Forms applications on belt tests?

Discussion in 'Taekwondo Patterns' started by Oerjan, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. Oerjan

    Oerjan Active Member

    I was wondering if anyone have this as a criteria for their belt tests? I recently saw a grading for an organisation in Norway where the student being tested had to demonstrate Applications from Taegeuk Pal Jang as part of his grading. The Applications were literal ones (multiple students attacked at the designated spots so the "defender" followed the Poomsae more or less exactly).

    Does anyone on taekwondoforums.com do this in their grading, if so how do you do it? Is it standarised Applications and for those not doing this: Is it a good idea to incorporate into gradings?
     
  2. Raymond

    Raymond Active Member

    I can't speak to how common it is, but I think it is a good idea.
     
  3. Anthony Hayward

    Anthony Hayward Active Member

    Never seen it done at a grading... Have done this as a self defence routine at demonstrations though
     
  4. bowlie

    bowlie Well-Known Member

    Ive heard of it being done at some black belt gradings, but its not very common. It should be taught better.
     
  5. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    Umm... Step sparring? Anybody? Anyone? Bueller?
     
  6. Mark 42

    Mark 42 Member

    I'm not very experienced - and my exposure to TKD is very limited.
    So as you'd expect, I have never heard of or seen it... but I really like
    the idea. Maybe not for color belt tests (time constraints, and most
    people are just trying to learn the poomse at all).
    For demonstrations and for black belts, I could see where it might work.
    Well, for demonstrations, for sure. Knowing all of the poomses and being
    able to do any or all at my black belt test is intimidating enough.
    But I think my age makes it harder to retain the patterns in memory... especially
    the ones from a couple of belts ago.
     
  7. Mario Ray Mahardhika

    Mario Ray Mahardhika Active Member

    I've only seen this in a demo. For gradings, I don't really suggest except for blue belt and above, since IMO they're mature enough to use the techniques they've learned so far.
     
    Mark 42 likes this.
  8. Oerjan

    Oerjan Active Member

    While some view step sparring as forms Applications (and yes this is one way of applying the techniques from Poomsae) I am of the opinion that step sparring is a training tool and not what I would Call forms Applications. What I had in mind while making this thread was more inline With this:


    (First forms Applications demonstrated at about 45 Seconds into the Clip.)

    I have seen this at a demo or two in my life, but until recently I have never heard anyone doing this in their gradings, but now I have:) I was simply wondering if there were anyone doing this, and if People not doing this were thinking if this was a good idea or not to incorparate into gradings.

    Can I ask you why you think this is a good idea Raymond?:)

    Interesting. So what kind of Applications did you do from the forms and how did you present them to the audience? About the same way as in the Clip I linked to or did you do it another way? Were the Applications of the Block, kick punch or was it more realistic? Were everything performed just as in the form or did you "tweak" the techniques for "realism" (keeping Your non striking hand high to protect the head, shorten the trajectory of Blocks etc)? I am very curious:)

    Hi Mark 42:) May I ask why you like the idea?:)
     
  9. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    I don't think it's necessary to add it into gradings; it's already there. The opportunity is there both in step sparring and self defence demonstration to show what you know about the application of Taekwondo techniques, be they from Poomsae or otherwise.

    Application is not the main focus of Poomsae, and IMO stringing several demonstrations together in the order that the Poomsae is done, as in the video, gives a false impression as to what Poomsae is intended to teach.

    Seeking out alternative applications for Poomsae motions is a great little hobby, and can be very rewarding for those willing to invest the time and effort. That said, it's not necessary to seek out alternative applications for Taekwondo techniques in order to put together some effective self defence strategy and technique. There's enough already within the art to do that.

    There's more than enough opportunity in a grading to demonstrate your own take on how Taekwondo works, whether you go for a mainstream or an 'off the beaten track' approach. From the perspective of the examiner, if it works, great. If it works and is particularly 'Taekwondo', better. If it's both of those things and it looks good too, then fantastic. Applied Poomsae motions fulfil all three criteria.
     
