Friday, 30 September 2011

"Teacher I know all the Poomsae in our system! What now??"

(This is not the student in the story)

"Teacher I know all the Poomsae in our system! What now??" I was asked this by one of my students once. He had on his own studied all the Kukkiwon sanctioned Poomsae by training with senior students and with the great grand master You Tu be. I asked him if he could perform all the poomsae, and he proudly answered yes. Great I said. Now you are a chef who have memorised all the recipies in a coock book, but you are still starving because you have no idea as to how to actually make the food, or what the ingridients in the recipie are for.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Funny Taekwondo videos

In the Traditional Taekwondo world people always seem very serious about their studies and many never jokes or have fun about their training. I am not one of those as I find humor very important:) If you can not step out of the "Traditional Martial Art box", look back in (while you are on the outside) and laugh a little then you will find little or no joy in training. With this in mind I thought that I could share a couple of videos I found on Master Youtube with all of you. Bear in mind that these are not my movies, and that they are meant to be humorous. So if you do not think martial arts is a little funny then do not press the "read more button":) To all the rest: Watch these (and if you share my sense of humour) laugh a little:-D

Friday, 23 September 2011

Taekwondo Time Travel.

Would it not be great to see what "original" Taekwondo was like (if there ever was something we could call "original Taekwondo"?) Fighting has been around since humanbeings came into existence, so it is very difficult to say what original Taekwondo is. If we say that "original Taekwondo" is the striking art(s) taught in the old Kwan (schools) of the 40s and 50s in Korea then we can look at some old video footage from the 50s and 60s and get a glimpse of what the art of the old schools were like. These videos are rare and far between, and there is very little to find on the internet. I bet that as more and more people (re)discover footage and share them on the interent that more and more will be available. To save you from a lot of trouble I have asked Grandmaster Yu Tu Be and I got a few good hits from him. So here we go:

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

A closer look at Poomsae training part two

Application from Taegeuk Yuk (6) Jang.
Notice how the "pulling hand" is used
to hinder the oponents defense.
This is the 2nd part of an article I wrote for a Taekwondo magazine. Please read part 1 before reading this part. Part one can be read by clicking here. It is still a work in progress, but I think the readers of this blog will find it interesting:) So without further adu here is part two:
Part 2
Surrounding the Poomsae there are many myths as of why we practise, and what we can acchieve with the training. One of the strongest myths and one I want to put to rest first is the myth that if you are good at Poomsae you are good at fighting/sparring/self defense.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

A closer look at Poomsae training.

This is part one in an article I wrote for a Taekwondo magazine. It is still a work in progress, but I think the readers of this blog will find it interesting:) So without further adu here is part one:

Author being explained the finer points
of the long front stance (apkubi)
A closer look at Poomsae training:
(By Oerjan Nilsen)
In this article I want to discuss what Poomsae training can do for the Taekwondo students and what it can not. I want to put some of the more common myths to rest and try to shed some light on this controversial and often missunderstood part of our training. To acchieve this we first must define what Poomsae or "patterns" are.

Label disease

Start thinking outside the "box"
In my post entitled "The hand on the hip? Why?" (Can be read by clicking here) I touched on one of the more common problems when viewing our patterns and basic techniques in terms of functionality. We can see "form" (how the technique looks like) but we can not see "function" (the purpose of the technique) by looking at the techniques themselves. Normal Poomsae training consists of performing the basic tecniques in prescribed order from beginning to end. There is no opponent, and the trainee and observer only sees "form".

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Where is the interest in Poomsae applications?

Searching the internet for information regarding practical applications for the Taekwondo patterns I study, I am always suprised as to where the information is. All I can find is a big roaring silence. I can find a wealth of information regarding Karate and Quan Fa applications and their history, theories, etc etc, but I can not find anything on Taekwondo. Why is this? Are practisioners of Taekwondo less interested in pattern applications, grappling and vital points applications than their Karate and Quan Fa counterparts?

Thursday, 8 September 2011

The hand on the hip? Why?

If you practise a traditional martial art of Asian origin that focus on striking, chances are that you do some kind of "form" in practise. Prearranged motions strung together into a set series of techniques performed alone. Karate has Kata, Quan Fa (or Kung Fu) has its Quan, and Taekwondo and the other Korean striking arts have Hyung, Tul or Poomsae. One distinct feature in these forms are that the performer will sometimes do techniques with one hand while the other goes back to the hip. Why on earth would anyone do this in a fight? It leaves the head wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide open to (counter)attack? Does it not?

If you are one of the people who are wondering why we pull one hand to our hip and you are tired of lame explanations ("It is tradition, now stop asking questions!!!", Because (insert pseudo science answer here) ... ", "more power" etc) then read more:)

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Please read this: Stop with the basterised bowing!

NO NO NO.... WRONG... Do not look at each other...
Why do we bow to each other in Taekwondo? Or in the martial arts for that matter? Some would probably say that we bow because of tradition, others would give the reason as to keep diccipline and others yet again would say to show respect (to your partners, teacher, the art, etc). I say that they are all correct:) But there is one thing that really annoys me. That make me shrugg, and I just can not keep silent anymore. I hope every Taekwondoin (in is Korean for people and person) reads this: Do NOT KEEP EYECONTACT DURING THE BOWING!!!!!!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Another long lost form: Chulgi hyung

This time I would like to share with you another form that used to be practised widely in the Taekwondo comunity but wich is now almost dissapeared in Taekwondo practise. Before we had the Chang Hon forms (these are now practised by ITF or ITF derived Taekwon-Do schools), the Plagwae forms (These are now practised by a small part of the WTF/Kukkiwon derived schools) and the Taegeuk and black belt forms (Now practised in all the main stream WTF/Kukkiwon derived schools) we had the old Hyung that the founders of Taekwondo brought from outside sources and "borrowed" to form Taekwondo.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Taekwondo`s Karate roots

In these modern times most main stream texts regarding Taekwondo history maintains the wrong view that Taekwondo is a 2000 (sometimes its even said 5000 years) old native Korean martial art. This is probably due to the nationalist feelings in Korea after the Korean liberation from Japanese rule after world war 2. But is this the true story? I think not. At least not the whole story. Now in this post I will reveal the martial roots of the founders in the original Kwan`s.