Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Alex Gillis on The Future of Tae Kwon Do
After my review of "A Killing Art" by Alex Gillis, Alex and I exchanged e-mails and information that may pave the way to future projects.
Here's a bit of an interesting interview Alex had with "The Martial Edge":
(Interviewer Lesley Jackson, "The Martial Edge")
The Future for Taekwondo
And so we come full circle and where we started at the beginning, when I asked Alex what the thought the future holds for Taekwondo.
“ I fear that the martial art is dying, in both the ITF and WTF. My book explains how corruption and violent conflict started, and shows the massive amount of effort that’s required to get out of the mess. Before solving a deep problem, there has to be a reckoning, a truth and reconciliation phase. You can’t cure an illness without knowing what the illness is. My book helps to identify the illness, the conflicts and dilemmas in both the major styles of Taekwondo.
But it’s possible that we’re too late, that Taekwondo isn’t only dying, that it’s dead, dead in terms of the integrity of its techniques, in terms of keeping the profit motive in check, in terms of admitting to past failures, and in terms of popularity. It’s probable, for example, that WTF Taekwondo will be booted out of the Olympics soon. If you know about the shenanigans with money in the Olympics, all the scandals, then you can imagine how bad it must be in Taekwondo to be kicked out of the Olympic family.
For its part, the ITF continues to break apart; the three main splinter groups have themselves splintered further. Even the North Korean led organization contains fractures.
Still, perhaps enough instructors are quietly passing on the old techniques to keep our art alive. The continuity from generation to generation is what counts in martial arts, passing on the old, difficult techniques that take long years to perfect. I’m compiling a network of such instructors, people who have written to me, and I hope to post the list online one day.”
Here's the website for "A Killing Art", with other links