Are TKD patterns useless?

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

  1. bowlie

    bowlie Well-Known Member

    They are different principals, sure, but it shows that you can learn them a variety of ways. Patterns are not the only way to learn, and to force people to do so penalizes those that dont learn well that way.

    Oh, and your right. You should have been penalized for not being able to spar. Sparing is not perfect, but it is the best way we can demonstrate fighting ability without being overly dangerous when done properly. You should not hold rank without holding skill first.
  2. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    The monistic principles and philosophy of Taekwondo cannot be effectively communicated through the study of individual techniques.

    If you concentrate on techniques, you will learn only techniques. It's like a comedian: what would you prefer to be, a comedian who learns a list of jokes, or one who understands what makes a joke funny and can create his own jokes off the cuff?

    When you understand the concept, you realise that a punch, a kick and a lock are essentially the same thing, and if you understand the principles at work behind one of them, then you understand them all. This is very different to the principles and techniques of western boxing.

    If you can 'de-westernise' your thinking, and remain open minded, the potential benefits to your combative abilities including western boxing are great.

    I'm not saying you should change, bowlie, but maybe refrain from stating that something is ineffective or doesn't work, just because you don't get it.

    As regards successful sport fighters, they are just that. You can get good at sport by training sport. There seems to be some confusion in your mind about how sport and self defence are related. You can't get good at Taekwondo by training only sport, and it is Taekwondo that contains the core principles of self defence and combat that you seem to desire.

    Just some thoughts. By the way, are you a Manchester lad?
  3. bowlie

    bowlie Well-Known Member

    I will reply properly later, but I study in Manchester, but im not from there. Why do you ask?
  4. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    I'm originally from Warrington. Plenty of opportunity to find out about real self defence in the evenings there.
  5. bowlie

    bowlie Well-Known Member

    Technique based approach doesn't mean limiting yourself to individual techniques, its about understanding how they fit into the bigger picture too. You cant claim that a boxer just knows how to do a punch without the knowledge of the rest of the art like movement e.c.t. In this case both comedians would be funny, just different ways to learn. BTW, I use boxing as an example because its different and because I have first hand knowledge of it, not because I think its superior (It is better at some things, worse at others, its all swings and roundabouts).

    As for sport fighters, in a perfect world we could just fight for real in training. Obviously that will get us hurt, so then we have to have rules, and bam. You have yourself a sport. Sport has limitations, but its also a safe way to practice techniques in sparring and how they fit together. If you get too caught up in it that can be a problem, but I think it can also be a tool for learning if you understand its short comings and train to get around those. Sport training DOES have problems, but its still useful.
  6. Sabomnim Dan

    Sabomnim Dan Member

    No one here is disputing that sparring or 'sport fighting' is a useful part if training, but is only a part of the whole. It seems to me that you are overly exaggerating the importance of sparring in the same way you accuse taekwondo of overly emphasising forms (a false precept as has been discussed at length). Whilst you insist on seeing forms and sparring as distinct and mutually exclusive your training potential will be limited. Both are part of the same whole; taekwondo.
  7. bowlie

    bowlie Well-Known Member

    If you look in my other thread I have made it perfectly clear that sparring with set rules is a great addition to self defense training, but I think it needs to be in the wider context of a self defense training. I also mentioned in a post that sport training should only be started after you have a competent understanding of self defense and where and how it falls down so that when you are doing sport training you can understand when a technique will work out of context or not. The reason I use cage fighters as demonstrations of skill is that its very hard to find footage of self defense masters in action.

    Sparring and forms are not mutually exclusive, unless you have limited training time. One of the advantages of forms is that they can be done outside of class, so that should not be a problem, but I really think if the majority of your time in class is on patterns its a real waste.

    Also, just because Taekwondo SHOULD be a unified whole, it is not always so.
  8. robert cannon

    robert cannon New Member

    I used to think that forms were only for teaching basic movements for new students, but I now believe that the essence of each martial art is in the form. For example: When you are sparring, you cannot do 80% of the blocks/strikes that you have been taught in training because you would severely injure your sparring opponent (I've seen a simple inner block break a leg before) - so forms allow the practitioner to perform moves that can only be used while fighting for one's life.
    Ivor and John McNally like this.
  9. Blue_Knight

    Blue_Knight Active Member

    I agree with you, Robert, and that is the realization that most come to after they have been guided properly in the art of forms practice, and the 'light' turns on when they realize what the repetitions of forms is actually doing for the brain and body. It is the core and foundation of the art that all other aspects are built upon. You can build a solid brick building on a sand floor, yet while it will be hard on the surface and appear sturdy, you won't be able to build it very tall, and it probably won't last long. In most cases, you can't see the foundation of a building - - how deep or wide it's base is, so many people will never know what is really keeping the building from crumbling down. They pay more attention to the building materials, and many don't even know the importance of architectural structure and how the internal framework is constructed.

    That is true, but I think you might agree that it is not just the danger factor for preventing injury (an important reason), but the fact that many essential skills that COULD be used effectively in real life self defense don't often present the opportunity to perform them in sparring or grappling practice with a partner. It SEEMS like they should OR if they don't, then why do we need them, but it is a reality of training that people hold back, or choose different actions in class due to the safety issue. Specific blocks at unusual angles, or complex combinations rarely present themselves in class, but would be highly effective if done correctly and instinctively in self defense. The ONLY way to get that kind of repetition, and perfection of movement is to practice it over, and over by yourself.

    In case there are others reading this who don't yet grasp the logic, I'll try an analogy. I don't know if this analogy will convey the point well, but when I was young, I studied the art of stage magic, slight of hand, and other illusions. Because of the potential to make a mistake in front of an audience, thereby looking bad and maybe giving away the secret to the illusion, a magician will practice the same gesture, maneuver, and parts of the whole trick over and over to perfection. We do this all by ourselves when no one is around. If it is a slight of hand disappearing coin or card trick, we might sit for hours every day while watching TV, or doing other mundane routines and continue to repeat the hand movements of palming a coin, for instance, or manipulating a card between the fingers.

    In the same context, if you are an actor in a stage play, you don't want to mess up your lines or acting performance in a live show, so you rehearse - not only WITH your fellow castmates, but while you are alone.... BECAUSE you will probably spend more time away from the stage and structured rehearsals than you do in full costume. You do many hours of repeating lines until they are ingrained in your brain, and you can deliver them NATURALLY. On some occasions, you run through scene rehearsal with the other actors, and on even fewer occasions, you have a Full Dress Rehearsal. You have to get all the individual PARTS and scenes down pat before you start putting it all together. The REAL test and BEST experience is of course the live performance on stage, in front of an audience. That is like being in a real fight for a Martial Artist, but how often does that happen - and not every fight will provide you with the experience and exact same moves that you will be called on to use in the next street fight - - or the next one after that.

    Forms are like the multitude of times a stage performer spends training by himself (or herself). Classroom sparring with a partner is like the "Rehearsals" where you get to practice parts of the (fight) scenes. Putting on thick padding and going at each other with heavy contact with resistance is like the "Full Dress Rehearsal." This is the next best thing to the actual performance (live show / real fight). However, how often does that happen? You benefit MORE from the training that you do the MOST - provided it is done correctly (your heart has to be in it, and you have to make each rehearsal of each move REALISTIC, even when alone). While ALL training is important, and fits together to make up the COMPLETE fighter, the value of forms is without a doubt at the same level of usefulness as every other part - - including live sparring or resistance training with a partner.

    Blue Knight
  10. Sabomnim Dan

    Sabomnim Dan Member

    I think your analogy sounds spot on.
  11. michael mckenna

    michael mckenna Active Member

    i went to cyprus for the GTF world taekwondo championships and i got two bronze medals not bad for my first world championship. i feel i should of won gold but there was a few moves like the sidekick i landed a good amount of them but sadly only one of the judges saw me do it and the ref didnt see them connect either they saw them being thrown but didnt see them land which they did i won the fight but lost the match there is a video of it im uploading onto m new youtube channel so i will send it to you or make a thread. everyone says i fought smart and dragged the guy into my game. very hard contact felt like he was trying to knock me out in one punch lol great match really cant wait to do it again

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