Perception of Tae Kwon Do a Problem?

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sifu Adams

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good I didn't wont to upset anyone. I am just after the knowlage.

How did you change the way you spared him?
 

FearlessFreep

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Well, at my school, the only two other adults I spar with are both over 6'3" (I'm 5'11" on a tall day). It caertainly can be done.

The first thing to be away of is the difference in reach on kicks. If you use backward foot movememt to evade a kick, you have to be able to gauge the range of different size people's attacks. Ideally you don't want a lot of wasted energy so you want to move back as little as neccessary in order to still be in good position to counter strike. "Little as neccessary" depends on their reach so you have to get used to or good at estimating how far someone can reach based on height.

Retreating backwards can be a bit problematic, though. It's hard to retreat backwards from several attacks in combination against a taller person. Better to use sidewards movement.

All things being equal, a taller person will take longer to throw an attack, so a lot of times it's easier to wait for their movement first and evade and counter strike before they can get their foot down and be balanced against your attack. It's harder to get into their range initially, but easier if you wait until they commit and counter that.

I'm just a sparring beginner so take it as it's worth, but that's what I seem to see when sparring taller people than me, and when my kids (who are shorter than me) spar against me.
 

TigerWoman

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sifu Adams said:
The problem I see is the sport TKD that most people I see do, dose not seem to be well rounded like my KF. TKD seem to be good if you are fighting someone of your size or smaller. I am 5'6" tall if I am trading kicks with a 6'7"guy it would seem that his leg would reach me three days before mine would reach him. Another probem I see is that when sparing a TKD student if I throw a dragon sweep, or drop to a real low stance or even to my back, most (that do not have other MA back ground) seem to be surpised and lost in what to do. Another question I have is when it comes to forms/katas. I have been to a lot of mixed MA tournaments and seen a lot (not all) of TKD forms. the forms I seen don't seem to have a lot of kicking or kicking combonation that I seen the students use during the sparring.

If you are talking well-rounded as in general self-defense, I would agree that TKD's focus is not self-defense. We don't incorporate self-defense in to our sparring. Our sparring rules prevent us using self-defense even for light touch. Beside colored belts don't have control. We use the same rules for tournaments so that is how we spar. And we don't go to the ground during sparring. We use drop low sweeps as well in self-defense, but we don't do continuous sparring type self-defense. Our self-defense technique is meant to end it quickly. In my opinion, our self-defense is not as strong as it should be but TKD is standup technique basically so we don't learn alot of what other disciplines are doing ie grappling. Our master does incorporate some of the other discipline's techniques though for self-defense.

Regarding the larger opponent. I'm 5'7" and have to spar a 6'4 larger guy.
His leg does get to me faster and he's fairly flexible, so head shots are easy. My best defense against him is to get inside his range. I can then jump back or kick to his head. But he can kick me against the wall like a fly so there still is respect for his legs.

Poomse is the Korean word for forms. They are meant as learning tools not really exhibitions of skill. I know for some tournaments they incorporate a lot more kick combinations, tumbling, aerial jump kicking. But that's not traditional TKD. Most forms have some kicks. Front, round, crescent, side and double side, jump front, flying side. Our school is WTF, which are Taeguek forms, but I had to also learn the Chang-Hon forms from ITF. They include some kick combinations but still are pretty simple. Mostly what you learn from form is breathing, balance, strength, and agility and the proper way to execute stances, blocks, and strikes. It has some fighting moves but you would have to dissemble them from the I formation and use them separately in my opinion.

No offense, your tone is a humble one and a learning one! TW
 

Gemini

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sifu Adams said:
Another question I have is when it comes to forms/katas. I have been to a lot of mixed MA tournaments and seen a lot (not all) of TKD forms. the forms I seen don't seem to have a lot of kicking or kicking combonation that I seen the students use during the sparring.
Kata's (poomses) are based in Traditional TKD. They contain a more balanced share of kicking, punching and blocking which better reflects the art itself. Sparring is only one aspect of TKD. Consider it the branch, not the tree.
 

Marginal

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sifu Adams said:
The problem I see is the sport TKD that most people I see do, dose not seem to be well rounded like my KF. TKD seem to be good if you are fighting someone of your size or smaller. I am 5'6" tall if I am trading kicks with a 6'7"guy it would seem that his leg would reach me three days before mine would reach him. Another probem I see is that when sparing a TKD student if I throw a dragon sweep, or drop to a real low stance or even to my back, most (that do not have other MA back ground) seem to be surpised and lost in what to do.

