Summary: THE Best Reference for Tae Kwon Do
Comment: I bought this book in 1985, and here in 2006, I still consider it to be THE best reference for Korean Martial Arts. While many martial arts books have come and gone, this book is one of a handful worth keeping.
Chen has taken on the challenge of explaining the movements required for each form in the sequence of belt level by first describing how the basic movements are made then putting together for the individual forms.
The burden for success in this approach is on the photography - and that is where this book excels.
Summary: Quality Book Containing Quality Information
Comment: In an age where low quality has become the rule, Richard Chun's Book "Tae Kwon Do: The Korean Martial Art" is an exception. This was the first of the widely available large taekwondo books covering World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) style.
Author Richard Chun himself is originally of the Moo Duk Kwan, and was part of the contingent which split from Grandmaster Hwang Kee to remain with the Korea Taekwondo Federation (later the World Taekwondo Federation). In observing and considering the techniques in this book, those who have experienced other martial arts will be able to see the "old" style of Taekwondo, with the wider stances and solidity reminiscent of Japanese karate.
This volume contains the information required for the rank of Cho-Dan (first degree black belt) in most Taekwondo schools. Chapters cover history, stretching, strength exercises, stances, walking and moving, striking, vital points, hand, arm and head techniques, blocking, kicking techniques (including wheel kicks, jumping, and a technique I've never seen anywhere else--the handstand double foot kick!), advanced stances and combinations, sparring, self defense, breaking and special techniques, equipment in training, sport taekwondo (WTF style), and 9 forms: ki-cho 1, and the 8 Pal-Gwe.
The volume is hardcover, with cloth-covered boards and dust jacket. The photographs are crisp and clear, the paper is quality acid resistant, and the binding is (gasp) sewn. This book really is a work of art and a fine tribute to the practice of Taekwondo as a martial art.
Summary: Tae Kwon Do The Korean Martial Art
Comment: I used this book years ago when taking the sport myself and now my children are referencing it with great success. Excellent illustrations of basic stances, kicks, punches, etc. Outstanding section detailing Pal-Gwe forms. The down side is, Taegeuk forms are not included.
Summary: The Best D*** TKD book, ever!
Comment: Well, it's one of the bext out there, judging by the reviews posted so far. I have a personal conncetion to this book, as my "Tio Jimmy" was featured throughout the book along with several of his students. My "Tio Jimmy" was James Rene Diaz, a 4th Level Master who as a young adult, started to study as one of Master Chun's original students in New York. He eventually came to Miami and started a school on South Beach in the 70's. While there, he taught over 20 black belts, until his untimely death from cancer in April 1983. Many of the outdoor photos were taken at the Japanese Gardens and Tea Houses on Watson Island, just between downtown MIami and South Beach.
Summary: The Essential Book of TKD
Comment: Mr. Chun has done a marvelous job. Tae Kwon Do explains everything that a White Belt to Black Belt should know. For the beginner , it has a complete discussion and illustrations of stances, techniques, and forms. For the Black Belt, a complete review of all techniques (except the Koryo forms 1 and 2)I was hoping for an informative section on breaking but it was obvious that the iron hand techniques were too advanced for a non All Black Belt Book (1st dan up)The breakdown of the forms in short and long depictions is excellent, especially when you don't remember all of the steps in a form,or when you are first learning a form. He omits the compleat Kicho forms ( but includes them is his other two books)The self defense section however,is for the beginner only. Black belts should be able to invent better additions for self defense applications. This book is used as an "informative bible"and review primer in my dojo. A MUST BUY.