Thoughts on ATA TKD?

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In concluding, I find it fascinating how on one hand, Japanese style martial artists are quick to state long and loud that Taekwondo is "nothing more than Shotokan", even though there is no corroborating evidence or documentation to that effect.

Isn't it a known fact that Gen. Choi studied Shotokan in Japan and then used it as the basis for TKD? If that's true, I would not say that it's "nothing more than Shotokan," but definitely that it is a Shotokan off-shoot like any other. Though with the advent of Olympic-style TKD and the extreme emphasis on kicks, the apple has certainly rolled rather far away from the tree.
 

puunui

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I don't get the bit about the Bible, though. . . Kicking ideas from the Bible? lolwut?

Do you know the story of Jericho, where they circled the walls of the city seven times, blew a trumpet and the walls fell down? That story inspired GM Ji to develop the Hapkido spin kick, which was originally done repeatedly, low, middle and high. That sort of thing. GM Ji took inspiration from all kinds of sources to develop techniques.
 

puunui

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Isn't it a known fact that Gen. Choi studied Shotokan in Japan and then used it as the basis for TKD?


Where is the proof of that, other than General Choi repeatedly saying that in his books?
 
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Do you know the story of Jericho, where they circled the walls of the city seven times, blew a trumpet and the walls fell down? That story inspired GM Ji to develop the Hapkido spin kick, which was originally done repeatedly, low, middle and high. That sort of thing. GM Ji took inspiration from all kinds of sources to develop techniques.

I do know that story and that's very interesting.
 
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Where is the proof of that, other than General Choi repeatedly saying that in his books?

I'm certainly not the martial arts historian that some people around here are. But let's look at the obvious: For one, ITF TKD looks a lot like Shotokan. In fact, from what I understand, some of the very early forms were almost indistinguishable from Shotokan forms. So should we believe that he derived his art from Shotokan or that he magically created a style of martial arts that was extremely similar totally independently?

Furthermore, why would he lie? It seems that, if anything, that was a fact that he would want to cover up for political reasons, not broadcast it to the world. After all, how could Koreans really get that excited and feel a sense of national pride for a martial art that wasn't even really theirs?

Do you really doubt that TKD came from Shotokan or are you making the point that documentation does not exist for everything that is true?

I suspect the latter.
 

puunui

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I'm certainly not the martial arts historian that some people around here are. But let's look at the obvious: For one, ITF TKD looks a lot like Shotokan. In fact, from what I understand, some of the very early forms were almost indistinguishable from Shotokan forms. So should we believe that he derived his art from Shotokan or that he magically created a style of martial arts that was extremely similar totally independently?

The proof I was talking about was more things like photos from Japan training, certificates, etc. In his autobiography, he shows other photographs during his time in Japan, so you would think he would still have his dan certificate and that sort of thing. This is the type of documentation that is being demanded from GM CHOI Yong Sul with respect to his training in Daito Ryu.


Furthermore, why would he lie? It seems that, if anything, that was a fact that he would want to cover up for political reasons, not broadcast it to the world. After all, how could Koreans really get that excited and feel a sense of national pride for a martial art that wasn't even really theirs?

I don't think General Choi was lying about actually training in Shotokan in Japan; what he was lying about, according to the seniors, was the extent of his training. For example, GM LEE Won Kuk said that General Choi did study karate while a student at Chuo University for less than one year before he flunked out and voluntarily joined the Japanese Army.


Do you really doubt that TKD came from Shotokan or are you making the point that documentation does not exist for everything that is true? I suspect the latter.

I do not doubt that Shotokan played a part in the creation of taekwondo. What I doubt is the extent of General Choi's training in shotokan as well as his contributions in the creation of taekwondo. He is not the founder of taekwondo. No one is, because it was a group effort.
 

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GM LEE Won Kuk said that General Choi did study karate while a student at Chuo University for less than one year before he flunked out and voluntarily joined the Japanese Army.

