discouraged by the TKD community

InfiniteLoop

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I suppose that depends on what you define as "flashy." The time frame that Tang Soo Do developed, Savate-influenced techniques had been incorporated into Shotokan by Funakoshi's son. Did the Koreans emphasize them more than the Japanese styles? I can't speak to that. Here's some early Moo Duk Kwan footage.


Here's a connection historically to what I'm talking about with Savate and Karate/TSD.


If you are referring to TSD's historical emphasis on these types of kicks as being 'low on the totem pole among budo systems," I'm not sure I fully agree, but everyone has their own opinions. TSD/TKD has such a fragmented and fractured existence, I find it difficult to have a broad sweeping generalization about the art. I'm sure many Karate-ka feel the same about Japanese or Okina
I f
I suppose that depends on what you define as "flashy." The time frame that Tang Soo Do developed, Savate-influenced techniques had been incorporated into Shotokan by Funakoshi's son. Did the Koreans emphasize them more than the Japanese styles? I can't speak to that. Here's some early Moo Duk Kwan footage.


Here's a connection historically to what I'm talking about with Savate and Karate/TSD.


If you are referring to TSD's historical emphasis on these types of kicks as being 'low on the totem pole among budo systems," I'm not sure I fully agree, but everyone has their own opinions. TSD/TKD has such a fragmented and fractured existence, I find it difficult to have a broad sweeping generalization about the art. I'm sure many Karate-ka feel the same about Japanese or Okinawan Karate.

Tang Soo Do and TaeKwonDo emphasizes high kicks more than Karate, as well as spinning head kicks. You can easily find a Karate school with no spin kicks trained but not TKD. Head kicks have their place in Karate but not to the degree and extent of TKD
 

SahBumNimRush

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Not sure what you were intending to communicate here.

Tang Soo Do and TaeKwonDo emphasizes high kicks more than Karate, as well as spinning head kicks. You can easily find a Karate school with no spin kicks trained but not TKD. Head kicks have their place in Karate but not to the degree and extent of TKD

I don't think you'd find anyone that would disagree with this statement. But as I showed above, it's due to a competitive focus that influenced the region in the first half of the 20th century. It would make sense that an established system like Karate, would have some circles that it was more and less emphasized.

TSD/TKD is a system that, to varying degrees depending on the circle, focuses both on athletic competition as well as traditional martial arts training. I think breaking is another example of this. Not every karate school focuses heavy on breaking.

This all being said, I'm not sure the degree of "Budo" element in TKD/TSD as compared to other arts is what was in question in the OP, as much as it was the sliding scale of focus being placed on flash and flare in today's major TKD organizations, compared to TKD/TSD organizations of the past. Was there always an element of flash and flare, yes. To this extent? Not at all.
 

InfiniteLoop

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Not sure what you were intending to communicate here.



I don't think you'd find anyone that would disagree with this statement. But as I showed above, it's due to a competitive focus that influenced the region in the first half of the 20th century. It would make sense that an established system like Karate, would have some circles that it was more and less emphasized.

TSD/TKD is a system that, to varying degrees depending on the circle, focuses both on athletic competition as well as traditional martial arts training. I think breaking is another example of this. Not every karate school focuses heavy on breaking.

This all being said, I'm not sure the degree of "Budo" element in TKD/TSD as compared to other arts is what was in question in the OP, as much as it was the sliding scale of focus being placed on flash and flare in today's major TKD organizations, compared to TKD/TSD organizations of the past. Was there always an element of flash and flare, yes. To this extent? Not at all.

The flashyness has gotten more extreme in some cases (not neccesarily in sparring which in some ways became less flashy) but it was already unrealistic, so it doesn't matter from a combat application standpoint.

Nobody can seriously contend that sparring with frequent aerial kicks, no clinch, no sweeps, no low kicks, was ever combat centric.

Formal TKD as trained was always more centered on looks and difficulty than realism.
 

dvcochran

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Looks like you were going south, while I was going north. Pittsburgh, Akron, Canton, Cleveland, Dayton, DC, New York. I did compete in Kentucky a couple of times though. Never made it as far south as Alabama and Georgia in competition, except for Jr. Olympics.
I have had a ton of kids in AAU over the years. We did go as far a NY a few times and Pittsburgh several times. Most of the bigger AAU tourneys are in Indianapolis and Ohio though. Good times.
 

