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Taekwon Do the Art of Self Defense Hardcover – 1965

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Hardcover, 1965
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Taekwon-Do classic 30 Oct. 2013
By W. McMillin - Published on
Taekwon-Do: The Art of Self-Defence by Choi Hong Hi
Daeha Publication Company: Seoul, Korea 1965

This is the first book in English about Taekwon-Do, and one of the first in any language other than Korean. The book is surprisingly well laid out considering it is the first comprehensive book on Taekwon-Do. I have found that later editions and many of the other so called comprehensive Taekwon-Do books are often confusing in their layouts.

This book shows that early on, there was an association between traditional karate and Taekwon-Do. The easiest example is the fact that all the photos show people (including Choi) wearing karate gis (or dogis as I have been corrected on) rather then the black trim doboks that we are used to. The other important aspect is that the 15 traditional forms of karate are shown here. The hyungs of the "Sho-rin and Sho-rei Schools" are the orthodox form of Funakoshi's Shotokan School. These fifteen forms were practiced by many of Taekwon-Do's earliest pioneers, including Choi, when they were taught karate in Japan. A careful look will show many of the moves in these forms have been adapted into the original Taekwon-Do hyungs.

The original Ch'ang Hon forms are explained for the first time in this book. I saw original because at the time of publishing there were on 20 hyungs (Chon-Ji, Tan-gun, To-san, Won-hyo, Yuk-kok, Ch'ung-gun, Kwang-gae, P'o-un, Kae-baek, Yu-sin, Ch'ung-jang, Ul-ji, Sam'il, Kodang, Ch'oi-yong, Se-jong, and T'ong-il). The other four forms wouldn't be added to later editions. Kodang is the original Kodang and not the renamed Kodang used by some organizations. I have always found that just an explanation of the hyung to be lacking without pictures to back it up (I find the opposite to be true as well). I know many people are confused by this way of explaining hyungs.

This is an excellent book on the early days of Taekwon-Do. It is still an excellent book on Taekwon-Do though those that do sine-wave might disagree. This should be in the library of any serious Taekwon-Do scholar, Ch'ang Hon yu practitioners, and serious students of Taekwon-Do.
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