Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 46
  1. #1
    Junior Member Kyuusaku's Avatar
    Name
    Edward Cha
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Japan
    Age
    36
    Posts
    74

    Default Chinese influence in Tangsoodo

    Hello,

    I was wondering if anyone here knows about the Chinese influence in Moodukkwan Tangsoodo (Soobakdo). In particular, the forms Sorimjangkwon (Shaolin Changquan), Taegukkwon (Taijiquan), and Damtoisipeero (Tantui Shierlu) that Hwang Kee is said to have learned/taught are interesting to me, partially because they were fairly well-taught in the time that Hwang lived in Manchuria.

    Does anyone here know these forms here? Could you compare these forms with Chinese versions of them? Tantui Shierlu in particular is a pretty specific name (although there are still many versions).

    The Tangsoodo that I practiced when younger also did not show as much Chinese influence as one might expect - I have heard very few stories of Hwang Kee using his art, and I wonder what he used of what he learned the most.

    If anyone can help me out, I would be very grateful.

    Edward Cha

  2. #2
    cantankerous curmudgeon sean_stonehart's Avatar
    Name
    Sean Stonehart
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Atlanta, Ga US
    Martial Art
    Choy Lee Fut, Lama Pai
    Age
    44
    Posts
    2,525
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Edward... I didn't study TSD, but I did study MDK TKD in the past. I learned the Pyong ahn (Pinan) katas straight from the Japanese/Okinawan influence on the art. I also learned Bassai (dai), Kanku (dai), Empi, & Jitte as advanced kata.

    One of my my Shaolin students is a black belt in TSD & the kata I've seen him practicing his TSD stuff & he does the same forms I did. I've seen little to no Chinese flavor in what he's doing. Maybe he just hasn't reached that level yet. I dunno. I'd really like to see how Chang Quan & Tantui changed from originally taught to current version too.
    Message: Due to the ongoing Recession, God has decided the light at the end of the tunnel will be shut off due to power costs. That is all.

  3. #3
    Banned - Membership Revoked
    Name
    Bruce W Sims
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Lindenhurst, Illinois
    Martial Art
    Hapkido
    Age
    63
    Posts
    76

    lightbulb2

    Dear Edward and Sean:

    There are quite a few resources which one can use for comparing and contrasting the various interpretations of Chang Quan and Tan Tui both. I think its important to consider that this material has been reorganized a number of times, though, and the simple inclusion of a hyung which purports to capture the essence of what are actually arts in their own right seems to suggest to me some lack of appreciation of what the person was trying to do.

    For instance, Tan Tui 12 (aka: "springy legs") is often attributed to the Chinese Muslim culture from the early Ming dynasty. The hyung is actually a training drill and has been modfied about as many times as it has been adopted. Northern Shaolin, Long Fist, Praying Mantis, White Crane and many other arts have adopted this drill and a boxing tradition has grown up around the drill in its own right. To simply say that one will include a "Tan Tui" hyung in a particular art does not say much for the art other than that it will scarf-up what ever boxing traditions will add credence to the curriculum.

    The same goes for Chang Quan. The original boxing tradition of Long Fist is associated with the Song Emperor Taizu whose 32 methods have been recombined by just about every boxing tradition all the way down to Karate. In another incarnation those same boxing methods were adopted through Gen Qi-s boxing methods for his troops in the Ming dynasty and heavily influenced the Kwon Bup chapter of the Mu Yei ToBo Tong Ji. In yet another incarnation those same techniques went another direction and formed the basis for Chen Style Tai Chi Chuan.

    So what am I trying to say here? Something like this. Simply adopting a hyung of Chinese origins into an art does not necessarily mean that the intentions, biomechanics and applications are recognized and regarded as they might be. I practice Yon MU Kwan Hapkido and GM Myung has developed hyung that reflect a distinctly Japanese/TKD heritage. What would it mean if I suddenly added a couple of hyung of Chinese derivation such as the Kee Cho Hyung of Kuk Sul Won? Wouldn't it be a little like mixing slow-pitch Softball and Cricket rules? FWIW.

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce

  4. #4
    Junior Member Kyuusaku's Avatar
    Name
    Edward Cha
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Japan
    Age
    36
    Posts
    74

    Default

    Bruce and Sean:

    I practiced Tangsoodo for a few years - I also found that the flavor was not Chinese at all, although it was different from the 'Olympic Taekwondo' that was getting popular at the time: you know, less bouncing, some special stances, etc.

    The forms that I and more advanced students learned were of Japanese (karate) origin - however, I have read of the existence of Janggwon and Taegukgwon forms, although they seem to be taught veeery late in the curriculum. I found stories of Hwang Kee learning these, as well as Damtoi, on the internet.

    Hwang Kee started his art in a very different way from the other Kongsoo and Dangsoo people back then, and there always seemed to be a definite Chinese influence - but I have yet to actually see any.

    Bruce, I don't see the characteristics of Tantui or Changquan or Taijiquan in Tangsoodo. However, Hwang Kee does seem to have learned these forms early in his martial arts career - perhaps before anything else - so they would seem to have a strong influence on what his art became. I have never seen him perform, so I cannot say, but some teachers also do teach differently from what they practice.

