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

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

  1. chrispillertkd

    chrispillertkd Senior Master

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    I must've missed the majority of them then. I'm not particularly interested in WTF competition threads so sometimes I don't even skim them. I played that game a couple of years in college and it wasn't really my thing.

    Again, I really think you're being overly sensitive. But even if it is endemic sometimes it's better to not get involved in the discussion if you don't think people would listen. There are a couple of posters on MT that I simply don't bother with because it would be like casting pearls before swine. I have better things to do with my time, and I'm sure they're happier not listening to me. This way everybody wins :)

    Eh, it's the nature of the intrawebs. People come, people go. Topics come up, topics go away. It's cyclical. I used to get annoyed when some people would critisize sine wave, not because they critisized it so much as because they critisized what they didn't understand. But what can you do? After a while I realized that offering a few comments to people is really the most I could do in most situations. If people really want to get a andle on sine wave there are several excellent instructors I could recommend that they go train with for an extended period of time. But most people on an internet BBS aren't that interested in the topic :) Heck, it took me more than a few years to get a handle on sine wave. But now I'm more powerful and faster than I used to be.

    The only thing I'll say on this is that sine wave really should be much more subtle than what you generally see on the internet (on youtube, for instance). Also, concentrating more on keeping the foot that is in motion flat (though not touching the floor) really helps make the knee spring used in sine wave quite natural. See? Easy!

    Pax,

    Chris
     
  2. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Just a point of clarification: one of the reasons that I asked the question about judo/bjj/jujutsu is because the argument was specifically that because the WTF rule set lacks specifically face/head punches (rather than lacks a variety of hand techniques), it promotes bad self defense. Earl, Ralph, KSD, and others have, over several threads, made this criticism, Ralph most recently. I understand their logic (I don't agree with it, but I understand it), but if one makes the SD criticism of WTF sparring, then it stands to reason that one would be patrolling the judo, bjj, and jujutsu sections making similar criticisms.

    The other half of this is that it is implied or stated outright that KKW/WTF students are taught WTF sparring as self defense, which is the justification that they have for making the above argument. This has been countered many times by many posters. Though none of them actually train KKW/WTF, they seem unwilling to accept what they are told, regardless of how it is explained, who explains it, or how many times it is explained.
     
  3. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Makes sense. It looks to me that it is the downward/forward motion that is taking advantage of gravity and body weight to generate power. Not sure if that is accurate, but that is how it looks. In any case, as I said before, I have no criticism of sine wave; it is simply another method of power generation.
     
  4. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    Boxing doesn't include rules?

    Not only does judo limit strikes, it also limits many different kinds of locks as well. No standing arm bar for example. Judo's allowed techniques is a fraction of the available hand techniques available to a judo player.

    How about eye pokes? Kicks to the leg and or groin? Are those allowed in ITF competition?
     
  5. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    Every competitive format limits the available weapons and available targets. But what that does is make what is allowed that much stronger, especially in competition formats that allow full contact action. This point cannot be overstressed.
     
  6. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    That is a little exaggerated because each competitor/coach get only one protest, unless you win that protest. Then you get another. But if you protest and lose, you have no more for the entire match. Because of that, coaches tend to use those protests sparingly, only if they are confident the protest will be upheld.

    There has been a switch in policy towards referees. The policy used to be that we assume our officials have integrity; the rules revolved around that. However, under WTF President Choue, the policy changed to referees are suspect and do not have integrity, the result being that we take away as much power from the officials as possible to make decisions on calls, and we allow coaches to challenge officials in the middle of the match. To that end we have electronic scoring (which takes away scoring body shots from corners), instant replay, etc.
     
  7. ralphmcpherson

    ralphmcpherson Senior Master

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    I will respond properly later daniel as this is a subject i have a lot of time for but i am currently at work. In a nutshell i believe tkd is an incredibly brilliant sport/art, it contains lightening quick strikes, balance, footwork, punches, kicks, grabs etc etc, but i dont feel the wtf ruleset does the art any justice at all. It gives people a false impression of tkd, for example i regularly hear people say "i wanted to start tkd, but wanted to learn how to punch". You cant compare it to boxing, boxing includes way more of their techniques on display than tkd and gives the viewer a more accurate view of the art. The same can be said for bjj, for instance, what you see is pretty much what you get. I am copping an absolute ribbing from work colleagues today who watched the tkd last night and i am constantly having to explain to them that what they are seeing in the olympics is only avery small part of what we do.
     
