Does taekwondo needs cross-training to complete it

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by terryl965, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    Well, we don't really differ since I actualy teach mount defenses at about the same time you do. Falling, as a prelude to throwing comes in at 7th Kup. Since we are on the mats anyway, this is where I teach the mount defenses. I just never considered it truly a part of TKD curriculum although General Choi's text does contain basic throws, grappling groundwork is not present.
     
  2. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Sport taekwondo is an entirely different activity and has no place in this discussion. It is like comparing an F1 car to a Nascar. Both can be called cars and both have an engine and four wheels. The similarity ends there.

    One of the basics of taekwondo is maintaining and controlling distance. Also, taekwondo the art (not the foot fencing sport) has elbow and knee strikes, as well as punches for infighting and a selection of standing grapples, so an opponent getting in close should not somehow render them immune to attack.

    As far as seeing guys getting knocked down and saying, 'hey, that might work', that impact on human consciousness has already been made by wrestling and football.

    Daniel
     
  3. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    If you don't like the sport TKD analogy, throw it out. I think the point still stands that TKD is an evolving art and that it can and will ultimately be more well-rounded with regard to close quarter work. Born out of Shotokan karate, it now includes a wide array of kicking techs inspired by hapkido and likely Chinese MA. There's been extensive fragmentation already of TKD as the various groups focus on their own aims. Heck in my own little neck of the woods, I am having an impact in TKD as I am a 'special' instructor inside my friend's TKD school.

    Actually that's a goal of ALL martial arts, even those that grapple.

    Undoubtedly, although I would like to know what you mean by "standing grapples".

    The general consensus seems to be TKD lacks ground defense entirely which would be a fair criticism of most striking systems.

    And is being emphasized even more as MMA popularity grows.
     
  4. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    I am foremost a Goju-ryu karate-ka, but I also study aikido seriously and I cross-train with a regular group of other martial artists, some traditional like hapkido or tukong moo sul, some who are MMA guys. It's inevitable that I would pick up ideas or variations on technique that I might like to teach as a side dish to Goju-ryu karate.

    Mounted defenses and knife defense start around 7th kyu. I realize many think this is 'advanced' material, but IMO it's actually better to introduce them at an early time to allow the student to become more and more comfortable over time. Arguably for women and children, mounted defense is imminently practical.

    Yeah, I disagree. Knowing how to throw a punch or a kick is a totally different skill set than defending from the ground. There's really no logical reason why it must be taught first other than instructor preference. In my case, I'd rather expose my students early on and get them used to working in all ranges than let them get too used to hunting and pecking as some long distance arts can.

    Also, I would wonder how you can teach avoiding going prone without considering the prone position itself? They're just aspects of the same skill set.

    I agree. We train outdoors once a quarter to help explore this.

    Unfortunately no. I learned extensive bunkai for how to take down a foe from my karate teacher, but verbatim defense techs against a wrestler was a bit sparse. At least it wasn't nonexistent though. Same with blade defenses. On the other hand, I know lots of counters vs. staves, tonfa, sai, and swords (with sai). :)

    The bulk of my DEFENSIVE information comes from training aikido formally and other systems informally.
     
  5. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    MMA is merely taking the place of pro wrestling, which doesn't change the ratio; it merely alters what channel is being watched. And football still outpaces MMA by a staggering amount, both in viewership and participation.

    Standing grapples are just that. Guy throws punch, defender blocks, grabs, applies arm bar, all without going to the ground. Standing grapple. Half and full Nelsons and choke holds can also be applied standing.

    Sweeps and takedowns where you stay standing and your opponent goes down are also a part of taekwondo. Not a huge part, but knowing one or two exceedingly well should be a sufficient supplement.

    TKD is not a rolling on the ground art and is geared more towards staying on your feet. Having said that, I did learn groundwork in taekwondo. Not very much, but a small amount.

    We also learned falls and rolls back in the day.

    Yes, a goal of all MA is to control distance. That is not any sort of secret. My point was that it is basics, and should be well developed along with the rest of what is 'basic' in taekwondo. Your basics in most arts conform to the 80/20 rule. Your basics are the twenty percent of your techniques that do 80% of the work.

    In taekwondo, basics are punches, both reverse punches and jabs, front kicks, side kicks, turning kicks, knee and elbow strikes, and blocks, and of course, controlling the distance in a fight, be it a ring fight or a fight for your life.

