become understood, and the correction is spreading through various ITF affiliates and off-shoots. Because my sahbum is one of the students who was individually instructed, the only time I've done the exaggerated motion is when I was learning it myself - when it was exaggerated deliberately to teach the motion, and then later damped down - and when I use the same method to teach my own students. But the correction has come from within the ITF, and has nothing to do with articles such as those stated above - people who left the ITF before the correction spread more widely are often unaware of the source of the correction.

To me, the bit in bold above is an absolutely paradigm case of how misinformation becomes embedded in the MAs first as knowledge, and then as quasi-divine revelation. And it's a very good cautionary tale about the dangers of mistaking tradition for reality.

It is a bit discouraging, in a way, to have to acknowledge that this kind of thing can happen—because so much of what we think we know about the MAs has this second- or third-hand quality; how much of our conception of what we're doing, and how it should be done, is really based on the kind of confusion of 'line static' with real information that this business with the sine wave illustrates, as per Kacey's description of how it all came into being? To me, the lesson that this story teaches is that you have to maintain a rational skepticism about MA doctrine and be prepared to change your ideas if the facts don't seem to support them—after all, you may have no better reason to believe them than the students of the students of those one-time colored belts in the front of the line did.... :uhohh:
 
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StuartA

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Im getting strife for 'foruming' on Christmas day, but just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to put that all down.

Much appreciated.

Stuart

OK, I'm gonna try. I want to start, as I mean to finish, with the point that all martial arts, in fact all activities, use scientific principle in exactly the same way. I consider the 'scientisation' of what is really very straightforward stuff to be a marketing trick, as has already been suggested above. More on this below...

The expression that Choi supplies here is essentially a definition of the notion 'capacity to cause activity' that the concept 'energy' formalizes; it follows as an automatic consequence of the definition of force---change in momentum---from very early classical mechanics, and as I'll get to directly, doesn't seem to me to add much in actual value to Choi's or similar discussions. If the activity in question imposes a structure on nature in a certain sense, you have one kind of energy, which the formula Choi cites partly measures. (The other kind of energy is associated with 'waste' motion, involving friction, viscosity, and so on.) What Choi is giving is the basic expression for kinetic energy, which reflects the capacity to do work---which technically is nothing other than force over distance (and is subject to a certain conservation condition). That definition applies to everything that moves: in the simplest case, the amount of energy 'carried' by a moving object is 1/2 the mass of the object x the velocity of the object squared. If that energy were transferred completely to another object, by a collision, say, the kinetic energy would express exactly how much work had been accomplished in taking the target, originally at rest, up the the motion it underwent as a result of the impact.

And that's why I don't really see that giving these fairly simple definitions of concepts from mechanics adds any value to the discussion. We're not talking about figuring out a detailed description of a physical system here; always, in such discussions, we're talking about very simple things, purely qualitatively, really---and qualitatively, all such formulae tell you is what you already know: it takes more work to get your fist moving faster, so the extra effort you have to put into getting that greater velocity in your striking translates into a greater impact at the target. You can increase impact in two ways: increase the mass of the striking limb, a practical impossiblity under normal circumstances; or you can increase the speed of the striking limb in the given direction, which is eminently practical. This holds for every MA, for every racquet or ball sport, and any other activity under the sun. Basically, the formula displayed in Choi's presentation (and a dozen other 'scientific' dressings-up of these fairly simple mechanical issues) don't add anything to what we already know strictly from experience; I interpret them, just as I interpret the use of the same formula in elementary ski-technique guides or analyses of the use of spin in table tennis or weight-training, as a way of dressing up something very simple to give it a veneer of scientific authority.


The formula itself, as I say, follows immediately from the definition of work asforce over distance. You can get a very rough idea of where that formula comes from by looking just at the units involved in that definition of work. Force is defined as change in momentum, which—writing 'a times b' as a x b—is identical to mass x acceleration, i.e., mass x (velocity/time). So if you look at what work x distance come to, given these definitions, you can see that it's [mass x (velocity/time)] x distance. But if you shift the denonimator on the middle term to the end (just as (3/8)x 16 = 3 x (16/8)), you get mass x velocity x distance/time, which is of course mass x velocity x velocity, which we can in turn write as mass x (velocity)^2. Now, evalauate this quantity at a time when the particle is at rest, i.e., its velocity is zero, so the work is 0. Evaluate it when it's travelled a distance z, and you have mV^2, where V is the velocity of the particle at the instant it is z away from its original position. Take the average of the two, and you get (1/2)mV^2, so that the energy to do this amount of work is the same, i.e., (1/2)mV^2, and Bob's your uncle. This is a crude derivation of the result, but it captures the essentials of the operations involved.

