TKD as a secondary art at a school

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Now my head is spinning.
The BJJ fighter who cross-trained in HKD was with us for several months, maybe a year or so. This was several years ago. I remember his face and some things about it, but I honestly don't remember his name, it's been so long.

I am planning on moving roughly 2000 miles in July. My family left where I live and moved halfway across the country. They like it better there. I think I'll like it better there, and I'm not really happy with a lot of things where I'm at right now, so I could use the fresh start. The BJJ gym I'm talking about potentially joining is in the new location.
 

Gerry Seymour

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My current curriculum designs are based around my plan to open my own TKD school. My plan is to start off at a community center (such as the YMCA), and then when I have enough students, to lease my own space to hold classes. One option that has recently been presented is for a BJJ school that currently does not have a striking class to bring me on to run a TKD class. This was an off-the-cuff remark about something that would probably be a year or two down the road for me, but it did get me thinking. How would I adjust my approach if I am an elective instructor of a school instead of the primary?

There are two things on the back of my mind before I get into this.
  1. In my current TKD school, we also have HKD. Our HKD training eschews that which overlaps with TKD. We don't do punches or kicks in HKD, because we do those in TKD.
  2. One of my former HKD classmates also trained in BJJ. He won gold in a BJJ tournament, crediting HKD as the base of his defenses. It was impossible for his opponents to get a grip, and he was able to defend everything they tried. Then he used his BJJ to win (because there isn't much offense in what we do in HKD).
With that in mind, I can think of 4 approaches to my curriculum.
  • The current design is mostly TKD, a bit of HKD, some weapon training, and a few other influences sprinkled on top. Why change what I've already figured out? Because there might be some overlap with the other art at the school? If there is, so be it.
  • A focus on the competitive aspects of TKD, so the school has another competition with which to bring home the golds. Completely avoids overlap with BJJ, but that may be a bad thing for people looking to integrate the two.
  • Serve as a stand-up game for the sport of MMA. Lean more into the traditional Taekwondo kicks, and sprinkle more in from boxing and Muay Thai influences. Still include the Hapkido, based on thought #2 above.
  • Serve as a stand-up component in a complete self-defense solution. Include more of the Hapkido than the previous option, and include weapon training (which won't help much in an MMA fight).
Of course, this is something I would probably discuss with the owners of the BJJ school if I decide to go this route, and see what they want or expect from the class. A lot of what I'm doing right now is planning ahead for multiple scenarios. Even then, they might just say, "It's your class, do what you want with it."

If you do teach TKD as a secondary or elective course at a BJJ or MMA school, how does your approach differ from what you would do if you were on your own? If not, how would you change your approach if you were to teach at a BJJ or MMA school?
This is a great thought process. I went through some of this thought when I was teaching at a traditional Okinawan karate school (Shorin-Ryu). Im in my phone, but Ill share more of my thoughts when Im back at my PC.

My short response is that any of those approaches can work, depending on your goals and those of the BJJ instructor(s).
 

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The BJJ fighter who cross-trained in HKD was with us for several months, maybe a year or so. This was several years ago. I remember his face and some things about it, but I honestly don't remember his name, it's been so long.

I am planning on moving roughly 2000 miles in July. My family left where I live and moved halfway across the country. They like it better there. I think I'll like it better there, and I'm not really happy with a lot of things where I'm at right now, so I could use the fresh start. The BJJ gym I'm talking about potentially joining is in the new location.
Gotcha. Thanks for clarifying.
 

Gerry Seymour

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OK, following up on my prior post, now that I'm at a PC.

Firstly, I mostly agree with @Buka, assuming that's what the school owner is looking for. But here's a more long-winded and complete set of my thoughts.

So, mostly this depends what the owner and students are looking for. I thought through a lot of this when teaching at the Shorin-ryu school, and leaned on my experience teaching an experienced Shodan Karateka, who wanted to supplement with what I teach. I never got a chance to follow through on the thoughts - my early-morning Sunday classes only drew one student from the Karate classes, so there was never really a chance to integrate with what they taught. Keep that in mind as you read this - this was all thought exercise, and isn't based on what worked. (In the end, I just taught my version of the blended NGA-based curriculum I'd teach if I had my own place, since there wasn't really any cross-over.)

I considered 3 different approaches:
  1. Just teach what I'd teach if I was on my own. This would make my class a separate program within the school, with no significant link to the Karate curriculum. In my case, there's some specific overlap, so there was actually material I wouldn't teach if a a student from the Karate class was already competent in those areas (basic punch, standard kicks, etc. wouldn't be materially different). The benefit to the students is that they experience entirely different approaches. The disadvantage to them is that there would be no real integration.
  2. Teach a subset of my full curriculum, leaving out teaching striking unless there was a deficit. This would only have worked well if all students came in from the Karate classes, and I'd have to tailor what I taught to where they were in the Karate curriculum. Had there been overlap, this might have been the easiest. I'd have still been working striking some, but no basic striking drills - just sparring and such.
  3. Teach a grappling fundamentals class. This is actually what I'd do if I were doing a seminar at a Karate school with limited (or no) grappling. I'd cover basic principles (structure breaking, defense against grappling, etc.), and only bring in classical exercises (2-man forms, etc.) if there was interest from students to have a separate class for them. In this school, it's not likely it would have appealed as much to the students, since this was a pretty traditional school - they were used to (and liked) the structured curriculum, and would likely have preferred the classical NGA approach over this.
Obviously, my situation was the opposite of what you're looking at, but still analogous. So, as I see it, there are three ways to go (and some variations around them, but let's keep it simple):
  1. Teach your curriculum as a parallel program in the school. This would only be the best approach if the owner is asking because he wants to widen the offerings to include something more "traditional". I have a hard time seeing that as likely.
  2. Tweak your curriculum to integrate more with BJJ. To do this well, you'd probably need to attend some BJJ classes, too. The idea would be to drop things out of your curriculum that BJJ already does well, and focus on what you can add for them. This is vague for me, because I don't know enough about TKD to have an idea what tweaks fit this concept.
  3. Teach specifically to give them what will add to the MMA context. This probably needs some discussion with someone who has use TKD in that context, but I'd assume that would mean mostly straightforward, simple kicks and hand/arm strikes. I do think including some HKD-based grappling defense would be a good idea (again, to understand what that is for you, you probably need to join in some BJJ classes to see where your circular and control principles surprise them).
 
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