    There is a reason that boxers do relatively well outside of the ring even though they don't have any kicks or groundwork: they train a very small skill set in the combat ranges that one starts out in 100% of the time and train very, very hard to excel in that range and to control their opponent in such a way as to keep them there.

    I remember when kickboxing got big. Schoolyard kids and street punks still got into fistfights. Wrestling has always been big. Weird how figure four leg-locks and suplexes didn't suddenly become a must have in everyone's arsenal.

    The fact is that going to the ground in a real fight is generally a bad idea, both for the attacker and the defender. Knocking someone down and stomping on them is a more likely attack than any sort of weird TV inspired home made BJJ.

    And falling or rolling and getting up after being knocked down is about the limit of the groundwork that I got in taekwondo. I have gotten more in hapkido, though not anything as sophisticated as in BJJ.

    In the end, a skilled practitioner of any art does not need a huge quantity of techniques in any range. Once you get to a certain point, you should be able to figure out how to apply various techniques in different situations. MMA is a good example of this actually, but it applies to other arts as well.

    Daniel
     
  6. dortiz

    dortiz Black Belt

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    "In the end, a skilled practitioner of any art does not need a huge quantity of techniques in any range. Once you get to a certain point, you should be able to figure out how to apply various techniques in different situations. MMA is a good example of this actually, but it applies to other arts as well."

    Ding Dind Ding!

    While I agree the more rounded the better in truth the best fighters are Masters oif a few core techniques. All the greatest fighters had their signature techniques that were so honed they meant the end for the opponent.
     
  7. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    Yes football > MMA in popularity. However I do think you are overly discounting the effect of MMA has on the general trends in combat. People watch pro wrestling as entertainment. Surely no one takes the moves in 'rastling' on a serious level. Von Erich Iron Claw, anyone? :)

    Meanwhile, we can see that even the US Marines have added elements of BJJ into their Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP). And at least in my area, the MMA gyms and BJJ schools are doing well. I truly don't understand your perspective on this, Daniel. I see the influence drifting quite readily into daily life.

    Well, then you've identified your vision of TKD as much of what everyone including myself thinks it is: A solid system that needs some cross-training in ground work in order to be complete, going back to the thread topic.


    Reading through these paragraphs, I can't help but think you got the wrong idea about what I support. I don't believe in training to roll around on the ground looking for a submission. That's the MMA sport.

    I believe since there's a chance in self-defense you can find yourself prone on the floor either on your back or on your belly with a foe pounding away on you, you should devote some of your training time to that. Maybe if you're a TKDist, you might choose to spend only a small fraction of your training on that. Fine. I myself would suggest exposing even beginners to these drills, and the amount of time spent should be enough to be credible.

    Yep. Let's apply this maxim to ground defense though. If you've never practiced against a mounted opponent, I'd say it's a gaping hole in your repertoire. I've learned bunkai from kata like naihanchi which arguably can be used as ground defense. Still it means nothing if you don't practice it on the ground with a mounted partner.
     
  8. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    There was a time when they did. WCW still was taken semi seriously in the early nineties. The major issue with pro wrestling until about a decade ago (likely still the same, but I have not watched it in about a decade) was not that the moves are not real; many of them are. The main issue is that the outcome is predetermined. That and the 'Days of our lives' meets Jerry Springer theme that seems to have taken over. Once again, the ratio is not going to change. The viewership simply has moved, precisely because MMA is offering what the WWF and WCW were perceived to be offering at one time.

    Those schools are doing well partly due to the popularity of the UFC and the popularity of MMA on television, but martial arts schools do not accurately reflect the general public. The marines added it to foster competitive spirit, not because it is particularly practical on the battlefield. And I seriously doubt that the marines were devoid of prone defense before BJJ became popular.

    Not quite what I said.

    I never discourage cross training, as I think that it is a good idea no matter what system you practice. But no, I do not feel that taekwondo needs it. Also, it depends on what you mean by 'complete', as realistically, no system will ever really be fully comprehensive with zero perceived holes. A technique for every situation does not necessarily equal completeness, particularly if you cannot train to be top notch in the entire system.

    What Taekwondo needs in order to be a complete system is to spin the foot fencing sport off entirely so that taekwondo students are focused on actual self defense and the foot fencers can train to foot fence without being compared to SD training.

    Sorry, but MMA = sport. Yes, I realize that a school can say "mixed martial arts" to refer to teaching a blending of arts, but those 'MMA' schools that you referenced as doing well are competitive sport. BJJ, by the way, is essentially sport as well (yes, I realize that it has some practical application as well).

