Cook book

Traditional Taekwondo – Basic Techniques, History and Philosophy by Doug Cook

“Traditional Taekwondo: Core Techniques, History, and Philosophy” by Doug Cook is a book every taekwondo practitioner will want on their bookshelf. It is also a book that will appeal to other Korean martial artists and even those who do not practice Korean arts but would like to learn more about the “foot, hand, way” of the land of the morning calm.

The book is divided into three parts, the first is history and culture, the second is philosophy, and the last section focuses on technique. The first two sections were excellent and will help anyone who practices the art of taekwondo to better understand the history, culture and philosophy of this art. These are the sections that will also appeal to other Korean martial artists and even other arts. The third part, Technique, showed some techniques from the taekwondo program well, but was not as solid or as interesting as the first two parts.

It is extremely difficult to boil the history of a country, especially a country like Korea which has a long and interesting history, into a few short chapters. I think Cook did a really good job of narrowing the story down to some of the most relevant and interesting historical references, starting with the legend of Tan-gun. It briefly covers the Three Kingdoms and some of the key players in Korean history. It has a bit about the Japanese occupation from 1910 to 1945, which is important for the development of taekwodo. The next chapter on the formative years of taekwondo is very interesting and will be valuable for anyone who wants to learn more about the history of the art.

The Philosophy portion had chapters on the role of meditation in traditional taekwondo, the development and use of sparring ki, and the relevance of poom-se in traditional taekwondo. These chapters, again, were interesting and informative. I think they offer the reader a more in-depth look at taekwondo than just the popular sports fight.

The third and longest part focuses on technique. It is the longest because it is mainly images, illustrating the techniques chosen for the text. The chapters first cover conditioning exercises, then a chapter describing training methods. Although I agree with most of what was written, there are a few things I would have written differently, especially the description of ho shin sool, or self-defense techniques. It is correct that ho shin sool techniques provide solutions to grabs as written, but ho shin sool techniques also include defenses against strikes, kicks, and initiating moves.

I liked the training guidelines, especially the emphasis on respect and safety. Then, for the techniques actually demonstrated with pictures, there are 18 Il Su Sik combinations (one-step fighting), 8 Sam Su Sik combinations (three-step fighting), 18 Ho Shin Sool (self-defense techniques) and 16 tusks. for women. You can look at this in several ways. First, look at this section as a small sample of the techniques you find in the taekwondo curriculum. It is what it is. And as a small sample, Cook did a good job adding it. However, learning the techniques from the book would be extremely difficult, just like learning a martial art from a book is not recommended, you need a live instructor and a partner to practice . I had a fundamental disagreement with the way some of the ho shin sool techniques were demonstrated because the correct body positions, movements and weight placement were not illustrated, and I also have difficulty with a few techniques. (i.e. blocking a pipe with your forearm) However, it is not the purpose of this review to engage in the practicality of techniques and so on. So enough said.

There is a short conclusion, then the appendix sections. Appendix A was extremely interesting. He was recounting a training experience with Grandmaster Gyoo Hyun Lee in Korea. I found it interesting and it also made me homesick to go back to train in Korea. It really made me want my next trip there to train. There were also a few Korean/English terms and few martial arts organizations listed. Nice additions to the book, especially the training experience with Grandmaster Lee.

For the History and Philosophy sections, I rate this book a 5 and for the Techniques section a 3. Therefore, the book is a 4 overall and a book that I recommend all taekwondo stylists read and consider. learn. I also recommend it to anyone who wants to better understand the history, philosophy and techniques of traditional taekwondo.

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