Tae Kwon Do Evolution

MichiganTKD

Master Black Belt
Joined
Mar 7, 2004
Messages
1,120
Reaction score
52
Location
Michigan, USA
Here is an interesting question:

Do you think Tae Kwon Do has reached its apex as far as evolving or is it capable of evolving more?
As many people know, originally TKD was very similar to karate as far as execution of technique and forms. Later, it changed into a more uniquely Korean art that emphasized kicking. Still later, it changed again into a tournament-oriented style (for the most part) designed to make points. My question is this: Is Tae Kwon Do destined or capable of evolving/changing or is this it? I'm not talking about combining it with another style, I'm talking about changing how it approaches technique, different forms, different kicking etc.
To put it another way, would Tae Kwon Do 200 years from now look the same or very different from what we are used to?
 
T

TKD USA

Guest
I think it would look very different because you can't stop anything from evolving.
 

Touch Of Death

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
May 6, 2003
Messages
11,610
Reaction score
845
Location
Spokane Valley WA
TKD USA said:
I think it would look very different because you can't stop anything from evolving.
I agree that Tkd wouldn't need to blend with another system but its pretty clear that other systems could at the very least give Tkd some new concerns that must eventualy be addressed. These new applications for the same old stuff will undoubtedly create subtle differences in footwork, kicking preferences, and range abilities, provided the street applications of Tkd not be bound by the rigid sport mentality of like vs like.
Sean
 
R

RCastillo

Guest
I would think that the younger generations that grow farther apart from the old Masters/Grandmasters influences will move away from the more traditional aspects of the art. I feel they'll move into a more self defense oriented area, but the tounament competition will remain strong. :asian:
 
OP
M

MichiganTKD

Master Black Belt
Joined
Mar 7, 2004
Messages
1,120
Reaction score
52
Location
Michigan, USA
I agree to a certain extent. There are some things about Tae Kwon Do that won't change-body mechanics, making power, waist action etc. But as time goes on, and newer generations bring new ideas and concepts to the table, undoubtably Tae Kwon Do will evolve in different ways. It is possible that in the future, we will discover new principles regarding how the body works that alter how we practice. Thirty years ago, ballistic stretching was considered perfectly acceptable. Now we know it is quite dangerous.
Additionally, as conditions in the world change, new ideas of what to emphasize might very well be added or changed. However, humans have always been competitive. That won't change. But the rules regarding competition could change. For example, if the WTF and ITF were to merge down the road, that would probably require a major reshifting in rules concerning forms and free fighting. Perhaps even new forms.
 

terryl965

<center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR
MTS Alumni
Joined
Apr 9, 2004
Messages
41,259
Reaction score
338
Location
Grand Prairie Texas
Well I have to agree over the past thirty years Tae Kwon Do has changed so dramaticly,since the age of time every aspect of the universe keeps evolving, every Art evolve's with every new generation that begins in the Art. The athlete gets bigger and stronger and quicker as that happens each Art most make some kind of ajustment for this.Will TKD evolve YES and without question how will it evolve is up to each and every new generation of practitionals that comes into the Art of TKD. GOD BLESS AMERICA
 
OP
M

MichiganTKD

Master Black Belt
Joined
Mar 7, 2004
Messages
1,120
Reaction score
52
Location
Michigan, USA
It may even be happening as we speak. The last seminar I attended, it was mentioned that Tae Kwon Do may undergo a name change. This is from people with close ties to the WTF. Realize, the Tae Kwon Do we have practiced for the past 30-40 years has been a product (mostly) of Gen. Choi's ITF and the ideas of the WTF. Gen. Choi is gone, and WTF is undergoing major reorganization. It is not unreasonable to assume that by necessity, Tae Kwon Do will undergo major changes, since Choi is no longer there to guide the ITF and new leaders come to the WTF. This may include a new name, new forms, new ways of free fighting. What those new ways are is anyone's guess. What I could see is, for example, the WTF entrusting a group of modern Masters/Grandmasters to design new forms that better reflect modern Tae Kwon Do. Not really sport-oriented forms, since you don't need forms if all you want is tournament sparring, but forms that reflect the modern techniques of TKD. For example, an all-kicking form for 2nd Dan. Wouldn't that be rather neat:)
Since the old generation is gone, I even think a new name might be in order. One that reflects new changes and new ideas. What that new name might be I have no idea.
 