    In any case, the existence of these Chinese forms in Tangsoodo is very interesting, whether or not their 'true' characteristics exist in Tangsoodo or not. I also wonder about the source of these forms - my current guess is Nanjing. I also do not doubt that Hwang's Chinese teacher did not teach Hwang as openly as his Chinese students (the time period was the time period).

    There are many, many versions of Changquan (in China). There are many, many versions of Tantui, almost always put in a set with Changquan. I'm not looking to compare the Chinese versions of these - I would like to know more about the Moodukkwan versions.

    I have never found a resource which has these forms (of the Moodukkwan) included, so if anyone can help me out, I would be very happy. (If someone knows about other Chinese influenced forms in Tangsoodo, that would be interesting, too. For example, what is the origin of Shipsoo? ...and so on.)

    Edward Cha

  5. #5
    Banned - Membership Revoked
    Name
    Bruce W Sims
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Lindenhurst, Illinois
    Martial Art
    Hapkido
    Age
    63
    Posts
    76

    lightbulb2

    Dear Ed:

    ".....I have never found a resource which has these forms (of the Moodukkwan) included, so if anyone can help me out, I would be very happy. (If someone knows about other Chinese influenced forms in Tangsoodo, that would be interesting, too. For example, what is the origin of Shipsoo? ...and so on.)....."

    Just so what I am about to say is not misconstrued, I am not a Tang Soo Do stylist. I teach, study and research Hapkido arts primarily, though I have an interest in a number of Korean arts as they might relate to Hapkido in various ways. I was kind of hoping that actual TSD practitioners would wade in to help you out as I have found that the fastest way to get into trouble is to pretend to know something regarding a subject one actually knows little about. That said please take what I am about to say as coming from more of a research point of view.

    First off, I would suggest getting a copy of Hwang Kees' book, TANG SOO DO, and read up on his take on what he intended to accomplish with the art he constructed. If you have bucks to burn there are used copies going for a couple hundred dollars on various rare book venues on the Internet. For myself, I recently contacted my public library and have a copy coming on inter-library-loan. According to their search there are some 20 copies of Hwang Kees' 1978 edition. That should give you a good idea of what he was trying to accomplish.

    Next up, about those Karate kata. I have read a number of curriculum and the names used for the kata (and I am purposely using the Japanese term) are always the Okinawan name, but the execution is always the Japanese execution. It is important to remember that what the TSD people call "Naifanchi" was renamed "Tekki" by Funakoshi. It was also revamped to be more readily taught to kids in the Japanese educational system and to reduce the combative aspect of the kata. I say this because if you are interested in the Chinese influences on Korean martial arts in general and TSD in particular you will undoubtedly want to to do two things. A.) Study/Compare the Okinawan versions of the kata rather than the Japanese and B.) restrict yourself to the pre-1900 kata such as CHINTO, KUSHANKU and so forth. Pay special attention to the supposed relationships between Chinese boxing traditions common to Fukien province (White Crane, Tiger, Dragon) and compare and contrast the biomechanics of these styles as they relate to the Okinawan Te traditions.

    Next, since you are interested in TAN TUI you will want to pick-up on some resources for this. Be prepared for variance. Dr. Yang, Jwing-ming has a video tape through his organization, the YMAA, called SHAOLIN LONG FIST KUNG FU. Please remember that Dr. Yang is, at heart a White Crane stylist and a product of Wushu training all his life and this will flavor his execution. By comparison Wing Lam Enterprises has a similar tape by --- who else-- Sifu Wing Lam. Same form and a bit different spin on it. If you are more of a book person, Douglas H Y Hsieh has written a skinny book called THE ESSENCE OF THE NORTHERN FISTS (Meadea Ent., 1983) which includes HIS take on Tan Tui and may be still available through McLisa Enterprises out of Honolulu. I also have a wall poster of the Tan Tui 12 but can't recall where I purchased that from except it was out of California.

    Finally there is the matter of Chang Chuan or Long Fist. This is where things get REALLY messy. Chang Chuan is not a hyung or kata, but like Tan Tui is a style of boxing with many variations and permutations in its own right. There is not single Long Fist form. There is, however, a tradition of Long Fist relating to Korean MA that I think I mentioned in a previous post. Gen. Qi, Jihuang borrowed heavily from the 32 techniques of Taizu Long Fist Boxing to produce the 32 techniques found in his "Boxing Canon" which is chapter 14, I think, in my copy of JIN XIAO SHIN SHU. The MU YEI TOBO TONG JI borrowed heavily from General Qi's manual, in turn, but did not use his chapter on Boxing as such. Rather the Kwon Bup ("boxing method") was a rearrangment of a number of Gen. Qi's boxing techniques into two-man drills. The problem was that the techniques are arranged so that the outcome of the encounter was simply that one technique effectively cancelled-out the other. Most people don't want to just negate an attack but also want to come out on top. The method fell into disfavor. However, if you are interested in examining the original 32 techniques the tradition was maintained (to some or greater extent) in the "Cannon Fist" form of the Chen Tai Chi tradition. There is a tape available through the International Chen Style Taijiquan Association out of NY and Penn and done by Ren, Guang-Yi in 1997. Known as Pao Chui I don't remember if the tape has suggested combat applications for the various methods but it would be a start. Once again, if you are a book person, there is always Douglas Wiles' TAI CHI ANCESTORS which has a translation of Gen Qi's original Boxing Canon but trying to make heads or tails of that is not for the faint of heart. Personally I would wait until I had seen the form done before I would start analyzing it for comparative biomechanics to Korean methods.

