Posts Tagged ‘shaolin’

Video Analysis Of Kung Fu Influence On Taekwondo 

        It is true that there is a slight Kung Fu influence on Taekwondo when it comes to self defense and certain movements. I have found a couple of Eagle Claw style, Kung Fu forms videos that show a few similar movements found in Taekwondo, high black belt level forms.

Here is a video showing Eagle Claw’s form called Kung Lek Keun which is translated “Power Fist.” Just watch the beginning motion as he starts. He raises his arms upward and then moves his elbows straight down hard.

That motion is the same move found in the Taekwondo form called Sipjin which is translated “10.”

The beginning motion in this form is called a “bull block” but it is done with tension and slow movement.

Then is uses explosive power downward. A bull block itself blocks simultaneous, sideways strikes coming at you at a high level toward your head. This is different from simple upward blocks. But in this form this movement is actually an escape from someone holding you from behind. The fists come up through the arms and the elbows jam and pull down on the attacker enabling you space to escape.

Another Eagle Claw form is called Jeet Kuen which is translated as “Quick Fist.” Again, just watch the beginning motion. He raises his arms in a circular motion outward and comes up with a double hand strike to the chin area. His palms are open and fingers are jabbing the attacker’s throat or underneath the chin.

It is similar to the Taekwondo form called Cheonkwon which is translated as “Heaven’s Great Might.”

The beginning motion in this form has the same circular direction of the arms moving and an upward double hand strike. The only difference is the Taekwondo form goes into a “tiger stance” with a double, middle knuckle-fist strike upwards to the chin level instead of finger jabs. This motion is actually a simultaneous palm block sweeping away a high attack such as a headbutt. If a person has grabbed you and headbutts toward you the 2 palms, you push away his forehead, and a counter with 2 middle knuckle strikes just underneath his chin will knock the attacker out saving you from your head and nose getting bashed by his forehead. This motion is called a “Spring Punch.”

What is interesting is that the Taekwondo form Cheonkwon has the idea of “great sky” such as “watching an eagle fly high in the sky” and the emotions felt when a man looks at how great and high the sky is. It is very interesting how it alludes to a great sky such as seeing an eagle fly so high which is reminiscent to Eagle Claw. The very beginning of the form has the palms extended out sideways on both sides which has the meaning of “the bird expanding its wings.” Much like an eagle expands it wings and stretches them out as it launches off a cliff to fly.

There are also similarities with the circular palm blocking followed by a punch in Cheonkwon and some movements the Eagle Claw form showed. Another big movement that the Eagle Claw stylist shows is the butterfly kick which is the same kind of kick seen near the end of Cheonkwon with the tornado-like spin and kicking the palm of the hand in the air.

This is not to say that the exact Kung Fu style of Eagle Claw influenced Taekwondo directly. That is an overstatement. What this comparison shows is that Kung Fu, as in Chinese martial arts concepts themselves, are apparent within Taekwondo. Martial arts traditions like Taekwondo have techniques that can be traced back to ancient times. Similar concepts passed along through the ages that appear in various martial arts throughout Asia. This is something to be proud of as a Taekwondo fighter.