Posts Tagged ‘WT’

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:
Image result for chodanbo

Related image

Image result for chodanbo

Image result for black belt white stripe taekwondo

But typically most schools use this color scheme as the guy on the left:

Image result for rank chodanbo

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

kukkiwon_kr

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!

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.