  8. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    I certainly respect your opinion and appreciate the response!

    However, that was not the underlying reason for your criticism. You had tied the lack of punching emphasis to a self defense deficiency and asked why WTF students are told that WTF competition is sparring. It was mainly that which prompted the question.

    Regarding your post above:

    • It doesn't give a false impression; simply an incomplete one.
    • I would like to see pumse in the Olympics as well, as this, along with shihap kyorugi, would provide a very complete picture.
    • Finally, if your coworkers cannot appreciate the incredibly high level of training and dedication that it takes to get to that level and are ribbing you for it, I submit that their opinion is unimportant and they are ignorant. Especially if this is the same group that you would have a billion dollars for every time you've had to explain it to them previously.

    Again, I appreciate you taking the time to respond. I don't always agree with you, but I do enjoy conversing with you.
     
  9. ralphmcpherson

    ralphmcpherson Senior Master

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    Sorry daniel, Im flat out with work today so Im just dealing with one point at a time. In regards to the many people who question me about tkd ruleset, I would say almost all people who find out I do tkd come out with the "oh, is that the one they do in the olympics?, why dont they punch?, why are their hands by their sides?" questions. Only yesterday I dropped my son to football training and apologised for dropping him their late and explained his tkd class had gone over time that afternoon and his immediate response was "oh thats the one with all the kicking in the olympics, why dont they punch?". Its not the same people over and over, except for a few of my mates who do karate or muay thai, who mention it regularly because they know it pisses me off :)
     
  10. ralphmcpherson

    ralphmcpherson Senior Master

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    Just quickly daniel (and I will go into more detail when I get a chance), the self defence/wtf sparring I think is more the fault of individual schools than the kkw. All tkd clubs in my area say "SELF DEFENCE" in bold lettering at the top of all their school's signage, in smaller print they mention things like "how to protect yourself" etc. These schools only teach wtf sparring, they dont teach other forms of sparring and this is their students only "live" full contact, un rehearsed form of practice against resisting opponents. So, reading between the lines, students at these schools are told they are learning self defence, and have what they call 'simulated fights' using a ruleset with no face punching, which as discussed in the other thread is an attack you are highly likely to encounter in the real world. I have friends at these schools and this is what they think. If that form of sparring is taught in conjunction with other forms then I have no problem with it, but when students sign up to learn how to defend themself and spend a great majority of class time sparring under this ruleset, I have a problem with it. The problem is there is the "real world" and the "perfect world", in the latter all kkw clubs teach many forms of sparring, teach heaps of punching and produce well rounded fighters. These schools do exist, as Ive said many times I would gladly train at puuini's club, andy jeffries club, ethan's club etc and I would be heaps better for the experience. The sad reality, in my area at least, is that most kkw clubs are full of students who just kick for an hour and dont get the well rounded instruction.
     
  11. andyjeffries

    andyjeffries Master of Arts

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    If you're at the Olympic venue (as I was yesterday) this actually gets a lot better. The announcer says why people are requesting a video reply (if they're standing there doing nothing but waiting) and whether the protest was upheld or not (and generally why). With regards to "why didn't that score" most of the time this is about body shots (as head shots are now simpler to score) and again, if you're at the venue the Dadeo PSS system shows the power required to score and (briefly) the power of the last shot.

    It's getting better as a spectator sport (the crowd certainly loved it and I was mostly surrounded by non-Taekwondoin, just people who wanted tickets for any Olympic event to be a part of it), but we need to improve the information shown in TV broadcasts.
     
  12. andyjeffries

    andyjeffries Master of Arts

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    I would phrase it differently - in the past we assumed that referees were perfectly flawless individuals, now we assume they are human like the rest of us and in a fast moving sport like Taekwondo it's easy to make a judgement mistake. On the highest stage, the Olympic Games, those mistakes get highlighted in a huge way and risk us losing Olympic status so the WTF has changed the rules to reduce the mistakes made (PSS) and to provide an easy way to rectify those made (Video Replay).

    I think the changes are all very positive.
     
  13. Markku P

    Markku P Blue Belt

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    This I agree and I was watching yesterdays fights via internet ( whole day ) and there was many good fights to see :)
     
  14. Markku P

    Markku P Blue Belt

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    I have been here and reading of course, I had my summer vacation so I have been busy :) Now I have to read everything and come up with something :)

    //Markku
     
  15. Gorilla

    Gorilla Master of Arts

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    My Son scored 6 points in three matches at the JR World team trials. The referees were IR's...my son is also a
    Shotokan BB and a very good puncher.