This is something that bothers me. Why is it that people can't agree upon sparring rules beforehand? If you're not used to sparring where low hits are allowed etc, it's not something one would automatically assume if they happened to be randomly asked for a sparring bout. Creates two people going into a sparring match who have just both been rendered blind.

That aside, why are you randomly falling onto your back?

Another question I have is when it comes to forms/katas. I have been to a lot of mixed MA tournaments and seen a lot (not all) of TKD forms. the forms I seen don't seem to have a lot of kicking or kicking combonation that I seen the students use during the sparring.

Not sure why they would. Those are covered in drills.
 

bushi jon

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I think tkd got a bad wrap from all the ata mill schools(my opion) Anybody who slams tkd should also slam shorin ryu,isshin ryu and gojo ryu because if you look at some of the kata they very similar in application. This is coming from a outsider Jujutsu guy
 
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MountainSage

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I have been observing this post and though it is time for another opinion. The perception problem has arisen from many changes in philosophy of TKD from a martial art to a sport/performing art. Forms: the palgwe forms are more SD and combat skill; it teaches basic skills of fighting, the taeguks are more showy and oriented toward perform for show while developing some important skills. Organizations: There are many of them all proclaiming to be the TRUE TKD and promoting to gain market share. Philosophy: Lack of a single minded direction, as much as many TKDers would like to believe, you CAN NOT combine sport and nonsport because of conflicting philiosophy. I usual example is kicking to the head. A high scoring move in sport and a good way to die in a combat senerio. We could have an entire discussion of the effectiveness of kick at given heights, yet I will say kick to the head leaves a good portion of your lower body exposed, speed of the kick is not relevant. I'll have to think more on the subject.

Mountainsage
 
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Shane Smith

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It is my honest opinion that many people have a disrespect for TKD because there are far too many Instructors selling blackbelts for all manner of reasons that don't relate to martial capability. This is a martial art after all but it is become a social event in many schools I think. You put in "X" amount of time and you get your belt. This kind of "pay as you go" mentality is what has caused this credibility problem I believe. There are entirely too many marketers and not enough martial artists running Dojangs.
 

Gemini

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MountainSage said:
I have been observing this post and though it is time for another opinion. The perception problem has arisen from many changes in philosophy of TKD from a martial art to a sport/performing art. Forms: the palgwe forms are more SD and combat skill; it teaches basic skills of fighting, the taeguks are more showy and oriented toward perform for show while developing some important skills. Organizations: There are many of them all proclaiming to be the TRUE TKD and promoting to gain market share. Philosophy: Lack of a single minded direction, as much as many TKDers would like to believe, you CAN NOT combine sport and nonsport because of conflicting philiosophy. I usual example is kicking to the head. A high scoring move in sport and a good way to die in a combat senerio. We could have an entire discussion of the effectiveness of kick at given heights, yet I will say kick to the head leaves a good portion of your lower body exposed, speed of the kick is not relevant. I'll have to think more on the subject.
As much as I agree with several things you said, I have to disagree on a couple of points.

First was about the forms. I think the Palgwe forms are much more diverse than the Taeguks. I'd like to know (honestly) what it is in the Taeguks that you find flashy. If anything I find them mundain in comparison.

The second was conflicting philosophy. THD teaches high and low kicks. In a real situation, your best bet is to aim low. Sparring is no different, IMO. As a competitor, I found it takes less time to hit someone low than high. Now I teach it (and prove it) on a regular basis. I very seldom aim high. Just enough to avoid being predictable. It's the same for both.
 
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TKDKid

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sifu Adams said:
good I didn't wont to upset anyone. I am just after the knowlage.

How did you change the way you spared him?
Well, what I did was take a more defensive approach. You see, you made a good point about someone large like that having a much greater reach...that's very true. Hehe, his arms are as long as my legs. The fact that he has massive leg muscles serves him with great power, but it also causes him to use more energy than I do to kick, and it also takes him much longer to execute a kick. Basically what I do is this; I draw him into a kick some how, usually by intentionally leaving something open. When he kicks I dodge, block, redirect, whatever and move in while he's still off balance. It's that split second you've got when he's putting his leg back down where he's got openings you can work off of.

