Kyuk Too Ki-Korean Kickboxing Video

Discussion in 'Tae Kwon Do' started by Viking, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. Viking

    Viking Valued Member

  2. BigBoss

    BigBoss This is me, seriously.

    What the hell is with the referee slapping the Muay Thia guy on the ass for about 1 minute??!?!?
  3. bluekey88

    bluekey88 whimsical in the brainpan

    Apparently, when one is tagged in the nads, a good butt massage is just what the doctor ordered. :D

    Actually, I really enjoyed that fight. Given the size difference between the fighters, I would've thought it would be more one sided, but both guys had some iron jaws and could take some shots.

  4. Tae Kwon Dave

    Tae Kwon Dave New Member

    About Korean Kickboxing styles (Hybrid korean martial arts)

    Korea's Three Ring Arts
    Kyuk Too Ki, Kun Gek Do and Kickboxing

    The popularity of kickboxing in Korea lags behind the sport's popularity in the United States and Europe, but it is definitely on the rise. This stems in part from the fact that public kickboxing spectacles involve the practitioners of three separate martial arts: kickboxing, kun gek do and kyuk too ki.

    Relatively few "dojang" in Korea teach kickboxing, which Koreans pronounce as "keek bok shing." However, you can occasionally see a "jong hap che yuk gwan" (a combined gymnasium where a variety of martial arts are taught) at which kickboxing classes take place several times a day. Naturally, kicking is emphasized; after all, it is Korea we are talking about. Some experts criticize the punching techniques of Korean kickboxing, but if you find them below par, try checking out a regular boxing gym. The Koreans are, in fact, internationally known for their boxing prowess.

    Be forewarned that kickboxing and boxing seem to attract students whose moral standards fall somewhat below those of most Korean martial arts students. And they must endure a reputation of being akin to street hoodlums, or "gang pae." Remember the temper tantrum thrown by the Korean boxer who lost his match in the 1988 Olympics? Most Western kickboxers visiting Korea would be better off concealing the fact that they practice the art; instead, they should probably just say they study American martial arts or something similar.

    Kyuk too ki, however, presents an altogether different case. Founded in relatively recent times, this modern amalgam combines modified taekwondo-style kicks with the low leg attacks that have come to be associated with muay Thai kickboxing. Also included are the four boxing punches (jab, cross, hook and uppercut), taekwondo hand strikes such as the ridge hand and spinning back fist, and Thai-style elbow smashes and knee thrusts. It makes for a very effective hybrid art, one that probably functions equally well in the ring and on the street.

    Kyuk too ki training focuses on drills in which the basic strikes and blocks are perfected, modernized forms which include low kicks and elbow and knee strikes, and some of the most realistic self-defense routines directed against a knife-wielding attacker that Westerners have ever seen. Most begin with a block, followed by a few strikes to soften up the attacker, then a throw to the ground and a finishing blow. It makes for a very impressive art with none of the negative connotations of boxing or kickboxing. It's an art that has to be seen to be believed.

    Kun Gek Do
    Korean Hybrid of Martial Art and Sport

    A martial artist walking down a street in one of Korea's larger cities is instantly besieged by all sorts of input related to the fighting arts. A watchful eye will inadvertently spot numerous "dojang" (training halls) concealed in rundown, otherwise inconspicuous buildings. Hundreds of posters decorate walls and telephone poles in an attempt to recruit new students. There is even the occasional marquee excitedly proclaiming an upcoming full-contact tournament or championship kickboxing bout.

    Blended in with the countless advertisements extolling Korean kung fu, children's taekwondo and popular kuk sool won, there appears one that stands out. The headline reads--in English, no less--"The King of Martial Arts: Kun Gek Do." What exactly is this style, which is less than well-known even in Korea? Could it really be the king of the fighting arts, as the posters claims?

    The National Kun Gek Do headquarters is located in Pusan, Korea. Numerous branch dojang have spread throughout the country, but because of the competition, they have so far met with limited success. The immediate impression upon entering the headquarters dojang was one of surprise. This was no ordinary Korean training center. A full one-third of the hall contained only weight-training equipment. Other eye-catchers included a kickboxing ring taped off on the floor, a well-used heavy bag and a plank wrapped with rope. It was difficult to determine whether this hall was for drilling in the rigors of a true martial art or merely working up a sweat while practicing a martial sport.

    Head instructor Kim Jung-su was more than happy to clear up the confusion. It seems that after nearly 30 years' experience in the martial arts, particularly taekwondo, founder Jung Do-mo was satisfied, comfortable with his skill. Then, as the story has it, he witnessed a demonstration match between a traditional stylist and a kickboxer. The traditional stylist was demolished. That unsettling outcome forced Jung to reconsider that to which he had devoted his life--the traditional Korean martial arts.

    After a short time, Jung realized just what was needed--a hybrid combination of the traditional Korean styles and the strange-but-effective sport that originated in Thailand. So, off he went to learn "Muay Thai" kickboxing. After more than three years of intensive study and gruelling practice abroad, Jung created kun gek do.

