My thoughts on FTF (Functional TKD Federation)

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by FlamingJulian, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. Ironbear24

    Ironbear24 Senior Master

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    Not only that but everything he does is telegraphed to all hell, and TaeBo is the tits.
     
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  2. Ironbear24

    Ironbear24 Senior Master

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    He claims to compete in NAGA which is a pure grappling competition,yet has no record of it, He claims to have done wrestling and has no record of it, he claims a lot and has no record of any of it.
     
  3. KangTsai

    KangTsai 2nd Black Belt

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    The duo has zero credibility as it is.
     
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  4. Balrog

    Balrog Master of Arts

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    Harsh, bro - harsh. :hurting:
     
  5. Ironbear24

    Ironbear24 Senior Master

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    I just call them beavis and butthead lol.
     
  6. Tames D

    Tames D RECKLESS

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    Perhaps :)
     
  7. Mattattack

    Mattattack Yellow Belt

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    I joined Martial Talk JUST so I could comment on this, in large part because Taylor Kelly isn't replying to my questions on his YouTube Channel. Mr. Kelley's approach has bugged me for several days since I discovered his channel.

    My foundation is in a form of Kenpo Karate that also teaches some boxing and Gracie Jujitsu, so I'm fine with taking a traditional art like Karate or TKD and making it more eclectic to meet modern needs. My issue is in his approach, which has been bugging me since I discovered his channel. Here are some of my issues (which may repeat what some have said here earlier):

    1) He seems to be trying to raise himself up by putting others down: Charlatans are a part of life, and in the Martial Arts they hide behind fancy titles, tall tales of prowess, and chi magic. We all know that (or should). My issue is not with calling out Bullshido, but that Mr. Kelley is leaning on it so heavily that he seems to spend more time talking about what his style ISN'T than giving demonstrations of what it IS. The majority of his recent YouTube Posts seem to be reaction videos where he tells you why this or that style is crap. He doesn't seem to realize that going negative all the time will not elevate him.

    2) His criterion for what makes a bad martial art are ambiguous at times: My first encounter with Mr. Kelley's channel was the two versions of his "10 Worst Martial Arts List." Mr. Kelley and his co-commentator feel Karate makes that list because he says it doesn't teach shots to the head. I found that incredible, as in lacking in credibility. Does he really believe that? If so, then I have a few chipped teeth from my early days in a self-defense oriented Karate school that are evidence to the contrary! Is the extend of his exposure to Karate watching competitions on YouTube?

    This is symptomatic of a larger problem of making false analogies in his videos. In one of his comments he said that many martial arts are not legitimate fighting styles when compared to combat sport. To phrase this another way: sport fighting systems that uses equalizing factors like weight classes and no-foul rules are more legitimate fighting styles than the martial arts from which they sprang. I'm not here to quibble about which martial art is better or worse. My problem is that this general line of thinking is a false analogy (an apples to oranges comparison), since civilian self-defense (which seems to be what he is trying to offer) is not the same as combat sports like MMA. MMA can produce strong fighters in and out of the ring, no doubt, but Mr. Kelley does not seem to be self-reflexive when it comes to his reasoning behind why other styles suck and his rules.

    3) He praises MMA to high heaven, but he identifies as a TKD teacher. Mr. Kelley sings the praises of MMA, Muay Thai, Wrestling, and Boxing, but he isn't aiming to teach MMA. Why? In an article on his website, Mr. Kelley describes his Functional Taekwondo Federation as offering a lighter version of MMA offering a wider range of kicks but a lower chance of serious injury. Fair enough, but why continue to call what he does Functional TKD? Why not just call it the Kelley System of MMA or whatever? One possibility is that he wants to promote a sea shift in TKD from being largely sports-oriented to being a complete system of self defense. That may be true, but I suspect a deeper reason is that he has less credibility as an MMA person than as a TKD person.

    I wondered if he elaborated on all of these things in his book, but I didn't want to subscribe to his mailing list to read it.

    I've you've read this far, thank you. I needed to expunge this negativity from my brain.

    It's late, I'm tired, and I could say so much more, but I'm done right now. I welcome comments and feedback.

    I will finish by saying I don't have any personal animus towards Mr. Kelley, but rather I dislike the approach he is taking because we see it too often. The rhetoric he is using isn't healthy. If he's not careful, he could turn his FTF into the exact thing he is railing against now.
     
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  8. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes Grandmaster

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    I think this may be because he holds rank in TKD and wants to retain that air of authority. Unfortunately he can't have it both ways. If he no longer respects TKD or the rank he earned in that system, that's cool. He can leave that art and that rank behind. If he loves MMA, BJJ, Muay Thai, etc, that's great! He can be a student of those arts and maybe become an instructor one day if he earns the requisite qualifications. What doesn't work so well is wanting to stay in the position of being an instructor and an expert authority figure based on the rank he says is worthless in an art he now denigrates while basing his new system on arts which he isn't expert in and has no particular qualifications in.
     
