if you could change a thing or things.....

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by Manny, Jun 5, 2018.

  1. Manny

    Manny Senior Master

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    Right now if you could change a thing or a number of things on TKD what would you change?

    Manny
     
  2. skribs

    skribs Master of Arts

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    I have a few questions first:
    • What style or lineage of Taekwondo?
    • Are we talking generic (i.e. ALL Kukkiwon schools or ALL ATA schools) or specific to our school?
    Personally, for me, it would be more training on the applications of the forms. At our school, we do forms, sparring, and self defense. There are several techniques in the various forms that we haven't drilled on an actual person. For example, the forms include spearhand techniques, augmented blocks, double blocks (such as a scissor block or a low block in one direction and high block in another), which don't really show up in our practical application.

    What I would like is to know is what the application is of these techniques, or barring that, at least why they're included. Regarding spearhand, if we're going to use it in the forms, why are we not conditioning or drilling to use it on a target?

    This is something I do want to ask my Master, but I haven't really found a good time yet.
     
  3. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    Specifically on this technique...

    We don't drill it 'for safety reasons' - apparently it takes the majority of people too long to learn how to apply it without hurting themselves more than the target.

    That said, there are two BBs and me who do practice it against pads and rebreakable boards, so there is some leeway for us...
     
  4. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    Hand strikes to the face target.
     
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  5. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    Elaborate?
     
  6. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    How to catch a kicking leg.

    It makes no sense that if you train how to kick but you don't train how to catch a kicking keg.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
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  7. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I’m pretty sure he means there’s an overall lack of head/face punching in TKD.
     
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  8. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    So... why haven't you come up with applications yourself? Seriously. If the only applications you know are the ones you're spoon fed by your instructor, you're missing out on more than you're learning. Teaching a specific application of a movement is just a tool to try to get you to understand the principles behind it. Nothing more.

    Because it takes more time and conditioning to do safely than most people will commit. The conditioning is fairly painful, and carries a significant risk of broken fingers. So people don't do it right. And then they end up with broken fingers. If you want to condition for spearhand strikes, great. Do so. But for most people, the risk/benefit ratio just doesn't add up. I did it when I was much younger, and like anything else it's easier to maintain than develop. But if I were starting over, I don't think I'd do it.
     
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  9. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    I wouldn't change anything about TKD.
    There are certainly things I'd like to see changed in things like the Olympic sparring rules, though.
     
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  10. skribs

    skribs Master of Arts

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    If we're not going to do anything to train for it outside of forms, then why is it in the forms? This is my question.

    I assume you mean in WTF sparring rules? We teach several head punches in our basic curriculum and just ban them in the sparring.

    We cover this at my school in our defense portion. But like head punches, they are banned in sparring (because Olympic rules).

    So first I must understand the principles behind it.

    As an example, we practice front fall and back fall at our school. The back fall position is essentially on your back, chin tucked in, hands down on the ground, feet straight in the air. When asked why we practice this, one girl explained "it's because our feet are stronger than our head, so if someone punches at our head, we get our head out of the way and we get our feet in the way so they punch our feet instead of our head."

    This is what happens when you have someone trying to understand the application of a technique with no understanding of the initial application.

    I'd rather have the Master's answer first and then apply my own possible twists and ideas.

    Some of this has been the cycle I get myself into A LOT which goes something like this:

    STEP 1: Have a question, but don't have a chance to ask it or too embarrassed to ask it
    STEP 2: It's been too long and I should know it by now, so if I ask then not only is it embarrassing I didn't know, it's embarrassing I didn't ask before.
     
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  11. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    1 -Cultural inertia. They're in the forms because they've always been in the forms.
    2 - Some people (if only a few) will choose to do the necessary conditioning for these techniques.
    3 - A spearhand strike requires a lot of risky conditioning. But a spearhand is only a strike sometimes. Go think of some other ways it could be used. Let's start with just two. Tell us what you come up with.

    Nope. Finding applications (beyond the obvious) is one of the ways you learn to understand the principles.

