Getting the Most from Traditional Taekwondo Techniques Blog

I never thought I needed to play tour guide on this blog. But hey, we've got more than 450 posts here! Of course many were written and fired from the hip - but that's what you get from going non-commercial (and beside the point)!!! I joke, of course.

However, if you want more from this blog, we'll need your participation and most importantly, feedback. For instance, look through the image below. 1 post for Choong-moo and 5 for Choong-gun. Now, who's fault is that? (A. Yours) If you want me to keep working at it, let's talk some more. Let's present ideas, chat about what works, and what doesn't work for you. Visit our school on FaceBook and send me your video links! I'm up to discuss anything, but would probably benefit from a little prodding.

Now, the main thing here is you can surf through this site several ways. You should check out the links on the Sitemap, and then scroll through the categories list to focus in on the particular Hyungs that you are working on right now. Of course you can read the latest article, but *anyone* can do that.

Certainly I was hoping to see more people come to our Traditional Taekwondo page on FaceBook. Please come say hi and, again, tell us what you're interested in reading. This resource was built as an opportunity to look at what Traditional Taekwondo is, for both my students and for everyone else.

Looking forward to seeing readers become more proactive.

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Colin Wee
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OldManKarate said…

I will throw out and idea.

I teach Hapkido but got my early training in more sports based TKD and kick boxing. After doing the TKD for many years the school added the Hapkido program and I dropped the TKD and focused on the new path. It was a good one for me but realize it might not be for others.

This is a common occurrence here in the US with TKD schools adding Hapkido programs.

I would be interested in how your more traditional style might focus on the grabs, falls, and takedowns that are so prevalent in Hapkido along with the theories of Aiki in body movement and setting up attack and or defense methods.

Many thanks,

OMK - John
Colin Wee said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Colin Wee said…

I can't beleive I missed this comment ... and I missed it by a long shot. Please accept my apologies. :-)

My journey began in a martial practice very different to how we train nowadays. It was a simpler time when a kick was a kick, and a block ... well, was supposed to block those kicks. Not much thought was put into the martial art beyond just memorising a new pattern, getting through the aerobically challenging class, and stretching our leg muscles out.

A lot changed when I got to the US. I studied American Karate, which was actually Traditional Taekwondo. Since black belts trained for free I also embarked (read 'freeload') on my school's Aikido training. And of course I got the stuffing beaten out of me until I figured out how to block better and counter. LOL. Honestly though, the Aikido offering was hugely confusing to me. As a hard stylist, probably only knowing how to twist the wrist in about 3-4 ways and doing the most basic of throws, the 'soft style' approach was a huge departure and took me for a spin. But I stuck with it and eventually grew to love it.

In the last 15 years, I have modified my hard style curriculum extensively to take into consideration the fact that hard stylists are not soft stylists. :-) Hard stylists are taught to strike, cover, block, and counter. By hard I mean 'linear' but sometimes hard stylists are know for their staccato one-two moves that are drilled into practitioners from an early stage. So when the practitioner starts to 'flow' ... meaning they're figuring out that there is more to the martial arts than the 'end point' of striking, this ability to use the rest of the flight path of our techniques helps the practitioner deal equally well in both longer and shorter ranges.

In my exposure to Aikido, it seems the study is focusing on the relation you have between your centre of gravity to your opponent's centre of gravity. The aikidoka attempts to disrupt the opponent's body, throwing him out of the base or collapsing him onto his base. The hard stylist does not have this focus. The hard stylist just wants to smack the person around and take him as a shield.

Where the overlap occurs is when the hard stylist 'flows' and comes in close. Strikes and blocks tend to meld with each other, and this is where unlocking the secrets of kata or hyung is at. As I said previously, I don't think hard stylists are soft stylists. We don't chase the lock, we don't prefer twisting the wrist. If it presents itself, we might apply it ... probably with not much finesse but it might happen.

Where I think grabs, falls, and takedowns is at for hard stylists is when we get close and go for the body itself. Neck control and manipulation (like a neck throw forward, tenchinage, etc), shoulder grabs and takedown (takiotoshi, kaitenage, ude garami, etc), leg grab and sweep/takedowns, etc. All these work surprisingly well when combined with close quarter strikes inspired by the very 'blocks' we have in our patterns.

I'd be interested to hear your feedback. :-)

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