Taekwondo: is it a sport or a martial art? ( again)

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by Markku P, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. Markku P

    Markku P Blue Belt

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    This is one of the common arguments among Taekwondo practitioners. The simple answer is that Taekwondo is a sport and it is a martial art. What is really funny to see is how fanatical we are. Sometimes just for the sake of fun I mention that the sport aspect of Taekwondo is the only unique thing in Taekwondo, which is when I start to receive hate mail, (I actually believe this). I think that we should see the big picture. The audience doesn’t care if we are a sport or a martial art; people just care what is to them and how our training can help them or if they have a child who would like to start training in Taekwondo.

    When I was younger, I too was really fanatical about the difference between traditional and sport. I did look down at those schools that were focusing only on sparring. I felt that every school should teach the same as we did. We had sparring, self-defence, poomsae, 1 and 3 step sparring and well, pretty much everything.

    Today I am older, more experienced and I have learnt that it doesn’t matter what I or anyone else is thinking. The teachers of individual schools decide what the style of the school is and if students are happy and satisfied, I think that’s enough.

    For me, Taekwondo is a martial art and a sport and I don’t separate those things. One of the prominent Taekwondo writers asks if we should consider Taekwondo as a martial art because in sparring we don’t use many hand techniques only mainly kicking techniques. My question is what is the definition of a martial art? For me, one of the definitions is of course the ability to defend yourself.

    Well, boxers don’t use kicks and Judo doesn’t use strikes but many of them are really good with self-defence and I wouldn’t like to fight against them in a “real fight” (I would prefer run anyway- I am too old for fighting).

    Your thoughts?

    /Markku
     
  2. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    I for one only take issue when punching is literally not taught outside of Forms, or weird hand applications (Dont even ask me to elaborate. Its such a minority that it isnt worth it). As long as its trained, even if it isnt used in sparring, thats totally ok.
    So long as theyre trained, it isnt pure sport, and that makes it swell by My standards. You can focus on whatever You want, just at least provide the training to be able to use Your hands, even if its on a backburner.

    Other than that, how Traditional You are means nothing to Me, really. A well placed kick works just fine. It isnt always an option but, and some people prefer other methods. You shouldnt have to choose to not do TKD at all just because You want to practice Your punching from time to time, or have to do a whole other system at the same time.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2014
  3. ralphmcpherson

    ralphmcpherson Senior Master

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    I hate it when I hear of someone leaving tkd or cross training just so they can learn to use their hands. Punching is part of the art and, as you say, as long as it is taught then it doesnt matter as much what ruleset you spar to. BUT, in my opinion for it to be considered a martial art and a sport you cant just focus on sparring.
     
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  4. ETinCYQX

    ETinCYQX Master Black Belt

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    That video highlights the reason I prefer paddles and another person to a heavy bag. Even black belts tend to "swing" rather than chamber and snap. Round kicks should come up straight and the angle should come from the planted foot. The fact that the bag doesn't really feed back doesn't help, if it was full of water it'd be better.
     
  5. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    That isnt why I posted it, but I happen to prefer Focus Mitts because You can practice wildly barraging against air just fine, *in my opinion*.
     
  6. ETinCYQX

    ETinCYQX Master Black Belt

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    I know, but there really isn't any point to going back through martial art vs sport, might as well be useful. :)

    My focus mitts are too stiff for that, at least for most people without instep guards on, and people tend to do the same thing-swing their leg like in muay Thai which isn't correct. Thai pads and kick shields exacerbate the problem even more.
     
  7. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    Before people can have an intelligent discussion they must agree on how terms are defined.
    What is a "Martial Art'. Saw an article on that:)https://1c47d0f0-a-62cb3a1a-s-sites...w60Py6TDrQ9ORMGL1a62OBJbGdghab&attredirects=0
    What is "TKD" - a loaded question.

    If you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have? It has 4. Calling a tail a leg does not make it a leg.

    As per the linked article, Martial Arts may have a sport aspect. Martial Sports only have a rule set that needs to be adhered to. Nothing else matters.
    I there fore submit that the sport is neccessarily encompassed in the art, but the art is not neccessarily encompasssed in the sport.
     
  8. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    Yeah, good point. Ill gladly let us get a bit derailed.

    I find that Focus Mitts work fine, but theyre more for accuracy, and angle. For power, yeah, you need something like a shield, but for technique? Generally, Ive seen it done best with Focus Mitts or BOBs for Speed, and touch contact to the body for form. Im sure theres better ways, but Im not exactly writing an article here :)
     
  9. ETinCYQX

    ETinCYQX Master Black Belt

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    I'm half looking for a powair bag like mastercole uses, I think that would be the best balance since its full of water.

