"Tae Kwon Do" just a marketing term

FearlessFreep

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My instructor yesterday related to me an interesting perspective.

Basically that the Japanese culled together many families of arts and called it "Karate" as a way of marketing to the outside world that wouldn't understand the difference between Shotokan and Shorin-Ryu and..etc...

"Tae Kwon Do" was very similar. A term used to encompass Korean martial arts in a way of marketing for those who wouldn't know the difference between Jidokwan and Yudo and Oh Do Kwan and... etc...

This was in a response about a remark I asked/made about the difference between Hapkido and Tae Kwon Do. And I think he was trying to steer me to the direction that Tae Kwon Do was itself an umbrella term without strong boundaries and thus you could, under the term 'Tae Kwon Do', incorporate quite a lot of variety in fighting styles and techniques.

Yes, we have an understanding of what *is* Tae Kwon Do and what *is not* Tae Kwon Do but I think he was trying to open me up to the case that Tae Kwon Do can actually be...a lot more than the stereotypes or cliches we usually think of
 

Kacey

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My instructor yesterday related to me an interesting perspective.

Basically that the Japanese culled together many families of arts and called it "Karate" as a way of marketing to the outside world that wouldn't understand the difference between Shotokan and Shorin-Ryu and..etc...

"Tae Kwon Do" was very similar. A term used to encompass Korean martial arts in a way of marketing for those who wouldn't know the difference between Jidokwan and Yudo and Oh Do Kwan and... etc...

This was in a response about a remark I asked/made about the difference between Hapkido and Tae Kwon Do. And I think he was trying to steer me to the direction that Tae Kwon Do was itself an umbrella term without strong boundaries and thus you could, under the term 'Tae Kwon Do', incorporate quite a lot of variety in fighting styles and techniques.

Yes, we have an understanding of what *is* Tae Kwon Do and what *is not* Tae Kwon Do but I think he was trying to open me up to the case that Tae Kwon Do can actually be...a lot more than the stereotypes or cliches we usually think of

Most things - MAs included - can actually be (and usually are), a lot more than the stereotypes and cliches we usually think of. An example that supports the use of the word "Karate" - about 14 years ago, I was teaching special ed in a charter school, which had a portfolio requirement for each grade. One of my students told me that he was preparing to test for his BB in Karate, and was going to demonstrate his testing requirements for his portfolio. We started talking about martial arts, and he mentioned the names of some of his patterns... which turned out to be from the Ch'ang H'on tul set (ITF TKD). I asked him some questions, which he then asked his instructor; it turned out that his instructor had come to this country in the 60s to teach TKD, but couldn't get students, because no one knew what TKD was - so he called his class "Karate", chose the parts of ITF TKD he liked, and taught them, and was still teaching "Karate" using ITF tuls (with a few interesting changes) in the early 90s.

Marketing will always use the most familiar name it can, because that's what gets peoples' attention - the highest form of recognition, a marketer's dream, is when the brand name becomes the common word for the item - the way Kleenex has become a synonym for tissues. Early on, "Karate" was a generic term for martial arts, and was used to get students in the door - today, "Taekwon-Do" has reached nearly the same status, but what can be learned under the umbrella of the "Taekwon-Do" name is nearly as broad as what can be learned under the "Karate" name. There's a place in Denver that uses both terms in it's name - and teaches a wide variety of weapons as well.

The day you accept that the stereotype is all there is, is the day you become surprised - even more than you were before - by what can be hidden behind the name.
 

matt.m

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In St. L, the phone book listing is: "Tae Kwon Do Karate Club". When GM Hildebrand opened the school 30 plus yrs. ago then it was the rage. Even though we offer TKD and Judo as well. We have a huge sign for saying Tae Kwon Do above the door.

However, as luck may have it we get a lot of walk ins and general phone calls because of the MMA rage as well as a lot of our TKD competitors charge absolutely crazy prices and make folks sign contracts.

Jeez, we offer TKD, HKD, and Judo for $60 a month. No big deal, we are located in a less money fortunate part of Saint Louis but who cares. Lee H. Park, our founder, always said "We want everyone who wants to train to have the opportunity." So our most expensive asset is the mat we train on. However, our training place is like comparing Rocky to Drago in Rocky IV. We have the dungeon dojang, but it is the happiest dojang in St. L.
 

Laurentkd

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I'd love to get Master Stoker's response to this. I remember a thread awhile back where he explained how everything he taught is "Taekwondo" because that is what "Taekwondo" is to him.... I can't say it like he did, maybe he'll vocalize it again for us.
 
OP
F

FearlessFreep

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I'd love to get Master Stoker's response to this. I remember a thread awhile back where he explained how everything he taught is "Taekwondo" because that is what "Taekwondo" is to him.... I can't say it like he did, maybe he'll vocalize it again for us.

Yeah, I thought of him and his thoughts on this when my instructor and I were talking and again when I posted this message.
 

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