Unsure of the art taught at my dojo

Discussion in 'Beginners Corner' started by eiv0482, Jun 16, 2020.

  1. eiv0482

    eiv0482 White Belt

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    I've been practicing at this dojo for sometime over half a year now, but I'm still not sure what art is being taught. I know it is either karate or taekwondo, especially since I have heard those two terms being used in the dojo. We do practice many kicking techniques including spin kicks and such, but we also practice many open-handed techniques. Also, we practice joint manipulation, occasional groundwork, and kobudo katas (or forms, but since I've been leaning ever so slightly towards the idea of it being karate, I've been calling them katas; actually, both of those terms have been used in the dojo as well). We wear gis, but our sparring gear seems to be that of taekwondo gear, even though we spar with our hands up and other such things that would generally be seen in karate.

    I don't know why it is so important for me to know the specific art I am practicing, but it just seems to feel somewhat unnerving to not be able to say for sure whether it is karate or taekwondo. This uncertainty may also make the dojo seem like a McDojo, but I actually do have confidence in this dojo and the instructors in it. I've definitely gone through some time periods in which I was seriously questioning the legitimacy of the dojo, but after consulting what made a dojo a real dojo, I found that it was making details that were actually insignificant to the training a bigger deal than they were. We are taught the application of all techniques, the instructors practice them with us and encourage us to ask about applications so they can allow us to understand them, and oftentimes, these explanations go into great depth (so end up lasting quite a while, although I'm not complaining because it's one of the things I love about being there).

    Anyways, with all that stuff being practiced in the dojo, would any of you be able to suggest what the art most likely is? And if you have any other advice, that would be greatly appreciated as well. I'm still a beginner so if anything I said sounds off, please let me know. Thanks!
     
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  2. Monkey Turned Wolf

    Monkey Turned Wolf MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Have you tried asking your instructor? That seems like a simple solution to all this.
     
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  3. eiv0482

    eiv0482 White Belt

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    Yeah, it would be. I'm a bit on the shy side in class so I guess I avoided asking about it. For some reason I guess someone saying that makes it pretty clear to myself I should have just asked a while ago. Thanks for solving an unnerving middle of the night thought of mine. (Man... it does seem really simple now. I've got a lot to learn lol. Thanks again, though.)
     
  4. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    If it's a commercial school, isn't there some sort of signage that might give you a hint?
     
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  5. eiv0482

    eiv0482 White Belt

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    That's also a good point, but it doesn't mention or allude to anything that would be specific to either art, which could be because there are a few arts being taught at the dojo. I guess my main confusion came with how different people called what we're practicing different things, so I'll just ask our instructor (which as I said before, should have been done long ago lol). Thanks!
     
  6. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Most schools have a website, and that'll usually say what's being taught. An easy place to look is the instructor's bio - they frequently list every art they've studied.

    It's possible what you're learning is an amalgamation of styles - essentially the instructor's personal system. They may not even have given it its own name, and just talk about elements that come from the base styles they studied.

    And it's not necessarily that odd for a relatively new student to not know the name of the style they study, though it seems odd to those of us who trained where it's obvious. I used to not use the name of my style much in teaching, never really referring to the art as a whole. I started making a point to mention the art's name from time to time after a couple of students asked me to remind them what art we studied, because I mention other arts along the way as points of reference. The name isn't that important to some folks - it's just a way to refer to the art - sot they may not use it often.
     
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  7. wab25

    wab25 Black Belt

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    There is a dojo...? here that has only one word on its sign: "Karate" The main art taught there, the art that the owner is ranked in is TKD. They teach other arts there as well... a style of Kung Fu, Aikido and some sort of MMA class. What they do not teach there is Karate. I asked him why the sign said Karate, when they have never taught that and his response was "Everyone knows what Karate is, not many people know what TKD is." And this place is a commercial dojo, part of one of the larger organizations of TKD schools in the area.

