Posts Tagged ‘korea’

So Why Isn’t President Trump Being Given An Honorary Taekwondo Black Belt?

        The WTF as it was known before they went PC and changed it to World Taekwondo has often given out honorary black belts to many famous people and politicians. Back in 2009 President Barrack Hussein Obama was given an honorary black belt in Taekwondo by then Korean president Lee Myung-bak. What did he do to earn it? Basically the same thing he did to earn his Nobel Peace Prize: nothing.

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President Trump on the other hand has only done more than any president in history to bring a REAL peace and unity to North Korea and South Korea.

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Even the Kukkiwon idiots like Conan O’Brien was given a black belt by the Kukkiwon in 2016.
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Russian President Putin was given an honorary 9th dan black belt as I mentioned before on this blog. But he at least is a martial artist and promotes martial arts in his country (even if I do not like him and do not trust him). What pisses me off is how they are ignoring the historic progress that American President Donald Trump has actually done for Korea. The first time since the Korean war we see an actual chance for peace in the Korean peninsula. If it was not for President Trump, Kim Jung Eun would not be talking to South Korea and talking about denuclearization.  It is an insult and outrageous that President Trump was not also given an honorary black belt rank when he went to Korea. What a joke the Korean president is and you can tell that there is a swamp that needs to be drained in Korea just as is in the United States within government there.
Team USA Road to London 100 Days Out Celebration
President Trump is a fan of combat sports “bigley.” He has been around in the boxing scene and MMA scene for a long time as a fan and supporter. He was a supporter of MMA since it’s early days and UFC.

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The current president, Moon Jae-in is a leftist shill and a globalist. He most likely does not like Trump and does not want to give him the credit he deserves. The WT and Kukkiwon are very selective in who they give out honorary dan ranks to. It is obvious it is pure politics which have drained down into how the Kukkiwon and the WT are run currently. Instead of being objective they side with whoever supports their weak and watered down agenda. This is why Taekwondo is always being used to further a globalist agenda and believes they can help create a 1 world society and Taekwondo is somehow at the forefront of this. What I do not get is that so many Koreans are extremely nationalistic and biased about their nation, but have a facade of being inclusive. I imagine it is whatever benefits their government and leaders to give them accolades and money. Prestige within the world stage and power. But really inside they are Korean nationalists, yet are soft on communism and socialism. This is why President Trump is being ignored as a serious candidate for an honorary black belt. In my opinion he deserves and honorary 9th dan since these are not actually given out for any martial arts merit and the fact he got North Korea and South Korea to get together seriously and plan out a path to peace and unity. No other U.S. president was able to do that. Trump is more of a fighter than Obama ever was.
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The ATA Claims Taekwondo Is Non-Aggressive And Ethical

        I was randomly searching Taekwondo terms on google today and the first site that shows is a page from the ATA website that says,

“Like any martial art properly taught and properly practiced, Taekwondo is a non-agressive (sic) and ethical system of self-defense.”

I just thought this was kind of funny in the light of how the Kukkiwon’s president was arrested for corruption and the fact that it is the ATA!!!! claiming to be ethical. HAHA! Yes, like ANY martial art. You here that? ANY martial art…especially when it is properly practiced…you know the RIGHT way to practice ANY martial art in the entire world….Taekwondo is ethical and non-violent. That means the back kicks to the solar plexus, knife hands to the carotid artery, and side kicks to the knee are not violent. Make sure your instructor properly teaches you Taekwondo the right way which is to make sure you are not being violent…

Anyway, the brings me to another issue I have about people who claim to promote Taekwondo. The idiots who say that Taekwondo is non-aggressive or non-violent. I am sorry but I want my Taekwondo to be both violent and aggressive!!! What’s the point in learning a fighting style if it is non-aggressive or non-violent?

In the book A Killing Art by Alex Gillis we get a different picture of the founding of Taekwondo in all of its corruption and violence!!! I may not like some of the founders of Taekwondo as people, or some of the current leaders in Taekwondo who are corrupt, but I dang sure as heck want my Taekwondo to be a violent art! I didn’t sign up for yoga or Tai Chi as a kid.

We have got to stop the silly PC pandering of Taekwondo and simply teach a real fighting art. Obviously, with this fighting art we SHOULD teach ethics, morality, and that you are not supposed to use Taekwondo for evil. We should be protectors of the weak and people who fight for our nations when called to with our martial arts abilities. But how can you do it effectively if you are being weak? Fighting is violence!!!!

Taekwondo is violent. The sport is violent (not as much anymore with idiotic scorpion twisty tap kicks) but that’s why people love it! The poomsae may be artistic but the actual movements are totally violent! The groin ripping and knee busting in Koryo, the face smashing elbow strikes in Tae Geuk O Jang and more! Taekwondo is a martial art.

Martial Arts are combat traditions and inherently violent. Violence is not somehow immoral in itself. It is WHY you are violent and who you are violent to that matters. Self defense is violent. You cannot effectively save yourself or loved ones from evil people who wish violence on you unless you are violent to them more effectively than they are to you. Maybe we don’t fight fire with fire, but we do fight violence people with violence.

That is enough comedy for today from the mcdojang ATA, and the end of my rant today. See ya later!

What The Heck Is A Chodanbo Rank?

        The “Cho Dan Bo,” or “Chodanbo” rank is often heard of in Korean martial arts. I first heard it when I was a high color rank belt. I was told there is a belt rank before black belt called Chodanbo. It was a black belt with a re stripe going through the middle of it. I was told by my instructor that it means “temporary black bet.” I eventually earned this rank before I tested for full black belt.

Later when the internet was more popular and more martial arts websites were up I heard of chodanbo being a rank in Tang Soo Do. Some people said chodanbo was like the poom (or pum) rank, which the Kukkiwon considers a children’s “junior black belt” rank before receiving full dan grades as an adult. Some websites show the poom belt which is half black and half red, with black being on top and red on the bottom of the belt. I have seen it reversed as well. Other Taekwondo school’s websites would show the black belt with red stripe down the middle like I had, but others switch out a red stripe for a white stripe going down the middle. And lastly, some schools use a red belt with a black stripe going down the middle and call that chodanbo.

