Friday, 4 September 2009
Sine wave in forms/hyung/poomse
I'm currently reading a fascinating book by Alex Gillis regarding the history of Tae Kwon Do which is called 'A Killing Art-The untold history of Tae Kwon Do'. This is an excellent read, if somewhat dry in parts, and reveals some interesting facts about this very modern art.
I often thought that certain Korean Tae Kwon Do practitioners had a certain bobbing up and down feel to their forms somewhat and reckoned this was due to stylistic or cultural differences. I've always been told to move through from one technique to another aspiring to keep the head as level as possible and to minimise 'bobbing'. Gillis says that General Choi introduced what he called a 'sine wave' to his forms when he was introducing Tae Kwon Do to North Korea in 1980. This, maintains Gillis, "distinguished it from Karate and Kim Un-yong's Tae Kwon Do".
This sine wave relies therefore on gravity for power and not a hip rotation and as Gillis writes, "gave Choi's...patterns a distinct style-slower, more rhythmic".
Whether or not this is more powerful I cannot say as I have never practiced the sine wave but it helped concretise the schism within Tae Kwon do and meant Choi could claim the North Koreans were practicing "pure Tae Kwon Do" and that other instructors were "fakes".
Here's an interesting video showing the diminuative Choi himself emphasising the 'big' sine wave:
And this other video shows 'Choong Moo' hyung being performed showing this chracteristic bobbing motion: