TKD is Weak on the street as a self defense?

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by speedking668, Oct 12, 2017 at 9:49 AM.

  1. speedking668

    speedking668 White Belt

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    Hi everyone

    I took my first TKD ITF lesson yesterday, I really enjoyed it.

    I do have however have some concerns, I'm always reading how TKD is simply too impractical for the street as a defense art and it's one of the arts to be avoided along with Aikido.

    Could someone give me some clarity on this?

    The place I just joined has the TKD and also has Street awareness incorporated in to the sessions.

    My initial thought was to take TKD and also do either JUDO/JJJ along side with it.

    My main goal is to be able to protect my family if a dangerous situation were to occur.
     
  2. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    First, welcome to MT.

    Second, don't believe everything you read. People have all kinds of opinions, and nearly none of them have any idea what they are talking about.

    Martial arts training is good. Much better than not having any training. TKD is like any other legitimate art - you get out of it what you put into it. Some people are more gifted than others. Hard work pays dividends. Train hard, practice harder. If you apply yourself, your skills may be of use to you if you should find yourself in need of them. Or not - luck of the draw sometimes.

    The best way to protect your family is to not be where trouble is likely to be found. The number of street fights I've been in since leaving the military and law enforcement is zero; and I'm 56 now. I still train, and yes, for self-defense, but the best thing you can do to avoid fights is to stay the heck out of bars and nightclubs and avoid bad areas if you can.
     
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  3. ShortBridge

    ShortBridge Brown Belt

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    You're going to get a whole flood of responses on this, buckle up. I think mine may be a little different than everyone else's or I wouldn't bother posting it. At the end of the day, I'm just some guy on the internet with an opinion, like everyone else, you'll have to make up your own mind.

    First, I think the overly-bantered concepts of "on the street" and "protect my family" are almost throw-away concepts in the martial arts community. Your streets are likely different than my streets. You are likely different than me. When martial artists, especially this generation of martial artists talk about "the real world" it seems to be a notion of after-school fights. Two or more people agree to meet someplace and duke it out. This was reality for me 40 years ago, but it looks nothing like my reality (or likely yours) now. Think about what you are really concerned about as you go about trying to answer that question for yourself. When you hear or read someone say "on the street" or "for real" ask yourself what they mean and how closely it matches your reality. Better yet, get really in tune with your answer and stop listening to everyone else who thinks they know better.

    "Protecting your family", (something I personally relate to) is something else entirely. This is much more complex and involves a whole bunch of variables that I don't even want to start trying to outline here. But, it goes way beyond punching and kicking and grappling.

    So, next I want to ask, why did you chose TKD? If you're questioning your choice and looking to other arts to make up for perceived deficiencies after one lesson, I think you may have chosen impulsively. I spent a year doing TKD in the 80s, which doesn't make me an expert on it, but if you are only 1 lesson in and you're planning on mastering not only it, but also a supplemental system to achieve your goals, then I think you're setting yourself up to fail. If you were years into it, I might give you different advice, but I'm never in favor of beginners trying to cobble together something better than what they are studying.

    It is necessary to buy into what you are studying for it to have a chance of working. Maybe TKD would support your goal, I don't know nearly enough about you and your goals to say, but if you doubt it, you either need to put that doubt aside, put your head down and train or you need to stop and assess alternatives.

    If you were coming to me inquiring about my system, though, I would be asking you leading questions about what you are really trying to prepare yourself for and my advice to you would be to first get clear on that, then understand your options, then make a choice and don't second guess it for a few years while you train enough to reassess.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017 at 11:40 AM
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  4. speedking668

    speedking668 White Belt

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    Thank you for your reply, I do understand that avoiding the situation is first priority however sometimes it just can not be helped.


    I have very basic boxing and wing chun.

    I have never used my legs so this is the first time.

    I am enjoying TKD and I do plan to add Judo or JJJ. Just to be more effective in a real life situation, I just see so much negativity towards TKD that it makes me think sometimes am i wasting my time?

    You are right the streets are different, for example we dont have guns here, at most it would be a knife even that would be unlikely.

    I'm more focused towards becoming self aware of real life situations, regardless of what they would mean.

    The main reason for TKD is having the ability to become more flexible and developing leg striking power and basic technique.

    The reason for JJJ or JUDO is for close encounters and essentially neutralizing the opponent without a striking attack to some extent.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017 at 11:40 AM
  5. CB Jones

    CB Jones Master Black Belt

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    Maybe your reputation just proceeds you. ;)
     
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  6. ShortBridge

    ShortBridge Brown Belt

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    By the way, if you're really interested in becoming an expert on "protecting your family", a good starting point is THIS POST by @Bill Mattocks
     
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  7. speedking668

    speedking668 White Belt

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    Thanks, but most of that is irrelevant to me based on my geographic location, well all weather based issues ie floods.

    I think most of that is covered, but what isn't covered is the outside of my home, hence the pursuit.
     
  8. ShortBridge

    ShortBridge Brown Belt

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    Okay, that's good news. I don't know how big your family is or how old your children might be, but generally, when you are out with them, do you know where the exits are? Do they know what to do if you are physically threatened? My wife used to grab my hand or arm and squeeze it when she sensed danger. I have since convinced her that the worst thing she can do is to tie one of my hands up. The best thing she can do is get away from where we are and to a pre-determined meeting place. As soon as I don't need to protect her anymore, I can plan my escape to safety. If she freezes in place, I need to stay and potentially fight. My son is 9, we have similar agreements, though since he is younger, they aren't quite as sophisticated.

