Taekwondo, waste of time?

bluepanther2

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So, reading through many of the Taekwondo posts it seems there is both pride and loathing for Taekwondo by practitioners of the art. In one instance you will get things such as, it is a great striking art, teaches discipline, and the like. Then you get, the tradition is so new and so varied that it basically has no tradition and is just garbage put out by each "master." Having taken Taekwondo myself for 13 years, I find it basically a huge waste of time and I would have been better served spending my time and energy on good old western arts such as boxing and wrestling. I fall into this category myself where for over a decade I extolled the virtues of Taekwondo but now, not so much. I tend to steer people away from Taekwondo/Tang Soo Do. I do however find Taekwondo to be a great art for children. But into adulthood it is kind of silly to see grown men jumping around doing acrobatic kicks. I have met soooo many guys that either took Taekwondo as a child and want to get back into it and recapture their childhood vigor or those that never stopped taking it from childhood and do not know any better. What are the thoughts of those that have practiced Taekwondo up to at least a 1st or 2nd Dan? I stopped training at 4th Dan (Kukkiwon), 5th Dan (Local school). I have also wrestled since Elementary school and always thought the eastern arts had a leg up on me (pun Intended). But all these years later, my wrestling has served me better than Taekwondo ever has.
 
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So, reading through many of the Taekwondo posts it seems there is both pride and loathing for Taekwondo by practitioners of the art. In one instance you will get things such as, it is a great striking art, teaches discipline, and the like. Then you get, the tradition is so new and so varied that it basically has no tradition and is just garbage put out by each "master." Having taken Taekwondo myself for 13 years, I find it basically a huge waste of time and I would have been better served spending my time and energy on good old western arts such as boxing and wrestling. I fall into this category myself where for over a decade I extolled the virtues of Taekwondo but now, not so much. I tend to steer people away from Taekwondo/Tang Soo Do. I do however find Taekwondo to be a great art for children. But into adulthood it is kind of silly to see grown men jumping around doing acrobatic kicks. I have met soooo many guys that either took Taekwondo as a child and want to get back into it and recapture their childhood vigor or those that never stopped taking it from childhood and do not know any better. What are the thoughts of those that have practiced Taekwondo up to at least a 1st or 2nd Dan? I stopped training at 4th Dan (Kukkiwon), 5th Dan (Local school). I have also wrestled since Elementary school and always thought the eastern arts had a leg up on me (pun Intended). But all these years later, my wrestling has served me better than Taekwondo ever has.
Michael Jai White (a 2nd degree black belt in taekwondo) says the best styles for street fights are MMA, boxing, wrestling and muay thai [combat sports].

 
If you can use your side kick to knock down everybody on this planet, you don't need to train anything else.

Kicking is your 1st line defense - leg is longer than arm.

The correct MA learning path is

kick -> punch -> lock -> throw -> ground game

Everybody should go through kicking training.
 
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You're a 4th degree. You're an adult. So you should be capable of coming to your own conclusions about whether or not this is a waste of time.

I think you've been taking things from the other threads out of context or misunderstanding them. Perhaps on purpose to troll, or perhaps not. Let's address some of the points you're making:

Then you get, the tradition is so new and so varied that it basically has no tradition and is just garbage put out by each "master."
I don't see anyone in the recent threads calling it garbage or saying there's a problem with fake masters. I feel like you may be either A) trolling or B) bringing in remnants of past conversations that are coloring your opinion on what's going on here.

Specifically regarding tradition, the comments need to be placed in context. That context is either in response to:
  1. The idea that "this is how we've always done it".
  2. The idea that there is an "official" version of Taekwondo.
In those contexts, I argue that there isn't a tradition, because the "how we've always done it" isn't that long, and there are many different styles and lineages of Taekwondo that have their own official ways of doing things. It would be very different if we were talking about something like Shaolin Kung Fu, which dates back hundreds of years to the Shaolin monastery.

I wasn't saying that traditions don't exist or that they are garbage. I disagree with some of them, yes. But they certainly do exist and certainly have their place.

Having taken Taekwondo myself for 13 years, I find it basically a huge waste of time and I would have been better served spending my time and energy on good old western arts such as boxing and wrestling. I fall into this category myself where for over a decade I extolled the virtues of Taekwondo but now, not so much. I tend to steer people away from Taekwondo/Tang Soo Do. I do however find Taekwondo to be a great art for children.
Then be an adult and choose not to do TKD/TSD, and instead do boxing and wrestling.
But into adulthood it is kind of silly to see grown men jumping around doing acrobatic kicks.
So? It's fun.
I have met soooo many guys that either took Taekwondo as a child and want to get back into it and recapture their childhood vigor or those that never stopped taking it from childhood and do not know any better. What are the thoughts of those that have practiced Taekwondo up to at least a 1st or 2nd Dan? I stopped training at 4th Dan (Kukkiwon), 5th Dan (Local school). I have also wrestled since Elementary school and always thought the eastern arts had a leg up on me (pun Intended). But all these years later, my wrestling has served me better than Taekwondo ever has.
TKD (and other arts like it) have a very unique spot in martial arts, in that they meet the following criteria:
  • They spar competitively
  • with striking
  • without much risk of CTE.
There are a lot of martial arts that really don't have a competition scene. For example, Shaolin Kung Fu. There might be people who go compete, or maybe a school that wants to prove "we spar", but I've never seen a worldwide sport organization like WT or IBJJF.

