A lesson for Taekwondo

Hidden truths about karate.
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A lesson for Taekwondo

Postby HanshiClayton » Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:46 am

The combative interpretation of the heian/pinan kata in Shotokan's Secret, Expanded Edition present Korean karate organizations with an unexpected opportunity.

Setting aside all of the “official” legends about the origin of Korean combat arts, a large part of the truth has to do with Korean students of Shotokan who went home after World War II and established schools of their own. The Japanese origin of the art was not acceptable in Korea, especially when karate became part of universal military training. Over the next three decades Korean teachers rebuilt the art by substituting newly-invented forms for the “Japanese” katas.

But the heian kata are not Japanese! They are Okinawan, created by people who experienced the same brutal treatment that Korea has known at Japanese hands. These kata teach military combatives to resistance fighters, for the express purpose of killing samurai. That sounds like something a Korean student might identify with.

That puts a whole new face on the heians. Maybe it is time for Korea to re-adopt them. Forms about killing Japanese soldiers might prove popular in Seoul, and especially in the military.
Bruce D. Clayton, Ph.D.
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