Break down the difference between ITF and WTF TKD for me. . .

SPX

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I'm going to look at a WTF/Kukkiwon TKD school in just a couple of hours. Formerly, I've been involved with the ATA and ITF/USTF, but never trained WTF.

I've seen WTF matches and know the very basics about the sparring rules, but that's about it. So who can give me some thoughts on what would be different training at a WTF school as opposed to what I've done before? Generally speaking, how are the classes different? How are the techniques different? How is the overall experience different?

Thanks.
 

Cyriacus

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You spend all your time jumping and spinning around doing fancy kicks in the WTF, and in the ITF you become a hardened warri... Fine, Ill stop :D

Seriously, it differs between two extremes. Sport > Martial Art. Both of them have this problem. Both are great when Theyre taught Properly.
Other than that, some Strikes are different. The ITF Round Kick is different, the ITF Punching is different, the ITF Reverse Turning Kick is different to the KKW WTF Spin Hook Kick, the ITF Sparring is Semicontact, the WTF Sparring is Full Contact, both are about as interesting to watch, thats it.
 

ETinCYQX

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I'm going to look at a WTF/Kukkiwon TKD school in just a couple of hours. Formerly, I've been involved with the ATA and ITF/USTF, but never trained WTF.

I've seen WTF matches and know the very basics about the sparring rules, but that's about it. So who can give me some thoughts on what would be different training at a WTF school as opposed to what I've done before? Generally speaking, how are the classes different? How are the techniques different? How is the overall experience different?

Thanks.

I will keep my opinions on ITF TKD to myself (I am quite biased personally for a lot of reasons. KKW TKD is right for me, maybe it is for you too)

The WTF is a sport governing body. They are the governing body recognized by the KKW and Kukkiwon Taekwondo is often referred to as WTF for this reason. I use the two interchangeably myself. Kukkiwon Taekwondo is very progressive and changes often. Not a bad thing in my opinion but it is a different culture. We use Taegeuk forms, which are easy to find online if you want a look at them.

WTF TKD looks somewhat like ATA, except at full speed and full contact. WTF sport matches are very fast and very much centered on athleticism, these days you will meet black belts who haven't done a form in years and have been a 1st dan for almost a decade because they train to compete. Punches are scored but they are harder to score with. Kicks to the head are worth an extra point, knockdowns are worth an extra point and jumping and spinning kicks are worth an extra point.

I run a Kukkiwon school and there's an independent ITF-style school in my town. They spar non-contact, which I think is ridiculous, and I have no idea what forms they use.
 
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SPX

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Thanks for the responses so far.

I went and checked out the place, and talked to the instructor for quite a bit. I liked what I heard and what I saw for the most part.

For one, the classes are long enough to where you feel like you really get your money's worth. This has been my gripe about a lot of other schools that have 45 minute or 50 minute classes. Classes at this place are an hour on paper but the two times I've been there both classes ran overtime past the hour point. It seems that the instructor has certain material that he wants to cover for the night, and he's going to do that even if that means staying late. I can see how that would annoy some people, but I personally like it.

Also, the instructor is VERY competition focused, which at this point is what I'm looking for. ET, you mentioned that there are Kukki black belts who haven't done forms in years. Well, talking to this guy I got the impression that if he could get away with not teaching the forms then he'd do it.

I JUST started a very traditional wado-ryu karate class, but I miss the kicks of TKD. I think this TKD school could offer a curriculum that is a good counter-point/compliment to the solid-base, upper body attacks of wado. Likewise, the modern environment of the TKD school could provide a good counter-point to the Zen-like atmosphere of the wado school.
 
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SPX

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I will keep my opinions on ITF TKD to myself (I am quite biased personally for a lot of reasons. KKW TKD is right for me . . .)

No, hold up. I genuinely want to hear your reasoning. Proceed, sir.

They spar non-contact, which I think is ridiculous.

I agree. That sounds pretty silly. The ITF school I was briefly involved with NEVER sparred. Even worse.
 

Cyriacus

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Hmm, how so?
The WTF Round Kick comes straight up, turns over, then Kicks. The ITF Round Kick goes straight up but to the side, then swings around.

