1967 Choi Hong Hi meets up with Mas Oyama

In 1967 Choi Hong Hi meets up with fellow Korean and Karate Master Mas Oyama. By this time, Master Oyama had already opened his own Karate dojo in Tokyo and was already working on expansion plans for what is now known as one of the toughest karate systems ever. The story from what I have read online is that Choi had requested for Master Oyama to return to Korea to help his fellow Koreans, and to invite him to support Taekwondo's establishment as a new martial art. Master Oyama declined politely, and they left on amicable terms - vowing to remain as 'brothers' in the arts. 

From the subtext, it seems that Master Oyama was not interested in the political machinations occurring with Korea and Taekwondo at the time. Here is a man who goes into the mountain with one eyebrow shaved so he wouldn't be tempted to come down until a good deal of training had occurred. And what he saw was a country plagued with politicking, struggling to establish its own identity. As a simple martial artist, as many of us were at some point in our lives, such was an environment that was the antithesis of what he'd prefer.

But given that this event occurred, what I'd like to ask is ... if we have the luxury of an alternate timeline, and if an alternate 49yo Choi were to look at Master Oyama and ask 'what lessons can I take away from this man'? Then what if that Choi proceeded to endow the evolution of his art with Kyokushinkai's focus on striking power and body conditioning.

When you're Mas Oyama. And when you're wearing a cool Republic of Korea Army tracksuit ...
It's not prancing. It's graceful tactical body movement.  

Then in the intervening years, if that new Taekwondo would flourish developing its combative style separate to its sports department (read WTF), and co-mingling more with its Karate cousins on a regular basis. What would that Taekwondo look like?

What do you value in your martial art? What does your Taekwondo look like?


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