Grappling arts tend more often to have a competitive scene (except for Aikido and Hapkido). And you can go full force in those without as much risk of CTE as in knockout sports like boxing and MMA.

Where arts like TKD, TSD, and Karate fit in with the point sparring is that you can go as hard as you want on body shots, but head shots are severely controlled (if not outright banned), so you're still not in as much risk of CTE. In over a decade of TKD, I've been rocked less than in a few months of Muay Thai.
 
If you can use your side kick to knock down everybody on this planet, you don't need to train anything else.

Kicking is your 1st line defense - leg is longer than arm.

The correct MA learning path is

kick -> punch -> lock -> throw -> ground game

Everybody should go through kicking training.
You're also more vulnerable mid-kick than you are mid-punch, and you have far better hand-eye coordination than foot-eye coordination. There's definitely a trade-off.
 
You're also more vulnerable mid-kick than you are mid-punch, and you have far better hand-eye coordination than foot-eye coordination. There's definitely a trade-off.
Of course, with 2 feet on the ground is more stable than with only 1 foot on the ground. But leg is longer and more powerful than the arm.
 
Michael Jai White (a 2nd degree black belt in taekwondo) says the best styles for street fights are MMA, boxing, wrestling and muay thai [combat sports].

He's wrong. It's Jow Ga Kung Fu. I've seen kicking work in a street fight, punching work in a street fight and grappling work in a street fights. The biggest factor of all fights are the people involved..
 
I've seen kicking work in a street fight, punching work in a street fight and grappling work in a street fights.
That's what White said. MMA is the best because it integrates kicking, striking, wrestling and submission arts.

The biggest factor of all fights are the people involved..
Per White, the biggest factor is the focus on open rules fight training without ritual customs. Professional fighters can spend time training and money on training camps (e.g., $500K+).


 
1. Depends on your goals. If your only goal is self defense you will waste a lot of time and energy in traditional martial arts.
2. If your only goal is to compete in a Martial sport - Kickboxing, Grappling or combination thereof. You will waste a lot of time and energy training in a TMA.
2, Depends as much on the school as the system.

For many years I wondered if being proficient t certain kicks was a waste of time since they were rarely or never seen in MMA

Examples: Head kicks didn't work - then they did.
Lead leg Side Kicks didn't work - Then Cung Lee came along.
Back Kicks didn't work - then they did.
Spinning kicks didn't work - then they did.
 
For many years I wondered if being proficient t certain kicks was a waste of time since they were rarely or never seen in MMA

Examples: Head kicks didn't work - then they did.
Lead leg Side Kicks didn't work - Then Cung Lee came along.
Back Kicks didn't work - then they did.
Spinning kicks didn't work - then they did.
A lot of people think lack of evidence is evidence of lack, which is just a logical fallacy.

A 12-gauge shotgun has never worked in UFC, but I still think it's effective in self-defense.
 
Here is my take,
I'm not a black belt in TKD not even ranked so take my opinion for what ever its worth. I did train for about three years pretty regular with an old school TKD Guy from the 1970's. Most powerful kicks I had ever seen. He could tear the stitching on a heavy bag at will. He taught me a large portion of solid functional kicks. In sparring my kicking game was solid TKD.
30 years later my 13 yo step sister got her black belt in TKD. Something was very different than what I had ever done. I think it was that Korean arts had embraced the fact that it's a buisness. Schools are there to make a profit. That's not necessarily a bad thing. you have to keep the doors open. But by trying to maximize profits you sacrifice quality. It changes the entire dynamic of the school and ultimately who signs up. The student body as a group controls how good people get within that group. The same applies to regular school and university. It's why Harvard, Yale and Oxford are held in high esteem.
 
