Black Belts and Poor Kicks

SPX

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Yeah, those are a lot harder. Scissor kicks, too! My personal goal is to be able to do a decent 540 kick by my 2nd dan test (though GM doesn't require it), but that's less than 2 months away, so I dunno if that's gonna happen.

I have a few kicks that have little to no martial value that I'd like to learn to do.

I actually would like to be on a demo team, like the KTigers. Maybe not quite at that high of a level, but maybe a couple of notches below that.
 

Jaeimseu

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I have a few kicks that have little to no martial value that I'd like to learn to do.

I actually would like to be on a demo team, like the KTigers. Maybe not quite at that high of a level, but maybe a couple of notches below that.

I teach and train with a former (maybe last year) member of the Kukkiwon demo team. He can do stuff that I didn't know was possible. The contrast between what we normally think is "really good" and "world class" is striking. If everyone was measured against his skill and technique, there wouldn't be many black belts.
 
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Gwai Lo Dan

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I guess I don't understand the point of this type of kick, at least from a realistic perspective. Their dancing around each other and they may as well have their hands in their pockets. I can't see it working against an aggressive attacker not willing to stand there with his hands down while you set it up. Yeah, I know...this is sport TKD and not meant to be realistic. I just can't help but see it as a waste of time or worse, sport schools teaching this as a viable form of defense.

I don't think schools TEACH this style as self defence, but when students see "self defence" on the sign ("or self defense" in the U.S. haha) they may equate throwing any kick as self defence. My concern is students doing something like an advancing front leg roudhouse kick, with hands down, ending up 2 feet away from the opponent. Sometimes during drills, I put my fist out very slowly just to get kids thinking about the huge opportunity they are giving someone to simply punch them in the face.
 

chrispillertkd

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I actually would love to see how Floyd would handle kicks in a kickboxing match and especially takedowns in an MMA match. If he was fighting someone with good takedowns, I think it would be wrapped up pretty quickly.

Quite possibly, unless he's adept at controlling the distance and working angles. If he's able to sidestep when someone goes in for a double leg, for instance, I'd hate to be the one on the receiving end of his punches to the side of the head. That would be brutal.

Like everything else, it's all a matter of how good you are at what you do and at generalizing your skills to new situations on the fly.

Pax,

Chris
 
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Gwai Lo Dan

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So do you know of any schools that REQUIRE tornado kicks (and such) for promotion? I ask because I'd certainly want to avoid such a school. Requiring non-useful techniques would indicate to me that the school has lost touch with the realities of self defense, in preference to gymnastics.

You posted a video of board breaking a few pages earlier. It was impressive. Nonetheless, isn't it similar to the fanciest of kicks - looks good, but not a technique you would actually use?

Breaking with a downward motion is easiest given gravity on the boards (no one needs to hold them) and on the user. Plus people use spacers to show more breaking. Why not break 3 with no spacers than 8 with spacers? It's for "show" right?

You will never find yourself in a "real" situation with 10 seconds to focus, not move, then strike straight DOWN (not horizontally outwards) on a stationary object. So would you agree that board breaking is not much different than doing "gymnastic" kicks for testing? :) To me, one is a demonstration of power, while the other is demonstration of speed, coordination and agility, but both are in the same camp of being for "show".
 

Dirty Dog

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You posted a video of board breaking a few pages earlier. It was impressive. Nonetheless, isn't it similar to the fanciest of kicks - looks good, but not a technique you would actually use?

Breaking with a downward motion is easiest given gravity on the boards (no one needs to hold them) and on the user. Plus people use spacers to show more breaking. Why not break 3 with no spacers than 8 with spacers? It's for "show" right?

You will never find yourself in a "real" situation with 10 seconds to focus, not move, then strike straight DOWN (not horizontally outwards) on a stationary object. So would you agree that board breaking is not much different than doing "gymnastic" kicks for testing? :) To me, one is a demonstration of power, while the other is demonstration of speed, coordination and agility, but both are in the same camp of being for "show".

Actually, I prefer to do my breaks horizontally, without any long leadup, for the reasons you've mentioned. But that wasn't possible at the time. The other breaks for that test (knee, elbow, side kick and head butt) were all done horizontally, without leadup.
 
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Gwai Lo Dan

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The other breaks for that test (knee, elbow, side kick and head butt) were all done horizontally, without leadup.

I said you were hard-core when you did "only" 5 slabs because you had hurt your hand. Now you write that you do head-butt breaks too? Damn, that really is hard-core!
 

Dirty Dog

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I said you were hard-core when you did "only" 5 slabs because you had hurt your hand. Now you write that you do head-butt breaks too? Damn, that really is hard-core!

Headbutts are a useful close-in technique. So I practice them. And some would say I'm already brain damaged, so there's no risk there...

But you're not going to see me doing kicks with more than about a half turn, as a rule.
 

Kong Soo Do

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In large part, I think agree with you.

It would be difficult to do a tornado kick on someone who's bull-rushing you.

I don't totally agree with the hands low thing, though. People get kicked in the face in kickboxing and MMA all the time, even when holding a high guard. You just have to get around that.

Good point. Overall I'd still have the hands up though.

That's a good point. Considering my rather diminutive size (about 5'6", 160 lbs), really, I would rather carry a gun than rely on my hand-to-hand skills in a true, life-or-death encounter anyway.

I'm all for law-abiding citizens carrying a firearm. :)
 

Gorilla

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I will the self defense talk to the experts...Having said that the YouTube vids posted are not examples of good WTF fighters...they are examples of what not to do...they are not examples of good WTF TKD...We are going to a tournament today as the beginning of our prep for US Open...we will get some rounds in and practice new strategy but we will no take advantage of the lesser skilled...now if a high level fighter shows up strategy changes!
 

