Discussion in 'The Dojang' started by NoBullShitFighting, Feb 14, 2013.
What makes you think that older fighters would be better?
Well, you do know that taekwondo is not so much of a traditional martial art? The original taekwondo was pretty much like a predecessor of MMA in that it burrowes greatly from other arts, karate, judo and various forms of Chinese martial arts, and mixed them with the traditional martial arts of Korea, like ssirum , taekyon, soo-bak and the tech from the hwa-rang warriors.
The evolution is not in a stand-still either, but due to the WTF being recognized by the IOC it taking a turn for the worse in my opinion. Just compare ITF to WTF tournaments, in one there are punches and hip throws, the other one is just kicking. Sometimes in OL the "fighters" <-- Implying! Takes the kick, because they are wearing vests, in order to set up a combo. The wish to be popular and well liked by everyone is slowly turning the biggest branch of taekwondo into a joke.
I never agreed with the WTF and the more I've learned about the history of WTF, the more I realize why. And as far as disrespecting takwondo, It is not like I make fun of taekwondo because I don't respect it. You see, I care DEEPLY for taekwondo. I see it as a dicipline with great potential and I want to see it do well. And I know that taking away elements of taekwondo to be the most popular organisation, to be family friendly and get recognized by the IOC is a mistake. But you have to examine the history of taekwondo. All of a sudden they do all these changes and look at what is left
Here we are today, where I talk out against bullshit fighting. All this talk and demands about respect does is that it masks a problem that desperately needs solving. We have MacDojangs on every streetcorner, supported by wealthy business people who wants to earn money and it outcompetes the stand alone people with their own dojangs that teaches better. In the long run these business people will have the right to decide what we teach and who teaches it. If their demands are not met you won't get to enter tournament or your belts won't be recognized. The problem is a lot worse than you are leading on to believe.
They already have their own conventions where people have to pay alot of money just for a chance to earn their black belts. Controlling the cirriculum and what people gets to be black belts by economic force. Because for some reason the trainer that has followed them throught their entire learning curve doesn't know if they are good enough.
If you're going to defend taekwondo from something please defend it from this.
BTW, that first video was funny.
The early taekwondo was a good fighting system, because it was broad, and tested. It used techniques from all of those arts, and threw out the crap. I dont know enough of the history of TKD to see why the changed has happened, but its clear it moved from a comprehensive system of close and medium range fighting to mainly medium, and that cant be good.
Unfortunaly it has alot to do with WTF. But while saying that I must add that one of the best trainers I have ever had was from WTF. He had sparring with punching to the face, to the legs, sweeping and grappling, as well as olympic point sparring ever once in a while.
When taekwondo starts up in a new country there comes a time where people needs to get connect to a foundation in order to participate in events and be recognized. The IOC embrace of WTF makes people want to get into WTF as they mistake this for a mark of quality. Unfortunatly nothing could be further from the truth, as sports in the olympics usually has to abide with rules that are globally accepted, many countries have huge restrictions on fighting. In order to bypass this they need alot of safety equipment and regulations to keep the athletes safe. IOC don't want sports to be associated with something unhealthy, they don't respect martial arts for what they are. This has in turn made WTF style very unappealing as a combat system.
As I stated before, WTF doesn't equal bad taekwondo, as you might have a really good instructor or perhaps even someone worth calling a master and mentor. Unfortunatly McDojangs are infamous for lacking this. The result is olympic-point-sparring-only oriented lessons. And to be honest I believe many WTF students, especially male ones, are deprimed by the limitations put on them. The worst that can happen to any martial art, style acting as law. Limiting the practitioners developmental potential to express their taekwondo in its true form.
Now let us look at the taekwondo that is not recognized by the olympics. ITF still had punching to the face and sometimes even grappling and throws. Just look at Paul Doumbia, sweedish ITF champion, frequently uses hip throws and low kicks. ITF holds up in WAKO kickboxing tournaments as well, Tomaz Barada is a great example of that, he mopped the floors with those guys. The reason why is simple, the fewer limitations makes the style more versatile. I won't neglect the fact that we do have WTF people in K-1 as well, I think I have mentioned Serkan Yilmaz in an earlier post, fun fact, the WTF trainer who trained me learned his WTF taekwondo is from Turkey, Yilmaz country, those Turkish WTF people are obviously not messing around with their taekwondo.
So trust me, when people tell me about how they have a grat WTF club I don't doubt them for a second, but it is getting increasingly more McDojangier in here, here being the global community of taekwondo. And I recognize a responsibility to create distance between bullshit fighting methods and legit teachings in order to keep taekwondo fresh. As I have said before, I am not here to sell anything, if I ever were to do so I would search for ways to put the profits back into the community to benefit the greater good for taekwondo as the martial art it is, not a sport the IOC, business people, politicians or parents wants it to be.
