TKD's Image

B

Baytor

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I think he cares because people usually lump things togather (like good TKD with bad TKD), in this case all Korean MA's. My two cents.
 
K

kwanjang

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MichiganTKD said:
I call'em like I see'em. And he is a total whore. Everything is for sale, he can't advertise enough, and his teaching is third rate. I know because I've seen it. Don't blame me if you choose to associate with the ones who give Tae Kwon Do a bad name. That's your choice.

Anyway, since you practice Hapkido, why do you care about Tae Kwon Do's image?

Michigan: You take the top prize in spreading venom. I never knew who you were talking about, so I had no idea I supposedly hang around with whomever you speak of. I practice Korean martial arts, and YOU are not making it any better by your choice of words.

In this thread, folks discussed the image of TKD, and that IS a Korean martial art. The trash talking you did here about other Korean martial artists does not help make the TKD (or Korean martial arts) image any better. There just HAS to be a better way, and I am surprised that the forum moderators allow you to spread your brand of image fixing.

Contrary to what you may think. I have nothing against you, and I see you make some good contributions to this forum. If anyone else talked trash like this, I would do the very same thing... you see, I am JUST interested in changing the image of Korean arts. It is nothing personal. BTW, you can skip making anonymous trash comments on my guestbook. Next time it happens I will publish your name and contact your ISP.
 

MichiganTKD

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Rudy,

First, I never mentioned anybody in particular. I was adding my thoughts about Tae Kwon Do Instructors who prostitute the art and make it look cheap. Nobody's name came up. When I said it was your choice to hang around these Instructors, I was speaking hypothetically. And if you believe I was implying one person in particular was guilty, I was not. It is a widespread problem, whether in my area or wherever.
Second, we are not talking about general Korean martial arts here. We are talking specifically about Tae Kwon Do's image problem. A problem exacerbated by the points I made as well as eloquently pointed out by Hardheadjarhead. If you want to talk about the image problem of Korean martial arts, start a thread in the Korean martial arts section.

Contrary to what you may believe, I do not spread venom. I have definite opinions about certain topics, but I try to stay away from direct attacks and quote knowledge as I understand it. It's not my fault if you have a thin skin and want all Korean stylists to get along and love each other regardless. The fact is, many Tae Kwon Do Instructors are worthy of contempt due to the damage they do to public perception of TKD, whether through poor teaching, prostituting themselves and turning TKD into a commodity, or charging exhorbitant fees. Despite the actions of several of the Instructors in my area, TKD is an art worthy of respect. It is up to the rest of us who do honestly care about it and believe in it as more than just a way to make money or get famous.

By the way, I am not leaving nasty messages in your guest book. If someone is doing it and signing my name, rest assured it is not me. I have better things to do.
 
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kwanjang

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MichiganTKD said:
Rudy,

First, I never mentioned anybody in particular. I was adding my thoughts about Tae Kwon Do Instructors who prostitute the art and make it look cheap. Nobody's name came up. When I said it was your choice to hang around these Instructors, I was speaking hypothetically. And if you believe I was implying one person in particular was guilty, I was not. ...

Michigan:
I quote your previous post here: "I call'em like I see'em. And he is a total whore.". In addition to this, you mention the University he teaches at.

If you are not talking about a particular person here, it is a surprise to anyone who would read your post. By continuing to take cheap shots at folks without publicly stating your name (instead of hiding behind your alias), you remove all doubt in anyone's mind just what you are made of.

I am dropping the matter now, because we were obviously raised differently about what is reasonable language to use in a discussion such as this. BTW, I am a ranking black belt in TKD, so I do have a vested interest.
 

