Are TKD patterns useless?

Discussion in 'Taekwondo Patterns' started by dojo, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. bowlie

    bowlie Well-Known Member

    It depends how you define revisionist anyway, Iain has some new approaches and ideas, but everything he does stays true to the thoughts of the original masters. more so than those that would call themselves traditionalists. Anyway, does traditionalism matter in sport? Im not sure, which is why im asking, but do we not always want the sport to be progressing?
    UK-Student likes this.
  2. bowlie

    bowlie Well-Known Member

    I agreed with this yesterday :p On thinking about it though, if the only reason for patterns is that they make gradings easier that isnt a valid reason. All that does is subtract further from the meaning of gradings. You said in your other thread that you dont think money should influence martial arts. Here you suggest dumbing down the grading curriculum because it would be good for business. The fact that some clubs do things differently is a double edged sword. It means that some clubs can do them very badly, with the dull self defense drills and acrobatics you mentioned, but it also means some clubs can do them well, and make them worth something if they choose to put the effort into that. By having uniform gradings you would have to pander to the lowest common denominator, and the good clubs would have to stop doing the good things.

    Lastly, I think UK student mentioned on here that he changed club and was told they would not recognise his black belt unless he gave them money. This kind of thing has a much more devastating effect than if someone finds out they need to do something extra for a grading. That said, a grading should not consist of jumping through hoops. It shouldnt simply be 'do this pattern, tell me this word in korean and break this board' it should be something that accuratly reflects combative ability. After all, that is what belts are meant to show.
    NoBullShitFighting likes this.
  3. NoBullShitFighting

    NoBullShitFighting Active Member

    I get your point. But now imagine you get over into a different club, at least you have their patterns and sparring down. With some 'one on one' with the instructor you could probably be on the same page as everyone else your own rank within one to two hours, and if the club has taught you some good self-defense and grappling it would probably be easier to follow the new way of doing things. And if not you at least know the same legit self-defense that is taught to police and others who constantly handles aggressive impulsive people. Perhaps if the master of that club made some good deals it could even serve as an educational course.

    Besides, what would be the difference from having Tul, techniques, self-defense, board breaking and sparring from having tuls, poomsae, self-defense, board breaking and sparring for a belt-exam?

    The reason I don't like to involve self-defense technique into the cirriculum is that students have to focus on a pair of self-defence techniques to pass the exam, when you actually need more of a full toolbox. Maybe you don't even know the technique perfectly, but you know the basics, that could be enough to save your life. You probably get out 20% of the potential due to analysis paralysis in real life situations anyways, keep it simple short and effective, if it looks ugly it is okay, it does not need to be displayed on a belt-exam, knowledge is enough reward in itself. And no one is going to offer you their arm on a silver platter in the real world, like on a belt exam.

    I see your point and would absolutely hold you entitled to your opinion, I just personally prefer my way due to the reasons I hold. When I said it was bad for business that came on top of all the problems, it wasn't my main concern. But it is a point that people who hold others back in order to try cashing in on them are doing themselves a great disservice.

    I feel you UK_student, same thing happened to me. To me you are way more black belt than anyone in that club.
  4. bowlie

    bowlie Well-Known Member

    I think starting a new club with any art is weird to begin with, but it can be good. you get to learn new stuff. are patterns not universal within ITF anyway? even so, doing patterns because 'the other clubs do' isnt a valid reason to me. Each master should be able to chose what they think is most effective and teach that. the masters that get it right produce good competitors, and help the art progress.

    Freedom allows people to make mistakes, sure, but it also allows them to get stuff right.

    I think patterns should remain part of the taekwondo syllabus for the reasons I mentioned earlier (they remind us of all the throws and forgotten techniques). patterns as a tournament thing is in my view bad because it distorts the techniques. The patterns stop being a list of moves, and start becoming a lost of dance moves. But some people enjoy it, so I see no problem with this as long as people are made aware that pretty patterns are different to real patterns, and they should be taught the real ones in class, with explanations of what it represents. Patterns in grading, yeah, sure. But the emphasis should not be on doing them prettily, it should be on applying the techniques in them. I guess it depends what we want the belt to sybolize. It we want it to show fighting skill, or something else. If it is to show skill, patterns should have a minor role.