    She's ahead of you, because she's at least trying to understand, rather than have everything spoon fed to her. And I'd always rather work with someone who is thinking.
    I'd tell her "ok, let's try that" and then when it doesn't work (obviously) I'll ask her to think of another reason why being able to fall is good.
    I'll also add that I wouldn't teach a back fall the way you describe. If you're falling backwards, it would be much, much smarter to continue the movement so you roll backwards and come back to your feet. Because ending in the position you describe is a good way of saying "go ahead, kill me." I'm also willing to bet that it's a lot easier to understand why you'd roll back to your feet when you're knocked down than why you'd be doing some funky headstand thing. I say that because I have never, not even once, had a student who didn't intuitively understand that not getting hurt when you fall, and getting back to your feet quickly in a fight, are both Good Things.
     
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  12. skribs

    skribs Master of Arts

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    I assume you mean the motion of sticking your arm straight out with your fingertips being used for something other than striking with your fingertips?

    I can think of several grappling applications that can apply strikes, such as a leg sweep using the motion of an elbow strike or ridge-hand, or a palm strike to trap the attacker's fingers, but I'm completely blanking out on how a spearhand can otherwise be used.

    I'm saying I must at least have an application in mind as a starting point. For example, an augmented block (what I mean by that is an outside block with one arm, and the other arm supporting the elbow). What is the application of that? I have a basis to start with the spearhand, but I don't even know what the purpose of augmenting the outside block is.

    With no basis to start from, to me it's just an abstract motion I learn as part of the form.

    Well, on the one hand, how do you know I haven't been trying to understand?

    On the other hand, why is it not valuable to learn from my master? If I should just figure everything out for myself, I might as well stop training under a Master and just watch Bruce Lee movies and figure out how he did all his stuff.

    As to the last bit, if someone is trying to figure out the application of the fall (i.e. what purpose might a fall serve in a fight) they might be down a different track of mind than what the question is (why it's important to know how to fall safely if you happen to fall).
     
  13. andyjeffries

    andyjeffries Master of Arts

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    I completely disagree with this! If you train your kicks perfectly they're too powerful/quick to be caught. So the proper defence to a proper kick isn't to catch it but to evade/cover it. I've trained with some elite-level Koreans and there's no way on earth I'd ever want to try to catch one of their kicks!
     
  14. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
  15. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    If you count "overall" as WT rules, then yes.

    But we train them, and use them in sparring.

    A head/face punch scores, a jumping punch scores higher.
     
  16. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Let’s start with one then. A simple one. How can you use this motion as a release?


    Well, I’ll admit I never teach anything in a vacuum, so there’s always at least one obvious application. But can you truly not think of one reason why you’d bring the supporting arm forward while blocking with the other?

    I don’t. But she’s come up with more ideas than you, apparently.

    Like any teacher, our job is to teach you to learn. To figure out ways to use movements in this case. But that requires you to come up ideas on your own. If all you do is parrot applications that you’ve been told about, you’re essentially crippled. If the attack isn’t EXACTLY as described, you’re helpless.

    Ok. So what purpose might a fall serve? I can think of a couple without any effort. And for one of them (rolling out of range) this young lady is on the right track. She’s just being hampered (in my opinion) by the silly way you’re being taught to back fall.
     
  17. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Sorry, but that's just silly. The vast majority (by far) of people who throw a kick at you are not going to be elite-level (nationality is irrelevant) and even the best in the world are not perfect. Especially since training to catch a kick does not necessarily mean letting that kick hit you. Nor does it mean you can/will catch every kick a given person throws. I honestly believe I can catch a kick from anyone. Admittedly, the better you are, the lower my chances are of catching a given kick, but since training to catch a kick includes covering/evading/blocking/redirecting the kicks I fail to catch, I'll get my chance. Eventually. As long as I can cover/evade/block/redirect effectively, as well as catch effectively.
     
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  18. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    While I agree that the "Textbook" application(s) is but a tool to help you understand there is a good reason for learning only that application, especially at lower ranks. The reason is finite resources. Time, energy, ability to assimilate information. Many students train 3-4 hours a week. The rank syllabus contains a certain volume of information that needs to be learned and performed with competence. Learning and teaching numerous applications for pattern moves expands the volume of material tremendously.
     
  19. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    Rolling breakfalls where you continue the roll and come back to your feet are great to learn. But you need to learn the "Landing" breakfall as well. The reason why is simple . If you are "Thrown" or taken down in a method like an outer reaping throw or double leg takedown there is little chance you would be able to continue the roll.
     
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  20. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Master Black Belt

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    I would totally change the name to Dokwontae!
     

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