Does Taekwondo still belong to the Koreans

Discussion in 'The Dojang' started by Gnarlie, Dec 9, 2014.

  1. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    Do you think it still belongs to them?

    Do you need contact with Koreans, or a Korean instructor if you want to be good?
  2. Mario Ray Mahardhika

    Mario Ray Mahardhika Active Member

    I think so. They have the black belt headquarters (where international Dan certification proposal must be approved), and even they built a research facility. See:

  3. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    But the ITF HQ is in Vienna...

    To put the question another way: do the Koreans still know more about Taekwondo than we do in the West?

    Or are we satisfied that we have seen everything that there is to see?

    There do seem to be a lot of orgs and clubs with little or no link to Korea now.
  4. Mario Ray Mahardhika

    Mario Ray Mahardhika Active Member

    Err...yes, certainly.
    The development seems to be parallel, but each org seems to know each other as well. But I guess that's one of the side effect of Korean Taekwondo's purpose: to spread Taekwondo all over the world. I never know any other university with master and doctoral program for Taekwondo other than those in Korea. So research and development still mostly comes from them. Are there any technological / technical improvements in other orgs?
  5. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    I really don't know, I haven't heard of anything outside of Korea other than Yong In USA as an organisation.

    I suppose a further distillation of the question is have they taught us everything they knew, or are there some things they either choose not to share, or try to share but we are unable to understand due to our different cultural heritage.
  6. Mario Ray Mahardhika

    Mario Ray Mahardhika Active Member

    Certainly no, and will never be, since there will always be improvements: new techniques, new competition rules, new teaching method and everything else...

    I really want to get master in Taekwondo, not in terms of belt, but education. The applied physics aspect is interesting.
  7. Finlay

    Finlay Active Member

    Very good question. with many possible takes on an answer.

    First i think that it is not nessecry to be linked or to train under a Korean Master in order to be good. Lots of countries have added in sports sceince from other disciplines gymnastics, athletics, etc to improve their performance. It makes no difference where these ideas come from as long as they make you achieve your goals.

    Also there are some western Master who have trained for many years, why would someone see training under them as soehow lesser than training under a Korean. maybe becasue there is some sort of assumed cultural advantage that a korean has been brught up in TKD from an early age. agian this can happen in the west as well.

    Also I think we have to define what is 'good' if it is in terms of being successful at competition the good only applies to a small amount of people and also is a short lived state.

    Are we looking at technical proficency? if so then who makes the standard, I have spoken to many istuctors about the dtail f some movments and at times the decision to perform a movement in a particlar way is alittle random . even the General would change the details from seminar to seminar.

    It is possible that you would make some technical changes in order to make your art identifiable but then you get such things as sine wave.

    Is good practical application? if so then Korean are not the place i would look at for details on this.

    I guess as you can also ask, if you 'own' TKD what do you actually own?
  8. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    I agree that it depends on your goal.

    Do you believe though, that the entirety of what Taekwondo is has been / is taught outside of Korea?

    I feel like the physical side of the art has been taught, which to a degree has meant development of the mental and spiritual. I do get the feeling from speaking and training with Korean people that there are aspects of the art that I will never fully be able to grasp due to coming from an outside culture.

    I feel that what is truly at the core of Taekwondo remains elusive.

    I'm due to travel to Korea soon, perhaps some time spent immersed in the culture will answer my question.
  9. Finlay

    Finlay Active Member

    Good point,

    It is something i have heard from a few different styles. The idea of hidden knowldge, ok well that phrasein itself has people runing for the door. however even in the most basic sense of that phrase maybe just stuff that isn't taught often occurs alot in the martial arts.

    Both in Japan, and in china there are section of internal arts such as Taiji but i have still to see something like this from Korea. i have asked some of my Korean friends and they say they havent heard anything like that save from maybe some softer styles of Hapkido. I guess(hope) that in some of the higher level of TKD that the techniques become softer.

    What i see alot of is people passing grades then learning some forms waiting and passing grades again. without any additional knowledge ( for this i am seperating experience and knowledge)

    What comes out of Korea at times i have to raise an eye brow at, where as in other styles from other countries they have made an effort to keep the tradition and not play with things too much such as in the case of Aikido where the aikido of the japanese Shihan seems alot less flashy than the non Japanese. Korean ITF eems to be keeping up with modern trands. I you watch the demo team there is very little there that would be deemed as tradional by most. Is it possible that they are just putting that stuff out becasue that is what the rest of the world is doing but their own training is very different?

    I cam across one idea years ago that i found interesting. It was from a master of another style he said roughly:

    There are three kinds of practices

    practice for demostration
    practice for dojang
    practice for life
  10. Deathnever

    Deathnever Member

    I think Taekwondo will always belong to the Koreans. A lot of the taekwondo culture used in the dojang is based on Korean culture. So i would think that it would be only respectful to keep in contact with the korean origins of the Art. As to whether you need to have a korean master to be any good i think is not true. Because, there are many different aspects to taekwondo as finlay said. What defines being any good? Self defense is equally a part of taekwondo as anything else. Does that imply koreans are the best at self defense? Taekwondo also has sparring, does that mean koreans are the best at making fighters? A good instructor/master is defined by their knowledge and ability to deliver what their student needs. That depends on the person the cultural background won't matter. Although I do agree that there are far more koreans who are trained in taekwondo at a higher level than any other nationality so they would have the most people in high up locations. If that makes sense at all
  11. Personal view only is that taekwondo was formulated by a korean for koreans then diseminated to the world so it will always be a korean martial art the same way karate jujitsu akido will always be japanese though weather we know more than the founding entity does is as above relative to where we assimilated the knowledge from.
    As for secert knowledge I am not convinced int his , true there are people who have different knowledge of say pressure pointe ect and ways t9o strike these points for a desired effect but very little seems secret anymore.
    Being lucky enough to own several really good instruction mannuals even Grand master general choi ,Saito Hee il cho and Tatsu suzuki say that the secret knowledge claim is a myth to retain students and diligent practice is the key .

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