Martial Art vs. Sport (again)

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by puunui, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    I've seen some of this, and there are some real hazards. The question being is your master qualified to teach basic throwing, wrist locks or armbars? Where did he learn them? Not a knock, and it may be that your coach has crosstrained and it qualified. But taking a seminar and working in elements outside of your style without being well grounded is potentially very shifty.
     
  2. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    Thank you for the reply, and a thumbs up for your program. In my experience you would be the exception and not the rule. As an example, most sparring I've seen would entail the two individuals lining up at a prescribed distance apart and then attempting to strike/kick each other in certain areas/certain ways, according to a mutually agreed upon/prescribed set of rules and then resetting to begin again. If I'm understanding you, you allow the competitors to escape and/or evade the encounter prior to physical contact? They have an opportunity (at least occasionally) to try de-esculation techniques? They train to disengage or 'stun n run'? One can attempt to use a hidden weapon or improvised weapon? Or other attackers can enter the sparring session? Is training conducted in dim-light? Is it conducted outside the dojang on other surfaces like grass or slopes or on stairs or in an enclosed space like an elevator? I was unaware that KKW TKD offered ground defense, what does it entail? Is it geared more towards sport like MMA or would it be considered more defensive in nature?

    Thank you.
     
  3. ETinCYQX

    ETinCYQX Master Black Belt

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    The way I understand it, the curriculum is basic Hapkido. Not sure where it came from. However, I cross train in Judo and it's all mechanically sound and safe.
     
  4. miguksaram

    miguksaram Master of Arts

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    Never said nor suggested it was inferior.

    Perhaps I am misunderstanding what you are writing, but it seems like you are just echoing what I said. The sports aspects of TKD will tend to focus on what will work in the ring, not so much in the street. So no, I will not sit there and train a student how to do a joint lock when we happen to be focusing on mat control for competition in the lesson. (Not to say I would never train a joint lock to the student, just would not do it in that particular lesson). Now this does not mean I cannot carry over sport training philosophies into SD training. Example mat control can be a good way of training controlling the environment to allow you the opportunity of escaping. Not all areas of sport training will transfer over, but should I discard that aspect of TKD training simply because it is not 100% in the streets? Of course not.

    In the same sense, good SD training will help a student overcome the initial shock of fight or flight reaction. As well as it helps with the mindset of not stopping because one technique did not work as well as it should have. This is something I can take into my sports training when I am trying to teach a student how a specific combination of techniques may not fair well so move to the next combo or improvise. Plus the mindset of fight or flight is lessened when placed in a controlled environment such us the ring. However, do I discard this aspect of my TKD training because it really doesn't teach me how to score my points well? Of course not.

    It is all about balance and implementing what you learn from one aspect to help you improve another aspect. It is all TKD. If certain training methods of one will help another why wouldn't I learn that type of training. I do not have to be an elite fighter to want to train in competition...nor do I have to walk the bad streets in Aurora, IL to want to train in SD. In fact where I live, I have very little need for hard core SD training....and at my age, I have very little need for elite competition training. However, I enjoy both.
     
  5. miguksaram

    miguksaram Master of Arts

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    That is a great question. I would say it could be one of two reasons, though I am sure there are more. One reason may be that they enjoy competition and training for competition so that is what they want to focus on. The second reason could be that is what the market is dictating. If I want to keep my doors open and I have more people wanting to spar and do competition, then that is where I am going to focus my efforts. Perhaps I live in a shady area, where SD training would be in more demand, then that is what I am going to focus on to keep food on my table.

    A good instructor who is a good business person, which very rarely go hand in hand, can figure out that balance and still keep doors open.
     
  6. ralphmcpherson

    ralphmcpherson Senior Master

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    Why do some instructors only teach sport when their art offers so much more? Simple. Because their organisations set standards but dont bother to check those standards are being adhered to. Then, they tell their students how lucky they are to be part of a large organisation that standardises the art. Go figure.
     
  7. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    Alright, let me go back to your original statement, as underlined. Sport training in most schools probably has a good physical conditioning component. But so do the SD schools I've trained in, seen or taught. So when properly taught, SD has this component as well and the student isn't missing out on it.
     
