True Tae Kwon Do

puunui

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I definitely lean more towards the practical usage side as a teacher and practitioner. My thought is that if we want to practice forms as meditative forms of gentle exercise, I would suggest delving into yoga or possibly tai chi chuan instead. Why? Because these forms have certain manipulative health benefits through activating the chakras and meridian points.

I did do yoga, Bikram or Hot Yoga. I really enjoyed it. I should start that up again.



In contrast, the karate kata were always more about transmitting information about how to damage another person's body instead, and I would suspect likewise the recently created TKD patterns are not intended to help physically heal and rejuvenate either.

I disagree. I think forms, or any other aspect of the martial arts is what you want it to be.


As for fighting applications with forms, this is why I currently study and teach Okinawan karate as my primary art. I intentionally sought out an art and teacher that has meaningful knowledge transmitted through the kata. It's one of my goals to reintegrate some of this information back into the syllabus I teach my tae kwon do students. This is not meant to be a dig at TKD in any way. Each style has its own pluses and minuses, and on balance, IMO forms are one of the avenues in which TKD can grow.

I'm not into that. I have Hapkido for my self defense needs. I rather just practice the defenses directly.
 

leadleg

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I did do yoga, Bikram or Hot Yoga. I really enjoyed it. I should start that up again.





I disagree. I think forms, or any other aspect of the martial arts is what you want it to be.




I'm not into that. I have Hapkido for my self defense needs. I rather just practice the defenses directly.[/quote]
I don't know that this fits this thread but ....I have had a few fights in my time and have almost exclusivley used hand techniques and foot techniques to end those fights.
Don't get me wrong I love all the various locks and holds, takedowns and throws, I like falling and rolling too. I have used some HKD locks to move some inebriates and once took down a jealous boyfriend with an arm bar, offensivly.sp?
But to say that learning to kick and strike is not good self defense would be ludicrous( I don;t think that is what you are saying:)
It is excellent to learn to move and change stances,which all forms do even if they are more for excersize.
What I want to say is TKD training is self defense and you can add to the arsenal but you can get very far without the extra's
 

dancingalone

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I did do yoga, Bikram or Hot Yoga. I really enjoyed it. I should start that up again.

I do ashtanga yoga for the conditioning and health benefits. I'm about to start weekly lessons in iyengar which is supposed to be more disciplined in proper positioning and depending on whom you talk to, 'deeper'.

I disagree. I think forms, or any other aspect of the martial arts is what you want it to be.

Well, if you buy into the idea that certain specific movements properly done stimulate the organs and the circulatory system, then it follows that you must practice those exact movements. I can say after studying yoga for almost 5 years now, that many asanas or poses are NOT found in any of the kata and hyung I have learned over the years. Thus, if I want to practice these movements, it must be yoga practice, not karate.

Also the chakra activation movements are generally done in a smooth and slow fashion - quite unlike the violent muscular contractions I strive for in many of my kata.


I'm not into that. I have Hapkido for my self defense needs. I rather just practice the defenses directly.

Cool. As a kata enthusiast, application study is a big part of my practice. The way I learned and teach applications is rather direct. The form isn't meant to be obscure or cryptic. There are partner drills that expose and teach the tactical ideas contained within kata, and once you've learned a handful of them, applications in future kata are rather easy to discover yourself. I am sure if we ever compared notes, we would see that some of the things you practice directly in hapkido are similar to the kata applications I study.
 

puunui

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I don't know that this fits this thread but ....I have had a few fights in my time and have almost exclusivley used hand techniques and foot techniques to end those fights. Don't get me wrong I love all the various locks and holds, takedowns and throws, I like falling and rolling too. I have used some HKD locks to move some inebriates and once took down a jealous boyfriend with an arm bar, offensivly.sp? But to say that learning to kick and strike is not good self defense would be ludicrous( I don;t think that is what you are saying:)


Hapkido has lots of strikes, from all different angles, with all different levels of pain. Here is one example: With your hands down, you lift your fist palm down right to the opponent's chin, complete the motion, and from there you can follow with a straight punch to his head. Works very effectively if someone is punking you and sticking their chin out at you, which is how a majority of fights start where I live. They never see it coming because your hands are down. Over the years, I modified it to a slap with an open hand sort of diagonal to their adam's apple. They get the same blunt harsh message (You are screwing with the wrong person) but nothing is broken and I don't leave any mark on them. If need be, follow up with some leg kicks, and now you have two techniques that they cannot and did not block. That usually is enough to drain the fighting spirit out from them. I call these two part of my "face saving" techniques, because you let them save their face and the embarrassment of having to explain black eyes, broken teeth, nose or jaw.
 

puunui

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I do ashtanga yoga for the conditioning and health benefits. I'm about to start weekly lessons in iyengar which is supposed to be more disciplined in proper positioning and depending on whom you talk to, 'deeper'.

