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  1. rainfall is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/12/2003 8:27am


     Style: mma

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Qustions about Choi Hong Hi

    I ran across some things about Choi Hong Hi that made me wonder some things about the guy. Almost everyone who writes published materials usually is pushing an agenda. The implications of some of the things written about him are quite serious. So, I now have the following questions:

    1. What was his actual rank in the Korean Army?
    *He refers to himself as "General", but this is under scrutiny. (see note 2)
    *His only command seems to have been an offshore training facility, and he never saw combat. (see note 2)

    2. Did he really only advocate non-contact sparring and really think full contact sparring was terrible? (see note 3)

    3. Did he have any legitimate rank in any martial art past a 1st dan in Shotokan he recieved while studying in Japan?
    *It is well known that some of the titles given to him were HONORARY, including Chungdokwan head (kwan jang), and 4th dan, AND those were publically recinded by Song Duk Sung on 6/15/59 in the Seoul Shinmoon newspaper. (see notes 5 and 6)
    *What drove him to proclaim himself the highest ranking martial artist in Korea when he was clearly long behind many others? (see note 4)

    4. Did he really know anything about taek kyon?

    5. If he thought the "sine wave" motion was really useful, why didn't it lend itself to sparring?

    6. Was he really claiming to have invented the ITF forms?
    *The forms are modified versions/reorderings of existing Japanese forms. Compare the form presented by Darryl Max Craig in Shihan-Te to Won-Hyo and Do-San.

    7. Did he leave Korea and lose his position of power in the martial arts community because the government disfavored him, or because the kwan leaders did? (see note 6)

    Note 1 http://www.born2kick.com/view2.htm
    Note 2 http://www.chungtongyudo.co.kr/Editorials/TheITF.htm
    also
    http://www.martialartistquarterly.co....php?Article=4
    Note 3 http://butf.com/features/gen_choi/interview.htm
    Note 4 http://www.budget.net/~dnolan/history&evolution.htm
    Note 5 http://www.beckmartialarts.com/ctkdfaq.html
    Note 6 http://www.ildokwan.homestead.com/History.html

    (edit 1 - fixed a typo)
  2. blankslate is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/12/2003 12:24pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I heard he bit the head off a bat.
  3. Matt W. is offline
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    Posted On:
    11/12/2003 12:46pm

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    2. Did he really only advocate non-contact sparring and really think full contact sparring was terrible?
    Apparently he did. But today you will find a variety of opinions on it in the ITF. Some do compete in full contact (american style) kickboxing. But most ITF schools are light contact sparring only.

    4. Did he really know anything about taek kyon?
    He claims so. But there are some people who claim Tae-kyon doesn;t even really exist. I remain unconvinced either way.

    5. If he thought the "sine wave" motion was really useful, why didn't it lend itself to sparring?
    Because sine wave is psuedo science that doesn;t help anything to do with true fighting ability. ;)

    6. Was he really claiming to have invented the ITF forms?
    AFAIK official ITF "history" does acknowledge that the creation of the forms was a joint effort. They do not acknowledge their Japanese orgins, though.

    7. Did he leave Korea and lose his position of power in the martial arts community because the government disfavored him, or because the kwan leaders did?
    I believe it was because he was getting too buddy-buddy with NK.

    Regards,
    Matt
  4. blankslate is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/12/2003 12:55pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Miguksaram can shed some light on this...
  5. Miguksaram is offline
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    Posted On:
    11/12/2003 1:17pm

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     Style: Shorei-ryu & Kumdo & TKD

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Thanks for the vote of confidence. Give me a day or so to review the links that were provided and see what I have in my drawer of useless TKD information and compare. I have heard a lot of these rumors that were mentioned. I will also follow up with some of the old timers that have been in the ITF for a while and may be able to shed some light on this.
    Jeremy M. Talbott

    Quote Originally Posted by Phrost
    "Bullshido isn't just a place to hang out when you're browsing the net. We really are trying to accomplish something fucking extraordinary here that nobody's ever had the balls to do before."
    Quote Originally Posted by D.Murray
    "Which is better, to learn the truth, or to enjoy the illusion of being right when you are not?"
    Quote Originally Posted by hangooknamja88 View Post
    My definition of Ki is our energy. it's rather hard to explain it in words. It's not some mystical type of energy like white people...


