Posts Tagged ‘olympics’

I Angered General Choi’s Grand Daughter And A Bunch of ITFer’s

        Just a couple of days ago my blog got a lot of traffic from ITF people who are upset at my article about General Choi’s Juche communist sympathies. Jasmine Choi, the late grandmaster general Choi’s granddaughter also posted a comment in sheer anger with many insults about my character. Her and several ITF masters posted a lot of comments and are still doing it if you want to check that post out and read the fun.

This is what Jasmine Choi posted on my article in the comments section:

Wow. Just wow. I cannot believe the garbage I’m reading. You are extremely uneducated about ITF and about General Choi. Imbeciles like you should need to concentrate on whatever “art” you are doing and stop obsessing about someone that is deceased. And you stating General Choi holding hands with Kim Jung Il is ABSURD!!!!!!!! Maybe you need your eyes checked or you’re really that delusional clearly they are not holding hands. Get a life and continue training whatever art you practice I saw the photo of you,you look like I would be able to beat you in sparring. Not sure if you were bullied in highschool but you definitely have small man syndrome. In the martial art as a whole we address other Grandmasters and Masters either by Grandmaster,Master,etc.. or at LEAST Mr whether they are your enemy or not. It’s standard protocol. You have no respect and are spreading this nonsense to guilable readers. Such a lengthy garbage article you must have a lot of time on your hands. Who are you anyway??? Who gives you the right to write this slandering article?! Also,if someone has a photo standing beside someone means they are best friends?!? Politicians that are enemies take photos together so what?! You are extremely juvenile and I’m convinced you are a pink belt of whatever martial art you are taking up. Let my grandfather rest in piece you disrespectful little keyboard warrior. (sic)

With this happening I feel the need to further clarify my personal stance on Choi Hong Hi and the International Taekwon-Do Federation. I do not recant anything I said in previous posts, but I will further clarify my beliefs briefly. I think that if I make statements about what I believe to be historical facts and truth people who do not agree need to address them civilly with me instead of insults. All the ITF and Jasmine Choi did was insult me with name calling and straw man arguments. They did not once address the claims I made. Also they deny that in one photo General Choi is holding hands with Kim Jung Il. I personally see them holding hands in the photo. Either that or they are standing extra close! Either way it is obvious General Choi supported North Korea and did not have a problem with Kim Jung Il.

The reason I started this blog was because I dedicated my life to Taekwondo training and worked so hard to get where I am today. I love Taekwondo and I am tired of seeing it become weak and I also hate seeing it insulted by ignorant masses. Taekwondo is the butt of almost every martial art joke by so many styles of martial arts. Within Taekwondo there is a war with ITF and people who train in WTF/Kukkiwon style. Yes, maybe the heads f ITF and Kukkiwon have diplomatic meetings but the culture inside ITF and its practitioners so extremely harsh to the Kukkiwon, WTF, South Korea and practitioners of Kukki-Taekwondo. This is annoying and for decades ITF people have constantly bad mouthed South Korea, WTF and Kukkiwon and claim people who train in our style are not true fighters or real martial artists. That all we do is a sport. ITF has spouted so many logical fallacies and insults about our martial art it is time someone like me defends it and fights back not pulling any punches. The ITF can disrespect so much about Taekwondo people while claiming their Taekwon-Do is the only truth, yet they cannot receive equal and just criticism. They can dish it out but cannot take it. They are overly sensitive. WTF and Kukki stylists have taken so much trash we have only developed way thicker skin. This is something people like Jasmine Choi and ITF followers need as well. She and her followers will insult me and claim I am not respectful enough to be a master yet she herself is insulting and being respectful on my blog. She has posted a bunch of name calling insults to me and wrongful judgments about my character. Yet she is the daughter of a master and acts this way and claims I should not be a master? This is hypocritical.