Rob Broad

Master of Arts
MTS Alumni
Joined
Dec 12, 2003
Messages
1,526
Reaction score
21
Location
Sarnia , Ontario, Canada
I started doing ITF Tae Kwon Do back in 1986,, my Kenpo instructor suggested I try a couple classes to broaded my horizons. After 9 months in the class I was told I would be testing for black belt it didn't sit well with me, so I concentrated solely on my kenpo. The one thing that could help TKD evolve is by adding more substance, and placing less emphasis on competeition. I witnessed the WTF explosion, and know the old joke about guys graduating at Kukkiwon as firts dans and landing in North America and being masters. With that WTF explosion the face of TKD changed and almost everyone became more sport oriented, there was no real choice in the matter. The WTF sent all these masters out and they were sport oriented to make TKD an Olympic event, so the older schools had to adapt or suffer. When you see a sport school jump to double their membership in a year you end following their recipe before you become extinct. Now that there are a bazillion TKD schools maybe it is time to get back to the heart of the art, or tell everyone that TKD is a Martial Sport.
 
OP
M

MichiganTKD

Master Black Belt
Joined
Mar 7, 2004
Messages
1,120
Reaction score
52
Location
Michigan, USA
Our Instructor told the same joke to us. Except it wasn't a joke-it was a sad reality. All these new Korean black belts-1st Dans-coming to America because here is where the money is.
Keep in mind also, the WTF purposely changed the emphasis of TKD to get it into the Olympics by removing the more martial aspects and emphasizing point technique. It was felt that the only way the world would take Korea seriously is if Tae Kwon Do were accepted worldwide. Hence the Olympic movement. Well, TKD will probably not be in the Olympics much longer, the major organizations are undergoing reorganization, and the world knows about Tae Kwon Do now. So it seems to me that Tae Kwon Do really gains nothing by emphasizing point technique. Hopefully it will evolve by going back to its tradition of self defense and personal improvement. Unfortunately, the number of Instructors familiar with that tradition is fast dwindling. Age and a generation of Instructors brought up under the mantra of Olympic Tae Kwon Do is taking care of that. Hopefully it's not too late.
 

Martial Tucker

Black Belt
Joined
May 31, 2004
Messages
618
Reaction score
14
Location
Sweet Home, Chicago
Rob Broad said:
I started doing ITF Tae Kwon Do back in 1986,, my Kenpo instructor suggested I try a couple classes to broaded my horizons. After 9 months in the class I was told I would be testing for black belt it didn't sit well with me, so I concentrated solely on my kenpo. The one thing that could help TKD evolve is by adding more substance, and placing less emphasis on competeition. I witnessed the WTF explosion, and know the old joke about guys graduating at Kukkiwon as firts dans and landing in North America and being masters. With that WTF explosion the face of TKD changed and almost everyone became more sport oriented, there was no real choice in the matter. The WTF sent all these masters out and they were sport oriented to make TKD an Olympic event, so the older schools had to adapt or suffer. When you see a sport school jump to double their membership in a year you end following their recipe before you become extinct. Now that there are a bazillion TKD schools maybe it is time to get back to the heart of the art, or tell everyone that TKD is a Martial Sport.
MichiganTKD said:
Our Instructor told the same joke to us. Except it wasn't a joke-it was a sad reality. All these new Korean black belts-1st Dans-coming to America because here is where the money is.
Keep in mind also, the WTF purposely changed the emphasis of TKD to get it into the Olympics by removing the more martial aspects and emphasizing point technique. It was felt that the only way the world would take Korea seriously is if Tae Kwon Do were accepted worldwide. Hence the Olympic movement. Well, TKD will probably not be in the Olympics much longer, the major organizations are undergoing reorganization, and the world knows about Tae Kwon Do now. So it seems to me that Tae Kwon Do really gains nothing by emphasizing point technique. Hopefully it will evolve by going back to its tradition of self defense and personal improvement. Unfortunately, the number of Instructors familiar with that tradition is fast dwindling. Age and a generation of Instructors brought up under the mantra of Olympic Tae Kwon Do is taking care of that. Hopefully it's not too late.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

