New KKW Self-Defense Curriculum

skribs

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Messages
5,953
Reaction score
1,598
I've had some discussions on here and other sites regarding the new self-defense curriculum from KKW. However, I haven't been able to find much out about the subject. I'm curious to know a few things:
  1. What is included in the KKW self-defense curriculum?
  2. What are the expectations for implementing the curriculum at local TKD schools?
  3. How will Masters be properly trained in this curriculum to be capable of teaching the techniques to their students?
What is included?
This is pretty simple. What types of drills are done? Is it all one-steps? Do they include 2-steps and 3-steps, or more dynamic drills? What concepts are covered, out of the following?
  • Punch and kick defense
  • Grab defense
  • Take-downs and sweeps
  • Take-down defense
  • Joint locks
  • Clinches and traps
  • Groundwork
  • Pins or Submissions
  • Submission Defense
  • Weapons
  • Weapon Defense
  • 2-on-1
  • Intangibles (Awareness, De-Escalation, etc).
  • Anything I'm Missing?
Curriculum expectations?
How specific are the guidelines for implementation?

At my current school, we have specific one-steps for each belt level.
  • White belt has #1-5 punch defense and #1-3 hand grab defense
  • Yellow belt has a new #1-5 punch defense, and does #1-3 grab defense from white belt and adds #4-5 from yellow belt
  • Purple belt has a new #1-5 punch defense, and a new #1-3 grab defense
  • So on
  • For my next test, I need #1-8 punch defense, #1-9 grab defense, #1-8 knife defense, #1-8 gun defense, and a few others.
I'm currently developing my own curriculum, in which I've eschewed memorized one-steps for a focus on learning techniques and concepts. For example, my orange belts will learn "Shoulder Cranks" (wrapping their arm above the shoulder and pulling back to tip them over). In my Master's curriculum, these feature in White Belt #2, Purple Belt #2-3, and Black Belt #3 hand grab defense. Instead of my orange belts memorizing 5 different grab techniques, I expect them to learn this one, but many different ways to apply it.

Stepping back one step further, I can see a requirement being more simple. "Can you defend against X?" If someone punches you, can you respond? If someone takes you down, can you respond?

This is where my question comes in. Is the Kukkiwon going to say:
  1. Here are a set of X number of rote-memorized one-step sparring techniques that your students must memorize?
  2. Here are a set of X number of techniques and concepts that your students must be able to demonstrate?
  3. Here are a set of X number of situations in which your students must demonstrate a self-defense?

Also, are there expectations by each belt level or by each degree what students should know, or is it more open to the local Master to make that call?

Master Training
Take a Taekwondo black belt that has only ever done forms and sparring. Give him a seminar on forms, and he'll learn more details that he can practice. Give him a seminar on sparring, and he'll learn new strategies he can try and implement. But give him a seminar on groundfighting, and he'll learn a few moves to a white-belt level, and have nobody he can really practice against when he gets back to his Taekwondo school (because none of them are likely to be very skilled in groundfighting).

I mean no disrespect to those higher ranked than me. But even a Master or Grandmaster in Taekwondo, if all they do is forms and TKD sparring, they are the equivalent of a white belt in any other martial art. They would be a fresh white belt in an art like Hapkido, Judo, or BJJ. In fact, every white belt in those arts has more experience than someone who has never even taken the art. While they may possess certain traits that will translate to the new art (endurance, flexibility, athleticism, dedication), they have zero practical skills in that art. What is the plan for implementing these self-defense concepts at schools which previously have not had them?
  • Will the bar be set low enough that anyone who has done a seminar on the techniques is considered qualified to teach them?
  • Will the bar be set so high that current Masters will be stripped of their promotion rights if they cannot properly demonstrate the new curriculum?
Closing
I'm very curious to hear your experiences. Personally, I'm a little bit worried that this would affect the way I want to do things (for example, if I'm expected to have rote one-steps instead of a more dynamic curriculum). I'm also worried based on the third question that this will either be low quality-control (in which case it will not help the reputation of TKD), or it will impact a lot of schools in which the Master is currently qualified, but wouldn't be under the new system.
 

