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The Hidden Truths of Hapkido in Taekwon-Do
#1
In the second issue of 'Totally TKD', Master Munyon wrote an article with the above title. It appears on pages 12-14. I wanted to touch on some of the comments Master Munyon wrote in his article and open them up for discussion.

First, in the opening paragraph of page twelve, he comments on how many KMA instructors fail to recognize that their art is not as unique as they've been taught. I agree. My own research has confirmed that Taekwondo has in fact come from multiple sources, above and beyond Shotokan. Including Judo, ****o Ryu, Shorin Ryu and further back, Shuri Te. I don't see any factual information for including any indigenous Korean art such as Taekyun into that mix despite what Choi may claim.

Towards the end of page twelve, Master Munyon recounts a meeting between General Choi and a Hapkido Master named Chung Kee Tae from Canada in which Hapkido style Ho Shin Sul was sought to be included into the then existing Taekwondo syllabus. This appears to have been prior to 1969 which could still be considered Taekwondo's formative years. As I remember, Choi was only a second Dan in Shotokan prior to bringing it to Korea. This makes me question Choi's depth of knowledge in the adult version of Karate since he felt the need to bring in Hapkido Ho Shin Sul. Not that bringing in outside material to cover deficiencies is a bad thing, quite the opposite, Choi is to be commented for such proactive thinking. But an in-depth look at the adult version of Karate reveals that this type of Ho Shin Sul already existed. It could be also that Shotokan, as learned by Choi at that time was already watered down by Funakoshi. Or that Choi was discriminated against due to his ethnic origin. Either way, it would not have been Choi's fault and again, he is to be commended for seeking out additional material.

On page thirteen, Master Munyon cites comments from GM J.R. West to the effect that at that time, Hapkido style Ho Shin Sul was included in Taekwondo to a large degree. This would explain why many of the second and third generation of Taekwondo practitioners were well versed in Hapkido style Ho Shin Sul. As I've mentioned in other writings, In Hue Won and Kyu In Baik of the Han Mu Kwan were well versed in Hapkido style Ho Shin Sul. There may have been some crossover influence from the other Kwans as well as the in-depth Shito Ryu and Shorei influences on the Han Mu Kwan at the time. Later it seems to have solely gone the way of WTF style Taekwondo, but not originally based upon my research.

I like the comment Master Munyon makes in the third paragraph of page thirteen, that the combination of the two arts has been a distinct positive for the Taekwondo community. I wholeheartedly agree. Although Hapkido has more than its fair share of fluff these days, the premise is sound when taught correctly.

In the next paragraph he touches on the fact that some of the older generation masters frown upon the blending of the arts on the grounds it is 'disrespectful' and 'not traditional'. This is, in my opinion, a sad reflection upon the level of their pride and open-mindedness. A true instructor always seeks for the student to know more than themselves. Additionally, it is often these same individuals who vehemently oppose exploring more in-depth meanings for the established forms. Taekwondo has expanded beyond their control and influence and this is the crux of the matter that so angers them.

On page fourteen, the World Hapkido Federation's transitional program is discussed for Taekwondo practitioners. I don't have enough information to know if this is good or bad. If it is a program based upon realistic gross motor skills that factor in adrenaline responses from a realistic perspective, and if it is designed to truly assist them in rounding out their Taekwondo rather than just an avenue of creating revenue, then it would be a good thing. Based upon the plethora of garbage I've seen lately, I'd have to get further information before forming an opinion.

Overall, a good article on a topic that really deserves candid, in-depth consideration. Whether one seeks to augment their Taekwondo with Hapkido skill, train in both simultaneously or combine the two arts as I have (i.e. Kong Soo Do)they are all roads that lead to the same destination. I was pleased to see it put out their before the KMA community.
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
From a formal, "traditional" point of view, I think any open, sincere attempt to take the common, modern appearance of Taekwondo and bring it back to its self-defense roots is going to make it look more like Hapkido.