SahBumNimRush

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The flashyness has gotten more extreme in some cases (not neccesarily in sparring which in some ways became less flashy) but it was already unrealistic, so it doesn't matter from a combat application standpoint.
I believe this is an over-simplified perspective. My day to day curriculum typically consists of floor exercises, forms (the old TSD forms, aka karate katas, and includes application practice), one step sparring, some accessory drills, and free sparring. We practice applications of our forms, which don't have the aerial or flashy kicks. We practice sparring under various situations (grappling, clinch, sweeps, throws, and obviously hand and foot striking).

I have a visiting student from a KKW school. Her prior curriculum consisted of calisthenics, a tiny bit of poomse training, and lots and lots of Olympic style sparring.

By your bolded statement, are you suggesting that the difference in these two curriculums is meaningless in terms of combat expertise/application?

Nobody can seriously contend that sparring with frequent aerial kicks, no clinch, no sweeps, no low kicks, was ever combat centric.
I don't think anyone here made that claim. Sparring, by intention, is a mutually agreed upon athletic/skill contest, not combat.
Formal TKD as trained was always more centered on looks and difficulty than realism.

That has not been my experience.
 

InfiniteLoop

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I believe this is an over-simplified perspective. My day to day curriculum typically consists of floor exercises, forms (the old TSD forms, aka karate katas, and includes application practice), one step sparring, some accessory drills, and free sparring. We practice applications of our forms, which don't have the aerial or flashy kicks. We practice sparring under various situations (grappling, clinch, sweeps, throws, and obviously hand and foot striking).

I have a visiting student from a KKW school. Her prior curriculum consisted of calisthenics, a tiny bit of poomse training, and lots and lots of Olympic style sparring.

By your bolded statement, are you suggesting that the difference in these two curriculums is meaningless in terms of combat expertise/application?


I don't think anyone here made that claim. Sparring, by intention, is a mutually agreed upon athletic/skill contest, not combat.


That has not been my experience.

This is how everybody in my TKD school sparred and its embarrassing. This is a national champion with no concept of a guard. All he does is spin around and waste energy

 

SahBumNimRush

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This is how everybody in my TKD school sparred and its embarrassing. This is a national champion with no concept of a guard. All he does is spin around and waste energy


Again, I'm not sure how this is relevant to the OP. I wouldn't say that either of the three folks sparring in the video had sparring skills or strategies that I would classify as embarrassing.

Did the two ITF stylists focus mainly on long range strategies? Yes. This is the range that the "flashy" kicks shine.

Have I engaged in matches similar to this? Yes. I also don't think that this rule set is an effective way to train combative strategies. It's a contest, it's a skill drill, even a game on some level. I believe there are more effective ways to train combative strategies and self-defense strategies. Live drills both with a compliant partner and a resistant partner. Sparring under varying rules (i.e. limb control, unbalancing, locks, clinch, throws, etc.). Any competitive sparring sets the rules to both minimize risk and maximize favored techniques, whether it be MMA, various traditional MAs, boxing, etc. None of which I would consider an effective way to train for real combat/self-defense.

It is my understanding that the OP was commenting on the cult-like mentality he has seen in some prominent organizations and the constant "pay to stay current with our ever changing technical standards" business model of the KKW. I'm not sure these are problems that are unique to TKD/TSD. Regardless they are both unpalatable traits that would make me take pause before pursuing membership. It is a bit of a mute point for me personally, as I am neither an ITF stylist or modern TKD stylist.

Just my .02
 

InfiniteLoop

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Again, I'm not sure how this is relevant to the OP. I wouldn't say that either of the three folks sparring in the video had sparring skills or strategies that I would classify as embarrassing.

Did the two ITF stylists focus mainly on long range strategies? Yes. This is the range that the "flashy" kicks shine.

Have I engaged in matches similar to this? Yes. I also don't think that this rule set is an effective way to train combative strategies. It's a contest, it's a skill drill, even a game on some level. I believe there are more effective ways to train combative strategies and self-defense strategies. Live drills both with a compliant partner and a resistant partner. Sparring under varying rules (i.e. limb control, unbalancing, locks, clinch, throws, etc.). Any competitive sparring sets the rules to both minimize risk and maximize favored techniques, whether it be MMA, various traditional MAs, boxing, etc. None of which I would consider an effective way to train for real combat/self-defense.

It is my understanding that the OP was commenting on the cult-like mentality he has seen in some prominent organizations and the constant "pay to stay current with our ever changing technical standards" business model of the KKW. I'm not sure these are problems that are unique to TKD/TSD. Regardless they are both unpalatable traits that would make me take pause before pursuing membership. It is a bit of a mute point for me personally, as I am neither an ITF stylist or modern TKD stylist.

