For the past month and a half, I’ve been refreshing my ability to do all of the hyung I was taught during my years of Tang Soo Do training. It’s actually gone very well for me; I’m finding that my recall ability had not failed me, and my muscle memory is kicking in.
You may remember that back in the day, I occasionally lamented that Korean martial arts sometimes only tell part of the story, and that one of the misgivings of Tang Soo Do is that practicioners only get a partial translation of older Okinawan and Chinese martial arts. In the past, I was hesitant to voice this opinion due to my association with a nationally recognized federation. Well, time and years of inactivity have changed all that.
This morning, while doing hyung as part of my morning routine, that nagging thought of only doing an interpretive dance started to gnaw at me again. I really don’t know a lot about the uses of the forms I spent almost 2 decades learning. I’m not blaming that on any of my instructors, it’s just how we’re taught. It’s always been about the “how” and never the why.
Well, I’m no longer under the constraints of stifling uncomfortable questions, and I have plenty of them. Even if I’m just practicing for the wealth of my own knowledge, if I don’t at least make an attempt to learn why, I’m still just dancing. I know that there are other sources of information out there. Needless to say, it’ll be interesting to see if this new journey changes how I perform certain movements, cause I know that a part of me will fight changing something I’ve done for 20 years.
So, I ask you, Korean martial artist….
How much do you really know about Pyong Ahn Chodan?