  8. Archtkd

    Archtkd 3rd Black Belt

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    Some teach the way they do because they can. They teach what they know. They teach the way they want because they are not children waiting and seeking to be supervised by some dictatorial bureaucrat who claims to be acting in their best interest. They teach the way their students want to be taught. They teach the way they want because the are very lucky to live in free countries, where their skills are appreciated. They teach the way they do because they can make a pretty good and honest living from it. They teach they way they do because they are lucky to have ambitious and talented students who use the competion skills they acquire in taekwondo to be winners in life. The list could go on .....
     
  9. ralphmcpherson

    ralphmcpherson Senior Master

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    Completely agree with all of that, and good on them. Problem is, they could do all of that without joining an organisation. Everything you said above applies to where I train also. Which pretty much sums up my original post.
     
  10. miguksaram

    miguksaram Master of Arts

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    As this is just going to turn into the same redundant and soon to be flamed argument, I am just going to say this last thing. Again I never said SD training was inferior, it seems from you posts you feel that this is my message. It is not. What I am saying is balance is needed in training. If you do not have it, then, in my opinion you are missing out on what TKD really is. You may be satisfied with that type of training and only that type of training. That is cool and nothing wrong with it. To each his own. I prefer to learn about all that my art has to offer and utilize all the tools available, not just on aspect of it.
     
  11. miguksaram

    miguksaram Master of Arts

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    I disagree, but do not want to turn this into a flame war filled with anti-KKW sentiment, which is what I am starting to read into this. KKW has a minimum standard set for the organization. It allows the school owner a lot of freedom to do what they feel is best for their dojang so long as when they apply for their black belt certification that they meet the minimum standards set. No organization is perfect and there will situations where the standards are thrown out the window or people get around them and still get their rank. Whatever. Between these redundant posts of people pointing fingers in all directions claiming how the other side is killing martial arts and all the Republican vs Democrats pointing fingers saying how the other side is screwing up the US, I am personally tired of it all.

    I think I will just join others on the sideline with a tub of popcorn and a beer and just watch you all have at it. If anyone wants to discuss Korean cultural issues and how they pertain to Korean arts or history issues, please feel free to PM me or contact me via FB.
     
  12. StudentCarl

    StudentCarl 3rd Black Belt

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    I think it's a lot simpler than what's being said: school owners teach most what they know and like best. If they didn't want to, they wouldn't teach. Over time they develop preferences and priorities, even if they are well-rounded. The clientele does vary, and each instructor brings a unique set of experience and style. I'm fine with all that. It doesn't have to be sport or SD--what makes a good school is a quality instructor who is honest about what he offers and delivers that.
     
  13. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    I don't know why you keep saying this? This has been a pretty good thread with opinions all over the spectrum, intelligent and well thought out posts on every side and plenty of courtesy. My suggestion is to not expect something, and continue to do your part to maintain a good thread if you continue to participate in it. I don't see it as 'anti-KKW' sentiment at all, simply looking at what it is and more importantly, what it is not. That isn't 'anti', that is commenting on observations.

    That's fine, I'll accept this.

    This is where we agree in principle, but not necessarily in practice. True, many SD methodology oriented schools lack a competitive component. But, in my opinion, that is a component that may be a 'want' but isn't a 'need' for balance. Those that focus on SD methodology have plenty to work on, complete with an aggressive physical conditioning component (in my experience and what I've provided). Competition wasn't desired. On the flip side, sport methodology oriented schools can also offer a lot, including as you've mentioned a great physical conditioning component. In general, again from my experience, they lack the SD component to a great extent. But then, if it isn't desired then no problem exists. I maintain the issue that I would have though of a sport methodology oriented school (KKW or otherwise) claiming they teach quality SD. Most don't. Leadleg, the other poster I'm talking with would be an exception to the rule and I give a big thumbs up for his program. But generally speaking, KKW and other 'sport' schools do not address many/any of the SD basics that I've discussed. Again, if that is what the students want then they are getting what they've paid for and all is fine. If the school offers one methodology but touts itself as offering both (or other venues it has no experience in) then a problem does exist. It isn't a flame-fest to simply point this out. There is a difference and instructors and students should know the difference.

    Thank you.
     