However, doing so would require a deep reflection of what is the essence of taekwondo. In this I at this moment look towards the meaning of Ilyeo, oneness. I actually don't believe there is any taekwondo, just fighting. But I also put an emphasis on the teachings of Hapkido, that smooth beautiful movements conquers harsh and clumsy ones. If you have not noticed by now I am also very into the ideas of Bruce Lee, especially considering honest expression. I believe martial arts is only a vessel to arrive at the same knowledge of perfect expression in fighting, however, since everything effects everything the route is far from direct at times and will change the practitioner in every aspect of their life.
The problem is, you cant turn TKD into MMA becasue thats not what TKD practicioners want, otherwise they would be training at an MMA gym, and wouldnt be doing TKD.
Also, debating what TKD should be on the internet seems kinda pointless. We all love the art and I think if there is a genuine call amoungst the community for changes to be need we need to try and make that happen.
I see your point in the first paragraph with concerning turning taekwondo into MMA. However one should carefully consider whether or not MMAs and BJJs impact on martial arts, heart of a whole, for what is being practiced in sparring/combat lessons and maybe even OL sparring, though that is currently just in Kukkiwons power to change. Also, one way of sparring does not need to rule the other out. Another problem is that many instructors doesn't know much about boxing or grappling, this is dangerous combination with sparring, in particular if the instructor doesn't have the assertiveness to stop the fight when it starts to slip out of control.
Debating what TKD on the internett is a very good learning experience for me. People send me links to all this amazing material and have really good argumentation that either needs to be picked apart, but only areas where they are not relevant or lack verification, or taken into careful consideration. This makes me grow as a martial artist. I refuse to be static and will change my ever deepest opinions on the drop of a hat if good enough evidence is put forth. I have already gained new impulses from this thread on beliefs I have not even uttered in this thread just from reading other peoples replies.
Fair enough then. There have certainly been things I have read / experienced recently that are making me re-think everything I know about fighting.
I would like to address every point in this thread in detail, however, being a full time instructor and busy with life and family, I don't have the time, and I fear most would not read the lengthy reply it would take.
I will start with this observation. The idea of training in what is best or what works best is a commendable approach, yet not a new one, and certainly not exclusive to one system or another - - and definitely not void within Taekwondo.
I have seen many people with similar thoughts as the OP here, but at my age and years of teaching, I have found most to have great motivation and drive with poor direction. Many, such as yourself, have excellent questions, but reach misguided conclusions. However, it is not wrong to have ideas (new to you), raise questions, and seek answers. Be careful that you don't ignore good advice simply because it does not fit the mold of what you have pre-formed in your desire to seek change.
I believe that any true and valid system of Martial Art skill throughout history have three important elements. One, they are based on valid scientific principles (or laws of nature and physics). Two, they have been tried and tested in real, life-and-death struggles of all kinds, proven effective by experts of the highest level of knowledge. Three, they are ALWAYS being refined and adjusted to adapt to modern times as applied to current opponents, and changes in human understanding through research and development.
With that being said, it is also my belief and experience that if "it isn't broke - don't fix it!" I have probably encountered thousands of students, hundreds of black belts, and even dozens of Masters who think they have a better idea or way of doing things (add this.... omit that; "this is all that matters".... "that's useless garbage and should be discarded). Yet not one of them could physically prove any of these theories against me. NOT that I am bragging about being great (I would never say that about myself - - at least no out loud), but when reality of effective self defense has been learned, there is not much (if anything) that needs to change. Just the student needs to find a good teacher who knows the art thoroughly, and the teacher needs to do a good quality job of teaching the art correctly. In my opinion, and experience, it is NEVER the art that is lacking, but the the people involved (teacher or student). Taekwondo is absolutely complete and effective when learned in its entirety, taught right, and applied right.
One distinction is that there will always be difference of opinions among experts as to tactics and strategy. Grappling systems tend to focus on close contact, and often prefer to go immediately to the ground. Taekwondo's philosophy does not agree with this, and never will. This is not to say that a well-trained Taekwondo expert is, or should be inept, or lacking in ground-fighting defense. Quite the opposite. However, our approach is different. I have wrestled for many years, and hold a Black Belt in Judo, but I would not likely take that approach in a real fight. I could spend my time trying to be a more skilled ground-fighting grappler than any wrestler, or jujutsu or MMA player, but then I would not be near as skilled in destroying targets with my hands and feet (particularly my advanced kicking skills, but not that alone). I maintain my own abilities, and teach students to be aware of what grapplers do, and what we can do to prevent their success, spoil their throws, escape from any hold, while always able to do great bodily harm. Grapplers have a hard time fighting multiple attackers in real life, so we train to cause injury fast, and get back to our feet safely.
One problem addressed here (as often pointed out) is that many Taekwondo schools around the world do not teach the complete art, and include the grappling necessary to survive a ground-fight. This is true, and it is a shame, but is not a fault of the art of Taekwondo. I do my job! Any instructor of honor, integrity, and quality of knowledge will do the same and be successful. Their students will know how to fight and win consistently in real life self defense. Yet with any good thing, there are bad people - - lazy people - - dishonest people.... and those who genuinely believe they are teaching correctly, but were taught wrong themselves.
