Palgwe 1963/Taegeuk 1984 - Changed TKD Elementally?

Discussion in 'Tae Kwon Do' started by Thomas, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Grandmaster Joon Pyo Choi on the TKD Times site answered my questions on when the modern TKD poomsae were created:

    For those practitioners who have studied the Chang Hon, Pal Gye and/or Taegeuks, do you think the four reasons given above warrant the creation of new forms and the disposal, in general, of the old. Does the creation of a new set of patterns change the art significantly for future generations?

    Note: I did several searches to see if this had come up before but couldn't find any topics... even though I remember asking unsuccessfully for these dates/info... sorry if this should have been tacked onto an existing thread, I couldn't find one.
  2. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Just to be clear this isn't what Thomas said, it's what he's quoting.

    1. Only true if you're introducing the new bunkai/boonhai/what it's actually for. As a result it must fit in with any other linking techniques.
    2. I don't care about da yoof, I'm nearly 40:)
    3. Nonsense.
    4. Political nonsense.

    These are the words of someone who has no idea what forms are actually for IMHO. I'll shut up now becase I'm sure he's gajilionth dan and I'm not trying to be disrespectful.

    Other than to say he's wrong, of course :)

  3. Liam Cullen

    Liam Cullen Valued Member

    I believe the reasons given are indeed valid. However I don't believe (as someone that practices the Taegeuk poomsae) that they actually really achieved any of these points fully.
    I'd personally like to see a new set of poomsae developed to replace the Taegeuk with these points (maybe no need for number 4 anymore though) in mind.
  4. Cait

    Cait da Bionic is BACK!

    What Mitch said :)

    Especially when you start taking an in-depth look at the forms, I find the taegeuks a) inadequate, and b) far too easy. The palgwe's incorporate far mor of our techniques than the taegeuks do, and are much more similar to the black belt forms. To change them & drop the old really seems like so much political nonsense to me. I find a lot of merit in ADDING a set (practicing both sets, in other words), but I think to drop the old entirely does a great injustice to the practitioners.

    Political drivel, all of it! :p
  5. miles

    miles Valued Member

    I am going to give a little background as it might help folks understand my response. I studied ITF TKD from 1975 to 1992 when I began to study with a non-KKW affiliated instructor who did the Palgwe series. I had to learn that series plus the yudanja poomsae up to Sipjin. When that instructor left town, I began studying under a KKW-affiliated instructor and had to learn the Taeguek series. I've also studied a little Shotokan (in my youth).

    I believe any of the 4 reasons listed by GM Choi are legitimate for the creation of the Taeguek series. But, especially the last, the poomsae are to distinguish TKD from its Japanese influences.

    Because of my studies, I have learned and appreciated the nuances between the different poomsae/hyung/tul in their historically chronological order. I see TKD as an art with a Japanese beginning and a truly brilliant Korean evolution. TKD is an exciting art with a great future because it is not stagnant.

  6. paulol

    paulol Valued Member

    but most of the evolution in the art was been for political reasons and not for martial merit.

    i would not really call that constructive development :confused:
  7. StuartA

    StuartA Guardian of real TKD :-)

    Yup.. number 4 should perhaps read: To create the forms that does not have a Gen Choi influence :rolleyes:

  8. Alexander

    Alexander Possibly insane.

    I'll address each point, saying to what extent I believe that the new forms have fullfilled their purpose, then answer your question...

    First, there have been very few 'new' techniques added in any of the Korean form sets. Most are directly derived from the Kata of Karate-Do, often being in the exact same combinations. Most techniques that are 'new' within the forms seem to be slight modifications of Karate techniques (and the reason for the modification of the techniques is that the Karate techniques seemed to be very poorly understood by the Korean creators of the Tul/Poomsae).

    With regards to the word 'modern' within that sentence, its very hard to make any sense out of it. The only truely 'modern' techniques are the impressive jumping kicks that grew from the WTF competitions. Since I have not seen a 720 kick anywhere in the Tul or Poomsae I think it's pretty unlikely that the creators of the new forms suceeded in introducing truely new forms (I suppose possible exceptions are Ilyeo and Juche - but the big point is, these new techniques are in the vast majority, lost amongst the traditional stuff). If, by modern, Choi is refering to little things like crossing the hands to chamber the block (to take an ITF example) then these are still poorly understood modifications to Karate techniques, founded on very faulty reasoning.

    I think this is just Korean nationalism, and part of the anti-Japanese sentiment.

    As in my response to the first point, this effort has been pretty poor. Kicking techniques are vastly in the minority, and those present are usually not the sort of fantastic flying stuff that's seen in competition and practised on bat targets in WTF classes. From the ITF point of view, its slightly better due to a desire to stick to a path similar to that taken to Shotokan. But even so, for an art that places a lot of stress on kicking (in the typical ITF dojang), the ratio is still hideously wrong.

    This last one is slightly laughable. All the basics are clearly derived from Japanese/Okinawan systems, not to mention the bagage of ettiquette and military style training that came with Japanese style Karate. Once again, the only real Korean innovation has been the double, flying and spinning kicks - and for the most part, these are nowhere to be seen.

