Summary: A Tae Kwon Do Book Worth Obtaining, Reading, and Pondering
Comment: Duk-sung Son is one of the original students of Chung Do Kwan founder Won-kuk Lee, who studied karate in Japan during the Japanese occupation of Korea. Originally published in 1968, this is the "old school" tae kwon do Chung Do Kwan pretty much as Son learned it from Lee in Korea, prior to the changes made to the art directed at making it much different from Japanese karate and more sport oriented.
The level of detail in this volume makes it worth obtaining. It was clearly written for university level students (I believe Son taught at a New York University for many years). Eschewing simple explanations and redundancy, Son presents detailed descriptions of techniques, skills, and common mistakes. Son himself posed as the model for all of the photographs, and indeed one can see from various photos his incredible physique. This text is a complete beginning through intermediate course for Chung Do Kwan Tae Kwon Do, covering all materials up to black belt level. The chapters are as follows:
2. What is Tae Kwon Do?
3. The Fundamentals of Tae Kwon Do
4. Warming Up Exercises
5. Basic Blows, Kicks, and Blocks
7. Three-Step Sparring
8. Practical Applications
9. Free-Style Fighting
10. Other Exercises and Breaking
The chapters "what is tae kwon do?" and those on sparring illustrate the influence of Korean culture as well as similarities to Japanese style karate. The chapter on forms (hyung) includes the two basic forms Son devised himself (Kuk Mu 1 & Kuk Mu 2), the five Pyung Ahn Hyung, Chul Gi 1 (Naihanchi Chodan), and Pal Sek (Bassai).
Son offers no easy solutions, and does not cloak his advice in the mists of myth. This is martial arts for martial art's sake, devoid of salesmanship and window dressing, before the days of 4-year-old black belts, when martial artists were known as people who pushed and worked. Son tells us:
"Although Tae Kwon Do does not have a philosophy per se, its philosophy, if it has onem is most closely akin to that of zen if, in fact it is not the same thing." (302)
Also recommended is Son's sequel, "Black Belt Korean Karate".
Summary: Important TKD book
Comment: This book surprised me. I was not expecting much from it and bought it only because I found if for a great price. Other reviewers have talked about the pictures and how good they are, but they fail to mention the text. This is well written with very precise explanations of how moves are done. Explanations of how strikes and kicks are performed with the reasoning why. The book also explains the common mistakes made and the outcome of those. All and all a good addition to anyone's TaeKwonDo library or a good general martial arts library. I only wished they had explained the more traditional forms.
Summary: Very clear and complete
Comment: This is an excellent book on Chung Do Kwon Style TKD ! The pictures are clear and very well planned - each movement is shown from start to end, stage by stage and the pictures were taken with foot-placing lines drawn on the floor, so it is easy to see where you have to step. Clearly, the author knew what he wanted: to teach you each aspect of the art.
Even for a WTF TKD student like me, this book is most invaluable, although the names of the stances, attacks and defenses are a little different from what I'm used to.
Summary: Great Reference for Chung Do Kwon Style TKD
Comment: Having studied Chung Do Kwon for twenty years (receiving my Black Belt from Grandmaster Son himself), I find this book invaluable! Now an instructor myself, it is a wonderful tool to aid in the instruction of Basics & Hyungs, showing excellent breakdown of each move. The history section could be have a bit more meat to it, but for someone interested in the technical aspects of this style it is a MUST HAVE!
Summary: Master work.
Comment: This is a masterpiece of a book, showing the forms necessary to grasp Chung Do Kwan Tae Kwon Do. Photos at different angles, foot diagrams and text explanation will be a great supplement to instruction.