Is there any technique in TaeKwonDo you have a pet peeve with?

Monkey Turned Wolf

MT Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Messages
8,487
Reaction score
2,597
Location
New York
For example, the axe kick in my ITF club was very powerful, where we would lieterally stamp on the opponent's head or shoulders if we used (though very rarely and never at full power). In contrast, the WTF club uses it only as a kick to score points and like a weird, top-down variation of a hook kick. They expect us to snap it backwards, which is weird and feels like a kick that is only used to score points, not do damage.
That's exactly what it is. It's what happens when the purpose of training is primarily for a competition-you start learning what works in the competition, not in real life.

There's normally a lot of crossover there, but less so for point-sparring comps.
 

Buka

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Jun 27, 2011
Messages
11,137
Reaction score
7,421
Location
Maui
On the outside crescent....

Once you develop advanced kicking skills, here’s something you guys might try. Throw that outside crescent with a hop, like a hoping side kick. Throw it with the front leg. From almost a side stance. It’s hard to see it coming at you, it’s difficult to avoid, it goes over the top of guard, you can angle it different ways from different angles.

The best way to defend against it is to charge in and jam.

Best way to counter that jam, even if they catch your thigh, is a scissor take down.
 

skribs

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Messages
5,647
Reaction score
1,343
Honestly, after white/yellow belt, there is nothing that we can apply in our sparring. All we are tuaght is hooks and punches as well as knife-hands and ridge hands. Yes there are more hand techniques in forms such as spear hands, but we aren't taught how to properly apply them; in fact, we are discouraged to use some techniques such as twin punches in sparring.

I have always tried to apply all of them, I even managed to pull off a good, hard-hitting spear hand thanks to years of pushups on my fingers. Nevertheless, all our target practice, sparring, and other drills are solely focused on kicks. Hand techniques are only practiced in sparring and forms, as well as these exercises called "one steps". There should be much more emphasis on the hands in my opinion, especially since we aren't taught to block in sparring i.e. the blocks used in forms are the only ones we learn, and they aren't as practical in sparring, so everyone has their own manner of avoiding hits.

I've always found there to be a disconnect in Taekwondo. The forms, sparring, and self-defense are not connected well at all. I agree 100% that many of the blocks in the forms don't have a direct application. But there is more than just those in the forms. There are some techniques that work well.

Similarly, the limited nature of sparring is a bit of a conundrum.

Outside of forms (which I plan to teach for their other benefits), I mainly plan on only looking at hand techniques as they could be used. That's how my curriculum is built.
 

Ivan

Brown Belt
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Messages
411
Reaction score
141
I've always found there to be a disconnect in Taekwondo. The forms, sparring, and self-defense are not connected well at all. I agree 100% that many of the blocks in the forms don't have a direct application. But there is more than just those in the forms. There are some techniques that work well.

Similarly, the limited nature of sparring is a bit of a conundrum.

Outside of forms (which I plan to teach for their other benefits), I mainly plan on only looking at hand techniques as they could be used. That's how my curriculum is built.
That's a very good idea. I feel like in many clubs and different martial arts I have trained, you are expected to pick up the blocks just from forms. Only my boxing and capoeira classes specifically focused on training the application and movement of blocks.
 

paitingman

Brown Belt
Joined
Jun 17, 2014
Messages
425
Reaction score
162
I've always found there to be a disconnect in Taekwondo. The forms, sparring, and self-defense are not connected well at all. I agree 100% that many of the blocks in the forms don't have a direct application. But there is more than just those in the forms. There are some techniques that work well.

Similarly, the limited nature of sparring is a bit of a conundrum.

Outside of forms (which I plan to teach for their other benefits), I mainly plan on only looking at hand techniques as they could be used. That's how my curriculum is built.
Very cool.
To fill in the spaces, are you doing more of a personal exploration or drawing from Hapkido and potentially other arts? Both?
What arts can you see yourself researching further on your journey?
 

dvcochran

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
6,135
Reaction score
1,818
Location
Southeast U.S.
I completely agree. Sadly, this was this only club I could attend, as I lived in a village with little martial arts opportunities. Nevertheless, the club was very good in terms of sparring and did a lot of things right.