    Sure you could. And that is found in the hoshinsul that was mentioned several times previously in this thread. While I am not ITF and never have been, there was an element of that in taekwondo when I took it in years past. Sadly, most TKD schools do not teach anything more than standing one steps, forms, and foot fencing.

    Now you have identified an issue with training methodology versus curriculum content.

    Incidentally, taekwondo schools are notoriously bad about teaching bun hae (the Korean term bunkai), which is why I ended up transitioning to hapkido. It was not an issue of content that caused my shift, but the issue of training methodology narrowing to one steps, forms and foot fencing and away from practical SD, which was taught in years past when I first took up taekwondo.

    Daniel
     
  9. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    I would like to follow up my last post by saying that there are numerous training issue that need badly to be addressed in taekwondo at this point in time, much of which is the result of WTF sport and olympic inclusion, as well as the rampant commercialization of the art.

    People who make statements regarding the completeness of taekwondo generally are not practitioners of the art. They are not off in their assessment that there are elements that are simply not addressed by most taekwondo schools, but the assumption is that the content simply does not exist within the art, which is really not correct.

    Frankly, taekwondo is in complete disarray as an art. The sport is pretty well locked down and does well, but because it shares the same name and is taught alongside the art, it has contributed to the problem. The sport requires the strong development of specific skill that are geared almost entirely towards competing under a unique rule set. It is much like the difference between kendo and kenjutsu, except that the difference is actually much greater than between kendo and kenjutsu. Development of those unique skills requires a great degree of focus and leaves little room to develop the rest. There is a reason that kendo and kenjutsu are taught as separate arts. Likewise, WTF sport taekwondo should be taught as a separate exclusive art and taekwondo should be taught as a separate and exclusive art. Perhaps the sport should be called tae sul?

    Hate to say it, but the Kukkiwon is the primary culprit for this disarray. They have done a very poor job of maintaining the integrity of the art, though they have done a wonderful job as a certification agency. Unfortunately, effectiveness in the one does not equate to effectiveness in the other.

    Daniel
     
  10. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    I can see you're not an MMA fan. I will respectfully disagree with you on this. I do see the real possibility that MMA would influence the lay person.

    I always hear anecdotally that the unarmed combat taught in our military are actually quite limited. I don't know for myself first hand. Regardless, I bring up the MCMAP as an example of MMA popularity filtering itself into mainstream institutions... That was the point instead of arguing that the Marines didn't have prone defense before adding BJJ.

    Well, I think I already defined what I thought 'complete' meant above somewhere: training for unarmed effectiveness in all ranges. That seems sufficiently narrowed to where one can start using adjectives like comprehensive.

    OK. My preference would be to change the rules so that the sport and the self-defense sides need not be mutually exclusive.

    OK, but again surely you don't think I am advocating to train for sport? I said "I don't believe in training to roll around on the ground looking for a submission. That's the MMA sport." I also said above in a reply to Mr. Weiss that "...I believe even relative beginners should receive some instruction as to how to defend against someone on top of them. Not in the sport sense either... Avoid damage and get to your feet asap."

    I am eagerly awaiting the loan of Vol 5 of the Encyclopedia, but I am going to go out on a limb and guess that I won't see any mounted ground self-defense in the book. Maybe Mr. Spiller or Mr. Weiss can jump in and correct me if I am wrong.

    Have I? If it is not taught and drilled, it is not in the curriculum, period.

    Many karate schools sadly have the same problem. Everyone says they practice bunkai, but they really mean they practice kata and are TOLD not TAUGHT some base-level information on what the movement means. Luckily there's still some excellent karate taught here and there. You just have to know what you're looking for or you have to be plain lucky to stumble upon it.
     
  11. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    Well this is partially why I suggested people post their curricula up to first dan. That would seem a semi-rational point to discuss what is and isn't within taekwondo, but we got a bit bogged down with what dan rank should be the dividing line.

    Let's refocus though. What do we mean by exist within the art? Is there any validity to the statement that TKD has this or that, if in main the majority of TKDist never practice it?

    Let me use another example, since TKD and grappling can be polarizing. Consider pressure points and the instruction for their usage codified in the older Okinawan karate kata. The Bubushi even has the old chart we frequently see copied and reprinted of the human body and all of the main pressure points. So if you practice kata, you could 'argue' that pressure point manipulation is part of your art. But the reality is something different, if you never actually delve into the subject properly in your daily practice.
     
  12. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    My status as a fan or not a fan really is immaterial. I am not an MMA detractor, however.

