Good to practice or bad to practice?

NinjaChristian

Green Belt
Joined
Feb 26, 2016
Messages
101
Reaction score
21
An instructor that's been visiting classes gave me some advice on my poomse, Won-hyo, and I am not sure if I want to follow it or not. Normally when I do the sidekicks in won-hyo, I do my best to snap them back as quickly as possible, because that is what I would do in a fight to prevent my leg from being grabbed. But the visiting instructor recommended that I hold it out for a split second so that when in competition the judges can see how much control I have, where when I snap it back they can't tell easily. What I am afraid of, however, is that if I practice my forms like this then I will do it when I am fighting. A belt or two ago I used to hold my leg out for a split second when sparring, and often my opponents would take advantage of that. I had to really work at it to get to the point where I could snap my kick back quickly, and I don't want to do anything that could adversely effect that.
what is your opinion?
 

JowGaWolf

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
13,814
Reaction score
5,697
because that is what I would do in a fight to prevent my leg from being grabbed. But the visiting instructor recommended that I hold it out for a split second so that when in competition the judges can see how much control I have, where when I snap it back they can't tell easily.
This is a good example for the purpose of training. Some train for forms competition and others train for actually fighting.

For me personally I would always train to fight being that messing up in a forms competition doesn't have the same penalty for messing up in a real fight. It's also easier to make a side note of "hold your leg out a little longer" whenever you are in competition, than it is to make a side note of "when I'm in a fight I need to snap my leg back." In a fight things need to flow without thought.

In competition you can just think of it as show boating and you'll be fine. Other's may have a different opinion, for me I train to fight for self defense purposes as my main focus so forms competition is far down the line of things I need to be good at.
 

Dirty Dog

MT Senior Moderator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
23,211
Reaction score
8,873
Location
Pueblo West, CO
You can do both...
When I'm practicing forms, I do things slower, more deliberately, and with pauses. Not only does it help with competition (which I don't care about particularly) but it also helps with teaching (which I do care about). It's sort of pointless for me to demonstrate things quickly and leave the student going "wait... what???"
One of the truisms of judging, be it competition or promotional exams, is that speed hides slop.
When I'm working techniques, either in the air or on the bag, I do them faster, and make sure I do NOT leave anything hanging.
 
OP
NinjaChristian

NinjaChristian

Green Belt
Joined
Feb 26, 2016
Messages
101
Reaction score
21
You can do both...
When I'm practicing forms, I do things slower, more deliberately, and with pauses. Not only does it help with competition (which I don't care about particularly) but it also helps with teaching (which I do care about). It's sort of pointless for me to demonstrate things quickly and leave the student going "wait... what???"
One of the truisms of judging, be it competition or promotional exams, is that speed hides slop.
When I'm working techniques, either in the air or on the bag, I do them faster, and make sure I do NOT leave anything hanging.
When I do a form, generally I have slight pauses between each technique. I believe that the pause allows you to settle into your stance and reinforces proper balance, and when you are practicing on your own the brief pause makes it easier to detect mistakes that you would otherwise miss. I don't do any of the techniques slower, though; I try to do each technique with speed and power such that it is obvious if anyone had been receiving the technique they would be seriously injured. My instructor hasn't ever mentioned anything about holding my kicks out, last time he just gave me a tip on how to improve my balance (practice on a slope) and told me my form looks good. I think for the most part I have everything down, since I've worked really hard and asked lots of questions to get my form as good as possible. I think now I just have to work on polishing everything up(an endless process). Something I thought of while writing this is that instead of holding my leg out, which enforces a bad habit, I could go into bending ready stance, pause, snap the kick out and in (returning to bending ready stance), pause, and then continue. This would reinforce balance along with other things, and show I have control(as long as i don't start tipping towards the next stance). Thoughts?
 

JowGaWolf

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
13,814
Reaction score
5,697
Something I thought of while writing this is that instead of holding my leg out, which enforces a bad habit, I could go into bending ready stance, pause, snap the kick out and in (returning to bending ready stance), pause, and then continue. This would reinforce balance along with other things, and show I have control(as long as i don't start tipping towards the next stance).
If your instructor hasn't ever mentioned anything about holding your kicks out then I wouldn't worry about it. I would just keep practicing the way that you are doing. Right now, from what you have stated so far, it just seems like an option to hold your leg out longer and not a requirement.