    Ramthalion and Oerjan like this.
  10. Mark 42

    Mark 42 Member

    For demonstrations, it shows why the moves in poomse make sense.
    For a black belt test, if a black belt wants to pick a poomse and do the
    application with partners it could be motivation to go above & beyond
    the simpler ways of testing.
    For color belts, it doesn't look practical. Getting enough partners to come
    in on a testing day (once a month for color belts, 2x per year for black belts)
    would be difficult. It's usually a Saturday, and weekends are busy, especially for parents.

    Students are nervous enough at their tests - adding complexity may not be productive.
    Trying to get 5 students to do a routine like that and not mess it up under pressure
    of testing could take all day :D
     
  11. ssiidd

    ssiidd Active Member

    When practicing on my own I try to visualise my poomsae and see if I can use any particular moves in 1-step sparring. It has greatly helped me refine my techniques and essentially take a two birds one stone approach. It is great fun too :)
     
  12. Oerjan

    Oerjan Active Member



    This is from a Master grading. It opens up With a presentation of the Applications of Poomsae Pyungwon. Thanks for the replys so far guys it has been good Reading:)
     
  13. Oerjan

    Oerjan Active Member

    I agree With you here and thanks for sharing Your opinion:) If the Applications are demonstrated as essentual step sparring like the video Clips essentually are under another name then there is no point in having them in the grading as we allready have step sparring.

    I think that among other Things Applications is one of the main reasons for Poomsae in Taekwondo. The Kukkiwon Textbook lists the process of Poomsae training and on step 3 is defined as finding the Applications of the techniques within poomsae (paraphrasing). Now wether this means only kick, Block, punch stuff like in the video Clips or more "alternative" as in the various boonhae threads on this forum is up to the practisioners. Also the goals of the practisioners will dictate what they find as for some Block kick punch is fine. Why specifically include Applications in the poomsae training proccess if it was not one of the main focus of Poomsae? I do agree With the last part I quoted above though:)


    I really really agree With the last part of the quote above Gnarlie. But for me personally finding out the practicality of the movements (Applications for Poomsae) is not a hobby. It is part of the Poomsae training process. The last part of Your quote is great IF the Taekwondoin have Access to an instructor who teach all the different aspects of Taekwondo (including a well rounded Ho Sin Sul section). I am "glad" however that we are disagreeing a little since that mean we are both thinking:) I usually read what you Write and find myself nodding my head in agrement:) "If everyone is thinking alike that means no one is really thinking"
     
  14. Oerjan

    Oerjan Active Member

    I think it could be a good way to show an audience a simplified "short hand" Version of applictions in demonstrations. It must be well rehearsed if it is used as such though. I see Your point in that it would be a way to "increase the workload" and therefore elevate the test to a more difficult Level when compared to step sparring (if that was what you meant by simpler ways of testing?), but I do not really see it as anything more than many step sparring done at various angles, and because the Poomsae does containg certain sequences that begin and end With a Block for instance Taegeuk I (2) Jang you get some step sparring rutines without any "finnish". (Taegeuk I (2) Jang have a sequence With two high section Blocks followed by two middle section Blocks if taken on face value you Block two strikes against the head from one person, turn away from him to Block a 2nd attacker, turn away from him to face and Block a 3rd attacker before turning yet again to Block and Counter a 4th attacker. What happened to the first 3 attackers?)

    I have also done this and I agree, it can be both enlightning and fun:) I do know one teacher who insist that you base all Your formal sparring on the Poomsae you are currently practising. For instance if you practise Taegeuk Sam Jang he expects you to base Your formal sparring rutines on the tecniques and sequences in Taegeuk Sam Jang.
     
  15. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    I'm actually more for adjusting the format of one-step sparring to make it more realistic than adding a new section into gradings. If the 'step back' is removed from one step so the distancing is more realistic, and the attacker's punch is meaningfully directed to the philtrum, AND the defender's reaction takes into account what further motions the attacker might make after the initial punch, then there is great benefit to one step in finding out the practicality of poomsae motions. There's further benefit if kick attacks are included, and if Hoshinsul style responses and takedowns are included. The benefit is further increased if one step is practiced with a less formal attack from a casual stance, using similar principles.