    The name kun gek do was also a brainchild of Jung. "Kun" is really pronounced "gwun" and means fist or punch. "Gek" should be pronounced "gyuk" and is part of the work "gong gyuk," meaning attack. And "do," of course, means the art or way. There you have it: kun gek do, the art of attacking and punching.

    Kun gek do has borrowed its hand techniques from boxing and kickboxing. The gloved fists are held high to protect the head. No open-hand movements are used, the reason being that most practitioners execute them improperly, Jung says. And when blocking or striking with full power, broken or dislocated fingers can result. Additionally, the use of gloves greatly restricts hand positions other than a closed one.

    The foot techniques involved come from both taekwondo and kickboxing. Naturally there is the front kick, pushing rather than snapping out; the back kick; the side kick; and the spinning hook kick. These are the staples of the Korean arts. But also incorporated into kun gek do is the Thai-style roundhouse kick. That means kicking with the leg almost fully extended and impacting with the lower part of the shin. The power generated is considerably greater than it would be if a snapping motion were used.

    An interesting point of this art is the stress placed on combinations. In kun gek do, combinations are not simply one-two series attacks; they are simultaneous attacks. Kicking and punching at the same time utterly confuses the opponent, and in most cases he will not be able to defend himself completely. A rear-hand punch with a roundhouse kick is a typical combination. This and others like it are definitely not for the beginner. Long hours of training are required before one can deliver both strikes with sufficient power and proper balance.

    Thai kickboxing is famous for its lunging knee smashes and elbow strikes. Kun gek do naturally has retained both devastating moves. They are taught and practiced only with great care and, of course, with protective gear. And a fighter is allowed to use them only in a professional free-style match. Or on the street. Unfortunately, many Korean styles regard these two techniques as lacking in martial spirit, and they neglect to teach them entirely.

    More than 30 years ago, the Korea Kun Gek Do Association devised 27 self-defense techniques intended to be practical in modern society. They are simple, effective and easy-to-learn routines designed for defense against a knife, a staff and even an iron bar. The kun gek do stylist can rest assured that any one of his self-defense techniques will leave his attacker unconscious or worse.
    Somewhat strangely, this martial art does not teach any kind "ki" (internal energy) development. Jung believes that the majority of martial arts students have virtually no ability to control their ki and probably will not study long enough to learn. Therefore, he concentrated on "wae gong," or external energy, which is developed by increasing physical strength through weight training and refining technique through endless repetition.

    Not surprisingly, every kun gek do class includes a great deal of full-contact sparring. Even beginners are introduced to it after only a few lessons. A kickboxing-ring-sized area marked with tape can be found in most dojang. A few establishments are lucky enough to have a full-sized, elevated ring complete with regulation ropes. During practice, light boxing gloves and groin and chest protection are worn, along with a uniform. But for the professional fighter getting ready for a tournament, only boxing gloves and shorts are allowed.

    To prepare students for actually striking a human target, kun gek do employs two training methods. The first involves extensive use of the heavy bag for kicks, punches and elbow and knee attacks. In excess of 120 pounds, it closely simulates a heavy, impact-absorbing target like a human body. The other is a wooden board about 10 inches wide, wrapped with an old kind of rope made of rice straw. The students simply kick and punch the rough coils with increasing power, both to harden their striking surfaces and to strengthen the related bones and joints.

    Perhaps the climax of the kun gek do stylist's training, first coming some two years after training has commenced, is the tournament. There are many which he can enter, up to one a month in larger cities. Tournaments fall into two categories: those that follow traditional sparring rules and those that follow kickboxing rules. The exact regulations depend on which style is sponsoring the tournament. However, kun gek do stylists are accustomed to training under slightly different rules and then trying their best to follow them. Jung estimates that 60 percent of all successful tournament techniques use the hands.

    Kun gek do, a relatively recent creation from two more established and recognized styles, seems still in its infancy in Korea. Lately, the number of dojang and students has been climbing. And if that is any indication, the future appears bright for this no-nonsense, down-to-earth martial art.

    Kyuk Too Ki

    On a bright, clear day in Pyongyang, Koryo (modern day North Korea) the procession slowly, silently enters the ring. In the lead is the Buddhist priest. With his long, white robes slightly dragging in the sand and dirt of the competition grounds, he circles, reciting a traditional prayer. After one complete circle he turns and bows to the senior member of the local Hyang-Ak band signaling the end of his ritual. The bare-chested fighters wait at the entrance to the ring as the band enters, enthusiastically breaking into the song they composed especially for this year's tournament. They are dressed in their finest costumes, bedecked with brightly colored red, blue, and yellow ribbons. The fast-paced, rhythmic beat of the Changgo begins to affect the crowd. The collective heartbeat of the attendees increases in anticipation of the ensuing bouts, each hoping that the representative of their local do-jang will emerge the winner.