    Regardless, all that the lay person sees is a cage preventing the crap that goes on in wrestling (interference from managers, folding chair-jutsu, etc.) and two guys either rolling around, punching and kicking, or both. Which is essentially what they see in wrestling. I am sorry, but I have no faith in the lay person to turn what they see on television into anything remotely useful. Perhaps we will have to agree to disagree on this subject.

    I never said nor implied that the unarmed combat taught in the military is limited. I said that the purpose of BJJ being added was to foster competitive spirit. That was told to me by more than one marine. Not that any of them complained about it. Quite the contrary.

    Fair enough, and I would agree with that for the most part. The question then becomes whether or not such defenses can be found within the art.

    I agree, but because it will never happen, so I have stopped suggesting it. The sport is far too specialized and olympic inclusion has virtually guaranteed that it will never, ever go back to its roots. In fact olympic inclusion has virtually guaranteed that it is the art that would need a name change.

    That last part I will agree with.

    Not having any volume of the encyclopedia, I cannot answer that.

    Yes, you have. And therein lies the problem. Most of what is actually part of taekwondo is generally not taught to either any great degree or at all in most schools. Which brings us to...

    At least in karate they tell you. In taekwondo, you just learn the form in most schools with no application beyond the obvious being discussed. After practicing hapkido, I can find a lot within the taegeuk forms that would not be readily apparent.

    Frankly, at least in US schools, I feel that many of these skills have simply been lost in the process of taekwondo's commercialization.

    Daniel
     
  13. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Dan rank is almost irrelevant in taekwondo. Most schools, from what I can see, are sport focused and the student is into dan grades in 18 to 24 months. While most karate schools (from what I gather) are more along the lines of four years.

    Neither length of time is inherently good or bad, so long as the material all gets taught.

    In the technical sense, yes the statement is valid, though in a practical sense, it most likely is not in most schools.

    Daniel
     
  14. chrispillertkd

    chrispillertkd Senior Master

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    Actually we got bogged down because you made an arbitrary cut off which disqualifies a good portion of material. Doing so could possibly change the form of the conversation since you apparently only want a limited amount of what constitutes a style brought up. Perhaps this is the result of your own background as you mentioned by 2nd dan in the Joon Rhee system you were told you had pretty much learned everything. This might be true for that particular style but I would hesitate to say it would hold true across the board.

    The answer seems fairly obvious to me. It means that the techniques exist as a formal part of the style in question.

    I know people here occasionally like to ignore the distinction between the formal syllabus of the art and what a person learns or teaches if we're talking about something "existing in" an art then it would be best if we looked at the art as a whole, no?

    Of course. People not knowing a portion of the style they study (whether it's TKD or any other MA) is irrelevant if you actually want to talk about the style, IMNSHO. In some of the koryu or some of the more esoteric CMA's some students will simply never learn the entire system. That does't mean the style in question doesn't contain the techniques or concepts which they haven't been taught.

    Pax,

    Chris
     
  15. chrispillertkd

    chrispillertkd Senior Master

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    My original question was: "So, it's not indicative of your style, then? When are these techniques generally taught?" It appears that the answer is no, since you're a goju karateka. Nothing wrong with that, of course, I just find it interesting that this is a thread about TKD qua TKD and yet you're introducing things into Goju fom an outside source. In a way that's actually pretty Okinawan since there's all those stories about people going to a variety of teachers to learn a variety of skills. From my limited experience Okinawan karate seems much less systematized than, say, the ITF. You have many different Goju orgs, for example, all teching the same style but with different emphases. Gen. Choi, conversely, was quite adamant that if you wanted to do TKD you should do it his way (at the same time he was fairly open minded about technique applications).

    There's more to stand up fighting than knowing how the punch or kick. Evading, blocking, contorlling the distance, sweeping, throwing, foot tackling, body dropping, dodging, jumping, shifting, etc. You're simply taking one or (at most) two facets of stand up fighting and loking at things from that perspective. There's a ton more to it than that.

    Oh, sure there is, you just disagree with it. Every style focuses on something as its central doctrine. As a necessity other things get moved to the periphery as people gain expertise first in the central doctrine. Only later do they pick up skills that are more on the periphery. You focus on other things as your central doctrine, that's all. Or you simply allow your students to take more time at becoming proficient at it since you seem to introduce them to a wider array of techniques earlier.

    Right. You have a different central doctrine than Taekwon-Do. But that doesn't mean there's "no logical reason" to put ground work after stand up fighting (and, for the record, I don't think anyone has argued it must be that way, which is what you said in your comment quoted above; that's just an inaccurate statement). Suer there are, you just disagree with them.