And the difference between power and energy is just that energy tells you how much work you can accomplish, but not the time duration involved; that's up to you. The more energy you supply in a given length of time, the more impact your strike will have. The same amount of work, carried out over a year, will change the world in no obvious way; carried out in a hundredth of a second, it will punch a hole in a half-inch thick plate of chrome-moly steel. Given a certain amount of energy, you need to deliver it faster in order to be more effective. This is news?

My main point is that once you've seen all of this stuff, you are still no further ahead in terms of practical MA understanding than when you started. We all knew before we learned any physics that if you want to have a greater impact when you hit something, you have to either use a bigger hammer or swing the hammer harder, i.e., faster. When I used to teach downhill skiing we'd sometimes have these bigshot senior instructors come in to seminars with us on technique and body mechanics, and they'd throw this stuff around (often getting the math wrong, which is pretty pathetic, considering that none of it is very high level) and I would always wonder, why are you wasting our time with this? Why don't you talk about something you really understand, like when in the turn to project your weight laterally if you want to keep your line very tight through gates, say? That's kind of what I feel like about this stuff. TKD isn't more or less scientific than any other MA; the kind of unnecessary decoration of technical discussion with simple mechanical formulae that Choi does here doesn't really help anyone understand how to increase their force generation. Everyone who does or teaches any MA knows that your strike is more effective the faster your striking limb is moving. And really, it begins and ends right there, I think.
 

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Having been to several seminars with Gen. Choi, I can say that there is a disconnect... and it rose more from misunderstanding than anything else. When Gen. Choi would teach sine wave, he would watch the back lines (comprised of first dans) and say "bend your knees!!".... the first dans, being totally freaked out at who was talking to them, would nod wildly, and stand still, making no changes in their techniques. The front lines, meanwhile, would be bending their knees more each time Gen. Choi yelled at the first danns... and he wasn't watching the front lines; he was watching the back lines. So while the back lines nodded like idiots and made no changes, the front lines went lower and lower each time they stepped, and exaggerated the movements of sine wave more and more; then went home afterwards and took notes on how sine wave "should" be done - notes that were based on that specific misunderstanding - then taught their own students to move the same way.

>
>
>
To me, the bit in bold above is an absolutely paradigm case of how misinformation becomes embedded in the MAs first as knowledge, and then as quasi-divine revelation. And it's a very good cautionary tale about the dangers of mistaking tradition for reality.
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To me, the lesson that this story teaches is that you have to maintain a rational skepticism about MA doctrine and be prepared to change your ideas if the facts don't seem to support them—after all, you may have no better reason to believe them than the students of the students of those one-time colored belts in the front of the line did.... :uhohh:
Reminds me of a story.... ;)

Some of my students in sword class wanted to know about a certain seated meditation posture used in our art, and why the hands were held in a certain manner. I related the historical tale (?) of an elderly group of Buddhist monks in the Korean mountains in the time of the Hwa Rang who met together for years to meditate each morning. Shocked by the sudden death of one of their members, they realized that they had achieved much on their journey to enlightenment, but had failed to pass it on to the next generation. Therefore, they each vowed to train one disciple to continue in the practices of the monastery meditation arts before they died.

The eldest of the monks, Master Wong Sang, began first by taking a young student as an apprentice. As the most junior member of the group, this young man became the 'gofer' and general servant of the others, while not in group meditation. On the first morning of meditation with disciple and elders, a stray cat entered the monastery and began wailing by the door. Disturbed by the noise and concerned his new disciple would be easily distracted, the elderly Master Wong Sang commanded his disciple to remove the stray cat and tie it by a leash to a post on the far side of the monastery. The Master's intent was to allow the meditation to continue sans cat, but provide the animal with milk and food afterwards.

Content with the cordial monks and a warm morning meal, the stray cat adopted the monastery as its home. The generous monks were equally pleased to provide the cat with this simple service, and each morning, the young disciple removed the cat to the post at the far end of the compound prior to meditation, then provided it with breakfast afterwards.