When I got my black belt I knew almost nothing about lineage and styles except what I had read on my own from books like The Fighting Arts.  As I learned more I found that, to the modern taekwondo practitioner, what I had been taught, and to some small extent had built upon, looked (using Korean classifications) more like Hapkido than most current taekwondo does.
Martial Arts done well leads to a more virtuous life because everyone is fighting something.

"If your eye is single, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eye is evil, even the light that is within you will be darkness.  If the light that is within you is darkness, how great is that darkness?"  (Jesus of Nazareth)
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#3
In the second to last paragraph, Master Munyon makes this comment;

Quote:Why do most Taekwon-Do folks have a difficult time learning and performing HapKiDo techniques? It is because Taekwon-Do practitioners are not used to getting grabbed or grabbing someone. It’s a different concept going from punching and kicking to grabbing and throwing.

I've seen this firsthand and detailed the experience in another thread regarding the KKW TKD 2nd Dan that almost freaked when she saw the rest of the class doing a takedown (which to us is a yellow belt technique).  And this again clearly defines the difference between sport TKD methodology and self-defense TKD methodology.  Whether it's referred to as 'old school' TKD or self-defense TKD or whatever, practitioners more often than not are much more adept at hands-on training. 
Is it full blown Hapkido training?  Probably not.  But as I've said before many times, taken a different route, TKD could have been mostly indistinguishable from Hapkido.  No real reason exists that it couldn't/shouldn't be similar.
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
#4
Good thread. I think any good TKD does well to include HKD to add balance and roundedness to the training. I've also noticed pure TKD kicking/punching having trouble assimilating HKD. I think it's not just not being used to grabbing or being grabbed. So many hard styles are taught as primarily linear and so the circular and softer ideas have trouble translating. HKD has a lot of finesse to it and if one is used to power and blunt force it can be a hard transition to make.

One of the things I really respect about GM Wests's group is that there is a lot of respect between TKD, TSD, and HKD. There is a lot of cross-pollinating and everyone is the better for it.

I think it takes some thinking to teach both arts to students over a long haul. I know for me I've seen some guys with TKD black belts who also claim to have been double promoted to HKD black as well. And their HKD is novice level at best. If you're going to teach it, teach it well. For me my adults learn the equivalent of about a green belt in HKD by the time they are black belt in TKD. Then after black we do a lot more work with HKD and, at least at present, my goal is to have them black belt level in HKD by the time they earn their TKD 2nd.

Kids for me are a different ball of wax. This is not in concert with many HKD instructors, but I feel like kids grasp TKD much more readily, and with some mild exposure by the time the get to their Poom rank in TKD have the control and experience to start doing more HKD. Beforehand I think doing double duty is too much for their minds, and they haven't demonstrated the control to work the HKD stuff.

Regardless, the blending of the two makes for a great combination and a broader respect for martial arts in general, and in many instances opens up forms interpretation as well.
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#5
This was a reply I made on another forum that ties into this thread:

I think this opens up a very interesting conversation. Let me see if I can break my thoughts down. Does contemporary TKD look like contemporary HKD. Nope. Pretty much polar opposites in that one is, more or less, a linear block-punch-kick art and one is more circular and involves a whole host of things no generally seen in TKD. But is that correct? Is that the way it could/should be? Up until about 15 years ago, give or take, I thought of TKD and HKD as two very different arts. And in truth, generally speaking they are the way they are taught. However, there is small circle of folks in TKD that have gone a different path. I feel that it stems back to Okinawan karate.

What follows is a simplistic, reader's digest version of the evolution of karate. In the 1800's, karate was different that what is generally seen today in many/most schools. Itosu Sensei was one of two men that most of the modern Ryus flowed from. He was also a college professor in addition to being a karate master. He wanted to get karate into the school system for it's health benefits. But he realized that you can't teach 'real' karate to kids. So he revamped certain kata, Pinan as an example, into a more block-punch-kick format and left out the chokes, throws, cavity pressing, joint destruction etc. movements. This eventually flowed into the Japanese school system through efforts from Funakoshi Sensei. None of this is a bad thing. It was simply 'karate-lite'. Now, keep in mind that Korea, like Okinawa was a prefecture of Japan during this time. Flash forward to the end of WWII and the Allies winning the war and occupying Japan. By-and-large, those karate masters in Japan/Okinawa start teaching the conquering invaders karate to make a living. And again, by-and-large what was taught was the children's version of karate i.e. block-punch-kick. Parallel this with Korea, which for the most part was had it's citizens as second-class citizens in the eyes of Imperialistic Japan. The average Korean didn't learn 'true' karate either. So you have both the Allied G.I. and the Korean martial artist leaning a specific sect of karate and then taking it back to their home countries and teaching it and passing it on to future generations. Also keep in mind that the block-punch-kick format fits in nicely with sport competitions which is a $ generator for many schools. 