It was an ITF Taekwondo club, but with a custom curriculum with slightly altered variations of the original forms. Currently, since I moved to university, I joined the university's WTF Taekwondo club, and though we haven't gotten to do sparring, I am not feeling too good about it. I dislike WTF style in general; so much hopping about and too many monkey kicks.

For example, the axe kick in my ITF club was very powerful, where we would lieterally stamp on the opponent's head or shoulders if we used (though very rarely and never at full power). In contrast, the WTF club uses it only as a kick to score points and like a weird, top-down variation of a hook kick. They expect us to snap it backwards, which is weird and feels like a kick that is only used to score points, not do damage.

Ivan, we had discussion on this very topic last night.
A young 1st Dan asked when he should use the crescent kick. As with most any kick, the answer has to be measured based on the person asking it and the rest of the audience. So I asked the young man to give some verbal descriptions of how to use the kick.(we were working on the outside crescent). He immediately went to the common disarming idea. Then I asked him to give us an example. I grabbed a kicking mitt and said it was my knife. He line up all formal and swung his leg totally missing the target. When I asked why, he did not have an answer. We proceeded to spend another 5-10 minutes talking about how repetition and 'muscle memory' can be good and bad.
The young BB is a very diligent student and attends a lot of classes. Very much a thinker. He has easily done thousands of crescent kicks for warmups. I explained how the motion of the kick he tried to 'disarm' me with was nearly identical in motion to the warmup kick. You could see in his eyes he had one of those "aha" moments.

I say all this to say I feel you comments reflect the mindset of someone with limited practice/repetition under their belt. A person can be very good at performing/using a kick a certain way. Fleshing out that there are several variations of almost every kick AND being able to identify and adjust in real time is a good sing of seasoning in someone training.

We spent the next 1-1/2 hours working only on the different kinds of outside crescents and when to apply them. Adults suited up and went full speed/power the last 1/2 hour. Targeted sparring. A great class.
 

isshinryuronin

2nd Black Belt
Joined
Feb 28, 2019
Messages
725
Reaction score
540
Location
Las Vegas
I'd be shocked to find there's no new hand techniques in the forms.

Even out of the forms, this is going to depend on the individual school's curriculum more than anything else. My school has new punches about half the time when you get a new belt. White and yellow do the same, purple and orange do the same, and then everything from green through red is the same. Black belts get a lot of new punches right away, and then a few new ones here and there starting at 3rd degree. We have a lot of new rote punch combinations, but as far as individual techniques, a lot are repeats.
e
The curriculum I'm developing moves away from rote memorization. It has new techniques (punches, kicks, blocks) and concepts for every belt group, and then new forms and self-defense concepts for each individual belt. So in that system, you would have new hand techniques every 2-3 belts.

Even if your school doesn't do new punches every other belt or so, I imagine that you learn new hand techniques in the forms. Unless ITF forms all use the same basic hand techniques.

The longer I train, the less "blocking" I do and the fewer number of overall techniques I use. But I'm able to do more with less. A lot of it is application. So it's not about learning new moves, but learning new applications for the moves you know.

As a rough example: The word "bow" as in bending at the waist to show respect. You might know and use this word for years. But then you learn "bow" can be used to describe the knot when you tie your shoe or wrap a present. Wow! The same word with different inflection, and a whole new meaning and application. Then you learn that "bow" can also be used to propel a sharp stick thru the air as a weapon, or even to make music with a cello or violin. Another whole new word application for something you already know how to spell and pronounce. So now one word has become three or four words!!!

In most styles, the forms hold the key to the various applications of a particular move. You don't need three series of techniques to deal with three different attacks. Just one series can be applied to deal with them, with little or no modification! Advancing thru the higher belts is not so much a matter of learning new punches or kicks or blocks, but learning new ways to apply them.

So contrary to what has been said in other threads about higher degrees of black belt not learning anything new, there is much to explore and master, providing you have the initiative, full understanding of basics, and a good guide to help you along.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

MT Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Messages
8,487
Reaction score
2,597
Location
New York
The longer I train, the less "blocking" I do and the fewer number of overall techniques I use. But I'm able to do more with less. A lot of it is application. So it's not about learning new moves, but learning new applications for the moves you know.

