The ITF Pattern Moves That Have Changed Over Time (and/or are most contested)

BaehrTKD

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I thought I'd do a thread on this because I find it fascinating. One thing I've noticed over the years (once YouTube came along in 2007 and people could really begin to see what students of other TKD schools were doing), I noticed that nobody did the patterns the same way we did. My instructor (Chung Oh) was one of General Choi's original black belt students, meaning the first instructor group General Choi produced for his new martial art.

We know that taekwondo has changed slightly over the years. We know some patterns have been added and others have been removed. We know patterns have changed over time.

My hypothesis is this: The way we learned TKD is part of the oldest style that existed, and we may have been the last students to learn it. (Or conversely, General Choi made some last minute improvements to his patterns which never made it into the books and he taught those to Chung Oh given their close proximity in southern Ontario.) Or maybe Chung Oh made the changes with Choi's blessing. Who knows?

If you consider the lineage, it goes like this: General Choi -> Chung Oh -> Me
(The arrows mean said instructor directly taught the person to the right.)

As we know from the "telephone game", the more levels of indirection between founder and student, the more things change.

One thing that never changed was how Chung Oh taught the patterns at his school. He had thousands of students over the years and they all learned the patterns the same way, and I have yet to find another school that does it the same way.

Some examples include:

Do-San: After the fingertip middle straight thrust, nobody escapes from the wrist grab like we do, and nobody else pivots into L-stance for the first back-fist side strike.

Joong-Gun: After the back-fist side strikes, every other school drops their hand as a form of wrist grab escape, except us. We pull back and fire the reverse middle punch.

Toi-Gye: After the fingertip low straight thrust, everyone does a back-fist back strike and low block. We do outward forearm side block and low block.

Hwa-Rang: After the middle punch, every other school steps forward, grabs their fist, and pulls away while kicking. We do a round punch.

Choong-Jang: Every other school does a back-fist front strike with their other hand near their elbow. We do upper elbow front strike.

Sam-Il: Everyone else does a middle punch in L-stance with the other fist at the shoulder. We do a 9-shaped punch.
 
I practice the WT forms but didn't General Choi create an "Encyclopedia of Taekwondo"? If so, then wouldn't the way he performs them in the text then be the standard for everyone doing ITF forms?
 
Biggest difference between then and now is that side kicks are locked out, rather than snapped.

Control and balance is also far superior today
Isn't that whole Sine Wave stuff the biggest difference now?
 
emphasis on control and balance is a greater fundamental difference than whether you go up and down prior to punching.
Seems like bouncing up and down would affect control and balance pretty significantly.
 
Isn't that whole Sine Wave stuff the biggest difference now?

I remember asking my instructor about that one day and he cringed. His response was along the lines of: "We are doing sine wave stepping, but they're (the book) taking it too literally, trying to make an actual sine wave when they step, which is nonsensical."

Long story short: We go up-down when we step. Proponents of "sine wave" style go down-up-down when they step.

The result: All of our movements are faster and harder to stop. Less distance travelled = less time. People that do "sine wave" telegraph their movements. The moment they begin to do anything, they give it away.
 
I practice the WT forms but didn't General Choi create an "Encyclopedia of Taekwondo"? If so, then wouldn't the way he performs them in the text then be the standard for everyone doing ITF forms?

He did. I have it. :)

However the book itself has also changed over time.

Also, there are apparently differences between Korean and English versions as well because some stuff got mixed up in translation.
 
Perhaps my insight will help. My first course with General Choi was 1990. When I went my thought was that my lineage went to the pioneers since my main instructor trained under Han Cha Kyo and I had trained under some of the highest ranks in the world so I did not expect to learn much. I took notes because since my instructor had retired I wanted to be certain I returned with accurate information. Sometimes when general Choi said something a voice in my head would scream "That's wrong" yet later when I checked the texts I could see how things got passed down they changed. Your "Telephone Game" comparisons are spot on. There were 150 things I wrote down that I needed to change. Yes there were later editions with corrections / refinements and General Choi would often comment concerning the 1965 text "many mistakes in that book" and how the need to get a book out in a timely fashion outweighed delay needed to eliminate issues.
Next was I came to realize how General Choi recruited Black belts ,many Chung Do Kwan Alums and having been acquainted with Nam Tae Hi and Han Ch Kyo and having trained with some of their progeny, I came to realize how they retained their old habits and these filtered down thru their progeny as it did with those who followed similar people like HU Lee, He Il Cho and Jhoon Rhee.
Then their were conversations I had ;
A. With some of Han Cha Kyo's seniors who admitted they did not always recollect that GM Han had taught them certain pattern things the same way, and perhaps he did not do to recollection or intentional change issues.
B . With Nam Tae Hi about something unique Han's progeny did in Hwa Rang and why he only taught 20 patterns. He said "That is Han Cha Kyo's technique: meaning he changed it. Also that "Those are the patterns in his head. : As an aside I asked the General's son about the way GM Han's students did this move since I knew he trained under GM Han in Korea and suffice it to say he was incredulous.

So any or all and even more of the factors set forth above could play a part in what you do.
 
He did. I have it. :)

However the book itself has also changed over time.

Also, there are apparently differences between Korean and English versions as well because some stuff got mixed up in translation.
This is where the 187 courses he taught come into play. Unless he had a large Korean Contingent he taught in English so translation issues were nominal at best. So, yes the Encyclopedia and videos he oversaw are the Gold standard yet they are not perfect. Again, issues were addressed at courses and through technical correction Bulletins. Suffice it to say those corrections are nominal.
 