    Well, thats about it. I know this is long but perhaps this will give you some guidance and move you closer to whatever your goals are.

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce

  6. #6
    Junior Member Kyuusaku's Avatar
    Name
    Edward Cha
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Japan
    Age
    36
    Posts
    74

    Smile

    Dear Bruce,

    Thank you for your kind advice.

    Actually, I think I have read the Tangsoodo book already (over and over) in my old Tangsoodo years (is it the one with a black cover on it)? It is a very good book - lots of history, technique, forms; unfortunately, it covers the main forms before chodan, and only briefly names some advanced forms (there may be a book for advanced practitioners within the organization).

    The book includes the entire Mooyedobotongji, actually (photos of each page) - very interesting. Well, it is difficult to read, but still, there are pictures!

    Great book, really - I think that you had to be a chodan to buy it, or something like that back then. Strange that you can obtain it through inter-library loan!

    I wish that there were some pictures or photos of some of the Chinese-influenced forms that he learned in the book. Unfortunately, there were not.

    As for the karate kata... weeell, that's a difficult thing to do, so I'm not sure I would touch that right now. I know stuff about Fukian White Crane and so on, but I've never actually SEEN them, so I cannot begin to make judgements on these right now. I also don't know if I will have the chance to see any of these arts soon (not to mention Okinawan karate)...

    Anyway, there are quite a few sources for Chinese versions of Tantui or Changquan... but not so many for Hwang Kee's versions.

    One thing about Koreans learning Chinese martial arts in the past century was that they always did not specify the name of the art - 'Quanfa' doesn't really cut it. I wonder what arts they did learn, and what entered the Korean martial art 'continuum.'

    By the way, Hapkido is interesting to me as well. Unfortunately, I have never seen it performed! (Except by Taekwondo practitioners and on tape.) Do you know about the origins of the kicking techniques of Hapkido? For example, comparing them with the techniques of the remaining Taekkyon practitioners in Korea, are they similar?

    Edward Cha

  7. #7
    Senior Member kodanjaclay's Avatar
    Name
    Frank Clay
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Chicagoland
    Martial Art
    Korean Mudo
    Age
    43
    Posts
    904

    Default

    Good info Bruce. I used to have the original English book by Hwang Kee; however, it disappeared after I loaned it to a student. (I'll bet you can tell how pleased I am..)

    I disagree about Chinese influences in TangSooDo. The art, whcih incidentally was not founded by Hwang Kee (the MDK opened in 1947 and the ChungDoKwan who first used the name opened in 1944 - still during the occupation), perhaps had a Chinese influence on its original Okinawa-te form. Also, Hwang Kee studied from Funakoshi's text. So as far as I am concerned, what he did as TangSooDo was basically Shotokan. Yi, Won Kuk intimated before his death that his art was Okinawa-te. I think that if you can find an old style CDK school, you may have some better luck. Song, Duk Son still teaches in NY (he was the second president of the CDK). Interestingly enough he does not teach the Kicho hyung he uses the Kuk Mu. I'd be interested in knowing if these are the Fukyu Kata personall, but I lack the training in Okinawa-te to be able to tell.

    Tan Tui is a muslim Kung Fu system. Chan Ch'uan is a very common form, and also is a martial arts system. An interesting note: many forms are used by the same school and share the same name. My finacee practices Yow Jing Pai and has three versions of Chan Ch'uan whereas I'm a Black Tiger stylist and I only have one. In the same vein, she has 2 Moi Fah and I don't have any. We are both taught by the same Sifu. In Chinese arts there doesn't tend to be such a straight forward curriculum. Those arts tend to have things assigned based on what the Sifu believes the student needs. Two students can learn the same style, but gain different material. That will help to make a comprehensive study of the Chinese side very difficult.
    Frank Clay

  8. #8
    Banned - Membership Revoked
    Name
    Bruce W Sims
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Lindenhurst, Illinois
    Martial Art
    Hapkido
    Age
    63
    Posts
    76

    lightbulb2 And this is where I start to get screwed up.....

    Dear Frank:

    "...... The art, whcih incidentally was not founded by Hwang Kee (the MDK opened in 1947 and the ChungDoKwan who first used the name opened in 1944 - still during the occupation), perhaps had a Chinese influence on its original Okinawa-te form. Also, Hwang Kee studied from Funakoshi's text. So as far as I am concerned, what he did as TangSooDo was basically Shotokan. Yi, Won Kuk intimated before his death that his art was Okinawa-te....."