Various examples of “chodanbo” belts:
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But typically most schools use this color scheme as the guy on the left:

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I always thought this was weird as so many definitions for this rank exist such as “temporary black belt,” “pre black belt,” “probationary black belt,” and “deputy black belt.” If you try to find a Korean person who can tell you what the heck “chodanbo” actually means in Korean they won’t know. So far every Korean friend is confused and clueless except they understand that “chodan” means first degree. In Korean you can say “cho dan” or “il dan” for 1st dan. But nobody knows what the “bo” part means. Is “bo” even a Korean word? I thought it was possible it means “bu” as in how kicho forms are called “kicho il bu, kicho yi bu, kicho sam bu” etc. But no, I was told it made no sense. So it is not Cho Dan Bu. So where did this term come from and why do Taekwondo masters use it for their students? The obvious answer people will claim is “to make more money on an extra belt test” which is true in many cases, but I do not believe it exists simply for that. It is a transitional rank between the color belts and black belt. It is usually the rank of 10th keup which is right before the dan grades. Did Tang Soo Do start this fad?

As I was talking to my Korean buddy who is an MMA fighter he told me if you were going to say something like “previous or pre” you should say “yebi.” So a term that Koreans would ACTUALLY understand it “yebi chodan.” So preliminary, or reserved 1st dan is the exact translation. It makes way more sense and Koreans would understand what you are saying.

Now if you want to be suer technical you could say “yebi chodan gum eun” which means preliminary 1st degree black belt in English literally translated.

I do not think the concept of the Cho Dan Bo rank is a bad idea in itself. I had to go through it and earn it (by the way my instructor in the 1990s did not charge me a crap ton of money for the rank either) and I had to wait 6 months before testing for black belt. But from now on if I am going to promote that philosophy and concept for a belt rank before black belt I will use the term “yebi chodan.” It is a real Korean term in their language.

If anyone knows the history or where the term chodanbo came from please let me know in the comments. Personally I think the color of the belt SHOULD be a black belt with a red stripe going down the middle since you are transitioning from a red belt rank into black. A white stripe looks dumb to me, and half red and half black is reserved for the Junior Black Belt rank which is called a poom grade.

There Was A Kukkiwon Dobok Fashion Show

        So there was a Kukkiwon fashion show a few weeks ago in Korea. Just as you thought the kpop attitude of Korea can’t get any more apparent they thought it was an important and good idea to host a fashion show.

On Instagram:
Kukkiwon Fashion Show

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New definition of Taekwondo uniform!
Kukkiwon Taekwondo clothes design fashion show
태권도 도복의 새로운 정의를 내리다!
국기원 태권도 도복 디자인 보고회!🥋 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Last Thursday, November 29, Kukkiwon held a ‘Kukkiwon Taekwondo Apparel Design Conference’ to improve the problems of existing Taekwondo uniforms and to present clear standards for the production of uniforms. Let’s look at the picture of the scene
지난 11월 29일(목) 국기원에서 기존의 태권도 도복의 문제점을 개선하고 도복 제작의 명확한 기준을 제시하기 위한 ‘국기원 태권도 도복 디자인 보고회’가 진행 되었는데요. 그 현장을 사진으로 살펴볼까요?😍 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 국기원 공식 블로그에서도 확인 가능합니다👀
▶️https://blog.naver.com/kukkiwonblog/221410589122

Their reason for the fashion show they claim was to “improve the problems of existing Taekwondo uniforms.” Well they did not mention much in English about this and that is the problem with the Kukkiwon. Practically everything they announce is in Korean or very bad English that often does not make much sense. So most foreigners have no clue what they are doing. There is a lack of transparency going on with the Kukkiwon and it is annoying to a lot of people. What are the things they vote on? What reasons do they have for doing things and even existing?

Last I checked the major concern for Taekwondoin worldwide was not fashionable doboks. Yes, there often are problems with doboks. Often the sizing and not adjusting for different nations with larger or smaller people. Putting out one group of sizes everyone has to get and then pay extra money to have a seamstress hem the pants and arms of the jacket top.  Another problem is all they care about are WTF approved doboks. Why should we only have WTF approved doboks and not simply Kukkiwon approved doboks? More than half of Taekwondoin do not even participate in the WTF. Oh well I should be calling it WT since they changed their name. But I like the oldschool so I will always call them WTF.

You see they only make doboks made for tournament competition and extra thin material that does not last long with aggressive martial arts training. They make light and thin material for releasing heat so competitors won’t be as hot in the event they participate in and they can move faster. But this does not allow for proper martial arts training in general. There are more things to Taekwondo than Olympic rules competition and poomsae. The main purpose is for actual martial arts and combat. In Karate they have a heavy weight gi that one can grab that will not rip. So many times a Taekwondoin has practiced hoshinsool only to rip his new expensive over $100 dobok at the collar because the stitching is weak and material thin. They need to make a heavy weight basic student dobok that allows for grabbing for self defense practice. A sturdy uniform that will not rip. No it does not have to be an extra thick Judo gi. Just make the material like the heavy weight Karate style but make it Taekwondo. If you insist on a hanbok style, v-neck collar then please make the stitching unrippable!

But no, it seems they insisted on fashionable and trendy looking doboks that will cost a ton of money with extra colors. We only need white! Tradition!!! Why do we need yellow pants? They also showed the referee, coaches, and more uniforms. Just stuff the normal Taekwondo student does not care about. Why not just admit you should have stuck with a Karate style dobok with open robe? The y-neck uniforms are interesting, but you made them all fancy and thin material and only for performance of poomsae. Why? We need a tough and durable dobok. I am also sick of doboks with a low crotch that restricts legs from kicking high unless the student pulls up his pants legs and hikes them up to do high kicks.

So the “problems” they addressed with the dobok apparently had to do with aesthetics and not practical use. I find this disappointing.