    The problem is, if we award belts on just fighting ability we need trainers that know how to fight and can realistically assess their students ability. That needs good trainers though, and we lack in them. Instead we rely on a set of arbitary criteria to assess skill, and i think that is wrong, but we are moving away from the subject
    NoBullShitFighting likes this.
  5. NoBullShitFighting

    NoBullShitFighting Active Member

    But if the grading criterea is widely known, Tuls and Poomsae is all over coutube, it is easier to give students home assignments. Their rapid development could allow for more emphasis on other things. I just had a crazy idea earlier today: Just give the students black belt at once and say "Here you go. If you want a black belt you can take it and leave, if you want to be the best taekwondo practitioner you can wrap it around your waist and rise to the occasion". It could really ruin the validity of being a black belt in my club, that is why I felt it was a crazy idea, but maybe it is just what they need. None of that training for an exam stuff, you train to be best!

    Because if you have a black belt, you better do them 50 push-ups.

    But I really understand your argument! After all, everyone wants to teach their student the way they think is best. At least people who comes from a place of teaching first and money second.
    John McNally likes this.
  6. John Hulslander

    John Hulslander Active Member

    There is a pretty good article in the recent Black Belt magazine about teaching to the test. This is a problem in education in the US overall, and it makes it's way into the dojang.

    We have taken a new approach as a student gets closer to their first dan. It is in essence a mentor program where the candidate picks a mentor and that mentor works to encourage them on what they need to do to make it to the next level. It's a win win, in that it also helps the leadership skills of our current Dans on top of student experience. But we make it clear at a certain level, that more is expected.
    John McNally likes this.
  7. Kyosanim Ray Martel

    Kyosanim Ray Martel New Member

    I like my sabunim's view on this:
    at tournaments he has observed that Those good at sparring dont always do well in forms
    Those that are good at forms are always good at sparring
    Chris J and John McNally like this.
  8. Master Fahy

    Master Fahy Active Member

    I have observed that those who are good at forms can do well in sparring usually but, those who are good at sparing usually don't win at forms as often as those who stand out in forms. Some students train more for sparring than forms and others train more for forms than sparring. I test my students on both forms and sparring before they pass their test. You wouldn't pass the test if you don't pass the forms. You might be the best at sparring but, you don't pass unless you can perform the forms to the standard. Master Fahy
    John McNally likes this.
  9. Master Fahy

    Master Fahy Active Member

    I pose a question to those who believe that forms are useless. If forms are useless why do some of the top fighters of our time train and teach the forms to their students? They teach the forms because they have value to the arts, those who don't never learned to do them, themselves. We all do things that we don't like to do, I don't really enjoy forms personally but, there are somethings I do get out of them. Like combinations and a sense of structure and discipline. Most students who think forms are useless, want only to have the fun of sparring. After you learn them, you may even start to enjoy them. I have learn to enjoy the forms after many a year practicing them. Master Fahy
  10. bowlie

    bowlie Well-Known Member

    Because a greater amount of sucessful fighters dont do them. Using the example of Machida and GSP, both come from karate backgrounds, but dont use patterns any more.

    Patterns aren't a magic fix all for everything. Blue raised a point in my thread, that they have the same role as shadow boxing. I can kind of accept that. Shadow boxing is a great tool for reinforcing positive technique and the like, but noone would pretend its good for power. If patterns were treated the same way as shadow boxing I could accept that.

    My only issue with that argument is if you watch someone shadow boxing, they are mimicking the movements of a fight exactly. The point is its to drill the technique with repetitions to ingrain it in the neuro-musculature. If you watch people sparring in Taekwondo, it looks very little like how they do patterns. the techniques are different, where they keep their hands is different, how they move is different (they rarely step in with a strike. Sometimes, but not always). Just an example

    I picked it at random and it doesnt really bear much resemblance. Blue said this was because patterns are a depiction of self defense moves, whereas sport sparring uses sport moves, and thats possible. I also think patterns have been aestheticised. The problem is, we need to define goals.