The sad fact that no one seems to be mentioning is that perhaps a big reason for the dwindling number of traditional style schools is a lack of demand. Traditional schools require a lot of time, sweat, repetition, and hard work before a meaningful rank is awarded. I see very few people who walk into our dojang (or anywhere else, for that matter) with that type of mentality. Unfortunately, in this day and age, if it doesnt come easy, most people aren't interested. Contrast that with the more common dojangs lately where you can get a black belt by training 2-3 hours a week for a couple of years, or worse yet, you find kids who can't spell their names yet awarded black belts and sent out to accumulate trophies. What does a black belt mean when it's wrapped around a near-toddler's waist? How does that truly represent anything "martial", much less "art"? The Koreans are simply selling us what we as a whole are asking for. I used to be in sales, and the standing joke was, "If the customer insists on a purple suit, see if you can sell him TWO!"

OK, I'm done ranting, so now the parents and/or teachers of all the 10 year old 3rd dans can start flaming me....
 

Rob Broad

Master of Arts
MTS Alumni
Joined
Dec 12, 2003
Messages
1,526
Reaction score
21
Location
Sarnia , Ontario, Canada
I think it comes down to those in Tae Kwon Do to change the art from with in if they are not satisfied with the current state of the art.
 

jfarnsworth

Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Mar 17, 2002
Messages
6,550
Reaction score
33
Location
N.C. Ohio
Martial Tucker said:
OK, I'm done ranting, so now the parents and/or teachers of all the 10 year old 3rd dans can start flaming me....

I'm with you! :partyon:
I have found that most people in this day and age want something for nothing and are willing to put forth next to nothing to achieve it. A good example is one of my co-workers. All you have to do is ask him about work and you get this reply "I don't work hard for anybody". I'm beginning to believe more people are adopting this attitude. As for your above quote, bring on the people. :jedi1: %-}
 

Rob Broad

Master of Arts
MTS Alumni
Joined
Dec 12, 2003
Messages
1,526
Reaction score
21
Location
Sarnia , Ontario, Canada
It is time for martial arts instructors to quit selling rank, and start making peopel work again. It is time to make the Black Belt worth something again.
 
R

RCastillo

Guest
jfarnsworth said:
I'm with you! :partyon:
I have found that most people in this day and age want something for nothing and are willing to put forth next to nothing to achieve it. A good example is one of my co-workers. All you have to do is ask him about work and you get this reply "I don't work hard for anybody". I'm beginning to believe more people are adopting this attitude. As for your above quote, bring on the people. :jedi1: %-}

Hey, that was uncalled for, but...........it is me. :wink:
 

jfarnsworth

Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Mar 17, 2002
Messages
6,550
Reaction score
33
Location
N.C. Ohio
Rob Broad said:
It is time for martial arts instructors to quit selling rank, and start making peopel work again. It is time to make the Black Belt worth something again.

The time should start immediatley. As for myself, I would never give somebody any type of rank if they didn't deserve it. My first instructor and I have had conflicts where he passed someone as I stated they were not ready for promotion. He over rode me 2 or 3 times and that was it for me. I would expect no less if I were testing for any belt level.
 
D

Disco

Guest
I have found that most people in this day and age want something for nothing and are willing to put forth next to nothing to achieve it.