Ofcourse, when he gets wise to this I'll have to figure something else out =P
 
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MountainSage

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Gemini,
On your second point, I need more information. What do you define as a low kick? My definition is removing that bothersome knee joint of your opponent, a practice that is against the rules in sport sparring. On your first point, any jumping technique for height is the only one that comes to mind at this time. I am embrassed by my lack of prep on that subject.

Mountainsgae
Michael Wood
 

evenflow1121

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So long as you are happy practicing your style is all that matters, because no one on this forum or anywhere for that matter should be significant enough to make you change systems on account of their general opinion of TKD. That said, I studied TKD for a bit when I was smaller and you are right in that a lot of schools put competition ahead of self defense, that does not mean however, that a good tkd instructor can not teach his or her students how to defend themselves.
 

Gemini

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Michael, Glad to clarify.

MountainSage said:
Gemini,
On your second point, I need more information. What do you define as a low kick? My definition is removing that bothersome knee joint of your opponent, a practice that is against the rules in sport sparring.
My point was in both instances, TKD teaches a range of kicks from high to low. Yes, the range is greater in a SD situation due to sparring's limiting rules, but the philosophy is the same. I just mentioned I don't find high kicks to be my first choice in either instance. Hope that's a little clearer.

Mountainsage said:
On your first point, any jumping technique for height is the only one that comes to mind at this time. I am embrassed by my lack of prep on that subject.
Taegeuks offer very few types of kicking much less anything flashy. Nothing more than a front snap (ap chagi) until Taegeuk Sah Jang (4) and then only a side kick (yop chagi). Taegeuk Yook Jang (6) adds a Roundhouse (dollyo chagi). Taegeuk Chil Jang (7) an Out/In axe (pyojeok chagi, and lastly Taegeuk Pal Jang (8), double front snap (dangseong ap chagi)(x 2 with a slight variation) these last ones being the only "flying" kicks in all 8 forms.
Taegeuks = Very basic kicking.

Regards,
 
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MountainSage

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Gemini,
You still didn't answer my question. What do you define as a low kick? Stating that TKD teaches both is a misrepresentation; TKD demands high kick, accepts middle kicks, and deplores low kicks. Please name one form that includes a true low kick and is general taught as a low kick not a middle kick for "competition" purposes.

mountainsage
 

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Being a musician, I'm sorta amused at people in the MA's saying that "Art X only does blah" and then using it as a criticism of that art. This seems to be to be a vary narrowing view of the art. The reason I say that as a musician is because in styles of music you can generally categarize things as being 'jazz' or 'classical' or 'rock' or whatever as defined by certain characteristics. Nobody really owns any style of music so it's fair to say that jazz is *characterized* by certain rhymic and harmonic elements, but jazz is not defined and limited by just those characteristics.

Maybe I'm just naive but I tend to view MA as the same way. Unless one person or organization *owns* a particular art, then the art is just what the people using it teach it to be.WTF or ITF may have curriculum for advancement within their organization, but they don't really define the art.

Specfically in regards to kick heights. TKD does use both a sidekick and a roundhouse kick. These are not aimed at the knees in sparring for saftey reasons, but....both kicks can be used at targets off almost any height. So within the realm of TKD, it seems to me that a low kick is certainly applicable. Whether r not a particular instructor focuses on it is up to the instructor.

A high kick, on the other hand, is a high risk but high reward proposition, when in sparring or fighting. In sparring, you don't do it if your opponent is not in a good position for you to succeed. You don't just stand there against an opponent in fighting stance who's waiting for your attack and try to kick them in the head, you use other strikes to get them in a position where that will work. In fighting that works out somewhat the same. I mean (and I mentioned this in another thread on self-defense), you don't just use all haymakers to try to knoock the guy out, you jab to get their attention and shock them and get them moving back, and then use a reverse punch o deliver more damage. It's all about combinations and having a variety of tools to use as the situation presents. A well prepared person will have low kicks, high kicks, hand stikes, elbow strikes, etc...at their disposal. That sport sparring only allows the use of some techniques and encourages others doesn't mean that that's all TKD can do for fighting any more than doing "Sabor A Mi" with a Im-V-I turnaround me that that's all jazz does, either.