    And again, this is where I was hoping that folks with some significant background in TSD would step forward with their thoughts. For myself, I simply can't seem to reconcile the mixed messages I seem to hear in this regard. On the one hand I have heard that Hwang Kee was attempting to integrate existing material of Korean practitioners. OK, well and good. There were admittedly a lot of practitioners who trained in Shotokan/Shotokai while in Japan and brought that back. But then there is the matter of his studying the MYTBTJ and including that material as well and I, for myself, don't see that influence in his curriculum--- at least not any of the published curriculums I have encountered so far. Finally, there are the various communities of Chinese MA practitioners including the SHIP PAL GWE, CHANG CHUAN, and so forth whose contributions get a passing nod but never quite seem to get included in Hwang Kees' efforts. And as I mentioned before, I would have thought that if one wanted to include the kata that are found in the TSD curriculum (IE. Bassai, Tekki etc.) one would have reverted to the Okinawa-Te versions rather than use the Japanese. Certainly the Okinawan versions would have been easier to relate to other Chinese influences in Korea. In fact, I have even given some deep consideration to modifying the hyung as taught by GM Myung incorporating the Chinese execution of comparable technique. OF course, that would introduce controversy as far as whether I was technically still teaching traditional Yon Mu Kwan Hapkido.

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce

  9. #9
    Senior Member kodanjaclay's Avatar
    Name
    Frank Clay
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Chicagoland
    Martial Art
    Korean Mudo
    Age
    43
    Posts
    904

    Default

    Bruce,

    <<For myself, I simply can't seem to reconcile the mixed messages I seem to hear in this regard. On the one hand I have heard that Hwang Kee was attempting to integrate existing material of Korean practitioners.>>

    Althought the CDK has played a significantly role in both the formation of TKD and Kukkiwon, I get the feeling that originally they were not that interested in unification. Hwang Kee, as far as I know, did try and unify aspects of Korean mudo, and did gain acceptance from KASA. Unfortunately, he did not have the governmental clout that Maj. Gen. Choi, Hong Hi did, so his results were rather lackluster... probably why there is some tension in some circles today when it comes to TSD/SBD and TKD.

    Major Gen. Choi, was an exponent of the CDK where he received his fourth dan in 1955. The CDK revoked it in 1959 allegedly due to misappropriation of funds and misrepresenting his training and experience. Major Gen Choi was known to have sent high ranking TKD masters on suicide missions (gee, I wonder why) but really did not found anything until he founded the OhDoKwan with Nam, Tae Hi. (Thinking around '59?- not sure of its date) Between TSD and TKD there was a name used TaeSooDo (So No Joo Bang Lee did not create this art) but some say that it was a typo. I rather doubt it as the story goes that Major Gen Choi was furious that HIS name was not selected, TKD.

    At any rate, I supposed there are going to be bits and pieces of the truth missing until exactly the right person finds this or other posts and decideds to give more information.
    Frank Clay

  10. #10
    Junior Member Kyuusaku's Avatar
    Name
    Edward Cha
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Japan
    Age
    36
    Posts
    74

    Default

    Hello, all.

    I never lend my things to people. (About 50% of the time they don't return them, and the other 50% of the time, they return covered with coffee stains or something.)

    I disagree about Yi Won-Guk creating Tangsoodo - 'Tangsoodo' was just a name, along with 'Kongsoodo' to denote, basically, karate. Each Kwan's actual art was different. What we call Tangsoodo now is Moodukkwan's art, so Hwang Kee did found it, in my humble opinion. (Which kwans used which name, though? It's sort of silly, but I want to record such (useless) information...)

    Yi Won-Guk learned from Funakoshi Gichin.

    Hwang Kee's learning is much less clear. The picture I seem to get, after reading his books and practicing his art is:

    1. He learned some martial arts in China.
    2. He learned the Shotokan forms from books.
    3. He may have been a friend of Yamaguchi Gogen.
    4. He studied the Mooyedobotongji.
    5. He probably also exchanged with other Koreans, but he hasn't said much about that.

    Frank:

    Does Song Duk-Son teach Chungdokwan now? What 'banner' is he teaching below? What are the Kukmu hyung? (I haven't heard of them yet.)

    I don't think that Tantui is a muslim Kung Fu system - the muslims just adopted it at some point, it seems. There are also various stories about Tantui's origins, so I don't know if it's so clear. (I read something about this a year ago, but I don't remember it so well.)

    There are many kinds of Changquan - Cha, Hua, Pao, Hong, etc. I'm currently thinking that Hwang Kee's changquan was probably from the Nanking institute of martial arts, but I can't really say that for sure.

    You're right about Chinese arts having less of a straight forward curriculum, but there is also a whole lot less politics and power-fighting, which makes research of Chinese arts easier, I think.

    Uh, why did Choi Hong-Hee send high-ranking Taekwondo masters on suicide missions? That's ... just ... horrible.

    Bruce:

    That should be 'Shippalgi,' not 'Shippalgwe,' right? Shippalgi is an art that was mainly reconstructed from the Mooyedobotonji, using some sort of Chinese arts as a base, it seems (maybe wushu Changquan?).

    I wonder about the Chinese martial art practitioners in China, too - who have a very low profile, it seems. I wonder how traditional their arts are, how active they are, and how much influence they might have had on Korean arts, too.

    Edward Cha

  11. #11
    Senior Member kodanjaclay's Avatar
    Name
    Frank Clay
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Chicagoland
    Martial Art
    Korean Mudo
    Age
    43
    Posts
    904

    Default

    <<I disagree about Yi Won-Guk creating Tangsoodo - 'Tangsoodo' was just a name, along with 'Kongsoodo' to denote, basically, karate>>

    Mr. Cha, I'm sorry you disagree; however, you can not change history. TangSooDo is merely a transliteration of Karate, and Yi, Won Kuk had the first school which opened. Disagreement really is not an open where facts are concerned.

