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#228732 - 02/07/06 07:37 AM Songahm system of TKD
TeK9 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 2257
Loc: Northern California, USA
Hi everyone

For the many of you that have read my posts, you know that I am not a big believer in forms training. I personally believe that there are better methods that can be used which are more beneficial to students.
Some of you have been kindly and respectfully suggested that perhaps the reason I do not appreciate forms is because I do not completely understand their hidden meaning or application towards self defense.
I on the other hand have given an examples of a different method of teaching. Such has combining your self defense and step sparrings sets to form a bigger solo set form. For instance if you take 6-7 step sparring sets you could combine them and create a solo form based on realistic moves which you already practice with a partner. However, I have come across a system of TKD which has based thier forms and techniques based around their schools curriculum. Similar to what I have suggested in my earlier posings.

"The "Songahm Star" is the pattern that is formed on the ground if all 18 forms of the Songahm system are completed. In a perfect Songahm Star, the distance from the center point of the star to the top point is nine feet ("feet" being the student's foot length). The total distance from the top point to the bottom point equals 18 feet, representing the number of forms in the Songahm system.

"Martial Art" is a broad term encompassing the many styles of physical discipline (fighting) arts that have been developed over the centuries. To say that the style of Songahm Taekwondo is just another "martial art" would be an oversimplified explanation of the world's largest centrally administered martial art. This system of teaching and training is unequaled in the martial arts community.

During its early years, the ATA used the Chahng-hun style of forms (also used by the International Taekwondo Federation). But although this style was widely accepted in the Taekwondo community, Eternal Grand Master H.U. Lee felt that its forms did not accurately reflect Taekwondo -- particularly the strength and beauty of Taekwondo kicking techniques. As a result, he believed the forms contributed little to the Taekwondo curriculum. For example, white belts were expected to know front kicks and side kicks, but no front kick appeared until the third (yellow belt) form, and there was no side kick until the form after that!

From 1983 to 1990, Eternal Grand Master introduced the eighteen Songahm forms. These forms are part of a fully-integrated curriculum, in which everything a student learns reinforces everything else. The forms contain all or nearly all of the techniques that students are expected to know at each rank, the one-step sparring segments complement the forms, and all of these patterns lead logically to the movements required for each succeeding rank.

The Songahm curriculum facilitates a smooth progression from one rank to the next, so that students who begin Taekwondo feeling they'll never be able to do a simple block (for example) suddenly find themselves a few years later doing 360-degree jumping kicks with ease.

Songahm Taekwondo also focuses on personal development of the mind and body. To say it is just self-defense would be to lose most of the valuable ideas and philosophy behind this ancient art.

The heightened capacity for self-defense resulting from our Taekwondo is really a fringe benefit that is gained by dedicating one's self to the values, philosophy and training of Songahm Taekwondo. When learning, a student is in a true, traditional Taekwondo class, focusing not just on the physical but also on discipline, honor, self-control, respect, courtesy, perseverance and loyalty.

A beginner does not focus on being a skilled martial artist within a month or two, as a strong foundation in Taekwondo must be built first. Trying to advance beyond your level without proper guidance is like building a house on concrete that has not dried. Though the house may still stand, the foundation would not be as strong and the appearance of the house may not be as presentable.

The ATA and its affiliated organizations help build a strong foundation of Songahm Taekwondo in each of its members, a foundation from which advancement in both the martial art (mind and body) and in self defense can be built and added on to in perpetuity."
_________________________
"Poor is the pupil who
does not surpass his
master" - Leonardo Da
Vinci

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#228733 - 02/07/06 08:59 AM Re: Songahm system of TKD [Re: TeK9]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
Tek9,
Do you have any experience with the Songham system or any of it's practioners?

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#228734 - 02/07/06 10:15 AM Re: Songahm system of TKD [Re: TeK9]
Paulol Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 112
On the point you made about step sparring and self defence techniques being mixed together in this style. This is how it should be!

Because the TKD forms were mishmashed together from Shotokan Katas, and the development of a more kicking driven MA style. TKD step sparring has little in comon with the forms they are paired with for graded with.

There is not need to create new forms again (though this would not be totally useless if thats what your into) as researching the original forms that they used in Kong Soo Do or early TKD if thats what people want to call it. You will see how the moves in your TKD forms could be used to for results.