I assumed she must have been an ITF master ranked practitioner but according to her Facebook page on various comments on some of her photos it is stated that she does not actually train in Taekwon-Do and has not for over 20 years. She does aerobics or something. So she is not at all a master of martial arts yet she wants to lecture people about being a master. According to ITF you are only a master at 6th or 7th dan I believe and that takes a long time. She is only 35 years old and has not trained for 20 years. That means she had to have quit training as a teenager. No way she is a master of Taekwon-Do or any martial art. Her sole authority lays on her being a member of the Choi family. That is not impressive.

The ITF has always vehemently opposed the Kukkiwon yet time and time again the KTA and Kukkiwon give them a voice and want to meet and create some kind of diplomacy. It never works out. Nothing seems to appease ITF. We don’t need ecumenical attitudes anymore. Just be separate and do our own thing.

Now we have MMA onlyists who think all traditional martial arts sucks especially Taekwondo bad mouthing our martial art. I try my best to defend Taekwondo as a true fighting art that is not only good for self defense, but capable in MMA competition. But to do it honestly I have to also criticize all mcdojang groups and even the wrong things I see the Kukkiwon do from time to time. This blog does not only attack the ITF. In fact ITF posts are not the majority of what I post on my blog. I spend more time criticizing other mcdojang organizations. I also openly criticize the Kukkiwon when it does things I think are ridicuous. Especially Taekwondo dancing and other nonsense. I have always wanted to promote Taekwondo as a martial art, a real fighting system that we can be proud of training in without feeling embarrassed to admit it. Mcdojangism needs to stop. I did not spend over 20 years of my life wasting my time in a dance style or something that cannot save my life if it is threatened. I trained hard in Taekwondo fighting to stand up against bullies and other types of threats. Kukki-Taekwondo has only made me strong both physically and mentally. It works! It is a true martial art. A true fighting art.

With that being said, this is what I believe about General Choi. Take it or leave it!

General Choi was one of the founders of Taekwondo. He was very influential in the early stages especially on the name of Taekwondo. It is debatable if he came up with the name by himself or he simply used a suggested name by one of his associates who brought it up. No matter, he is the one who promoted the name Taekwondo and if it was not for this we would not be training in a martial art with this name. The KTA changed the name from Taekwondo to Tae Soo Do and General Choi influenced them to change it back. I thank him for this as Taekwondo is the best name for our martial art. On the other hand Choi later emphasized the name has to be spelled in English as “Taekwon-Do” which has no grammatical purpose and has nothing to do with original Korean language. Hangul has no hyphens and it is not necessary to translate into English. He changed the spelling to simply differentiate his style as something other than what the KTA and Kukkiwon were doing.

General Choi deserves credit where it is due and he deserves acknowledgement as a historic Taekwondo figure. He heavily promoted kwan unification with other founders and wanted to promote a truly Korean martial art. That is the only respect I can give him.

General Choi had the intention of what the Kukkiwon says is “a power man.” He wanted full control with no question of the KTA. This is why the KTA masters asked him to resign and forced him to step down. He had the attitude of a dictator within the KTA and had a huge ego. The other kwan leaders did not like this nor should they have.

General Choi did sympathize with Juche philosophy (which is North Korean communism) as he named a form with that name. He moved to North Korea and died there. He is buried there and given high honor by North Korea. I think this is wrong and the ITF should openly declare what Kim Jung Eun is doing is wrong. Because of the Kim dynasty millions of North Koreans starved to death and many South Koreans were murdered and many soldiers both South Korean and Americans died fighting this evil. Now we have constant nuclear threats by a crazed lunatic in North Korea, and the ITF simply wants to be diplomatic and kind to them and allow North Korean ITF to come to various countries (including USA) to do demonstrations. Screw that! How can ITF justify Choi going to North Korea to teach them martial arts, essentially teaching their soldiers how to fight better which will in turn be used to kill defectors in North Korea, and South Korean and US soldiers if there is another fight. How is this okay? Explain it Jasmine Choi and explain it ITF! Was it really to unify both Korea’s in peace by teaching them killing techniques? How so? How is this a peace mission and not a slight at South Korea?