Something that another instructor stated that may help in forms competition. If you don't do forms competition or if you don't do bad in forms competition then it shouldn't have much weight on how you train.
 

Touch Of Death

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
May 6, 2003
Messages
11,610
Reaction score
848
Location
Spokane Valley WA
An instructor that's been visiting classes gave me some advice on my poomse, Won-hyo, and I am not sure if I want to follow it or not. Normally when I do the sidekicks in won-hyo, I do my best to snap them back as quickly as possible, because that is what I would do in a fight to prevent my leg from being grabbed. But the visiting instructor recommended that I hold it out for a split second so that when in competition the judges can see how much control I have, where when I snap it back they can't tell easily. What I am afraid of, however, is that if I practice my forms like this then I will do it when I am fighting. A belt or two ago I used to hold my leg out for a split second when sparring, and often my opponents would take advantage of that. I had to really work at it to get to the point where I could snap my kick back quickly, and I don't want to do anything that could adversely effect that.
what is your opinion?
Yes, Lock out is stupid, and always will be, but that is how people can see if you are on the right track. It is a very weird thing about martial arts, in general.
 

Earl Weiss

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
Messages
3,551
Reaction score
892
Without knowing how particular judges score a ring no option is optimal. You would need to ask your instructor what judges are more likely to score higher.

I have heard all sorts of advice about how to do better in competitions and typically, with the notable exception of organizational closed competitions where the organization has clear standards for technique, the advice fails to account for the nature of the competition.

So, again, unless the advice comes from someone familiar with a particular competition and it's judges, the advice is meaningless.
 

Azulx

Black Belt
Joined
Jan 14, 2016
Messages
659
Reaction score
215
An instructor that's been visiting classes gave me some advice on my poomse, Won-hyo, and I am not sure if I want to follow it or not. Normally when I do the sidekicks in won-hyo, I do my best to snap them back as quickly as possible, because that is what I would do in a fight to prevent my leg from being grabbed. But the visiting instructor recommended that I hold it out for a split second so that when in competition the judges can see how much control I have, where when I snap it back they can't tell easily. What I am afraid of, however, is that if I practice my forms like this then I will do it when I am fighting. A belt or two ago I used to hold my leg out for a split second when sparring, and often my opponents would take advantage of that. I had to really work at it to get to the point where I could snap my kick back quickly, and I don't want to do anything that could adversely effect that.
what is your opinion?

If you are ever up to it, I would like to see you perform this hyung. I would demonstrate the form as well, and maybe we could see the differences in how our schools do them.
 

TrueJim

Master Black Belt
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
1,006
Reaction score
373
Location
Virginia
Two thoughts:

1. At our school we call that the "Kodak moment". Whether it's a kick, block, or strike, you have to give the judge a "Kodak moment" to see that you performed the movement correctly. It can't be too long a moment of course -- that would look silly -- but it has to be long enough for the judge's eye to register that you performed the movement correctly. We're taught that the kick should be held for as long as the click of a camera...hence the name.

I've been a volunteer judge at forms competitions before (most recently at a Kukkiwon Cup) and as a judge the "Kodak moment" was invaluable to me. It was very difficult to assess competitors who didn't hold the position for a split-second so that my eye could register the movement.

2. At least for Kukkiwon/WTF-style, there's another reason to hold a position for a moment. I was at the US Nationals in Richmond earlier this year and I saw a lot of competitors complete their poomsae faster than the prescribed minimum time. Of course you want the individual movements to be quick and have lots of snap...so the only way you're going to get above the minimum time-limit for the competition is to incorporate brief holds between the techniques.
 

andyjeffries

Senior Master
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
2,019
Reaction score
335
Location
Stevenage, Herts, UK
2. At least for Kukkiwon/WTF-style, there's another reason to hold a position for a moment. I was at the US Nationals in Richmond earlier this year and I saw a lot of competitors complete their poomsae faster than the prescribed minimum time. Of course you want the individual movements to be quick and have lots of snap...so the only way you're going to get above the minimum time-limit for the competition is to incorporate brief holds between the techniques.