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#228735 - 02/07/06 06:27 PM Re: Songahm system of TKD [Re: oldman]
TeK9 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 2257
Loc: Northern California, USA
No I've never met or seen anyone from that style of TKD. What I am trying to point out is how they have developed a series of forms that accomodates thier students accordingly. For instance the forms WTF and ITF use do not have all the techniques found in TKD, nor are the techniques introduced at the right time. As the article stated. What I wanted to point out was how the creater of this style of TKD came up with his own forms to introduce his students to TKD techniques and enhance their practice through reinforcement, because the techniques in the forms would be similar to the ones they would practice in one/three step sparring and self defense, so it becomes repetitious. And I believe this is a good method of using forms. As opposed to the current method.
_________________________
"Poor is the pupil who
does not surpass his
master" - Leonardo Da
Vinci

Top
#228736 - 02/07/06 07:53 PM Re: Songahm system of TKD [Re: TeK9]
VDJ Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 1674
Quote:

No I've never met or seen anyone from that style of TKD. What I am trying to point out is how they have developed a series of forms that accomodates thier students accordingly. For instance the forms WTF and ITF use do not have all the techniques found in TKD, nor are the techniques introduced at the right time. As the article stated. What I wanted to point out was how the creater of this style of TKD came up with his own forms to introduce his students to TKD techniques and enhance their practice through reinforcement, because the techniques in the forms would be similar to the ones they would practice in one/three step sparring and self defense, so it becomes repetitious. And I believe this is a good method of using forms. As opposed to the current method.





Tek,

This is EXACTLY the point I was trying to make to you in the past. You come across as authoratative and factual when you don't have all the facts. I really don't mean to come across as nasty or sarcastic but the ATA is a joke. You might know them as the other name that they go by, "Karate for Kids". They have almost as many McDojangs as there are the Actuall Mickey D's ! You are buying into a philosophy without seeing the actual art and what is not actually practiced. Yes ther are some fine practioners within this system, the majority are just people paying for their black belt. Are you aware that they have a "Patent" or 'Patent Pending" on their patterns ? How can you put a patent on a form ? "Yes your Honor, I was walking thru the park and noticed this person doing one of the Songham TKD patterns. Me being on the patterns police dept., I asked to see his Songham TKD membership card, he said he wasn't a member of Songham TKD so I had him arrested". Please I ask you again, check your facts before posting on something. I know that I may end up offending some ATA practioner, but with all my travels and as many schools that I get to visit and train at, these are in the top 2 of the least impressive schools in my experiences. My guess is that "Oldman' may have been getting to the same point about this style by posing the question to you about ever seeing them practice.

VDJ

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#228737 - 02/07/06 10:53 PM Re: Songahm system of TKD [Re: VDJ]
TeK9 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 2257
Loc: Northern California, USA
In this post I wasn't trying to get political. What I was merely trying to point out was how they have elected to tech thier forms, self defense and step sparring. In a well organized manner. Each aspect reinforcing the other.

I think your reading to much into the post VDJ. I have already posted that I have no offiliation with the ATA nor have I ever seen this style of TKD. However, the teaching method they are using in thier curriculum sounds very good.

This is similar to how a kenpo school I know teaches there forms, self defense and step sparring (stand ups, covers, clubs, front and back grabs). I'm starting to actually feel concerned for your health VDJ it seems your on your way to an ulcer from the sound of your post.

This post was to those who I have had conversations with about my experiences with forms/poomse and how I feel there are better methods of teaching the basics to students without using them.
_________________________
"Poor is the pupil who
does not surpass his
master" - Leonardo Da
Vinci

Top
#228738 - 02/07/06 11:38 PM Re: Songahm system of TKD [Re: TeK9]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
Tek,
The reason I asked about if you were familiar with the style or its practitioners was not intended to be an insult. It was more pragmatic than that. I wanted to know if what you shared was based on your experience rather than pedogogical perpsective. It is one thing to assess the veracity of an idea.It is another thing to see evedence that supports the premise. One question to consider is who designed the WTF and ITF forms. Then what did they know when they designed them and over what period of time and for what purpose they were designed for. You can start a line of inquiry by simply asking "Who was their teacher?". Any Painting created by an artist is a record of their strengths, weaknesses, priorities and preferences. It is the same with one form or 18.

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#228739 - 02/08/06 04:54 AM Re: Songahm system of TKD [Re: oldman]
TeK9 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 2257
Loc: Northern California, USA
No harm done here, I did not take your post as an insult.
The main point I wanted to get out was the approach this style uses in teaching it's students. How one lessons builds on another, just like when learning techniques, how one technique leads to another and soon you are dong variations of that technique. Your constantly building on them. This is how they are teaching thier forms, step sparring and self defense.