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  9. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Actually, he CLAIMS a KKW 4th Dan, but another member looked him up, and the KKW only shows him as being a 2nd Poom. So what he's actually bashing is, apparently, not even a real rank.
     
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  10. Mattattack

    Mattattack Yellow Belt

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    Yeah, this feels like the case. How much TKD cam he excise from his system and still call it TKD?
     
  11. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Yep. I'm waiting to see him cross that Bridge
     
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  12. Rough Rider

    Rough Rider Green Belt

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    He's defiantly trying to do this. He loves to talk about his "15 years of experience" to make himself seem legitimate, while at the same time slamming "kid black belts". Taylor is 21 years old. He started training at age 5 (so I guess it's 16 years now). He got his black belt at age 10.
    Now he could say "I was a victim of the same McDojo system that I'm now speaking against" and I would be fine with that, but if you turn around and claim "15 years experience" to legitimize yourself, when most of that time was done as a young child, that's trying to have your cake and eat it too.
     
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  13. Mattattack

    Mattattack Yellow Belt

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    Age can be deceptive when it comes to experience. In many traditional styles starting anytime after age 5 is a "late start." Bruce lee popularized a revolution in thinking about martial arts before he died at age 32.

    I'm not disagreeing with you though. You are right, he is trying to have his cake and toss-it-out-the-window-so-no-one-else-can-have-it too.

    It's too much sleight of hand to lean on his experience but also discount it at the same time...or maybe he is saying his experience is valid but no one else's within the same discipline is.

    The problem with him is more in how he presents himself than in where he is coming from training-wise.
     
  14. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    Considering the facts that TKD is a modern art, younger than my grandmother, an amalgam of mostly Shotokan and maybe a little other stuff, and the fact that the literal translation of Tae Kwon Do is "the way of punching and kicking," together with the current social understanding in the west that TKD is "basically Korean Karate," I'd say the answer to your question is, "He can excise pretty much all of what most experienced people think of as Tae Kwon Do and still call it Tae Kwon Do."

    The Koreans might get pissed off but what can they do about it?

    Names, like ranks, mean very little, usually.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
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  15. Mattattack

    Mattattack Yellow Belt

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    I've left comments on some of his videos and, now, messaged him directly to get an answer on some of his dubious claims. Why do I obsess over getting a response from this guy?

    It's not that Mr. Kelley offends me personally: if you train a martial art and you are on the internet, you will find someone dumping on it somewhere, guaranteed. I accept that in the way I accept that summers are hot and winters are cold. It can be uncomfortable at times, but you can't stop it unless <insert climate change joke here>

    Maybe my 2016 Election anxiety is fueling a desire to get a straight no-bs answer from someone and I've latched on to this guy.

    It's likely in part because I'm a college writing teacher, so I work hard to teach my students how to build logical arguments based on clear evidence and without fallacies of thinking. Mr. Kelley's approach agitates that part of me and makes me wish I could take Ye-Olde-Red-Pen-O'-Doom and grade his argument the way I grade my writing student's arguments.

    Anyway, I've been trying to call him out on something he and his colleague have said that is just plain wrong. Not "different point of view" wrong or "in my experience wrong," but verifiably incorrect. Here is what I wrote to him via his channel on YouTube



    And now we play the waiting game...although realistically I don't expect a reasonable answer (or an answer at all), which in and of itself is a kind of answer.

    I obsess over strange things when I'm stressed.
     
  16. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    The problem is that there is no one, single, definition of what "black belt" means. To some it means an expert in the system. To some it means an expert in fighting. To some it means a demonstrated minimum competency with a certain set of techniques. None of these things are mutually exclusive but none of them are mutually inclusive either.

    "Black belts" mean NOTHING outside of that given, specific, system and may or may not have anything to do with being able to "fight" (which also has a myriad of different definitions).

    The biggest problem is that everyone thinks that "black belt" means something but, definitionally, no one can agree on what it actually represents, when in reality, it means nothing outside of that some one met some sort of standard to some system.

    Just because you graduated with a Mechanical Engineering degree doesn't mean you're any good at Electrical Engineering, never mind Social Engineering. :p

    Belts, ranks, and certifications are largely irrelevant to me. Show me what you know and I'll decide if it's relevant to what I want to do. Given that, I find these sort of intra-martial art "debates" about how "good" a black belt is, whether or not he's complaining about the legitimacy of other black belts, etc., to be kinda amusing. My "Expert" certification in Bowie Knife earns me jack-crap in a BJJ school and I've met plenty of pre-18 yo kids who are really skilled in their respective martial pursuits. It's all BS.

    There's a ton more to this rant, but I think you get the picture.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
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  17. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    By even acknowledging him, you're just feeding his ego.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  18. Mattattack

    Mattattack Yellow Belt

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    Yeah I know. Need to get it out of my system.
    [​IMG]
     
  19. frank raud

    frank raud Master Black Belt

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    Which traditional arts considering starting after 5 a late start?
     
  20. Mattattack

    Mattattack Yellow Belt

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    I overstated. I was thinking of my Tai Chi teacher and others like him from traditional background with practitioners as parents and begin very, very young.
     

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