The WTF Spin Hook Kick is very Circular. Like a Circular Kicking Arc. Hooking just before or at Contact. The ITF Reverse Turning Kick almost comes straight up, then sweeps across without Hooking until after Contact.

ITF Punching is hard to describe compared to WTF Punching, partly because Ive never seen them side by side. ITF Punching (And I dont mean the Formal Punches. Theyre pretty similar, save the Body Mechanics) can look like Boxing Punching, but... different. WTF Punching looks like Boxing Punching but with a lower guarding hand, and it tends to be used in Defense, as oppose to Offense. The difference isnt huge, but its there.
 

Cyriacus

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I agree. That sounds pretty silly. The ITF school I was briefly involved with NEVER sparred. Even worse.
And this is the direction that where I was Training started going. It became a not enough, if any In-School Sparring, Sport Themed Dojang. And thats a shame.
 
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SPX

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And this is the direction that where I was Training started going. It became a not enough, if any In-School Sparring, Sport Themed Dojang. And thats a shame.

That sounds strange, because I would think that a sport-focused school would spar a lot. A more traditional school might be more inclined to work patterns and do line drills.

Like I said about the school I went to check out tonight, the instructor is very sport focused and does a ton of sparring, with only enough pattern work that the students can properly move up in rank.
 

ralphmcpherson

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I will keep my opinions on ITF TKD to myself (I am quite biased personally for a lot of reasons. KKW TKD is right for me, maybe it is for you too)

The WTF is a sport governing body. They are the governing body recognized by the KKW and Kukkiwon Taekwondo is often referred to as WTF for this reason. I use the two interchangeably myself. Kukkiwon Taekwondo is very progressive and changes often. Not a bad thing in my opinion but it is a different culture. We use Taegeuk forms, which are easy to find online if you want a look at them.

WTF TKD looks somewhat like ATA, except at full speed and full contact. WTF sport matches are very fast and very much centered on athleticism, these days you will meet black belts who haven't done a form in years and have been a 1st dan for almost a decade because they train to compete. Punches are scored but they are harder to score with. Kicks to the head are worth an extra point, knockdowns are worth an extra point and jumping and spinning kicks are worth an extra point.

I run a Kukkiwon school and there's an independent ITF-style school in my town. They spar non-contact, which I think is ridiculous, and I have no idea what forms they use.
You say "Kukkiwon Taekwondo is very progressive and changes often", but mastecole said recently that "The curriculum that the Kukkiwon recommends has for the most part remained unchanged since the Kukkiwon first adopted it from the Korea Taekwondo Association, back in 1972, when the Kukkiwon first opened". Im not trying to nit pick, but Im curious as to how its changed, and in what ways its changed if the curriculum is basically unchanged.
 

Cyriacus

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That sounds strange, because I would think that a sport-focused school would spar a lot. A more traditional school might be more inclined to work patterns and do line drills.

Like I said about the school I went to check out tonight, the instructor is very sport focused and does a ton of sparring, with only enough pattern work that the students can properly move up in rank.

Thats why I stopped going there. It made zero sense.
Traditional Schools can come in many forms as well. Most Traditional Schools I know are more about Partner and Pad Drills.

Sounds like a weird motion. . . Yes, just like a karate round kick. . .
It isnt too weird. It makes sense when You see it.
And yeah, the ITF Round Kick is kinda like a Mawashi Geri, and yet somehow different. I genuinely have no idea how so, Id have to see them directly next to each other.
 

Earl Weiss

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I run a Kukkiwon school and there's an independent ITF-style school in my town. They spar non-contact, which I think is ridiculous, and I have no idea what forms they use.

Saying something is "ITF Style" means little. If they spar "Non - Contact" then the sparring is not ITF Style.
 

Earl Weiss

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I'm going to look at a WTF/Kukkiwon TKD school in just a couple of hours. Formerly, I've been involved with the ATA and ITF/USTF, but never trained WTF.

I've seen WTF matches and know the very basics about the sparring rules, but that's about it. So who can give me some thoughts on what would be different training at a WTF school as opposed to what I've done before? Generally speaking, how are the classes different? How are the techniques different? How is the overall experience different?

Thanks.

"It is like a finger pointing to the moon, focus on the Finger and you will miss all that heavenly Glory" Bruce Lee using a Zen saying.