General Choi was a 2 star general when he was president of KTA but he was not a martial arts master. There is no evidence to support he had a master rank in Japanese Karate under Funikoshi. The only rank people can argue for is up to 2nd dan, yet there is not sufficient evidence to support he has a black belt when he was trying to run the KTA. The official Kukkiwon stance that I learned while in Korea taking their course is that Choi was in fact not actually a black belt and instead self trained without a dojo. He was given an honorary 4th dan black belt by Duk Sung Son of the Chungdokwan. That means he was given an honorary rank and not a skilled and tested rank through an actual promotion test. Duk Sung Son later recanted that and openly wrote in a news paper that he revoked Choi’s 4th dan because he was upset at Choi’s attitude and Choi literally demanded he be given a 5th dan rank. So Choi was not happy with honorary 4th dan and demanded even more rank. That is ego. So as he started the ITF he had no real rank by a legitimate grandmaster to fall back on such as Funikoshi like other founders of Taekwondo. Most of the other founders of Taekwondo who are usually ignored by ITF members when giving credit to people actually were legitimate martial arts masters and had 4th and 5th degree black belts. Some also studied for may years Chinese martial arts and were masters of Kung Fu styles. Choi did not have such skills or any ranks. Choi came up with a name, but skill and technique-wise he did not create Taekwondo.

ITF is not the only true organization of Taekwondo. It is simply an organization of another style of martial arts apart from Korea. The Korean government recognizes Kukki-Taekwondo as their national martial art much like Japan’s government officially recognized Japanese Karate such as Shotokan and others as official Japanese martial arts. Black belts have always been recognized and affirmed by the government of the country the martial arts were founded in. Going back to Japanese Karate all the way to Korean Taekwondo, the black belt certifications have always been government recognized. It is a very important thing and the KTA was (and Kukkiwon now is) officially recognized by the Korean government. ITF is not. ITF is recognized by Canada’s government making it a Canadian organization. Later North Korea recognizes it.

I do not think Choi completely sucked at martial arts. Sure he had skills but he was not good enough to found a martial art style when he did. The ITF does have some legitimate martial arts techniques such as basic kicks and punches etc. but I do not think their forms were put together well and Choi creating the sine-wave shows he really did not understand proper physics or actual combat very well. The other masters of various kwans actually were real fighters and knew combat. Even so I personally do practice some ITF forms such as Hwa Rang and a few others I like. I also understand that the KTA in early promotion tests accepted a couple of Choi’s tul as testable material for rank. Historic Taekwondo forms are always something I am interested in learning.

ITF does have some good fighters. For instace Coner McGregor has an ITF background and is a black belt and uses ITF style Taekwon-Do techniques in the UFC. Many of the techniques are also similar to Kukki-Taekwondo techniques. So I may not personally like the ITF but I do not deny some of their people are good at fighting or that some of their techniques can work. I have always maintained this position ever since I started this blog. Yet, Kukki/WTF has had people like Anderson Silva (one of the best fighters of all time in MMA) with training history and black belt ranks.

I do not think Taekwondo needs to be ecumenical and support all of the organizations. I think separation is best. ITF can do its own thing and stay out of our business and we can do the same to them. But they should stop acting like they are the sole truth of Taekwondo and should only claim they are their own style.

I will not support ITF because of its historic ties to North Korea and Juche communism. My article has all the information on that and anyone can read it.

If the ITF and people like Jasmine Choi can only name call, ridicule, straw man, and use various other logical fallacies to argue their case then that is pathetic and only shows ITF acts like a cult and needs to chill out. If it wasn’t for her being related to General Choi she would be just another woman who used to train as a teenager. There are many people like that. Her being related to General Choi does not prove her correct or true. She needs to argue logically and politely with me if she wants to debate something. That goes for all ITF people who disagree with me. Don’t be a hypocrite and say I am disrespectful therefore I am not a true Taekwondo master yet do the same thing to me while claiming to be an important Taekwondo figure.

My blog may be extremely critical about the ITF (something I never hide), but it is also very critical of things that the Kukkiwon does and WTF and other groups as well. I do not refrain from expressing my opinion about Taekwondo and martial arts no matter my allegiance. I am Kukki-Taekwondo and ranked as a master and proud of it. I fully believe Kukkiwon is the true Korean Taekwondo organization, but yet I will not refrain from often criticizing them for things I don’t agree with that they do (and there are plenty!).

