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  1. Matt W. is offline
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    Posted On:
    11/09/2007 1:38pm

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     Style: Judo, TKD BB

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    ITF-centric view of history.

    Quote Originally Posted by odojang
    General Choi, born December 22nd 1918, started learning Tae Kyon in 1929 from his calligraphy teacher, Master Han Il Dong.

    He first studied Shotokan Karate-Do in 1937 with a Korean friend, mr Kim, in Kyoto; then a year and a half later under Master Funakoshi Gichin at Tokyo University.

    He came back to Korea as a 2nd dan in 1943.

    Although he was already working on it since his Karate days, General Choi officially started putting it all together into a new method around 1946 when he started as platoon leader of the 4th regiment at Kwangju.

    In 1955 (April 11th) the major Kwans of martial arts in Korea (with the notable exception of Moo Duk Kwan)merged with the Oh Do Kwan school of General Choi under his new method he christened Taekwon-Do (even as the governement tried insistently to have it called Tae kyon; but it was no more Tae Kyon than it was Karate already).

    Around 1960, the kicking arsenal of Taekwon-Do was integrated by master Ji Han Jae into the original Hapkido form of 1945 to become the modern version of Hapkido we know of.

    In 1967 Gen. Choi invited Oyama Masutatsu, himself Korean born Sea Oh Choi, to merge his art to Taekwon-Do. Master Oyama declined because he saw his Kyokushinkai as definitely Karate-Do, not Taekwon-Do.

    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.

    In 1982, the very first Japanese school of Taekwon-Do opened in Tokyo under master Park Jung Tae.

    In 1983, Hapkido joint-locking techniques were adapted and incorporated into Taekwon-Do's overall curriculum. The Taekwon-Do Encyclopedia's 15 volumes were published, clearly defining it as a distinctive martial art but acknowledging it's historical roots from Karate-Do and Tae Kyon.

    General Choi Hong Hi died on June 16th 2002.
    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.
  2. wavy tiger is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/09/2007 1:54pm


     Style: BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    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)?
  3. Matt W. is offline
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    Posted On:
    11/09/2007 2:36pm

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     Style: Judo, TKD BB

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    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.
  4. eyebeams is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/09/2007 4:26pm


     Style: Kickboxing/Grappling

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    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.
  5. odojang is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/09/2007 6:32pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Taekwon-Do

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    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!
  6. odojang is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/09/2007 6:40pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Taekwon-Do

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by eyebeams
    Hapkido kicking techniques don't work like TKD's. Hapkido uses nonchambering relaxed circular kicking, while most TKD kicks use karate-style chambering.

    .
    Agreed. Hapkido works on different principles than Taekwon-Do. Therefore, differences are quite noticeable when executing basically same techniques.

    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 .
  7. Matt W. is offline
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    Posted On:
    11/09/2007 6:51pm

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     Style: Judo, TKD BB

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    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.
  8. hoodedmonk is offline
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    Posted On:
    11/10/2007 1:15am


     Style: Bjj

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    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.
  9. odojang is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/10/2007 7:45am

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Taekwon-Do

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt W.
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt W.

    Thanks. Not speaking of myself, but you do a fine recruiting job as far as I can see ;-)

    I do have some years of sweat behind me, but as for connections, hmmm... well the best ones are unfortunately not of this world anymore (Master Blake died in 2001 and Gen Choi the following year) and i haven't spoken to other masters and experts I know for over a year now. That is one good reason why contact with you guys are now quite valuable to me.

    Now get ready because this will be a looooong post... even for me LOL


    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?

    As far as I know, you are quite correct.

    General choi often told us that sparring, breaking and self-defense are not goals in Taekwon-Do: they are the result of study, training and mastery of oneself through the art. To him, sacrificing years of one's life just to break boards or hurt someone was both silly and worthless. They were good tests of what you have achieved technically and mentally, but you had much more to achieve in life than that. they are just some tools to that end.

    As far as the ''too deadly to spar'' idea goes; this may sound ludicrous, but I was made aware of two specific instances of General Choi's Taekwon-Do attempts at full contact sparring that supported this view:

    - This was related to me by my late master: in Malaysia, a full contact, bare knuckled tournament was apparently held in the sixties (General Choi has been Korea's ambassador there during the early part of the decade). Only black belts were participating. 7 deaths were allegedly reported. I have no hard data on this, but Master Blake was notorious for not fantasizing anything or accept anything at face value; so I did not dig any further on this when he related it to us to exemplify why we weren't involved inthe full contact fighting emergence (this was during the seventies).

    - The second however, I was a witness of: in 1985, Master Jon Chan Kim (who also taught Master Blake and wich I met once), the 1st ever to be certified international instructor, left the ITF to create a new federation promoting full contact Taekwon-Do.
    The following year was held the first (and last) Canadian Tournament in Vancouver allowing full contact under standard ITF rules (see below). All participants were wearing head gear, mouthpiece, safe-t type gloves and shoes, cup, shinguards and body padding. All fights were to be 3 rounds of 2 minutes each.