Don't focus on the 3 initials of the group. Also found a guy recently claiming to be ITF and he was so far removed it was fraudulent.

Within any group training will vary widely from school to school . Observe several classes at each school (You never know when they may happen to concentrate on something due to an upcoming test or competition and you want get a true flavor by watching one class)
Choose the school by what / how tey teach and what / how you want to learn as compared to other schools. You may choose the crummy one, but in free society that is your right.
 

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too many smart *** cracks comming to my mind......

seriously tho, lots of ways this could be broken down, but earl is right, GO SEE and then you will know
 

ETinCYQX

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Thanks for the responses so far.

I went and checked out the place, and talked to the instructor for quite a bit. I liked what I heard and what I saw for the most part.

For one, the classes are long enough to where you feel like you really get your money's worth. This has been my gripe about a lot of other schools that have 45 minute or 50 minute classes. Classes at this place are an hour on paper but the two times I've been there both classes ran overtime past the hour point. It seems that the instructor has certain material that he wants to cover for the night, and he's going to do that even if that means staying late. I can see how that would annoy some people, but I personally like it.

Also, the instructor is VERY competition focused, which at this point is what I'm looking for. ET, you mentioned that there are Kukki black belts who haven't done forms in years. Well, talking to this guy I got the impression that if he could get away with not teaching the forms then he'd do it.

I JUST started a very traditional wado-ryu karate class, but I miss the kicks of TKD. I think this TKD school could offer a curriculum that is a good counter-point/compliment to the solid-base, upper body attacks of wado. Likewise, the modern environment of the TKD school could provide a good counter-point to the Zen-like atmosphere of the wado school.

I remember reading somewhere that Steven and Mark Lopez don't know any of their poomsae anymore. Wouldn't surprise me. I know one guy who's heavy into competition and nothing else who has never learned a KKW poomsae. He had his black belt when we as a school integrated into the KKW and never learned a form because he didn't want to grade past 1st Dan. At the athletic level TKD guys train like boxers, kickboxers, whatever and not martial artists, and that's very prevalent in WTF Taekwondo.

Saying something is "ITF Style" means little. If they spar "Non - Contact" then the sparring is not ITF Style.

The instructor got his black belt from either the ITF or the ICTF, not 100% sure, and he told me that's the style he teaches but he is not associated and his students tell me they spar non contact. I'd bet insurance for contact sparring would be very expensive for an unassociated school.

too many smart *** cracks comming to my mind......

seriously tho, lots of ways this could be broken down, but earl is right, GO SEE and then you will know

Really, this is it. Go see and try both schools.
 

ETinCYQX

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No, hold up. I genuinely want to hear your reasoning. Proceed, sir.

I agree. That sounds pretty silly. The ITF school I was briefly involved with NEVER sparred. Even worse.

Nothing deep. I just did not enjoy my ITF experience especially the sparring. Part of it was a local thing but I found ITF politics worse even than the infamous WTF politics as well.

Sounds like a weird motion. . . Yes, just like a karate round kick. . .

It's not too weird but it is somewhat difficult to master. The idea is to keep it as linear as possible, near as I can tell. Our spinning hook kick is the same way, pivot 180 degrees then the leg comes up straight and "hooks" across. To a brand new white belt adult it generally takes me three classes to teach it well. I teach the ITF one as well mainly because the ITF one is easier to throw in street clothes.
 
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SPX

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seriously tho, lots of ways this could be broken down, but earl is right, GO SEE and then you will know

I actually had already seen one class (or at least part of one) and went and saw another last night. But those are just snapshots of the total reality.

I was more asking for general truths about the two styles, as well as individual experiences based on years of training under one style or the other.


Really, this is it. Go see and try both schools.

I guess if it wasn't clear, I was already involved with an ITF school in the past. Just wondering, generally speaking, what differences I might be able to expect from a WTF school.
 
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SPX

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Our spinning hook kick is the same way, pivot 180 degrees then the leg comes up straight and "hooks" across. To a brand new white belt adult it generally takes me three classes to teach it well. I teach the ITF one as well mainly because the ITF one is easier to throw in street clothes.

I saw this on a YouTube video last night. The WTF-style kick looked quite odd, in my opinion.
 
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