    Grandmaster Song now teaches under the moniker Taekwondo. The Kuk Mu are his beginning forms and I suspect possibly the same as the Fukyu. Also, Yi, Won Kuk nefore passing away himself indicated what he taught was Okinawa-te, not Shotokan.

    <<I don't think that Tantui is a muslim Kung Fu system - the muslims just adopted it at some point, it seems. There are also various stories about Tantui's origins, so I don't know if it's so clear. (I read something about this a year ago, but I don't remember it so well.)>>

    Address this question to Wing Lam Sifu. He is the source of that information. It is on his video regarding... Tan Tui.


    <<You're right about Chinese arts having less of a straight forward curriculum, but there is also a whole lot less politics and power-fighting, which makes research of Chinese arts easier, I think.>>

    Where on earth did you hear this? Are you not familiar with history? Heck there are even paradies about some of the old feuds. Please remember too, that many Chinese will not share their knowledge with anyone who is not Chinese, not even today.

    Edward... what is treaditional? I'd like to leave you a story that John Graden tells:

    "Mama why do we cut the ends off the ham?
    Dear because my mother used to.
    Why?
    Family Tradition.

    She then goes to grandma

    Grandma, why do we cut the ends off the ham?
    Because my mom used to.
    Its a family tradition.

    Then she goes to great grandma

    Nana, why do we cut the ends off the ham?
    Because the ham was too big to fit in my small stove."

    Tell me, do you cut the ends off your ham?
    Frank Clay

  12. #12
    Junior Member Kyuusaku's Avatar
    Name
    Edward Cha
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Japan
    Age
    36
    Posts
    74

    Default

    Hello Frank,

    I'm sorry, what I meant when I said that I disagreed that Yi Won-Guk was the creator of Tangsoodo was more a clarification of definitions more than anything else.

    I'm interested in the Chinese influence in Hwang Kee's art, i.e. Moodukkwan, which he founded. When I say 'Tangsoodo,' I really mean Moodukkwan (I would not say Tangsoodo now in Korea). He called it something else originally, and then later changed its name to Tangsoodo - which is the name we usually use for it in America still. The other kwans, which historically used the name Tangsoodo, we don't usually refer to them that way now.

    As for politics/power-fighting, I feel that Korea has had a lot more of this than China (all in the last century, however). What I mean by this is who has what rank, who is the head of what organization, what organizations exist, who is friends with the president, etc, etc. Do you not feel this? (I wasn't talking about personal/style feuds and fights.)

    Thank you for the descriptions of the Gukmu forms.

    It seems that Yi Won-Guk deliberately chose to use the word 'Tangsoodo' rather than 'Kongsoodo' even though the popular word was 'Kongsoodo' (as in the Korean reading of the characters used) in Japan - perhaps Funakoshi Gichin taught him a little differently from Japanese students? (Who knows...)

    Do you know when Yi Won-Guk passed away?

    Edward Cha

  13. #13
    Banned - Membership Revoked
    Name
    Bruce W Sims
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Lindenhurst, Illinois
    Martial Art
    Hapkido
    Age
    63
    Posts
    76

    lightbulb2

    Dear Ed:

    "....As for politics/power-fighting, I feel that Korea has had a lot more of this than China (all in the last century, however). What I mean by this is who has what rank, who is the head of what organization, what organizations exist, who is friends with the president, etc, etc. Do you not feel this? (I wasn't talking about personal/style feuds and fights.)....."

    I think I have a pretty good idea of what you want to say here. I see it a bit differently.

    My experience has been that when attempting research into Chinese traditions loyalties and objections run strongly along the lines of personalities. For example, in doing investigations into Miao Dao material I had approached Master Adam Tsu. His response was polite but firm. Effectively that closed the door on a number of resources as many of those resources related back to Master Tsu. I feel reasonably sure in stating that had Master Tsu given his cooperation, many other resources in turn would have given their cooperation as well. Do you see what I mean?

    On the other hand I have found that working with Korean organizations, for instance, just because a particular member of an organization is not interested in a project, does not mean that I am necessarily shut off from other members of that same organization who may be interested. Don't get me wrong. Korean organizations can be VERY political, and such dynamics as prestige, saving face, and commecialism commonly all play a role. There are even occasions I still hear about where a teacher will tell his students that they are not allowed to attend any but those activities provided or supported by the teacher. These, however, are becoming increasingly rare, I think.

    One thing I HAVE found common to not only Chinese and Korean traditions, but to Japanese as well, is an increasingly "protective" attitude about historic MA traditions. The best example I can think of is the ever-famous Ryu-HA system in Japan for traditional MA training. Though the Korean and Chinese do not have such a system per se, I have found that they are much less forthcoming about material closer to the "mainline" of a tradition and much more willing to speculate about material removed one or two modifications from the main tradition. For example, the Daito-ryu Kodo Kai is staunchly guarded about its organization and material, while Sensei Okamoto of the Roppokai seems to revel in the degree to which he is disclosing about what he teaches. FWIW.