Every time I read about the Kukkiwon all I see are business meetings, pop music, dancing, expensive dinners, guys in suits, giving out random certificates, watches, and gold cuff links, and a bunch of politicians and business people. Where is the training? Where is the talk of combat training? Where is the self defense development? Where is the fighting? Why did Korea create a martial art that refuses to behave like it is a real fighting art and instead is ambiguous?

Look at other martial arts styles and their world headquarters. It is much different looking. In the Kodokan for Judo you see people in white gis training their asses off. In the Japan Karate Association headquarters they have kicking bags, makiwaras and more martial arts things. In the World Hanbu Dojo for Kyokushin you see people training for full contact fighting. What do you see in the Kukkiwon? kpop looking boys and girls dancing and drama and the business suits and board meetings that never seem to end.

These are just some questions and feelings I have right now. If anyone else has anything to say please chime in in the comments!

Bring Back Oldschool Taekwondo T-Shirt Promotion!

Oldschool Taekwondo. 1955- the 60’s and early 70’s. Then we had the 1980’s and early 90’s before the old Taekwondo we grew up loving was lost completely to mcdojangism. Now Taekwondo is all about being hokey with “globalism” and Taekwondo dancing and other nonsense that is far removed from the deadly martial art we joined to learn how to fight! Show your support for a returned focus on the combat art of Korean Taekwondo! Get this shirt and wear it proudly to your dojang, a tournament, and just on the street. The Tshirt is high quality with print on the front and the back letting the world know how yo feel about the current state of Taekwondo. Proceeds will help fund this blog!

WTF And ITF Merger In The Works

        There is a WTF and ITF merger in the works. World Taekwondo which used to be called World Taekwondo Federation (because they are PC and have an irrational feeling that WTF does not give them good publicity, when in reality the acronym WTF gave them more exposure than they ever would have had online and they should have kept it as it sounds way cooler than simply WT), is planning a merger with the International Taekwon-Do Federation in North Korea.

Apparently, the Trump train has influenced the Koreas so much that even the 2 leading Taekwondo sport organizations want to merge together or world peace and for “globalization.” Whatever that means. Taekwondo already is global but apparently they have to have 2 groups be cool with each other.

Here is the article you can read:

Two taekwondo bodies to launch joint organization for integration

Another article:
Two international taekwondo bodies agree to create joint organization for integration

I have so many questions like,

What is the point? How will this benefit both of the organizations who both have different philosophies and goals? Is it good for South Korea? Of course any recognition like this is good for North Korea and legitimizes them.

Will people still train in 2 different rules sets for 2 different ports as well as 2 different martial art styles? Both organizations sport formation have very different rules and levels of contact. Will it be light contact or full contact? Will they have to wear full Olympic gear or not as much? How will the Olympics be conducted? I was certain that already with Olympic Taekwondo any Taekwondo person from any organization with a black belt can enter the Olympics. ITF people already can join the Olympics if they want to. They don’t have to have a Kukkiwon black belt. So how does this join group change anything that isn’t already happening?

How are they going to spell the word Taekwondo? Will it be “Taekwondo” or “Taekwon-Do?” In the article it is spelled the ITF way with “Taekwon-Do.” Are we REALLY going to hyphenate it now? That is going to piss a lot of Kukkiwon people off and be tedious and annoying. I refuse to spell it that way.

What uniforms will people wear? The ITF terrible looking doboks with black stripes on the pant legs? The ITF fashion sense is atrocious and always has been. Or will they continue to wear the sleek WTF approved doboks that actually look good? Or are we going to mix it and combine it wit a hybrid uniform? Please no! Or will people just wear whatever uniform they want whether it be ITF or WTF approved? On the other hand if Taekwondo went “open gi style” like Karate and ditched the v-neck for the original robe style kimono they used to wear in the 50’s I would not object. It would be practical and look pretty cool. The new Y-neck doboks don’t do any justice. We need a strong uniform that can be grabbed and trained hard in self defense in.

ITF is more than a sport organisation. ITF functions as it’s own Kukkiwon (which is it’s martial art and self defense style) as well as a sport organization for tournaments. There is no difference. On the other hand the Kukkiwon is the black belt certification and world organization that develops the martial art of Taekwondo as a whole, and the WTF is strictly the sport organization that conducts tournaments for both sparring and forms. And is this new hybrid organization going to be strictly for the sport? Or also the martial art and self defense aspect of the 2 TKD’s as well?

A possible benefit of an organization like this may actually promote full contact fighting for ITF people and also face punching for WTF people. I would not have a problem with this at all. I long for the day when WTF stops it’s degradation of a once great and exciting martial sport, and stops the bullshit electronic scoring and also allows face punches. And if we can wear less padding and make it more like a Kyokushin full contact style. I also think it would be cool if the ITF promoted full contact fighting with knockouts and not their current light contact.

Is this effort to combine ITF with WTF more of a charity program for North Korea to give them money? Because obviously there is tons of money involved and do they really think such and effort will change Kim Jung Eun and make him happy? Donald Trump came and really influenced Korea for world peace which no other president could do, not even Korean presidents. I believe this is an effect from that. But should martial arts styles be controlled by governmental politics so much? North Korea is very poor and there will be millions of dollars send North Korea’s way through this combination organization.

I believe that this concept that somehow Taekwondo will be the key that will combine the Koreas in peace and also help create world peace is pretentious. It shows a major degree of self importance by the Taekwondo powers which are simply bosses, CEO’s, politicians etc. Not martial arts masters. For too long Taekwondo has been controlled by Korean businessmen and politicians wearing suits instead of doboks.

