My thoughts on FTF (Functional TKD Federation)

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

  1. TrueJim

    TrueJim Master Black Belt

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    True. Personally, I think student retention will be difficult for Taylor once (and if) the kids and parents realize that a black belt is unattainable.
    • Certainly when comparing notes with other taekwondo schools in the community, parents will realize that Taylor's school is unusual.
    • But even if there were no other schools in the community, I would think it would be very dispiriting for a kid to stick around for -- say, 4 years -- and be told he or she still has to wait another 6 years before he can become a black belt.

     
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  2. Ironbear24

    Ironbear24 Senior Master

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    Didn't he have a place in Canada? What happened to that?
     
  3. Finlay

    Finlay Green Belt

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    Wow,

    Didn' really know anything about this fella till reading the thread.

    To me he is just another traditional style basher. Unfortunately most of these guys don' have very much knowledge in what the art is or even martial arts in general.

    I don't like his attitude or the way he presents his material. It seems very arrogant and disrespect the people that have gone beore him.

    As someone who also studies alternative applications of the patterns I have always tried to do so on a respectful manner.
     
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  4. Midnight-shadow

    Midnight-shadow 3rd Black Belt

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    I haven't read all the posts in this thread, so forgive me if you have said this before. Let's take the instructor out of the picture for a moment and focus on the concept of the training and the system. Now, I doubt you'll find anyone who will say that changing a system to make it "better" is a bad thing. What we should decide is whether the FTF is improving on the current training of traditional TKD, and in my humble opinion, it doesn't. For this, I'm going to refer to this video from the FTF website:



    Throughout the video there appears to be a lack of focus on the intent of the training, which could get very confusing for newcomers. We start off by hearing that the FTF focuses on self-defence, whereas "traditional" TKD focuses on forms, and we get the usual misrepresentation of forms as a training method. Ok, you don't want to do forms in your system? Fine, there are plenty of systems that don't use forms and are perfectly fine. He also wants to focus on self-defence, which again is fine. But here's where the problems start. He says (and I quote) "We teach you combat sports".......So are we learning sport fighting or self-defence? Then it gets weirder. He says "we teach you boxing, muay thai and Olympic-style Taekwondo".........huh? You say you want to teach techniques that can be transfered to street fighting/self-defence and yet you do Olympic-style Taekwondo, which is about the least realistic modern fighting sport you can get.

    So, are they training for Olympic-style Taekwondo competition or self-defence?
     
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  5. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    Agreed. That’s part of the lack of depth, IMO. With more experience he might be able to focus on something specific, rather than a vague notion of “better”.
     
  6. Midnight-shadow

    Midnight-shadow 3rd Black Belt

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    I wouldn't even call it a lack of depth. The guy knows what he wants to achieve in this but has no idea how to achieve it. If the goal is to create a system that translates well into a self-defence scenario, you aren't going to achieve that by doing Olympic-style TKD. What's most worrying about this is that he seems under the impression that training for a competition and training for self-defence are the same thing. Sure there is an overlap but in my opinion they should be taught separately.
     
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  7. blackbeltsomeday

    blackbeltsomeday White Belt

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    I have been following Mr. Kelley for awhile as well and find his videos entertaining. He is opening a new full time school in Texas. We will have to see how this new endeavor goes!
     

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  8. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    I gave up posting on that a while ago, but part of the ad really annoyed me. The part that said "A good way for your high schooler to get service hours". By the time you're in high school, you should be determining your own hobbies/interests, not being pushed into competing in martial arts by your parents, and that line suggests this ad is for the parents of high schoolers to recruit them into forcing their son/daughter to learn/compete MA. It's not just them, it's a common idea I've seen in marketing that the parent (of high schoolers) decide what the kid wants, and I don't understand that in the slightest.
     
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  9. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    The exception to this would be someone like @JR 137, who plans on having his kids learn in high school (IIRC), to learn a skill. Learning a skill and being forced into a hobby are too separate things, and having a kid join an 'elite team' is forcing a hobby.
     
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  10. Ironbear24

    Ironbear24 Senior Master

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    Hopefully you won't be actually giving your time or money, he isn't exactly an expert, more like a black belt in talking smack.
     