    What I mean is practice of the Poomsae itself is not the forum for practicing and finding applications. Step sparring is. I agree with what you wrote elsewhere about step sparring being the laboratory for testing techniques. Practitioners should be thinking for themselves and finding the practicality of the motions the Poomsae teaches. Experimentation in this way is part of Taekwondo. Bringing applications through from Karate bunkai is not. That's a hobby, which is forming itself into a little cottage industry.

    A little common sense, and a reasonable amount of air time with an instructor who is actually good at teaching Hoshinsul, and a student of taekwondo is able to determine what works and what doesn't, AND what the motions of Poomsae can be used for. An example: Wesanteul makki; any amount of time spent on Hoshinsul versus kicks and it becomes patently clear what this movement can be used for, without having to dig around old Karate sources (frankly I don't think that practitioners of Shotokan have much more of an idea about ORIGINAL INTENDED purposes of motions than we do as Taekwondoin.


    Experimentation is part of the art and the process; adding parts of other arts is not strictly part of the art, and that includes 'alternative' applications out of Karate. That said, there is no harm in looking at other styles (Karate included) to determine new ways in which the motions of Taekwondo can be applied.


    When I say applications are not the main focus, what I mean is there are other things that Poomsae is intended to teach, applications are not the MAIN focus. In my view, it's great to have applications for the motions that you practice, and it's great to be able to build an SD repertoire that reflects the Poomsae motions, but getting too focused on applications is to be distracted from the other messages that Poomsae convey. There are some lofty ideas contained within, and to think only of the physical application against violence in the presence of those ideas feels somehow 'cheap'.
     
  16. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    I'm actually more for adjusting the format of one-step sparring to make it more realistic than adding a new section into gradings. If the 'step back' is removed from one step so the distancing is more realistic, and the attacker's punch is meaningfully directed to the philtrum, AND the defender's reaction takes into account what further motions the attacker might make after the initial punch, then there is great benefit to one step in finding out the practicality of poomsae motions. There's further benefit if kick attacks are included, and if Hoshinsul style responses and takedowns are included. The benefit is further increased if one step is practiced with a less formal attack from a casual stance, using similar principles.



    What I mean is practice of the Poomsae itself is not the forum for practicing and finding applications. Step sparring is. I agree with what you wrote elsewhere about step sparring being the laboratory for testing techniques. Practitioners should be thinking for themselves and finding the practicality of the motions the Poomsae teaches. Experimentation in this way is part of Taekwondo. Bringing applications through from Karate bunkai is not. That's a hobby, which is forming itself into a little cottage industry.

    A little common sense, and a reasonable amount of air time with an instructor who is actually good at teaching Hoshinsul, and a student of taekwondo is able to determine what works and what doesn't, AND what the motions of Poomsae can be used for. An example: Wesanteul makki; any amount of time spent on Hoshinsul versus kicks and it becomes patently clear what this movement can be used for, without having to dig around old Karate sources (frankly I don't think that practitioners of Shotokan have much more of an idea about ORIGINAL INTENDED purposes of motions than we do as Taekwondoin.


    Experimentation is part of the art and the process; adding parts of other arts is not strictly part of the art, and that includes 'alternative' applications out of Karate. That said, there is no harm in looking at other styles to determine new ways in which the motions of Taekwondo can be applied.

    When I say applications are not the main focus, what I mean is there are other things that Poomsae is intended to teach, applications are not the MAIN focus. In my view, it's great to have applications for the motions that you practice, and it's great to be able to build an SD repertoire that reflects the Poomsae motions, but getting too focused on applications is to be distracted from the other messages that Poomsae convey. There are some lofty ideas contained within, and to think only of the physical application against violence in the presence of those ideas feels somehow 'cheap'.
     
