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Inconsistencies in Korean martial arts
#1
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While preparing the lineage of the Mu Shin Kwan (Kong Soo Do) several years ago, I found it challenging to actually obtain a clear and concise path of progression from one source to the other when it came to the Korean influence.

For example, I listed this in the official lineage;

Quote:Gichin Funakoshi taught Shotokan Karate to Chun, Sang Sup at the College at Dong Yang Chuck Sik (Takushoku) University in Japan in the early to mid 1930's. Upon his return to Korea in 1940, he taught Kwon Bop Kong Soo Do at various locations. On March 3, 1946 he officially opened up the Chosen Yun Moo Kwan and began teaching Shotokan Karate under the Korean name of Kong Soo Do. Unfortunately he was abducted during the Korean War (1950 - 1953) and was never heard from again.

From 1947 to 1950 Chun, Sang Sup taught Kong Soo Do to Kyo Yoon Lee who founded the Han Moo Kwan in August of 1954. Both the Yun Moo Kwan and the Han Moo Kwan were among the original Kwans formed in Korea after World War II. The name of the art eventually changed to Taekwondo. GM Lee is currently ranked at 9th Dan and is an instrumental part of the Kukkiwon. There is also evidence to connect Dr. Yoon Kwe Byung, a student of Kenwa Mabuni (a police officer) and founder of Shito Ryu to the lineage. Dr. Yoon was the first president of the Jidokwan (some state the second). The Han Moo Kwan officially disclaims connection to the Jidokwan, but other evidence suggests they had a close relationship, with the Jidokwan preceeding the Han Mu Kwan. Indeed Dr. Yoon was the chief instructor of the Han Mu Kwan in Tokyo in 1947. Evidence also suggests that Shito Ryu had a profound influence on the arts taught.

GM Lee taught Kyu In Baik and In Hue Won. This style of Taekwondo was a very powerful art, no different than Shotokan Karate. However, during the late 1980's it began a transition to more of a sport related art.


In commenting on the part in bold above, According to a 1997 interview with Great-Grandmaster (also called Supreme Grandmaster) Lee, Chong Woo of the Jidokwan in 'World Taekwondo' magazine the following comments were made;

Quote:After graduating from college, Chun, Sang Sup returned to Korea, and started to teach Taekwondo to black belt Judo trainees in the Yun Moo Kwan, which was located in Soo Song Dong, Seoul at the time. Lee, Kyung Suk was the grand master of the Yun Moo Kwan during that time and Cho Sun Yun Moo Kwan was a Judo dojang.

After the surrender of Japan in world war II in August 15th, 1945, Cho Sun Yun Moo Kwan moved there location from the Soo Song Dong to So Gong Dong, where the Japanese Gang Duk Kwan used to be located, and officially announced the opening of the Cho Sun Yun Moo Kwan as branch of the Korea Taekwondo.

At that time, Taekwondo was called Kwon Bop Boo. The first trainees of the new Cho Sun Yun Moo Kwan were, Chun, Ill Sup, brother of Master Chun, Sang Sup; Pae, Young Ki; Kim, Bok Nam; Lee, Chong Woo; Pak, Hyun Jong; Lee, Byung Lo; Chung, Jin Dong; Kim, Chun Sun, they later became members of the Jidokwan.

Chun , Ill Sup first popularized the Taekwondo to the state of north Jun-La (Cholla buk do), Bae, Young Ki served 3rd Grandmaster term for the Jidokwan, and Lee, Chong Woo served 2nd and 4th grandmaster terms and they became the main leaders of the Jidokwan.

Yet, Park, Hyun Jong gained the strength of Jidokwan from the reign of the Pusan and Lee, Kyo Yun from Han Moo Kwan joined the Jidokwan and founded the Han Kuk Chae Yuk Dojang (Seoul) and acted as master while he was working for the police communications department.