You know that Karate and Kung Fu have multiple styles and organizations all considered to be genuine martial arts. In Japan there are several Karate organizations that are recognized by the Japanese government. Each Karate organization promotes a specific style of Karate from Okinawa and Japan. Nobody is arguing about which is the “true Karate” and which are fake like how arguments between ITF and WTF people go. Why can’t Taekwondo be more like Karate in that sense? Each style of Karate has different founders and is respected in their own right. Why does the ITF need to merge with WTF? Hopefully the Kukkiwon will stay out of it and not merge with ITF. I wish the Kukkiwon would reject the World Taekwondo organization and find another one. Or just be their own group. Why are the Koreans only interested in Taekwondo and Taekwon-Do? And not trying to also absorb Tang Soo Do or other types of Korean Karate? If Tang Soo Do can exist on its own why cant WTF Taekwondo and also ITF be their own things as well?

What will this mean for promotion testing? Who’s forms will we use? What forms will we use for each style? A lot of people do not want to learn a bunch of new forms and the way the Taekwondo styles move are also different. Do we have to sacrifice technique in order to make ITF feel loved? I don’t want to bounce and do sine wave…I refuse to.

How will Taekwondo history be taught?

I honestly do not think that joint organization is going to benefit Taekwondo. It will weaken it and make it more politically correct. It already has been downgraded a ton. It seems that South Korea is becoming very weak and wants to virtue signal to the world instead of develop their martial art to be a more effective fighting art. It is all about money and popularity. There is no need to “globalize” Taekwondo when it is already global. In my opinion leftist politics and ideology has taken over Taekwondo and the Koreans who are closet extreme nationalists will sell out for money and influence.

Change my mind.

 

 

 

White Dragon Dojang Blog Ranked #13 On The Top 50 Taekwondo Blogs List

        There was a recent calculation on Feedspot that used search and social metrics to rank the top 50 Taekwondo blogs. This blog ranked #13 on the list as of January 4th 2018. I had no clue this was going on until someone informed me. I am very proud and encouraged that people read this blog and it makes me want to post more.

You can view the ranking here: Feedspot’s Top 50 Taekwondo Blogs List. I want to thank all of my readers for helping this blog produce content around the world for Taekwondoin to read, be encouraged, to get mad at and complain, develop their Taekowndo for fighting, talk trash about this blog, and more!

I Don’t Believe In The Kwan System

        The kwan system was done away with in 1955 when Taekwondo formed as one martial art. There were a few political fights, but overall a unified Taekwondo style from the 5 original kwans were formed and eventually absorbed 5 more and thus the system was defunct. Still kwan groups and leaders had their smaller fraternities and clubs which as okay for awhile, but there really is no purpose for them anymore. The Kukkiwon unified Taekwondo into one organization and ranking structure. This was a good thing and now we have a unified system of techniques and ways of doing things to make sure everyone is doing the same martial art. With kwans there is no point to call it Taekwondo only. It would be completely separate styles much like all of the systems of Karate Japan has. Would this be a good thing? That is up for debate. But what is the intensive to recognized belt ranks of other kwan members and claim them the same if they are all different? How wold tournaments work? People would want different rules and have different standards for proper technique. The kwans were a mess and nobody agreed on things originally. The Kukkiwon brought order.

Unfortunately, even the Kukkiwon has it’s serious problems. There is a lot of corruption in the employees and officials that run it. Lots of money laundering schemes, selling of ranks, losing focus on martial arts and allowing Taekwondo to turn into performance art and dancing as well as a beauty contest. Allowing the WTF tournament organization also influence Taekwondo negatively. Taekwondoin who are serious about martial arts and believe in Taekwondo as a holistic martial art that teaches more than discipline, but actual fighting techniques are very annoyed right now. If you have been informed of the happening over the years with the Kukkiwon you would see a lot of anger is burning.

One option is to bring back the kwan system. This would not really even be a system, but systems plural. It would go back to seperated martial arts styles based off of Japanese Karate. What would they do? Keep doing Olympic sparring? Keep doing WTF approved poomsae? Or would they try to bring back the poomsae/hyung of old? Does anybody even remember them all? I doubt it. It would just become Japanese Karate again run by Korean masters which would not really serve a purpose. Otherwise, if all kwans continue to do Kukkiwon poomsae and WTF Olympic sparring what would be the point in being separate kwans?

Honestly from my personal experience the kwan system is not the way to go and the people pushing it are based on facebook groups and internet forums. Most of them act like elitists and entitled people. It is my opinion that kwans group pushers are just a giant circle jerk of people who give each other accolades like gold lapel pins, special patches, special rank certificates and other certificates. Most of them talk trash about the Kukkiwon while still participating in the official Kukkiwon certification courses like the International Master Instructors course or Hanmadang referee courses. If they hate the Kukkiwon so much why do they participate? If the Kukkiwon knows about the desire of the “rise of the kwans” they want so much why even let these people certify in something they hate? It is self defeating. Maybe it is to gain legitimacy with special certificates that make them look important an then they will turn on the Kukkiwon and say, “See? I am a Kukkiwon master and even I hate the Kukkiwon!” The Kukkiwon does not screen people for intentions unfortunately.

Many kwan pushers have turned their kwans into old men’s drinking clubs where they meet in Korea annually or wherever and drink a ton and boast about their alcohol tolerance levels and give each other certificates. A lot of these people, a big amount actually, cannot even fight. How serious are they training? many are very fat as well. I really do not want Taekwondo to go in this direction. If anyone complains, asks specific questions, or makes light hearted jokes they are deemed “disrespectful and unbecoming of a master!” So how DARE you question them!!! Then rumors spread and people try to black list you from the groups. Thankfully the Kukkiwon does not give a damn abut personal opinions and still recognizes ranks of people despite a group who tries to start negative rumors about someone.

Really what needs to be done is a Kukkiwon reformation. Taekwondo has always been plagues with political infighting. I wish it would end. I wish Taekwondo could be one thing and focus on actual martial arts and have less government intervention. It is cool the government of Korea recognizes Taekwondo and the Kukkiwon as special, but they need less South Korean politicians who are overwhelmingly liberal, politically correct and weak who allowed Taekwondo to be watered down and diluted for money. There is no warrior spirit anymore. There hasn’t been for a long time. WHat needs to happen is ONLY 8th-9th dan grandmasters should be allowed to run the Kukkiwon and be in control. No honorary ranks allowed! The president should step down and be replaced with someone of actual martial arts skill who will promote the true spirit of the martial arts. Stop claiming Taekwondo is some world peace nonsense, and just focus on it as a fighting art that honors it’s Korean cultural roots. I am sorry but Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq are using Taekwondo to kill people as seen in some of the ISIS propaganda videos. Taekwondo will not create world peace and North Korea will never become our friends. Goodwill games are political nonsense and do not do anything worthwhile. Stop the nonsense!

