Posts Tagged ‘oldschool taekwondo’

New Shirt: Oldschool Taekwondo

        Check it out yall! You all know you feel sad about the state of current Taekwondo and wish it would go back to being a serious martial art that was hard to contend with! This shirt represents the spirit of martial arts tradition from our beloved art of Taekwondo! Wear this and feel great and show your love with this awesome shirt showing an old depiction of makiwara (bong soo) training from early Taekwondo heavily influenced by Japanese Karate and Kung Fu. The “True Taekwondo/Oldschool Taekwondo” t-shirt. Limited time offer! Get it before it goes away!

Go here: Oldschool Taekwondo Shirt

True Taekwondo Heavy Metal T-Shirt Front

True Taekwondo Heavy Metal T-Shirt Back

Look good in this special and soft fabric tshirt! Impress all your Taekwondo ladies showing you know what the roots of Taekwondo are and you know what’s up! Taekwondo ladies if you wear this you will show the TKD dudes you know whats up too and are one tough high kicking lady!




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!

Photo Shows Historic Boxing Similar To Taekwondo Hand Techniques

        Here is an old photo showing a boxing technique from the old-old-school days. It is from a book called Boxing and How to Train by Richard K. Fox from 1913.


This movement in Taekwondo is called keumgang jireugi (or keumgang yopjireugi). It means “mountain punch, or mountain side-punch.” The boxing photo above shows the same movement except for a slightly different angle and small and forward leaning stance, but it is essentially the same thing. I believe the Taekwondo stance is stronger and more powerful than the boxing photo, but it shows that western boxing and Taekwondo have more in common than people would believe. It it also interesting that Korea has had a deep history in western boxing all through the last century and had some of the world’s best boxers in the 1980’s. It would not at all seem surprising to find out that Taekwondo in its early stages borrowed a few moves from western boxing, but at the same time Karate already had these techniques and it is possible western boxing either copied some moves, or through experimentation came to the same logical conclusion as Karate techniques. I think the latter is more plausible. So martial arts styles often reach the same conclusions on some theories.

If more people train Taekwondo hand techniques and try to spar with them and do not conform your ideas of rigid poomsae to be binding, you will do well.  The great thing about Taekwondo is it does not have a strict shape you must follow, but it is expected you will adapt your stance and angles to what you need in a real fight.

I thought this photo was interesting and shows historic martial arts technique.

WTF Olympic Sport Taekwondo Is Boring

        In this current age of Taekwondo sport competition, the WTF Olympic sport fighting has become extremely boring. Many criticize it as ballet and foot tag.

When Taekwondo sparring first started there was not many rules except striking and blocking. It included face strikes as well and they didn’t even wear any protective gear either. I am not sure how often leg kicks were used though, if at all for tournaments. Later, they took out face punching and limited hand strikes to punching only the chest. During my early years training in Taekwondo my instructor’s would tell me they took out face punching because people got hurt too bad and too fast to have a good match. This seems like a plausible reason, to make things safe and easier. They also told me punching the face is too easy and kicking takes more skill (this is a fallacious argument as anyone knows boxing is incredibly skillful and they only hit the face with no kicks). Taekwondo masters may actually have thought face punches did not take much skill, but I assume they also thought to train them back in the day. Now days many gyms never train face punching at all simply because all they care about is sport sparring. So whatever the reason, Koreans took out punches to the face.

The Jidokwan invented the hogu which is the chest gear/protector used by Taekwondo sport competitors. This shows they found out that people could last longer with chest protection as well as allow for less injuries which make tournaments safer and more people willing to compete. Even so, when the World Taekwondo Federation first started out the only protection they used was the hogu. They did not even have shin and in step guards or arm guards yet. They developed these later. Of course they did wear a groin cup and mouth piece. They also did not have head gear! Sparring was really dangerous even in the sport format where kicks limited to above the waist on the chest gear and head only. In the past Taekwondo sparring, even under Olympic rules (when it was a demonstration sport from the 80s-late 90’s)  actually looked like a fight. People literally threw kicks with serious intention at each other and used way more punches to the chest than they do now. Now days you barely see anyone punch. Back in the day people punches constantly after kicks and when people got in close. People kicked full contact to both the chest gear and the head (with no head gear on!) People got knocked out very fast and suffered injuries on the head. Later, they developed the head gear and made it mandatory for sport competition. Here is a 1980’s video showing early Taekwondo sport techniques as well as providing history and facts about Taekwond and the WTF. Watch the first few minutes for the sparring footage.

The beginning of that video shows actual tournament footage with no head gear worn and people getting kicked in the face as well as people punching the chest gear a lot. Back in the older days from 80’s-90’s all scoring was only worth 1 point exactly. No matter where you hit them with a kick or punch it was 1 point. Kicking the head was 1 point, spin kicks to the head was 1 point, flying and jump kicks were 1 point. This made competition way more realistic and combative where people only did wild moves when necessary to counter or to trick opponents. everything was rougher and looked like a fight and people won by either more damage or knockouts, or by full powered kicks that score more than the other guy.