    If you want to learn the art for fun, or to get good at patterns, patterns are fine. If you want to be a good sport fighter, you dont need to focus on them. Most professional fighters dont. Im not the only person that realizes this.
    I think its because its just not the magic fix all exercise its portrayed as. There are more effective forms of training in my opinion, and my evidence for forming this opinion is using common sense and the available evidence, the majority of people outside of karate and taekwondo recognise they arent that usefull for fighters. From my own personal experience, those that spend more time sparring and less doing patterns do better at sparring and therefore competitions.
    Now the only remaining catagory is self defense. Do they help for self defense? They can be a good way of drilling a technique when you dont have someone to hold pads, but when you do, pads are going to be superior for training. Patterns should be part of a progression, towards realistic sparring. Patterns are only useful as drilling if they acuratly depict the techniques they represent. I dont know if they do or not, so I need to learn more about this, but its possible they do. The problem is sparring doesnt, so spots sparring needs to be changed.
    On your earlier point, what is the reasoning for failing someone for not being able to do patterns? Our goal should be to become good fighters. The best way we can demostrate this is through sparring. If you can demonstrate you can fight through sparring, what does it matter how you got there? patterns are just one of many training tools, the end goal of which should be to create an effective fighter. There are many ways to train, and I dont think patterns are the only, or even the best way to do this for most people. And if you use the argument that sparring doesnt accuratly represent fighting, then there is something wrong with your sparring.
  11. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    Bowlie, I'm not going to quote you and pick apart what you say this time, as it's allowing you to lead the conversation in the direction your preconceptions want you to take it, and that's not helping you to understand what Patterns are. So here's some fresh perspective for you.

    The below is the truth of Taekwondo as I understand and see it through my experiences. It is many years of Taekwondo practice that have led me to these realisations. Please read and consider this carefully and without prejudice before responding.

    TKD does not have a sport side and a Martial/SD side. I understand that it's easy to see it that way without the benefit of experience, and without contact with people close to the source. But, the sport is just a very specific kind of Pattern application. You'll see why below.

    TKD is multi layered, as follows:

    Basic techniques: the foundation of Taekwondo, including stances, basic blocking and striking motions, and basic footwork. These are drilled to develop coordination and balance, normally without an opponent.

    Poomsae / Patterns: series of basic techniques strung together in a logical order. Practiced alone, poomsae develops balance, coordination, footwork and fluidity between techniques in a safe and controlled environment. There are self-defence applicable sequences there, but in poomsae practice they are not applied to a physical partner. Poomsae also communicates the Philosophy and principles of Taekwondo very clearly, but you do need to know where and how to look. The I Ching is a good start. Poomsae can be considered as a form of moving meditation, the repeated practice of which which helps the practitioner reach a very specific goal: that thought and action are no longer separate, and action is fully coordinated with nature ie gravity, momentum, opposing forces, hard vs soft etc. In essence, practice of Poomsae teaches you to move perfectly as your will wishes, without pre-thought, in a way which exactly fits to the momentary changing circumstances. In essence, Poomsae IS Taekwondo. Every part of Taekwondo is contained within the Poomsae in principle.

    Sparring: in KKW TKD there are 17 types of sparring. I guess you are talking about Olympic style Shihap Kyorugi. That's the one type of sparring the sports governing body WTF chose to make a sport to popularise TKD around the world, and it has worked. But there are many others. All sparring, including Shihap Kyorugi and Step-sparring like Hanbon Kyorugi, Kneeling Step Sparring, Sitting Step Sparring, Knife Sparring etc are the application of Poomsae principles and motions under differing controlled rules. They are logical and progressive structured steps on the way to totally freeform armed or unarmed Hoshinsool. The student must experiment with what principles and movements they have learned from the Poomsae, and basic techniques, finding out the practicability, what works for them. This for me is where the 'TKD doesn't work for self defence' argument falls down. There are no standard taught step sparring or applied Self Defence techniques from KKW; only basic techniques and Poomsae. It is up to the student to experiment with basic technique and principles Poomsae teaches, in the sparring structure and freeform Hoshinsool, and find out what works and what doesn't. So, if YOUR Taekwondo doesn't work for self defence, YOU only have YOURSELF to blame. You either don't understand how basic technique and principle can be applied to best advantage because you've not understood the principles Poomsae teaches, or you lack practice under pressure. If your school does not provide opportunities to experiment with sparring and Hoshinsool, I strongly suggest asking about getting together with some buddies to experiment in a controlled manner under supervision. Preferably with a high Dan grade who can advise on practicality under pressure.

    Sport TKD is merely this experimentation under the limiting ruleset of Shihap Kyorugi. It remains the application of the principles and motions that Poomsae teaches. It looks different because the ruleset puts the focus on kick and hand strikes, balance, and footwork principles as opposed to grabbing, grappling,locking, joint destruction, cavity pressing, choking, strangling etc. Those aspects are applied in other sparring forms and Hoshinsool.

    After 1 year of TKD practice, you've got some basic techniques and some low level poomsae. You may have played with step sparring under extra layers of imposed conditions and restrictions for safety. You are definitely not in a position where you can see the full picture.