The ITF has yet to prove me wrong about my claims on General Choi’s communist sympathy.

Again, I will declare General Choi Hong Hi, 2 star general, first president of the KTA and “namer” of the martial art of Taekwondo, deserves credit as one of the founders of Taekwondo and promotion of Korean martial arts. But that is all. Nothing else he did benefited our martial art but instead himself and the ITF.

 

Fighting Is Imperative To Taekwondo Training

       *Authored by White Dragon. 

        If you claim to be a Martial Artist and you don’t fight then you really know nothing of the Martial Arts. This holds true for Taekwondo. You will know nothing of Taekwondo unless you fight. Regardless of physical ability (possibly handicaps, injuries, mental challenges etc.) a student must train to fight the best he can. By fighting, it does not mean you must fight in a tournament, or in a cage fight, or some kickboxing event only. No, by fighting, it simply means at least sparring in your dojang and sometimes going hard on one another. Another way to fight is outside of the dojang. If someone attacks you then you fight them. If no one attacks you then you could provoke them into fighting you so you can try out your techniques, but that really is not a good goal to have, for the essence of self-defense is to only fight back when attacked. Going out looking for a fight is immoral and against the principles of Taekwondo’s martial philosophy. Nonetheless, a Taekwondoin must fight if he wants to prove he knows anything about Taekwondo. This can easily be done in a gym environment supervised by a qualified instructor.

        It is a myth that for one to prove he is black belt quality he has to fight in an MMA cage, or Kickboxing ring for sport fighting. You can still be a decent fighter without competing. An example of this reality is when author Sam Sheridan (2o10) paid a visit to Renzo Gracie’s (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu master) gym in New York and met John Danaher “New Zealand John.”  Danaher is Renzo Gracie’s top Professor (Instructor) and a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu genius (Sheridan, p. 235). He has never competed! He had a childhood surgery go wrong on his knee so he does not compete but is excellent in knowledge and physical abilities in the gym (Sheridan, p. 236). He is so respected that even Georges St. Pierre took private lessons from him and many other top names in MMA. The point being, even though he does not train to fight in competitions he is still a good fighter. You can be a fighter even if you do not compete.

        The meaning of being a fighter does not necessarily mean you practice combat sports and are a paid professional fighter. The word fighter simply means “a person with the will and disposition to fight, struggle, and resist.” A Taekwondo fighter is simply that same kind of person with such a will and disposition who trains in Taekwondo. It should be acknowledged that any true Taekwondo black belt should, thus, be a Taekwondo fighter whether or not they participate in combat sports. Also whether or not they are soldiers in the military. Sport fighters and soldiers are fighters, but not all fighters are sport competitors or in the military. All true Martial Artists train to be ready in case there is a need to fight; whether or not they plan to fight in the ring or in honorable duty calls to defend one’s family, friends, and personal interests. Hopefully, all Taekwondo fighters embrace the 5 tenets of Taekwondo and will fight for what is good and not selfish ambition.

        There is no excuse not to spar in your school. At first sparring can seem scary, but over time confidence can be built through contact training drills that build up over time to harder connecting techniques. This can be from defensive drills where you allow yourself to get hit either on your body or padded gear; and also within sparring you can start out light contact with realistic techniques and over time develop into a fearless full contact fighter. Every Taekwondo fighter should experience full contact sparring at some point in their training history, at least in a controlled environment in the dojang under the safety of instructors watching. Hopefully the Taekwondo fighter makes this a reoccurring practice throughout his training life in order to keep skills up. Gradually, the Taekwondoin soon enough will develop self confidence and be able to control his fear.

