I started taekwondo when I was very young, and it was quite short lived. being about 7 I quickly lost interest and did very little sport. At 16 I started weight lifting, at 17 I started boxing and brazillian ju-jitsu. These were great but a long standing shoulder injury kept cropping up culminating in me dislocating it during my first BJJ competition and requiring surgery on both shoulders.
I started taekwondo again as a stepping stone back into combat sports. I really enjoyed it, and the people there so I am still doing it now. But, Im not entirely satisfied with it. My problem is that its too focused on the mystical and abstract. I thought this was a problem just with a few trainers so I started looking around for new stuff, trying to find the 'true' art. Right now im reading through the encyclopedia of taekwondo written by General Choi himself, and I honestly dont like what it has to say. He talks about how its a tool for the weak to defend themsevles. It talks about it being a highly effective art, but it also places alot of emphasis on the mystical. About how through mastery of technique you can punch through bricks or break boards 11ft in the air or kick two oppoents at the same time. These things are entirely possible, I have seen them, but being able to do them does not make you a good fighter, and General choi himself acknowledges that it is 'an art of self defence'.
I was really hoping that by loking deeper into the original art I would find a holistic, no-nonsense art but I havnt. General Choi is held in such asteme by the taekwondo community, but to my eyes he is just wrong. Since becoming interested in Iains work its clear that Choi is wrong about so many things. He borowed alot from karate, but it is clear from the conclusions he drew that the karate masters of the 40's and 50's had the same misunderstandings of things like patterns that they do today.
Im thinking I should look for a new art, but I dont know wich. I really want to teach a martial art and help develop taekwondo as a martial art, but i think in doing so I would take it too far from its origins and make it into a different art, which is wrong and dishonest. If im teaching something under the name of taekwondo and its not taekwondo that is false advertising.