Not effective?

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by Pinigseu1, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. kbarrett

    kbarrett Orange Belt

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    Any martial art style will work, it may not work the way you train in the dojang (dojo) and it's not suppost to, the dojang is where you practice different drills and sharpen skills, for that time you need to defend yourself or family, self-defense is an instinctive reaction to an attack by armed or un-armed attakers. And it's really up the the student he/she trains hard and pushes themselves right to the edge, the instructor can guide you but you have to make you, and that the way it's always been.


    Ken
     
  2. SPX

    SPX Black Belt

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    I agree. In judo, we talk about about "hitting the person with the ground." Personally, I'd rather someone hit me with a fist than hit me with a fast-moving piece of concrete, but I agree that both are effective and deadly.

    I also think that everyone should either have a standup art and a grappling art, or study a style that has both elements built-in.
     
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  3. SPX

    SPX Black Belt

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    I like Hardy. He's a cool cat. I hate the way he's fallen on tough times lately. Hopefully he'll get a gimme fight next to get back on track, because I don't think he can survive another loss without getting cut.
     
  4. ralphmcpherson

    ralphmcpherson Senior Master

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    This is my way of thinking. My original instructor likened it to a carpentry apprenticeship. You dont get some kid on his first day on the building site and just strap a tool belt to him of heaps of tools (most dangerous) and let him loose on the job. You first explain each tool and its use to them and let them practice using it and once they have an understanding of how each tool works and have some experience using them, then you ease them into the real thing. To me, saying to a white belt on his first night of class "here's a couple of kicks and punches, now pad up, jump in line and start sparring", is just ridiculous.
     
  5. ralphmcpherson

    ralphmcpherson Senior Master

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    It really depends how 'good' you want to be. If there is one thing Ive learned its that the 'average guy on the street' really cant fight that well. Anyone who trains hard in an art and gets some good experience under their belt is going to be 'effective' in most situations, unless of course some guy at a bar who is 6 foot 7, weighs 125kgs and has 3 blackbelts just happens to not like the look of you. You can do a stand up art plus a grappling art, but maybe you should also start doing weights and running marathons for cardio fitness and having a diet full of protein and condition your arms and legs by belting them against steel posts etc. Basically, choose an art, train hard at it and understand how it works and you will be right most of the time. Oh, and also just avoid fights, thats the best form of self defence there is.
     
  6. SPX

    SPX Black Belt

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    Personally, I think that if you have someone who has no fighting experience at all and force him to fight every day for a year, then he will naturally learn to get better. Each day will be a lesson and he'll slowly figure out what works and what doesn't, and at the end of 365 days, he'll probably be a pretty dangerous guy. And that's without any formal training. Add in professional instruction to make adjustments and all the better.

    I do feel like a brief period of instruction on technique should come first, but aren't we overplaying it if we pretend like it's really THAT hard to learn the mechanics of throwing a punch? Or a kick? It's easy to get good at beating up the air or a punching bag. What's difficult is learning how to beat up a resisting person and the ONLY way to gain those skills is sparring.

    Let me ask you this. . . What do you with a guy who has transferred from another style? He's already a trained martial artist but in TKD terms he's a white belt. Does he really need months or years of training before he gets to spar?
     
  7. ralphmcpherson

    ralphmcpherson Senior Master

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    I can only speak on behalf of where I train, but if a new student comes in with previous training in martial arts they start at white belt. After 3 months they can grade and if the GM thinks they are too advanced for yellow belt he automatically skips them to the level he thinks they are at. The highest they can skip to is red belt, so they would still require 2 years training minimum before being allowed to grade for 1st dan. Its funny watching people who spar too early because they can stand there and do all the techs really well with good technique, then they jump on the floor and spar and all technique goes out the window, they freak out and their kicks are just thrown out there any which way, their stances and footwork gets lost and they either stand their flailing out random kicks and punches or they just back peddle. You are right though, if someone fights everyday for a year they will improve rapidly. If they spent 6 months getting perfect technique and then sparred every day for the next 6 months I think they would improve quicker. Martial arts is not about a quick fix, it is a long journey, and to become really good you need very solid foundations so you can continue to build.
     
  8. SPX

    SPX Black Belt

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    Well I think that's just about being thrown into a new situation. In the military, you will have soldiers who do great in training but when it comes to being thrown into real combat the "fog of war" takes over and chaos ensues. But like anything, the more you do it, the better you get.

