A real traditional system is actually one way to create a progressive, pragmatic, and goal-oriented mindset. Think about this - no pioneering martial art personality in history seeks to be dated or bound by limitations.
My lineage of Taekwondo predates ITF, and was not involved in either ITF or WTF machinations in the 20th century. Initially, I labelled myself as 'Traditional Taekwondo' to distinguish my school from other Taekwondo systems who've since evolved significantly away from the way practitioners such as myself practice our systems.
The word 'Tradition' sometimes connotates a stasis or a preservation or an unchanging of our system. This is not what we have sought to do. While we celebrate the lineage by keeping the patterns unchanging - performing them as we have received them, the essence of the hyung has guided us to address our tactical strengths and weaknesses.
We want it to be real. And we want the system to rise up to such challenges.
In saying so, there are changes along the way, but such changes celebrate the hyung, not diminish it. This is the kind of change which is what we have come to embrace. See My Traditional Taekwondo, The Problem with Hard Style Systems like Karate and Taekwondo and ... and that's found in Traditional Taekwondo? Also see the fantastic article by Hanshi Tony Anessi 'Killing the Art by Preserving It'.
Q. How do you see Joong Do Kwan Tae Kwon Do differing from modern Taekwondo schools?
Superficially, it is the equal use of both hands and feet. Tactically, we aim to engage opponents at mid to close range. We aim to shut them down by anticipating the attack, and curtailing their ability to launch counter measures against our own tactics. It is not simply just the fact we're doing everyone that's not allowed under sporting rules - the end goal influences our training, and how we tap into traditional methods.
Q. How do you see Joong Do Kwan Tae Kwon Do differing from Japanese Karate?
Anytime you have an over-institutionalised training methodology, there are huge benefits of injecting innovation and relaxedness to allow for greater self exploration and adoption of natural movement. While we adhere to Karate's Kihon-Kata-Kumite for some of our training, two drawbacks of Karate have always been its line drills and the prescribed (read 'contrived') official bunkai or pattern analysis. JDK seeks to break free from such rigidity.
Q. Who's behind this blog?
Colin Wee started training in 1983, got his first black belt in 1987, started training in American Karate and Taekwondo in 1991, and started Joong Do Kwan in Perth in the year 2000. Colin has trained on three continents and in three styles. Since 2003 Colin has worked tirelessly to research and promote meaning and applications of Taekwondo's Chang Hon pattern set. Colin is ranked 6th Dan through his affiliation with MLCAA Director Hanshi Tim White since 2003. Colin holds a 3rd Dan from his direct instructor Master Bryan Robbins from American Karate and Taekwondo Organisation. See Man of Tradition: Australian Taekwondo Magazine Interview, with additional links on the history of Taekwondo.
Q. Do you do link exchanges?
See the Link Exchange Page for more information.
Q. Where else can I find martial arts information like this?
There's a really good martial arts blog directory at Black Belt Wiki.
Q. Where are you located?
Joong Do Kwan has been practicing Taekwondo in Perth, Western Australia since 2000. We are now located at John Leckie Pavilion, College Park, Nedlands. Map to our facilities as indicated below.