  14. leadleg

    leadleg Blue Belt

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    Well here is where I think it is important to belong to a good organization. If you want to compete in TKD and you want to compete at tournaments with the best or at least the most elite TKD athletes then you would want to be KKW so you can play at WTF sponsored tournaments. Unless you don’t want to get knocked out then you need to go to another style. Another thing that organization sponsored tournaments provide is the same rule set no matter who is sponsoring the tournament.
    As for the KKW not oppressing, I mean controlling what goes on in your school we like that. The KKW trusts its members, it is the integrity of the school owner that is at stake, not the KKW. If you or your students do not have the KKW minimum requirements you had better stay home, otherwise you will be found out rather quickly, either at a seminar or a tournament.
     
  15. leadleg

    leadleg Blue Belt

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    While I agree that some schools (KKW) may be all about the sport and little else I do not find this to be the norm. I and others know that unless you are very well known to be coaching elite athletes at the World or Olympic level you will not keep your doors open with just a sport program. Normally you will only have about 10 percent or less of your students who want to compete at a national level.
    If you have 100 students that means 90 of them want martial arts instruction not just a hard workout or taught to fight tournaments. In order to keep those students your program had better be balanced and all encompassing. The adults, teens, and children all need to be taught at their age levels and all be taught differently. In order to do this you need have many different classes per week. That means a commercial school, that means rent and good equipment. That means money, I have found that people will not pay good money for bad instruction or bad results.
    When you keep your students locked in your little fishbowl (no organization), never exposing them to the rest of the martial arts community you may be able to fool them for a while.
     
  16. leadleg

    leadleg Blue Belt

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    Thank you for the reply, and a thumbs up for your program. In my experience you would be the exception and not the rule. As an example, most sparring I've seen would entail the two individuals lining up at a prescribed distance apart and then attempting to strike/kick each other in certain areas/certain ways, according to a mutually agreed upon/prescribed set of rules and then resetting to begin again. If I'm understanding you, you allow the competitors to escape and/or evade the encounter prior to physical contact? They have an opportunity (at least occasionally) to try de-esculation techniques? They train to disengage or 'stun n run'? One can attempt to use a hidden weapon or improvised weapon? Or other attackers can enter the sparring session? Is training conducted in dim-light? Is it conducted outside the dojang on other surfaces like grass or slopes or on stairs or in an enclosed space like an elevator? I was unaware that KKW TKD offered ground defense, what does it entail? Is it geared more towards sport like MMA or would it be considered more defensive in nature?
    My response was yes with an exception to grappling, cavity press, and throwing. I find that we need some classes just for those type activities. I am lucky enough to have an extensive background in Hapkido and some seminar time with Dr. Yang (2 times).
    I also have a second dan TKD who has first dan in Judo and was a national champ in her day. She instructs the children and teens twice a month on falling rolling and Judo style throws and sport style grappling.
    As for throws in self defense it is my belief that if you are talking about over the shoulder or fireman type (high) throws they are not controlled enough to use. If you mean hard and fast take downs with control then I find them beneficial. As for cavity press, limb destruction, sealing the arteries or sealing the breath, I feel these should be taught as special techniques in a special class for special students.
    I have self defense classes three times per week for 18 and older students, I usually only have about 10 to 15 students in those classes. Every Thursday I hold a free s/d class that sometimes draws in a couple of people.
    The KKW may have some types of defense I do not know as I am still studying the art and discovering some applications in the higher forms I did not realize.
    As for scenario sparring (without a referee) we use free style where anything goes, one two and three step sparring where the outcome is known.We use Olympic style for heavy contact, and train in corners, and various size rings.
     
  17. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    Sounds like you've got a lot of the bases covered, well done. I'm glad to see you had the opportunity to train with Dr. Yang. I'm assuming Chin Na? I very much like what he and Tim Cartmell have to offer in this area. I use these types of techniques for more than striking. In regards to throws, I prefer them to be more controlled so that I can tailor them to the situation. For me, I need to maintain control of them once I've taken them to the ground (cuffing/searching etc).

    Good talking with you :)
     
  18. GlassJaw

    GlassJaw Orange Belt

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    Why do we spar? Training, recreation, competition? All three to varying degrees.

    Is competitive sparring Tae Kwon Do? Not any more than knot-tying races are sailing. They are games developed from training exercises which have then been standardized to permit competition.