One last point is that those who either critique Taekwondo, or say they know enough to believe they can add to it, improve it, or delete any part of it they THINK is useless, should show that they truly have studied what we do, and mastered it to a level that gives them credibility. I will point out a few misconceptions. Some still compare the WTF and ITF in the context of teaching, self defense, and effective Martial Art. This is misinformation. The WTF is not a "style" of Taekwondo, does not have its own curriculum, and does not have "WTF clubs" members, students, or instructors. It is strictly a sport governing body that serves the purpose of regulating a game under certain rules.
The notion that anything an instructor teaches in daily class is somehow affected, or diminished because of Olympic competition, or WTF rules is a falsehood. Even those of us who compete in WTF recognized events, do not train like that in daily classes for self defense, and do not fight like that in the street. I could debate this point for hours, but I have gone on too long as it is. Your ideas seem to be based around what you see in tournaments, and games under rules. Learn to separate the true and complete Martial Art of Taekwondo from the Sport aspect. They are intertwined in history and development, but are two separate entities, and it does not in any truth matter if someone competes in a WTF, ITF, ATA, or any other sanctioned tournament. What matters is what they are taught in class for self defense, separate from their game time. Granted, some people are far too focused on competing, and winning Olympic medals or other championships (in many organizations), and their training is out of balance and incomplete. The art of Taekwondo is NOT incomplete, but what you are seeing in tournaments.
Now, it is your choice to complain about how WTF rules limit the action in the game, but I happen to think it is a good thing, and absolutely needed. What is a chess game for, except to develop the mind, strategy, and in some tournaments, quick thinking. What is a game of dodgeball, but to physically assault someone with a ball, and gain skill in movement to avoid being hit. What would it accomplish to set down at a chess game, and have your opponent throw a dodge ball and knock over your pieces, then shout "I win!" No chess game would last long, and it would defeat the purpose of playing the game. The mind needs to be exercised fully, so we have activities that challenge the body, and others that challenge just the brain, and others that do both. We can fight with punches, and kicks, and throws, and grappling, but when I face an opponent in the ring, there is an understanding that I am going to hold back some, and not kill him or break his bones or gouge his eyes out. Every competition has rules and prohibits some techniques. Therefore, you can not say that grappling, or jujutsu, or BJJ, or MMA, etc. is better, or more effective than Taekwondo. What I would do in a ring in any game is NOT FULL Taekwondo or I would be in jail (or at least dealing with having seriously maiming or killing someone). Yes, it is that easy to do. What is difficult is to compete under a set of rules, and hold back what you are capable of, yet try and present your art as comparable to one that is focused just on grappling.
In my professional opinion, MMA is not a "Martial Art" and is highly misleading to those who participate or follow it, and think it is something special or new. It is a game under rules that favors one approach. That is not real self defense or no "BS" fighting. If there is something in genuine Taekwondo that the student believes is useless or a waste of time and should be cut out, I submit that they do not know the art as well as they think they do, and need to study further to find out the real purpose and value of each aspect we teach. Again, there are those who teach what looks like the same thing genuine Masters do, but the lack a full understanding as teachers, and can not pass it on correctly, or explain it do their students. Thus, when their students become "Black Belts" or eventually "Masters" by their standards, the next generation suffers learning sub-standard training. I don't support that, but its out there, and while I will commit some of my time to correcting misconceptions on the internet, I will not teach what I know here, and give the frauds free knowledge to appear as they have done the years of research and learning that I have done so they can continue to rip off the public. Let the public learn the difference, and the rest of us can continue to dedicate ourselves to first learning this art correctly and completely before we assume we know better to improve it.
As always, I am open to a point by point discussion of each area in question, one point at a time to prove or disprove rather than and sweeping indictment of the whole art without specifics other than it needs to be improved, expanded, or made better. HOW? Give one specific example, and we can intelligently discuss that.
Interesting post. I will write more later, but would you not agree that seeing as TKD is a complete art, would it not be better for the art to make sparring more rounded and bring in other things. This would mean any club that wants to compete would need to focus on the whole art, and mean there is more crossover between comps and self defense?
Also, how effective is the TKD standing grappling compared to judo? Would you not agree that the main benifit of judo for a SD situation is to avoid being taken down or to throw an opponent and remain standing, and arent the defectiveness of kicks limited by clothing? I dont wear those weird skinny jeans that everyone seems to be wearing these days, but I couldnt kick well with normal clothes on
Thank you for writing such an elaborate response. I think that we can absolutely deal with one issue at the time. Taekwondo being such a huge entity as it is needs to be dealt with in detail. I am hoping to start a thread asking people how they would organize their own demands for belt exams if they had students and untied hands, I think that would be very interesting. Allow me to keep on topic by grabbing a point from my very first post:
"Taekwondo is the perfect example of this. It has all the nuts and bolts to compete in a K-1 tournament. Mix it up with some wrestling and it has a fair chance in the UFC, However, the art is in a standstill zone, as to often tradition will not allow it to become more effective. Thus it is rarely seen outside its own tournaments, compared to other styles.
My goal for the future is to create a style of taekwondo that allows a fuller expression. That primarly is aimed towards realistic self-defence, K-1 and MMA. While keeping the patterns of both ITF and WTF. So that fighters of this discipline can enter almost any fighting tournament with relevant experience."