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  6. blankslate is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/12/2003 1:26pm

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    We await your return, O Master.
  7. Miguksaram is offline
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    Posted On:
    11/12/2003 2:09pm

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     Style: Shorei-ryu & Kumdo & TKD

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Augghhh....if you call me a master again, I will place fleas on your sister and impregnate your dog...Oh wait...ummm...change those two around.
    Jeremy M. Talbott

    Quote Originally Posted by Phrost
    "Bullshido isn't just a place to hang out when you're browsing the net. We really are trying to accomplish something fucking extraordinary here that nobody's ever had the balls to do before."
    Quote Originally Posted by D.Murray
    "Which is better, to learn the truth, or to enjoy the illusion of being right when you are not?"
    Quote Originally Posted by hangooknamja88 View Post
    My definition of Ki is our energy. it's rather hard to explain it in words. It's not some mystical type of energy like white people...


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  8. rainfall is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/14/2003 3:32pm


     Style: mma

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Originally posted by Matt W.

    Because sine wave is psuedo science that doesn;t help anything to do with true fighting ability. ;)

    AFAIK official ITF "history" does acknowledge that the creation of the forms was a joint effort. They do not acknowledge their Japanese orgins, though.

    I believe it was because he was getting too buddy-buddy with NK.

    Regards,
    Matt
    On the Sine Wave Issue, you are a bit nicer than I am. I would have called it 'utter bullshido'. ;)

    About the forms creation, this is what he had to say in an interview (see Note 3 of the initial post)

    Q. How long did it take you to develop the patterns into the form we know them today?

    A. I began my research in March 1946 into what was to be named TAEKWON-DO on April 11, 1955.My research ended in 1983. The patterns represent my study of the Art in this period.

    This leaves no space for credit for anyone else to "help" him. I wonder if when he fled Korea, who did he take with him. If he started his org from scratch, is the official history then implying that his students helped him "research" the creation of the forms? It seems that indeed other people did to to help Choi, including Nam Tae Hi, who seems to have been the person between the two of them to posses any real knowledge.

    On Choi's leaving Korea... It is very clear from the writings of EVERYONE I have seen so far that Choi was extremely disliked long before he made his political favorings widely known. It looks to me like Choi offended enough people (read kwan leaders) that he was eventually forced out of any real power which happened to coincide with his political suicide (that is, siding with N. Korea). The politics served as an excuse to leave the country and still claim to hold "real" TKD. The 6th note is extremely long, but is a translation of a Korean book by Kang, Won Sik and Lee, Kyong Myong. I recommend reading it if you have the time. It contains much detail that is otherwise hard to find.
    Last edited by rainfall; 11/14/2003 3:35pm at .
  9. Miguksaram is offline
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    Posted On:
    11/17/2003 10:48am

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     Style: Shorei-ryu & Kumdo & TKD

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Ok, I chatted with a gentleman (Mst W) who was 3rd generation under Choi. Basicly he was astudent of GM Nam Tae-hi, who was a direct student of Gen. Choi. These were his answers. As I looked into my files, his answers tend to synch up with mine so instead of being a good guy and writing up my own, I decided to cut and paste, because I am a lazy bastard.

    1. What was his actual rank in the Korean Army?
    Mst. W: During my conversations with Nam Tae Hi there was no doubt he was a general. I would have to check but I think it was two stars. This came up because I asked GM Nam why General Choi seemed to teach him and other officers who trained the troops but did not teach them directly. GM Nam explained that it just wasn't done to have Generals mix with enlisted men in that fashion. It also surfaced when GM Nam related how he had contact with President Rhee which was only possible due to his rank as a General.


    2. Did he really only advocate non-contact sparring and really think full contact sparring was terrible?
    Mst. W: This was a holdover form the Chung Do Kwan days. A student of Han Cha Kyo I know asked him about this. Remember there was no gear in those days, GM Han's
    response was simple. Why risk getting banged up if you might need to be 100% in combat at any moment?