    Look, say, for instance, that I'm an avid hunter (well, the "hunter" part is accurate; I'm just not as avid as I would like to be). A major aspect of training is, of course, target practice. Such practice is not itself hunting, but rather, just an exercise to develop and evaluate proficiency for a particular subset of the skills used in hunting. Occasionally, I might target shoot in competition with others recreationally. Or, if I really wanted to, I could try to become ranked for sanctioned competitions. Those competitions could become an all-consuming activity. But no matter how good I get at it and no matter how many hunters participate, target shooting is still not hunting.

    There are zillions of hunting organizations in the US. A great number of them hold tournaments, many of which may follow standardized rules and regulations put forth by some other body (such as the NRA). But only a minority of those tournaments are NRA-sanctioned for the purpose of nationally ranking competitors.

    Same is true with WTF. It's a arm of the KKW created specifically and exclusively for the regulation (and promotion) of Tae Kwon Do sparring as competitive sport. It focuses only on a subset of the skills related to TKD. Meanwhile, other regulatory organizations that standardize rules for TKD sparring competitions choose to focus on a different subset of skills. But, no matter how the game is played, it is still not, in and of itself, TKD.

    Does TKD training necessarily need to include sparring as part of the curriculum? Well, I suppose not...provided that one incorporates other exercises to develop that subset of essential skills. But I think that sparring has been shown to be a pretty effective (and certainly popular) one.

    Is competitive sparring [by "competitive", I particularly mean participating in tournaments, as opposed to just sparring within one's own school--because, afterall, any sparring, whether for training or just recreation, is inherently competitive on some level] an essential component of TKD training? Not from what I've seen. But, even if inessential, tournaments are a big part of TKD culture. (I just consider it unfortunate when they overshadow the rest of the training. But, to each one's own.)

    And does competitive sparring require WTF? Heck no. But someone has to set standards. If you don't like WTF's, then use someone else's. Realize, though, that if you're seeking state, national, or international ranking, your choices will be pretty limited. But, then, if you dislike a particular format, why would you want to be ranked in it anyway?
     
  19. Archtkd

    Archtkd 3rd Black Belt

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    I didn't say anything about organizations, but I will ask: Dou know the Kukkiwon is not an organization one joins? That is unless you recently became a member of the recently created Kukkiwon Overseas Membership System (KOMS) for instructors 4th Dan and up. Do you also know that the World Taekwondo Federation is not an organization that individual join?

    As a member of your dojang don't you belong to an organization, albeit a small local one?
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  20. ralphmcpherson

    ralphmcpherson Senior Master

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    Yes, and I love the fact I am part of a small organisation. It means our chief instructor can drop into all the classes from time to time and ensure the curriculum set by the club is being adhered to. It also means the instructors can get together and run through what is to be taught and how it is to be taught. It also means every single student is graded by the same panel using identical grading requirements to ensure that a black belt from club "a" and a black belt from club "b" have undergone the same training and been graded by the same person using the same guidelines. It helps maintain our strong reputation because you dont get instructors 'flying under the radar' and handing out black belts like candy or lowering grading standards to help students pass. I see all these things as huge positives and is probably why I struggle to understand orgs that dont over see these things. I hate it when people say I "bash the kukkiwon", I dont. I have stated here countless times that some of my close friends are kukkiwon black belts, and they are really good martial artists which is testament to the kukkiwon curriculum and the art itself. Unfortunately I also know kukkiwon black belts who are, well ...very very ordinary. The only negative I ever speak regarding kukkiwon is that the in my mind if you are going to be an organisation for a martial art you owe it to your students and instructors to make some attempt at getting consistency accross all clubs. Its just the way I view things, perhaps because I train in an organisation that does achieve these things. I genuinely feel sorry for the owners of kukkiwon clubs who provide good martial arts instruction and value having well trained students and they have to compete with the guy up the road who is also a kukkiwon school but has low standards and runs a belt factory. When little johnny's mother is looking for a tkd school for her son she thinks "well they're both kukkiwon, but johnny can get a black belt in 18 months at this school as opposed to the one up the road which takes 5 years. If they are both kukkiwon, why would I bother with the one up the road that takes 5 years to achieve the same result this guy can in under half the time". If I was the owner of a reputable kukkiwon school Id be livid at the dodgy ones teaching low standard tkd and slapping the kukkiwon logo all over the school and merchandise, it would just cheapen the brand in my opinion. Im proud that anyone anywhere wearing my clubs logo and a black belt has undergone exactly what I have, there are no shortcuts. But I can understnad why others dont feel this way.123
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012

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