FWIW, I was taught sidekicks, roundhouse kick and front kick as a low kick *first* because as a beginner (and adult). I didn't have the flexbility to do those kicks much better than waist high anyway
 

Marginal

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FearlessFreep said:
Maybe I'm just naive but I tend to view MA as the same way. Unless one person or organization *owns* a particular art, then the art is just what the people using it teach it to be.WTF or ITF may have curriculum for advancement within their organization, but they don't really define the art.
It has more to do with how the particular syllabus or rule set shapes how you train, and what habits/targets you start prioritizing while you're training. I understand what you're getting at, but the more you train a specific way, the more it will influence your reactions.

So you can say "It's no harder to kick low" but unless you actively train those low kicks, what's going to come out in a stress situation? After two, three, 5 years will it occur naturally, or will your instincts have remapped so that you go for that head or body kick without much thought?

Realistically, if you don't train a technique, it doesn't exist in your repitoire.
 

FearlessFreep

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So you can say "It's no harder to kick low" but unless you actively train those low kicks, what's going to come out in a stress situation?

Actually, it is :) I mean, it can be harder to kick low, I think. Anyway, a bit ago we were practicing a low sidekick drill. Aiming shin height, thigh height and solar plexus height. I realized that I tended to cheat a bit on the low kicks. On the lower kicks, it's easy to not come all the way around, or at least it was for me...to not fully commit to the kick. I noticed I didn't have as much punch and power when I was doing it so I had to look at myself and make sure I was doing the full kick properly.

But yeah, I agree, you do what you train to do. In our class drills we do put an emphasis on using low kicks for self-defense; sidekicks to break knees, etc... Maybe a lot of TKD schools don't because it doesn't show up in forms or sparring, but I don't think that means it's not part of TKD and shouldn't be practiced.

Anyone who has taken music lessons, or taught music lessons, knows that what you learn in class is just the overview. To really get it down you need to take home from the class and practice it between classes until you *really* have it down.

I remember once talking with my instructor about the diffrence between a spinning back kick and a spinning sidekick and one of the point he made was that the angle of the foot on a spinning sidekick makes it work better against vertical targeter, particularly thighs
 

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In a stressful situation, you'll do what you've trained--and it won't come out as cleanly as you'd have hoped. If you plan on kicking low, practice that!
 

Brad Dunne

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"Maybe a lot of TKD schools don't because it doesn't show up in forms or sparring"

Actually it does show up in the forms, or at least it did when the forms (Taegeuk) originally were introduced. I give Koryo Poomse as an example.
From the starting movement(s) you turn into a double sidekick. The original intent of the kicks were to takeout the knee, first sidekick and the second sidekick then waist high or horizontal to the ground, to inflict damage to the stomach / hip area or if the head and chest area came down due to the first kick. However, the modern way has come to do the second sidekick as vertical as possible, just for the sake of show. No real combative application at all. One can take just about any of the forms in TKD and look at the kicks being done now and watch where the so-called target area is being attacked and honestly see were it should be. I offer this evaluation, as just another venue for folks to see where problems arise, when the art is allowed to be diluted, for the sake of showmanship.

FF - from your statement [Actually, it is :) I mean, it can be harder to kick low, I think. Anyway, a bit ago we were practicing a low sidekick drill. Aiming shin height, thigh height and solar plexus height. I realized that I tended to cheat a bit on the low kicks. On the lower kicks, it's easy to not come all the way around, or at least it was for me...to not fully commit to the kick. I noticed I didn't have as much punch and power when I was doing it so I had to look at myself and make sure I was doing the full kick properly]. I am somewhat perplexed at your "it's easy to not come all the way around". I assume that you are delivering the kick with the back leg from your fighting stance. What position is the foot of the leg you are turning/standing on when you deliver the kick? If I am correct in my assumption, I may be able to offer a suggestion.
 

FearlessFreep

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I am somewhat perplexed at your "it's easy to not come all the way around". I assume that you are delivering the kick with the back leg from your fighting stance. What position is the foot of the leg you are turning/standing on when you deliver the kick? If I am correct in my assumption, I may be able to offer a suggestion.

Well, I figured out my problem as the drill went on. I wasn't getting my pivot foot around enough, or my shoulders, etc...and was staying too 'square' to the target. Easy enough to fix, but I think it's something more possible to do on a low kick; you can *kinda* get away with it...except it doesn't have much power.

The point I was getting at is that while a low kick is physically easier to do, you still have to focus and make sure you do it right, and you need to practice it to make sure you will do it right. I've done a lot more low kicks practicing since then
 

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