So according to Grandmaster Lee, Chong Woo, Grandmaster Lee, Kyo Yun (Yoon), founder of the Han Moo Kwan, joined the Jidokwan.  Yet according to other sources, such as the wikipedia source on Han Moo Kwan;

Quote:Lee was a student at the Chosun Yun Moo Kwan Kwon Bop Bu, learning from its founder, Sang Sup Chun. Later, after the Korean War Armistice Agreement was signed in 1953, Lee started teaching the returning Yunmoo Kwan Kwon Bop Bu members at the Hankuk Chaeyuk Kwan Dojang. He had conflicts with Chong Woo Lee and left to start his own annex Kwan by setting up a tent at a High School. Later, Chong Woo Lee changed the YunmooKwan Kwon Bop Bu's name to Jidokwan. Kyo Yoon Lee states that Han Moo Kwan is from Choson Yunmoo Kwan Kwon Bop Bu, not Jidokwan


Wiki page

Dr. Yoon Kwe Byung
Two thousand years ago wise men sought Christ, wise men still do.

Techniques are situational, principles are universal.

Fast as the wind, quiet as the forest, aggressive as fire, and immovable as a mountain.

He who gets there first with the most...wins!

Minimal force may not be minimum force!

We don't rise to the occasion...we sink to the level of our training.


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#2
Another part of the problem was many early organizations and associations springing up and then closing shop.  Several of the early Korean 'masters' seemed to have shopped around for rank.  While understandable to a point I suppose, some was clearly in excess.  In later years many were 'called' on it and seem to change the history and/or lineage to cover up some of the more embarrassing parts of their training past.  Again, some of this can be viewed as acceptable in that the Korean arts were very young and a structure needed to be put in place.  And perhaps for some, they simply had no other recourse. 

Fast forward several decades and you'll see evidence of certain proponents of specific organizations ranking martial artists that aren't proficient in the skill sets of those specific organizations simply to inflate the numbers of the organization to something that it really isn't (read:  paper tiger).

A third area would be the history of the arts themselves.  Taekwondo and Tang Soo Do, at least some associations of these arts, still profess them to be 2000 year old, indigenous Korean arts.  And of course, they aren't by any reasonable stretch of the imagination.
Two thousand years ago wise men sought Christ, wise men still do.

Techniques are situational, principles are universal.

Fast as the wind, quiet as the forest, aggressive as fire, and immovable as a mountain.

He who gets there first with the most...wins!

Minimal force may not be minimum force!

We don't rise to the occasion...we sink to the level of our training.


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#3
I think that's why I prefer to keep lineage kind of simple. Too much weirdness. I tried to do a search on my original TKD Grandmaster and came up short on much of anything. So I keep it simple. In terms of history, again, simple. Not in quite this simple a nutshell but indigenous arts, occupation, Japanese influence, liberation, TKD, TSD, HKD etc. came out of the mix with Korean touches on Japanese styles. In TKD, sport v. SD divide.

These are pretty broad strokes and don't touch on the finer points at all, but that's the point. It seems that those details are where things get hinky unless you were there personally to account for them.

That said, Ray Terry who used to do the Dojang Digest has some transcripts from some of the original chats as the Koreans were getting organized when TKD and TSD were forming. Interesting read if you have the time.
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#4
(01-10-2016, 09:15 PM)pennmartkd Wrote: It seems that those details are where things get hinky unless you were there personally to account for them.


That's pretty much the case.  In talking with some folks that were supposedly 'there' it still leaves a big question mark as to if they're relaying factual information or not.  Not that everyone should be automatically disbelieved, but I've seen too many questionable things to automatically assume I'm getting the full story. 

After doing the research and due diligence in looking into our own lineage I basically came to the point that this was the best possible representation based upon the available information.  If there are errors, and there probably are, then so be it.  It doesn't affect the actual training one iota anyway.
Two thousand years ago wise men sought Christ, wise men still do.

Techniques are situational, principles are universal.

Fast as the wind, quiet as the forest, aggressive as fire, and immovable as a mountain.

He who gets there first with the most...wins!

Minimal force may not be minimum force!

We don't rise to the occasion...we sink to the level of our training.


Reply


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