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Bits of Taekwon-do roots

TTT
  14
Taekkyon and Hopae sool seminar
Martin Svitek, 27.2.2018 – I had a chance to take part in very interesting seminar and as I enjoyed it a lot, I would like to share few thoughts with you.

Master Martin Zámečník (VII. Dan) invited grandmaster Do Ki Hyun and his student master Hwang In Mu from Republic of Korea to our country. I had time to participate in first half of the seminar so I spent 2 and half hour practicing basics of Yetbeop taekkyon and same amount of time for Hopae sool.

Yet beop taekkyon are traditional taekkyon techniques developed for practical self-defence without sport application. We all know that founder of Taekwon-do General Choi practiced Taekkyon, but it is really interesting experience to practice it on your own. We haven´t used fist at all. Two basic strikes were backhand strike and „looking like knife hand“ strike, but hitting with inner forearm. We weren´t allowed to use rotation of hips, only hips and weight forward and down with attacking tool going through the opponent – and it was suprising how much power we had developed. Grandmaster Do repeated few times that master Hwang is really strong - stronger than himself. It was interesting to feel his power – about 70 kilos of weight, but with striking power of I believe 90kg man. I had similar feeling as I got kicked by Hwang Su Il few years ago. Following principles of martial arts together with regular training brings its fruits. Simple clinching sklil was part of first „set“ we practiced and then very aggresive finishing of opponent. I believe it is something that should be part of even mainly striking style.
Traditional taekkyon movement of going down (even as „warm up“) got me to idea that may be it is a reason we have sine wave in Taekwon-do. Just my guess as inner feeling after a while of practicing it brought sense of stability and power in my legs. Maybe few taekkyon practices may help Taekwon-do practicioners with their sine wave as I see often that we do it because we are told to, but without gaining any real benefit from it.

Hopae sool is korean martial art with hopae – wooden identification sign with short rope (check photos). We have practiced with soft rubber hopae what I am thankful for. My weapon untrained body (and mind) would get really heavily bruised with wooden one :o) This part of seminar made my soul tremble with happiness. I have never practiced with weapons under guidance. I practice Taekwon- do for nearly twenty years and of course I don´t understand it and know it in total, but still my training now is mostly repeating and getting deeper and deeper. With hopae I was beginner once again striking my head, elbows, knees, binding myself and enjoying each new movement and each new feeling of flow. Since seminar I practice with hopae every day for few minutes and it gives me such a fresh feeling. My partner for whole event was Luďek Kastner, student of master Lee Youn Jae. Luděk is weapon enthusiast so as I adapted quickly to bare hand techniques of taekkyon with possibility to help Luděk, he was happily trying hopae with general weapon understanding helping me with basic principles.

I want to finish this article sharing one GM Do´s quote. When someone asks him why he practices martial arts he reaplies „because it makes me happy“. So I wish both me and you to have same gameplan :o) Self- defence is good sklil to know, but in our country with prevention maybe you will not use it through your life, grading and tournament successes are good to obtain, but it fade away soon. But having such a spark in your eye when practicing and teaching after more than 40 years – that´s great life strategy.

Mgr. Martin Svitek, V. Dan, Sonkal Praha
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