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce

  14. #14
    Junior Member Kyuusaku's Avatar
    Name
    Edward Cha
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Japan
    Age
    36
    Posts
    74

    Default

    Dear Bruce,

    Yes, I think you are right about the loyalty and secrecy in Chinese martial arts - although there is a lot of secrecy in all Asian arts, I think. I guess that Chinese, Korean, and Japanese martial arts secrecy is all sort of similar, but it does feel a bit different, too, although I don't know how to describe it, exactly.

    Perhaps something like:

    Chinese: teacher/circle loyalty, master-disciple relationship, style secrecy.

    Korean: politics/power, prestige/titles, face, commercialism-related secrecy.

    (I might be wrong.)

    Perhaps for you to have had more success with Adam Hsu, you had to join the Wutan organization, become a high rank, become like someone's disciple... then you would perhaps be allowed to ask questions about the Miao dao, but with the implicit rule that you don't leak things out of the group.

    You are right about Korean organizations getting better recently - I guess that they cannot do that forever, especially since their organizations are part-modern.

    The Japanese traditions have the most static 'levels' in learning, I think - they often have their techniques written out in various orders, from least secret to most secret, and most are even numbered...

    Edward Cha

  15. #15
    Banned - Membership Revoked
    Name
    Bruce W Sims
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Lindenhurst, Illinois
    Martial Art
    Hapkido
    Age
    63
    Posts
    76

    lightbulb2

    Dear Ed:

    ".......Perhaps for you to have had more success with Adam Hsu, you had to join the Wutan organization, become a high rank, become like someone's disciple... then you would perhaps be allowed to ask questions about the Miao dao, but with the implicit rule that you don't leak things out of the group......."

    I think this is 100% Right On The Money! I also think that this dynamic needs to be talked about.

    Now, let me say from the start, I am probably more traditional in my up-take in the KMA than most people I know, so what you are about to read is in no way a criticism of policies and customs in traditional MA. However, I think that something needs to be addressed here.

    To start with, Ed, I am going to bet that you and many other folks on this Net have heard how studying some particular art is a Lifetime pursuit. We hear, many times from our teachers about how we must study and study and study the basics and put in years of training to perfect our arts. We also most often hear about how we are to show loyalty to our teachers and their systems--- often to the exclusion of all other systems. Personally I don't have a problem with this if that is what I want to do. Where the problem comes in is, what if I have a different agenda? Lets take a look at the situation with Adam Tsu.

    Sifu Tsu is an extraordinary teacher and technician. Certainly he has no obligation to work with me or answer my questions though I would have been honored if he had. Were I to seek out a teacher for a lifetime of study I certainly could do much WORSE than Sifu Tsu! Two things however readily come to mind, though.

    The first is that I was not looking for a lifetime commitment to a particular art but rather a resource for academic investigation. Theres' a pretty big difference right there. For me, the use of the Long Sword (Changdao) is only a small part of the Hapkido arts that I study and teach, and I would not be looking to dedicate years of study to investigate only one of what is a larger curriculum of study. This brings me to the other point, and I am faced with THIS point on a regular basis.

    The amount of time that students are required to train--- do you think that is REALLY necessary? Consider this for a moment. When famous generals of old conscripted their armies around cores of seasoned vets, do you really think they had years to get their conscripts up to speed with their weapons and tactics? Nowadays we talk about spending years to perfect our sword skills, and spear skills and H2H, but back 200 years leaders had months to get their armies up to speed. Nowadays I hear about folks training for years in various arts and if they want to obsess about having every little hair right during execution, noone should be better pleased than I! But I think you have to admit that after a few years, if you haven't achieved some major level of competence, I'd throw in the towel and move-on to Bowling!

    Certainly there is the need to train until one becomes competent in their selected art. After that, however, it should be the choice of the student about whether they want to become obsessive about the art, or just learn some stuff to impress folks around them with. For the teacher to force the point by saying I won't teach anything but a dribble at a time and it will take 20 years for your to first understand the true nature of XYZ art---- is pretty unrealistic. I think this holds especially true in our faster age where we have all sorts of media (tapes, movies, books magazines) which can accellerate learning which schools of even 30 years ago may not have had.

    Finally, let me say in closing that I see a very real possibility that actual academic research into MA will routinely be quashed or at least stymied. What I see happening is that a resulting informational vaccuum will be just as routinely filled with inaccurate, misinterpreted or misrepresented information. We have all heard the many MA mythes that seem to recirculate with annoying regularity despite their inaccuracy. The way I see it the only counter to this is better research and information. Unfortunately I see the two influences I mentions as interfering with any remedy to this more than helping it along. FWIW.

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce

  16. #16
    Junior Member Kyuusaku's Avatar
    Name
    Edward Cha
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Japan
    Age
    36
    Posts
    74

    Smile

    Dear Bruce,

    I also am not criticizing Korean and Chinese martial artists - I love martial arts, and if that is what I have to go through to learn it, it is but a small thing.

    I do agree with you that many teachers talk about years (decades) in order to learn but one art - often, these decade-long schedules are carved in stone by way of rank systems (and age requirements for each). This is especially common in Korea, but it is not unheard of in Taiwan, either.

    Of course, the weird thing is that sons of the grandmaster/master get very high rank, very quickly, and there is no problem. Obviously, there is something going on here, and I'm not saying that it's a horrible thing - we just have to work through it.