    If you fail to see how the big picture above fits together, and see a sport side and a self defence side rather than a coherent whole, then your TKD is going to have weaknesses. The sport TKD is a facet of a much larger sparring structure which aims to get the practitioner to a point where thought, action and reaction are one and the same, with the practitioner able to manipulate any situation to his advantage through working in harmony with the world rather than fighting against it.

    I hope this clarifies and helps you to understand what you might have been missing in the clubs where you have trained so far. It could be that those clubs were lacking standards-wise, but it is more likely that their sparring (Poomsae application) structure is progressive, and you had only just seen the start of it.

    Taekwondo is a lifetime journey, and there is no rush. The path leads to the abilities you find desirable, but it's a long road and there is no short cut. If you don't have the patience to wait and want to fight now, other arts may suit you better. Taekwondo will bring you superior skills in the long term if you find the right instructor with a close link to the source. This is why you might put more stock in what an experienced practitioner has to say. It is not just 'time served', it's understanding of the bigger picture, and physical skills gained.

    It's all about seeing separate things as one thing. Heaven, Earth and Man, Sport, Self Defence, Poomsae. They may look like separate things initially, but they cannot ever be separated because they are one and the same.
    Sabomnim Dan likes this.
  12. bowlie

    bowlie Well-Known Member

    What you see as preconceptions are what I have learnt through real life experience :) Also I realize its closer to 18 months now but still, thats unimportant. There are definatly sport, self defense and martial arts sides to taekwondo. Maybe not origionally how it was intended to be, but its undeniable. A school where you go and learn patterns, korean words, break boards, become immersed in the 'philosophy' of taekwondo and dont actaully do much proper fighitng and sparring are what I would call martial arts schools. There is nothing wrong with that, unless you try to tell people you also teach self defense and fighting, at which point it becomes false advertising and even dangerous. A school where you focus exclusively on sport style sparring is a sport school. A school that focuses on self defense (including fighting but also things like awareness) is a self defense oriented school. Some schools are all three. I recomend you listen to the martial map e-book by Iain abernethy (its free) if you dont understand these distinctions. There is overlap, some schools do all three well, some do none well, but there are some things that are included in taekwondo that are not needed for everyone. The 50 year old businessman that wants a hobby to enjoy with his kids and to de-stress after work doesnt need, or want, hard physical fight training. The 18 year old nightclub bouncer taking a self defense class doesnt want to learn the korean names for what he is doing or the philosophy behind it.

    Layers arent exclusive to taekwondo. Something like boxing will include the same general progression (I use boxing as an example simply because its the other standup art I have most experience of) In boxing you dont throw someone into sparring straight away, you will teach them the basic punches, the stances, how to move, how to defend. Then have them engage in some partner drills, and some shadow boxing, and then maybe some light sparring, and work your way up to full contact. Same thing no? You cant build on rocky foundations. We seem to agree that the point of patterns are to allow you to rehearse techniques and drill them correctly in a low stress environment. But people really overstate the importance and give it qualities that I have never seen anyone be able to prove.

    My definition of sparring is attempting to apply technques to a resisting opponent. I would include Olympic sparring, ITF sparring, full contact sparring including throws, low intensity technical sparring, self defense/ situational sparring (includes multiple attackers, or an objective to escape, or to avoid being taken to the ground, or one has a knife). I do not include one step, 5 step, or kneeling onestep or anything like that as sparring. They are sparring in name alone. They dont carry over to fighting (this is not a misinformed judgement, its something that a majority of people I have spoken to agree with, on this forum, in real life, and by reading things masters say) and the partner isnt resisting fully, as they dont strike back untill its their turn. It re-enforces a kind of fighting only useful for sport and doesnt reflect the reality of fighting. What I would say though, is that olympic style sparring is not an accurate representation of fighting either. It is useful, for developing your ability to kick and defend kicks, but it ignores things like kicks being caught, your opponent rushing you to rugby tackle you. So it has value, as a training tool, much as patterns have value as a training tool, but it should not be the criteria on which we judge the ability of someone to defend themselves.

