About us

A different perspective on Taekwon-do


Taekwon-do is a beautiful art that is both dynamic and effective at long range.  As specialists in kicking Taekwon-do is without rival.  However the patterns of Taekwon-do offer a side of the art that is often overlooked. The unrealistic applications that most Taekwon-do students are expected to accept means that the true defensive qualities of the patterns are often underexploited.  It is our contention that to truly understand the patterns we must not only look at them from perspective of the long range art of modern Taekwon-do but go back to their source, Old School Karate, and ask "what is it that they were doing that was different"?  

How is Old school Karate different?


Taekwon-do was derived from  modern Karate.  However modern Karate had already been simplified into a block, kick, punch art long before the founders of Taekwon-do had studied it.  Simplification meant the practices of: joint locking; balance-displacement; pressure-points; clinch work; strangulation; ground fighting; trapping and sticking hands had all ceased to be part of the new distance based arts. 

What will an Old School Perspective do for you?

Old School Perspectives seeks to explore the lost techniques and practices of Old School Karate that are contained within both the Chang-Hon Tuls and the  numerous Karate Kata from which they were derived.  In exploring Taekwon-do through this perspective we will reveal some of the most effective self-defence techniques used to deal with a variety of common types of violent attacks at all ranges.  In doing so we will not undermine the beautiful art of Taekwon-do but rather enrich it by empowering the student to use the Chang-Hon Tuls for their original purpose.  

Who are Old School Perspectives?

Old School Perspectives is the work of Ciaran McDonald MA. MEd.  A martial arts obsessive, Ciaran approaches his study with an academic mind.  He has a background in education and academia and has taught at many of the countries leading universities.  It is his grounding in pedagogy that has permitted him to make a success of being a full time instructor.  Ciaran is the head instructor of both:


  • Oxfordshire Taekwon-do 

  • Didcot Old School karate Jutsu


Ciaran began his martial arts career at the age of 10 years old studying Shotokan Karate in a tiny community centre in Reading.  However, it was Taekwon-do that was to capture Ciaran's imagination and he became a regular competitor winning many medals at club and association level.  Ciaran sees all martial arts 'as one' and continues to study many arts with the mind of a white belt.  



Ciaran's journey of discovery


Since achieving his blackbelt in ITF Taekwon-do Ciaran has been on a mission to discover the true applications of the Taekwon-do patterns.   In search of these answers Ciaran has had cause to study many arts including, classical Jiu-Jutsu, Shotokan Karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jutsu, Wing Chung, Kick Boxing, WTF Taekwondo, ITF Taekwon-do, Free Style Taekwon-do, Judo, MMA and others. However, though each art gave clues to the true nature of the TKD patterns, none of them had enough of the specific knowledge that would become the cypher with which to unlock the code of the Tuls. Finally Ciaran discovered the work of world kata applications expert and karate researcher Hanshi Patrick McCarthy 9th Dan and his revived system of Old School Karate - Koryu Uchinadi.   This art is a highly systematised collection of techniques and training practices that represent the type of knowledge and strategies that the Old School Founders of karate would have used to create the various kata that Taekwon-do was derived from. Since achieving his black belt and teaching qualification (Shidoin) in Koryu Uchinadi Ciaran has at last acquired the tools to begin tackling the enigma that is the Chang-Hon Tuls. 


© 2018 by Old School Perspectives