Thursday, 29 January 2015

Back to the Source(s) Part 3: What is the other hand doing?

One feature that I have tackled before on this blog (a very very long time ago in fact) is the seemingly unpractical "pulling hand" or "Dangki Son". This refers to the iconic feature in our basics and forms where one hand is pulled back to the hip or seemingly placed in "guard positions" like in front of the Solar Plexus. I have lost Count on how many times I have heard phrases such as "That wont work on the street", "Chambering on your hip leaves you wide open", "If you are going to put your other hand
on your hip you better be ready to block with your face" etc. It does not help when we do the same chambering and pulling back to our hips when doing formal sparring either. I think that the hand on the hip coupled with the huge focus on "stances" are the two primary resons why Traditional Martial Arts such as Taekwondo and Karate have lost their place as self defense arts in the publics mind. The complete lack of grappling in modern Taekwondo does not help either, but when we look at the source(s) of Taekwondo we saw that there was quite a lot of grappling in the traditional martial art of Taekwondo (an extreme amount compared to the popular belief that it is "non existant"). So if we do look back at the sources what do we find?

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Back to the Source(s) Part 2; Joint locks in Taekwondo?

Again we look back at the Source(s) of Taekwondo to bust another "myth" that has been told so many times it is considered as fact: "There are no joint locks in Taekwondo". Last time we saw how throws were a part of Taekwondo as far back as 1958 and I got quite a few comments on how wrong I was that they still are a part of Taekwondo. I will revisit throws in another post but suffice to say: Yes the
sources in part 1 were old and that was the point. How can we call ourselves "traditional" if we can not even look back to 1958 or 1965? I have no problem looking back at the sources and draw from them whatever I can that I believe will strengthen "my" Taekwondo, but the thing is throws, joint locks, and basic grappling skills have allways been a part of my studdies. My teacher did not loose this part of Taekwondo but I understand that many were never taught this side of Taekwondo and they are now teaching this limited Taekwondo on to newer students. That is OK for me and their Choice, but dont come to me and tell me that there is no grappling in Taekwondo. Maybe not in "Your" Taekwondo but in "My Taekwondo" it is still a part of the overall system and the sources are on my side.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Back to the Source(s) Part 1; Throws in Taekwondo?

One purpose of this blog was and still is to bust "myths" about Taekwondo that has been propogated as fact for so long that they have become "common knowledge" and indeed are accepted as "fact". Quick tell me: How many times have you read or heard or even said it yourself perhaps that
"Taekwondo does not have any grappling", "Taekwondo does not have throws/trips/take downs" etc? If you are not one of those who say and write it I can guarantee that you have been reading all about it for several years. Not to mention the "fact" that "those who practise grappling/throws/trips etc in Taekwondo these days only do so as a direct influence of the UFC and MMA". I have repeatedly stated that Taekwondo can be (and still is some places) practised as a martial art first and a sport second (while the general mainstream seems to be all about sport). For those who do practise Taekwondo as an holistic martial art throws, trips, pressure against joints etc have allways been part of the studdies. Its not Hapkido/Judo/Aikido in Taekwondo it is simply "Taekwondo Taekwondo":-)

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Micro Post: This Months Quote

This months quote is one of my favorites from the book "What Is Taekwondo Poomsae" By Lee Kyu Hyung 9th Dan. He is awsome. In the TKD study group I belong to there was a lot of discussion in December on TKD forms (primarily Chang Hon Ryu) and wether they were fit to teach self defense since in the Chang Hon Ryu self defense is drilled in the Ho Sin Sul (self defense) section. While I agree that you do not drill self defense when you are merely performing the forms I do believe that they can be relevant for Your self defense study if you chose to find the Applications to the forms and drill those in the self defense training you do. This can be done no matter if you practise the old Kwan forms of Karate origin (just look at Iain Abernethy`s books and DVDs), Chang Hon Ryu forms (look at Stuart Anslow`s books) or KTA forms (look at Simon O`Neill`s book and DVD series and or my blog). There are more resources than that but those I mentioned should give you a good place to start.

Monday, 5 January 2015

2014 in retrospect and where do we go from here? :-)

Another year has passed, and 2015 is going to be a great year. In October the blog got its Facebook page which has an ever increasing content to show for. Both the posts of the blog that are published on this blog from now on and unique content for Facebook will be on there, so please click into the
facebook page once in a while to see if there is anything interesting for you there:-) The blog also got a neat front curtesy of Samir who I now call my PR-Master :-) The blogs number of daily hits has also grown steadily and as of the time of writing is around 200 hits every day (which I think is about 200 more than would be interested in Reading when I started the blog). Starting from December the long standing series: "Quote of the Month" got a make over and the New format is proving to be very popular. This New format is also the result of the advice and help I have gotten (and stil I keep getting) from Samir. Thank you:-)

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

All quotes from "This months quote" from 2014

The title is slightly misleading since I have included from I started with "This months quote" in November 2013.

From December 2014 I started sharing the quotes in a slightly new way, embedding it inside  a
picture instead of just using plain text. How do you like this new format?

I write about so many different things on this blog, and while all are closely related to my studdies of Taekwondo I have greatly enjoyed this series (quote of the month) as it has been so fun to find these quotes all over the internet, my own books, discussion forums, study group, email exchanges and so many more places.

I decided early on after a few "Quote posts" that republishing them together in one post at the end of the year would make a great "last post" of 2014. Read through them and gain from them what you can. Thank you for reading this blog:-) Happy New Year:-)

Monday, 15 December 2014

Micro Post; This Months Quote:

First movement of Kanku Dai
performed by Funakoshi in
This months quote was featured here on this blog in early 2012. I chose to republish it here because eventhough it was published here 2 years ago I had a talk with a 2nd Dan ITF practisioner on forms and the reason for the chambering of movements, the "ready positions" and the hand that goes back to the hip. She had been practising for 10 years and "knew" all that was to know about "traditional
Taekwondo" not sport like I practised. She knew how to apply everything in combat and not the sports arena. I asked here a couple of questions that she answered pretty much as I thought she would straight from the Taekwondo Encyclopedia of Choi Hong Hi. I then showed here applications for the pulling hand, the Chambers of most of the basic Blocks and the usage of stances and she became very quiet until she said: "This is NOT Taekwon-do!". I answered that everything I had shown could be found withing traditional Taekwondo either as Ho Sin Sul or as applications of the art (think Sihak Henry Cho`s 1968 book for instance). She refused to talk more about Taekwondo after that and thats OK, but I could not help but think about the following quote from Gichin Funakoshi (again):
Compare this to the
picture above
Sorry for the "republish" but read the quote again anyway as it is pretty profound yet very simple when you grasp the meaning. As for the relevance Gichin Funakoshi has to Taekwondo? He taught
the founders of Oh Do Kwan, Yoon Moo Kwan, Song Moo Kwan Chung Do Kwan and influenced the rest indirectly. I think that speaks for his relevance when it comes to Taekwondo dont you?