    In all fights, none ever lasted more than the first 30 seconds before one fighter was sent away with an incapacitating injury.

    The finals lasted 3 seconds; at the referree's signal, one launched a jump back kick. It sent his opponent to the hospital with a perforated lung.

    As the winner removed his headgear, no one could recognize him, so much his face was blue, swollen, one eye shut and his nose still bleeding.

    I have also seen a lot of knock-outs and severe injuries (broken arms and legs, concussions etc in both light contact ITF and olympic WTF (they have recorded deaths also in Europe and at least one in Florida I think that brought about the headgear) to be convinced that, learned and applied properly, Taekwon-Do is dangerous.

    Now, I am not in the least attempting to convince anyone that what General Choi taught was ''so much better'' or ''so much deadly'' than any other art. but even I myself, a barely average fighter, have caused enough injuries to appreciate the caution of general Choi regarding Taekwon-Do, or any combative art for that matter. Boxing also has a lot of officially recorded deaths and untold fighters physically marked for life after being exposed to constant contact.

    Concerning the Oyama-Choi relation: as I understand it, General choi extended his invitation first because Master Oyama was Korean born and he hoped to reunifiy him with his Korean heritage. But on the technical side, both arts strive first and foremost to generate maximum striking power and both tests the students specifically on that aspect: like in Taekwon-Do, Kyokushinkai do breaking tests and breaking competitions as a standard practice. As far as I know, Kyokushin is the only Karate style to do so. Moreover, they do tend to kick and jump, not as much as any TKD or Korean style for sure, but much more often that is usual in Karate-Do.

    This I know from Master Andre Gilbert of Montreal, 7th dan Kyokushin, who was a good friend of my late master and is a legend here in Canada, having introduced the art in the late fifties i believe.

    Of all karate styles, Shotokan is the nearest to Taekwon-Do in regards to the hand techniques arsenal, and Kyokushikai for the study and training of power as the core of it's efficiency.



    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?

    The Tournament was made up of 5 events to wich all participants (black belts only) had to perform in:

    1- Patterns: to showcase technical knowledge and mastery. 2 Contestants perform together in one pattern of their choice and one pattern chosen by the judges. The best performer of the 2 is designated by a show of hands toward him (no draw). Winner goes on to the next round against another winner of the preceding round until the final designate the best. All patterns from white belt to current contestant level may be reqested by the judges. Power and flawless execution are the main judging criterias.

    There is also the team pattern competition, following the same rules, adding team synchronisation and originality/difficulty level of presentation to the judging criterias. Only black belts patterns are required.

    2- Power breaking: to demonstrate mastery of the power principles. Each participant must perform the following techniques against 1''thick 12''square wooden boards: straight punch (4 boards, women perform elbow strike instead); knife-hand (4 boards men, 3 for women); side kick (6 boards men, 4 boards women); circular kick and reverse turning kick (both 4 boards men, 3 boards women). Only one aim and one attempt are allowed; no step or jump is allowed. I point for each board cleanly broken, 1/2 point for each damaged board. If a tie, new round with one board added until there's a winner.

    3- Performance breaking: to show athlecicism and skill: Each participant has one board to break, no aim and one attempt only in the following techniques; High jumping front kick (min 81/2'); high jumping circular kick and high jumping reverse turning kick(both at min 71/2 ' and only one step allowed for the latter); high jumping 360 degrees back kick (min 7'); jumping side kick over obstacle ( min 1 yard high 3 yards long). All participants succeeding come back for the next round with elevated target until only one remains.

    4- Special breaking techniques : to demonstrate the advanced techniques. In one jump, the participant must break different targets (minimum 3 with a ratio of 2 kick for 1 hand). Judging is based on height, speed and complexity of the maneuver along with number of targets effectively broken. No aim, only one try. Round done as in patterns (2 at a time).

    5- Sparring: to demonstrate adaptability and tactical expertise. Since power is showed through breaking, only light contact is allowed to the face and solid body contact tolerated (no deliberate attempt to injure).Protective gear worn to hands and feet (cup and mouthpiece recommended), attacks below the belt or in the back and back head forbidden.All parts of hand except fingers and palm and all parts of feet allowed. Bouts are 2 rounds of 2 minutes non stop, winning through points total.

    Scoring: 1 point for hand to body or face or kick to body; 2 points for kick to face, jumping kick to body or jumping hand strike; 3 point for jumping kick to the head. Unbalanced, half-deployed or overextended strikes are not considered valid.

    Team sparring competition was also staged were the first 3 out of 5 members winning their bout give victory to their team and any weight class can meet.

    Maybe today some of those rules are used by other disciplines, but at the time, no other martial art did.

    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.
    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).

    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!
  10. Blues-man is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/10/2007 10:24am


     Style: TKD ITF, Judo

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by odojang
    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).
    Sorry... but from where is this information coming?
    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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