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KyungYet
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 50

Styles: 100% powered by Tang Soo Do for nearly 30 years.

PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:49 pm    Post subject: Tiny Differences in Hyungs for No Apparent Reason Reply with quote

Over my years of training, I've found that nearly every federation/studio has a slightly different take on the hyungs - and that even within the same studio over the years, tiny moves and interpretations get changed, either subtly or through grand pronouncement.

Why? I think it's usually an attempt to clarify/modernize what are perceived to be difficult-to-understand movements. I think there's also an narcissistic component: making the hyungs "your own" or assuming that your own clarification/twist on a form "improves" it is a projection of one's ego.

I've been tempted to do it myself, but I resist. I try to stick with the way I learned the form originally, ignoring changes that have been made since. And lately, I've even been going back and reading HC Hwang's Soo Bahk Do books, going backwards to the original versions of the form from when hey were originally created. After all, if hyungs are the cultural and traditional component of our art, their value to some degree lies in maintaining their integrity. That is, whatever version is practiced will improve speed, strength, breathing, focus, technique, etc. - so we might as well do the oldest, most traditional version possible, right?

I'd rather practice the original ideas of Master Hwang Kee from the 1940s than the detail-y, personal changes made by Joe Karate Guy for his studio last week.

What's your take on this? And BTW - my apologies if I sound opinionated and judgmental. I am the former but don't mean to be the latter. =)

Kamsahamnida!
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28074
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I experience this phenomenon all the time. Our school uses the ITF forms, but just about every form we do has some differences to how they were originally done. I have quite a few books on the ITF forms that I use for references, and the changes are usually pretty easy to spot (especially since we don't use sine wave; watching videos on youtube is so much different than how we peform in our classes and testings).

For me, a change is good if it has solid reasoning. "Because I can kick higher, so I do," probably isn't the best reason. But then again, if we want to practice high kicks, and we want to use our forms as a primary method of practice, then doing the kicks in the forms higher makes sense, if that is your goal.

Now, we don't do really any kind of forms applications, so any changes I've seen seem to be more stylistic in nature than anything else. I have also seen changes in techniques a few times since I've been with my current organization, and I don't have the slightest idea why they change. Sometimes, I think its forgetfulness...
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Aodhan
Black Belt
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Joined: 29 Apr 2005
Posts: 1508

Styles: ATA TKD, WTF, Shotokan

PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Minor differences creep into everything, and especially in a physical endeavour. I remember in my first instructor camp, we spent a good couple hours with a couple of our very senior ranks out from HQ on the differences in knee position for the prep phase of a round kick.

We went through three or four different ones, and the differences were literally an inch or so between each one, but we dissected each and found good/bad aspects of all of them. Some might be better for sparring, others would be better for a forms competition.

Inner forearm block - I've had some instructors that like the upper/lower arm at 90 degrees, and some that prefer it around 65-70 degrees. Will each block a punch coming in? If yes, then it's an effective block and the minor difference in arm angle doesn't mean anything.

While I find it admirable that you want to learn the original hyungs, consider that they have had 60+ years to adapt, see what works and doesn't, improve and change. I would learn both, and use what works if you need it.

John
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DWx
KF Sensei
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Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6214
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The way I think some differences come about is from Joe Bloggs adapting the form to fit his particular body type or ability or even just personal preference. Over the years he teaches his version to his own students and then this just becomes how he and his school do it. Until one of his own student's starts changing things and the cycle repeats.

I study ITF Taekwon-Do and for the most part the student body as a whole seems to be fairly consistent with how things are done. Our founder, Gen. Choi laid everything out very clearly in a 15 volume encyclopedia series so what we have is set in stone. However over the years we have had a number of different changes implemented, minor ones grant you but changes nonetheless - usually because one of the masters decides that it is a more effective way of doing things. These changes do seem to be pretty consistent globally though as you will see practitioners from all over slowly implement them. What I have noticed though is that you can actually see various masters' influences on their students as often you can actually tell which country someone comes from based on subtle variations in how they perform.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
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Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DWx wrote:
I study ITF Taekwon-Do and for the most part the student body as a whole seems to be fairly consistent with how things are done. Our founder, Gen. Choi laid everything out very clearly in a 15 volume encyclopedia series so what we have is set in stone.


Sometimes, I think I need to create my own personal volumes of the forms, because we do so many things so differently from what I've seen. There is currently some disagreement in our school as to whether we step forward or back to ready position at the end of Choong Moo (I swear by my right leg I was taught to step back!)....
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JWLuiza
Orange Belt
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Joined: 04 Dec 2005
Posts: 196

Styles: Tang Soo Do and Jujitsu

PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Standardization is a modern invention. The Okinawan masters would teach different variations based on their own evolution and the need of their students. I don't think minor differences are important at all. If you watch someone who teaches applications, often the minor changes might slightly change the application, but the principle remains the same.
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bushido_man96
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JWLuiza wrote:
Standardization is a modern invention. The Okinawan masters would teach different variations based on their own evolution and the need of their students. I don't think minor differences are important at all. If you watch someone who teaches applications, often the minor changes might slightly change the application, but the principle remains the same.
That's a good point, one I haven't thought of. But, it makes sense, with the way schools standardize things for testings and what not.
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