I am interested in iyengar because there are so many schools here. Funny story but when I was in college and got really serious about martial arts, I went to every dance and yoga place I could find and would watch the classes. I wanted to design an efficient stretching program to get maximum flexibility in the shortest amount of time. Then a couple of years ago, I poked my head in this yoga class and was surprised to find an older lady who was saying the exact same things that I say, and did a very similar routine to what I do. She had been teaching since before I went to college and I have come to the conclusion that "my" stretching routine for which I am so proud, actually came substantially from her. How we fool ourselves into thinking all this came from me, when in fact, it did not.

I have a theory that the martial arts evolved from yoga. The story is that Daruma went to the Shaolin Temple and saw that the monks were in poor physical shape, so he taught them 18 exercises which eventually turned into the Shaolin Martial Arts.


Well, if you buy into the idea that certain specific movements properly done stimulate the organs and the circulatory system, then it follows that you must practice those exact movements. I can say after studying yoga for almost 5 years now, that many asanas or poses are NOT found in any of the kata and hyung I have learned over the years. Thus, if I want to practice these movements, it must be yoga practice, not karate.

At the same time, I can see a lot of poses that are part of the martial arts. Maybe not done in the same way, or with the same application, but still there.


Also the chakra activation movements are generally done in a smooth and slow fashion - quite unlike the violent muscular contractions I strive for in many of my kata.

I'm not into violent muscular contractions in forms at all. I save that for work on pads, hogu, bags and paddles.


Cool. As a kata enthusiast, application study is a big part of my practice. The way I learned and teach applications is rather direct. The form isn't meant to be obscure or cryptic. There are partner drills that expose and teach the tactical ideas contained within kata, and once you've learned a handful of them, applications in future kata are rather easy to discover yourself. I am sure if we ever compared notes, we would see that some of the things you practice directly in hapkido are similar to the kata applications I study.

I have some George Dillman and Rick Clark books and I can see that they use many techniques that are part of the Hapkido curriculum.

But I guess too much Bruce Lee growing up because for the longest time, I had a distinct hatred for forms. I didn't want to waste my time with the "classical mess" and only did forms minimally for promotion purposes. But now I can appreciate poomsae in a way that I never could when I was younger. It is kind of cool actually for me to enjoy poomsae, and very surprising for me. I'm just glad that I can participate in the poomsae world, because it does make me feel more rounded and whole as a martial artist, especially as a Taekwondoin.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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It is your own. You practice it after all even if he taught it to you. This speaks to my wheel chair example. He is also practicing his own form of tae kwon do and it is as 'true' as any one else's.
I suppose that it depends on how you define 'your version' of something. I would consider it my version if I made changes to the curriculum in some way. If I am practicing it as I was taught, it may be my expression of what I was taught, but it is still what I was taught.

For example, if I expand on the hapkido hoshinsul that was originally a part of my TKD class, introduce an additional sparring element to pressure test students on that aspect of the curriculum, and then add kumdo as a requirement for dan grade students, then I have made 'my' version.

Daniel
 

dancingalone

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I suppose that it depends on how you define 'your version' of something. I would consider it my version if I made changes to the curriculum in some way. If I am practicing it as I was taught, it may be my expression of what I was taught, but it is still what I was taught.

The way I look at it is that change is inevitable from teacher to student, no matter how hard we try to learn, apply, and teach technique and information the same way. We have different bodies, minds, personalities after all.

I can have a written curriculum for all my students to follow and eventually teach from themselves, but it is certain that they and their students in turn will all understand and apply the curriculum differently from myself. So technique changes.

What hopefully does not change are the principles behind the technique, and I believe those are actually universal across all martial arts, even if they are not explained or trained the same way.
 

puunui

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The way I look at it is that change is inevitable from teacher to student, no matter how hard we try to learn, apply, and teach technique and information the same way. We have different bodies, minds, personalities after all.