    The problem is that we're all getting older every day. I turn 30 this month. Is that old? No. But it's a bit old if my aspiration is to compete in the Olympics in TKD or become a pro MMA fighter. I'm right on the cusp where I could possibly still accomplish something significant in either sport, but time is running out.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  9. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    The challenge isn't learning the mechanics. The challenge is having them ingrained reasonably well to use them under pressure. Like I said -- students work with each other or with me in a variety of drills and exercise to develop those mechanics and skills before they do free sparring or similar exercises. I could toss 'em into a sparring match on the first night, and let them just keep going with a few comments and tweaks, and in a few months, I'll have someone who'll fight hard. If they stick around and don't get fed up with being a punching bag. Or aren't hurt. Or I can take several weeks or a couple of months and give them a decent chance of actually doing something that resembles what they've been taught and feeling pretty good about how it comes out. (The exact time would depend on how often the class meets; train 5 or 6 times a week, and it might only be a month. Only come to class once a week... and it'll take longer.)

    If a student comes in from another style, it all depends. I work with what they've got, and how they can integrate what I teach. They may start sparring quickly... or they may not. Honestly -- the same applies if someone came from a different instructor in my own style.
     
  10. Ironcrane

    Ironcrane Blue Belt

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    Fair warning to all. This is going to be a long post about my personal experience in Tae Kwon Do. It might explain why some snub the art, and call it ineffective.

    My Goju-Ryu school fell apart, and I was left with the task of trying to find another one so I could continue my training. I never found another one. What I found instead were a massive amount of Tae Kwon Do schools. Tae Kwon Do outnumbered everything else 3-1. I shared this problem with a friend of mine. She was a neighbor hood counselor or something to that effect. I don't know what exactly her job title was but a large part of her task was working with the youth of the neighbor hood. She offered to help me find what I was looking for, and since she had a much greater ability to search around the area then me, I accepted.

    However there is one crucial flaw on the topic of martial arts, and people who don't know anything about it. And that is they can't tell one from another. So when she came back to me with what she found, it wasn't Goju-Ryu, it was Tae Kwon Do. I suppose I should have expected that. By then I thought, hell I'll give it a try. I show up to observe a class, and talk to the instructor. The instructor was friendly, but his class was very underwhelming. I went on ahead, and joined up anyway. I starting training with this school the following week, and I have to say it didn't do anything to change my initial impression. The warm ups were very light cardio. Didn't even raise my pulse in the slightest. Then we went on to drills, which felt very static compared to how I did them before. There was just no energy, no trying to imagine striking an opponent, no anything. Just running through the motions with no real purpose behind any of the moves. The techniques were very similar to Goju-Ryu but had an extra element of complexity. But there was no reason behind the extra movement, and they just came off as clunky, and useless to me in comparison.

    There was sparing, but we weren't allowed to ever make contact. We had to stay at least three feet away from each other. And almost every other move the other students would make was a jump kick of some sort. It was very hard to get an assessment of skill this way, but the other students were always very slow. No techniques were ever executed with any power, and the jumping kicks could be seen coming miles away. And I also highly doubted they had any sense of distance. Due to my previous experience I started off in this school as a yellow belt. And as a yellow belt, I could have walked right through every brown belt in the class. (none of the students were black belts yet).

    At this time, I am also still training in Kung Fu. And one of the big parts of that was understanding the meaning behind all the movements, and techniques. So after Tae Kwon Do practice I would spend time alone trying to find some way to make all the extra movements in Tae Kwon Do useful. I came up with a few ideas, and I shared them with the instructor after class. I don't remember what I came up with, but somehow I was able to use the blocks as counters against being grabbed hold of. I demonstrated one of them using the middle block. His response was that the technique was only a middle block, and that's all that it was used for.

    By now my opinion of Tae Kwon Do was starting to slide down like an avalanche. But still I decided to press on. The plan being to learn the material, and do the extra work on my own. Then my school started preparing for a local Tae Kwon Do tournament. During this time, one of my lungs collapsed (Unrelated to any training) and I had to go in for surgery. Fortunately I was able to make it out in time to go to the tournament. I wasn't able to compete, but I wanted to be there to support my peers. And this was when my opinion finally hit the bottom. Aside from a couple of the naturally athletic types, every single person there was weak, slow, and had no sense of timing. Their stances had no strength. Their kicks were slow, and had no power. Almost no one could throw a punch. It was all about scoring with the jumping kicks, which were also slow, and stiff. Needless to say, this was not what I was expecting from an art that was known for great kicks.

    I was able to handle that within my own school. They were only a small group of people. But after watching over a hundred who couldn't do any better, I decided I was done. I didn't go back to that school, and for a long time I though Tae Kwon Do was just a joke. The phrase I created based on what I saw at that tournament was 'paper martial artist'. Because you could cut down a dozen of them like paper. I met several other people who trained in Tae Kwon Do, and after branching out into other arts, they came to believe pretty much the same thing I did.