Just my .02

Then why does the OP mention about going back to TaeKwonDos supposed combative origin?
 

Jeff Webb

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That is entirely possible. By Battle of Cincinnati, are you referring to GM AHN's tournament? We supported the Ahn Classic for most of my competitive days. Then there was the Battle of Columbus (GM JP Choi) and Battle of Indianapolis (GM YP Choi). But yeah, I was at all three pretty consistently in the mid 80's through the 90's.
Hi Guys,
I also attended a few of the "Battle of Cincinnati"s. I came down from Dayton from Y.C. Kim's school at the time. I started with Kim in the late 70s, but by the mid-80s quickly became disenchanted with the tournament scene. Long long days as you will remember with a few minutes of kata and then fighting. I went on to a Kenpo School for the next 15 years (Taningco Academy of Martial Arts, TAMA) where we did no point sparring, only continuous fighting which I seemed to graviate more towards. We had a really good student at Kim's while I was there, Lung Pham (not even sure I'm spelling his first name right anymore) but he was our school champion, going to the PanAm games back then and Jr Olympics. Today I'm back teaching Tang Soo Do (With a Kenpo Flair) to 70 students just north of Dayton. However 40 years of kicking and punching (at least that's what I'm blaming it on) forced me to get my left hip replaced a few weeks ago. Recovery going great. SahBumNimRush we also do all the exact forms you started in a previous entry. Just wanted to say "Hi" when I saw you all talking about Cincinnati.
 

SahBumNimRush

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Hi Guys,
I also attended a few of the "Battle of Cincinnati"s. I came down from Dayton from Y.C. Kim's school at the time. I started with Kim in the late 70s, but by the mid-80s quickly became disenchanted with the tournament scene. Long long days as you will remember with a few minutes of kata and then fighting. I went on to a Kenpo School for the next 15 years (Taningco Academy of Martial Arts, TAMA) where we did no point sparring, only continuous fighting which I seemed to graviate more towards. We had a really good student at Kim's while I was there, Lung Pham (not even sure I'm spelling his first name right anymore) but he was our school champion, going to the PanAm games back then and Jr Olympics. Today I'm back teaching Tang Soo Do (With a Kenpo Flair) to 70 students just north of Dayton. However 40 years of kicking and punching (at least that's what I'm blaming it on) forced me to get my left hip replaced a few weeks ago. Recovery going great. SahBumNimRush we also do all the exact forms you started in a previous entry. Just wanted to say "Hi" when I saw you all talking about Cincinnati.
Awesome! I remember travelling to Dayton for tournaments when I was a kid. Nice to meet another martial artist from the region.
 

InfiniteLoop

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This may be your experience, but that doesnt mean it is everybodys experience. All schools are/were not the same.

Are you just guessing or do you have actual experience in TaeKwonDo? And no it is not just my experience and I explain why and how it is tied to Korean culture.
 

Flying Crane

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Are you just guessing or do you have actual experience in TaeKwonDo? And no it is not just my experience and I explain why and how it is tied to Korean culture.
No direct experience with TKD, no. But Ive read plenty of discussions here in the forum over the last 15 years or so where people have talked about what their TKD training was like. Ive also got a close friend who came from a TKD background from the 1970s-1980s an he has described to me what training was like. Ive also got my own instructors, some of whom came from TKD backgrounds, who have also described to me what it was like.

I understand you had a specific experience in training TKD and Im not trying to challenge that. It was real. But in a widespread system like TKD, that experience will vary widely. Many schools never went down the Olympic road at all and kept training closer to the karate roots. Its still TKD.
 

InfiniteLoop

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No direct experience with TKD, no. But Ive read plenty of discussions here in the forum over the last 15 years or so where people have talked about what their TKD training was like. Ive also got a close friend who came from a TKD background from the 1970s-1980s an he has described to me what training was like. Ive also got my own instructors, some of whom came from TKD backgrounds, who have also described to me what it was like.

I understand you had a specific experience in training TKD and Im not trying to challenge that. It was real. But in a widespread system like TKD, that experience will vary widely. Many schools never went down the Olympic road at all and kept training closer to the karate roots. Its still TKD.

I linked to a competitor in the traditional branch. I trained in a traditional branch. It is still wildly unrealistic sparring and 100% of the students have no concept of how vulnerable they are to getting punched in the face.

The freakin freeze shot is the Karateka
Punching a TKD champion with his hands completely down in a punching range. It's embarrassing how low their comprehension is for punching.

I understood it from the get go, for whatever reason... Maybe it's an IQ thing.. Who knows.
 