The truth is hard to accept, but this is the truth in our society today.

Originally Posted by Rob Broad
It is time for martial arts instructors to quit selling rank, and start making peopel work again. It is time to make the Black Belt worth something again.

Honorable in concept, but never in reality. There are to many instructors out there that have, shall we say achieved rank/status via the payroll deduction plan. This concept has/is continuing exponentially, i.e. the glut of McDojo's and the ever increasing number of grandmasters of the new age. The really sad part of all this is the people who actually caused the problem in the first place, the Koreans. They flooded the U.S. and the rest of the world with airline masters. Got on the plane in Korea as a 1st or 2nd and landed here as a 6th or 7th. For these instructors to survive and prosper and build the influence that the homeland wanted for TKD, they sold out to an extent. Kind of a double edge sword so to speak, cause the American public was more than willing to accept what was being sold. (personally I don't think TKD is alone in this quagmire)

Can it go back to the real training that everybody invisions it should be? Doubtful, it has 2 strikes and a foul ball against it. 1) We have become lazy. 2) We are litigation prone. 3) There's no money in it. That coupled with the many that are out there in a position to sell instead of train and the picture from my perspective looks lousy. Granted, there will always be that small percentage that is the exception to the rule, but I fear that percentage is too small to really make a difference. :sadsong:
 
OP
M

MichiganTKD

Master Black Belt
Joined
Mar 7, 2004
Messages
1,120
Reaction score
52
Location
Michigan, USA
Exactly. One of the reasons my school will probably never become very big is because I don't sell corporate Tae Kwon Do for the masses, with the pretty uniforms and the 10 year old 2nd Dans. I teach hard work, discipline, and frustration.

Modern Tae Kwon Do will continue to devolve until its Instructors take a good long look at themselves, understand the problems it has, and work to fix them. Unfortunately, this will be very difficult since so many of the modern Instructors are products of the problems Tae Kwon Do faces.

I do think Tae Kwon Do will undergo two major changes politically:

1. The ITF as we know it will cease to exist. Even if one of the three branches wins the legal right to call itself ITF, it will have lost too many members to other agendas. There will still be people teaching ITF curriculums, but no real ITF anymore.

2. The WTF will steadily lose power and influence as its leaders retire and various high ranking Instructors pursue personal agendas. I know right now my Instructor has distanced himself to a degree from the WTF, issuing Dan certificates through his Organization and signed by him. If Tae Kwon Do leaves the Olympics (and I believe it will), it will result in a dramatic loss of political power for the WTF and USTU. It will fracture, resulting in smaller organizations filling the vacuum. However, in time it will be put back together by a future Tae Kwon Do leader.
If Tae Kwon Do loses the Olympics, it will have no choice but to examine itself and decide where it wants to go. In this case, it may look to its past for the future.
 

TigerWoman

Senior Master
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2004
Messages
4,262
Reaction score
39
I came across this today. Probably the masters are already aware of this site but I hadn't seen it before so I am posting it. It is the USTW official site for Taekwondo. Apparently it has been around since at least September since they had an instructor class. They spell out the requirements for testing etc.more then the WTF site. TW

http://www.ustw.org/index.htm.
 

Raewyn

Master Black Belt
Joined
Jul 22, 2004
Messages
1,242
Reaction score
13
Location
New Zealand
For me, to reach my black belt it's gonna take alot of sweat, tears and pain, and a bloody lot of hard work. Ive seen some of the guys go for their black belts and it is just so awesome and inspiring to watch. I even cried at the end. It may take me the next five to six years to get mine, but Im there for the long haul. to get my black belt, I cant really describe it in words really, it would be the ultimate. I envy you guys who already have their's but I know it wasnt just handed to you. Peoples mindsets are different nowadays, as it's been said before they dont want to work hard for it, but than you get some people like myself and Sarah it would be the ultimate dream when we get our black belts, and we're ready to the work!!!!!!
 
Top