TKD Practical? How did I do?

golfermatt

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I was at a meeting this afternoon, and I told someone that I had to leave early, which lead to me explaining that I was practicing TKD. As there was a former Gold Gloves Boxer there, some once upon time highschool wrestlers and mma fans, the conversation generated into a which is better type of thing. It should be obvious that nothing work related was accomplished at this meeting! Comments about TKD were the based mostly on Olympic Style TKD as that was the very little these guys had seen. They commented on the low hands, poor defense, and kicking game. This is what I told them and I wanted to know how you think I did:
I stated that what you see in the Olympics is indeed a sport, that is how it should be looked at. Claiming it is impractical because of the sport is like:
-Saying boxing is impractical because they do not kick, or use takedowns or chokes.
or
-Wresting is impractical because they do not strike.
or
-MMA is impractical because they do not bite or groin kick.
They are all just sports and likely to be impractical as they are limited to competition. However the complete martial art is very practical as it pertains to blocking, kicking, punching, knee strikes and many other techniques.
They actually seemed to understand this. I have listened quietly to conversations like this in the past, and really do not participate in the exclaiming of one art being better than another. I was a tad offended by how they dismissed what I was practicing and this was my first foray into explaining. I do not know if it will be last, so I thought I would ask for some input.
 

dancingalone

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Sounds like you did fine. Keep up the good work! Some have expressed the opinion here that either 1) TKD (and other traditional martial arts) do not truly have a negative reputation among lay people or 2) that it is best to keep silent and let people think however they wish. I for one do not agree with either proposition and I am glad to hear that you spoke up.
 

ralphmcpherson

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Do you do olympic style tkd? When I come across this sort of thing I just tell them there is 'sport' tkd and there is tkd the martial art. I do the martial art. I know nothing about sport tkd, I dont know the rules, how the scoring works, I dont know why their hands are down, I dont know why they dont punch, I dont know the poomsae they do etc etc. I can only comment on the martial side of tkd, which is very effective. I train with LEO's, bouncers, security guys etc and Im pretty sure if what we did was not effective they wouldnt be wasting their time doing it. Unfortunately, the average 'joe' on the street thinks that tkd is what you see in the olympics so its hard to explain otherwise. Our club calls what we do "self defence tkd" to try and separate what we do from what you see on youtube and the olympics.
 

Manny

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You did it weel, you listen the other guys and politely showed them your points about Sport TKD and the other "Sports" the other guys do.

There have been so many times when another martial artist (non TKDoings) said me TKD sucks pecause of what we all know about using only kicking, etc,etc, then I answer if they think TKD as a MA is not good then why in heaven Sport Shotokan karate for example is better if they only do revrese punches (most of the times) pulling the punches.

It's true, if sambonim ask me to wear the full safety gear and told me to sparr with a partner I will use the WTF rules to do it and try to beat the other by points using full contact kicks, however, if sambonim ask me to defend myself (inside dojang) from one or two partners I will use what ever I have at hand, and this is grabs,sweeps,take downs,punches,kicks,joint manipulation and all the pletora of techs that TKD has as a Martial Art.

One thing is sport sparring and other is Ho Shi Sul period.

Manny
 

StudentCarl

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I think you did fine.

An idea I often mention is that arts don't fight, fighters do. Everyone is a combination of skills and attributes. Combined effectively, the techniques of most any combative art or sport can be dangerous. However part of "combined effectively" is timing, quickness, power, reading the opponent, etc. Techniques are only tools; it's people that are either dangerous or not. Just because TKD offers a big menu of techniques does not mean someone is limited to those that might not fit a situation. What makes a 'fighter' is someone who uses their tools effectively and decisively in a given situation.

I explain too that combative sports are not meant to be seriously injurious. It's hard to have a sport if you are too broken, too often to train. We have rules so you can somewhat safely compete and thus develop your attributes and skills. Although we say that some people are gifted with great talent, most people would agree that hard work and good instruction will improve everyone's ability--you can improve both your attributes and your skills.

I compete in WTF sparring all I can. It's good conditioning, helps me build strength, speed, and power, and helps me develop the ability to read what an opponent is doing. I also learn to work through getting hit and/or hurt.

Just because I fight barefoot on a foam mat with front hand out and back hand up doesn't mean I fight that way on the street. People who criticize TKD because we throw high kicks and fight in a stance that is sport-adapted rather than street-adapted are either clueless or purposely taking the activity out of context. Do they really believe that, on the street, I will take off my shoes and that high kicks are the only tools in my box? (It did work for Billy Jack though.)