    I dont think I ever made the 'Taekwondo doesn't work for self defense' argument. It can work, and it can also not work, and whether it does or not depends how you train. I agree with you that sport sparring is a way of experimenting under rules. In fact, I really like that description. It has limitations, enforced by the rules, so Olympic sparring is a great way to experiment with kicks as I said earlier, but you should also do other types of sport sparring. Types that focus on just the hands, types that focus on just throws, types that include all three, and this is something you seem to saying is good (unless I am mis-reading you) and I agree, but I have yet to see a Taekwondo school that does this (not saying no schools do, but alot of schools don't). I do this kind of training with a guy called Leigh simms, a dan grade under Iain Abernethy and its great. But it seems to me that people that train like this are the exception to the rule. Also, it is perfectly possible, and much more effective to train these with full contact sparring that with one step. BJJ manages to do joint locks and chokes without people dying all the time. Judo does throws, MMA has a range of loads of things, and people dont die every match. Of course some people do, but guess how many biscuit related deaths there were last year? Deaths in sport are beyond the scope of this discussion, but the argument that techniques cant be done in sparring because they are too dangerous falls down when you see the same techniques being sparred with. Also, some things like knife hands to the neck might be too dangerous to do full contact, but you can do light technical sparring. The argument that pattern based sparring and patterns are the best way to experiment doesnt hold up for me, because they are too restricted to allow proper experimentation.

    After roughly 3 years of martial arts training I have sparred (mostly light technical sparring) in boxing, Judo, Taekwondo and in self defense style scenario training. I have also competed in BJJ in a full contact context. I understand the progressional nature of taekwondo, but isnt that a problem in itself? I am fully capable of sparring in a safe, controlled environment. I have done throws, locks, chokes e.c.t. but im not allowed to do taekwondo locks and throws and chokes until I reach blue belt? By limiting what people learn at low levels, you are teaching them things about the art that they will later find out are not true, while also limiting their growth as artists and people. Taekwondo may be a lifetime art, but that doesn't mean it has to be. If we are purporting to be giving people effective self defense training, then sadly there is a time element. We have a duty to teach people how to defend themslves as quickly as possible, not in 20 years time, because if they get attacked and are unable to defend themselves, it would be our responsibility for providing them with the wrong tools.

    I still maintain that patterns and sport sparring are useful tools to develop self defense skills, but there are differences between them. The role of patterns? To drill techniques, but this only works if the techniques of patterns and those we use are the same.
  13. John McNally

    John McNally Active Member

    Tuls are a learned action to manage many different situations and persons, when as a kup grade you learn to use these movements formally to teach even non aggressive or non natural fighters to learn how to defend themselves, once you learn the basics and become a first degree you start putting those learnt actions into realistic uses.
    As you progress through your degree grades then the actions are then used fully reactive, just as any competitor takes years to learn their initial skills they use for their aim.

    When performing Tuls as a kup grade and even upto 1-2nd degree they are done with timing,flow, understood realism and balance, but when a tul is performed with natural balance, timing, power speed and realism, this is where one can see the full scope of what one is learning.
    Chris J likes this.
  14. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    I mean your preconceptions about Taekwondo, patterns and sparring, which don't come from experience of life, but from your limited experience of Taekwondo, and what you have read or discussed.
    No it isn't, I am denying it, look.

    Me too.

    Depends on the school. I find a focus on only fighting a little immature, but that doesn't mean I can't fight.

    And all will have attendant strengths and weaknesses. None of them are teaching Taekwondo as a full art. What's your point?
    You discovered Iain Abernethy on via this site. I was training with him and other reality based Karateka like Vince Morris more than 10 years ago. You are preaching to the choir. I have the utmost respect for what Iain and Vince do, but it is Karate, not Taekwondo, and those disciplines are viewed as separate in a Karate context. Not in Taekwondo. Does that mean I can't take inspiration from them for application of Poomsae movements? No. You should check Vince out by the way. Google Kissaki Kai.
    So you take from it what you want. But you do so in the knowledge that you're cutting yourself off from the full picture.
    Exactly, but with Taekwondo it's over a longer timescale wih the emphasis on perfecting basic movement. That way, the foundations aren't rocky.