Now days the point system is crazy with 1 point for chest gear kicks, 2 for turning kicks, 3 for any head kick (even a crescent/axe kick to the head from in close which takes little effort) and a turning kick to the head is 4 points. A flying or in the air jump kick I believe is 3 or 4 points but I am not sure. So now you’ve got Olympic athletes attacking each other with foot fencing strategy and twirling toward each other like ballet dancers. This has serious made WTF sparring so boring!

Apparently in South Korea some guys got together in 2012 and decided to spar without head gear, this is the result:

Notice how cautious the fighters are where instead of just twirling and sticking a front leg sidekick out to tag for a point they are slowly feeling each other out. This is because without the points and also no head gear it is very dangerous and you can get hurt, as seen with the knockouts in the video. Taking away the stupid WTF gear such as gloves (which are absolutely unnecessary since you can’t punch the face, and chest gear is padded anyway! No one ever needed gloves in the early days of Olympic sparring, neither did I when I competed as a teenager and early 20’s because punching a chest gear does not hurt and a bare fist on chest gear does no more damage than if wearing silly gloves), adding electronic hogu that register scores, and head gear then you will get a more serious fight and a lot more action that looks exciting.

Here is some 1980’s sparring footage without head gear, and then the very end shows some head gear worn. The fighting looks more realistic and combative:

I remember when Olympic sparring was really respected since it was full contact and knockouts are legal. People would call sport Karate foot fencing. That is point fighting where you can only lightly touch each other and they stop the match at every point so no one can counter. This is because people would stick out a lead leg to touch for a point before the other guy could touch them first. It is really a stupid sport and one a disdain and have absolutely not shred of respect for. Even Shotokan light contact sparring is somewhat combative with only crisp technique scoring and combative movements (even that is boring to me). Now days with the point system of large points scored for head and turn kicks, no emphasis on punches scoring, the gloves, the electronic hogu (I guess head gear is okay and does not take too fun away and in a way is necessary for young people) Taekwondo sparring has simply become continuous foot fencing and it sucks. I really hope they change the rules because Taekwondo is going out of style fast, is no longer the world’s most popular martial art, and Taekwondo sparring almost got kicked out of the Olympics (instead they kicked out Wrestling, which is another issue in itself). If Taekwondo wants to remain relevant it has to adapt to more combative formats of competition and make them available. Sport competition needs various rule formats for Taekwondo for different types of sparring events: Olympic sport, Kickboxing etc. and whether knees and elbows are included or not; as well as an emphasis on self defense over sport.


White Dragon is a 3rd dan Taekwondo Black Belt with over 19 years experience in the Martial Arts and head instructor of the White Dragon Dojang Martial Arts Training Program. 


Proof That Taekwondo Was Meant To Punch You In The Face

*Authored by White Dragon 

It is often said that Taekwondo practitioners suck at punching and if they ever do punch, they never punch the face. This would make Taekwondo very boring. Well, here is some video evidence of early Taekwondo in its foundational period (1950’s) showing people punching and hand attacking to the face!

Taekwondo face punching:

The best part of this video is the free sparring. Notice how they are constantly attacking the head with their hands, and even throw low strikes to the body. This shows the heavy influence of Japanese Karate in Taekwondo’s foundational period. There are plenty of hand techniques that many Taekwondo instructors are not teaching which is sad. 

More exciting oldschool footage. Some of the same footage but other footage as well. Notice that even doing basics they have some hand techniques that are rarely taught today to students. Some of the hand techniques and stances look somewhat Kung Fu in style. This shows some of the Chinese influence on Taekwondo. Also, it is great to know that even in the early days they were practicing flying kicks, but it seems way more practical and useful flying kicks and without the boring gymnastics that demo teams do today. 


This is some glorious footage! Don’t you just love old Martial Arts video footage like these? Notice their doboks are in the pure, white Karate gi fashion. This was before they instituted the v-neck style and the black v-neck for black belts.

Here is more footage of interesting things:

Back in the day when Martial Artists actually cared to collaborate with other stylists and learn useful things. This is Mas Oyama the founder of Kyokushin Karate collaborating with Korean Taekwondo students. 

Here is some more modern footage showing proof that Kukki-Teakwondo does have face punching and it should be trained. 

Another modern Kukki-Taekwondo video showing various hand and arm strikes. He has some epic kiaps and overdramatic students! Awesome techniques!

And even another Kukki-Taekwondo master showing various face punching technique!


And just for fun here is an early Taekwondo master in the 1960’s showing some badass self defense techniques. Here you can see the influence Judo had on Taekwondo for self defense and that Taekwondo is a self defense art useful for combat and not just a boring sport of foot tag.

        Taekwondo is a deep Martial Art with all kinds of techniques. Ignoring most of them in order to be good at a sport that disallows pretty much 95% of the techniques makes you less effective for self defense. It also makes Taekwondo very boring. Taekwondo should not be boring as it is actually an exciting and useful fighting method. If you are not a Martial Artist and you want to attack a Taekwondo fighter then you deserve to get a punch to your face! If you are a Taekwondo fighter and you just read this article then…Get back to training and start punching people in the face and throwing people, along with your kicks!


White Dragon is a 3rd dan Taekwondo Black Belt with over 19 years experience in the Martial Arts and head instructor of the White Dragon Dojang Martial Arts Training Program.