Carl
 

Master Dan

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I was at a meeting this afternoon, and I told someone that I had to leave early, which lead to me explaining that I was practicing TKD. As there was a former Gold Gloves Boxer there, some once upon time highschool wrestlers and mma fans, the conversation generated into a which is better type of thing. It should be obvious that nothing work related was accomplished at this meeting! Comments about TKD were the based mostly on Olympic Style TKD as that was the very little these guys had seen. They commented on the low hands, poor defense, and kicking game. This is what I told them and I wanted to know how you think I did:
I stated that what you see in the Olympics is indeed a sport, that is how it should be looked at. Claiming it is impractical because of the sport is like:
-Saying boxing is impractical because they do not kick, or use takedowns or chokes.
or
-Wresting is impractical because they do not strike.
or
-MMA is impractical because they do not bite or groin kick.
They are all just sports and likely to be impractical as they are limited to competition. However the complete martial art is very practical as it pertains to blocking, kicking, punching, knee strikes and many other techniques.
They actually seemed to understand this. I have listened quietly to conversations like this in the past, and really do not participate in the exclaiming of one art being better than another. I was a tad offended by how they dismissed what I was practicing and this was my first foray into explaining. I do not know if it will be last, so I thought I would ask for some input.

Hopefully what you are also learning is a life style that develops you mentally spiritually and physically with an emphasis on building you up with out major injury kicking punchin self defense are just by products of that training the life skills you will gain are more important such as coping skills cognative mental learning skills and rentention that will help you at work and dealing with people at work at home and your community.

That is what Boxing MMA and just fight to win focused training cannot give children and the average or hurt sick or out of shape person.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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I was at a meeting this afternoon, and I told someone that I had to leave early, which lead to me explaining that I was practicing TKD. As there was a former Gold Gloves Boxer there, some once upon time highschool wrestlers and mma fans, the conversation generated into a which is better type of thing. It should be obvious that nothing work related was accomplished at this meeting! Comments about TKD were the based mostly on Olympic Style TKD as that was the very little these guys had seen. They commented on the low hands, poor defense, and kicking game. This is what I told them and I wanted to know how you think I did:
I stated that what you see in the Olympics is indeed a sport, that is how it should be looked at. Claiming it is impractical because of the sport is like:
-Saying boxing is impractical because they do not kick, or use takedowns or chokes.
or
-Wresting is impractical because they do not strike.
or
-MMA is impractical because they do not bite or groin kick.
They are all just sports and likely to be impractical as they are limited to competition. However the complete martial art is very practical as it pertains to blocking, kicking, punching, knee strikes and many other techniques.
They actually seemed to understand this. I have listened quietly to conversations like this in the past, and really do not participate in the exclaiming of one art being better than another. I was a tad offended by how they dismissed what I was practicing and this was my first foray into explaining. I do not know if it will be last, so I thought I would ask for some input.
I think that what you said was fine. They will either be open to listening to an insider and thus expanding their knowledge, or they will continue in their ______ is better than _____ discussions, which I suspect they enjoy in their own right, given that you indicate that such discussions are at least somewhat regular.

Daniel
 

Earl Weiss

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Comments about TKD were the based mostly on Olympic Style TKD as that was the very little these guys had seen. They commented on the low hands, poor defense, and kicking game. This is what I told them and I wanted to know how you think I did:
.

It really does not matter what you told them.

Olympic style is the most widely practiced typoe of TKD sparring and the one most often encountered by the general public.

Like it or not the mantra "How you train is how you will act." applies to TKD as well. train to fight with hands down and porr defense, and that is how you will fight.

That is the perception olympic Sparring gives.


Only people who do Olympic style sparring "get it".

For everyone else the image it gives TKD as an art of Self defense is that it sucks.
 

puunui

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I was at a meeting this afternoon, and I told someone that I had to leave early, which lead to me explaining that I was practicing TKD.


I try as much as possible to live a compartmentalized life. Meaning, when I am at work, I only speak about work and never bring up the martial arts. When I am at home, I try not to bring work home. And when I am doing martial arts, I only do martial arts. Works better for me. There is no reason for my business associates to know that I practice the martial arts, or anyone else for that matter outside of martial arts people.
 

puunui

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Only people who do Olympic style sparring "get it". For everyone else the image it gives TKD as an art of Self defense is that it sucks.


I don't know about that, especially the hands down aspect of Taekwondo sparring. One step sparring for example, which many use as their self defense training, starts with the defender standing in a neutral stance, with their hands down.
 

ralphmcpherson

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I don't know about that, especially the hands down aspect of Taekwondo sparring. One step sparring for example, which many use as their self defense training, starts with the defender standing in a neutral stance, with their hands down.
I agree, but this is why tkd often gets criticised for doing one steps this way. We only do it that way at white belt, as it is totally unrealistic. If someone attacks you for real it will be more likely to be with a big wild swinging haymaker. I have to agree with Earl, only people who do olympic sparring "get it".
 

chrispillertkd

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I agree, but this is why tkd often gets criticised for doing one steps this way. We only do it that way at white belt, as it is totally unrealistic. If someone attacks you for real it will be more likely to be with a big wild swinging haymaker. I have to agree with Earl, only people who do olympic sparring "get it".