Taekwondo needs its’ own Martin Luther. Much like Martin Luther on October 31st 1517, who started the reformation of the Roman Catholic Church to promote Protestantism, Taekwondo (The Kukkiwon) needs someone who will step out and nail their Taekwondo 95 thesis on the front door of the Kukkiwon building. Even though there was a split with Protestantism, Luther did not intend to separate from the Catholic Church but reform it. The political leaders of the Church would not allow it, thus we have separate churches now and rightfully so. Hopefully whoever this Korean Grandmaster Martin Luther will be will be able to keep the Kukkiwon unified, but simply reformed with a reclaimed focus on actual fighting skills, the martial arts, and a holistic style that gives freedom for people. Money from WTF tournaments, Taekwondo dancing demo teams, sexuality exploitation through sexy beauty pageant girls, embezzlement, and dishonesty like selling ranks and more have extremely negatively affected Taekwondo. Nobody takes our art seriously much outside of our circles. Taewondo is always given a bad name all over the world and with the rise of MMA how can Taekwondo stay relevant with the Kukkiwon’s current focus?

I think the kwan system is not going to work and is a bad idea. I think the main people online pushing it act like elitist jerks and pretentious and seem more interested in a social club and less on training serious for martial arts skills, but if the Kukkiwon loses it’s power and everybody goes rogue Taekwondo is going to cease being important. Especially when almost anyone can pass an exam and be labeled a master even if their skill is seriously lacking.

And I know this post is going to give me tons of negative criticism and hate, but I do not live my life to impress people and try my best to spread the truth of things. I am a martial artist and I train for Mudo, not accolades and affirmation from popular elitist snobs who hate me anyway. I know I earned my rank and status and no matter what, that is what matters. Not how man certificates I can collect and gold lapel pins, and special trinkets and how much beer I can drink if I go to Korea.

 

 

Kido Kwan Featured My Article On General Choi’s Links To North Korea

Geneal Choi’s Communist Sympathies Seen Through ITF

        Kido Kwan, a website about Taekwondo news and topics, and is actually ITF based has featured my article on Gernal Choi’s link to North Korea and communism. This is the article that pissed off Jasmine Choi, the grand daughter of General Choi who lives in Canada (lol). Apparently the ITF world is split up into 12 factions now and people are rejecting the communist ideals and upset about North Korea gaining control of ITF style Taekwon-Do. Kido Kwan seems open mind about Taekwondo and is not rigid or cult-like and even features Kukkiwon topics. Pretty cool. I am honored they thought my article was interesting enough to promote it on their blog. My article is part 2 in their series about North Korea’s link to the International Taekwon-Do Federation. Check out the link to my article on their website below!

Kido Kwan: General Choi’s Communist Sympathies

What I Learned At The Foreign Master Instructor Course At The Kukkiwon

        I successfully completed the Foreign Instructor’s Course (FIC) at the Kukkiwon in Seoul, Korea. It was 5 days long for about 8 hours each day. I learned various things and had special training. I am so glad to have finished this course and so happy to be licensed as an official Taekwondo master by the Kukkiwon. One of the biggest goals in my life was to go to Korea to complete this course and become a Taekwondo master. I did it!

        I will discuss a few things that I experienced and learned during the event. There were plenty of interesting things I learned as well as figured out for myself about Taekwondo and martial arts and Korea. I will mention each topic in random order below. I hope to prepare other Taekwondoin about what to expect if they decide to go to Korea and become licensed masters. I personally believe for the absolutely serious Taekwondoin, especially those learning to teach should plan to eventually complete this course and become a licensed master. I hope to tell you what to expect during the course and some of the pros and cons.

The people who can attend this course must be 2nd dan or higher. Your qualification will only be given when you reach 4th dan. Those 3rd and below are given a “completion certificate” only. 4th and 5th are given a completion certificate plus a “successfully” completion certificate. These are the 3rd class masters. 2nd and 1st class are from “6th and 7th” and then “8th and 9th” dans.

 Many Lectures more than physical training

        I do not remember the names of the grandmasters who taught us and lectured us. This is because they did not list their names on any program for us to follow which I thought was a mistake. They should have given us the names of each teacher on the schedule. I think this slipped their minds. But each teacher was an 8th or 9th dan. I believe only one was 8th dan and the rest were 9th. The fact high ranking masters who have been involved in Taekwondo their entire lives in some of the early days of our martial art, are taking their time to teach us lower dan grades is such an honor! We were able to hear wisdom from senior Taekwoin who are grandmasters. How often can you listen to so many experienced people speak? During the course you get to learn so much and have them tell you how it is, and how the Kukkiwon stands on positions such as history and training. You maybe agree with it, or you may not, but even so you get to know what the official Korean stances are on topics. I find this fascinating and I was very satisfied on most of what I learned. It was refreshing.

       There were various topics such as history, philosophy of Taekwondo, demonstration, flexibility and first aid and more. The lecturers did not stick to one exact topic when speaking. For example the Philosophy guy spoke a bit about oriental philosophy and what the words “martial art” means, but he also spoke a lot about motivational things too. In fact most of the lecturers had a lot of motivational stuff to say. By motivational I mean they were motivating people to be martial artists and true masters. They really wanted to emphasize Taekwondo as a martial art and way to live.