  11. Rat

    Rat Purple Belt

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    Funniest thing about this, i just googled this FTF to find this thread yesterday or the day before. This person is the one which made me dislike TKD, thinking about it, he probably did a Mcdojo TKD style. Like i have heard bad things about one of the most popular TKD school chains in the U.S. Or he didnt fully understand the differences in TKD styles.

    My personal annoyance was him not doing forearm blocks, which i have since looked into and found to work fine, granted they take practice and timing like probably hours of just blocking various attacks at full speed. but there is no substitute for them if you need to block and him saying they didnt do full resistance when they do a fair amount of full resistance fighting at schools. I never followed him much anyway, i haven't looked at a vid of his in a while.
     
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  12. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    The person that you are referring to doesn't have a good understanding of the system that he trained. From what he stated they did a lot of demo type stuff and very little sparring based on the videos I of him sparring. Maybe they did a lot of point fighting. He showed a video of him testing and the techniques that they were using were legit from what I could understand. However, techniques are only has useful as ones understanding of it.

    I don't think he bashes people anymore. He actually apologized and he even said something good about Jow Ga Kung Fu and it's training. I think Karma is getting him at the moment lol.


    He's either talking about me or the guy in Australia lol. This guy.

    They go a little too hard for me lol. They probably spend a lot of time training. I'm pretty sure they have to pull some of their punches from times to time.

    Well any the FTF guy took down his martial arts bashing videos and is now more focused on his own school
     
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  13. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Just to clear up any confusion the "LOL" is in reference to the Karma statement and not the Apology video that the FTF guy did. From what I can tell it seems to be an honest and sincere apology and it takes a lot for a person to do that. It's not easy easy to owe up to crappy stuff that you did, admit it to the public, and to be honest in saying it. To me it seems that he's starting to understand the techniques more that not everything taught to him was trash and that not all TMAs are trash. He may have come to that realization that many TMA students learn: Knowing the application of a technique isn't the same as the knowledge one needs to actually be able to apply it in fight or sparring situation.

    It's like stitching a wound. We understand that a wound has to be clean and then stitched, but that's where most of our knowledge stops. The knowledge from actually doing it and screwing up in the learning process is missing. Our ability to perform those 2 seemingly simple tasks will fall short. This is especially if the wound changes and presents us with a new problem. Now things have become more complex from a small change or a big one.

    To me martial arts is like that. People know "If attacker does this then do this." they can get that. The problem is they don't know enough about the technique to be able to adapt to changes that would allow them to still use the technique. I think this is where the FTF guy was at for the longest. Instead of looking at what he knew from the perspective of "What am I doing, that is preventing me from being able to use this technique effectively?" He just blew it of and saw from the perspective of "I'm not the problem, the martial arts system is." which stunt's ones ability to learn anything.

    I'm glad he has made the change because before he was just sending people down the wrong path. He's got 2,400+ subscribers that made and are making the same mistake that he made. It will be interesting to see if they will follow his lead or continue to bash TMAs without him.
     
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  14. dvcochran

    dvcochran Master Black Belt

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    I was not familiar with the concept of "functional" TKD or Taylor Kelley until this post. So I watched what Youtube videos I could find. What I see is a Millennial who is using social media in some very negative ways. The concept of starting a new style by modifying an existing style is certainly not new and not wrong if you arguments are valid. His, I do not think are. He is a young man in the prime of age who is very gifted with his physical skills, kicks particularly. Ala, Tae Kwon Do. The brief sparring segment was more than unimpressive. Everything he is putting on video is scripted so anyone moderately informed in MA should be able to figure him out. My guess is he has a good amount of money backing him up and he is trying to create a hot iron to strike.
    I saw nothing that isn't taught at any good TKD Dojang so it is not about a new system, it is about a good school/Instructor which he may be. But nothing new.
    If he continues to hone his craft for another 10 years, then he may qualify as one of many good Tae Kwon Do schools. Nothing new, just another really good instructor.
    I am sure everyone on this forum see Youtube as a blessing or a curse. I think it is the latter for Kelley.
     
