Karate became Taekwondo!
Interesting statement, but it is true: Taekwondo came from Karate. Consider the history of the five Kwans.
Chung Do Kwan (Blue Wave School) was begun in 1944 by Won Kuk Lee. Won Kuk Lee studied Shotokan Karate with Gichin Funakoshi, and he used the same forms and called his school Tang Soo Do.
Moo Duk Kwan was started in 1945 by Hwang Kee. Kee actually studied tai chi chuan, then studied with Won Kuk Lee, but he claims he learned the shotokan forms that he taught from Funakoshi’s book.
Song Moo Kwan was begun in 1944 by Byung Jick Ro. He studied shotokan, and called his school Tang Soo do.
Kwon Bop Bu/Chang Moo Kwan was begin in 1947 by Byung In Joon. Joon studied Karate with Kanken Toyama, who was a classmate of Gichin Funakoshi.
Yun Moo Kwan was founded in 1946 by Kyung Suk Lee (judo) and Sang Sup Chun (Karate). While this school was original judo and Karate, after the Korean War it began teaching Shito Ryu Karate.
These were the top five schools, and they were all Karate based.
The lesser six schools were all derived from these original five.
Comes the question, how did Karate become Taekwondo?
The answer is that Korea is a very nationalistic country, and politics plays a large part. Thus, Gen. Choi Hong Hi decided to bring all the schools under one banner, and to call them by the generic term Taekwondo (Way of the hand and Foot).
Thus, some of the schools still teach the old forms from Karate, and some teach later forms. There were actually a couple of evolutions of these later forms, and so there is confusion in Taekwondo because of this.
Interestingly, probably the school with the greatest claim to being pure Taekwondo would be The Kang Duk Won. This is because the style is based upon the teachings of Kanken Toyama. This kept the system more of a pure link to Okinawa, the birthplace of Karate, and away from the Japanese influence. Japanese Karate is good, but it has been altered to fit certain cultural facets of Japan.
Interested in learning the system that came through Kanken Toyama? Go to MonsterMartialArts.com and look for Evolution of an Art. Evolution of an Art contains three complete styles of Karate, from inception to interesting and extreme variations.
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