Here is my take,
I'm not a black belt in TKD not even ranked so take my opinion for what ever its worth. I did train for about three years pretty regular with an old school TKD Guy from the 1970's. Most powerful kicks I had ever seen. He could tear the stitching on a heavy bag at will. He taught me a large portion of solid functional kicks. In sparring my kicking game was solid TKD.
30 years later my 13 yo step sister got her black belt in TKD. Something was very different than what I had ever done. I think it was that Korean arts had embraced the fact that it's a buisness. Schools are there to make a profit. That's not necessarily a bad thing. you have to keep the doors open. But by trying to maximize profits you sacrifice quality. It changes the entire dynamic of the school and ultimately who signs up. The student body as a group controls how good people get within that group. The same applies to regular school and university. It's why Harvard, Yale and Oxford are held in high esteem.
This certainly can be true. But I argue it is more about the culture and environment of the school. You can operate as a near max profit business and still have very high standards. Here is the hard part; having a product that keeps the core, original processes (tenets) of a traditional style and accommodate anyone and everyone. It is Hard as a school owner to do this.
Culturally, we do not allow the 'Hulk smash' mentality to permeate. Is it allowed and encourage in certain people/circumstances? Yes, Is it allowed to overflow onto the person(s) who want class to be more of exercise for longevity? No.
We segregate a lot of classes and offer everything from handicapped-specific classes, to USATKD/WT specific sparring classes, to self-defense specific classes for three counties LEO, to DHS displaced kids and family.
Here is an important qualifier, people from every category (with exception of LEO) attend the regular classes.

Everyone is equal, but some can still be exceptional.
 
I argue it is more about the culture and environment of the school. You can operate as a near max profit business and still have very high standards.
I agree that it's about culture and environment. But culture and environment are self selecting. Meaning if I wanted an activity to do with my 8 yo son, I could join TKD and in some schools we could train in the same class. Great benefit for families. However an individual looking for intense self defense or full contact would not be interested in joining. The end result speaks for itself. TkD schools are maybe 90 % kids. MMA is maybe 90% adults. And those that want to get really good are highly selective in which school they attend. An Olympic level athlete will not join the school down the street. The results for the average student are independent from curriculum or quality of instruction. I've said before that I truly belive that the quality of your students is dependent on the quality level of your top 2 or 3 students. If you can't attract high level athletes and only attract the average family, you will have a thriving buisness but people that want more, like the OP will find that school a waste of time.
 
Great benefit for families. However an individual looking for intense self defense or full contact would not be interested in joining.
Might be true, but I find it kind of odd that some people might think this. You don't need to be on the level of a competitive MMA fighter in order to successfully defend oneself.

Most street fights are between two untrained people, which means that one of the untrained participants is going to win. In other words, untrained people win fights and successfully defend themselves all the time - and it's probably happened hundreds of times during the time it took you to read this post.

That's why I find it difficult to write off any martial arts training. Before you started martial arts training, you were untrained just like people who are out there winning fights on the streets everyday. And now you're getting trained.

You don't need to be as good as a competitive MMA fighter. You only need to be better than untrained people on the streets.

(Apologies if I'm preaching to the choir)
 
That's what White said. MMA is the best because it integrates kicking, striking, wrestling and submission arts.
But in the matches you'll see some get beat by punches, or bt kicks, or by throws, or by submission, or it takes a combination of all.

I don't think you have to learn all or any to win a street fight. If you are really good at one or more then it only helps to improve the odds that you will win. Bring a knife to a fight and a lot of that stuff becomes less important.
 
But in the matches you'll see some get beat by punches, or bt kicks, or by throws, or by submission, or it takes a combination of all.
Right. MMA has evolved where fighters train a combination of all while they may still specialize.

I don't think you have to learn all or any to win a street fight. If you are really good at one or more then it only helps to improve the odds that you will win.
Training for MMA's open rules better prepares one for all ranges of combat.

Bring a knife to a fight and a lot of that stuff becomes less important.
Bring a knife (lethal weapon) to a fist fight can have legal consequences. That's why OC spray is often suggested as a non-lethal self-defense weapon as well.
 
Bring a knife (lethal weapon) to a fist fight can have legal consequences. That's why OC spray is often suggested as a non-lethal self-defense weapon as well.
I'm not so sure that OC/pepper/mace, etc is consequence free. I've heard of a few instances in my area of women getting upset at their boyfriends and spraying them with these items and going to jail for it. No matter what you use, it all comes down to whether or not you can justify it in court.
 
I'm not so sure that OC/pepper/mace, etc is consequence free. I've heard of a few instances in my area of women getting upset at their boyfriends and spraying them with these items and going to jail for it.
I did not say they were no consequences using OC spray, a non-lethal weapon.

No matter what you use, it all comes down to whether or not you can justify it in court.
Nicolae Miu was found guilty of one count of first-degree reckless homicide and four counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety using a pocket knife (lethal weapon) while some felt he was innocent.
 
Training for MMA's open rules better prepares one for all ranges of combat.
My recent experience in Kentucky is telling me that this is probably not true. I'll have to ask those guys who got stabbed with the shock knife about how well their MMA skills saved them from dealing with that shock knife.
 

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