  15. dvcochran

    dvcochran Master Black Belt

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    Loved the last video. Good to see people still going hard. It was a lot of "boxing" (kind of) and very bad defense. They lacked a lot in training and would get killed if the gloves were off or in a SD situation but I love seeing the drive and effort from young folks like that. Maybe they just wanted to beat the crap out of each other.
    In my college days, more than once we would fight amongst ourselves if we couldn't get in a fight at one of the local bars so I get it.
     
  16. dvcochran

    dvcochran Master Black Belt

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    Love the D-K reference. Very applicable.
     
  17. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    And I think Taylor's progression to the apology and his current views is a result of him learning more, and realizing how much he didn't (and doesn't) know.
     
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  18. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    He's the first guy that I know of that showed videos of him sparring and trying to use the techniques he trains. He does some cross training as well because I think his kids are into MMA, but other than that he really does his best. I told him everything I watch his videos it makes me think I should be training harder. If you check his youtube page you can see more of his kung fu stuff.

    I don't know about their fighting skills in terms of self-defense but it's definitely clear they are more than willing and able to take a good punch. They definitely spar with more power than I do or prefer.
     
  19. Mattattack

    Mattattack Yellow Belt

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    This guy's vitriolic videos was what made me sign up for this board in the first place. I was so frustrated by them--not just because of them but as a symbol of art-bashing and martial-arts-trolling in general--that I needed to vent my spleen before it exploded on me.

    As I discussed in previous posts, I don't fault him for trying to build something new (that's a tough row to hoe), but how he went about it was unproductive. Bruce Lee built his rep in part on dissing other systems and challenging all comers, but he shied away from that as time went on when he had more to lose by being beaten (or by not beating someone quickly and decisively). That's one of many pitfalls of the troll-to-enroll strategy of building a martial art.

    Some of the criticisms he and his friend made--as has been noted by several posters on this forum--showed how little he and his friend understood about other martial arts. For instance, they claimed that Karate was bad because it didn't include punches to the face. They were leveling a criticism against sport karate against all forms of karate. I replied several times to their videos referencing some classic Karate texts from the likes of Funakoshi and Oyama (things they could find on their own) that show punches to the head, but got no reply.

    And THEN, they would hold up MMA as the gold standard of all fighting. As others have noted, MMA is a martial art, not THE martial art. It's a rule-bound system purpose built for audience enjoyment and a degree of safety for the fighters (hence no groin shots, eye gouges, downward elbows to downed fighters, etc.). I'm not saying that MMA fighters can't keep themselves safe on the street, but that there is more to physical self defense than what is allowed in the ring.

    To put it in the terms of my profession--a writing teacher--he was making faulty arguments of hasty generalizations and false equivalencies, and it irked me.

    I saw the apology video that Mr. Kelly made, and I think it's a good step for him. I do think it's step toward maturity.

    When I was in my early twenties and training, I thought I had the master key to the Temple of *** Kicking Secrets. Now, almost a decade and a half later (after I found my limits and realized I wasn't the hotshot I imagined) art bashing turns me off.

    It's a stage. Some people go through it, some people get stuck in it, and some people flame out in it. I hope Mr. Kelly moves on to a more productive mode of commenting on other martial arts. As he says in his apology videos, we should focus more on the real enemy like the Fake Maces of the world and not on other styles that committed the grievous sin of not being the one we chose.

    Peace
     
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  20. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    Well, you say that...

    Who was it that claimed a spurious lineage?

    Mace.

    Who was it who claimed Dan grades that didn't exist?

    Kelly.

    Who was it that had the very vast majority of their output dedicated to bashing styles they knew pretty much nothing about?

    Kelly. (I've never seen Mace style bash).

    Who was it that produced 'instructional' videos where they couldn't actually physically perform the techniques they were trying to demonstrate?

    Kelly.

    I could go on, but really the sole reason I can see for Mace being such an 'enemy' is that he claimed a lineage in a TCMA (oooh, heretic), and dared to share "secret and proprietary techniques". Maybe the stuff he does is bad from a TCMA perspective (I don't know the criteria by which they judge), but at least he looks good doing it and let's say you can't fake fitness and flexibility. (Admittedly, I haven't watched any of his videos for a while, he's had every chance to prove me entirely wrong here ;))

    Maybe Kelly does deserve a bit of a break for apologising and basically going against everything he previously so vehemently stood for, or maybe he's just hiding it because he's realised where the money comes from for his school...
     

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