Hello! Have you ever wondered what would happen if an experienced martial artist teamed up with a group of physical therapists to create a style that was both easy on the joints and hard-hitting? Well, that's exactly how Choi Kwang Do was conceived. I hope to give you a brief summary of the style for discussion's sake. I've personally never seen/practiced anything else much like it, so I hope you find this interesting!
Kwang Jo Choi, the founder, was an International Taekwondo Federation demonstration team member selected to spread that art to Southeast Asia. However, his constant demonstrations left him with repetitive strain injuries and joint problems, so he moved to North America for medical treatment. While there, he began researching and developing his own way of moving so that he could continue to practice without reinjuring himself.
Here's an example of what he came up with, with the help of his PTs:
There forms are called "patterns", which repeat the same sequence in 4 directions until black belt, in which they follow a more traditional embusen.
As you can see, all of the techniques are rounded-they don't follow the same route back. This allows time to decelerate the movement, and reduces strain on the muscles and joints. Nothing is ever fully extended either. Emphasis is placed on sequential movement (legs, hips, torso, arm) to utilize the stretch reflex and increase power generated.
Although it can be seen as a "block-kick-punch" style, they also do have specific "close range techniques" such as bearhug defences and a sweep or two. These follow the core ethos of simplicity and utilizing biomechanically efficient movement.
I attained shodan in this style in 2014. If you twisted my arm (and I couldn't spin and smash you as in pinan/heian sandan ;-), then I would have to confess that it does tend to telegraph, fails to do much trapping or live training, and tends to come off as a McDojang "martial arts cult". Also, I don't think it's especially aesthetically pleasing, either. However, its simplicity and emphasis on function over form, as well as promise of longevity, makes it worth practicing in my opinion.
Thanks for reading! I look forward to seeing what you think!
P.S. How can I learn how to embed videos? I looked at the HTML page, but I didn't see it. Thanks!