Here I am addressing a very common problem with Taekwondo. ITF practitioners and WTF practitioners don't mix. Now within ITF and WTF again we have schools that differ greatly in their teachings. By adding punching into the WTF mix and doing some good organizing we can let people from WTF, ITF, Muay Thai and Kickboxing spar together in WAKO tournaments and similar. While still keeping the olympic sparring an available option within WTF.
So the basic argument in clean form goes like this. Taekwondo should be taught in its fullness so that the added versatility could be used to compete in various tournaments. This is verified in the fact that taekwondo contains high punches and low-kicks, taught in its fullness the added versatility could be used to compete in various tournaments. WAKO for instance arranges semi-, full-, low-kick and K1 kickboxing. But is it reliable? Tomaz Barada trains ITF taekwondo, a style of taekwondo that allows high punches, sometimes even sweeping and hip-throws, he has won the WAKO semi-contact championships many times. In K-1 ITF practitioners are more common than WTF practitioners, the same goes for the UFC, however, the practitioners often blends their style with Muay Thai. In addition, arts with fuller expressions, such as Muay Thai and Kickboxing are more common in MMA tournaments. I dare to at the very least induct that the addition of, at the very least, high punches would increase the amounts of sightings of WTF taekwondo in WAKO tournaments. Furthering Taekwondo's prestige. And WTF and ITF practitioners would have similar terms in sparring, as the rules of ITF sparring has been already mentioned. If one takes full advantage of Taekwondo it should be unnecessary to blend it with muay thai to get a sparring fitting for K1, as taekwondo contains tech utilizing elbows, knees and low-kicks. When this sparring is made one only needs BJJ to get into MMA.
An argument that was raised was that this could make the sport less appealing to some. I see no reason why the poeple who do Taekwondo for the aerobics should have more priority than people that learn Taekwondo to fight. Let us be frank, people live out of teaching taekwondo, literarly. They need concerned parents to send their kids there in order to earn money. One solution could be to put age restrictions on semi-, full-, low-kick and K1 kickboxing sparring-lessons. However, staying true to the taekwondo tenants I don't put my integrity where my money is, I would teach so much for free if I could, trying to keep away from making compromises with my wallet. I am therefore not dealing so much with these problems, I understand this might appear apathetic towards people who needs their salary. I give my reasons and understanding of their situation instead of my approval.
What would this do to WTF? The olympic sparring is a stand alone variation. It is useful for reasons already mentioned by myself and others who has posted in this thread. But is the emphasis of Olympic Sparring really worth it? It is also designed for safety and to be spread to countries with heavy restrictions on sparring. If it gets chopped out of the Olympics, what is left? A form of sparring with no punching that can only compete against other WTF practitioners or practitioners with a more versatile sparring style with their hands bound on their backs. That kind of victory doesn't look good.
I have often pondered the improvement of Taekwondo tournaments (not the art of Taekwondo, but the game), much like No BS Fighting ( wish he had chosen a better screen name ) seems to be focused on here. I believe it would be best to run a tournament where the participants can compete in three sparring events (aside from forms or board breaking). Striking (punching & kicking with controlled elbows and knees), Throwing only (where points are scored for the throw, then return to standing), and finally ground-grappling, much like wrestling with three rounds (standing, top, and bottom), but with the added tap-out for joint locks and chokes.
Also, imagine a modern headgear with a face shield and forehead level fake eye sockets that have sensors to detect a gouge that would blind the opponent in real life. How long would a grappling match last in a tournament if the sensor detects both eyes gouged out. Perhaps a fake trachea tube in front that when struck with enough force, indicates the match is over. I beleive Taekwondo fighters would tend to prevail with such techniques scored.
How about this for realism. In the middle of an MMA or cage fighting match where two guys are rolling around on the ground with the grappler dominating, then the other competitor pulls out an electronic rubber knife that scores on a computer when he cuts the grappler's abdomen wide open, slices his throat, or thrusts it into his kidney. There is a lot we could do to make tournaments more realistic to a street fight for your life, but suggesting that it is an improvement for a Taekwondo fighter to change his/her approach to distancing, striking, and escaping from grappling would be counter-productive in my opinion.
I usually don't compare the two because of the difference in strategy, as I have stated. I know enough about judo and wrestling to know that any student of the Martial Art who wants to dominate another grappler will have to dedicate an inordinate amount of time training just on that. In that case, they will never be as good on their feet as a Taekwondo or Karate expert, thus vulnerable to some very devastating and deadly strikes. What I teach my students is to not try to be better at grappling than a grappler, but learn what works to nullify the grapplers abilities. We must learn what others do in order to counter it, but it is a waste of time (in my opinion) to try to be as good or better than them. That will never happen in most cases, unless you abandon your own system, tactics and strategy to become just like them. A swimmer will not likely be faster on land than a dedicated runner, and the best runners will not likely ever move faster in the water than a skilled swimmer. Spend more time on land, or more time in the water, whichever you believe would help you in most situations, just be able to survive in either one.