InfiniteLoop

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No direct experience with TKD, no. But Ive read plenty of discussions here in the forum over the last 15 years or so where people have talked about what their TKD training was like. Ive also got a close friend who came from a TKD background from the 1970s-1980s an he has described to me what training was like. Ive also got my own instructors, some of whom came from TKD backgrounds, who have also described to me what it was like.

I understand you had a specific experience in training TKD and Im not trying to challenge that. It was real. But in a widespread system like TKD, that experience will vary widely. Many schools never went down the Olympic road at all and kept training closer to the karate roots.
No direct experience with TKD, no. But Ive read plenty of discussions here in
Like I wrote before; nobody is forcing you to do spins, drop you guard, etc you can stick to the more grounded techniques and use Karate-is punches or boxing for that matter. It's all part of TaeKwonDo...

However, since this was a discussion on how the training actually is and what the students are encouraged to do, what you end up with is a few effective techniques spoiled by flashy sparring. Meaning, the realistic combat techniques aren't taught to be applied in a realistic manner.

Anyway, that's my philosophical beef with TKD when it comes to application.

The content itself is not the problem. You can use a spins effectively in fights, but to revolve around them is however highly dubious.
 

Flying Crane

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I linked to a competitor in the traditional branch. I trained in a traditional branch. It is still wildly unrealistic sparring and 100% of the students have no concept of how vulnerable they are to getting punched in the face.

The freakin freeze shot is the Karateka
Punching a TKD champion with his hands completely down in a punching range. It's embarrassing how low their comprehension is for punching.

I understood it from the get go, for whatever reason... Maybe it's an IQ thing.. Who knows.
Im not going to dispute your experiences. I only point out that your experiences are not everyones experiences. You dont have to like TKD. Nobody says you do. That is your choice. But others have different experiences and feel otherwise about it.
 

drop bear

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The flashyness has gotten more extreme in some cases (not neccesarily in sparring which in some ways became less flashy) but it was already unrealistic, so it doesn't matter from a combat application standpoint.

Nobody can seriously contend that sparring with frequent aerial kicks, no clinch, no sweeps, no low kicks, was ever combat centric.

Formal TKD as trained was always more centered on looks and difficulty than realism.

Yes and no.

As an overall development method it isn't as hard and fast as that. There are guys who land quality flash kicks at an elite level. And were able to do so due by being restricted to having to do them in competition.

You run in to issues when you train garbage off guys who don't understand how to fight.

But also learning flash kicking is a lot harder than learning high percentage basics. Even just in terms of energy expenditure.

But there is less likelihood that the guy you are fighting has spent as much time defending flash kicks as well.

So yeah. It is a bit complicated.
 

isshinryuronin

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This is how everybody in my TKD school sparred and its embarrassing. This is a national champion with no concept of a guard. All he does is spin around and waste energy

Interesting video. The Japanese (Shotokan) guy posts his travels on you tube. He was very humble in his commentary. Yet, he clearly showed superiority, IMO:

1. timing 2. using angles 3. using 1 & 2 he got in very clean counter punches 4. he gave the TKD guy a break by letting him control the action

As for the spinning kicks, especially to the head, TDK competition often scores such moves higher point value than a regular kick or punch, so this is what they practice. I noticed at very close range neither one of them did much. No sweeps, take downs or grabbing & striking. Did the rules they used forbid all this good stuff? Practicing to competitive rules widens the gap between sport and real fighting.
 

_Simon_

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Nobody can seriously contend that sparring with frequent aerial kicks, no clinch, no sweeps, no low kicks, was ever combat centric.
In Kyokushin we had some aerial kicks, no clinch, no sweeps, we did have low kicks, and sparring with a great majority of Kyokushin practitioners you'll see pretty quickly just how very capable they are in fighting.

Sometimes, or mostly really, it's not so much just specific superficial techniques a style does that determines whether it is "combat centric". Bit more to it than that. Mindset, approach, the particular practice and systemic methods as a cohesive whole tend to be more reflective as to the result. Not whether one will train a high flashy-looking kick.
 

InfiniteLoop

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In Kyokushin we had some aerial kicks, no clinch, no sweeps, we did have low kicks, and sparring with a great majority of Kyokushin practitioners you'll see pretty quickly just how very capable they are in fighting.

Sometimes, or mostly really, it's not so much just specific superficial techniques a style does that determines whether it is "combat centric". Bit more to it than that. Mindset, approach, the particular practice and systemic methods as a cohesive whole tend to be more reflective as to the result. Not whether one will train a high flashy-looking kick.

And Kyokushin is useless without cross training
 

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