I'd disagree with this. The way to get above the minimum time limit is for the inbetween movements to be performed gently and at a regular pace, then accelerate in to the final movement. Pauses between techniques look unnatural.
 

TrueJim

Master Black Belt
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
1,006
Reaction score
373
Location
Virginia
I'd disagree with this. The way to get above the minimum time limit is for the inbetween movements to be performed gently and at a regular pace, then accelerate in to the final movement. Pauses between techniques look unnatural.

I agree. You put it more accurately than I did. You see people perform the chamber at a relaxed pace, then snap into the technique, put in the Kodak moment, and then start the next chamber at a relaxed pace. The upshot being, you don't slow down the technique itself in order to get above the minimum time.
 

TrueJim

Master Black Belt
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
1,006
Reaction score
373
Location
Virginia
"Your chamber should be relaxed and take a few seconds, like a Vine. But then the technique itself should be snappy, like an Instagram. When you kihap, you want it to be like a Tweet: long, but not too long. And don't be like Tinder: you want to be symmetric on the left and right..."
 

Gwai Lo Dan

3rd Black Belt
Joined
Nov 3, 2010
Messages
963
Reaction score
171
I think you have just "Dated" yourself / school. I wonder what the current generation will call it?
I was telling a story once to teenager. When I mentioned at one point that I looked up a business in the phone book, I realized I had to stop and explain what a phone book was.
 

Balrog

Master of Arts
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
1,764
Reaction score
482
Location
Houston, TX
An instructor that's been visiting classes gave me some advice on my poomse, Won-hyo, and I am not sure if I want to follow it or not. Normally when I do the sidekicks in won-hyo, I do my best to snap them back as quickly as possible, because that is what I would do in a fight to prevent my leg from being grabbed. But the visiting instructor recommended that I hold it out for a split second so that when in competition the judges can see how much control I have, where when I snap it back they can't tell easily. What I am afraid of, however, is that if I practice my forms like this then I will do it when I am fighting.
No, you won't. For forms, I advocate the "half-second lockout". It really does show power and control. However, in sparring, you won't lock the kick out. You can train both ways and be effective.
 

marques

Master Black Belt
Joined
Jun 7, 2015
Messages
1,187
Reaction score
382
Location
Essex, UK
What is the target (head, legs, body, arms...) you are kicking? What do you want with that kick? Who is your opponent?...

I don't know anything about TKD and forms... But when kicking, generally speaking, these are important factors to determine this and other detail for the optimum kick. (Among other already mentioned here, and others not mentioned yet...)
 

granfire

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Messages
15,957
Reaction score
1,568
Location
In Pain
I'd disagree with this. The way to get above the minimum time limit is for the inbetween movements to be performed gently and at a regular pace, then accelerate in to the final movement. Pauses between techniques look unnatural.
A short moment to show off extension and flexibility is hardly going to throw off the timing of a form. If anything, most peple perform forms much to fast, as if they were in a race.

There is forms, and there is sparring. Of the same family, but two different animals.
Even in sparring, it pays to be able to present different elements. It keeps the opponent on his toes.

In forms, there is more o it, as some organizations require artistic value as well as the 'combat ready' part.
Let's face it, forms has little to do with sparring. I mean, when do you get to eye gauge your sparring partner (Choong Moo if I remember that right)

In my glory days I put together a freestyle for a tournament (because the school hosted it, so I figured, I'd better contribute), and I got a lot of compliments for my change of speed, particularly on my kicks. Back then I could actually hit a medium tall person in the head!

One can show control of a kick, while still being snappy in the move.

And since it largely depends on who will be judging you, in the end, you can't really win 'forms', but be the judge's darling.

(I wish I had working video of my performance....)
 

granfire

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Messages
15,957
Reaction score
1,568
Location
In Pain
"Your chamber should be relaxed and take a few seconds, like a Vine. But then the technique itself should be snappy, like an Instagram. When you kihap, you want it to be like a Tweet: long, but not too long. And don't be like Tinder: you want to be symmetric on the left and right..."
Twenty lashes with an overcooked Ramen noodle.....
 
Top