SPX

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I teach and train with a former (maybe last year) member of the Kukkiwon demo team. He can do stuff that I didn't know was possible. The contrast between what we normally think is "really good" and "world class" is striking. If everyone was measured against his skill and technique, there wouldn't be many black belts.

That's cool. I certainly admire anyone who can do amazing physical things. My favorite sport in the summer Olympics is actually gymnastics, not anything martial arts related.
 

SPX

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Quite possibly, unless he's adept at controlling the distance and working angles. If he's able to sidestep when someone goes in for a double leg, for instance, I'd hate to be the one on the receiving end of his punches to the side of the head. That would be brutal.

Yeah, if you got hit it would suck. But I really don't don't think he could step into the cage against Ben Henderson and just use his natural talent to fend off takedowns. He'd need a few years of training.

Did you see what happened when Randy Couture fought James Toney? I wouldn't expect much different if Mayweather fought any high-level MMA grappler.

Now that's not a knock on boxing. It's a great tool. But it's just one piece of the puzzle and history has shown us what happens when skilled strikers with no understanding of grappling fight good grapplers.
 

SPX

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I'm all for law-abiding citizens carrying a firearm. :)

I've been meaning to get my concealed carry permit for a while now. I'll do it once I have a little extra money.

Got my eye on the little Ruger LCP.
 

Metal

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I see both regularly. High Dan holders who can do amazing kicks and high Dan holders who can't perform amazing kicks (anymore). Most of the first ones are younger while the latter are mostly older people. And that's the way it is. ;-)

People age and then certain techniques aren't possible anymore. Yet it's even more amazing when people stick to their martial art and adapt it to their physical limitations. Those people have my biggest respect and it's an honor to train with those people and learn from them.

The main coach at my club is a 67 year old 7th Dan and while he doesn't demonstrate any kicking techniques anymore he's one of the best coaches I ever trained with. Some of the people at the club are 70 and older and still attend training. That's the best motivation you can have, IMO.

Of course we also have training sessions for kids and sessions which are focused on younger adults. Yet the training with those older people is something special.

And it's also amazing to see people coming back to Taekwondo after taking a break for several years or people in their 40s starting Taekwondo. It's too bad that this isn't a regular thing in the world of TKD.

Of course, whenever I see a young blackbelt who has terrible technique I wonder how he made it to black belt. ^^
But then I remember that I shouldn't judge others after only seeing a glimpse of their skills or experience.
x
 

chrispillertkd

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You know, my own instructor is a VII dan still an amazing kicker. He had been having some pretty bad knee problems for the past few years and wasn't able to kick as fast or as high as he could and would sometimes have pain in his knees after a workout. Last year he was reading through the list of possible side effects for a medication he was taking and saw on the list "possibility of inflamation of the knee joints" (or words to that effect). Anyway, he then called his doctor and informed him he wasn't going to take that medication anymore and in a few weeks the pain in his knees were gone. Last time I spoke with him on the phone he told me he was back doing spiral kicks (a flying kick where you do a flying side piercing kick and then turn in the air and do a flying back kick before landing) with no problems. He's 64.

My point is, people can stay in shape and do the more difficult techniques as they age through regular practice or, like my instructor, get the ability back if they deal with any physical problem that causes a loss of ability in the first place. Train smarter (and maybe a little harder) and on a regular basis. Gen. Choi was kicking to his own head level in his 80's.

Pax,

Chris
 

ETinCYQX

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Touching on the original post where KKW wasn't specified, it would depend on the definition you're using for 'poor' kicks. Would it mean sloppy, executed improperly, not high enough etc. It also would depend upon the goal of the school i.e. sport or self-defense.

Using your edited example of KKW TKD, then we can narrow it down. KKW TKD is a sport. No one take offense please, but it is a sport and not to be considered as realistic self-defense. Nothing wrong with it being a sport, just clarifying what side of the arts it is on. Now with this in mind, the kicks are designed to be refined motor skilled, flashy and high (for demonstration) and medium to high for sparring. Therefore if this is the goal of the school then it would be hard to justify someone not meeting those standards gaining black belt or more specifically master status i.e. 4th Dan and up. If their kicks are poor and we're talking specifically about KKW TKD...what other 'main' standards are they being tested on?

No it is not, KKW TKD is a complete martial art. Always has been.

Yonsup Kyorugi as sanctioned by the WTF is a sport.
 

ETinCYQX

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My left leg rear kick suffered for a year while I was training, fighting and coaching on a torn right MCL, I couldn't pivot well on it. Right rear stayed good. Crisp, proper kicks IMO are important for a TKD black belt. They don't have to be high or spinning or jumping or anything but they need to be nice.
 

Kong Soo Do

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Poomsae/Kata, several types of sparring, bunkai. How else?

Perhaps we're not on the same page as I have a different definition. Kata is an excellent additon to an art, particularly if proper bunkai is taught, however, many arts don't use this concept of teaching. I would not define their training as lacking because of it. Sparring can also be a fine addition, but only within the context that it is taught i.e. sport sparring is a poor choice for self-defense and vice-versa.

When I think of complete, I'm thinking within the context of the arts purpose. Perhaps from a sport or hobbyest (which is fine) perspective, KKW TKD can be considered complete. I view martial arts more from a self defense perspective so I always think of the art being viable at different combat ranges, ground defense, different options other than striking i.e. locking/throwing/pressing etc, weapons, pre-fight tactics, different clothing, different settings and environmental stimuli etc.

As I've mentioned in the past, perhaps that is one of TKD's strong suits in that it has different aspects for different goals. And perhaps that can also be considered part of being complete. Hmmm..'part' of being 'complete' sounds odd :)
 
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