I think the main focus in any Martial Art system is to be able to engage any opponent attacking with any skills, and be able to prevent bodily harm from a strike, throw, or joint manipulation, and be able to prevail or escape when physical controls are employed. Some systems prefer to use the throwing as their primary weapon, while others go right for a take-down or control. Judo was designed much like Aikido, Akijutsu, and Jujutsu to avoid strikes with evasions and blocks, use the opponent's aggressive force in addition to your own, and utilize fulcrums, balance, and gravity to let nature do most of the work. From a Judo standpoint, while some kicks and hand strikes are employed, I don't believe it is ever the motive to become better at striking or kicking that a Karateka or Taekwondoin. For them, it is time well spent to nullify strikes, and outmaneuver the opponent.
Absolutely! This is something any student or senior has to consider. The clothing, your shoes/boots (in winter), the environment (obstructions of furniture or walls, uneven or slippery surfaces) all plays a part in deciding what techniques are appropriate. I tend to wear rather loose fitting clothes for that very reason. I can kick head high in most anything I wear on a daily basis, but if I had on restrictive clothing, I am perfectly fine with low kicks, and high hand strikes. Also, just because we can do the more advanced skills, does not mean that is the best choice in a fight, but being able to do them makes you better at basic self defense. Advanced students and Black Belts should spend more and more time training outdoors, and in regular street clothes in addition to the classroom education in an appropriate uniform.
To NBSFighting - I will reply to a few points you have raised in your broad discussion, but prefer to go to a more precise, item-by-item analysis of where you think Taekwondo is not effective. Please do not take offense or become defensive if it seems I am disagreeing with you a lot. There are some things we probably agree on, but the focus would be on where we disagree.
I teach wrestling maneuvers to my students, but not so they will become expert wrestlers or enter a UFC event. For self defense, I teach them what a wrestler can do, then what they could do to survive and escape, or disable the attacker in ways that are not permitted in UFC or any other sport. Games are fine for fun. Play by the rules of the game, and accept that each game limits some options. When playing soccer, kick the ball but don't use your hands (unless you are a goalie). When you play basketball, don't kick the ball. Do you want to invent a new game where you can do both with no restrictions - ok, I might play. But none of that will affect my ability to defend myself successfully with the Martial Art of Taekwondo.
I disagree that Taekwondo is at a standstill. It is always adapting and growing, but the core concepts remain the same because they are effective and believed by many to be the best option in self defense when learned correctly. You seem to not be able to separate the "effective" art of self defense from sports played by rules. You don't seem to really be trying to change the art, but change the way people play a game based on the art.
Here again, you are not going to create a new "style" of Taekwondo. Many Masters that I have trained with don't even like the word "style" in connection to Taekwondo. There is no "style" in an a Martial Art, only in interpretive performance by an individual. The "Art" is the knowledge and skill of what works. You either learn it, and apply it, or you don't. Nature works on its own. There is no "style" to gravity, or laws of motion, or how the human anatomy works and what causes it pain, injury, or death. Style is the type of clothing you are wearing while dying from a technique delivered by a Martial Artist. Taekwondo is already aimed at "realistic" self defense - - break bones, and when necessary - Kill! These ways are not permitted in Tournaments - for good reason. Thus, to be used in competition, Taekwondo has to be modified into something it is not and restricted from what it is.
In my belief, practitioners of the art of Taekwondo can enter and do well in any Taekwondo Tournament hosted by any organization under various rules. It is the politics that keeps people out. "You are not a member 0f our association, so you can not compete in our tournaments." There are many factors why most Taekwondo people don't condone, support, or get involved in tournaments from other organizations, and it has virtually noting to do with punches, or throws, or other such rules.
First of all, I want to be clear about vague terms. There is no such thing as a WTF practitioner. The student studies Taekwondo from a Kwan, or Association either following the Kukkiwon guidelines, or not. As for the way the student competes, they are trained to fight by the rules of the tournaments they enter. WTF competitors, and ITF competitors are not that different in their knowledge and skill of the Art, and with minor adjustments, could mix and compete under either rule set. Each has reasons why they want their tournaments with, or without punches to the face, or differences in contact, knock-outs, or scoring.
I would venture to say that there is not that great of a difference in the core principles, techniques and tactics. Even from school to school within any association, there are differences among Masters and the way the teach. That does not affect the art itself, and will probably never be resolved (if it is even necessary to try).
It should be understood that WTF competition rules do allow punches, and do score punches to the body when delivered with sufficient force. The only restriction is that those who developed the rules for WTF events determined that it suited the art better to force competitors to focus primarily on kicks. There are already boxing matches, Karate tournaments, and others that use more hands than feet. If Taekwondo sport rules were no different, then our matches would likely morph into boxing matches since a kick that does not break your leg, take out your groin, or crack a rib is going to be ignored by an attacker, and they will rush in to punch - - because they are not as good at kicking as we are. Therefore, in a tournament, they take advantage of the fact that the controlled, powerful tap to the ribcage (optional target since knees and groin are off limits), and go in to score with easy punches, making punching look like a better choice for self defense.... when it is not. Our tournament rules do what we want them to do. Pit kicking against kicking, and avoid having to break bones or kill each other to prove that kicking is effective self defense.