He supported the enemy of the USA and Korea even back then, way before he started the teaching of Taekwondo to assassins in North Korean terrorist training camps, which lead to the murderous deaths of hundreds of innocent South Koreans at the hands of his Taekwondo trained killers. That goes to show, once a piece of human garbage, always a piece of human garbage.
 

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It is universally accepted, by hapkido practitioners. I can't speak for non-hapkido practitioners, such as yourself.

Personally, I wouldn't be so quick to claim to speak for Hapkido practitioners either... it may have more support in the Hapkido community, but it is not universally supported. And besides, wouldn't people who don't agree (outside of Hapkido or not) mean that it, by definition, isn't universally accepted?

I choose to believe GM Choi, since he really has no reason to lie about it.

Oh, there's plenty of reasons, it just depends on how you choose to view the man. And when it comes down to it, if the evidence doesn't support the claims, whether you can see reasons for lying, or at the very least, embellishing and exaggerating the truth, it really doesn't make the story more believable.

First of all, all of TAKEDA Sokaku's records (which were payment records) are still with us today. Some were lost. But since we are on the topic, do the records show Tokimune Sensei's of the dates of his participation at seminars? If so, how much did he pay his father for lessons?

That's really not the type of records I'm talking about. Koryu are rather meticulous in their records, which are lists of who has entered the Ryu, who achieved what level, what form of membership they had, and so on. It's not really the same as just keeping the receipts from seminars, as people who simply attended a seminar would not be considered members of the Ryu, and as such would not be considered as having learnt the Ryu's methods, simply having some exposure to it. Remarkably, the only "records" that have been mentioned that show Choi's involvement in the Daito Ryu were apparently "stolen on a train" when he was coming back to Korea from Japan.

GM Choi never said he was adopted by Takeda Sensei; what he said was he was with Takeda Sensei for so long that he felt like his adopted son, that Takeda Sensei was like a father to him. Many people say similar things, without the legal paperwork being done. One of my instructors and I are very close, so much so that he once told me that I was like his younger brother. But according to you, this can't be true, since there is no "record" or "corroborating evidence" of this.

I'm not disputing that it could happen, but there are some major issues with it. Namely, that no-one else can back up this relationship. I'm sure that there are members of your school who can verify your training with your instructor, and probably speak to their perception of the level your relationship is. That would be "corroborating evidence", of which there is a complete lack with regard to Choi's claims.

But you may want to be a bit more careful arguing so strongly.... here's the interview in question: http://www.hapkido-info.net/html/choi__yong-sul.html You may want to take note of the answer to the third question:
Choi Yong Sul said:
Takeda Sokaku liked me, and feeling great sympathy for my situation, decided to adopt me. Upon my adoption he gave me the Japanese name Asao Yoshida. I was about 11 years old at this time.
Interestingly, this is one of two different Japanese names that Choi has said Takeda gave him.

There are in fact a huge number of claims made in this interview which fly in the face of all other evidence, such as the claims of being Takeda's demonstration assistant when no-one remembers him, the trips organized by politicians to Hawaii with Takeda, and so on. There are odd things like the claim about the evading of the draft, when that was one of the only ways that Korean persons in Japan could find some acceptance, so most would seek to not be excluded. But the biggest things that shoot holes in the story are the comments about what Choi was taught (including his claim of Daito Ryu having about a thousand more techniques than it actually does), specifically this:
Choi Yong Sul said:
Shortly before he died, my teacher informed me that I was the only student that he had schooled in all of his secrets and techniques.

This claim is demonstrably ludicrous, frankly. Choi, and by extension Hapkido, show no training in any of the weaponry aspects of Daito Ryu (the system includes sword, Bo, Jo, and short blade work, with no Hapkido schools having even a trace of it), and (here's where I annoy the Hapkido students...) the technical material showing only a very low level understanding or exposure to the system itself, being basically just the first approach (the Jujutsu, not the Aikijujutsu, and certainly not the Aikijutsu), and only to a relatively low level at that. There is no "completeness" to the methods shown (from a Japanese Ryu-ha approach), which would have been integral to Choi's training if he had had anything beyond the most cursory exposure (say, at a seminar or two, and some informal training).

