Question regarding TKD Forms

Discussion in 'Tae Kwon Do' started by Rataca100, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Just for the record, my mention of General Choi saying that 'only a few movements' of Taekkyeon ended up in Taekwondo is from a video interview with the General. He said it.

    I don't doubt that he may have had some exposure as a 12 yr old, but have to wonder how much of that would have been retained and then later added when as an adult he studied Karate (Shotokan) and then used that base to form Taekwondo. I would imagine (pure speculation) that studying a traditional Japanese art in the 40s or 50s, there would be zero tolerance to add in 'stuff from your childhood'. I would guess that more likely he came back to Korea, used Shotokan as the base, added some distinctive patterns (originally sourced heavily from Shotokan too), changed some names, invoked 'Taekkyeon' to appeal to the nationalists, and went from there.

    Is it possible that there is some Taekkyeon in Taekwondo? Absolutely. However, from my limited experience with both TKD and a bit of Taekkyeon while in Korea, that they really don't resemble each other much as arts from the way they move and generate power. TKD more closely resembles Shotokan in that area.

    So my take is that if there is any Taekkyeon in Taekwondo, then it is a bit of flavoring and color and nothing more. That's why I mention the video interview response of General Choi implying that there is very little Taekkyeon in TKD.

    Now, if those are 'rash generalizations', I would love to see some evidence for Taekkyeon in Taekwondo. From the ITF perspective, there are loads of references, both on paper and on video... I would love to see what you think are 'Taekkyeon' movements in Taekwondo. I know you have an extensive background in TKD so I truly would love to see some supporting evidence.
    Smitfire likes this.
  2. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

  3. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Valued Member

    The 'Rash Generalization " point was directed to van Zandt's post.
    The point you have now made about General Choi stating only a few Taekkyon movements ending up in TKD seems far different than your earlier post indicating General Choi created the stir by implying a strong Taekkyon connection.
    The Shorin / Shorei / Shotokan connection is addressed at length in his 1965 book so there is attempt to hide any connection.
  4. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Not sure why my post above seems messed up (I can't read it). I was replying to Earl's request for the sources. Here it is:

    The source was "General Choi Hong Hi, founder of the Korean art of Tae Kwon Do (presented by Bob Wall)", video available through Rising Sun Productions General Choi Tae Kwon Do
  5. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    I think Thomas axe kicked the nail on the head. There is lots of nationalistic intent behind the formation of TKD and I think the Taekkyeon link is largely a part of that. Harking back to an earlier time.
    These days I really just see TKD now as an offshoot of karate. "Korean Karate" as it used to be called in many places. Most of the main techniques exist in karate (middle block, rising block, side kick etc), many of the pattern movements come from a karate kata somewhere, straight karate kata (tekki/naihanchi/bassai/passai) used to be taught as part of taekwondo training in the old days.
    It's re-jigged "koreanised" Japanese Karate. And I'm fine with that.
    Van Zandt and Thomas like this.
  6. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Now I am not sure what we are arguing.

    It is my understanding that early on (and in many cases, continuing) that many TKD groups claim a close connection to Taekkyeon and often use General Choi's youthful experiences to back it up. My contention is that there is little, if any, Taekkyeon in Taekwondo and back it up by General Choi's statement on the video.

    That said, a quick look at ITF site shows a similar continuation of the influence (and name dropping) of Taekkyeon:
    The bigger site (pardon me for not staying up to date on the splinter groups) has a much more detailed and does a better of job of distancing Taekkyeon from Taekwondo while still mentioning General Choi' s early exposure. They mention President Rhee's use of Taekkyeon intead of Tang Soo Do as confusing

    Another big ITF site is pretty specific:
    So... in my opinion, it seems like the use of the term 'Taekkyeon' has been used (and still is) to promote the notion of more Korean elements within TKD. Is this what we are disagreeing on or is it something else?

    Is your point that General Choi himself never said that the art was based on Taekkyeon, even though his organization(s) later did? If so, I could probably agree with based on the video comment.
  7. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    "a different approach to teaching martial arts led General Choi to combine elements of Taek Kyon and Karate techniques to develop a modern martial art"

    That's a pretty misleading statement from the (an?) ITF there. Mentioning the two together makes them seem 50/50 in the mix while putting "Taek Kyon" first gives it prominence.
    When, with the best will in the world it's more like 99/1 and Karate is by far the most prominent influence.
  8. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Valued Member


    Note that the first link is from the NK controlled ITF, and I think it was the last one that is from ITF HQ, a recent offshoot located in SK.

    You cannot fault General Choi for how someone else may or may not have expanded on what he wrote or what he said. It is like some who seem to feel that have discovered or exposing a secret link to Shotokan when the Shorin and Shorei references and some of those patterns are set forth by General Choi in his 1965 book. You have him put those patterns and his side by side for easy comparison. It is also no surprise whne you consider that he did not take a bunch of beginners to develop and spread his art but recruited top talent who had this Koreanized Karate background.

    Al Gore never said he "Invented the internet" yet some wrongly criticize him for allegedly saying it.
  9. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Gotcha. I think we agree in principle.

    I do think the ITF (and other groups) in general have tried to tie Taekkyeon in as a much stronger influence than it really is.

    As far as 'faulting' General Choi... well, I think General Choi mentioning it from his childhood and later stating that there are a few 'movements' from Taekkyeon did indeed help to perpetuate the idea in some way. In my opinion,this was more a product of the times... tying in a 'Korean' influence made more sense during more nationalistic times - he could have very strongly disavowed any connection but he didn't. I don't blame him... it would not have played as well.

    But yes, I think groups have played up the influence much more than Gen. Choi ever did.
  10. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Valued Member

    I just read the forward of GM Ki Bok Man's Bio. he also relates Taekyon training with a monk at a young age.
    Thomas likes this.

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