A main example was how the grandmaster speaking about demonstration said nothing at all about how to make a great Taekwondo demo, but instead seemed to talk to us about how to be a true martial art master and what exactly Taekwondo is. He also talked a lot about history and dates of events. He was inspiring because he mentioned that a Taekwondo master has to know it all and research everything including actual/practical fighting. He used to be a kickboxer as well. A few of the grandmasters mentioned they did kickboxing at some point. I really think the Kukkiwon should try to emphasize practical fighting more and promote kickboxing and MMA as a valid outlet for Taekwondo competition but they are still focused on the Olympics and their annual Hanmadang performance competition. This master who taught this portion of the course was also the master who protested shirtless in front of the Korean government building against the special “jump dan” promotion test the Kukkiwon was doing for awhile. He knelt with just his dobok pants and black belt on without a shirt. He and others rightly protested it and they changed it. This guy is a true martial artist!

        Other topics were about proper promotion testing procedures and some first aid stuff. Remembering everything is pretty much impossible, but they gave us a course textbook w can refer to later. There was also a guy who spoke a lot on psychology and a lot of things that I thought was nonsense. He was a University professor. I think he was possibly from Yongin. I found what he spoke about hard to follow. He even talked about the movie Basic Instinct. Of course I respect him as an academic and grandmaster of Taekwondo, but I thought his lecture was a bit strange. It was kind of weird and inappropriate because he talked about sexual topics from that movie. I had no clue why he was talking about this and how it related to Taekwondo teaching. It had to do with desire, ego, and other things like that apparently. Honestly, a lot of the lectures like that were very boring to me and there was not enough time to in-depthly discuss each issue. Also we had practically no time to actually read the FIC textbook they gave us.

        The topics on first aid and flexibility were scientific and very interesting but there is no way that within an hour and a half (about how long each lecture was) we could memorize everything about those things. I think the main point is to research it later myself and understand it better. I can also read the textbook later about these topics. I am very glad they gave us a textbook. Unfortunately, it has many grammatical errors as a native English speaker did not edit it for them. Some things are hard to understand. This book is not the official Kukkiwon textbook, but a special textbook for the FIC graduates. I was hoping they would have given us an official Kukkiwon textbook, but I will have to buy that myself later for personal reference.

        The gist of the messages that I personally learned from were that Taekwondo is a martial art. It is a fighting system. There is a sport of Taekwondo, but Taekwondo is not a sport in itself. Taekwondo in the past used to focus on serious things including killing techniques. The demonstrations of the past showcased many powerful things. Now days Taekwondo has turned into more of a performance show. The grandmaster who said this was the one on the topic about demonstration and he did not say if this was bad or not, but said it with the attitude that it simply is what it is…that Taekwondo is a serious fighting art and deadly (not in those exact words but it was implied heavily), yet it has changed and the culture wants something else. I feel he did not openly want to state this change to performance art demonstration was bad, but felt he was sort of negative about it and wanted us to be true martial artists who can fight. He told us he used to kickbox and that practical/actual fighting is something we as masters should be researching. This grandmaster also gave us a bulk of history lessons with his motivational approach. There are many important dates that we should all know about Taekwondo’s history. I took some notes and will now list them.

Demo’s are very important. Demonstrations are a way to advertise our martial art and “are first showing.” They are for advertisement and diplomacy. In the old days they showed many hard techniques such as power breaking, self defense including killing techniques. Now demonstration seems more of a performance and less people want to promote fighting. Koreans call this kind of combat sport K1. Everyone is interested in full contact fighting but they do not always want children training for this. 

Instructors of Taekwondo need martial arts. This is what is the most important thing. Anyone can do sport and sport is not important. Martial arts is what is in our hearts.

1960 – there was the Vietnam demonstration which made Taekwondo to be viewed as a serious martial art in the world and showcased the effective fighting techniques. In the 60’s demos were not that important to do on the scale they were later.

1970 – demos became very important and emphasized. The Kukkiwon threw out the Pal Gwe forms and replaced them with the Tae Geuk poomsae. 

1971 – The Kukkiwon established first it’s demonstration team. 

1974 – The Kukkiwon then began to perform demonstrations worldwide.

1980 – Taekwondo became a university subject in Korea

Instructor’s need to know all poomsae and all the names of them. They need to know the real point of Taekwondo. They need to know gyoreugi (sparring), they should be able to perform various combinations of techniques, and instructors need to know how and do everything including real fighting. Instructors have to know how to actually fight.  

        The WTA president, Kim Hyun-sung of World Taekwondo Academy lectured us also about Taekwondo philosophy and about being powerful. Taekwondo is meant to build up muscle and strength and make one powerful. He was fierce in his lecture and even looked at me and did a mock strike at my face. I do not know why he did that. He also punched the podium and made a dent with his knuckle. I think he did it on accident but then pretended he meant to. HAHA! He slightly dented the wood on it and now it has his knuckle mark in it. He also made another swing at me later when speaking in order to surprise me. I sat in the front row and he went for my neck with a kind of knife hand or spear hand strike. This time I was ready and I blocked it. He acted surprised because I was prepared for it.

        He also gave us a lot of health advice for our bodies. He told us that we must drink lots of water. He asked me how much water a day I drink and told me that a guy my size should drink 10 classes of water a day. He was so serious about water and said Koreans view it as “spirit” and it gives people life and spirit. We need to drink water. But he saw I had a large jug of Pocari Sweat and criticized me for drinking it claiming it is unhealthy and pure water is better. I know that science and research says otherwise though, that when doing extreme workouts and with excessive sweating sports drinks are better; but I did not argue. He also emphasized we should not drink cold water, but only warm water. Chinese people also believe this. I do not agree with this and believe many times cold water is better to drink if you are getting really hot in very hot and humid weather. We need to cool our bodies down. But typically we can drink lukewarm water and it is good. This is what I believe.

I had been living in Korea for the year before this course and what is funny is Koreans hardly drink water. Every day I barely see any Koreans drinking water throughout the day. The average Korean will attest that drinking water while eating is extremely bad for your health and ruins your digestion. This belief is unfounded and a superstition. Science says otherwise. Even so, in Korea they usually drink a small cup of water after a meal which is a child’s size cup by western standards. It makes no sense to me, but it was great to hear the WTA president claim we should drink loads of water. I do every day. Koreans think I am crazy for drinking so much water. Even though many Korean dishes are soups which include water which would contradict their claims that drinking water while eating is bad.