What Kisshomaru Sensei said was his father told him that a group of Korean students took a seminar with his father, and that after his father passed away, Kisshomaru Sensei stated that he received a letter from GM Choi. What I would like to know is what was written in the letter that GM Choi sent to Kisshomaru Sensei. That would be revealing.

Really? Let's go to the source, shall we? It's an interview with Kisshomaru done by Stanley Pranin of the AikiNews magazine. Wonderfully, the relevant section is found on Wikipedia (nice when something relevant is there...)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hapkido

Again, the piece in question is this:
AikiNews said:
On another subject, it is true that a Korean named "Choi" who founded hapkido studied aikido or Daito-ryu?I don't know what art it was but I understand that there was a young Korean of about 17 or 18 who participated in a seminar of Sokaku Takeda Sensei held in Asahikawa City in Hokkaidō. It seems that he studied the art together with my father and would refer to him as his "senior".
If that's the case the art must have been Daito-ryu.
I've heard that this man who studied Daito-ryu had some contact with my father after that. Then he returned to Korea and began teaching Daito-ryu on a modest scale. The art gradually became popular and many Koreans trained with him. Since aikido became popular in Japan he called his art hapkido [written in Korean with the same characters as aikido]. Then the art split into many schools before anyone realized it. This is what my father told me. I once received a letter from this teacher after my father's death.

So we have here basically what I said in my initial post. Hmm.

So are you now saying that GM Choi did study with Takeda Sensei? I thought you said that wasn't universally accepted?

That Daito Ryu is the source? Yeah, I do say that's not universally accepted. There are some Hapkido practitioners who disavow any connection with Japanese arts at all, preferring to believe that it's all uniquely and historically Korean, and others want to deny that Choi was even in Japan. So I'd say that it's not universally accepted. What I didn't say was where I came down in the validity of the claim... but, as I later said, I think he had some exposure to Daito Ryu, and some contact with Ueshiba, but that doesn't make the Daito Ryu anything more than a technical influence, rather than an actual source. I know that sounds like semantics, but I see no trace of what makes Daito Ryu Daito Ryu in anything from Hapkido.

The problem with your conclusions (outside of the fact that you misstate what Kisshomaru Sensei actually said) is that Morihei Sensei wasn't there 24/7 with Takeda Sensei, so he wouldn't know the extent to which GM Choi was or wasn't there. Just because he mentioned a seminar in which Korean students participated doesn't necessarily lead to the conclusion that that was all GM Choi did.

Ueshiba was a student with Takeda for seven years, and there are no mentions of Choi being present throughout that time. Choi's answer to that was that he was "secluded away at Takeda's mountain home"... which is just bizarre. He, in the same interview, claims to have been hidden away, which is why he wasn't seen by other students, but also that he was involved in the teaching of the Japanese Imperial Family, and was taken as the assistant to Hawaii. You don't see an issue with that claim?

Oh, and re-read what Kisshomaru said.

Another problem is that from the very beginning, GM Choi referred to his art as Dae Dong Ryu Hapki Yusul (Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu in Korean), which was later changed to Yukwonsul, then to Kido and then finally to Hapkido, only after his student GM JI Han Jae printed dan certificates for him to issue with the Hapkido name on it. If anything, GM Choi went out of his way to NOT use the Hapkido name, until the mid 60's or late 60's, which is twenty years after he returned to Korea.

Believe it or not, that doesn't lend credibility to the story he spins. After all, there's a large number of people out there using all sorts of names that they have no claim to in order to heighten their appeal or popular perception.

I find it interesting that you also see a difference between Hapkido and Daito Ryu. To some people out there, it's all the same. Let me ask you, do you see a difference between Hapkido and Chin Na or a difference between Daito Ryu and Chin Na?

Yeah, I see a huge difference between Daito Ryu and Hapkido. As far as Chin Na, that's basically a generic term for grappling in Chinese systems, similar to the usage of the term "jujutsu", so yes. Daito Ryu is Daito Ryu, and has a large number of traits that define it which are wholly missing from Hapkido or Chin Na.

