What are the Martial Arts Influences on the Kang Duk Won
There are extraneous martial arts influences on every art, and the Kang Duk Won is no different.
Sometimes the martial arts influences can be bad, sometimes good. In the case of the Kang Duk Won the slant is very, very good.
The first real influence on Kang Duk Won was probably Joon Byung In. Before then the art was pure Karate, straight out of Okinawa, as taught by Kanken Toyama. Toyama probably offered a direct transmission from the Okinawan Imperial bodyguards, who invented the art.
Yes, one could say that Karate is a deviation on earlier martial arts, specifically Chinese Kung Fu, but with these martial arts influences we are really talking about the alteration of systems, and not just a slant.
Joon Byung In had trained in a Chinese Martial Art previously, so one would think that there would be a Kung Fu list to it. If there is, I think it would be in the training drills, perhaps the seven step punching exercise.
But I don’t think the slant on the forms would be much in the way of influences.
Remember that Joon’s Kang Duk Won was at the heart of many of the Kwans in Korea at the time, and the gross movements of the forms are fairly much the same.
The second potential for slant would be by Bob Babich. Mr. Babich was short and thin, and he tended to make the art a very straight line affair. He turned his rear foot in in the back stance almost like a sprinter, and this speaks of a very straight line intention.
The thing here is that Bob was a black Belt instructor in Kyokushinkai before he came into the Kang Duk Won. Yet when I examine the forms I see no hint of Kyokushinkai. So it seems as if Mr. Babich left the Kyokushinkai complete, and thus there would be virtually no slant from that quarter.
In the end, using matrixing and having over 40 years to inspect the thing, I didn’t find much slant, and only a spattering of influence.
Byung In Joon seems to have put aside his earlier training in favor of the Kang Duk Won, as does Robert Babich.
This speaks highly of the system, that it would remain pure no matter who touched it. When one does the system they feel the spiritual essence, and they realize that this is more than fighting, it is survival. And, as one travels through the system one comes in contact with a unique awareness that gives one an elevated outlook upon life, and changes the way one interacts with his fellow man and the universe itself.
If you want to know more about the Martial Art influences, here’s an article on the differences of Kang Duk Won and Karate.