Karate practitioners such as Iain Abernethy Sensei, John Burke Sensei as well as TKD practitioners such as Stuart Anslow and Simon O'Neill have delved into the kata/forms to reconstruct/interpret movements/techniques/concepts/strategies that go well beyond what is normally associated with them. As far as Karate kata, looking at what/how they've researched demonstrates information that kata contain a myriad of things well beyond the B-P-K format. Indeed, many Karate masters from various different Ryus stated that one could know all of karate from just one or a few kata. Information that demonstrates throws, take downs, locks, cavity pressing,chokes, escapes etc. In truth, you'd be hard pressed to see the difference between karate and say, Aiki Jujutsu. If you walked into a class that had no specific identifiers you might confuse the two.

Switch gears to TKD and HKD. HKD is generally accepted to come from Aiki Jujutsu/Aikido roots. TKD is generally accepted to come from Karate roots. Except for those that try to pass either off as 2000 year old arts indigenous to Korea. That's bunk of course. So, assuming/accepting that TKD comes from Karate one would make the logical assumption that they share many foundational principles. TKD forms generally date back no farther than the 50's though some reflect renamed Okinawan kata the are much older. So, if the movements in Okinawan kata reflect specific principles such as throws, locks, pressing, escapes etc. in addition to strikes it would stand to reason that TKD forms would contain the same information. I would submit that kata are well constructed paragraphs of information,created by true Karate masters, to pass on to subsequent students. I would further submit, without meaning to offer a slight towards TKD, that TKD forms mimic kata but in many cases were created by those that were FAR less experienced. In otherwords, kata a beautifully crafted paragraphs that convey a story. TKD forms are, in many cases, incomplete sentences cobbled together. Yet they convey the same information in theory even if it doesn't flow as logically. So a specific movement in a kata means something specific, it will have the same meaning when it's seen in a TKD form. It may not be taught that way, but a movement is a movement regardless of what it may be called.

So that's why I don't think TKD forms are as 'clean' as kata. Again, not a slight against TKD. Those early TKD 'masters' did the very best they could with the training and experience that they had. But this leads to the deeper/adult version of Karate. As mentioned, Karate could look VERY much like Aiki Jujutsu in a LOT of it's movements. So I would submit that TKD could look VERY much like HKD if it was taught in the same manner. And that is how it is taught by a small segment. Now I suppose I wouldn't go as far as saying they could be completely indistinguishable due to certain individual nuances in each art. But again, if there were no visual identifiers (like a sign hanging on the wall of the school), TKD can (and is) taught in such as way by some schools to where you'd be hard pressing to label it one way or the other if you just walked in off the street to look at a class. 

It's bit of a change in how we think/view a particular art. But I think it's a plus. Your example of a student that was taught a movement in TKD that really had no explanation yet once he started learning HKD saw how that movement had an actual meaning/purpose. Well, those same principles are in the forms, basically just sitting there unused until someone identifies them as actually working beyond the commonly accepted norm. So TKD and HKD are separate arts but TKD could be taught in such a way as to be quite a bit more than what it's generally portrayed as. Let's face it, mention TKD and you think spinning back kicks. You don't think serious joint locks, throws, cavity pressing and all the other HKDish things. 

But it could be taught that way. Again, HKD would still have it's own nuances but TKD could generally be more of a sister art with it's own nuances.
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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#6
Here is a link to the magazine in which the article mentioned in the OP appears:

Issue #2
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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