ITF-centric view of history.
This was posted by a guy over at the Human Weapon forums. He has, like 20+ years experience in the ITF (does it show? lol!) and some in the WTF prior to that. He seems on the ball, mostly, and helped confront a fraud over there (Omar Kawar) until the thread got deleted. I thought he'd make a good addition to the forum and so I invited him here. However, I have disagreements with his depiction of TKD history and so I thought I'd start this thread to welcome him and encourage him to post.
Originally Posted by odojang
Hopefully he does answer you here. I also enjoy hearing his points of view on the HW forum. I was wondering though if you could tell me where your information deviates from his (not looking to contradict anyone as I don't know a whole lot about the actual background material-just interested in learning)?
Hey, first of all, welcome to Wavy Tiger, another member from the Human Weapon forum. Cool to see you here, bro.
Well, I don't have the time currently (despite what cazanaro, or whatever his name is, thinks) to give a real indepth answer. I'm hoping some of the other forum members will jump in. However, just off the top of my head...
IIRC from reading Choi's autobio, he never studied directly under Funakoshi, except for one brief trip to the actual Shotokan (the place). The other Kwans did not ever merge with the Oh Do Kwan. The amount and quality of Choi's input into the art is suspect with many believing the nuts and bolts of the style were mostly handled by Nam Tae Hi and with Choi handling the politics and promotion of the art. The connection of Taekyon to TKD is also suspect.
And then there's the HKD stuff. Now, I am not familiar with the histry of HKD. However, I have never heard of HKD adopting the "kicks of TKD" or of TKD adopting the wristlocks of HKD. So, I'd like to hear more about that, and see what some of our knowledgable HKD practicioners here might have to say.
Hapkido kicking techniques don't work like TKD's. Hapkido uses nonchambering relaxed circular kicking, while most TKD kicks use karate-style chambering.
Lots of TKD schools use chunks of Hapkido-ish techniques and even call themselves Hapkido schools though, and these "Hapkido" styles do use TKD techniques, as far as I know.
I train with someone who's a BB in both arts, and he rather likes being able to switch his kicking style between the two types.
Hi there, glad to be invited.
About the post I made, here are my main references:
- Taekwon-Do, the art of self-defence (Dahae publications Seoul korea English version 1965). The book was written (In Korean in 1960 then translated) before the foundation of ITF (1966) and WTF (1973) and is therefore free of the political bickerings that came later between the former attempting to center everything around itself and the latter vowed to erase it from human history and memory.
- Taekwon-Do, the Korean art of self-defence (ITF Toronto Canada 1972) written after the exile of General Choi from Korea to Canada. Notablym P 515 shows photo and text of the original comitee at Taekwon-Do's creation. P 518 shows the meeting of Master Oyama and General Choi.
- Taekwon-Do Times January 2000 an extensive interview of historian and Hapkido master He Young Kimm with general Choi were he details how Taekwon-Do came about.
- What my instructor, master J.A. Blake of Montreal (who died 8th dan and decorated posthumously the most outstanding instructor in the world by General Choi) told me. He was himself a direct student of general Choi and also of Master Chong Woo Lee, 8th dan, now of the WTF and who first brought Taekwon-Do to Quebec in 1960.
- My own conversations with general Choi wich I had the pleasure to meet, train and even dine with him many times between 1978 (1st time I met him in Montreal during the Haiti-Quebec Challenge) and 1994 (at a general seminar in Quebec City).
Having said all this, I will answer Matt W, post as best as I can:
- Gen Choi told of his involvement with Funakoshi in his TKD Times interview. To me he only once said that he went to his school and knew him, wich could indeed mean anything from a simple handshake to actual training time. Master Blake told me once also that Taekwon-Do's hand techniques owed it's roots to the Shotokan school.
- The merging of the other kwans was probably more bureaucratic and political than technically factual; but the heavy input of Nam Tae Hi' Chung Do Kwan was definitely acknowledged by Gen Choi and master Nam both. There is no doubt that Choi's main input had been political; but having seen him in advanced age with stomach cancer perform Taekwon-Do techniques flawlessly, explain even in a foreign langage (English) his technical principles clearly and methodically, and transmit his knowledge with sound teaching skills, it is hard to believe that his contribution was limited to that. But I admit this is a subjective argument. still...
