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css1971
css1971's picture
Questions about old style (pre 20th century) patterns

I have a question about TKD patterns. They seem to come from several different sources and have several different sets of names, as TKD was created during the 1950s; some of them from shotokan karate, but some came from elsewhere. The geneology of TKD patterns makes karate look positively straightforward.

There's 3 different sets as far as I can see, the karate based ones (Pinans and Passai), the ITF based ones and the WTF ones. Then there are the local origin martial arts from which TKD originated;ssireum (sumo), subak and taekkyon and the chinese influence with gwonbeop.

Now the karate influence is pretty clear with the pinan katas and it seems that qwonbeop is basically quan-fa so I'd have thought it likely theres some forms from there. Clearly some of the other patterns are based on pinans but re-arranged almost randomly as far as I can tell.

Frankly it's fairly confusing. Wouldn't there have been some pre-1950s forms which haven't been modified heavily which made up the original martial arts? What's happened to them?

Finlay
Finlay's picture

Hi there There are a few different ideas about this it think. One if my teachers showed my one if the very early copies if the encyclopedia that he was given as a present. I didn't get long to look at it but there was some forms there that I have never seen before. I have heard that before the name taekwondo was adopted people used the name tang soo do. Meaning that Tang soo do would be an earlier representation of taekwondo. I have no knowledge of the history of TSD but it is interesting that in the above discussion on "jumping in the patterns" the TSD firm presented seems to stay much closer to the karate roots

Marc
Marc's picture

Finlay wrote:
I have heard that before the name taekwondo was adopted people used the name tang soo do. Meaning that Tang soo do would be an earlier representation of taekwondo. I have no knowledge of the history of TSD but it is interesting that in the above discussion on "jumping in the patterns" the TSD firm presented seems to stay much closer to the karate roots

Interesting, you learn something new everyday. Never heard of Tang Soo Do before, but as soon as I read it I felt: "Tang" sounds a lot like Tang dynasty, representing china. "Soo" sounds similar to the Japanese word "shu" meaning hand. So together that would read china hand. Sounds familiar?

I looked up Tang Soo Do at wikipedia and there it was:

"Tang Soo Do" (당수도) is the Korean pronunciation of the Hanja 唐手道 (pronounced Táng shǒu dào in Chinese),[2] and translates literally to "The Way of the Chinese Hand"

唐手道 in Japanese is commonly pronounced "kara te do". It seems that TSD has common roots to both Chinese martial arts and Okinawan karate. Both would explain the name.

The German wikipedia page on Tang Soo Do lists some hyeong (aka kata) that mainly taught in TSD. These some well known karate katas.

The English wikipedia page gives some information on the history of TSD and Tae Kwon Do.

DaveB
DaveB's picture

This thread in fighting arts explains a lot of the history. http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=14...

Th0mas
Th0mas's picture

Thanks for sharing that link Dave, that was very informative.

Cheers

Tom

Kevin73
Kevin73's picture

The early forms of TKD were the same as karate forms.  In it's earliest incarnation, TKD was nothing more than "korean karate" as many have called it.  Later, it took on it's own identity and added things and developed into it's own art away from it's japanese roots. This is important because what TKD is now is very korean in approach and is not "just korean karate".  But, it is intellectually dishonest to recreate where it came from and trying to tie it to a lost art/game (taekyon-spelling?).  

Part of the issue is that most koreans won't admit where TKD came from and say that it is an art 1000's of years old.  The early forms that it got from karate were replaced by another group of forms that kept many of the "pieces" but added their own twist to it.  Later, after the two big associations formed WTF and ITF other "main forms" were created to differentiate themselves.

In regards to Tang So Doo (TSD), again it came from karate.  The founder also dishonest as to where the art came from and claimed that he had learned the forms/katas from a chinese man and that they are chinese in nature.  This is where the stuff about turtles and other animals comes into play in regards to their forms.

Finlay
Finlay's picture

This is a very interesting topic

most of Korean styles seem to have very strong connections with japan. Does anyone have any knowledge of strictly Korean styles or at least styles that have a stronger influence from korea. The only one I know of is taekyon and to my knowledge that is very hard to find these days

Kevin73
Kevin73's picture

I don't believe that there are strictly Korean styles based on the research I have done.

Even Taekyon has alot of controversy as to whether it is the ancient art that was referenced in some historical documents or a more modern recreation of the ancient art (much like Arvantis did with Pankration using historical documents and other arts to fill in the blanks).

Most agree that Taekyon was a very old martial art.  It moved away from martial applications and became a sporting contest and game for most of the time.  That is where is stayed, as a game/sporting contest, until it pretty much died out.  Then in 1945, one man came forward and said that he alone was taught the unbroken martial art in secret and started teaching it.

This was also around the same time when Gen. Choi started adding the different kicks to his art to add the korean influence.  There was a very strong push to reestablish their own Korean identity after the Japanese occupation and many went with the "Taekyon" banner and rewrote the history of their arts to delete any japanese influence.  Due, to lack of an established school or specific written history (other than sparse references) to trace Taekyon from an ancient art into a modern one, I believe that while it may have ancient roots, it is still more modern in it's existence.

Except maybe the ancient art of "Sinanju"  LOL