        Many dojangs today over emphasize self confidence for emotional security and self esteem while spending hardly any time on physical self confidence. If people are built up to believe in themselves without proving it physically they are going to be in a lot of trouble as they will have a false sense of security. Overconfidence destroys Martial Artists. Grandmaster Hee Il Cho explains that “physical confidence can only be gained by learning how to fight and knowing how to take care of yourself in a real situation” (p. 52). That means not simply doing sport sparring for a tournament rules format, but free sparring with a wide variety of target areas and self defense techniques. Cho also expresses, “Fighting is imperative in the martial arts. Without fighting, you’re not understanding total and complete martial arts, because until you get physically hit by someone, you won’t know if something works” (p. 52). In the Martial Arts it is expected you will get bumped and bruised and even bloodied. This is just a fact and it is something to expect and fight through. Your instructor should help you with mental strength and pain tolerance. This is not to say it’s okay to be injured, it is not. A real Taekwondo instructor watches for the safety of his students and helps them avoid real injuries. Safety gear is important to start off with and can gradually thin out over time, and if one chooses to spar without gear that is up to them with a partner of mutual understanding and common sense. But bumps and bruises and even blood should be expected! Students must learn to get over it and realize it only makes them stronger when they heal up.

        Training for tournament fighting is a good start for any Taekwondo student wanting a fight experience with some benefits of extra safety. But it should not be the main goal of the overall fighting technique that student will know in his Taekwondo life. Becoming a tournament champion and earning trophies and medals in a point fight system can bread unnecessary arrogance and embellished claims of skill if one is not careful, nor has an instructor there to make him check himself. The development of the W.T.F.  has been a blessing and a curse for the art of Taekwondo. On one hand it brought world-wide awareness of Taekwondo and has received acknowledgment in many countries and governments and within international organizations such as the IOC. This has been great for the spread of Taekwondo, but the curse in all of this is that the W.T.F. explicitly only represents sport sparring and sport poomsae competition. They exist solely to promote the tournament sport with all of its rules and regulations and all of its limitations for real world combat. They do not care about anything else. This has caused so many Taekwondo masters to only care about their students winning sport fighting, point tournaments and poomsae competitions. They have a total lack of focus for open rules competitions such as Kickboxing and MMA, as well as an unconcern for real world self defense.

        If Taekwondo is realistically going to keep up with the times and develop further in the Martial Arts world this overemphasis on sport has got to stop. Sport is great, but not an overemphasis on it. If the Kukkiwon is going to be the leader in Taekwondo development and advancement then they should start developing fighters for other modes of combat sports such as Kickboxing, Knockdown style, and MMA. Why not create a Kukkiwon Fight Team and train them for such events? Taekwondo is, first and foremost, a fighting art. Such competitions will only allow Taekwondo to prove itself in more combative avenues which will increase its credibility. This will only cause people to notice effective techniques that could transfer over to self defense.

        Taekwondo also is in general, a fighting art for self defense. The republic of Korea teaches it’s soldiers Taekwondo, and the Martial Art has been used in the Vietnam War to kill the enemies by ROK Marines. Morgan (1992) concurs,

“As anyone who has faced the army of the Republic of Korea can testify, Taekwondo can be a devastating method of unarmed fighting. But to learn true combat, students must practice without the constraints of tournament rules.” (p. 53)

        To understand fully the art of Taekwondo, the practitioner must spend quality time in sparring; not just for tournaments but also for real life situations targeting all over the body from leg kicks, face punches, knees, and elbows. This can be done in a safe environment and there is no excuse not to spend significant time training in such a way to help the Taekwondo fighter become adequate with the full range of Taekwondo techniques. You cannot simply practice for spin kick tricks, poomsae competitions and demonstrations, or board breaking. One especially should avoid wasting time on “Taekwondo-dance” and all of the other silly antics that people have created to impress ignorant masses of pop-culture followers who have no concern for the warrior way or self defense, and just enjoy showing off and dancing. The Taekwondo student must  practice using Taekwondo for what it was originally intended for, which is fighting.

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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. 

Works Cited

        Cho, H.I. (1988). The Complete Black Belt Hyung W.T.F. Hee Il Cho: Los Angeles, CA.

        Morgan, F.E. (1992). Living The Martial Way. Barricade Books, Inc.: Fort Lee, NJ.

        Sheridan, S. (2010). A Fighter’s Mind. Atlantic Monthly Press: New York, NY.