Posts Tagged ‘WTF’

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!

 

 

 

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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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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.

The President Of The Kukkiwon Was Arrested Last Night

        President Oh Hyun Deuk of the Kukkiwon was arrested last night on corruption charges. Read about it here at the Korea Herald. The allegations of obstruction of business and violation of political funding law were the charges. So whatever that means.

Here is a Facebook post about it Oh Hyun Deuk arrested.

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It does not surprise me that something like this would happen. The Kukkiwon as always had a lot of corruption in it’s ranks and it always made me angry. I really hope the Kukkiwon reforms and focuses on actual martial arts and developing Taekwondo as a fighting art and only hiring 9th dan black belts who are legitimate martial arts grandmasters to be presidents of the Kukkiwon.

Oh Hyun Deuk was the president when I was doing my Foreign Master Instructor certification in Korea at the Kukkiwon in 2016. He gave us a big speech about promoting Kukki-Taekwondo. Anyway, whatever.

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.

 

 

 

Seems Like Everyone Is Being Accused Of Sexual Misconduct, Steven Lopez

        It is so popular now for women to accuse men in the spotlight or in positions of power of sexual harassment, molestation, and rape. I found this on Youtube the other day that was posted a month ago. Apparently, women are accusing Olympic Taekwondo star Steven Lopez of rape and molestation. Bill Cospy type of stuff. Serious allegations.

Where is the proof? Simply accusing someone does not prove anything. I will need hard evidence to believe it. Steven Lopez is a ladies man and I am sure he broke a few hearts along the way, but that does not equal rape. I think Steven Lopez is boring and I am not a fan of his Olympic WTF Taekwondo stardom but he has does a lot for sport Taekwondo and will be in the hall of fame of martial arts for his accomplishments. But is he a rapist?

Honestly, a lot of allegations in the media are getting out of hand. You can destroy a persons reputation just by lying about sexual issues. What do you all think? Is Steven Lopez guilty?
Do you know of other Taekwondo or martial arts people who were involved in inappropriate sexual relations with people? It of course happens a lot where wicked people like pedophiles teach Karate or Taekwondo and find a way to be close to children, or some instructors have raped before. Do you have any stories? What should martial arts masters, athletes, and professionals do about this issue? Comment below.

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.

 

 

Mudo Is Why I Train

        I got into martial arts in order to learn how to fight. I was bothered by a bully who came to my neighborhood and would call me out to fight and threaten to beat me up every time he came on my street. It terrified me. When I was 13 I started training in Taekwondo because I thought it was the most effective way since is focused on kicks as well as punches and not only punches, but some throwing and joint locks. I saw an advertisement explaining the differences between Taekwondo, Hapkido, and Judo. I thought the description of Taekwondo seemed to explain that it had everything Hapkido and Judo had plus kicking. Of course when I trained over the years I know it may have everything, but the focus is different. I thought the kicks would help me fight better and I saw many movies with awesome kicks in fight scenes and figured it was the way to go. Eventually I am where I am today an I still believe that Taekwondo has enough techniques and concepts for self defense, with it’s dynamic kicks that make it a deadly martial art. The real masters will train in everything and not leave any part out. This includes Mudo.

So many schools of Taekwondo leave out Mudo or Musul. Mudo is the Korean transliteration of Budo, which is the Japanese term for “Way of War, martial way, or way of the warrior.” Musul means “martial arts techniques.” Both of these terms focus on a warlike, military, and fighting aspect. Musul represents physical study of fighting techniques and how to defeat enemies. Mudo has to do with the internal struggle and war against one’s own ego. This helps a fighter become better focused and ready to fight and be a better person. It also has to do with martial arts morality and training for pure purposes and not evil.

There are so many gyms/school, or demo teams etc. in Taekwondo that use the term mudo in their name. They focus on musical forms, gymnastics, asthetic poomsae practice (not application: Bunhae), and sport sparring only for Olympics. Nothing they do has to do with war, or the art of actual fighting. It is very frustrating to me that Taekwondo has lost true mudo and instead has a superficial focus. If they do use self defense (hoshinsool: escaping from grabs and avoiding attacks and countering) it is a very, very shallow focus and weak. I really disagree with this. Taekwondo should be fun and be friendly, but there has to be a seriousness in it like any true martial art. When I see videos of Okinawan masters of Karate and Japanese Karate dojos, or even Kung Fu gyms in China I see their intensity, focus, and serious dedication to warrior skills. They have the intention to kill if necessary and perfect techniques to make them good at fighting. I really feel jealous of these gyms and look at how modern Taekwondo has become lost to these concepts.

Why is it that Taekwondo seminars or events have to do with guys in suits, classrooms with desks, Taekwondo-dance demonstrations, music and lights, and going over poomsae without application study? Why? We all know the answer is money, politics, and gaining popularity with masses of a politically correct culture that thinks “violence is never the answer.”

I may never be a world class fighter or athletes, but I can be the best I can be. That is mudo. To fight hard within yourself, accepting the limitations of your body but persevering anyway and pushing yourself. You don’t train to show off and impress, you train to defend your life. People have injuries and limitations that others do not. We are all on different levels. But we strive not to win medals, but to fight ourselves and remain confident regardless of personal issues and limitations. We want to perfect our art and train our bodies to perform it the best way we can. We are mediating on our martial art when we train. I really believe we need alone time and training alone. Going over poomsae with no one around, preferably outside in nature to take in the beauty God created. Dojang training is great but we also need to take the time to be alone as well, or in small groups and perfect self defense together.

When training for demonstrations or performance art such as dancing, the focus is lost. The ego is promoted because one is trained to impress an audience. The same for sport Taekwondo sparring. Winning medals is a great honor but to make it your entire Taekwondo focus is no mudo. One such as this is lacking in the internal and has only a superficial understanding of Taekwondo. Many win world championships at the expense of perfecting poomsae, hoshinsool, and real fighting. One could be a 5th dan master and still not know how to throw a proper jab, or hook punch and not know how to deal with a clinch or takedown as well. Or a realistic understanding of self defense.

My goal with White Dragon Dojang is to promote Taekwondo in it’s full martial art style and not neglecting anything. To promote it as a fighting art, to give warrior spirit to my students, and make sure they can fight. I want to fight my own ego as much as it comes up, and instill this thinking in my students to fight their own egos. I think the traditional approach has been lost so much. Also, modern combat adaptation is not being included either. I want Taekwondo to get with the times and promote the traditional hard ways of training other styles do as well as adapt to advances in hand to hand combat and even promote combat sports such as MMA along with Olympic Taekwondo sparring. So many Taekwondo masters, not just Koreans (though many), think they don’t need MMA, or MMA is immoral. Or teaching to fight for real is pointless. I don’t think the old masters of the 40’s and 50’s thought this way. It was life or death back then. MMA and combatives training is not just for the military or gangsters that many Koreans think. They used to think Taekwondo was for gangsters. Now it is accepted in society by being kid friendly etc. Taekwondo should include serious fighters and every black belt should have a basic understanding of how to defend themselves in a confrontation (or street fight). Taekwondo needs to be feared again.

I hope that what I do with my teaching and philosophy will keep martial arts morality and righteousness in training as well as not be afraid to train realistic combat with Taekwondo. I hope that what I do, my small part in the martial world, will gain respect to Taekwondo as a true martial art, a true fighting art. Keep mudo, and musul in Taekwondo!

Taekwondo attitude was much different back then