    In general this is why I think some people have a low opinion of Tae Kwon Do. Sure this is a problem in many other styles, but the 3-1 ratio of Tae Kwon Do over everything else made the paper martial artists in that art stand out much more.

    But to be fair the day came when my beliefs would be corrected. A bunch of my Kung Fu buddies, and I were going to a friends house to spar. This friend happened to be a Tae Kwon Do guy. Upon learning that I thought he was just another wayward soul, and dismissed him completely, believing that I could just intercept all of his willy-nilly jumping kicks, and move in with a flurry of hand strikes unchallenged since he wouldn't be able to use his hands to defend himself. In retrospect I should have realized that this would be different since he had a very solid stance. But I didn't, and when I moved in on the attack, I was stopped cold by a perfect front kick that had plenty of power. Futher more he was quite able to use his hands, and completely shut down the flurry I tried to launch when I was able to get in close. My world was blown apart, and I honestly didn't know what to do against this person.


    No only did he beat me, but he ended up being the best out of all of us. Over time I saw examples here, and there of just how great Tae Kwon Do could be, changing my opinions around completely.
     
  11. SPX

    SPX Black Belt

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    ^^^ Thanks for sharing that and I feel your pain.

    I think you've painted the picture for TKD as a whole. Frankly I would say that this applies to all TMAs. But it is the experience of encountering school after school . . . practitioner after practitioner . . . who are underwhelming and inadequate. And those who run counter to this are not the rule . . . but rather are the exception to the rule.

    TKD is great, but finding that serious school/instructor who is interested in making students great is like finding a diamond in the rough.
     
  12. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    So, basically you are saying that we are all rubbish. :uhohh:
     
  13. SPX

    SPX Black Belt

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    I'm agreeing with Ironcrane that the signal-to-noise ratio is not great. Frankly, I would think that any honest TKDist would have to agree. It's the refusal to acknowledge this amongst otherwise well-meaning and skilled practitioners of the art that holds back necessary reform.
     
  14. andyjeffries

    andyjeffries Master of Arts

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    I take no offence at that, it describes me perfectly :)

    The last time I saw mainstream MMA was a good number of years ago (5-6? I guess) and it was rubbish compared to UFC. Very one-dimensional fighters with no cardio. That's the reason I've stuck with the UFC (and WEC, Strikeforce, etc) you generally get two higher quality opponents going at it.

    That said, I'm waiting for your PM when something decent is coming up on UK telly so I can change my opinion...
     
  15. ralphmcpherson

    ralphmcpherson Senior Master

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    I know I'll get shot for saying this but.....I agree that the majority of tkd schools over there seem to be below par (from what I read here). It also seems (from what I read here) that the majority of schools over there are associated with large organisations. As Ive said before, what is the point of an organisation if they dont bother to monitor whats being taught in their schools? Over here (at least in my area), independent schools make up the large majority of schools, and most (not all) schools teach really good tkd. The below par schools are actually in the minority. Im not pointing the finger at any specific organisation, but it does appear that once something gets mass produced the quality falls away, the same way hamburgers probably tasted great until mcdonalds came around, but theres still those little places around that sell hamburgers the way they should be.
     
  16. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    Can I get a .45 Round for saying that its pretty much the same where I am? :)
    My Conclusion is that this Issue just isnt as prominent here.
     
  17. jedtx88

    jedtx88 Yellow Belt

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    I guess Taekwondo could incorporate more sweaty man hugs...
     
  18. SPX

    SPX Black Belt

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    The UFC is the absolute gold standard of MMA at this point in time. You can criticize the organization for any number of things, but at the end of the day there's no question that they have the best fighters in the world and that even large organizations like DREAM, Strikeforce, and Bellator are nothing more than feeder orgs for the UFC. Before Strikeforce was purchased by Zuffa you could still make an argument that there were some very good fighters--perhaps the best individual fighters in any given weight class--elsewhere, but now that even SF has been swallowed up whoever the UFC champion is in any weight class is basically just the MMA champion.
     
  19. SPX

    SPX Black Belt

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    Well in that case I guess I should just pack my bags for Australia. . .

    Then again the kind of martial arts instruction I'm looking for may be different from what you guys think is the way things should be.
     
  20. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    The only other 'Good' MMA Ive seen is, how shall We say, External MMA thats not so more different Systems Fighting, rather than Organisations You get Contracts with. Theres a proper name for it, but I find it tends to flow better than the UFC. Here, anyway. UFC is still right up there. Im just speaking from Opinion.123
     

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