I will now list some notes from the lecture:

Philosophy is our base knowledge and what gives us confidence. It is how we know our own self. 

Taekwondo philosophy is from our mind-ego-self confidence.

Masters must earn power and strength before they can even talk about Taekwondo philosophy. A master must build his muscles and power up and be strong. After this and only after can he talk philosophy.

Six tips for a healthy body:          1. fresh water            2. oxygen           3. proper food
4. Taekwondo training (not sports)         5. positive thinking
6. way or instruction of training (beup do)

You should not drink cold water, only warm water.  

Breathing is important and there are 3 types of breathing. Automatic-mechanism, semi-automatic, and manual mechanism.
When we are sitting we should breath slow, but if we are active we should breath fast. Do not breath fast if you are not moving and just sitting or something. If you are active and moving you should breath fast and not slow. 11 parts of the body aide in breathing. With automatic breathing we breath 5cc’s of air. There are 2 parts of breathing air: Semi-automatic breathing clears out dirty air in our lungs such as when we yawn. Manual breathing must also be done to finish making our body clean. When doing meditation one should breath slow with the nose first and avoid dust and cold air. The nose makes air warmer. 

Eat only when you are hungry. Eat until you are no longer hungry and do not eat anymore than that. Oil from food becomes stored in the body. 

A true Taekwondo master must have the confidence to win and beat anybody. 

A master should be able to make one motion and one kill. If you cannot do this then you are not a true master. 

A master must have positive thinking and spirit. 

The mind gets spirit from a healthy body. 

A master should get healthy through Taekwondo training and not other physical training or sports. Taekwondo training itself is what should make us powerful and healthy.

The lessons from your master gives you a healthy mind. 

        Overall the grandmasters want Taekwondo masters to be powerful, know how to actually fight, be muscular, be tough and know all of Taekwondo. A master has to know it all. He cannot only know part of it. This goes against some of the attitudes that Taekwondo people worldwide believe that we should specialize in a certain part of Taekwondo such as being a poomsae expert, or a sport sparring expert, or a demo expert. I like how they told us we should know it all and be good at everything. We need to actually know how to fight and know self defense.

Taekwondo history and the Kukkiwon’s official stance

       Taekwondo history was taught by Grandmaster Kim Young S. (9th dan). The Kukkiwon holds the belief that there were 5 main kwans that started Taekwondo in the beginning and that the history of Taekwondo starts in the late 40’s through Japanese Karate. The modern history is the most important history according to what they taught us. Of course they told us Taekwondo is originally from ancient martial arts in Korea going back 2,000 years which I honestly do not believe. We learned a small amount about subak, o byeng, subak-hee and other names. The last two are said to be unique martial arts to Korea. They believe that Okinawa was influenced by Korean martial arts somehow. I do not believe this at all. But some of the history was Korean national propaganda, but most of it was not. They did mention that China influenced Korea in in the beginning of their martial arts. One of the most interesting claims they made was that Taekyeon in fact DID NOT influence Taekwondo. They admitted that there is no evidence to support this claim and that Taekyeon existed along side soo bak and other styles. They claim only kwanbeop influenced Taekwondo.

        The Kukkiwon also admits that later Japanese and Okinawan Karate influenced Taekwondo greatly. Mostly through Tang Soo Do which was Karate.

        The 5 main kwans were:

Lee Wan Kuk’s Chungdokwan which was the Tang Soo Do style.

Yun Bung In’s YMCA Kwanbeop (this later became Chang Mu Kwan)

Chun San Sup’s Cheoson Yu Mu Kwan Beop Bu (this later was named Jidokwan, but they emphasized it was not originally Jidokwan at the time they founded Taekwondo originally)

Hwang Kee’s Mudukwon (originally he taught Hwa Soo Do but then later started teaching Tang Soo Do)

Byung Ji Ro’s Song Do Kwan

These kwans were all influential in what they called “original Taekwondo” which was around 1946-1947. Basically, it was Karate.

 Here are some notes with dates and things that the lecturer told us are the official stance of the Kukkiwon about Taekwondo’s history:

The Korean War caused a lot of chaos. It was 1950-1953. This limited what kwans could be doing during this time. 

General Choi was a 2 star general. He did not earn a real black belt in Karate in Japan and instead spent his time self training. There is no evidence to prove he ever received a black belt from Gichin Funakoshi. He founded the O Do Kwan with permission of the Chung Do kwan. O Do Kwan was a sub-kwan that became its own. The other kwan leaders actually were high dan ranks such as 4th and 5th dan black belts ranked in Japan in the art of Karate. Others were masters of Chinese martial arts as well. Choi was a general and had influence, but not from martial arts skills. 

In 1955 General Choi came up with the name Taekwondo and the name was accepted by the other kwans in the KTA. He wanted to be a “power man” and take control and tell everyone what to do. Since he did not have masterful skills in martial arts the other kwan leaders did not respect him in the same way. Yet, he was trying to fully control Taekwondo. He did not actually create Taekwondo and coming up with a name for a unified Korean martial art does not make him the creator of Taekwondo. He did not even have a real black belt. 

General Choi published the first Taekwondo book available to civilians. This is why people claim he wrote the first book on Taekwondo. But in reality 1 month before this book was published, the military had published a book on Taekwondo for soldiers. The difference was General Choi’s book was more developed. 

General Choi was the 3rd president of the KTA. It is always stated that Choi was the 1st president of the KTA, but the Kukkiwon claims the first president was another general named Chae Myung Shin who was a 3 star general and collaborated with General Choi Hong Hi and had many discussions about Taekwondo. Choi was only a 2 star general. (If anyone wants to argue these claims do so in the comments and please provide some evidence and explanations). So according to the Kukkiwon official stance General Chae was the first president. Not General Choi. 2 different guys.  