    I've been doing martial arts for...I don't want to count right now, but decades. My notion of my family's safety is not to put them behind me while I engage in a fist fight, except as a very last resort. It would not be different if my style was TKD or BJJ or something else. Distance from danger is safety. Coordinating that with your family is vital and you're not likely to get that from TKD class or Karate class or anything else.

    So, let's come back to your original question, what are you trying to develop? The ability to win a fight? What type of fight? One of my students is Vietnamese and says fights in his city in Vietnam almost always involve knives. That isn't true of Seattle, where he lives now, so his concept is different depending on which city he is inat the time. What are you trying to prepare yourself for?

    If it's a general notion, rather than a specific notion, then it's tough to assess specific systems or classes against it.
     
  9. Paul_D

    Paul_D Master Black Belt

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    Devils Advocate:- Your TKD is not defending you. You are. People defend themselves with TKD, AIkido, MMA and just about any art you wish to name. People also fail to defend themselves with TKD, Aikido, MMA and just about any other art you wish to name. So how do we know if it the fault of the system or the practitioner?
     
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  10. speedking668

    speedking668 White Belt

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    What am i trying to develop?

    I am trying to develop confidence and having the ability to win a fight if needed. We dont have guns here although we could run in to knives, but majority of the time people are unarmed.

    @Paul_D That is true, i do understand that it's the user of the art more so.
     
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  11. wab25

    wab25 White Belt

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    The art that will be most effective for you, is the art that you train in most regularly. WabSuperfu-jitsu (not to be confused with WabSuperfu-jitsiu, WabSuperfu-jutsu or WabSuperFiu-jitsu...) may be the worlds deadliest, most effective art. But, if you don't train in it regularly, it won't matter.

    Yeah, people say bad things about TKD online. I don't believe there exists an art that has not been bad mouthed and called out online. (with the notable exception of WabSuperfu-jitsu... no one has talked bad about it...) So, I wouldn't worry about it. Is this an instructor, class and art that you are willing to train regularly? If so, that will be the art that is most effective for you.
     
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  12. MA_Student

    MA_Student Purple Belt

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    Glad axiom isn't here still he'd have loved this....

    Anyway firstly if you enjoy it then really that's all that matters any training is better than no training. Also don't be so paranoid about attack. Have you ever been attacked before? If not theres no reason to believe it'll happen if it has still no reason to believe it will happen again. There's nothing wrong with training for self defence but you have to enjoy it if it's more like a job then you just will be making yourself miserable. Just do what you want to do and have fun
     
  13. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    OK. Let's jus keep it simple. Does anybody fight anybody full contact in your club?

    Do they tend to win these fights?
     
  14. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    IMO Awareness is first priority. This facilitates avoidance.
     
  15. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    If I were to encounter anyone who made a statement to the effect that "TKD is........." I would first ask them to define TKD. (Not simply translate Tae Kwon Do, but what they believe the system does or does not include.) Before any meaningful discussion takes place people must agree on how terms are defined.
     
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  16. Anarax

    Anarax Green Belt

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    It's difficult to get a clear reading on a martial arts school after just one lesson, unless something glaring stood out during the session. It's not style alone that determines your ability to protect yourself, but the quality of your training. The whole X style if an ineffective style because it's X style isn't a valid point. I've been to great and horrible Kung Fu schools, it was the training culture of the schools that determines the quality of training you will receive. If that particular TKD school is of low quality that doesn't mean they all are. It's difficult finding a great martial arts school in general, I've always tried to look for high quality training over style.
     
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  17. DaveB

    DaveB 2nd Black Belt

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    The thing that will make the difference as to whether or not you can effectively defend yourself is HOW you train.

    This is partly down to your teacher, but mostly it is down to you.

    Firstly the speed of your strikes determine whether they will land and the power determines whether they will stop your opponent.

    To that end you must push yourself every training session - speed comes from continuous movement power from focussed movement. You must also focus on conditioning your body.

    Your defence will depend on your ability to spot and react to strikes and other attacks.

    So after your one-stop drills are familiar get your partner to stand in a natural posture at pub distance and throw his punch with a bit more curve.
    ASAP get your drill partners punching to take your head off, and if you don't stop them in time make them keep coming with a second and third and forth punch....

    Doing this kind of thing will help you understand more natural fighting mechanics and what space and time your own movements must fit into.

    In other words build on your class instruction until you are working at a level where failure results in injury... but don't rush it; stay where you are able but push yourself.

    Remember: Stronger, faster, harder.

    And give yourself at least two years before you pick up another martial art. All you will do is slow your progress in both.
     
  18. speedking668

    speedking668 White Belt

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    Thank you dave some good info, however why would another martial art slow the progress for example if i took something like judo/ JJ
     
  19. Gwai Lo Dan

    Gwai Lo Dan 2nd Black Belt

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    He's not? I skimmed over the last 43 page thread and must have missed that!
     
  20. Gwai Lo Dan

    Gwai Lo Dan 2nd Black Belt

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    One thing that bothers me about the WTF schools (and by that I mean spar as per WTF rules) is that techniques may be shown, but not explained as being for tournaments where punches to the head are not allowed.

    For example, footwork where you cross your feet may be good for kicking, but may be dangerous if a person can do a quick punch to the head or go for a takedown.

    Some things I see I say "ooh, I don't like that". For example, a one step technique where you fall to the ground or turn your back to the opponent make me think "not for me".

    So in brief I tend to ask "do you like this technique for self defense"? That's when the truth comes out of the mouths IMO.
     

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