    QUOTE=chrispillertkd;1510409]You know, most people realize that boxing doesn't include rules and that judo competition omits the very limited strikes found in that art in the first place so your question really is moot. Taekwon-Do includes both hand and foot techniques in its sparring competitions so Ralph's friends are right to ask where the punching is.

    People say punching is more pronounced today than it was in the 80s and 90s in KKW competitions. I suppose. My KKW instructor in college was an international referee and said that in 10 years or so of experience he'd seen six punches scored at WTF events. Six. In that sense there was no where to go but up :) I've read your sticky. The WTF can make whatever rules they want. But that doesn't mean people aren't going to ask about them. I've had people ask why the ITF doesn't do this or that in its competitions. The only thing to do is try to educate them, not get defensive.



    I don't know about Ralph, but I have heard many, many people ask questions about MMA and BJJ rules. Not as much today as 10 years ago but the questions still linger. It's no big deal.

    Pax,

    Chris[/QUOTE]
     
  16. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Based on this...
    and this...

    I would say that your experience might be more of a local thing.

    Regarding the predominance of kicking training, it is much harder to develop okay kicking than it is develop great punching. I'm not going to evaluate the clubs or what they actually teach; you are providing me with second hand knowledge of clubs on another continent that neither of us have ever trained at. I can only tell you that what you describe is not what I have experienced. Apparently it isn't what Puunui, Andy, Master Cole, or ArchTKD have experienced either.

    Keep in mind that regardless of art or organization, most schools are no more than adequate, regardless of what is on their door. Puunui made the statement, which I think is accurate, that most people are looking for neither SD nor sport, but for general fitness, confidence, and a nice after school program for their kids. All the stuff that the ATA does very well, by the way.

    In my travels, most of which have been eastern US, but also Ireland and some western and west coast US states, and Hawaii, most schools signs say the name of the art, and barring that, just say 'martial arts,' regardless of which art it is, along with a website, phone number, and a schedule. The ones that do promote selling features on their doors usually promote their programs: CAGE Fitness, Tiny Tigers, Little Ninjas, and 'Great for Teens and Adults!' without much more detail than that.

    I cannot speak for other areas, but putting up a sign that says, "Self Defense" in this area will not increas one's customer count. It isn't that there's anything wrong with it, but it definitely isn't what the majority of people in the region (Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia) are looking for.

    Kicks Karate is probably the largest MA chain in the region; he's got nine schools in Montgomery county, four of which are within easy to tolerable driving distance from my home. Here's his website: http://www.kickskarate.com/

    Pretty typical of what is in my area, both in presentation and in content. I don't think that the term, "self defense," is mentioned anywhere on the website.

    Regarding your mates (the ones from whom you said you'd be a billionaire if you had a dollar for each time they questioned):
    Don't you think that using your friends who you admit are doing it specifically to piss you off as an example is a bit disingenuous?
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
  17. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    Here too, you hardly see that anymore. It might come up on those laundry lists of benefits from training, but that is about it. No more big signs saying "Self Defense" in the window, hardly any school names incorporating the phrase "Self Defense".
     
  18. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    I don't think he have ever considered referees to be perfectly flawless; if we did then we wouldn't have had protest procedures in place since the beginning. Your way sounds nicer, but the reality is that the changes were made as a reaction to the very vocal complaints from a vocal minority. Here is one such very public complaint made by Herb Perez to the press at the 2008 Beijing Olympics:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/beijing/taekwondo/news?slug=cr-lopez082208

    “When (poor judging) happens to you, you’re told to shut up and not say anything because of what will happen to you, or what will happen to the sport,” Perez said. “If this is truly what taekwondo is about, maybe taekwondo shouldn’t be in the Olympics. Maybe they should fix it.”
     
  19. ralphmcpherson

    ralphmcpherson Senior Master

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    It must be a regional thing then daniel, because most, if not all tkd clubs in my area push the self defence angle in their advertising, and i dont live in an area where knowing how to defend yourself is really necessary. In fact, after i posted that yesterday i went on my afternoon run and paid particular attention to any signage i saw (i run past 3 schools that run tkd clubs in the hall and have signage on the front gates) , and every sign i saw actually said "self defence" in larger lettering than the actual name of the club.
     
  20. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Are these older clubs? I wonder if they have "Self Defense" up in big bold letters as a hold over from when nobody knew what taekwondo was.
     

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