This is where I believe you go astray with blurring the lines between sport, and effective self defense. The MMA craze is partially to blame for this misconception among sports fans.
I do not agree that BJJ needs to be added to what we do, but then again, I have no desire to get into MMA, nor do I think it is a good idea for any genuine Martial Artist. I don't believe MMA is a quality sport, and I have seem mostly garbage technique among the competitors in all of the modern cage fighting genre. However, as I have stated, the rules favor grappling by limiting the options and damage that a striker would use to win - - if it weren't just a game.
They are actually called "Tenets" and integrity is strength against adversity, pressure and temptation. Strength of character is of the utmost importance, and I never let the money influence what I teach. Nor do I let tournament rules, or popularity among the MMA fad dictate how I teach the art, or how I encourage students in Taekwondo to compete for the challenge of skills in what we do, the experience of matching new opponents, or the fun and safety of the sport.
Olympics or not - - Taekwondo is a Martial Art, and will not change unless other methods are proven more effective in real-life self defense. Any of us can fight with or without our hands, and should be able to survive the ground aspect with different tactics than a grappler. WTF rules might change in the future, but those who believe they serve a valuable purpose for keeping things even in a sporting match, will likely never turn TKD events into a MMA or boxing match. Let there be various tournaments with different rules, and let anyone compete who wants to.
One last thought on this general topic of changing art or changing sport. If a soldier is trained to survive in combat with a knife, a pistol, and an automatic rifle, he might choose to use the rifle from a distance more often, and save the pistol or knife for emergencies in close. Other soldiers might not even carry a riffle, but sneak up on the enemy and dispense with them using only a silent knife, while keeping a pistol as the back-up for emergencies.
If you host a friendly tournament to see who is a better soldier, and tell everyone that they can carry their riffle, pistol and knife into the game arena, but they are not allowed to use the rifle except to hit someone with the butt. The rules state that they win by hitting or stabbing targets two feet in front of them, why would a sniper, or average combat soldier enter the game? Especially when after it is done, the guy using the knife slices the target to bits and wins shouting "I am a better soldier than all of you guys with the pistols and big riffles!" Then there are the guys who suggest that the soldier carry more knives and spend more time learn how to throw them so he can be more effective in real combat because he keeps losing at the game! Does that make sense???
I highly disagree with the majority of Blue Knight's thoughts and arguments. The main thing I find so wrong with them being the "mysticism" he's placed as the backing and justification for his thoughts. Saying " I will not teach what I know here, and give the frauds free knowledge to appear as they have done the years of research and learning that I have done so they can continue to rip off the public." His entire first post SAID "NOTHING", it DID however, CLAIM A LOT. "TKD can do this and TKD can compete with that, but don't ask me how it does this and that because "it's a SECRET". All his post accomplished was to further the notion that there is a one TRUE Taekwon-do out there; a deadly killing art handed down from the Masters of old. However, BUT, (and its a huge BUT) the vast majority of what's taught is not "that TKD" and that's what EXPLAINS its short comings or PERCEIVED short comings as Blue Knight claims. "You gotta learn the real stuff, I know it but can't show you 'cause its bad for business" basically sums up his post.
If you want to know what TKD IS download the Encyclopedia of Taekwon-do, you can find it here- http://www.bluecottagetkd.com/ENCYCLOPEDIAOFTAEKWON-DO.html
That is General Choi's ENTIRE ART in book form. There is NO other set of techniques, no SECRET killing techniques or "hidden" techniques. What's included is the ART of TKD as he saw it. There are sections on ground techniques in volumes 3,4, and 5. The techniques included are cover blocks for ground based defenses and various kicks and punches; there is no grappling included EXCEPT for basic ankle and joint twisting in response to punches and stomps. In Alex Gillis book "A Killing Art" he asked some high level TKD master (can't remember who) why TKD didn't have more ground fighting techniques (BJJish moves) and the response he got was that "General Choi felt if you where on the ground, why not just get up" (paraphrased from memory).
The throwing techniques included in the Encyclopedia range from very basic sweeps and trips found under Bal Golgi or foot tackling to some advanced froms of hip throws like uchi mata and ippon seio nogi. It states in the throwing section "that they (throws) are to be used to avoid injuring your opponent" and recommends distancing yourself after the throw to avoid the ground thrown kick of your opponent. I actually find this ridiculous due to the fact that the impact, even after a break fall, would prevent any such after throw action (I've trained Judo for 5 years) and it should also be noted that throws in actual combat, almost always (like 99 percent), involve the thrower landing/crashing on top of the person thrown; crushing them into the ground.
ANYWAY, Blue Knight also discussed WTF TKD saying that it isn't a style but then later talks about Kukkiwan which is what we all now is what is meant when people say WTF TKD, they're synonymous with each other (chang hon ryu from the oh do kwan doesn't take part in WTF tournaments only kukkiwon TKD does). And as far as saying that the two styles are the same just because they have "kicks and punches" is also a INCORRECT because the way those kicks and punches are performed is different and the theories of power that the two are based on are also different. To think of it a different way Muay Thai isn't TKD just because they both involve kickboxing.