    My own input: This was later changed as safety gear became accessible and Gen. Choi did see the benifit in sparring practice.


    3. Did he have any legitimate rank in any martial art past a 1st dan in Shotokan he received while studying in Japan?
    Mst. W: This is a popular story used to discredit General Choi. What is always left out is that the author and short time head of the Chung Do Kwan GM Son was upset because so many high ranking Chung Do Kwan members were following General Choi instead of him . More importantly what is left out is that the very same article also expelled GM Uhm and GM Nam. What happened shortly thereafter? GM Son was out as head of the Chung Do Kwan . GM Uhm became and is still the president and GM Nam is still a respected member.

    My own input: I have heard both sides of this story. This one breaks down to, if you weren't there, then you just really don't know.

    4. Did he really know anything about taek kyon?
    Mst. W: There is a question if anyone really knew anything about Taekyon or whether it was obliterated by the Japanese There are and were those who claimed to have some knowledge of it and passed it along.

    My own input: This seemed to be a very popular marketing tool used by a lot of the Koreans at the time of them developing their systems. Taekkyon (though only a folk game) was purely Korean. By saying they learned it, it seemed to give "legitimacy" or a "Korean" connection to their art.

    5. If he thought the "sine wave" motion was really useful, why didn't it lend itself to sparring?
    Mst. W: It does . Like kickboxing and boxing modern TKD fighters flex their knees when they use hand techniques. This is unlike the "keeping everything level" method still in use in traditional Shotokan patterns.

    6. Was he really claiming to have invented the ITF forms?
    The relationship to the Shotokan forms is not denied. In fact, General Choi included them in the 1965 book. However, these forms are also related to earlier Okinawan forms which are in turn related to the Chinese forms . The point is the forms have parameters which make them unique.

    7. Did he leave Korea and lose his position of power in the martial arts community because the government disfavored him, or because the kwan leaders did?
    Mst. W: The answer to this is most likely .......yes.

    My own input: He was not the only person who fell out of favor with the Korean MA community. GM Hwang Ki also suffered for not joining with the newly found KTA when it first started. However, he fought back in the courts and was recognized by the government. Why Gen. Choi left is anywone's guess. Could have been a pride thing or it could hae been that he felt that he could better spread his art without the restrictions of the Korean governement.

    I hope this helps
    Last edited by Miguksaram; 11/17/2003 10:51am at .
    Jeremy M. Talbott

    Quote Originally Posted by Phrost
    "Bullshido isn't just a place to hang out when you're browsing the net. We really are trying to accomplish something fucking extraordinary here that nobody's ever had the balls to do before."
    Quote Originally Posted by D.Murray
    "Which is better, to learn the truth, or to enjoy the illusion of being right when you are not?"
    Quote Originally Posted by hangooknamja88 View Post
    My definition of Ki is our energy. it's rather hard to explain it in words. It's not some mystical type of energy like white people...


    SUPPORT BULLSHIDO!
  10. Matt W. is offline
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    Posted On:
    11/17/2003 11:06am

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Good posts!

    For the record, I am a former student* of James Langlas who was a student of Han Cha Kyo (I tested under him once) and now heads Han's organization, the Universal Taekwon-do Federation. They still specifically advocate non-contact sparring! And though there are ITF schools that do some contact sparring or dabble in kickboxing, I have seen no eveidence that Choi himself ever changed his view on the subject.

    Also, I have been talking to someone via email about Choi and he (a high rank in the ITF) claims Choi is much more open about the development of TKD in his autobiography. He supposedly acknowledges the Shotokan origins of the forms as well as the fact that he enlisted the help of many other Korean MAists in developing the TKD forms. My thoughts are, even if that's true (and I'm taking this guy's word for it), how does that justify Choi's claims in almost everything else he wrote (plus interviews) that he developed the forms?

    Regards,
    Matt

    *Up to red belt, black stripe. I got my 1st dan from someone else.
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