Wednesday, 18 January 2017

2016 in retrospect and where do we go from here?

Its been a busy few days in the new year, and suddenly we are way past the halfway mark of January.
Each year in January I sit down, look through the stats and look back at what I`ve done the last 12 months on my blog. The whole year has been a very busy one, much more so than earlier, so I have to admit that the blog has not been the priority in 2016, nor will it be a priority in 2017. That does not mean that I am stopping or that I do not have more to share, but I will probably not be able to provide 1 post pr week as I have done in the past. While 2016 has been the year with the smallest number of posts, it has also been a year with some of the more deeper articles I have published. Both the philosophical article where I look at ethics and student creeds, and the one on the relationship between sparring and forms have been some of the most well cited articles that I have posted (the finished Totally TKD Magazine articles based on these posts are even better). Likewise I have posted some video on training, and shared a lot of historical posts and applications. I will still try to provide some content every month and some months I may even be able to provide a post pr week, but I cant see myself having the time to produce 50+ posts in the foreseeable future. I do however have A LOT more to share and write, and I have several posts ready on applications from poomsae just missing the pictures, as well as a chronological jurney proving once and for all that Taekwondo has always had grappling techniques within it and everyone who disputes that will have to prove the opposite, for I have proof stating otherwise (and I am sharing it openly). That was a boring and lengthy introduction, so lets jump to the fun part :-) Looking through 2016 and tell you a little about my plans for 2017:

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Application GIF's from earlier articles

My phone apparently made a lot of gif like files from related photographs I've taken to illustrate earlier articles. Some feedback implies that people prefer video to photographs, but the reason I like to take photos instead of video is that I can use the pictures over and over again with little work to cover many different points and issues. It also makes it a whole lot easier to publish rewritten posts as articles for totally tkd magazine :-) these GIF's are by no means as good or clear as a video, but they might be easier for some to catch the main points of what I'm saying by watching instead of reading. 

Friday, 30 December 2016

Pointless discussions and why they are pointless

Strange title today is it not? The reason for this posts existance is that I have experienced watching
people discuss (and spending valuable partner time) the merits of the different blocks applied purely as blocks in step sparring. Now those who read this blog regulary will know that the organisation I train and study under have "fixed" or "set" (predetermined) step sparring drills for its students so the only punch we get in step sparring is the traditional straight punch. This is also the case for many who has not set or predermined step sparring in their syllabus too so that is why I write this post. The reason being is that many of the discussions on the different blocks are pointless and therefore steal away valuable training time!

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Why Taekwondo history research matter

Introduction: I put a lot of emphasis on both my writings, research and energy (not to say money as
well) into learning and understanding Taekwondo and martial arts history. Often I am asked why I bother with it, as there is perceived to be very little to gain from this, and it can be quite time consuming. Also I have heard (and will undoubtfully hear it more in the future) that understanding and learning history will not make someones side kick any better. It is true that history will not make you perform physically better, but in my opinion it is one of the areas that are grossly overlooked and despite what people believe and perceive, I personally have gained a lot from this research. In the hopes to motivate others into delving a little more into history I will write a few points on what this is in this post.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

The interconnectedness of Poomsae

In the old days it was normal even for a master of the martial arts to know as few as 1-5 forms, but
these forms were studied in great depth. Today we have a situation where we have an abundance of forms, which promotes a wide but shallow study of them, but as Funakoshi writes and I am paraphrasing heavily here; the forms are just variations on a theme. This means that if you know one or a few form(s) indepth, you will come to understand another form much more easily than someone who does not have a clue. The forms are made for self defense, and this is even confirmed for the Taekwondo forms of the KTA (also recognized by the Kukkiwon and WTF) by Lee Kyu Hyun in his 2010 book "What is Taekwondo Poomsae?". This means that the "problem" or "theme" that the forms are a variation of is the same for Karate, Taekwondo and many Chinese systems as well, the theme being self defense, or the countering of physical violence.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Sword + Taekwondo = True?

Taekwondo is concerned with unarmed
conflict for the most part, allthough it would be a lie to say that it did not have defenses against weapons too in its syllabus. It does not matter wether you look into the Kukkiwon Textbook or the Encyclopedias of Choi Hong Hi on this matter, and most of the early books on Taekwondo included some defenses against weapons. Many will probably be suprised when I say that in the Kukkiwon Textbook there are examples of defenses against long stick, club, knife, pistol, bayonet and the sword. Many will indeed be suprised, as these are not widely practised anymore, but others will still be taught defenses against all or some of them even today. My take on this is that to be able to defend against weapons you need to familiarize yourself with them, so I find it likely that the older practisioners of Taekwondo had some basic training with all of these weapons. That being said, weapons forms, and more systematizised weapons study has not typically been seen in Taekwondo Dojang. Sure there are those who wants to charge more money form their students and include some XMA inspired "weapons programs" (note the "-signs in "weapons"), and there are those who are even more "ingenious" when it comes to including weapons training. One Korean master I came across had developed a revolutionary weapons program with the sword where you would essentually be doing the Taegeuk series with a sword instead of the normal hand techniques. And Amarican master I came across tried to sell the idea of an ancient sword form that he had discovered in a Korean temple which turned out to be Taegeuk Il Jang with a sword. Except for Master Kim Bok Man I do not know of any Taekwondo masters who teach weapons as a genuine part of their art. This goes to show that Taekwondo is essentually a weaponless system.