He then says, as justification for his argument, that "the "Art" is the knowledge and skill of what works. You either learn it, and apply it, or you don't. Nature works on its own. There is no "style" to gravity, or laws of motion, or how the human anatomy works and what causes it pain, injury, or death." which is all true, HOWEVER, how you APPLY that knowledge varies amongst martial artists and how they approach combat (particular STYLE). There are underlying principles that all martial arts must adhere to because after all we're all human BUT there is NO ONE WAY that those principles must be applied or which of them is more prominently highlighted in any particular martial STYLE.
Blue Knights then goes on to say "I don't believe MMA is a quality sport, and I have seen mostly garbage technique among the competitors in all of the modern cage fighting genre. However, as I have stated, the rules favor grappling by limiting the options and damage that a striker would use to win - - if it weren't just a game." This reeks of the classic Traditional Martial Artists stance that the reason his particular STYLE/APPROACH to martial arts isn't more prominently seen in the CAGE or MMA is NOT, in fact, due its INEFFECTIVE TECHNIQUES or TRAINING, BUT is entirely due to the fact that the style is ONLY effective without ANY RULES or restrictions placed on it (I can't beat you, only kill you).
To use an analogy, it's the equivalent to a RIFLEMAN claiming that the reason he lost in a shooting competition wasn't because his TRAINING WAS INADEQUATE or his rifle TECHNIQUE INEFFICIENT it was all due to the fact that his WEAPON ONLY WORKS when ACTUALLY used to KILL someone; not DEMONSTRATE ITS POTENTIAL to do so. That aside TMA's also always bring up the multiple attacker scenario and restricted target attacks in the defense of their arts; in response to which I ask "If you can't even beat ONE opponent what makes you think you can beat MORE than one? And if your not even able to land a jab to someone's face (boxer) what makes you think you can finger jab/ gouge their eyes out?".
Blue Knights own analogy highlighted what would happen if the RANGE of a combat sport was limited by the rules, however that ISN'T the case in MMA where all RANGES are allowed (except weapons obviously); which is what NO BS and others like him are trying to highlight when they compare types of sparring. TKD's sparring range IS limited by the rules its competitors follow which has resulted in what BLUE KNIGHT warned against himself in his own analogy; the competitors are FORCED by the rules to TRAIN in TECHNIQUES and TACTICS that work within the "GAME'S" structure but NOT in ACTUAL COMBAT (even though the competitors/TKD pracitioners THINK they do). Now I ask you "Does that make sense"?
Possibly, although personally I believe that ground fighting is a step too far. Taekwondo is very much focused on standing. Standing grappling is fine by me because you also learn how to stay standing and that is essential in a street fight. It also takes so much time to learn well that It would subtract from other areas too much. Add to that that most TKD instructors fail to teach striking effectively, confining that to a third of the syllabus would mean that they would have to learn 2 extra things, non of them well.
I think the main problem with this is the way it changes the goals of a street fight. Your goal in a street fight is not to win, it is to escape. Having a form of competition where the goal is to win a no holes barred fight to me seems silly, especially when you add in knives. Noone can effectively defend against a knife, I dont care what anyone says. If the guy holding it knows at all what he is doing you are toast.
In a street fight your goals should be to keep your opponent at distance and escape. If he clinches it should be to get out of that position, possibly by throwing, and to avoid being thrown yourself and get back to range. This is dependent on a mixture of fighting skill and self defence skill. It is my beleif that sport sparring should mimic 'fighting' as much as possible, and self defence should be seperate.
Right, but if that swimmer uses better techniques to train himself than the runner, it might work. If that swimmer uses a good program of weights, cardio, explosive training, and the runner sits on a rocking horse 5 hours a day I think the swimmer would out run him.
I think I wasn't clear enough in the origional post, im not asking if a TKDist could out grapple a grappler, like you said, no. What im asking is if the throws are of good quality or not. having done both have you ever been in a situation where a TKD ist has said 'oh yeah I know this throw' and known from your extensive knowledge that its just not going to work?
I agree, but the best way to avoid harm from throws is to not be thrown, and the best way to avoid joint manipulation is to not be on the floor (where the majority happen) and I think having a good knowledge of throwing and not being thrown would do both of those. Add in some sort of striking and your good to go. I think boxing and judo would probably have you covered. Or boxing and wrestling. Anyway, I would think if you are good at a striking and a standing grappling system that covers you for most situations.
Okay, let me see what is going on in blue_knights response.
"This is where I believe you go astray with blurring the lines between sport, and effective self defense. The MMA craze is partially to blame for this misconception among sports fans."
Your belief is false, in my previous posts I make a distinction between self-defense and sparring. You may not involve self-defense in this subject as it is not relevant. You have fallen in a argumentative pit by accidentally stumbling into a sort of strawman argument. This argument had nothing to do with self-defense at all, it is not relevant. This also goes for other areas where you mix self-defense into my main argument of that post, raising a false premise and debating against that instead of the actual relevance and validity.