    Asking the instructor what the art is that he is teaching is the way to go. It may be his own blend of Karate and TKD and a few other things. As long as he is up front about that, and you enjoy the classes... nothing wrong there at all.
     
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  8. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Also, back in the day, Tae Kwon Do was often referred to as "Korean Karate", because people were familiar with the word "Karate". Some folks seem to still feel like that word is inclusive of TKD (which is arguable), so may use the terms somewhat interchangeably.
     
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  9. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree with the idea of asking. Asking is always good.
    However, the person you reference above is just plain wrong. TKD is the #1 most commonly practiced martial art in the world. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone with even the most remote interest in the martial arts who wouldn't recognize the name.
     
  10. Monkey Turned Wolf

    Monkey Turned Wolf MT Moderator Staff Member

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    When i trained kenpo/kempo, i always referred to it as karate. It was just easier, and if the person knew enough to ask, then I'd clarify. Hell, when I'd go to jujitsu or sambo practice, if someone asked me what i was doing that day, I'd still just say karate.
     
  11. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Senior Master

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    G'day! Ah that is an interesting dilemma! If it's a bit late asking what the style is, I'd ask the instructor more about "what would you say the lineage of the style is? Is it more a pure form or a mix.. What are the main style influences?" etc

    That way you're not outright asking what the style is if that feels awkward, but it should hopefully be revealed in the process ;)
     
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  12. JR 137

    JR 137 Grandmaster

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    A link to the school’s website could also help us help you.
     
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  13. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    Almost all of the kids and parents who train with us call it 'Karate'.
    We have training in Muay Thai, Wing Chun, Pekiti-Tirsia, Boxing, Combat Submission Wrestling, BJJ, and train Muay Thai & MMA fighters. The kids program is a combination of Muay Thai, Combat Submission Wrestling, and Pekiti-Tirsia specifically. We did have a Youth Shotokan class for a short time but haven't for almost 10 years now. We call everything we do 'Martial Arts' but almost everyone with the youth programs call it 'Karate'. One of the most often questions..."what's the difference in Martial Arts and Karate?"
     
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  14. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    to be honest it sounds like a wind up, im not sure how anyone signs up for a ma and attends multiple lessons with out having the first idea of what they are training ?


    not that it actually matters, it could be some home spun hybrid thats a bit of lots of thing, which is perfectly good if they have picked the best bits and a total disaster if they haven't
     
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  15. KenpoMaster805

    KenpoMaster805 Brown Belt

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    Dont hesitate to ask your instructor what kind of Martial they do you will know if its karate or taekwondo or kung fu

    In japanese Martial art they always use shomine rei and Osu they used japanese term like Kibadachi or mawashi geri thats Japanese

    In korean they used chariot kunyai jumbi

    But you will know the difference
     
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  16. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    Welcome to Martial Talk, Eiv0482.


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    For sale by owner. Call me.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2020
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  17. eiv0482

    eiv0482 White Belt

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    Oh yeah, that's a good idea. I'll do that. Thank you!
     
  18. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    If you want to know ask. But really does it matter? If you’re enjoying the class and you’re learning good stuff it doesn’t matter what label you give it. You can call it mickey mouses karate Kung fu maga Jitsu class with sensei goofy but as long as you like it it doesn’t matter
     
  19. Bruce7

    Bruce7 Brown Belt

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    In the 60's and 70's most TKD schools put karate sign out front, because people had hear of karate and few people had hear of TKD.
    in the 80's because of the Karate Kid most people call any MAs karate.
    True ,TKD is the #1 most commonly practiced martial art in the world, but most people don't know MA and call every MA karate.


    Now that I am training in karate, I think of tradional TKD as Korean Karate.
    I know those who study TKD will think this is blasphem, I would have,
    but when talking to normal people about MA it is so much easier.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2020
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  20. Michael Shayne

    Michael Shayne Orange Belt

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    Really, simply ask the instructor. Its not the name that you need, it is the courage to sit on your own mental throne, ask and you will know the name, but more importantly you will have conquered a fear.123
     
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