    To be honest the vast majority of TKD practitionners probably don't pay much attention to their form other than making sure they perform it in a way that conforms to grading regulations. From here it seems clear that the only way to really make the forms suitable to much of modern Tae Kwon-Do would be to throw out much of what has been done and introduce forms that incorporate the moves most practised by the students on targets, bags and opponents.
  9. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    I wonder if the "banishing" of all things "Choi" provided a clear opening to try to dispell the very clear Shotokan roots with something that didn't look as easily identifiable as the Chang Hon forms do to Shotokan forms. And I wonder if asking all of the kwans to contribute was a way to make everyone feel more connected to the overall art. Could this have helped unify South Korean (WTF) Taekwondo, enabling it to spread so rapidly and successfully?

    Hmmm... I can see that the introduction of the "walking stance" would reflect the changes in the way the art is practiced and something that should be represented in the patterns. Still, there are very few kicks in the patterns...

    Hmmmm.... does that mean "easier" material. In my opinion, the Taegeuks tend to be shorter and easier than the Palgwes and much shorter and easier than the Chang Hon forms.

    This I don't really see. The Taegeuks don't have any more kicks than the Chang Hon and probably less difficult ones in general.

    I think looking at Korea's massive growth and continuing bad feelings with Japan while trying to instill a strong sense of Nationalism into the country in the 60s/70s/80s, I actually see this as a major reason to make something clearly "Korean". It's during this time period that the myth of 5,000 year old Hwarang art and such gets solidified into the propaganda machine (and is still there on the WTF sites and on Korean gov't websites).
  10. Captain-Kick

    Captain-Kick Valued Member

    What I would like to see is an entirly new set of patterns designed,whcih have high percentage applications for real life self defence situations.
  11. Alexander

    Alexander Possibly insane.

    Patterns a bit like Heian 1-5, Tekki 1-3, Kushanku, Nijushiho, etc? :D

    (As an aside, I recommend reading the last bit of Bill Burgar's book Five Years, One Kata - it seems like you would like that a lot judging from your post!)
  12. mattsylvester

    mattsylvester One proud daddy!

    What makes me laugh is that point 4 is completely wrong! Fine, they took the long walking stance and shortened it whilst keeping it and calling it Front Stance, but this only returned the patterns to a more Pinan/Pyong-Ahn appearance i.e. High, short stances.

    Fine, they made the patterns quicker in execution. Which again points to the Pinans/Pyong-Ahns.

    They then dropped the cross-hand chamber (Choi's a BAD man, a very bad man, get rid of his ideas) and adopted the ........ KARATE/Japanese chamber!

    Oh and Cait, simple patterns are good. Patterns should be simple, it means that the techniques (and any applications if they can be found) are just as simple, easy to remember, applicable under the effects of adrenalin and usually far more effective than any long-winded or over-complicated technique. This is why I believe that patterns such as Sajo Jirugi (no, I don't care that Choi said it was an exercise, the definition is still the same), Chon-ji and Taeguk Il-Jang are especially effective and very nasty.

    Taeguk Il Jang for example, has a nice grab to the back of the head followed by a punch to the throat. Lovely. Sajo Jirugi and Chonji are full of knees, elbows and low kicks. All easily maintained, easily used and effective.
  13. Liam Cullen

    Liam Cullen Valued Member

    I know you've said before that this is all going in a book, but I'm very curious to see your ideas about Il Jang and just how that move works in relation to the pattern.
  14. mattsylvester

    mattsylvester One proud daddy!

    Hi Liam,

    Drop me an email :)
  15. Cait

    Cait da Bionic is BACK!

    I agree, to a point, simple it good (especially when it comes to self defense), but I think it needs to be challenging as well. Which is why I advocate leaving BOTH sets. In our school we use the Taegeuks for the kids, and then both sets for adults. We also use Saju Jireugi as our first (white belt) form... So I do get what you're saying.

    Huh?? Where? :confused:
  16. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong'll set him off. :)
    I don't know that particular pattern but I imagine from the bunkai (bong hai??) Matt describes there's a movement in it where one hand ends up in the palm of the other hand? At about head level?
    He's interpreting that as a punch in the throat with head control.
  17. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Well I've just watched it on Youtube (god that upright walking type stance looks half arsed when compared to an ITF or Karate pattern) and I'm now looking forward to Matt's answer. :)
  18. mattsylvester

    mattsylvester One proud daddy!

    Nope! But thanks for a good move for Won Hyo's starting position :)

  19. mattsylvester

    mattsylvester One proud daddy!


    00:27 to 00:28 - Most likely best done if someone is holding onto your top/lapels etc or upper arms.
  20. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Personally I'd interpret that more as a Hammer fist into the face (rather than controlling the back of the head), transition into head control by pulling the head back via the philtrum, nostrils or eyes (with the hand still in the front of the face), with a final Hammer into the throat to finish.
    Seeing as the two hands travel into the same direction.

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