The effectiveness of Tae Kwon Do in self defense...

Martial Tucker

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Marginal said:
What happens when you train in TKD and they *gasp* do teach hand techniques?

I train in a traditional TKD school, and our master was a Golden Gloves boxer before he began his martial arts study. So, we work a lot on hand techniques,
footwork, and strategy. I would say that the whole "package" works pretty darn well for me.
 

MichiganTKD

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Each Instructor brings his own style and approach to the table. I've known guys who weren't particularly good kickers, but had great hand techniques. Sport stylists are going to focus more on point kicking. Some Instructors I know focus more on self defense hand techniques. Tae Kwon Do is the art of maximizing your body's potential as a weapon. So, although kicking tends to be emphasized, it depends who is teaching you and what they like to do.
It is the Way of the Foot and HAND after all.
 

Martial Tucker

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MichiganTKD said:
It is the Way of the Foot and HAND after all.
Very good point. Unfortunately, with the Olympic rules and popularity of
"sport" schools lately, it seems to be migrating to "Way of the Foot".
Looks great in pictures, but gets your butt kicked on the street.
 

Marginal

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DeLamar.J said:
What do you mean exactly? :idunno:

Taekwon do started with hand techniques as well as kicking techniques. Many schools still haven't retired the concept of hitting people with things like fists, knifehands etc. TKD does not automatically equal "You kick, kick, and kick, and for good measure, kick some more."
 

MJS

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DeLamar.J said:
I like TKD alot, but as far as its street effectiveness goes it is to unbalenced of an art. TKD is a kicking art, and they are damn good at it, the best kickers in the world IMO. While kicking has its place in a real fight, there are other tools needed, like boxing skills, and grappling skills. TKD people just need to learn to box and grapple thats all. They are way to gung ho on just kicking. If a TKD person gets in a fight with a decent opponent, they better make that first kick count, it better land flush and on target or there going down to the ground. And if they dont go to the ground they better have some boxing skills or there going to get there face pounded in, because when you get up in someones face its hard for them to use those fancy high kicks to knock you out, and when there on the ground I dont think they will be kicking much. A TKD person has to keep you at a distance so they can throw those bombs at you, that is there advantage, if they are good enough to keep the proper distance in a fight they will do great, but thats easier said than done. TKD is great if you want to learn how to kick, thats about it. Cross training in boxing is a MUST!!!! for TKD people!!

Very well said!!! :asian: The above goes for every other art out there as well. I think that its becoming more apparent that the days of the one style fighter are pretty much over. Now, before anyone starts yelling, let me explain what I mean by one style. I'm not saying that you need to stop doing the TKD that you may have been doing for 15 yrs. and start taking up BJJ for another 15. NO...instead, I'm simply saying that its important to be well rounded in all of the ranges of fighting. Punching, kicking, clinching and grappling.

Mike
 

glad2bhere

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Dear Mike:

I think we are stepping across a line here. See if this makes sense.

The original question was regarding TKD as self-defense. Now lets suppose that one increases the amount of hand techniques somewhat. I will hold that we are still talking about TKD, even in that case. But what happens if we begin to factor in not just takedowns (of which there are some in TKD often as a function of sweeps and thrusts) but also groundwork (as in BJJ). I think a case could be made that we are talking about something closer to San Shou, but are we still talking about TKD? Thoughts? Perhaps we need to think about a thread in which we discuss the possible evolution of TKD along these lines? Comments?

Best Wishes,

Bruce
 

MJS

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glad2bhere said:
Dear Mike:

I think we are stepping across a line here. See if this makes sense.

The original question was regarding TKD as self-defense. Now lets suppose that one increases the amount of hand techniques somewhat. I will hold that we are still talking about TKD, even in that case. But what happens if we begin to factor in not just takedowns (of which there are some in TKD often as a function of sweeps and thrusts) but also groundwork (as in BJJ). I think a case could be made that we are talking about something closer to San Shou, but are we still talking about TKD? Thoughts? Perhaps we need to think about a thread in which we discuss the possible evolution of TKD along these lines? Comments?

Best Wishes,

Bruce

We could do either one...start a new thread or just roll it right into this one. Often, especially on the Kenpo threads, everytime someone talks about adding something, they think that its a bad thing because you're 'changing the art'! Oh my, God forbid a change is made. When I speak of a change, its only a change for the better. Every art has its own unique thing to offer, and there is no perfect art that is all enclusive. And if there is, I certainly havent seen it yet. Sure, there are arts such as JKD that address the things I've mentioned, but is it the best art??? There is always an art out there that does something just a little different. If by adding that 'different way' to your current style, it would get better.!!!!