However, your contra-validity by referring to the politics and membership of organisations are only partially correct. Some tournaments does require membership and even having passed different belt exams by registered clubs. However, there are open tournaments where such is not required. It would be wise to enter with sparring-competence in using punches. Also, there are rules that can be made in order to ensure use of high kicks, like in WAKO, muay thai and ITF tournaments.
"They are actually called "Tenets" and integrity is strength against adversity, pressure and temptation. Strength of character is of the utmost importance, and I never let the money influence what I teach. Nor do I let tournament rules, or popularity among the MMA fad dictate how I teach the art, or how I encourage students in Taekwondo to compete for the challenge of skills in what we do, the experience of matching new opponents, or the fun and safety of the sport."
It is not the popularity that should be the deciding factor. At least we agree on that. However, MMA, BJJ and the Garcie-dynasty has rocked the world of martial art. In my opinion it would be weirder to try staying oblivious to this fact. That is why I find this kind of integrity a bit misplaced. I doubt general Choi would have left MMA and BJJ out of the mix if he was to assimilate new techniques into Taekwondo today. However, general Choi is no longer the will of Taekwondo, the practitioners are. There are different practitioners with different needs. I want the fighters needs go first, and the people doing it for having a place to be after school or needing the work out to come second. This is not in the interest of a person looking to earn much money, as they need as many students as they can get, and I understand that.
Another basic argument that can be raised for having a fuller expression of sparring is:
Teakwondo is a martial art consisting of a set of skills, such as low-kicks, high-kicks, high-punches, elbows and knees. The student assimilates the sport, but ultimately only learns his own interpretative of taekwondo, due to the shatter of meaning from what is uttered to what is experienced. Ultimatly the goal is oneness, the roof of the learning curve where every system that seeks to teach how humans best defend themselves ends if taken to its full potential, due to our bodies having similar designs in terms of muscle and bone. Thus, the student should be allowed to travel as much of that road as possible before death. Then with what right can a teacher dictate how the student learns the skill in a way that is limiting and still call himself a teatcher? With that in mind, why not teach the sparring with Taekwondo techniques that would fit in K-1 or UFC if that is the path the student wants to take? As long as he has signed up to learn taekwondo and pays the full price he is somewhat entitled. And the instructor has a moral obligation to teach it. That is if my premises are true.
Of course MMA isnt a martial art, its a mixture of other marial arts. Clues in the name really. But how do you define quality sport? There is no arguing its highly effective as a fighting style. I really dont know enough about self defense to have a meaningful conversation on it, so im not referring to that, but as a simple fighting stlye it is probably the best by its lack of rules. Please explain why its rules prohibit striking? People kick and punch and fighters often win based solely on their exceptional striking skill (as long as they have good take down defense. I honestly cant see what they could do to make striking more effective, so please tell me. If BJJ is the deciding factor (and im not sure it is as much now as it was) surely thats because its more effective?
TKD is more like a game than MMA is, and I honestly think that very very few TKD practitioners are at the same level as MMA people even in standup. On technique, of course it isnt as good, they have to spend their time differently, striking is only a tiny bit of their time so its not going to be perfect. Saying that, what you perceive as bad technique is often just different. things need to be different to work. MMA is by no means perfect, but I think TKD has alot to learn from it (and vice versa). This is not pandering to fadish popularity, its because MMA is a very effecive fighting system and we should learn and continue to adapt our art, learning from others as choi did.
Taekwondo is not an ineffective art, but the ruleset is too restrictive. Any ruleset is restrictive to a point, but you need a way of practicing against a fully resisting opponent, even for self defense, so they are the best way to train. Simply dismissing them is not the answer. The answer is to build a rule set that creates great fighters, and then explain to those fighters how self defense is different and work on that.
In response to nightwing, I think that quote is a bad one for choi, its stupid to be honest. If you are on the ground its incredibly hard to just get up, against anything like a skilled ground fighter you will need good BJJ to get to your feet. If someone has you in mount, and you cant get them out, your in trouble
It is a shame that many students have not been taught full applications of Taekwondo ITF style used in the military even today.
This is when members and yet young students of the art still ony get to see the distance techniques, in true form of tkd you should understand (i mean all students) many instructors only focus on curriculem of grade.
Thats okay if thats all you want to do is wear a black belt.
There is a saying, a practitioner of many is a master of none, this applies to so many people.
If a person takes the time to realy study the art they practice and gets comprehensive instruction then they would see the full applications in Tul Practice and all areas.
I teach ground fighting, knife defence, grasp breaks etc so should i call these by a different name .... lets see.....self defence....no its called Taekwondo as thats where it comes from......
All arts suit different people and one art wil some times not suit the person visiting to watch, that is generaly because of the instructors attitude and particular lesson.
When you start Mastering a art and your mind reaching maturity in an art, you soon begin to realise that all are simular in many many ways.
I only have a mere 24 years in TKD and 31 years in Martial arts it took me 7 years to find the art i love.
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