    If you're considering the prone position itself you're no longer talking about acoiding going prone, are you? You're already there. Now you can talk about getting up fom the prone position. But those are two different things.

    So, would you therefore say that Goju is an incomplete art?

    Pax,

    Chris
     
  16. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    The whole point to the first dan thing was to gather data on the techniques taught to a reasonable amount of people who've invested sufficiently into training. I don't want to throw in the material not commonly taught - I don't want to look at the uber-master techniques that are by definition confined to a small amount of people.

    Why not? Well, arguably because it's not mainstream at all and doesn't present a good view of what taekwondo commonly is. If you're saying a lot of people reach 2nd and 3rd dan in your system and it's not rare territory, then by all means talk about it. The goal is to keep the discussion to freely available TKD as nebulous as that term might be.


    Well, that's precisely the argument I am making above with Daniel. Fighting systems are living instruments. Is the definition of an art made by a fistful of seniors or is it the evolving ebb and flow of what occurs in daily practice by the much greater body of practitioners? I believe I understand your answer. I hope in some small way to provoke some thought on the other side.

    In comparing other styles, you have to consider whether the new information taught at the higher levels really differ all that much from the base material or not. In Goju, it can. And I understand secondhand, that the gap can be an even greater chasm in CMAs. I thought we had agreed above that it did not in TKD though.
     
  17. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    Yes, the Goju world is less than homogeneous, although I believe TKD is similarly diverging. My lineage goes back to the Jundokan and Meibuken lines, although my sensei is fairly eclectic, dabbling into some Shorin-ryu too. I rejoice in the diversity as meeting up with another Goju stylist is a fun opportunity to share kata and bunkai. Frequently, they have a different interesting spin.

    I never said there wasn't. I just said the skill sets for ground defense are entirely different from punching and kicking. You don't disagree with that statement, do you?

    Yes, the latter is my approach. As I said, there's no logical reason to wait until later other than instructor preference.

    Actually, you mentioned it first, Chris. "The general thinking in most stand up systems seems to be that the students need to become rather proficient in stand-up fighting, including avoiding going prone, before going to a ground game." I simply disagreed with the premise.

    <shrugs> They are one and the same in the training I follow and teach. Perhaps a semantic not worth pursuing.


    Sure. Both of my arts as commonly taught are incomplete. 'Classical' Goju lacks true ground work. And aikido is woefully lacking in striking. That's the unvarnished truth from someone who has some really good lineage in both systems if that means anything. It bothers me not to admit it, and I've had some late night discussions with very senior people in both arts who admit it too... Just not in public. :)
     
  18. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Ah, the age old dilemma that has dogged the auto industry since automobiles were capable of speeds in excess of five mph; crash avoidance versus crashworthiness,

    Always been a bigger fan of crash avoidance. Once you are relying on crashworthiness, you've already crashed. Of course having a bit of each is certainly handy.:)

    And the ITF syllabus will give you that from what Chris is saying. But you get crash avoidance first. I'm going to have to agree that avoidance should be first. Knowing the general frequency of most MA students attendance (1-3 days a week for an hour at a time) and how much the average student spends training in between (little to none outside of form memorization, if that), yes, teach them stand up and avoiding going prone first. That will be about as much as they'll be able to usefully absorb. Too much more and you run the risk teaching just one thing too many, and when they get to where they have to use that one thing, they find that they haven't absorbed it and they have to think about how to do it. At which point, they're dead meat.

    Opinion yes, but I am not alone in it regarding taekwondo.

    Daniel
     
  19. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    It's all opinion.

    Equally valid reasons for teaching ground defense from the start are:

    1) lets beginners study it when they are in true beginner's mind and can perhaps benefit from being without prior prejudice/conception
    2) obvious application for rape/bullying scenarios
    3) opportunity to ingrain whole body movement whether you want it to originate from legs or hips
     
  20. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    Well, don't count me in the consensus. I have a first dan in Ju Jitsu certified by the USJA. I would agree that what might considered ground grappling as a defense is virtualy non existant. However, there are many simple defenses to ground attacks that would be considered illegal in many ground grappling matches. Pelligrini in his system came up with a catchy slogan "Don't grapple, survive". Can an EXPERIENCED grappler avoid or defeat these defenses? Possibly, if they train for them. But still, the non grappling defenses are very effective albeit "illegal" for competition.123
     

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