My position as far as forms/poomse in taekwondo are conncerned is that they are not very useful, and that there are alternative ways of teaching the basics to students. However, if one were to change or integrate the techniques such as this style did so that to fit a curriculum which reinforces it's basics then this would be one of those alternative methods I was reffering to in previous posts.

I am not commenting on the style, ATA organization or it's politics. I only wanted to point out its teaching approach.

So far noone has commented on it yet.
_________________________
"Poor is the pupil who
does not surpass his
master" - Leonardo Da
Vinci

Top
#228740 - 02/08/06 07:42 AM Re: Songahm system of TKD [Re: TeK9]
VDJ Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 1674
"I am not commenting on the style, ATA organization or its politics. I only wanted to point out its teaching approach.

So far noone has commented on it yet."

Yes Tek, we have, but your not listening. I never said that you were refering to the organization & its politics. But you are buying into a philosophy in which they say their curriculum is built upon w/o actually seeing it. I have seen it, and when you walk in to the dojang it is geared toward teaching kids. There are very few adults that I have seen training at these schools. You have 6&7 year old black belts. Now do you really think that their curriculum is set up to create a "superior" methodology in its teaching to create a 7 year old black belt ? BTW, if I'm not mistaken, the founder of this org was a former ITF member as was the founder of the GTF, GM Park. So there is a Chang Hon(ITF) influence here as there was a Shotokan influence in CH. As far as your opinion about forms not being very useful for SD training, maybe you just didn't have the right instructor for this. My instructor does an ok job with it,but she prefers the police techniques, but by far the best one I have come across in how the movements are applicable in SD is Master Weiss. Explains them clearly and simply, then demonstartes them. Again, it's all subjective and has been debated for years. Then there are people who just like to do forms for fun!

VDJ

Little off topic, but I really like the new icons below !

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#228741 - 02/08/06 03:56 PM Re: Songahm system of TKD [Re: TeK9]
TeK9 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 2257
Loc: Northern California, USA
The reason why I created this thread, was because I found online a TKD organization which takes what seems a logical approach when introducing, teaching and reinforcing new techniques to its students.

It is very similar to a kenpo school I know of which is ran by 2 kenpoist who were students of Rick Alemany. Rather than using some solo form which has no real combat usefulness. They focus on modern day self defense techniques.

It's a shame I have to point this out but what I mean by modern day self defense techniques are situations you would find yourself in this day and age in. I mean no longer are you going to be raided y attacking horsemen correct? So there isn't any value in learning how to block a spear. You would do better prepairing for situations involving the subways, or sidewalk encounters or being mugged at the bus stop. No longer do we need to learn how to defend against out dated weapons, weapons that cant even be legally carried out in the street for obvious reasons. No my friends it it better to prepare for knife and club attacks.

There are forms practiced that have no modern day combat applicaton what so ever. Then there are those which lack the realness of combat, and those created for aesthetic purposes. Now no point in arguing over who see's what and how the forms should be interpretated. I like simplicity. And believe that in a self defense situation it is what works best.

The instructors I know approach kenpo with a modern outlook. The teach thier self defense, stand ups, clubs, covers, front and back grab techniques. For those of you TKDist, these techniques just mean self defense and step sparring.

Anyway these kenpoist have thier students practice in partners similar to TKD step sparring. Instead of teacing thier children some mystical impractical form/kata/poomse they have thier students combine thier scenerios (pre-arranged forms aka step sparring) to be practiced as one big form. This way they are practicing solo forms the way they would actually use thier techniques in real life situations. Now doesn't that seem more practical? There are those who would say yes, then there are those closed minded.

There are those who believe this is a sham, that these guys are not teaching an "art" forgive me if I am wrong but when we refer to Oriental martial arts doesn't the "Art" refer to "the way","do", or "tao". When refering to oriental MA are we not talking about a unique set of combat systems that combine fighting techniques with philosophy. This was my understanding of the Asian martial arts.

It seems some of you only see Martial arts as any method or means of survival or just a means to an end.

I recal one of my old kenpo instructors from a previous kenpo school judgeing and criticizing these younger kenpoist who teach with a new apporach. He said "they are not teaching the art" I suppose what he meant by art was just aesthetics. And to think this guy has the title of Great Grandmaster...Sounded like jealousy to me.
_________________________
"Poor is the pupil who
does not surpass his
master" - Leonardo Da
Vinci

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