Thoughts on the "SINE WAVE" as established by GM Choi Hong Hi in ITF.

Discussion in 'Taekwondo' started by Martialist, May 6, 2013.

  1. Martialist

    Martialist Each One, Teach One

    Hello Martial Artist,

    I would like to know how many of you follow the Sine Wave theory(Up and Down motion performed during techniques) established by General Choi Hong Hi into ITF based Tae Kwon Do.

    What are your thoughts on SINE WAVE?

    Vidadi likes this.
  3. Caneman

    Caneman Test all things.

    I watched a 5 minute youtube on it...
    And I have lived nothing but Korean arts over the last 22 years...
    My answer is not really.
    I do see that form of flow in some lateral movements as he was showing with a "cup and saucer" into a single leg stance (which is usually followed by a butterfly kick - not what most call a butterfly). In some stomping and twist stances, etc.
    But, when it comes to normal front stance style movements, we do the opposite... we ensure you maintain the same eye level at all times, regardless of movement strike or block. Therefore any "sin wave" style of action would be horizontal, not vertical.
    I would consider it too timed (albeit only with formal movement)... and the effect would be an opponent understanding that "down drive" and timing an "up" kick or punch... or reverse with an ax or hammer.
    I much prefer maintaining true horizontal... and then utilizing bob/weave style motion in defense (untimed).

    BTW... I am a TSD practitioner... so the base is all the same... but there are differences.
    Chrisoro, Vidadi and Martialist like this.
  4. Martialist

    Martialist Each One, Teach One

    I have my pro's and con's about the Sine Wave personally. Not trying to start a debate or argument, just trying to see other ITF based TKD OR Korean practitioners Point of View. For example, how would you use sine wave during sparring? Real street confrontation? The way I see it is when fighting, I see no use for the sine wave. I think it creates or forces a person to telegraph movements and also extra added motions that slows and makes things complicated for Martial Artist. Instead of creating an Up and Down motion why not use direct linear, hip based attacks when going forward, backwards, angles? Also linear motions are not as easily telegraphed, are faster, and all the force being generated with an attack is focused on the point of impact. From my experience, Sine Wave seems to work when performing breaking techniques with a target that is not moving, but then again that is my problem, real targets(an attacker) move... Bow out with respect, Taekwon!
    Master of Nothing and Caneman like this.
  5. Martialist

    Martialist Each One, Teach One

    Most ITF based practitioners either don't answer the question properly or they all say the same. "We do it because it was instructed by GM Choi Hong Hi" or "Because it is in the Taekwondo Encyclopedia" for them these are answers so I can't really argue with that and I respect that. I guess I personally feel that Martial Arts in some way or another need to evolve or people need to know or understand what makes sense and what doesn't, specially in TKD in general.
    Vidadi and Caneman like this.
  6. Caneman

    Caneman Test all things.

    I have a very similar "split mind" (and so do the senior belts in the UTF - United Tang Soo Do Federation) as do most who have trained for a while and understand respect. We do what our Grand Master says... and that is the formal training and base art. And, we add and integrate many other things for non-formal applications. Our Gran Master knows this, and allows this in the non-formal.
    Master of Nothing likes this.
  7. Judah

    Judah fights in tights

    I did ITF, although I was never taught sine wave. Personally I think it's a load of bollocks, the up, down motion adds nothing to the power/force of any techniques and I really think it's just something general Choi added to make ITF TKD look different to shotokan karate from which he took most of the forms.
  8. Martialist

    Martialist Each One, Teach One

    Judah, I agree with you on that! I think General Choi somehow knew this and probably thought about getting rid of the sine wave but the federation grew, sine wave spread worldwide, and his health caught up to him. I am sure he was a smart man and knew what "sine wave" was about. I think it was implemented into ITF to distiguish it from Karate and out of Pride against the Japanese in the 40's and 50's...
  9. Pedro

    Pedro Baek Doo San

    Although I train WTF Taekwondo, we aren't taught poom sae, we learn the hyungs instead, that are the same sequences as the ITF tuls, but without the sine wave and executed with some little differences in the formalism.
    I don't think it's about a straight application in a street fight or in self deffense, otherwise all theory on forms would be questioned, but I've read some articles about the sine wave motion, that tries to explain its purpose through energy conservation.
    It's said that when you raise your body, you gain potential energy to deliver a more powerful strike using that 'extra' energy from the movement. What happens is when you lift your body you spend some energy that could be used on the strike or block, so I disagree with that explanation, even though it's the most plausible I've read.
    There is some more mathematical bullshit talking about the circular periodicity of the sine wave from trigonometry, or the flow of the movements, the integration of the soft and hard moves.... people talk a lot.
    I too think it was introduced to differ from other arts... actually, in my oppinion I don't like it, the forms get really ugly and kinda goofy...
    Martialist likes this.
  10. Kevin

    Kevin Admin Staff Member

    If you are talking about generating power from a stationary stance, I believe the sin wave is fundamental to many Taekwondo techniques e.g. breaking bricks etc. However........

