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CompleteMartialArts.com - Traditional Taekwondo: Core Techniques, History and Philosophy

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Manufacturer: YMAA Publication Center
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5

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Binding: Paperback
Dewey Decimal Number: 796.8153
EAN: 9781594390661
ISBN: 1594390665
Label: YMAA Publication Center
Manufacturer: YMAA Publication Center
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 200
Publication Date: 2006-05-25
Publisher: YMAA Publication Center
Studio: YMAA Publication Center

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Editorial Reviews:

This book describes in detail, the history and evolution of Taekwondo from its ancient roots to modern day applications. Also included are exercises in Ki development or internal energy development, meditation practice and 'core' practical self-defense strategies. This work focuses on the traditional aspects of Taekwondo rather than on its sportive component.

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: Good value for the money
Comment: Part 1 - history - I like this section very much. He starts with the "mandatory" references to the ancient kingdoms and Hwarang warriors but builds that into a nice bit of background for the emergence of modern TKD. From there he does a nice section on the "Formative Years of Taekwondo", complete with great details, photos, pictures of old organizational patches, and attention to all of the movers and shakers (including Gen. Choi). He also gets into some modern developments and the students creeds and such. His treatment of the "Formative Years" is not as in-depth as Dakin Burdick's articles but it covers all of the key points and is very accessible to read. For this section alone, I would highly recommend this book to my students and to all Taekwondo students.

Part 2 - philosophy - This section covers meditation, Ki and the poom-se.
I like the ideas he presents and I like the inclusion of medititaion training in Taekwondo. My only real issue with this section is his combining of Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean terms and ideas and terms in his dealing with this topic. I would have prefered to see the use of all Korean terms and concepts within the context of his very book title. Regardless, the concepts and ideas are great... just maybe not "Traditional Taekwondo".

The "Ki" section is similar, with a mix of Chinese, Korean, and Japanese terms and concepts. There are a bunch of exercises that may be fun to try although I don't recall ever seeing the real close pigeon-toed (thighs touching) stance shown in the exercises (which he does credit to kumdo though).

The poom-se section is excellent though and provides a nice bit of history (including some interesting tie-ins to Kata ), rationale, uses, and elements of training. It also provides a concise "meaning/philosophy" of the main sets of forms (Palgwe, Taegeuk, and Chang Hon). For this bit, I also recommend this to my students

The next section covers various drills and step sparring, none of which is particularly new but could be of interest. The "Ho Shin Sool" section didn't impress me at all. Most of the techniques shown look like Hapkido (which is only mentioned in a quick way as a "possible" source for some techniques) but there is no evidence of distraction, balance disruption, or tight control (I like seeing the elbows tight on joint locks for control). There also are no releases or finishes shown for the techniques. Again, students will be getting their actual intruction in class, not from a book... but I don't like this part much.
This is followed by "Self Defense for Women" - same as above but the lack of distractions, finishes, releases and such make it even more glaringly incomplete. The section on awareness and avoidance tips are good though.

The appendices cover some terminology, although no Hangeul is given unfortunately. There is also a nice 2 page listing of his sources.

Overall, for $20, this is a nice handy reference for Taekwondo students especially on the historical background and on the forms (poomse) material. Ideally the "physical skills" aren't learned from a book anyway and the instructors can cover this.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Comment: Cook once again has contributed greatly to Taekwondo. His first book is one everyone should have in their martial arts library. His second, this book, begins where his first left off. Where Taekwondo: Ancient Wisdom for the Modern Warrior speaks of principles, this book covers the history and techniques, both physical and metaphysical in nature, of Taekwondo. Buy both and study them closely.

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