Even assuming you are correct, then the conclusion would be that GM Choi did learn from Takeda Sensei, which what you quoted from my prior post and you said was not universally accepted. You accept the fact that GM Choi learned from Takeda Sensei, right?

I feel that he learned a little bit from him, but nowhere near what is claimed. There is simply no evidence to support it, including what is found in Hapkido.

In concluding, I find it fascinating how on one hand, Japanese style martial artists are quick to state long and loud that Taekwondo is "nothing more than Shotokan", even though there is no corroborating evidence or documentation to that effect. But when it comes to Hapkido, those same practitioners will argue there is no connection between Daito Ryu and Hapkido.

You may indeed find it fascinating. I personally find it fascinating when people not associated with the Japanese arts, particularly Koryu, try arguing them with me... but there is direct evidence in TKD to show the Shotokan origins. In Hapkido, there are some similarities, but not to the degree that I would really say there is a definite connection to Daito Ryu in any major meaningful way. Some exposure, some influence, okay, but that's it, and could just as easily be more to do with Aikido than any meaningful Daito Ryu exposure.
 

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I think a big problem is that when most folks think Shotokan, they think of the Modern, Sport Shotokan. Traditional Shotokan is reasonably harsh.
 

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oh for craps sake...

this AGAIN??

look, the cold hard reality is when it comes to martial arts? koreans are thieves and liars.

which is to say:
they learn other people's arts, call it something else, and make up big elaborate FALSE histories

TKD in it's original incarnation was shotokan, plain, pure and simple.

the kata were only slightly changed shotokan kata, and the system was CALLED "korean karate" I know this because the FIRST korean to teach in the US, GM Jhoon Rhree said so. I know this because GM Rhee's first BB in america, GM ALLEN STEEN said so.

TKD=shotokan called something else

Hapkido = Akido called something else.

could we please accept it (even if the koreans are still telling lies about the origin of thier arts, I aint korean, so i wont be telling that lie) and move on?

sure, they are thier own entities now, but back in the 50's? it was all stolen directly from the japanese.

now how the hell did a thread on the ATA turn into THIS??
 
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Daniel Sullivan

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oh for craps sake...

this AGAIN??

look, the cold hard reality is when it comes to martial arts? koreans are thieves and liars.

Now that's a broad brush. Cannot agree with you there. Such people exist in every field and in every nationality.

now how the hell did a thread on the ATA turn into THIS??
The same way that so many other thread in the TKD section turns into this. Which is one of the reasons I stopped posting with frequency in the TKD section.
 

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now how the hell did a thread on the ATA turn into THIS??

Good point... Maybe everyone should turn back to the topic of the opinions on the ATA?
 

Twin Fist

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you and me both Daniel.

jeez

and here is the thing, the koreans took something (in this case shotokan) didnt give credit for it, called it something else, and sold it

thats theft.

they then proceeded to make up elaborate histories about silla dynasty warriors and a bunch of other CRAP

thats lying

i stand by what it said.

the guys NOW are teaching TKD, a korean creation

the guys THEN were teaching shotokan and calling it something else.
 

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Thread locked pending staff review.

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Admin Note:

This thread is being reopened. Play nice, folks, or we'll be issuing infractions.

ATTENTION ALL USERS:

Please keep the conversation polite & respectful. Please return to the original topic.

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Twin Fist

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ATA, is, for lack of a better term, the Walmart of TKD

in every good way that implies, and every bad way that implies.

you can find some great stuff at walmart, and you can find utter crap.

your milage will vary by location, EXACTLY like the ATA
 

Kinghercules

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Fake in what way? And what is your firsthand experience with the ATA? If you've said over the past twelve pages, my apologies, but I was under the impression that you have no firsthand experience whatsoever. One of the reasons that I avoid saying anything beyond what is generally known is that I don't have firsthand experience with them.