- The Hapkido connection was told to me by Master Blake. When I saw the added joint breaking techniques in the Encyclopedia and asked him about it, he told me that General Choi hired a Hapkido 3rd dan to study the moves and incorporate them into Taekwon-Do's curriculum. He didn't identify the said hapkidoist... but the new techniques are there since 1983.
- The kicking connection was revealed by master Ji Han Jae himself during an interview I caught on television, and it was confirmed to me by master Greg Hall who was one of his students.
Now, if anyone can add information to validate or contradict this, I am always open to learn... or relearn if need be.
thanks for sharing!
Agreed. Hapkido works on different principles than Taekwon-Do. Therefore, differences are quite noticeable when executing basically same techniques.
Originally Posted by eyebeams
Same is true with the joint breaking techniques that Taekwon-Do incorporated from Hapkido. They are executed differently, with the specific power principles of Taekwon-Do for the sole purpose of breaking the joint in a direct manner. The flowing, circular, power redirection and controlling principles of Hapkido are nowhere to be seen.
A punch is a punch and a kick is a kick. Style is when you do that punch or that kick in a certain manner or another.
I too hold a BB in both art and although I am reflexively trained to follow Taekwon-Do principles, I find it easy and fun to switch to the almost opposite principles of Hapkido and thus give myself a wider range of responses and broaden my perspective.
Last edited by odojang; 11/09/2007 6:43pm at .
Hey, thanks for coming! You're now the third from the HW forums. With your experience and connections I look forward to your input here.
I'm not able to do any research to refresh my memory at this time. But one thing about the Oyama/Choi connection (which I did know about already, BTW) that you might have some input into having met and trained with Choi himself. I always found it strange that there was a connection because they seemed to have such different philosophies towards training. On the one hand, Oyama highly valued full contact fighting, and Kyokushin's knockdown kumite (bareknuckle, full contact) is world famous. Choi, OTOH, seemed to really devalue sparring. I have read many interviews and writings of Choi where he basically took the "too deadly to spar" line of reasoning and encouraged noncontact/light contact sparring only. Thoughts?
Also you mentioned, In 1974, the 1st World Taekwon-Do Championships in Montreal introduced a completely original set of sport rules, having nothing in common with those of modern Karate-Do. What were the rules and contact level of that comp?
And finally, what do you think of the current state of ITF sparring? I've heard that tournaments are allowing knockouts now, if the technique is clean.
I don't have near the experience in the Korean martial art's as you guys but the hapkido that I trained in at Barringers martial arts, looked a lot like tkd striking with take downs and ground work. I do know that Ken Barringer (the instructor)also studied judo but I don't know for how long.
Originally Posted by Matt W.
Well since the 90's, ITF goal is to get what WTF achieved: Olympic recognition. Therefore, they are moving more and more toward WTF type of sport. Special breaking techniques have disappeared, performance and power breaking events are a rarity and sparring is now done with headgear, sometimes also body padding, and hand attacks to the face is getting disallowed on a growing basis while contact is more and more allowed (although it was easily tolerated for at least the last 20 years now).
Originally Posted by Matt W.
To me, they are losing much more than they are gaining (their athletes currently are most of the time mediocre in actual self-defense... in both federations). I personnally much prefer General Choi's full approach and controled sparring; but I do see the value of contact in sparring, as long as the participant are properly protected by rules and equipement, and especially properly prepared and taken care of, as boxers are for example.
I know that Grandmaster Park Joong Soo of Toronto, Canada, attempted to revitalize the original concept of competition as a reflection of the whole martial art, even expand on it by allowing elbow and knee strikes and scoring 4 points for an aerial punch-kick combination and 5 points for aerial kicking combination. but as far as I can tell, his efforts have fallen on deaf ears.
Think I said more than enough for now :-) But those were not simple questions and i think they deserved a good answer.
Hope to hear from you!
Sorry... but from where is this information coming?
Originally Posted by odojang
There are breaking, tul and sparring competitions in the World Championships.
The headgear has been always optional, but in the rules there's nothing about the body padding. The hand techniques are perfectly legal... At least in ITF-V, I don't know about the other two.
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