In another thread recently started (Moving Backwards and Spinning 360 Degrees (or 180 with a head turn) in Original Koryo (and anywhere else).) the opening poster asked about applications from Original Koryo. In the very first reply Dave B said:
"I hate to say it, but the applications of wtf forms are punch, kick and block. A spin like that would have been added purely for difficulty. TKD just wasn't designed the same way karate was. It was based on the glorified Tae-bo that was Japanese Shotokan. Now all that said there's nothing particularly wrong with block/strike karate if it is trained at realistic distance with a realistic view of the impact of striking" End Quote
In a post a little later down in the thread Leigh Simms says:
"Whilst I would agree that the TKD forms that are based on Karate Kata and have been (re-arranged and changed) were probably done so with kick-block-punch applications (if any in mind)"
He also goes on to say:
"Where I think the difference is, is that the TKD forms are haphazard collections of practical applications that I believe were put together without any logical pracitcal thought behind the process. Because of that I would guess that most spins and turns found in TKD forms will be for linking movements together. But my knowledge of the history of TKD Forms is limited and I am more than happy change my view on evidence presented to me. " End Quote
What I would like to discuss is the possibility that there are practical applications in Korean derived forms. I personally think there are (In the KTA forms atleast). I think that what many people who disregard applications in Taekwondo forms are doing is
1) Believing it was based entirely on Shotokan
2) Funakoshi did not teach any applications beyond block kick punch
3) Looking at modern mainstream Taekwondo who has truly lost the applications beyond block kick punch
As for 1) I can say that the KTA (who made the forms "Palgwe 1-8", Black belt forms including original Koryo) was made by representatives from several different schools of different roots. The schools represented in the comite were: Chung Do kwan, Chang Moo Kwan, Song Moo Kwan and Oh Do Kwan. Now the majority of these have connections to Funakoshi. All except schools except Chang Moo Kwan came from a strong Funakoshi influence. Chang Moo Kwan was founded by Yoon Byung In who had mastered an unkown Chinese Martial Art in Manchuria before moving to Japan and study with Toyama Kanken. It was not a typical master, student relationship as Yoon Byung In and Toyama Kanken exchanged knowledge. Later the same comitte with the addition of representatives from Ji Do Kwan and Moo Duk Kwan made Taegeuk 1-8 + "new" Koryo. Ji Do Kwan`s founder Yoon Kwae Byung studdied with Kenwa Mabuni and Toyama Kanken. Moo Duk Kwan`s founder Hwang Kee trained martial arts in Manchuria as well as a lot of study with Yoon Byung In and Yoon Kwae Byung. So The foundation for the KTA is Shotokan, Shito Ryu and Shudokan Karate + Chinese sources as well as that several founders claimed to have studdied Taek Kyon.
2) I have to point out that Funakoshi gives examples of what many people would call "advanced" or "practical" applications in his own works. In his earlier works he even points to which Kata the examples are from. The applications seems to have been gradually downplayed and especially so after ww2 but the founders of the Kwan`s studdied with him before ww2. The other side of the coin is that other founders of schools that later joined to form Taekwondo studdied with Mabuni and Kanken + various Chinese teachers so I do not think it is impossible that the founders knew more than most people give them credit for.
3) Modern mainstream Taekwondo has developed a long way from its roots, and the sportification process has been relentless. Looking at the modern mainstream art to judge the Taekwondo of the 60s and 70s is impossible. An analogy I like here is that it would be the same as looking at Windows 7 and from that make judgements on windows 95. THey are both from the same company and both operative systems but I think we can say that they are very different. Same analogy can be used when looking at modern mainstream Shotokan and classical pre ww2 shotokan.
I am interested in hearing about other peoples views on the subject:-)