    Techniques are only a part of it. If you see only techniques there, you don't understand martial arts in general, and certainly not Taekwondo. There are illustrations of principle and strategy in Poomsae that you aren't seeing.
    Mine is experimenting with the application of principles strategies within a controlled setting. First without resistance, later with.
    Step sparring is named sparring for a reason. It is a transitional step on the way to free sparring and Hoshinsool, a forging post where one can experiment in a controlled environment against a human being, experimenting with targeting, distance and joint manipulation and throwing without stress, before moving on to an environment of change and resistance. They are certainly not just for sport.
    Never said it was. It's a form of sparring.
    Because its aim is to develop kicks. The elements you say are ignored are covered elsewhere.
    And it isn't. It's just a form of sparring that became a sport.
    No, but many do.
    It works if you take ownership of your own learning and progress.
    And we do. You didn't?
    You don't see it because you are not advanced enough to see it. At your level, focus would have been on basics. All those types of sparring are part of the syllabus.
    Nope, it's just not immediately for beginners.
    Nope. If you can't throw someone cleanly and safely when they are standing still and waiting for you to do it, then you'll definitely not do so under pressure.
    So does TKD
    So does TKD
    I never made this argument. These things are all a part of the TKD curriculum, but you never got to see it because you don't get unto it until you're capable of doing it properly undrr control. You would have still been working on basics
    How are they restricted? Nobody says you can't adjust things, in fact that is the point. There's no one application, you have to find your own and adapt the pure form. You're imposing restrictions on yourself.
    No, it's called structure. It makes things easier to understand and allows the gradual building of physical skill over time.
    Focus remains on basics until you are ready to apply them. We always did locks, but throws and chokes need a bit more coordination and control to perfect, so the student learns control with basics first.
    No, you are providing a structured learning environment which gives a later but bigger payoff. Nothing is hidden or secret, and nothing is untrue.
    And we do give them practical tools early. Basic and effective release and strike based Hoshinsool is part of early tests. We don't give people the wrong tools. We give them the right foundations.
    They are different avenues to practice the same overall thing: moving when you want and need to. If you think about martial arts only in terms of technique, you're on the way to a dead end. Think in terms of strategy, tactic and principle, and the world opens up to you.[/quote]
    RTKDCMB likes this.
  15. bowlie

    bowlie Well-Known Member

    I honestly dont understand you. On the one hand you say take responsibility for your own training, yet when I make a decision based on my own experiences you tell me im too young to make those decisions and need to carry on training before I can decide if what I have been doing thus far is good or not.
  16. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    I'm saying at the advanced level, you take responsibility for your own education. And at the basic level, you do what you are told to do, because you need to learn basics which you will later apply. They will be your foundation and need to be perfect.

    It becomes clear when you need to take hold of your progress. New challenges begin to present themselves. This normally happens in the run up to 1st Dan earliest.

    You were still at the basic level, when you became impatient and moved on to get the things you would have got anyway if you had waited.

    The difference is, you would have built upon the solid foundation that basic TKD training provides. What's ironic is, you're using those basic physical skills you learned through TKD in whatever you're doing now, whether you realise it or not.
  17. Chris J

    Chris J Active Member

    Bowlie, sit down, shut up, train hard the journey is long.
  18. bowlie

    bowlie Well-Known Member

    When it comes to my training I reserve the right to question everything, and if the explanation isn't satisfactory, Im going to stick to tried and tested methods. I train hard, but i also train smart. I can see that my views differ completely to that of the communities here though, so I will refrain from voicing my opinions on the subject. My only closing comment is that there are many many many great fighters and masters that hold the same opinion as me.
  19. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    Questioning everything is good and you totally have the right, and should question. The criteria you use to decide whether you deem the answers 'satisfactory' may need questioning though. Your frame of reference for making that assessment doesn't have much depth to it, and you might accept that your perspective may be limited at this time, compromising your decision making ability.

    I've tried to impart some of my (admittedly still limited) perspective in this thread, but you seem pretty closed to most of the points of view I've described, stating your (often questionable) opinion as fact in response, or just not acknowledging the points made in some cases. That does not make those points any less valid, or less 'satisfactory'.

    Other fighters and masters: there are different routes to similar destinations. The Taekwondo route is heavily weighted towards good basics with a later and greater skills yield in comparison with disciplines that focus on 'must fight now'. You said yourself earlier in the thread that good basics are important. In my view that's training smart and playing a longer game to get a more refined ultimate result.

    It also happens that training the longer game gives you more time to consider and to mature as a person, and realise that fighting is not the be all end all of martial arts. That's one reason why you don't see high grade TKD masters in contact stand up competition, especially outside of the Olympics and world championships. It doesn't mean that they can't fight. It means they don't have anything to prove, and their focus is on living and understanding life and their art fully.
  20. bowlie

    bowlie Well-Known Member

    I said in my other thread that I see martial arts as different ways to reach the same goal, and that I think different learning styles suit different people better. It also depends what you train for exactly. You say that Taekwondo masters dont fight to prove themselves, they focus on the art, and devote their lives to it, and they dont need to rush things and can take their time.

    Thats a tertiarry goal to me. My primary goal is to be able to protect those I love, and sadly there is a time limit on that, because it doesnt matter how good your foundations are if run out of time to build on them.

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