The KTA started sparring competitions. The KTA changed the martial arts name to Taesoodo. Later, General Choi changed the name back to Taekwondo when he was re-elected and became the 3rd president of the KTA. 

In 1963 Taekwondo became an official demonstration sport for Korea

In 1964 the hogu  was created by the Jidokwan. This is the Taekwondo chest protector. Later this year Taekwondo sparring became the official, national sport of Korea. 

In 1971 Dr. Kim Un Young became the president of the KTA.

The concept of Kukkiwon (Ku Ki Won) was created which means “National Techniques.” Dr. Un Young Kim developed Taekwondo further for athletic competition. 

The Kukkiwon building was built in 1972 on November 30th. This was 24 years after the beginning of Taekwondo.

1973 was a very important and major year for Taekwondo. The World Taekwondo Federation was established. Bruce Lee had used Taekwondo kicks in his movies which impressed the masses. He died that year and Bruce Lee was memorialized and much focus was on his martial arts. His movie kicks inspired many people to want to learn to kick like him. This same year the First World Championships occurred. Many people were impressed with Taekwondo’s kicking techniques. Bruce Lee actually trained with Taekwondo masters and learned kicks from them. One of these masters was a Kukkiwon master who is alive today. He was the one who was teaching this lecture. 

1974 and 1975 the first and second Asian World Championships. Taekwondo was a demonstration sport and became more popular.

1976 a Korean Robot Cartoon movie about a hero who was a Taekwondo black belt who controlled a giant robot made Taekwondo really popular with kids. 

1986 Taekwondo became an official sport in the Asia Games.

1988 Taekwondo became a demonstration sport in the Olympics

1994 Taekwondo was accepted to be an official Olympic sport.

1996 Taekwondo became  a major image in Korean culture and the government made it the official sport and martial art and cultural heritage of Korea.

2000 Taekwondo was an official Olympic event. The first Olympic Taekwondo event. 

The training in the FIC…

        The training portion was small and maybe we had 2 to 3 total hours a day of physical training. We rushed through the poomsae so fast that you could not remember every detail. So hopefully people already knew the poomsae before coming to Korea, yet I know for a fact many did not. This is what is odd about foreign Taekwondo people is many were terrible at poomsae and did not even correctly know them. It was crazy and it became a big issue with them when it came to testing time. People who were 4th dan not correctly knowing poomsae or even all of them is so wrong! We also did not have to actually spar ever the entire course. I fully expected to do sparring. We never once geared up. During the sparring training all we did were some team building games and foot work as well as kicking the paddles in combinations. But don’t misunderstand me, the training was physically demanding. You had to be in shape and have decent cardio to make it through the entire workouts. It was also extremely hot and humid in Korea and the Kukkiwon had no air conditioning, but had some large tubes connected to large fans on the edges of the mat to direct air onto the floor.

        They made us do movements over and over in the 90 degree heat in the Kukkiwon dojang. I felt like I was going to die, in fact most of us did. I sweated more than everyone there in fact. I went all out with every motion I performed. I felt odd because of the massive puddle of sweat I left all over my area. But as for making sure we could fight, I did not get any of that. We did have a self defense training session that was probably the best part of the course for me. It was fun and we worked on practical self defense and fighting. Punches to the face, knees, takedowns, armbars and chokes. Very cool. It was much like street fighting and MMA. It was awesome to know the Kukkiwon has the goal of promoting these kinds of things. True combat. The grandmaster who taught that portion also teaches the Korean army their combatives and he has worked with his team for 5 years to promote self defense to the Kukkiwon and wrote a book and made a video on it. It was inspiring to train this way and it is what I remember when I started Taekwondo as a teenager back in the 90’s. True fighting. There were a lot of joint locks and wrist lock throws and more. I totally loved this training and made me feel good about the possible future of Kukki Taekwondo being a real fighting art. The grandmaster also told me that he used to be competitive kickboxing as well. He was a real fighter and now taught the military.

        The entire week we had to be in our doboks. I recommend bringing 2 each day because if you do physical training there is a big chance you will be soaked in sweat. You do not want to be in sweaty clothes sitting in a classroom the rest of the day. So bring 2. After the second day I began to bring 2 uniforms each day and benefited greatly from it.

         One big thing I notice is the kindness and humility of the grandmasters. They took time to teach us and lecture us. They answered questions and were positive to us. Of curse they were strict and at times I felt afraid of them. Sometimes someone would be late or talk in class and one guy would yell or claim he should just leave because we don’t care he is teaching. But people quickly would say “No, no no!” They don’t play games, but they are very kind and love to share their knowledge. They were way nicer than some of the people who run the office. Almost all of them would stay for photos with people. Another funny thing i some of the are chain smokers even though it is typical understood smoking is bad for Taekwondo. I find this interesting. In fact most Korean men in general are chain smokers. I think it is simply an American thing that an instructor should not smoke or drink. Koreans smoke and drink like crazy. I am not encouraging people to smoke though. I think it is terrible.

        I believe the Kukkiwon FIC is a must for any serious high ranking black belt who wants to make Taekwondo a huge part of his life and not just a hobby. Some foreigners told me that Taekwondo is just a hobby and they are only taking the course for the fun of it, and it is not a big deal. I find this annoying. We need future masters who will take the advice of the grandmasters and be true masters and fighters in our style. So I believe the FIC is good for a lot of inner knowledge and not just physical. It is good to be taught “the way they want it” and to at least listen to it. Take what you want and agree with whatever you agree with, and ignore the things you do not agree with. But take the course and get properly certified. Often they hold the FIC in other countries as well for people who cannot travel to Korea. But each year it is held in Korea so go to the Kukkiwon website and look at the news for when they are holding the next one. When you pass the course you will be added to the database online which will list your photo and that you complete the master instructor course. The qualification is recognized officially by the Kukkiwon and the Korean government.

That is just a basic summary of what I learned. Of course there were more lessons I learned but this is enough to explain what you should expect.