This is a continuation of the theme of:  Practical for Theory of Power and Pattern should begin and end at exactly same spot – The secret of the “Scientific approach” of gen. Choi.

Anyone who has studied at a university and has filled a protocol with measurements from a laboratory practice exercise, looking at the scheme by which the positions in Taekwon-Do are measured, should notice the “elephant in the room”!

I prompt… Each position is measured with a different beginning and end (one from fingers to fingers and another from fingers to toe, etc.) – something that contradicts the systemic approach in science. Obviously, this part of Taekwon-Do is not properly structured, which contradicts the so propagated “scientific” base of the style.

With a closer look, it becomes more interesting… We have as a basis the “relative” size – “shoulder width”, but how much is it?

After the death of Gen. Choi and the disintegration of ITF by the German branch of ITF-V offered an interesting option for determining the “exact size” of “shoulder width”.

The idea is to perform a “proper” walking stance and divide the measured distance between the toes of the feet by 1.5 (the coefficient from the Encyclopedia). Interestingly, the logic is reversed – the length of the position is precisely adjusted based to the “correct” performance of a real technique (for example, a punch or a block). Geometric markers are used – the toes of the foot and the fist to be in one vertical plane.

In this way, an accurate match of the impact with the correct blocking surface is ensured when performing in three steps sparring, as described in the Encyclopedia.

The disadvantage of this way of determining the “exact size” of “shoulder width” is the limited “backward compatibility” with other position sizes. For example: This corrects the length of the position, but the “exact size” does not apply to the width (it remains the classic of the Encyclopedia).

Recently, this topic has become relevant again, after the analyses of the movement from the patterns with identical positions along the entire diagram, where the discrepancy with the rule becomes obvious: “forms in always begin and end in the same place”! Then the question was raised that in practice the proportions of the positions do not correspond to the Encyclopedia (something that is practically shown in the Encyclopedia).

In practical measurements (at a geometrically correct position) a factor of 2 is obtained (which is quite different from a factor of 1.5 in the Encyclopedia).

This result (the length is 2 times the width of the shoulders or 44 cm wide and 89 cm in length) is confirmed by analyzing the photos from the Encyclopedia..

It gets a lot more interesting. Those who have performed Yoo-Sin Tul have a switch from walking stance to sitting stance (and vice versa) by raising booth heels of the ground (in motion 16 and 17).

At first glance, this is “normal” because according to the Encyclopedia both positions are 1.5 shoulder-width long… However, an ancient mathematician wrote a formula for calculating the size of the hypotenuse in a right triangle.

By this formula we get different lengths between the steps at the two positions and there should be a movement of the steps, but there is none! If we think about it, the question arises: Which position to perform “wrong”?

After all these mismatches, the adepts* of gen. Choi must start to think… If they can?

Obviously we need to create a new systematic approach to measuring the length and width of positions, which is consistent with the practical implementation of the patterns and the three steps sparring.




* Adept – From French adepte, from Latin adeptus (“who has achieved”), the past participle of adipisci (“to attain”).


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