    Finally the fighters enter the ring. Each has at least attained the title of instructor in his respective school. Years of training has led up to this day - both physical and mental. The physical conditioning required to compete in this tournament was demanding enough, but each of them knows that at this level of martial arts mastery, they are, in all likelihood, physically equal in ability. Rules are few: no eye-gouging or biting. Serious physical injury and even death are possible. Comparable strength and skill are a given, style, whether Tae Kyon, Soo Bahk Ki, Kwon Bup, or Kung Fu, will not be a sufficient discriminator; having cultivated the warrior spirit is a must to even step into the ring. The eventual winner will take his place among previous champions not because of any of these but because of his superior courage and mental endurance. The year is 1696. This is not sport, this is KYUK TOO KI.

    We now move forward 300 years. The location is Denver, Colorado. There is no Korean priest but there is the traditional Korean band. The warrior class is gone, but the fighters have trained as thoroughly. Styles now include, but are not limited to, Tae Kwon Do, Tang Soo Do, and Hap Ki Do in addition to Kung Fu. A few rules have been added to remove the threat of fatal injury. One thing hasn't changed at all though - strength and skill are still not enough, superior courage, mental endurance, and the warrior spirit incarnate determines the winner.

    Today Kyuk Too Ki is an invitational tournament open to fighters at the Instructor level and above. Bodily protection is limited to a mouthpiece and groin cup. No other padding is permitted. Rules are few. Hand and elbow strikes, as well as hand fakes to the face and neck are not allowed. No contact is allowed to the groin, knee, or back of the head. Kicks to the inner or outer thigh and sweeps to the lower leg are allowed. A fighter may grab his opponent to execute kicks, knee attacks, or sweeps.

    Like American Martial Arts tournaments, the fighters are awarded points during Kyuk Too Ki matches. Points are scored by: 1) a punch, elbow strike, knee attack, or kick to the side or front of the torso making solid contact; 2) an effective punch or kick to the body causing a knockdown; 3) a face kick; or 4) a clean takedown with a sweep or throwing technique. Unlike many American tournaments, a match is not stopped when a fighter earns a certain number of points.

    A match is decided by knockout, points, or a decision of the judges. Each match consists of three two minute rounds. If a knockout has not occurred and the scorecards are tied at the end of the three rounds, the fight continues into additional rounds. This occurred during the Heavyweight Championship match at the 1994 World Kyuk Too Ki Tournament. The fight, featuring Kung Fu and Enshin Karate stylists, was a draw at the end of three rounds. A fourth and deciding round was fought with the Enshin stylist, Alan Ng, emerging victorious. This was a true test of the fighters' mettle. While physical strength and stamina certainly played a part, superior mental endurance and the warrior spirit won the Heavyweight Championship.

    Kyuk Too Ki differs from many modern, American tournaments. It does not includes forms competition, so the audience isn't treated to forms performed to music. There are no multi-colored belts or flamboyant Martial Arts uniforms. This is traditional Martial Arts at its best.

    Three hundred years have passed. A traditional Korean band still enthusiastically enters the ring. The fighters selected for this year's tournament follow. A record crowd jumps to its feet, cheering in anticipation of the action about to begin. The fighters are introduced. As they are introduced, they bow to Grandmaster Jung and to the crowd. One by one they leave the ring, leaving behind the first two competitors. The referee steps forward, the fighters bow to Grandmaster, then to each other. A hand is raised and the words "Shi Jok" are heard. So begins Kyuk Too Ki, 1996.
  5. NW tae Kwon Do

    NW tae Kwon Do New Member

    That is comedy
  6. pulp fiction

    pulp fiction TKD fighter

    Long post, but it's very informative. :D
  7. Yang Dae-han

    Yang Dae-han Realising the 'edit'

    Please, poster, explain to me exactly how you find that funny.


    PS: Koreans do not say "keek," but 'kick'...
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2006
  8. BigRed389

    BigRed389 Valued Member

    Hey I'm Korean by ethnicity too.
    Lighten up, it'd be funny to most native English speakers.

    Kinda like how it can be funny to watch an American try to learn Korean. :D
  9. Liam Cullen

    Liam Cullen Valued Member

    Thanks for the post Tae Kwon Dave, that was a very good read! When did you get that from or did you pen that yourself?

    On a side note apparently when us English try to learn Korean its worse than the Americans! I wonder how it sounds in a heavy Scottish accent though? :)
  10. Yossarian

    Yossarian Valued Member

    Lol being a Scottish Tang Soo Do practitioner ive always wondered what a native Korean speaker would think of my attempts at pronounciation.

    charry-oot etc

    Nice video by the way and good write up, very informative.
  11. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    My father in law speaks Brummie English with an Afrikaans accent. Nothing sounds as odd as that! :D

  12. NW tae Kwon Do

    NW tae Kwon Do New Member

    Please, Poster, explain to me exactly how you don’t find that funny. It’s funny because I find it funny, if I offended you… suck it up.
  13. SuGyong

    SuGyong New Member

    Actually, the funny thing is that when I read Kyuk Too Ki, my brain translated it as Kact Too Ki which (as probably most of you know) is radish kimchee cut in cubes... yummm! :)

    Keep smilin'!

    (daughter of Yang, Sun Nae.. wondering if Yang Dae-han and I are related at all...)
  14. rtkddevil

    rtkddevil Valued Member

    Thanks for posting link Viking, very interesting vid.

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