    Learning Chinese martial arts in the old days certainly did not take as much time as it often seems to now - even internal systems were often learned in several years, not two or three decades.

    Now, teachers have new agendas - they need you to feed them, and they know that you are not going to get into that many fights. As a result... the long requirements and decades of training under one guy. They may not even give you the best techniques at the end, anyway (reserved for their children, or whatever).

    However, the reluctance of traditional martial artists to show their techniques is an old tradition. That is just their way of teaching people who they think deserve it, and ignoring the rest - which has its reasons. Yes, we do have our freedom to spend our lives learning something or to just do it as a hobby... but they also keep their choice in choosing to teach who they want.

    I guess that for you to have learned more about the Miaodao and its relations to the Changdo in Hapkido, you would have had to spend at least 10 years at Wutan training, gaining rank, and making a name for yourself. Since you have already trained the Changdo, you would get -some- insights into the relations... Well, I wonder how much people know about the Miaodao, the Japanese katana, and the Korean do sword and their relations. (Old Korean swords I have seen in museums are similar, but different to the Japanese sword.) To learn more about the Miaodao, you would probably have to go to Cangzhou in Hebei and learn Pigua there, from the source... (or other styles that use the Miaodao).

    I don't think that martial arts are very good things to write about in an academic sense - there are too many secrets, agendas, inconsistencies, etc. to really make a firm history that you could have confidence in (yet people try).

    I wish there was a good, solid Korean martial arts history somewhere - but I doubt that this will happen anytime soon, if ever.

    There are especially a LOT of martial arts myths and wrong information on the internet... which is most people's source for all knowledge these days. In the end, you really have to 'enter the doors' of a style to really know what it is about and learn about its history, too, I think.

    Edward Cha

  17. #17
    Banned - Membership Revoked
    Name
    Bruce W Sims
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Lindenhurst, Illinois
    Martial Art
    Hapkido
    Age
    63
    Posts
    76

    Lightbulb Options to consider

    Dear Ed:

    Since we originally were talking about TSD I am a bit stumped as far as "good" historical writing. However, in the Hapkido arts there are at least two good resources.

    One is the MU YEI TOBO TONG JI ("Illustrated Manial of Korean Martial Arts") which was written in 1795 but was most recently translated by Dr. Sang H. Kim (Turtle Press, 2000). As I have said before this affords a good pre-WW II snap shot of techniques and weapons that the Korean military thoughts were important for their forces (conscripts) to know. There is also the FIVE CEREMONIES which is a comparable book but which has not, to my knowledge, been translated into English.

    Another resource is Dr. He-Young Kimm who has trained with almost all of the major players in the Hapkido arts and has written massive books on his own art of HANMUDO as well as Hapkido and its sister art, Kuk Sool Won. These are very carefully written and have well-researched histories. I also understand that Dr. Kimm, and also GM In Sun Seo have major historical projects in the works, but then, these works have been "under construction" for a great many years.

    There is also one other thing I could recommend. Mr. Eric Madis has been doing research on the derivations of Korean concussive arts such as TKD from their Japanese Karate precursors. I am not sure if he has published his material yet. However, there was a wonderful 3-part series published through the DRAGON TIMES (Tsunami Publ) magazine that does a comparable job examining the same themes. Unfortunately, I don't remember if there was much mention of TSD in those issues. Seems like it was mostly a survey of the development of the TKD kwans of post-WW II Korea.

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce

  18. #18
    Junior Member Kyuusaku's Avatar
    Name
    Edward Cha
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Japan
    Age
    36
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Options to consider

    Dear Bruce,

    Thank you for your many suggestions. I think that Sang H. Kim did a great service to English-speakers who practice Korean martial arts - I would love to read the Mu Yei Tobo Tong Ji in English (actually, I wonder if there are copies of the book in its original form for sale, too? (In Korea, I mean.) I would love to have that in my library as well). The Mu Yei Tobo Tong Ji shows a very different picture of Korean martial arts from what we see today - I do wish that some of the works that were quoted in this book survived as well, so that we would have something to compare with.

    What is the Five Ceremonies book? I have never heard of this (my fault...)... What language is this written in (as in, Korean or classical Chinese)?

    Dr. He-Young Kim has also done a lot for Korean martial arts with his many books and interviews. (I think that his books on Hanmudo are only for students, but...)

    By the way, do you recommend In Hyuk Seo's various books on Korean martial arts (such as the book on Korean weapons)? Some people point fingers at him and say, 'Chinese influence,' but I can't say, since I've never seen Kuksoolwon in motion...

    What style does In Sun Seo 'officially' teach? Are his soon-to-be-released books to be about Korean martial arts in general?

    I'm afraid that I'm not familiar with Mr. Eric Madis... However, his research sounds very interesting - I hope that he publishes his material sometime soon.

    Edward Cha

  19. #19
    Banned - Membership Revoked
    Name
    Bruce W Sims
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Lindenhurst, Illinois
    Martial Art
    Hapkido
    Age
    63
    Posts
    76

    Lightbulb

    Dear Ed:

    Let me start by apologizing to the powers-that-be if we continue this bit of "thread-drift". I know the original theme was on TSD so I am thoroughly prepared if we're asked to relocate to the Hapkido area rather than continue here. That said let me give you a bit of background for at least most of your questions.