Okay so getting back to the thread...

Let's talk about move #3 in pattern Toi-Gye.

The book call for: Back-fist back strike and low block.
My instructor calls for: Outward forearm side block and low block.

Discuss.
 
Okay so getting back to the thread...

Let's talk about move #3 in pattern Toi-Gye.

The book call for: Back-fist back strike and low block.
My instructor calls for: Outward forearm side block and low block.

Discuss.
That really depends on the book I guess. The book that my group uses (that is, those affiliated under the direction of GM CK Choi) is the 1972 Encyclopedia. In that version, it is the outer forearm and low block. I hadn't realized that changed to a back fist in later editions.
 

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Okay so getting back to the thread...

Let's talk about move #3 in pattern Toi-Gye.

The book call for: Back-fist back strike and low block.
My instructor calls for: Outward forearm side block and low block.

Discuss.
Who can say for certain as to exactly why General Choi revised terminology. Anything from Front stance becoming Walking stance and Back stance becoming L Stance. It may have been in part to be different than words used by Karate, and I Heard him on one occasion talk about taking time to best describe what he wanted. For example Hyung became Tul.

In any event the 1965 Book was a High Side and Low side block as does the 1972 Book above.

The 1983 Text specifies a high side back strike with the right back fist extending the left hand to the side downward. This is in conformity with descriptions for similar motions in that and later editions.
 
That really depends on the book I guess. The book that my group uses (that is, those affiliated under the direction of GM CK Choi) is the 1972 Encyclopedia. In that version, it is the outer forearm and low block. I hadn't realized that changed to a back fist in later editions.

That's the way I learned it! 綽

Do you have PDFs of the 1972 encyclopedia that I can look at?

The version I have is from ~2004 just after General Choi died. I have the 15-volume set and the videos that went with it.
 
Who can say for certain as to exactly why General Choi revised terminology. Anything from Front stance becoming Walking stance and Back stance becoming L Stance. It may have been in part to be different than words used by Karate, and I Heard him on one occasion talk about taking time to best describe what he wanted. For example Hyung became Tul.

In any event the 1965 Book was a High Side and Low side block as does the 1972 Book above.

The 1983 Text specifies a high side back strike with the right back fist extending the left hand to the side downward. This is in conformity with descriptions for similar motions in that and later editions.

The only reason I mention it is because I think the original way works and the more modern version does not.

Body momentum is such that you can't do a back-fist back strike after move #2. And even if you could, you can't hit anyone behind you with it. The body doesn't move that way.

This evidence confirms that my instructor learned it the way it originally was. He didn't make it up or change anything that wasn't already there, so this answers a question I always had about the school I trained at. Who was making the changes to the patterns? Now I know it was General Choi, not my instructor. In effect, General Choi changed, and my instructor stayed true to his original teachings.
 
Here's another one I thought I'd tee up:
(If my hypothesis is correct, pattern Sam-Il underwent significant change between versions of the book.)

Move #3 in pattern Sam-Il:
"High side block with knife-hand" or Knife-hand high block?

Move #8 in pattern Sam-Il:
"Low block and outward forearm side block" or Low block and Back-fist side strike?

Move #16 in pattern Sam-Il:
"Low sweeping kick" or inward crescent kick at mid or head level?

Move #22 in pattern Sam-Il:
"W-shaped block with a stamping motion" or Mountain block with a regular step?

Move #29 in pattern Sam-Il:
Punch with fist at the shoulder in L-stance or 9-shaped punch in sitting stance?

Move #30 in pattern Sam-Il:
Forearm inward strike block or circular middle block?
 
That's the way I learned it! 綽

Do you have PDFs of the 1972 encyclopedia that I can look at?

The version I have is from ~2004 just after General Choi died. I have the 15-volume set and the videos that went with it.
I do have the entire 1972 version on PDF (after painstaking using my phone to go through it page by page and crop each page one at a time). Unfortunately, the finished product is too large to email (over 300mb).
 
I do have the entire 1972 version on PDF (after painstaking using my phone to go through it page by page and crop each page one at a time). Unfortunately, the finished product is too large to email (over 300mb).

If you would like the most recent version for comparison we could trade. I made PDF files out of it from the CD, one per volume. (Same painstaking process.)
 
For anyone else on the thread looking for the pdf of the 1972, feel free to pm me about it
 
The only reason I mention it is because I think the original way works and the more modern version does not.

Body momentum is such that you can't do a back-fist back strike after move #2. And even if you could, you can't hit anyone behind you with it. The body doesn't move that way.

This evidence confirms that my instructor learned it the way it originally was. He didn't make it up or change anything that wasn't already there, so this answers a question I always had about the school I trained at. Who was making the changes to the patterns? Now I know it was General Choi, not my instructor. In effect, General Choi changed, and my instructor stayed true to his original teachings.
1. As Far as body mechanics co and application of techniques in patterns I view it thusly. A tradesman may have 100 but use only 20% of them 80% of the time. But when it comes to a particular situation that may occur only 1% of the time it sure i nice to have the tool that gets the job done most efficiently in that situation.

2. As far as how General Choi Originally taught, who can say for sure. He often commented including when he signed my early texts "Many mistakes in that book" So, often it is unknow if it was a change or a correction. Frankly I learned this move before we had the 1973 (Publication Date) text, but don't recall how we did it then.
 

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