This is interesting. I personally have never heard people critisize Taekwon-Do for having one-step sparring start in a ready position (chubi sogi). The criticism I have heard has been more along the lines of having people punch and then hold that position while the defender does about 12 counter attacks.

In the ITF one-step sparring isn't taught at white belt; I don't know if that has anything to do with the difference in our experiences. It's emphasis is on immediate counterattacking and delivering very forceful blows. Indeed, the idea behind it is to end an encounter with a single blow. People will sometimes do more counterattacks than one, but that really is one of the main ideas Gen. Choi was trying to imbue with pre-arranged sparring (which includes 3, 2, and 1 step sparring). This is an idea which is somewhat different from free sparring, IMO. Indeed, the fact that both attacker and defender start in parallel ready stances in one step sparring also indicates a difference in mentality from that of free sparring where both parties begin in fighting stances with a referee indicating when they begin. IMO, this latter beginning is much more unrealistic than the beginning of one step sparring. I've never seen a referee start a fight, but I have seen people try to sucker punch someone from a non-agressive looking posture.

Of course, KKW standards may well be different regarding counterattacks, starting positions, etc. I was training at a KKW school there were some differences between its one step sparring practices and what I was used to.

Pax,

Chris
 

ralphmcpherson

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This is interesting. I personally have never heard people critisize Taekwon-Do for having one-step sparring start in a ready position (chubi sogi). The criticism I have heard has been more along the lines of having people punch and then hold that position while the defender does about 12 counter attacks.

In the ITF one-step sparring isn't taught at white belt; I don't know if that has anything to do with the difference in our experiences. It's emphasis is on immediate counterattacking and delivering very forceful blows. Indeed, the idea behind it is to end an encounter with a single blow. People will sometimes do more counterattacks than one, but that really is one of the main ideas Gen. Choi was trying to imbue with pre-arranged sparring (which includes 3, 2, and 1 step sparring). This is an idea which is somewhat different from free sparring, IMO. Indeed, the fact that both attacker and defender start in parallel ready stances in one step sparring also indicates a difference in mentality from that of free sparring where both parties begin in fighting stances with a referee indicating when they begin. IMO, this latter beginning is much more unrealistic than the beginning of one step sparring. I've never seen a referee start a fight, but I have seen people try to sucker punch someone from a non-agressive looking posture.

Of course, KKW standards may well be different regarding counterattacks, starting positions, etc. I was training at a KKW school there were some differences between its one step sparring practices and what I was used to.

Pax,

Chris
We teach basic one steps at white belt so the students can learn a bit of distancing and reflexes and basically get accustomed to someone throwing an attack at them. Within 6 months of training our self defence changes to replicate "real" attacks, the attacker and defender stand in a more realistic stance and the attacks resemble something that might actually happen if ever attacked for real. There are no punches from the hip, or attacker throwing punches from a nice neat stance or anything like that. About 15 years ago we did the traditional style one steps and they were even a grading requirement back then, but they have since been phased out and are just something we get the beginners to do to get a feel for self defence.
 

chrispillertkd

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We teach basic one steps at white belt so the students can learn a bit of distancing and reflexes and basically get accustomed to someone throwing an attack at them. Within 6 months of training our self defence changes to replicate "real" attacks, the attacker and defender stand in a more realistic stance and the attacks resemble something that might actually happen if ever attacked for real. There are no punches from the hip, or attacker throwing punches from a nice neat stance or anything like that. About 15 years ago we did the traditional style one steps and they were even a grading requirement back then, but they have since been phased out and are just something we get the beginners to do to get a feel for self defence.

It sounds like you just skip on to something similar to ho sin sul, though perhaps focusing on different techniques. It's interesting to note that in regards to ho sin sul Gen. Choi specified "there is no doubt that these self-defense techniques can only be effective when the defender takes time to ceaselessly train with them under realistic conditions."

Pax,

Chris
 

ralphmcpherson

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It sounds like you just skip on to something similar to ho sin sul, though perhaps focusing on different techniques. It's interesting to note that in regards to ho sin sul Gen. Choi specified "there is no doubt that these self-defense techniques can only be effective when the defender takes time to ceaselessly train with them under realistic conditions."

Pax,

Chris
We had a training camp on the beach last weekend which had a heavy emphasis on self defence techs. One of the most impressive things I saw there was 5 or 6 6th dans showing us some techs and explaining to keep it "real". They are strongly against the traditional style one steps. At one point I saw them standing in a circle with one in the middle. The one in the middle was randomly attacked by one of the others, they didnt telegraph what they would do, they attacked full speed with realistic attacks and the defender had to defend using instinct and the self defence techs they know. It was very impressive to watch and very realistic. When I spoke to a few of them later over a few beers the point they all made is that they practice this stuff against attacks they may actually face on the street, in realistic stances at a proper distance where if they stuff up they will be hit. Bottom line was that you should train how you fight and you will fight how you train.
 
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