The thread title might seem self-contradictory, given nationalisms on both sides, but recent mention of this caused me to 'see ghosts', because it's a term I last heard at a place where I practised in the seventies...until I saw it, very recently, in another thread in this KMA subforum.
The teacher, an older gentleman named Mr. Lee (he did not like to be called "master', "grandmaster" or even "sabomnim", just "mister") referred to what we were doing either as "Karate" or as "Korean Karate". When asked why he didn't say "Taekwondo", he would reply that he had his reasons, and didn't elaborate much (I can only recall that this was the very first time I heard the term "watered-down"). To my recollection, he never uttered the term "Tang Soo Do", but I did hear him mention Moo Duk Kwan--but not necessarily in reference to his own Dojang, as he did discuss stylistic comparisons on occasion.
Thinking that he was just doing this because the term "Karate" was more familiar to the masses in those days (and not yet being familiar with the aforementioned nationalisms), I never gave it another thought.
Since then, though, I have wondered: TKD places I've been to don't train the way we did, and the closest I can find is a Goju-based style originated by another Korean, Masutatsu Oyama. Like the "Korean Karate" I did way back when, it stresses lots of hard-conditioning, full-contact sparring, limited protection if any, and far more use of the hands than the feet.
Having googled and found nothing but claims and counterclaims, I'll throw this question out to you MA-history experts: could a full-contact style stressing hands more than feet, called "Korean Karate" (a term no longer used, it seems) be more properly be called "Karate" or "Taekwondo"?
Kansamnida/Arigato in advance.
Last edited by Vieux Normand; 5/19/2008 8:50am at .
Let me be straight and admit that even though i have trained primarily in Korean arts for many years, I hardly think i'm an expert in MA history. I have done my share of studying and have found out somethings that might help you.
First off, Taekwondo is a relatively new term (coined around 1955). Before this, many arts in Korea were referred to as " Tang Soo Do, Kong Soo Do, Kwon Bup, " Etc. But the popular opinion is that this really just meant " Korean Karate" . In Fact, one of "Taekwondo's" early pioneers was a master by the name of Jhoon Rhee. When Jhoon Rhee began to teach in the U.S. he referred to his art as Korean Karate. So my opinion would be that there are a couple of MA lineages from Korea that did not like the term Taekwondo and stuck to their old school roots. Your instructor might be one of those people.
Or i could be totally wrong......
That's the conclusion I came to as well.
Jhoon Rhee, for all his honesty about style-titles, should be made to wear foam safe-T-kicks and Safe-T-punches for the rest of his days. You should have seen old-school eyes roll when those came on the market.
Not to mention the foam helmets. I can think of at least one better context for one of those: "Luke...I am your father".
The helmet make sense, more then the other crap... the prevent brain injuries when the head hits the ground.
Originally Posted by Vieux Normand
On the Topic. I heard of Korean Karate too. It was mostly used before the WTF times, I can't tell any more, sorry.
In order to respond to your question accurately I did some googel poomse of my own.
The answer to your question is General Hong Hi Choi.
Basically he had some minor training in Taekyon, then got his karate black belts.
He basically invented it, then there was a WTF vs ITF debate, one is an olympic sport, the other is closer to Karate. Of course it is not that simple, but that is my simple answer.
I am doing some research into the Hupkwondo thread, so it is still fresh in my mind.
Thanks everyone. I've found pretty much the same thing (and, it appears, from some of the same sources).
For me, it was a question of style-field honesty. Basically, I had to put something in my style-field, but was not down with putting something down merely because my teacher was Korean--particularly since "Karate" was the term he most often used, also the fact that what we did does not resemble present-day TKD very much at all.
As well, the patterns we used were called, in total, "poomsae", but individually they had "Heian", "Pinyan" "Taikyoku" in their titles...or the whole titles were names like "Saiha". The school I went to was not Kyokushin or Goju, but the poomsae were identical to kata used in those styles, and the sparring was more like the Kyokushin and Daido-Juku I did, years later, than like any TKD sparring I've seen since (maybe there's something to the tales of old-style hardass sparring, because I don't think hard bareknuckle sparring was that uncommon back then). I still practise the forms, but have not seen them in TKD schools, where titles like "Palgwe" and (more and more now) "Taegook" seem more common.
Thanks again, folks. Guess I'll put myself down under "Karate".
Last edited by Vieux Normand; 5/20/2008 5:58pm at .
When I started TKD we called it Korean Karate, ah the 80's.
I do Korean Karate (TSD). Some schools rename their art and join one of the generic Karate associations to avoid the tributes back to the TKD/TSD associations back in Korea.
At least that was the way I got the story...
If you can't laugh at yourself,
Others will be happy to do it for you
The 2 most abundant elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.
Dude, don't listen to the ITF. Yes, Choi had something to do with the making of TKD, but him alone being the guy who invented it? BS. What about the head of the jidokwan? Mudokwan? Chungdokwan?
Originally Posted by KO'd N DOA
After WWII, the Koreans had lost so many cultural things to the japanese ( korean martial arts were banned, castles and cultural monuments were torn down, etc), the koreans wanted to make new cultural things for themselves. After watching a taekkyon demo, the president of Korea ordered the heads of all martial arts schools in Korea to create a korean system, by combining the arts, and so on. Most of the schools ( kwans) were schools teaching a style of karate or taekkyon, or something combined. Yes, Choi made the word Taekwondo, but him basically inventing taekwondo itself? NO.
The heads of all kwans co operated creating it. :BangHead: If you want to know more about TKd, DON'T SEARCH ON AN ITF SITE. I'm not saying ITF sucks, but the ITF worship Choi like a god...
So General Choi invented the WORD taekwondo, and he forced everyone to learn the amalgamated system, the leaders of the individual kwans had more to do with it and many rebelled and continue to do there own thing.
Originally Posted by Fodland
Ya I know...My GM also has an inflated Korean ego that demands near worship, so I do know quite a bit about that, and he never speaks of ITF or Choi, (good or bad)
And both branches think TKD will unit the Koreas!
Choi had a bit of traditional Korean martial art, and suplimented it with Karate. I was trying to help the OP get to the bottom of why his Korean Karate is called Korean Karate, give him a japanese name or lead. But Monsieur Vieux Normand, had already solved it, and from his bullshido posting appears to be able to make a BS or not BS decision.
Next time I will place your caveat in my post, to make sure the next person does not fall prey to propaganda.