Thoughts on ATA TKD?

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by SPX, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. d1jinx

    d1jinx Master Black Belt

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    the quality of instruction was great and there were good fighters at the school however they point sparred and had no experience at continuous full contact wtf style sparring. It was a minimum contact, point type sparring. That aspect had nothing to do with the quality of instruction on techniques and how classes went. They didnt have any experience fighting because they didnt focus on it like some schools do. The ATA fighters seemed to focus soley on scoring the first point and looked no further past that. they were not prepaired for a counter or a hard blow. In class, there were a few who were good, but at the tournament it was easy to clean up. like i said, I think GM Lees school was the exception because the other schools in the area were not as good.

    You have some schools who study the techniques and perfect them, while spending most of the class focusing on the "art" side. On the other hand you have schools who soley focus on winning competitions and spend NO time perfecting the art.

    As with every school, you will have a majority of the students who are "average". no matter the quality of instruction, you will always have those that suck. but in the end the majority wether suck or good will reflect the level of the instructor.

    but i didnt say they sucked. many were good, just inexperienced at fighting. at least fighting someone like me.
     
  2. SPX

    SPX Black Belt

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    Thanks for that explanation.

    My understanding of ATA sparring has always been that it is basically the same as WTF sparring, but lighter contact. Is WTF sparring not point-based? Please explain the format to me if you don't mind, as I am considering looking into some WTF schools. Also, not to open the proverbial can of worms here, but how would you say your WTF training has prepared you for a real-life self-defense situation?
     
  3. hungryninja

    hungryninja Orange Belt

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    ATA sparring rules are quite different than WTF sparring rules. ATA sparring is one round (2 min.), light contact. First person to reach 5 points or whoever has the higher number of points when the round is complete is the winner of the match. The judges stop the match at each point where they believe a person has scored (so it's "stop and go"). 1 point for punch or kick to the body. 2 points for kick to the head or jump kick to the body. 3 points for jump kick to the head. http://www.ataonline.com/the_ring/rules/2011-12CompetitionRules.pdf

    Depending on the type of tournament, there are multiple rounds, and scoring is continuous (not "stop and go"), full contact. E.g. here are USA taekwondo rules: http://assets.usoc.org/assets/docum...754/USAT_Rules_REVISE_October_24_11_FINAL.pdf

    They both are similar in the aspect that no hand techniques to the head are allowed in tournament sparring.

     
  4. SPX

    SPX Black Belt

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    Thanks for that explanation.

    Now if only the WTF would allow hand techniques to the head (and actually score hand techniques to the body, which I've heard is a big problem).
     
  5. msmitht

    msmitht 2nd Black Belt

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    At a private school I teach 1st through 6th graders wtf tkd. They train hard and learn everything except for sparring. I do not use belts because there are no uniforms and the lack of sparring.
    There is a new 2nd grade girl who brought her 2nd dan belt to wear in class. I had no idea. Without getting specific on her technical level I will say at my school she might make it as a orange belt, maybe. She says that when she is nine she gets her ATA 3rd dan.Nothing else needs to be said.
     
  6. d1jinx

    d1jinx Master Black Belt

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    I think Hungryninja explained the differences well enough, but just to add, WTF you can kick to the head and KNock out. Not that it happens much anymore, but it is allowed (for adults, dont get me started on the BS children rules that didnt exsist a few years back. You can read all about junior safety rules at the USAT link f you want)

    As for "WTF training has prepared you for a real-life self-defense situation" I wouldn't say WTF had anything more or less to do with it. Its all TKD and the TKD training helped. Probably the only thing to take away from WTF style competition is you learn to expect more than 1 hit and to counter. where as point sparring, meaning first point scores, then break match, judges score point, then resume match, doesnt give a person the true experience of a fight where after the first hit, the person does not stop. Also, sparring in a WTF type match gives one the practice of kicking and hitting with full power. theres no experience like kitting with full power and hitting an elbow for the first time. eventually, like anything you will get used to it, not saying it dont hurt, but imagine if you tried to kick someone on the street full power for the first time and hit an elbow. once to dropped to the ground in shock from the pain, that person pounced ontop and continued beating the hell out of you!!!

    But please understand, I am not saying WTF competition is "realistic self defense training". what I am saying is "continuous sparring" has many more advantages over a "point sparring" style when it comes to learning and developing TKD skills that can be realistically used for self defense.

    hope i didnt confuse you or start a war about "how awful/great WTF is". like anything... maximize learning oppurtunities and try to adapt them to real life. there is NO training that will truly prepare you for every possible scenario in life. You must learn to adapt what you have learned to that scenario.
     
  7. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    Both Point and Continuous Point Sparring have their place. Albeit, if I had to pick one only, itd be... Neither. :D
    But picking from them, id take Continuous Point any day.
    Point Stop Sparring has the benefit of teaching You to hit first.
    Continuous Point Sparring has the benefit of teaching You to hit, get hit, and keep going on from both.
    Again, Id prefer other Sparring Methodologies. But that doesnt mean theres anything wrong with others. Now, what does get ridiculous, is when someone barely taps someone with their toes or somesuch, and get a Point Stop.
     
  8. SPX

    SPX Black Belt

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    In the interest of trivia, there are two ATA guys that I know of who have gone on to have some degree of wider success beyond the organization.