Soon Master Wong Sang died, and the next eldest monk selected a new disciple, to maintain the number of monks in the meditation circle. As the youngest, this new disciple's first task became the care and feeding of the cat. Each morning he would tie the cat to the post at the far end of the monastery so as not to disturb the monks in meditation. Wong Sang's disciple graduated to new, more important tasks.

Eventually, all of the original, elderly monks died, each having one-by-one initiated a new disciple into the art of meditation. Finally the cat also died. Then, the eldest (most senior) of the second generation of meditating monks did the only logical thing - he immediately ordered that a new cat be procured at once. After all, every monk in the group knew that you could not meditate in the morning without having a cat tied to a post, because that is the way it had always been done.
 

MasterWright

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I'm in agreement and feel for whatever reason it certainly wasnt accidental from wearing shoes!!Funny thing is, ITF-V did some scientific research on the sine-wave a couple of years back and in their conclusion they didnt mention power at all - just (they said) it increased speed! Either way, i still wasnt convinced but there ya go!


well I knew politics plagued TKD, but I never realised just how deep and how long it went on or indeed how bad it was!

Stuart
It's really bad Stuart, I'm not too sure who is really in charge of it anymore, too. I know that General Choi's son lives in Montreal and don't know if he is in charge or an Vietnamese fellow. I have also heard that there is a group in Austria that say they are in charge, too. All of these other groups like TKD International, ITU, ITA, confuses me. Which ones want sine wave and which ones don't. Is a president of the ITF a president for life like GM Choi, I don't know.

When I began my journey into Taekwondo my first instructor was teaching ITF forms and he was straight out of the Korean army. There was no sine wave at all. I stayed with this style until the WTF came to town, the alure of tournament competition helped make me stray.

I kept the ITF forms before First Dan for many years though after opening my school. We had some affiliation with a group in New York and this was ok for a while.

They decided to get close to Taekwondo International and I met one of Gen Choi's direct students Mark Mcarthy. I am a physics research tech and some of my students are Proffs and Phd candidates.

Can you see where this is going ?

We listened to them explain the physics of the sine wave from these "experts", about the shoes etc. We had Junshin tribune articles sent to us with scientific drawings explaining it as well. A whole lot of damnation for the WTF and it's forms and how we needed to have them come up and do seminars for us before it's too late. The cost of 1500 dollars was a bit too high to be standing in one spot for long periods of time with your arm out etc. All the time hoping that they might teach us something that we didn't already know. Last time I went to one of their pattern seminars we spent all afternoon and only got as far as Dan Gun!

That was the deciding factor,we had more fun doing drills, kicking paddles and sparring. So, Wtf seminars for us and no more sine wave. We quit that group and their seminars, now we do Taeguks. We still do the ITF's with the WTF forms after BB without sine wave. The colored belt students love the Taeguks, so it was a good business decision as well.

The doctors and I tried to find some advantage to using the sine wave theory but we came up empty. Reminds me of the old saying "******** baffles brains" .

I hope that fans of the sine wave will find it in their hearts to forgive me, just the way I feel about it.
 

terryl965

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I do not believe the swine wave give anymore power for the person but it does have some advantages as far as fighting goes. I believe the wide spead rumors about getting lower and this is the way it was tought at aseminar went to far and really ruined what the true meaning of the up and down motion was. This has helped as far as the Tae Gueks are concern because there was no confusion about how to do them, we did not have every Tom, Dick and Harry saying that the high and mighty said lower and lower. Some videos of the swine wave looks more like a carousel ride, than actual forms being done. This is just mt opinion of course and could be totally wrong but I truely believe this.
 

MasterWright

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I do not believe the swine wave give anymore power for the person but it does have some advantages as far as fighting goes. I believe the wide spead rumors about getting lower and this is the way it was tought at aseminar went to far and really ruined what the true meaning of the up and down motion was. This has helped as far as the Tae Gueks are concern because there was no confusion about how to do them, we did not have every Tom, Dick and Harry saying that the high and mighty said lower and lower. Some videos of the swine wave looks more like a carousel ride, than actual forms being done. This is just mt opinion of course and could be totally wrong but I truely believe this.
That's the great thing about this forum. It's good to know what everyone thinks and what we have learned from our experiences.
 

YoungMan

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What do the Taegeuks have to do with sine wave? Sine wave theory, for what it's worth, may be applicable to ITF forms, but I doubt it can be applied to the Kukkiwon forms. The Kukkiwon forms are a separate entity. One of the reasons, to me, why Kukkiwon and ITF should stay separate (in other words, pick one).
 
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