Mike
 

glad2bhere

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My vote would be to stay with this string here, but your last post also brought something else to mind. I don't think that anyone has brought body types into the mix. If TKD WERE to evolve along the lines discussed would adding things make it more attractive to some folks and less attractive to others? For instance, would a 20-something co-ed at, say, 105# want to train in something would involve full-torso, grinding contact with someone who is 210#? And if one circumvents that discomfort by only having women work with women will that induce homophobic responses as well as compromise the quality of the instruction? I have often considered that some part of peoples reluctance to get involved in grappling, locking and throwing might be fears along these lines. Moving along farther, what would prevent a person from taking TKD and dropping stuff that he personally doesn't like and adding things that he personally likes. Would the result still be TKD? How much tint can a person add before the paint has changed to a completely different color? Comments? Anyone?

Best Wishes,

Bruce
 
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Disco

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Gentlemen, Perhaps this may put a different perspective on the discussion. Does modern day TKD (Olympic Sport Style) need help? For self defense concepts I would say a most resounding yes. But now here is the rub so to speak. If they taught honest self defense techniques and mindsets, then they counter and confuse the average student (key word being average) and the core curriculum has to be altered, along with not being able to win all those medals and trophies. Plus, yes there is a plus. The majority of instructors out there honestly are lacking in this area. Notice I didn't say they were lousy or worthless or MacDojo'esk, just lacking. Skills that are not practiced and honed, therefor become lacking........ Truth be known, it directly relates to money. Americans love competition and the extras that accompany. It's a tangeable asset. Hey I'm good and here's a piece of metal to prove it. On the other hand, self defense is not a game to be applauded and rewarded with trinkets, but we are all hopefully aware of that. Now old school TKD embraces multiple aspects of combat. We kick, punch, use kness and elbows, jointlocks, throws/takedowns/sweeps, even some pressure points and some ground fighting techniques.
Notice the word grappling was not mentioned in conjunction with ground techniques. We teach to remove one's self from a grounded position as fast as possible.

So to condense: People don't know, thus don't care about OSTKD. So trying to find OSTKD is like trying to find Ben Laden :mst:
Plus, there's no money in OSTKD :waah:
 

Marginal

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glad2bhere said:
Dear Mike:

I think we are stepping across a line here. See if this makes sense.

The original question was regarding TKD as self-defense. Now lets suppose that one increases the amount of hand techniques somewhat. I will hold that we are still talking about TKD, even in that case. But what happens if we begin to factor in not just takedowns (of which there are some in TKD often as a function of sweeps and thrusts) but also groundwork (as in BJJ). I think a case could be made that we are talking about something closer to San Shou, but are we still talking about TKD? Thoughts? Perhaps we need to think about a thread in which we discuss the possible evolution of TKD along these lines? Comments?

It wouldn't really be an evolution. More of a regression depending on your outlook. Takedowns etc weren't seperate from the art in the beginning. Reintroducing them to classes that have dropped them wouldn't really be making the art less or more TKD.
 

glad2bhere

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Dear Marginal:

".....
It wouldn't really be an evolution. More of a regression depending on your outlook. Takedowns etc weren't seperate from the art in the beginning. Reintroducing them to classes that have dropped them wouldn't really be making the art less or more TKD...."

Thanks for bringing us here early. This is the OTHER side of the question as I see it. If we put the idea of evolution aside for just a moment I think we also need to consider that what is represented as TKD right now may not be the entire original package. Here are a couple of points.

1.) Based on Toyamas' SHUDOKAN and Funakoshis' SHOTOKAN the Karate influence on TKD development is significant. The use of the hands over the feet is as significant as the current sport use of feet over hands a'la Taek Kyon. Bringing back or increasing the use of the hands is simply giving a nod of the head to this influence (as well as perhaps raising the S-D effectiveness of the art).

2.) Returning to the more traditional take on Forms work would also be a step in the backward/right direction. By tradition a sound hyung has both concussive AND manipulative interpretations for most if not all of the form moves. The emphasis has been on the concussive, AND, in turn, on the feet. If one wants to raise the S-D effectivenes of TKD they would need to study the manipulative side of their hyung as well. This would require a considerable number of teachers to get off their seats and away from their bank accounts and do some research. It would also require many practitioners to be willing to take a bit more discomfort (spec: joint locks and breakfalls) in their training.

3.) Reintroduction of "unacceptable material" to TKD practice likewise needs to be made. By this I mean that such finishing moves as pins as follow-up to takedowns (incl. sweeps, projections and throws) need to be brought back having been dropped for competition reasons. Strikes to marginal areas such as kidneys, throat, bladder/groin, clavical, knee and heart need to be reconsidered and familiarization provided on a regular basis even if under protected circumstances.