...

In most styles, the forms hold the key to the various applications of a particular move. You don't need three series of techniques to deal with three different attacks. Just one series can be applied to deal with them, with little or no modification! Advancing thru the higher belts is not so much a matter of learning new punches or kicks or blocks, but learning new ways to apply them.

The trick with this though is that, if you and I were to go through the same program, learning the same 3 series of techniques, we might both expand on different techniques. So while I've learned 5 different ways to apply a half-moon, and have really got it down, while you may have brushed over that, but know all the ways to make the most out of a cat stance as a countering set-up, which I vaguely know about.
And we pick our favorites to expand on largely based on our own personalities and fighting styles (assuming the basics were taught equally). So it's important at the beginning to have learned all the different techniques so that we each know what we want to focus on. The cool thing is that it means no matter how long you're training for, you're almost guaranteed to have another technique that you can delve into on learning new applications/against resistance.
 

skribs

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Messages
5,647
Reaction score
1,343
That's a very good idea. I feel like in many clubs and different martial arts I have trained, you are expected to pick up the blocks just from forms. Only my boxing and capoeira classes specifically focused on training the application and movement of blocks.

I do think some of that is on the individual school, and some of it is that the forms themselves are often not very practical.

Very cool.
To fill in the spaces, are you doing more of a personal exploration or drawing from Hapkido and potentially other arts? Both?
What arts can you see yourself researching further on your journey?

Personal exploration, Hapkido, and I'd like to pick up BJJ when I'm done training at my current school. Plus I've gained a lot of information from videos for boxing and muay thai. Most of the BJJ schools seem to also have a Muay Thai/Kickboxing/MMA Striking class available, so when I go to BJJ, I'll probably take that as well. If I have time.

The trick with this though is that, if you and I were to go through the same program, learning the same 3 series of techniques, we might both expand on different techniques. So while I've learned 5 different ways to apply a half-moon, and have really got it down, while you may have brushed over that, but know all the ways to make the most out of a cat stance as a countering set-up, which I vaguely know about.

This is why I'm trying to teach techniques and concepts instead of rote memorization. The basic idea is that if I teach you 10 rote things, then you've learned 10 things. Or I can teach 5 techniques and 5 concepts, and I've taught you 25 things. I know it won't always work exactly like that, but that's the general idea.
 

dvcochran

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
6,135
Reaction score
1,818
Location
Southeast U.S.
This is why I'm trying to teach techniques and concepts instead of rote memorization. The basic idea is that if I teach you 10 rote things, then you've learned 10 things. Or I can teach 5 techniques and 5 concepts, and I've taught you 25 things. I know it won't always work exactly like that, but that's the general idea.

I think I fully get what your intention is. In the 5 and 5 idea, the 5 techniques would be somewhat concrete and easy to convey as the instructor and thus should be easier for the student to process and digest. Things like training time would be fairly predictable. Pretty much current standard platform training.
It seems to me in the 5 concepts there will be a good amount of variability, in about every category I can think of. It just takes some people longer to 'get it' than it does others. A pretty cool thing to watch transpire from the instructors viewpoint.

I do not think the teaching model is broken so bad it needs to be blown up to fix it. Just like in every other teach/learn model some people (instructor) are better teachers than others.
I truly believe much of your searching and possible frustration stems from the realization that there is a lot more out there in the MA world than what you have experienced. A very good thing. And I commend your response to it. Searching, seeking, planning to do it a better way. Pretty darn cool.
 

skribs

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Messages
5,647
Reaction score
1,343
I do not think the teaching model is broken so bad it needs to be blown up to fix it. Just like in every other teach/learn model some people (instructor) are better teachers than others.