I can see it in the difference between my martial arts classmates and I have evolved and also in my students, who are all different from each other. We focus on different things and we therefore grow differently. GM JI Han Jae uses the example of your hand -- the fingers are yours, but which one looks exactly like any other? Or look at your own children. They all came from you but which one is exactly like the other? Even twins are different.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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The way I look at it is that change is inevitable from teacher to student, no matter how hard we try to learn, apply, and teach technique and information the same way. We have different bodies, minds, personalities after all.

I can have a written curriculum for all my students to follow and eventually teach from themselves, but it is certain that they and their students in turn will all understand and apply the curriculum differently from myself. So technique changes.
What you describe I would consider interpretation within a version or within a standard. Within Kukki TKD, I view what is 'true' as being Kukki and Kukki+ being an acceptable version.

The issue that I see with this discussion is that taekwondo essentially was a movement comprised of a group of pioneers, each of whom were leaders of or highly respected within their kwans, who, with encouragement from the government, unified to create taekwondo. Taekwondo was submitted as a name for a unified art, not as merely a descriptor. Some of those pioneers broke off and went their own way (Gen. Choi, Hwang Kee), and in some cases, retaining the name 'taekwondo' with a prefix of some kind (Chang Hon, Jhoon Rhee, etc.).

Thus you have a "true" art with multiple versions which are 'true' to the core Kukkiwon curriculum.

Due to the break off of various pioneers to form separate organizations, I included these in my original answer.

As I said earlier, if I am asked the simple question of what constitutes taekwondo with no prefix of 'true' then my answer is different.

Also note, that I do not equate 'true' with better; I don't view arts as superior or inferior, better or worse.

What hopefully does not change are the principles behind the technique, and I believe those are actually universal across all martial arts, even if they are not explained or trained the same way.
Indeed.

I think that how one answers the question as to what constitutes true taekwondo depends greatly upon how one views the term. Is it an officially approved name to christen a unified Korean Taekwondo or is it an umbrella term to categorize Korean striking styles that have a good number of techniques in common?

Daniel
 

puunui

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I think that how one answers the question as to what constitutes true taekwondo depends greatly upon how one views the term. Is it an officially approved name to christen a unified Korean Taekwondo or is it an umbrella term to categorize Korean striking styles that have a good number of techniques in common?


We started with definition #2, and we are moving towards definition #1. Whenever you are trying to get a diverse group together, it is always best to look for commonality first. The differences will naturally come out later. But I believe it is best to first focus on the things that bind us, and then hopefully over time we have more and more things in common.
 

dancingalone

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Thus you have a "true" art with multiple versions which are 'true' to the core Kukkiwon curriculum.

Due to the break off of various pioneers to form separate organizations, I included these in my original answer.

....

I think that how one answers the question as to what constitutes true taekwondo depends greatly upon how one views the term. Is it an officially approved name to christen a unified Korean Taekwondo or is it an umbrella term to categorize Korean striking styles that have a good number of techniques in common?

Perhaps I am being obtuse, but I really don't understand how you are using the word 'true' above. What am I missing? If you define KKW TKD as true TKD, then other variants like ITF or ATA TKD cannot be, unless you subscribe to puunui's view of increasing 'compliance' with the KKW standard where some TKD-in are more 'compliant' than others.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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Perhaps I am being obtuse, but I really don't understand how you are using the word 'true' above. What am I missing?
I'm using it within the context of the thread title, "True Tae Kwon Do" and the question posed by Terry as to what makes one's version 'true' or not.

True implies 'one true ___________,' whatever that ___________ may be, or true to an agreed upon set of attributes, be they technical, historical, nationalistic, or a combination thereof.

Frankly, I find the topic itself to be problematic, as there is apparently little to no consensus regarding what is and is not taekwondo. Being an analytical person by nature, I feel that terms need clear definition, either on a technical level or on a consensus level.

If you define KKW TKD as true TKD, then other variants like ITF or ATA TKD cannot be, unless you subscribe to puunui's view of increasing 'compliance' with the KKW standard where some TKD-in are more 'compliant' than others.
If I have to define 'true taekwondo' then I would go with the former, though I prefer the latter.

Personally, I'd be happy with saying that a yu descended from one of the five original kwans is true taekwondo and leave it at that.