4.) Conditioning and range-of-motion theory needs to be revisited. In point sparring the focus is significantly different than in self-defense. Training to produce a kick which is low, fast and hard does not produce the sort of visual effect one needs for competition. However, it is exactly the sort of TKD one would need for self-defense. In this manner it is also important that the person train in "encumbered" situations such as having to defend themselves holding a kicking shield (to represent a chile, books, packages, etc), having to defend themselves within a tight or cluttered perimeter such as a bus or shop, or with a number of un-involved individuals in close proximity such as a flea market or airport.

As you correctly pointed out, these are not evolution in the strict sense but more of a return to how things were originally presented before people found out how lucrative tournaments could be. FWIW.

Best Wishes,

Bruce
 

MJS

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glad2bhere said:
My vote would be to stay with this string here, but your last post also brought something else to mind. I don't think that anyone has brought body types into the mix.

Agreed!!

If TKD WERE to evolve along the lines discussed would adding things make it more attractive to some folks and less attractive to others? For instance, would a 20-something co-ed at, say, 105# want to train in something would involve full-torso, grinding contact with someone who is 210#? And if one circumvents that discomfort by only having women work with women will that induce homophobic responses as well as compromise the quality of the instruction? I have often considered that some part of peoples reluctance to get involved in grappling, locking and throwing might be fears along these lines.

Putting a woman against someone bigger, stronger, etc. is an advantage to her, not a disadvantage. Women dont rape women, so if the woman is not used to dealing with a stronger, larger person, how will she ever evolve???

Moving along farther, what would prevent a person from taking TKD and dropping stuff that he personally doesn't like and adding things that he personally likes. Would the result still be TKD? How much tint can a person add before the paint has changed to a completely different color? Comments? Anyone?

Yes, it still would be TKD. I've added elements of Arnis into my Kenpo, and its IMO, made it better for me, as well as giving me a better understanding of the art. As for how much to add.....that depends on the person doing the adding.

Mike
 
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I must admit that I stopped reading posts on this subject because I know the end result. everyone has a different opinion on Self-Defense in TKD.
Well, as a student of a true believer in self-defense, I can attest that I learn and LOVE the SD aspect of TKD. Our style is more modernized than traditional. We still do traditional style forms (poom-sae) but, we add the modern art of self-defense. Gun & knife defense, ground fighting (since many fights will end up with one, or both, on the ground), to name a couple. This modern aspect of our style is what partailly lured me to TKD.
I know that each school does things differently and it will be up to the instructors in each one to show, or not show.

Our orginization has reciently adopted Olympic Style TKD. They hope to have some of our very own become Olympic Champions. While this adoption of another style is "typical" we, as students within the orginization, have come to realize that; the door opens wide and the halls are deep once the rank of 1st Deg. has been reached. TKD is just the basis of our learning/teaching. There is always more to learn.
 

hyde75

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I been practiced Taekwondo 28 year now, i really don't know how you train in your country, but in Finland and in my school we practice taekwondo different way, of course we have olympic taekwondo fighters, i use fight allmoust 15 years in taekwondo, then i open my eyes and look our style with different eyes... Why we have so many blocks, so many strikes? we have strikes with our finger tips, we have knife strikes, we have many pumses, my favourite is the Koryo pumse, it's one of violance pumse in taekwondo, you brake knee, you strike in Adams apple, you even rip guys balls of, maybe you need look closer of things you do in taekwondo... olympic sparring is just one peace of taekwondo, there is allso pumses (katas), there is kyoukpa (smashing tiles), self defensive also there is same amount blocks and strikes that in any another martial art (karate, hapkido, kung fu and so on), you have to remember that taekwondo is devoleped from karate, kung fu, taekkyon... Our pumses have some trows also, like gumgam pumse... Look deep in your martial art =)
If you just do olympic style sprarring and just do pads drill you are in serius problems in street and also you havent understand TAEKWONDO at all... If your teacher don't teach these things and do whole taekwondo... I know that there is many schools and teachers how just do olympic martial art, they have miss to whole idea of taekwondo...

Our belt exams you need to know kicks, blocks, strikes, self defensive, breaking and olympic sparring, in black belt test you have 1 vs 5 olympic style sparring and 1 vs. 2 with out rules

Sorry my english, hope you understand my writing... I'm from Finland and not so good writing english
 

Earl Weiss

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.................. Now lets suppose that one increases the amount of hand techniques somewhat.
Bruce

Depends what you are referring to when YOU say "TKD". The first new system using the TKD moniker has approximately 2000 hand techniques versus 1200 foot techniques. I don't think you need to increase the number of hand techniques, especialy not for SD.
 

Dirty Dog

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Depends what you are referring to when YOU say "TKD". The first new system using the TKD moniker has approximately 2000 hand techniques versus 1200 foot techniques. I don't think you need to increase the number of hand techniques, especialy not for SD.

I would agree. Although I think it's true that there are certainly teachers/schools/systems that neglect those hand techniques.
Of course, that's an issue with the teacher/school/system, not Tae Kwon Do.


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