The problem I have with rote memorization is you either limit your scope or you cast too wide a net. For my next test, I'm expected to know:
  • 57x rote combinations
  • 73x short forms (i.e. self-defense 1-steps or weapon drills)
  • 26x long forms (Taegeuks, Yudanja, weapon forms, and local forms)
That's not including the following that I need to know as an instructor for the colored belt class:
  • 11x rote combinations
  • 96x short forms
  • 12x long forms
For a grand total of 66 combos, 169 short forms, and 38 long forms. You must even memorize which combo or form goes with which number. For example, if on the test he says "Punching #17", I have to do the punching combo that he's numbered as #17. This is just for my 3rd Dan, 4th Gup (essentially Black Belt 3.4) and to be an instructor. I'll need more for 4th Dan. My Master has even admitted to me that no other student can retain the entire curriculum like I can. It was simultaneously flattering and depressing.

Then there's the issue that because we have so much, you're allowed to brain dump half of it every couple of belts. Students retain the ability, but they forget the numbers. I see this when students help out with a lower level class, or when students come back after a hiatus. But it's really hard to teach when you can't remember. Also, students tend to practice the memorization more than the actual technique. I've seen most students (including myself) do abbreviated versions of the techniques while we practice the memorization. That's a habit I would rather students not be tempted to form.

This is why I wanted to go for vocabulary instead. Punch combinations numbered 2, 4, 7, 9 and 11 all use the same concept, but with different punches. Punch #15 is essentially #11 with three more punches added on. Punch #13 is #4 and #6 combined together. (I joke that our math is bad, because 4 + 6 = 13). The same happens with kicks. Kick #11 is Kick #6 re-arranged. Kick #14 and Kick #17 are the same concept, but with a different kick. Kick #22 is literally Kick #21 + Kick #19 (with one change at the end).

Instead of that, I'd rather teach the concept of how you can use footwork or combine techniques together. I can condense (as I said above), but I can also expand. For example, one concept is spinning hand strikes. I can focus on that concept and do spinning chop, spinning elbow, spinning hammerfist, and spinning backfist. Another day I may focus on elbow strikes of all forms. Another day I may focus on how to use each type of strike as a counter-attack (i.e. palm block and backfist, inside block and spinning strike, outside block and chop). It's a lot harder to do that when everything is rote.

One thing that's interesting is that 95% of my Master's curriculum has found its way into mine. The techniques and concepts I've picked up are all there. But they are condensed into vocabulary, and given the additional benefit of not needing to memorize the number association. And because it's mostly vocabulary instead of memorization, it should be easier for instructors to go back, or for returning students to pick up where they left off.

So, I did blow it up. And I left it intact. I think that was the best way to preserve what I've learned and pass it on. Of course, it's still a work in progress.
 

dvcochran

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
6,135
Reaction score
1,818
Location
Southeast U.S.
I agree and feel that is way too much to cover in one scenario. It leads to the college summer semester cram session; and the binge & purge of information. To me, it does not make a lot of sense to encourage that through any curriculum. No matter the rank, I would much rather see someone who is really strong in several specifics over someone who just knows a lot of stuff. I do not believe anyone recall is that solid for an extended period if they have any kind of life outside of their school/class.
And I also agree that not using the actual names would be a hinderance. Possibly with kids early on but would have to dynamically change over.
I am certain I cannot name all the derivatives of the base techniques/drills/forms/sparring techniques/SD I know immediately in a given moment. But I am confident I can recall them in a timely fashion and more importantly convey the material to someone else in a teaching environment.

So when your school/instructor covers all this material, is it always fragmented or individualized? Does he/she work on how/when/why to tie the material together?
 

skribs

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Messages
5,647
Reaction score
1,343
So when your school/instructor covers all this material, is it always fragmented or individualized? Does he/she work on how/when/why to tie the material together?

We spend so much time going over the rote material, there often isn't time for much else.
 

skribs

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Messages
5,647
Reaction score
1,343
I agree that is simply counter-productive. Makes me think of the old saying "paralysis by analysis".

Well, I've definitely spent a lot of time on analysis. I figured there are 5 aspects of TKD, at least as far as my Master's curriculum is concerned:
  • Techniques (punches, kicks, blocks)
  • Forms
  • Weapons
  • Self-Defense (short forms, grappling concepts, etc)
  • Sparring
His is 80% rote, 20% dynamic. Sparring is dynamic, but everything else is rote. I'm 80% dynamic, 20% rote. Forms are still rote, but everything else dynamic.
 

Latest Discussions

Top