    The MYTBTJ has been translated a couple of times over the years with the one available through Turtle Press being the latest version. There is also suppose to be an up-coming version by an author whose last name is DellaPia (See Journal of Asian Martial Arts-- various articles) which will not only be a translation but include additional notes offering expanded explanations for executing the various hyung in the book. Somewhere on the Internet there is a website that has already published a "sneak-preview" in the form of the BON KUK GUM BUP form. If you are interested I bet you can find it with a search in GOOGLE. I have a copy around here but finding a single item on this desk would take only slightly less time than the evolution of Man! If you truely get stuck, let me know and I will see if I can locate my copy and give you the URL.

    "......What is the Five Ceremonies book? I have never heard of this (my fault...)... What language is this written in (as in, Korean or classical Chinese)?....."

    John L. Boots wrote an article called KOREAN WEAPONS AND ARMOR (Transaction of the Korea Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society; Vol XXiV; December 1934) and the FIVE CEREMONIES is cited at various points in the article as well as identified in the Bib. ("THE FIVE CEREMONIES; Sin Sook Joo and Chung Chuk"). I am a BIG fan of chasing down sources in bibs as opposed to trying to run down material firsthand for myself. If I had to bet, my money would be on the work being written in Chinese rather than Korean (hangul). Whether or not you can get a copy of this particular work, I STRONGLY recommend that if you liked the MYTBTJ that you get a copy of Boots' article. I got my reprint through my Public Library, though, as I am sitting here I can't tell you who THEY applied to for it. Sorry.

    ".......Dr. He-Young Kim has also done a lot for Korean martial arts with his many books and interviews. (I think that his books on Hanmudo are only for students, but...)...."

    Yes, the HANMUDO stuff is proprietary to his organizations members alone. I understand that even the material he presents at his seminars tends to divide along the lines of what he teaches generally and what he intends only for "his" students. All the same his books are very well written, though I have yet to purchase a copy of his KUK SOOL WON book.

    ".......By the way, do you recommend In Hyuk Seo's various books on Korean martial arts (such as the book on Korean weapons)? Some people point fingers at him and say, 'Chinese influence,' but I can't say, since I've never seen Kuksoolwon in motion......"

    I definitely see Chinese influence in the Kuk Sul material though I understand the influence is suppose to be more Praying Mantis and I don't know that I see THAT particular influence in the handwork. All the same many of the Long Fist artifacts such as extended, deep stances for training, narrow footing to facilitate turning, and a very tight, contained hand motion connected by some relatively long, sweeping arm motion are there. That said let me also say that I am NOT a big fan of the "specialized manuals" such as the ones you mentioned. First off I find too many inconsistencies with other resources such as the ones I mentioned above as well as Korean history in general. Secondly I get the feeling that these manuals try to be too many things all at once and wind up not being much of anything at all. The citations--- such as they are-- are too weak for the material to be historical and the training material to be too cursory to be of any real help to anyone other than those who just want to mess around a bit. Oddly enough, by comparison, the KUK SOOL manuals which organize material into various grades or ranks is actually very well organized and pretty clearly written (especially when you compare the newer manuals to the older "Red Book".

    "......What style does In Sun Seo 'officially' teach? Are his soon-to-be-released books to be about Korean martial arts in general?...."

    I am seeing what I think is a steady process of maginalizing GM Seo. His brother, In Hyuk Suh, is the head of the World Kuk Sool Won Assn, and In Sun Seo went home to lead the Korea Kido Assn---- apparently through the auspices of the World Kido Assn out of Fremont, California. Now I understand that GM Seo is no longer in control of the Korea Kido Assn and has only the World Kido Assn as his own. Folks like me are waiting to see what is going to happen with our Korea Kido Assn (aka KIDOHAE) memberships, certifcations and so forth. I will take a wild guess and say that he continues to teach what is essentially Kuk Sool at his seminars but I would bet that is only by some agreement with his brother and that organization.

    "......I'm afraid that I'm not familiar with Mr. Eric Madis... However, his research sounds very interesting - I hope that he publishes his material sometime soon....."

    I had the honor of examining his material courtesy of the author and it seemed very well researched. Until that comes out I think the articles I mentioned in the DRAGON TOMES should be a reasonable substitute. There are also articles along the same lines in the JAMA and I can pull some of those out if you have a hard time locating them.

    Thats about it, Ed. I hope some of this has helped. Maybe if we keep this up others will take this as a model and start sharing about research that THEY are doing or obscure resources of benefit to the common effort. I guarentee you won't find much indepth stuff on the pages of BLACK BELT magazine. We truely need to dig.

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce

    Edward

  20. #20
    Senior Member kodanjaclay's Avatar
    Name
    Frank Clay
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Chicagoland
    Martial Art
    Korean Mudo
    Age
    43
    Posts
    904

    Default

    <<Folks like me are waiting to see what is going to happen with our Korea Kido Assn (aka KIDOHAE) memberships, certifcations and so forth.>>

    I dun mean to poke about, but Bruce what has happened? Are you saying that there is some concern about not getting what you folks paid for?
    Frank Clay

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •