Modernized techniques taught in a traditional setting.
In taekwondo, traditions are important – very important! But so is common sense.
Taekwondo literally means “the way or art of the foot and fist,” and modern taekwondo started to emerge in the late 1940’s after Korea was liberated from Japan’s occupation. When Japan occupied Korea, anything that represented “Korea” was forbidden; Masters went underground or were exiled to China or Japan. When Korean Masters returned to Korea after the end of World War II, they returned with martial arts techniques from other countries; these techniques became infused into Korean martial arts. This gave Korean taekwondo its unique style of open and closed hand strikes, various holds and grappling techniques, and its fantastic kicking style.
Decades ago, the Masters made heroic sacrifices to keep Korean martial arts from being eradicated; therefore, the respect for its history and traditions must always be taught and honored.
There are five universally accepted tenets of taekwondo: Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control, and Indomitable Spirit. These five tenets serve as the basis for the very foundational traditions of taekwondo. It would be a disservice to the student not to include these five tenets into their taekwondo training program, and would inherently misrepresent the heart and soul of taekwondo. Master Taekwondo’s training program adheres to the taekwondo traditions and requires each student to apply these five valuable tenets to their lives.
If Master Taekwondo does not compromise on the taekwondo traditions, then why modernize the techniques? If you are new to taekwondo, you might not realize that taekwondo techniques have always undergone modification. War time verses peace time has influenced various forms (choregraphed patterns), as well as self-defense tactics and striking & kicking styles. For example, “traditionally,” there was only one technique taught for disarming an attacker; in today’s culture, it would be foolish to train a student with only one option! What good is power if you can’t strike someone? Master Taekwondo’s individualized coaching considers a student’s age, size, weight, strength, height, training level, and personality type when teaching self-defense strategies. Things like range, reach, or lower center of gravity can all have an effect when defending yourself against an aggressor. It just makes sense to adapt traditional techniques and styles to the individual, instead of making the individual try to adapt to certain techniques just because it’s tradition!