    Two things come to mind:

    * Other styles, such as Karate, do not use the sin wave, yet they can deliver powerful strikes too.

    * You would never use it in a real fight. Never. I can't think of any scenario where I would even attempt to use it.
    Chrisoro, Vidadi and Ivor Godley like this.
  11. RJ Clark

    RJ Clark Tree Ninja Staff Member

    The bebopping bouncing sine wave stuff I've seen seem to be an expansion or an attempt to cleanly explain a method to generate power (but it falls short). Like the drop step for boxing or a core crunch, heard some refer to it as a spinal wave, at the end of your linear movement into your opponent to generate more power (that would look like a "drop"). Perhaps his theory would be better described as an extrapolation (?) that doesn't really pan out in combat, at least not as something you can possibly utilize with every strike.
    Mr.Bond likes this.
  12. dmach

    dmach Martial Archivest

    Seen it practiced and it is prevalent in the Huongs... Rarely (if ever) seen it in sparring.
  13. Caneman

    Caneman Test all things.

    Yeah, to the other comments... I agree... and while I have described good striking techniques as "controlled whipping" before, it has to do with the generation of impulse. Snapping on contraction at the end... that is not a sin wave function.
    Sneaker, DeeD and Mr.Bond like this.
  14. Mr.Bond

    Mr.Bond Big Ass Dog

    Straight line beats Sine or Cosine wave or any derivative from them...
    Vidadi and Martialist like this.
  15. Pedro

    Pedro Baek Doo San

    I'm learning an ancient form that uses the hyperbolic tangent wave, they say it increases the electrical polarity of your hair so you look cooler when you strike
    Chrisoro, Sneaker, Dave76 and 3 others like this.
  16. Locutus

    Locutus Your fight is futile, my hands are pounding you!

    I describe a perfect hyperbolic arc as I fly through the air due to my sensei demonstrating techniques on me.
    Ivor Godley and Pedro like this.
  17. Pedro

    Pedro Baek Doo San

    unfortunately, my sensei doesn't have a spine anymore to do that kind of stuff :(
  18. Caneman

    Caneman Test all things.

    No... it would actually be better described along a parabolic line... like a parabolic sag.
  19. Locutus

    Locutus Your fight is futile, my hands are pounding you!

    picky picky :)
  20. Ivor Godley

    Ivor Godley grasshopper

    If you watch someone executing a technique whilst incorporating hip twist you'll more often than not see a drop in height at the delivery. this i think is more effective than sine wave, i have watched many sine wave practitioners and believe that these practitioners may have focused so intently on the sine wave motion that they APPEAR to have lost some of the potential power of say a punch because there is normally no other motion of the body than forward/downward and the arm straightening.
    i have had sine wave explained to me and fully understand the theory of sine wave from my school science lessons and college engineering courses and agree with it, however, in practice i just never managed to make it work for me in over 25 years training - i find hip twist much more effective.
    From my study and experience, hip twist incorporates the contraction of the entire body into the technique and opponent whilst also incorporating an element of sine wave, this helps by rotating the body towards the opponent and tensing the muscles at the moment of impact.
  21. Kuyaken

    Kuyaken Karate for the streets not just for trophies

    I need to understand the SineWave, what's it for? I've read the responses but it doesn't truly explain "WHY" its done.
    What's the application of the technique, with the "up/Down" effect comes into play?
    Where did it originate from as I have researched some ITF schools don't teach the Sine Wave to their Forms (Poomsae, Tuls etc)? Why is it only ITF Taekwondo that adopted it, why has no other style adopted it.
    I read somewhere that General Choi wsa traying to differciate TaeKwonDo from Japanese Karate. Is it more Western Schools putting the Sine Wave in as opposed to Korean School etc/
    I am Japanese/Korean Karate based as you already know and we tend to glide without a Sine Wave on the Forms I'm used to doing.
    Why is it only practiced during the Practice of Forms and not in any other discipline within the art like the 2-Mans or the Self Defence or especially the Sparring/Fighting

    Looking forward to your responses etc

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