Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Revamping mainstream Taekwondo to self defense

Taekwondo is different things to different people, and indeed there are many different reasons why
people practise Taekwondo. Some enjoy the sport of sparring, other the solo performance of its forms, yet others like the "brotherhood" of the Dojang they belong to. If you ask 100 students from the age of 16 and older why they first started though I believe there is a very good chance that the answer is at least partly for the whish to learn self defense skills. Many who reads this blog gets the impression that I am a full time instructor and that I run my own Dojang, but that is a mistaken belief.

I am training in a Dojang that operates out of a school gym with very limited training time as well as equipment. I have for a long time however taken charge of my own development outside the Dojang as well as inside it, so eventhough I only make it to the Dojang twice a week I do some kind of Taekwondo practise every day, and often if you count the small minute sessions I do it several times each and every day. For the most part however I see that most of the students at the Dojang I practise at and I guess based on conversations with other masters, that the "normal" students practises Taekwondo at the Dojang 2 times a week and thats it. When you look at the training time invested coupled with all that Taekwondo encompasses there is no denying that people dont really get their pennies worth when it comes to self defense. It is therefore not strange to observe that other martial arts and "reality based systems" who give more imidiate results gets more popular with the general public. The result is therefore that old students quit after 1-3 years, and new students comes in the door at longer and longer intervals.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Some application GIF`s (almost movie :-) )

I have been asked for video demonstrations instead of pictures when it comes to applications, but I have opted for pictures because with them I can use and reuse for different publications. Since I also contribute to various other formats (most noteably Totally TKD Magazine) it is only natural that most of the demonstrations are in picture and text format only. Messing around on blogger the other day I noticed that my phone and blogger had made various GIF`s of several application photos and I decided to share them and not let them go to waste. Since the applications have been thouroughly explained before on this blog I will not go into great detail here, only short explanations along with the gifs.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

The importance of "Chambering"

Traditional Martial Artists often discuss "technique" and how to properly excecute them. Great deal
of thought and teaching goes into minute detail for each technique. One thing that I see less and less in Kukki TKD these days is the variance within how to do the techniques. Before the internet, and the large focus of Kukkiwon to standarize its techniques many masters did the techniques different from each other. Often the differences amounted to very little if any difference in actual application, making most changes aestetic instead of practical. In some cases though how to perform a technique will change the application or in worst case make the practical application of a technique impossible.

I have opted to demonstrate two techniques in Taekwondo in this post: Knife hand guarding block (Sonnal geoduro makki) and forward back fist strike (Deungjomeok ap chigi) to show how the chambers fit in with the actual application of a technique.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

2015 in retrospect and where do we go from here?

Each January I like to sit down, have a cup of tea and look through the blog from the previous year
and reflect on what I want to do in the current year. Looking through the post I wrote in January 2015 I realize that the quote of the month did not go as planned (to put it mildly), and I do hope I can restart it this year, because I really love quotes. If you are looking for a freshly written indepth article you can skip this post, but if you are curious as to which posts were the most popular wth the raders, which posts were my favorites, which posts garnered the most discussion etc please read on.

Monday, 28 December 2015

What was in Hwang Kee`s 1958 book; A Commentary

In my previous post about the content of Hwang Kee`s 1958 Tang Su Do textbook I said I did not
want to shape the readers mind about the content as any commentary I would give would probably do just that. I did write that I would revisit it and that is what I am doing today. Hopefully if you read it you will allready have developed your own opinion and the translation can stand on its own. If you want some of my thoughts on the matter you can feel free to click the read more button and read what I think about the book.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

What was in Hwang Kee`s 1958 Tang Su Do Textbook?

A long time ago I was surfing the net when I stumbled upon a "web library" of rare Karate books that
was scanned as PDFs. Among the more "common" works of Funakoshi, Mabuni (in Japanese) and many others I found to my suprise a book by Hwang Kee from 1958 in Korean! I have known for a long time that Hwang Kee was among the first to publish works on the Korean Martial Arts and this book was certainly one of the older ones dating back to 1958. The book title is Tang Su Do Textbook, but judging on the table of content he likened Tang Su Do, Hwa Su Do and Taek Kyon to be very much the same martial arts with different labels. I knew he had first referred to his martial art as Hwa Su Do (Way of flowering hand) but I thought he had long since abandoned that label by 1958 and replaced it with Tang Su Do (Way of China Hand).

I was curious to know what was in the book and my basic Korean skills made me understand a few of the headlines and instructions along with the illustrations he gave but there was also a lot that I did not understand. Therefore with the help of "Løbak Consulting inc" I translated the table of content and had him check that my translation was within reason "correct". Jon Lennart`s Korean skills are second to none, and he is truly an inspiration for a "Taekwondo nerd" like myself. I have set this post to become published on december 24th marking the Norwegian day for Christmas celebration. Think of this post as Traditional Taekwondo Ramblings`s Christmas gift to all the Taekwondo nerds out there :-D

Friday, 18 December 2015

Drilling application from Taegeuk Chil Jang

Image Source Choi Hong Hi 1965
Taegeuk Chil Jang is for some reason one of the Poomsae I have written very little about when it
comes to practical application. In the clip a little later in this post I demonstrate a short drill on the "makki tul" or 막기틀 that explores the back fist strike, inward crescent kick, and target elbow. I believe I am using the back fist strike from the form in a little before seen way in Taekwondo circles.