    Focus mitts are great if you use them right-the way kickboxers and MMA fighters use them isn't conducive to good Taekwondo kicks, where they hit both with their kick. Holding it out for the instep is a good bet though.
     
  10. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    Of course - Kickboxers and MMA guys are training for their methods, so using the pads in a way suited for their systems. For TKD, You have to hold it differently for the systems kicks. And it could probably help reflexes. Mitt comes out > Kick Mitt ASAP.

    Ive seen Powair bags, but never used them. I must admit Im curious to know how stable They are.
     
  11. ETinCYQX

    ETinCYQX Master Black Belt

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    The kind I'm thinking of is a hanging bag that uses water instead of foam, I would guess its just as stable as a normal one.

    I usually use paddles for that, unless its sparring night and they have instep guards on. My focus mitts are pretty hard, I use the Mudo ones
     
  12. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    It seems that given the time of night here, I totally forgot Paddles existed :) I knew I was missing something there.
    Ive only ever used Boxing (As in, thats what it says on the back. Im not sure if its a brand or a range) Mitts.
    Paddles, I find, are also good for moving around with them, since They dont really resist when You kick through them, making it possible to set up multiple kicks while moving around, which can be good for practicing round kicks.
     
  13. ETinCYQX

    ETinCYQX Master Black Belt

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    Lack of resistance is exactly why I like them-not being able to kick through the heavy bag creates bad habits. To be able to follow up on a paddle, you have to kick properly.
     
  14. bluewaveschool

    bluewaveschool 2nd Black Belt

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    I have a water filled hanging bag, love it.
     
  15. Gorilla

    Gorilla Master of Arts

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    Kick bags kick,paddles.....TKD is a Martial Art that is also a sport...karate is the same thing....they have the best of both Worlds.... Markku at least you to get it....Martial Art vs Sport I don't know why it is always such at topic...it can sure make for a lively discussion....excluding a few on this BBS most have no clue about the sport...
     
  16. Gorilla

    Gorilla Master of Arts

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    Great article...I completely agree with your statements....


     
  17. Manny

    Manny Senior Master

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    Well tks is a martial artthat has evolved in a sport martial art competition thing. Yes we foc us on kicks as judo focuses on trows, as karate focus on empty hand techs, as boxers focus on punches.

    Leaving the sport kyorugy thing, you can see in the pommsae, in the ho-shin-sul and in one and three steps for example that kicks don't dominate this areas, kicks are a part and this areas are what I consider the martial art core of TKD.

    We use a ste of rules and a set of safery gear when doing kyorugy for many things, safety is one, and gair play is another.

    I want to say that for example Shotokan karate is heavily directed to sport too, they use a set rules do kumite and judo is another example. In judo they play with a rules set and if we go to any martial arts tournaments the figts are not for honour or for life so we can conclude that most of the martial arts have a sport side.

    The way I do TKD is not the olimpic way, I am in favor of the clasic martial art of TKD where it resembles a little just a little some karate (we must remeber TKD was influenced by karate) so my way of doing and teaching tkd is a mixup of traditional with light sport version of tkd.

    I like to use my hands, like to block,like to evade, like to kick and like to sweep and trow and aply some bars and locks.

    Manny
     
  18. tshadowchaser

    tshadowchaser Sr. Grandmaster

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    I believe that Taekwondo is a martial art that has a sport aspect within it. Unfortunately most instructors today have learned only the sport aspect of the art from instructors that also where taught more of the sport aspect then the combat aspect.
    With today's laws (at lest in the USA) if the more violent aspects of the art (and most arts) where being taught and practiced instructors would be being sued or going to jail more often. As an example, kicks to the knees, groin, etc. are not allowed in most Taekwondo schools that I have seen. The pulling of most techniques is encouraged in most schools thereby not giving the person being struck the full opportunity to learn what it is like to be hit and how to absorb that impact or at least ignore the pain.
    The violent methods of combat and the viciousness that must be applied for combat is not encouraged in most places. Kicking high and trowing aerial kicks looks good good in forms and when competing but how many of us are going to use these kicks if we are out in the streets or in a wooded area?
    A sport may exist with an art but sometimes it starts taking over and becoming the art rather than being a portion of the art.
    Notice no mention of bags, pads, etc. just a straight answer to the opening question.
     
  19. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    [h=2]Taekwondo: is it a sport or a martial art?[/h]Yes. :)
     
  20. Gwai Lo Dan

    Gwai Lo Dan 2nd Black Belt

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    Mudo is a Canadian brand from Captain Sports right? I've never seen them anywhere else. I figured I'd mention it since no one else probably recognises the name.
     

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