    Oerjan likes this.
  17. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    Further thought: there's no part of a grading (except for the student's whole overall approach to Taekwondo) that tests student's understanding of aspects of the Poomsae other than physical application - can you do the movements, and can you apply those principles in one step, sparring and hoshinsul....I'd like to see aspects of the grading to cater for understanding of the philosophies and cultural factors that Poomsae communicate.
     
  18. Oerjan

    Oerjan Active Member

    Again I nod my head in agrement. I do think that this is the NeXT logical step when it comes to step sparring, after a solid Foundation has been established through the more formal ritualistic framework. I have done this as an instructor on red belt and above but it is far from what we are being graded on so I do not do this all the time.

    The performance of Poomsae is not the forum for practising Applications I agree With, but it is for finding them (for me it is). Step sparring is one venture to Experiment and finding them and it is traditionally the forum for finding out how the techniques work first before testing them in free sparring. The training of the Applications is something I see done in the Ho Sin Sul section of Taekwondo. That section has been there since the Kwan era, and you are right in that it has never been taught With Direct linkage to the forms practised. I have however often found Applications to Our Poomsae through the Ho Sin Sul I learned from my teacher, so I do not really see that I am adding to the art, I simply link one section to another part of Taekwondo.

    The "bunkai/boonhae" process was never taught in the mainstream, nor written in any of the official Works as far as I know, so I see Your point and agree that historicly Boonhae does not have a Place within Taekwondo, but to some extent it has been there too. I wrote about a very illogical sequence in Taegeuk I(2) Jang where you have 4 opponents but only Counter the 4th when taking everything literally. I have been shown different Applications that have nothing to do With the terminology the techniques goes under to make sense of it. It is not sophisticated but it had nothing to do With Blocks eventhough that is what it was labeled as. There was no terminology or refined process involved that I was aware, but the Teachers did find practicality in those movements that did not involve pure blocking and that is Bunkai/ Boonhae and is aligned With step Three in the kukkiwon textbook. The fact that the Bunkai industry is rapidly growing and garners so much interest speaks for itself in my opinion. There are many pitfalls though as some reinterpret Taekwondo to be purely a grappling art through the bunkai etc.

    At Chosun University in Korea I was taught Taebaek by a Ninth Dan and he taught me 3 different Applications to the turning inward Blocks found after the first jebipoom mok chigi. Only one of those 3 were in the Kukkiwon Textbook, the other two Applications did not follow the naming terminology of the technique so he must have done his own Boonhae/ Bunkai process. By the way how do you even spell proccess? I think I spell it differently every time I Write it:-s
     
  19. Oerjan

    Oerjan Active Member

    Agreed:) And this is how the process Works in a good traditional Dojang, and this is how Taekwondo has managed to function without a Clear cut Bunkai/ Boonhae process. If you do find a great instructor you do not need the Boonhae, but at the same time I do think that it enrichens the art and makes Poomsae a lot more interesting and motivating part of Taekwondo training.

    There are a lot of different Messages in poomsae than the Kata. I just believe that it has both philosophical meaning (linking the Taegeuk Philosophy to the Taegeuk Poomsae is a very good thing to do), and Taekwondo does have a unique way of conveying philosophy through its forms not found in Karate (as far as I am aware). I just believe you can have both and not just the one. I am not saying Applications is THE main focus, I do however think it is ONE of the main focuses in poomsae.

    You are right, but many organisations do have theoretical tests and essays where these Things might be part of the assignments. It is up to the instructor what to ask in the tests and what the students Write about in essays, but it is one venture where this aspect could fit in?
     
  20. Oerjan

    Oerjan Active Member

    One question I would like to see on written exams for 1st Dan is "What is Taegeuk and how is it expressed and related to Taegeuk Poomsae?".

    I would also love if the students who merely wrote the same paragraph seen on all the different sites and books on "what each poomsae means" like the introduction to all the Poomsae in Kukkiwon Textbook got flunked:p
     

Share This Page