andyjeffries

Master of Arts
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
1,970
Reaction score
275
Location
Stevenage, Herts, UK
What is included?
This is pretty simple. What types of drills are done? Is it all one-steps? Do they include 2-steps and 3-steps, or more dynamic drills? What concepts are covered, out of the following?
Generally they take the form of more single attack (or single position) and the steps to defend them (rather than any flowing/sequences through/between them). So for example, a simple sweep from being mounted to an Americana.
  • Punch and kick defense
  • Grab defense
  • Take-downs and sweeps
Yes to the above
  • Take-down defense
Only sprawling that I saw.
  • Joint locks
Yes
  • Clinches and traps
Not that I saw
  • Groundwork
  • Pins or Submissions
Yes
  • Submission Defense
  • Weapons
  • Weapon Defense
Not that I saw
  • 2-on-1
  • Intangibles (Awareness, De-Escalation, etc).
  • Anything I'm Missing?
None of the above (we do 2-on-1 in our dojang, but that's more sparring than self-defence).
Curriculum expectations?
How specific are the guidelines for implementation?
Currently that I've seen, they aren't. It's a long video of technique after technique. No explanation of how to break them down, I think that's up to individual masters to determine (the same way current one-step and self defence are done, along with demonstration techniques).

Master Training
Take a Taekwondo black belt that has only ever done forms and sparring. Give him a seminar on forms, and he'll learn more details that he can practice. Give him a seminar on sparring, and he'll learn new strategies he can try and implement. But give him a seminar on groundfighting, and he'll learn a few moves to a white-belt level, and have nobody he can really practice against when he gets back to his Taekwondo school (because none of them are likely to be very skilled in groundfighting).
Correct, this is why it's more important to teach the master level than the students. Because they bring it back to their school and have all the students practice, so at least there are more than one.

It doesn't cover the following however...

I mean no disrespect to those higher ranked than me. But even a Master or Grandmaster in Taekwondo, if all they do is forms and TKD sparring, they are the equivalent of a white belt in any other martial art. They would be a fresh white belt in an art like Hapkido, Judo, or BJJ. In fact, every white belt in those arts has more experience than someone who has never even taken the art. While they may possess certain traits that will translate to the new art (endurance, flexibility, athleticism, dedication), they have zero practical skills in that art. What is the plan for implementing these self-defense concepts at schools which previously have not had them?

I agree with this. I don't know how the Kukkiwon has thought this through yet. I know they are planning a "Self Defence Master Training Course" separate from the Master Instructor Course (they offered it once I think, but then Covid hit and it got cancelled).

  • Will the bar be set low enough that anyone who has done a seminar on the techniques is considered qualified to teach them?

I believe so, but remember though that this is part of Taekwondo, so the course will be filling in knowledge from the course, rather than "you can now give a rank in TaekwondoGrapplingg". So you should have enough knowledge by the end of the course (and with the materials given for self-study) to feel comfortable teaching those techniques to that level.

I think, think of it more like Gracie University's blue belt journey, not you getting a black belt in BJJ. It's a basic grounding in basic techniques, not a complete understanding and expertise in always applying them.

  • Will the bar be set so high that current Masters will be stripped of their promotion rights if they cannot properly demonstrate the new curriculum?

I highly doubt it. Step sparring and self defence currently aren't in the Kukkiwon grading syllabus (they're in the Taekwondo syllabus as are a lot of things such as history, etiquette and multiple-in-the-air demonstration kicks).

Mostly my thoughts rather than official Kukkiwon position though. I haven't done the new course yet, only the module (and the video they showed) on the normal master course in Korea in 2016.
 
OP
skribs

skribs

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Messages
5,953
Reaction score
1,598
I highly doubt it. Step sparring and self defence currently aren't in the Kukkiwon grading syllabus (they're in the Taekwondo syllabus as are a lot of things such as history, etiquette and multiple-in-the-air demonstration kicks).
Would it then be fair to say that this is elective content, and not required content? If so, that alleviates much of my concerns.
 

Latest Discussions

Top