They'll probably spend the majority of their time going to and from work and complaining about the price of gasoline and groceries, the same as the rest of us. You act as though going to an ATA school will somehow make you more likely to get mugged, beaten up, or raped. The reality is that the vast majority of people have no training at all. At least the ATA folks are in better condition than the average American.

You had brought up the subject of rape and fights that are just 'comin' at ya' earlier in this thread. You apparently live in the DC area, so you should know what I am talking about when I say that if want to avoid being a potential rape victim, stay the hell out of Rock Creek Park when you jog or cycle unless you are with friends. Put forethought into where you park when you go shopping and stay the heck off of your cell phone when walking back to your car. With online shopping, you can avoid the malls altogether. Just those things will drastically reduce your chances of being raped by a stranger. As for people you know, establish very clear personal boundaries and good habits in dealing with people around you. Most of self defense is mental, probably about 99%.

If you don't want fights comin' at ya, stay the hell out of the night club areas and don't frequent the gogo clubs (for those who don't live in DC, gogo is a type of music, not a topless bar). Don't get 'gutsy' when someone cuts you off; unless theres a collision, just be happy that you don't have to deal with the insurrance company and be on your way. Most of self defense is mental, probably about 99%.

I live in the DC area and used be in DC frequently back when DC was the "Murder Capitol of the World" according to the news. The single incident that I had would have been avoided if I had taken my own advice. Yes, I came out on top and the would be mugger was sent running. The fact is that if I had taken my own advice regarding forethought in parking the car, the incident would never have happened.

In fact, all of the post-high school scrapes that I have had would not have occurred if I had taken the advice that I give people now. I started taking that advice about twenty two years ago. Magically, the only time that I have had to use my martial arts has been when I slipped on black ice and successfully used break-falling skills.


Well, that should tell you something. Choose your hangouts with greater care. I do. And I spent several years learning self defense with a former ROK special army instructor.

How is it not defense and offense? Striking in tournament, regardless of the rule set, is fencing; as in defence and offence. That is where the term fencing comes from. Boxing, kickboxing, sport karate, point/stop, continuous, full contact, light contact or semi contact, its all fencing.

If you want students to learn skills that will save their lives, teach them the mental. Getting back to that ATA class content, look at what most of the kid oriented schools tout: fitness, discipline, self control, confidence, and good self image. Ever notice that disciplined people with good self control who carry themselves with confidence and have a good self image tend to not be victims as often? There is a reason for that: predators choose their victims because they project 'victim.'

Fitness means that you are capable of retaliation or effective flight and you look like you may present a challenge. Discipline and self control are inclusive of good decision making. Confidence and good self image mean that you are less likely to place yourself in unhealthy situations. Predators choose their victims based on how easy a target they appear to be and whether or not they place themselves in situations that are favorable to the predator. Such as jogging alone in Rock Creek Park.

In that post you replied to, I wasnt talkin about the ATA. I was talkin about McDojo's instructors.

Im not gonna debate with you about how to avoid fights. The point I was making was that you cant predict when crap is gonna jump off.
 
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ATA, is, for lack of a better term, the Walmart of TKD

in every good way that implies, and every bad way that implies.

you can find some great stuff at walmart, and you can find utter crap.

your milage will vary by location, EXACTLY like the ATA

I think this is a good description. At this point I've talked to enough ATA instructors to know that there ARE some good ones.

The interesting thing though is that even these GOOD instructors--instructors who often wish they could spar harder, include face punches in sparring, and just generally teach in a more combat oriented fashion--say that by and large this is simply NOT what people want. It's not what parents want for their kids, but even beyond that, it's often times not what adults want for themselves.

I think that a lot of people who would go look even at a good quality ATA class and dismiss it as garbage because it doesn't fit their idea of what a martial arts class should be like, even if the students are perfectly happy with it.
 

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From my personal experience, I find that the ATA TKD is a joke. I used to beat up their black belts all the time. And my martial arts training came from books, movies, and wrasslin'. If I were looking for TKD dojang, I'd look at some place else.
 
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True ambassadors. . .



 
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