Call it good karma. I woke up from my post-relative nap to catch the last 45 minutes of Human Weapon: Taekwondo. I absolutely have to get this on DVD when it comes out. If you go to the Human Weapon website you can see the trailer while it’s still up. Included in the trailer is Bill getting knocked out with a spinning hook kick (at least I think that’s him). They only show a flash of it near the end of the trailer but if you catch the full episode you’ll see that Bill got his bell rung. In addition, Jason Chambers blows his knee out while trying the damned tornado kick in a live match. I’ve been working on that kick for at least six months and it still gives me trouble. So, I really appreciated seeing two experts having trouble with taekwondo. At some point they’ll probably update their video gallery to include footage from the taekwondo episode. Finally, from the cool break department you can watch a taekwondo master break 12 marble slabs with a chambered punch. It’s on the trailer and it’s also on the episode.
I missed the first 15 minutes so I can’t discuss that part of the show. I caught it when they were talking about early forms of taekwondo. In particular, they covered Takkyeon and how many of these ancient techniques were eventually incorporated into modern taekwondo.
Taekkyon contains all kinds of techniques, including hand and leg techniques as well as joint locks, head butts and so on. However, today there are different styles which sometimes do not emphasize all techniques. In all styles, just like in past centuries, kicks are most dominant. Taekkyon teaches a great variety of kicks, especially low kicks (ddanjuk) but also jumps.
After Taekkyon they then trained in Hwa Rang Do which is thought to be another ancient style of Korean fighting that also influenced taekwondo.
During the course of study up until black sash, a practitioner will learn a long form, eight basic techniques, around 30 “one step sparring” techniques and about the same number of self-defense techniques, and some short forms, every sash level. In addition, three main weapons will be taught: The Ssang Jyel Bong (nunchaku), Jang Bong (long staff), and the Gum Mu (sword). Defense against other weapons, such as the knife, are also taught, but training with those weapons does not occur until black sash. Hwa Rang Do students will also have extensive study in grappling, joint manipulation and submission fighting, and new curriculum rollouts allow studying kumdo and weapon fighting earlier in the program.
After that Bill and Jason both got to fight some taekwondo master who was dubbed “the professor.” I’m guessing that the professor was about 140 lbs wet and not very tall. However, he’s very good at taekwondo.
Now I’m sure people will argue that Bill and Jason where confined to taekwondo rules during the match. Well duh Eisenstein! That’s pretty much been the theme of EVERY episode and is pretty much the point of the whole series: Have the hosts immerse themselves in a particular martial art. So, you really have to give Bill and Jason credit for trying to play by someone else’s rules.
This also was about as hurt as I’ve seen Bill or Jason. Bill gets knocked out and Jason burns a knee. Jason even quips with frustration that they both were wearing all of taekwondo’s protective gear. Welcome to my world.
I also had to chuckle. After calling me crazy (a frequent occurrence in my household) my wife stated that she “now knows why I’m always hurt.” Hey, what can I say? It ain’t ballet!