Saturday, 13 January 2018

4 great quotes from Gm Richard Chun

The Taekwondo world lost one of its bright lights at the end of the last year when Richard Chun
passed away. I never trained with him, never spoke nor discussed online with him, yet he has influenced my Taekwondo through his books. I first got his "Advancing in Taekwondo" book on Kindle a few years ago, read it from cover to cover (so to speak) and I was amazed that Richard Chun wrote from the perspecive of Taekwondo as a traditional holistic martial art, and how close his views were aligned to my own teachers words and teachings. As regular readers will know my own teacher comes from a Ji Do Kwan lineage, while Richard Chun comes from a Mu Duk Kwan lineage. While they might originally hail from different schools, traditional Taekwondo as a martial art seems to be suprisingly consistent accross the different Kwan as I see no contradictions between these two men. I loved the "Advancing in Taekwondo" so much and many practisioners I highly respect had allready recommended his older book "Tae Kwon Do, The Korean Martial Art" from 1976 that I had to get it. That book is in my own opinion an even better look at Taekwondo than the modern Kukkiwon Textbook when it comes to getting to understand the theory behind the martial art. The Kukkiwon Textbook is almost a sporting book in comparison, and where the Kukkiwon Textbook fails to deliver any Ho Sin Sul (Self defense) Richard Chun delivers on everything from Break Falling, throws, sweeps, release techniques and even some ground fighting (self defense when you are on the ground).

When I read that he had passed away I thought that I should try to honor him in some way, so I read through his books, picked out some quotes that has jumped out on me and posted some pictures with the quotes on the facebook page of this blog. In this post I thought I could share these quotes again, but with a little commentary on each. Before we begin however I would like to give my condolences to his students and family.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

2017 in retrospect and where do we go from here

Every January I write a post while sitting down, looking through the blog-year and gathering a few thoughts on the year to come. It`s become a real new year tradition for me, and it is one that I look forward to when the end of the year gets near. 2017 has been perhaps the busiest year that I can remember on all fronts. As a result a hobby based thing like this blog has been put on the backburner.
It is easy to post something short and interesting on the facebook fan page of the blog so I have been providing content, but it has not been a very productive year when it comes to writing articles for the blog itself. The recent loss of net neutrality in the US might also affect this blog negatively as well in the future, but I have not seen anything that threatens it in the imidiate future yet, so fingers crossed that I can keep blogging for free, because once I have to pay to do it I will either have to charge people for its content or quit blogging altogether (and I am leaning toward the latter actually if it comes to that). So here comes the anual lists and overview:

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Micro Post; Chulgi Chudan Hyung applications

Samir Berardo has been a long time friend to this blog (and me) going back a few years now. How time flies.... Well anyway, I have been trading mails and facebook messages with him for several years now and I have been lucky enough to get to see his work. You see, Samir is very passionate about applications of Karate forms and since Taekwondo is Karate based (yup I am not sugarcoating it) I have taken great interest in his work. He has a very indepth and unique approach to forms applications which has influenced me and given me a whole new benchmark to measure up against. He has waited to make his work public for various reasons, but lately after a seminar with Jesse Enkamp (Yeah, THE Jesse) he was encouraged by Jesse to make it public. The result (well the first public glimpse) of his work is just scratching the surface of his method, but loads and loads can be learned from the clip I am about to share. He is demonstrating the Naihanchi Kata, which to us KMA practisioners would be Naebojin/ Kima/ Chulgi Chudan Hyung. Po Eun Tul practised in ITF or Chang Hon based Taekwondo styles is partly based on this form (along with the two other Karate forms), and you can see all the techniques scattered around the various Kukki Taekwondo Poomsae. The good news is that now that he is making his work public, I can stop holding back on the applications (Yup, I have sooooo much more in store) which has been directly influenced by his approach. I will wait to he shares more material though :-) My stuff is childs play when compared to his work though so I am sure you will enjoy the clip:-) So without further adu I give you: Samir Berardo:

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

You are most likely using "boonhae" wrong...

(This is a short rant, and not exactly a serious article)

In Taekwondo we use Korean terminology eventhough the art is practised world wide. Some terminology is very well known, other terminology is rather obscure. Poomsae, Chagi, Jireugi, Makki etc are very well known, as well as Mudo, Do, Ho Sin Sul, Taegeuk etc. The above examples ranges from technical to theoretical terminology. When it comes to forms interpretation and especially application of forms many default to the use of Boonhae, or sometimes Hae Sul. I have even seen Boonhae Hae Sul as a term used for application. This usage which is often wrongly used can be traced back to one single person and that person is none other than my friend Stuart Anslow.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Micro post: What's the point of stances

Again, not an in-depth post or anything, I just found a few photos on my phone the other day stemming from an article that was never written (that happens), and thought I could use them to provide hopefully good content for you :-) Stances are often viewed to be unrealistic and many never give them much thought when looking at the postures within Poomsae. They could however, have an important part of your application if you chose to look closer. I've picked this up from both Mu Duk Kwan practisioner, a Keysi seminar, but the man who has opened up my eyes for their true potential is Samir, an incredibly knowledgeable guy who specializes in Okinawan Karate. The examples in this photo are simply a taste, but they are functional and can open up a wide range of possibilities. That being said there are countless other ways to use stances than the ones here. On the left you'll see apkoobi being used to crash into the opponent and take out his structure. On the right you'll see a stance being used to trip the opponent. Both are amplifying the hand techniques being used.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Micro Post; Application from Hansu Poomsae

Hi there:-) I'll try to publish a little more often than I have lately, but some posts will be labelled micro posts. These will be quick and to the point. This time I'd like to share an application (응용) to Hansu Poomsae pyojeok arae makki  (target low block) where you block into your hand so it clamps around your wrist. It's an unusual technique and many never learn it but it's often puzzling for those who do learn it.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Taekwondo and jointlocks; a historical journey 1920-2006

Image Source: Self Defense Karate
Henry Cho, 1969
One thing that should not come as a suprise if you follow this blog is that 1: Taekwondo contains joint locks and has had them since long before modern Taekwondo got its name. 2: I prefer to keep my terminology Korean for consistancy. I recently read an excellent post on applications for a single technique in an ITF or Chang Hon Ryu form where one of his applications was named a "kotegaeshi"  (Outward wrist throw/lock). I advice you to follow that blog even if you do not train Chang Hon Ryu because the writer does a great job and there is a lot of overlap between the "different" Taekwondo/Taekwon-Do.

I have been working really hard lately so I have experienced something of a writers block, but the issue gave me an idea for a post, namely; Looking into some of the basic Taekwondo locks and their terminology, their place within Taekwondo etc. This derailed quickly into a historical jurney to demonstrate the fact that Taekwondo has always included joint locks and grappling from its root arts to present day. If you have heard that Taekwondo contains no grappling of any kind and that all grappling taught in Taekwondo today is a direct influence from say Hapkido then I strongly suggest that you take my hand and go on a little journey with me :-D