Daniel
 

Kacey

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Taekwon-Do is a living, breathing art, and as such, will continue to evolve. The question then becomes, at what point has a variant evolved to the point that it is no longer Taekwon-Do? The same question could be asked about all martial arts, I think, as well as a variety of other activities.
 

dancingalone

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I'm using it within the context of the thread title, "True Tae Kwon Do" and the question posed by Terry as to what makes one's version 'true' or not.

True implies 'one true ___________,' whatever that ___________ may be, or true to an agreed upon set of attributes, be they technical, historical, nationalistic, or a combination thereof.

Frankly, I find the topic itself to be problematic, as there is apparently little to no consensus regarding what is and is not taekwondo. Being an analytical person by nature, I feel that terms need clear definition, either on a technical level or on a consensus level.


If I have to define 'true taekwondo' then I would go with the former, though I prefer the latter.

I'm trying to understand your perspective, which I am still baffled about.

You seem to be saying that KKW TKD is the true one in your opinion (which is fine), but then in a previous post you mentioned the idea of it being out of place individually to hold private standards of what TKD is. Yet then you mentioned KKW, Chang Hon, and Songahm TKD as groups with their own organized curricula. The two ideas seem incongruous to me. What makes the ITF or the ATA 'in place' to you?

Personally, I'd be happy with saying that a yu descended from one of the five original kwans is true taekwondo and leave it at that.

That would be closer to my belief.
 

puunui

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Perhaps I am being obtuse, but I really don't understand how you are using the word 'true' above. What am I missing? If you define KKW TKD as true TKD, then other variants like ITF or ATA TKD cannot be, unless you subscribe to puunui's view of increasing 'compliance' with the KKW standard where some TKD-in are more 'compliant' than others.


I don't know if the word "true" is the most fitting. What I will say is that Kukki Taekwondo and Kukkiwon certification is dominant worldwide, by far and that the "variants" are moving more towards that than Kukki Taekwondoin are moving towards the variants. I don't see for example, practitioners with instructor level Kukkiwon dan switching to ITF or ATA, although I do see it working in opposite, the ITF and ATA members wanting to convert or assimilate in by learning the Kukkiwon curriculum and obtaining Kukkiwon certification for themselves and their students.
 

KarateMomUSA

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We started with definition #2, and we are moving towards definition #1. Whenever you are trying to get a diverse group together, it is always best to look for commonality first. The differences will naturally come out later. But I believe it is best to first focus on the things that bind us, and then hopefully over time we have more and more things in common.
Absolutely
 

puunui

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you subscribe to puunui's view of increasing 'compliance' with the KKW standard where some TKD-in are more 'compliant' than others.


I think all styles and organizations are like this especially a style as large as Taekwondo. The Kukkiwon has issued poom and dan certificates to 7 million practitioners. I don't think there are too many systems or styles that have that many members much less that many dan holders. Everyone is in a state of non-compliance in one form or another. For example, the instructors at the Kukkiwon, they are great with poomsae, but they called in the Samsung S1 coach and his team to teach the kyorugi part of the course when I attended.

When you think about it, being in a state of non-compliance is what the martial arts and life is all about. If we were all perfect, and in compliance, then we wouldn't be here, because there would be nothing left to learn.
 

puunui

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The question then becomes, at what point has a variant evolved to the point that it is no longer Taekwon-Do?


A better question is, who gets to decide what is or isn't Taekwondo? Let's start off with the the english spelling of Taekwondo. Which is correct, Taekwondo, Tae Kwon Do, Tae-Kwon-Do, or Taekwon-Do?
 

dancingalone

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When you think about it, being in a state of non-compliance is what the martial arts and life is all about. If we were all perfect, and in compliance, then we wouldn't be here, because there would be nothing left to learn.

I don't disagree with you when it comes to people in the KKW circles. However, it does seem a bit much to me to talk about non-KKW people being out of compliance with KKW standards, considering it's not a standard they've ever signed up for.
 

Kacey

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A better question is, who gets to decide what is or isn't Taekwondo? Let's start off with the the english spelling of Taekwondo. Which is correct, Taekwondo, Tae Kwon Do, Tae-Kwon-Do, or Taekwon-Do?
Transliteration from a language that uses a different alphabet is always problematic - look, for example, at the variant spellings of חֲנֻכָּה, including Chanukah, Hanukah, Chanuka, Hanuka... all used interchangeably by people, news shows, card companies, and so on. As long as everyone knows what you're talking about, how much does it really matter, when there are so many other, more important issues to worry about?
 
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