    1. Jody Horn

    He listed as a "Colorado State Olympic Champion" (not sure exactly what that means to be honest) and apparently was also invited to train at the Olympic Training Center. I also READ that he was selected as an Olympic alternate, though it was just a user on a forum who mentioned it, so I'm not sure how true that is.


    Here's a vid of him sparring. . . His moves sure look pretty, even though the "sparring" here is kind of a joke:








    2. Chris Martin

    He's like a bajillion time ATA champion in various categories. Here are some vids I found: an ATA sparring match at a comp, his muay Thai debut, his second muay Thai fight, and a commercial he was in.


















     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2014
  9. hungryninja

    hungryninja Orange Belt

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    Both Jody Horn and Chris Martin are still heavily involved in ATA (school owners). I think that clip of Jody Horn is what ATA calls "testing sparring"...it's another category of sparring where the whole purpose is to "showcase" your techniques in controlled non-contact sparring.

    Some other notable current and/or former ATA members who have transitioned into other areas...Brian Davidson (MMA), Anthony "Showtime" Pettis (MMA), Taren Ogata (USAT).
     
  10. d1jinx

    d1jinx Master Black Belt

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    Video # 2 is a joke. He was barely hit, yet goes to the floor and lays there like a child. This is a result of being a Black belt who has never been hit. so what happens in a real situation, when you are hit? you drop to the ground and cry for mercy.... kind of goes back to my comment about hitting an elbow full power for the first time. I guarantee it was more of a shock factor than actual pain.
     
  11. d1jinx

    d1jinx Master Black Belt

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    not just the ATA, or taekwondo. i think many styles have this and do it pretty frequently. Its serves it purpose too. its called "control". just as you need to learn to hit hard, you need to learn to control the technique.

    I see nothing wrong with this. especially when 2 students are known to be good at sparring, you want to observe their ability to control techniques. I have seen people who were 1 speeded fighters. meaning they could go all out, yet you couldnt put them with a lower rank or have them instruct while sparring cause they couldn't control themselves. they would either destroy the person or start that slow motion, lazy sparring that does nothing for the student trying to learn. they need to learn to mirror the students ability and that was something they could not do because they had no control.
     
  12. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    Yep.
    And to this day, I dont see whats so hard about it. Because You dont even have to take the Power or Speed out, really. Just the Continuity and Complexity needs to be sledgehammered. It really isnt hard.
    That way, both Parties still benefit.
     
  13. SPX

    SPX Black Belt

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    I agree. It's a problem that I just can't understand why more TMA schools aren't aware of. It's not like you can't find ways to fix that . . . even ways, in my opinion, that don't involve full contact to an unprotected face.
     
  14. ETinCYQX

    ETinCYQX Master Black Belt

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    It depends on what you want, really. I'd actually probably be happy training with an ATA school at this point in my life because what I want is a large network of schools, a good competition structure and a friendly environment with hard sport-leaning training. My belt doesn't bother me aside from who I'm allowed to fight in a tournament and I don't care how old the black belts are, it's not my problem.
     
  15. d1jinx

    d1jinx Master Black Belt

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    I think most use the "insurance liability" card. I mean, without starting a whole other argument or discusion, I think anyone who signs up for TKD should be aware that it is a "contact sport". You dont sign your kid up for football and sue cause he got tackled. You dont sue when your kid gets hit with a baseball. so how come everyone thinks its ok to sue cause you got kicked? Just saying. A whole nother thread discusion i guess. its a kindler, gentler tkd today...
     
  16. Kinghercules

    Kinghercules Blue Belt

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    ATA is some shhhhht!!! LOL!!
    Seriously. They are the worst practioners of TKD that Ive eva seen!

    How the hell you gonna be fully suited up in sparrin gear but yet still cant make contact?! Are you fruckin kiddin me!!!!!
     
  17. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    If im not mistaken, they dont exactly encourage Aggressive Contact.
    I may be mistaken.
     
  18. Kinghercules

    Kinghercules Blue Belt

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    IDK what they encourage but its a joke.
    I would be embarrassed to tell anyone that I trained at an ATA school. :lol:
     
  19. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Worst in what way? Forms? Sparring? Breaking? Attitude?

    This is essentially semi-contact sparring with protective gear in place to prevent injury in the event of accidental contact to a non-target area or accidental full contact to a legal target area. In other words, it keeps soccor moms happy and prevents lawsuits.

    I think that you need to understand that the ATA promotes a martial arts themed family activity rather than fight sport. In essence, they are 'fencing.'

    Please refrain from trying to work in the profanity. I'm pretty sure that it violates the terms of service. I'm not personally offended, but I thought I'd give you a heads up.

    People display far stronger reactions to this than is necessary. Either you like what they do or you don't. WTF is full contact, yet people gripe about that too. MMA is full contact with minimal gear and people still gripe about that. Regardless of the rule set, someone is going to be sour about it. The ATA has picked out its market and caters to them. You (and likely the majority of MT membership) are clearly not the customer that they are targeting.
     
  20. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    I wouldn't be embarrassed to tell anyone that I trained at an ATA school, though from what I understand about their pricing, I would be embarrassed to tell anyone what it costs for the privilege of doing so.123
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011

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