Thursday, 26 November 2015

10 Steps to bring back Taekwondo as a MARTIAL art!

The development of Taekwondo the last 20 years or so has been going steadily toward more or less
Image Source:
Son Duk Sung
complete sportification of a once feared martial art. Today the dominant view of the public, and other martial artists from outside is that Taekwondo is not an effective art for self defense, nor is it particular effective in combat outside the very specific Olympic sparring paradigm on one hand and the ITF point sparring on the other. The question then is: "Is it possible for the current generation of Taekwondo students who only learned the sportive version of Taekwondo to redefine itself as a martial art once again? I believe the answer to that question is "Yes" and I will try to tell you how one approach can do this. The approach I am thinking about does not align with what I call "My Taekwondo" but I think it is a great leap in the right direction and especially for "normal" Taekwondo students.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Drilling striking application from Taegeuk Sa Jang

Here is one of my takes on the opening movements of Taegeuk Sa Jang. This can be considered
"byonhwa eungyoung" or 변화응용 which means a variation/change in application or usage. The reason for this is that the striking surface of the spear hand has changed to palm heel strike as well as the fact that I do not move forwards in the second move as in the form. It is still something I consider an application of Taegeuk Sa Jang as the gust of the movement or the underlying principles remain the same. I have changed the striking surface but I am still striking. I do change the stance I am in but I dont step forward. The step forward in the form could be argued to be follow-through. I do have other applications of these movements, but not that would be trained and drilled so easily on the "makki tul" or 막기틀.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

News report from Denmark, Girl (15 years old) holds her own against 3 assailants!

I have talked a little about self defense before on this blog, and in the future I will talk a lot more about the issue as I see that many things related to self defense (not fighting) has been forgotten in the Taekwondo comunity in later years. Once we start exclusively focusing on the sport of taekwondo we loose the knowledge gained regarding self defense. Well this time I have translated a news story from VG: .

I might use this article later on to explain some self defense concepts but I think the story itself is good enough to be a blog post on its own as we so often read about when things go wrong. The article speaks about the girl having experience with martial arts but it does not specify which one(s) but I will bet Taekwondo is at least one of them ;-)

Friday, 13 November 2015

Training Video: Working on Taekwondo Makki techniques

It is not often that I post videoclips on the blog and especially not with myself in them. In the martial arts if you stick your head out it gets quickly hammered down by the "keyboard warriors". Also I thought I needed someone to actually film me, but I see that with my new phone I can do it myself when the conditions are right. This time I spendt a couple of minutes after work to show off a few drills you can use with a partner or if you are in lack of a partner like I was, against a stick.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Examining Poomsae Structure

Giles Hopkins might be vaguely familiar for my most hardcore readers out there. He has an excellent
blog og Goju Ryu Karate which despite not being one of the direct roots of Taekwondo is nevertheless an exciting and interesting style to look at as they have preserved a lot more of the holistic approach to their martial art, unlike how Taekwondo has in many places forsaken theirs in favour of sport. Unlike Taekwondo they have a very nice approach to "extra training" like the use of weights, and striking implements, and they often use their forms as the basis of everything they do, which is what I am trying to do with "my" Taekwondo too:-) Anyway, Giles has written a lot on applications and while I sometimes disagree or rather his approach to Goju Ryu does not fit in with my approach to Taekwondo (which is to be expected in some degree) his latest article on Kata (form) structure really made an impression on me. He said it casually in there somewhere but some forms where the same techniques are shown in mirror images the follow on technique is only shown once.
Here is a link to the article if you want to read it yourself:

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Traditional Taekwondo Union, Black belt seminar.

I just completed a weekend Judanja seminar (black belt seminar or training weekend) arranged by the
organisation I belong to (TTU or Traditional Taekwondo Union).

(Today/day of writing is the 27th of October)

The point of this seminar is to go through the whole syllabus for your Dan grading (from 1st gup and upwards), training with new people and to arrange the physical tests and theoretical tests required for grading. I often write about how diverse the training in a traditional Taekwondo Dojang can be but after completing the weekend seminar I thought it might interest some readers to know what we did so they can compare with their own experiences how their own syllabuses compare to ours. The founder of the organisation is one of my two primary teachers and he has used Matchoe Kyorugi (formal step sparring drills) to preserve many of the aspects that are now lost in mainstream Taekwondo. I will not go into detail of every drill here, but I might do so in later blog posts if there is any interest in them. If you do step sparring in your Dojang you might get new ideas from watching others step sparring so I might include more in future blog posts. Anyhow lets look at how my weekend was:

Friday, 30 October 2015

Searching out practical applications to Poomsae Part 2

Last time I presented the search and destroy  incorporate what fits into the Poomsae. I adviced that
you look into books, articles, seminars, videos etc from both your own style and others and take whatever you find that seems like Poomsae movements or sequences and see if they can really fit into the Poomsae as an application of the form. I used the first part of the sequence in Taebaek and demonstrated where I found them to underline that part of my method. Another aspect of this is researching history of Taekwondo and Poomsae to find both specific applications and more importantly identify application principles. This is where the application jurney can end even before it begins in Taekwondo, because doing it this way you have to acknowledge a lot of facts that have been supressed for decades by the leading organisations. One of the most important ones is Taekwondo`s "close" kinship with Karate.