MichiganTKD

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Rudy,

You're assuming I'm talking about the Instructor who I believe is a total whore as being the one who teaches at Eastern Michigan University. I am not. The "total whore" refers to another Instructor in the area. The Instructor who teaches at Eastern Michigan University in my opinion does damage to the art but for different reasons.
You don't like the language I use in talking about different Instructors. Fine. Barring using profanity, which I would find unacceptable given this is a public forum, I'm going to be honest, but I will not personally attack. I'm sorry if you are used to people putting you on a pedestal because you are "Rudy, kwang jang" and using honorific language. It's kind of like the Emperor's New Clothes. Sometimes a little honesty is painful but necessary, lest our egos get too big.

One difference between you and I is that I teach and promote Tae Kwon Do. That is where my energy goes. I do not put my Tae Kwon Do rank beside whatever five other styles I hold rank in.
 

glad2bhere

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Ive watched these exchanges, back and forth, for a little bit, and honestly dont know what to make of them. I can say that as I read them I remember that the continent of Africa could have become one of the major powerhouses in World politics except that national forces around the world constantly stoked the tribal conflicts to keep the continent from uniting--- while they stole it blind. Are we dealing with the same thing in the Korean Martial Arts? Are there folks who need to keep KMA at each others throats because conflict breeds novelty and drama in otherwise humdrum lives? The two reasons I raise this response are as follows.

First of all I can find no Rational explanation for exchanges like these. I was the focus of one such exchange a little bit ago and still cannot reconcile what that was all about. It has something to do with bad feelings but beyond that I am at a loss. I remember one unbalanced fellow who once conceded that he enjoyed stirring up chaos for its own sake, and suggested it as a form of attention-getting (free advertising?) by which he was kept as the focus of attention. Good for his business but bad for the KMA--- not that he was probably very concerned about the latter.

Secondly I see no productive outcome from these exchanges. Its not like anything is going to be resolved and the KMA made better by an ultimate reconciliation. Instead someone is going to escalate over another person--- up and up--- until someone says something that cant be backed down from--- on a very public stage--- and then we have crossed a line which is very difficult to come back across. But nothing will actually be resolved. Therefore, I would like to suggest something.

My suggestion is that we train in activities geared towards power and control. Like an orchestra constantly tuning up for a performance that is never given, we run our forms, perform our drills and play our respective parts over and over again. Some of us hone our skills to extraordinary levels, but only with the view of never actually getting to use the skills for the intent for which they were originated. My sense is that the frustration can be terrible, like those Special Forces soldiers who train their whole careers and are never part of the 10% who actually see combat. Out of frustration, then, we turn on each other with some unstated prayer that we can pick a conflict with a fraternal practitioner who will appreciate such a frustration albeit at an unconscious level and furnish us with an opportunity to relieve that pressure.

For my part, as an outside observer, I can only encourage people to learn to deal with such pressure as it is the inevitable result of the Warriors Path we have elected to follow. And if we can learn to reconcile such conflicts as this we will no doubt be successful in bringing peace to the conflicts of others. Nobody said following a Warriors Path was going to be easy. At least, nobody ever said it to me. FWIW.

Best Wishes,

Bruce
 

bignick

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very interesting perspective

I think anyone that's been involved with KMA for any period of time can attest...these happen all time...honestly though, i'd never quite thought of it that way before...i think you may be hitting pretty close to home with your analysis
 

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glad2bhere said:
Ive watched these exchanges, back and forth, for a little bit, and honestly dont know what to make of them. I can say that as I read them I remember that the continent of Africa could have become one of the major powerhouses in World politics except that national forces around the world constantly stoked the tribal conflicts to keep the continent from uniting--- while they stole it blind. Are we dealing with the same thing in the Korean Martial Arts? Are there folks who need to keep KMA at each others throats because conflict breeds novelty and drama in otherwise humdrum lives? The two reasons I raise this response are as follows.

First of all I can find no Rational explanation for exchanges like these. I was the focus of one such exchange a little bit ago and still cannot reconcile what that was all about. It has something to do with bad feelings but beyond that I am at a loss. I remember one unbalanced fellow who once conceded that he enjoyed stirring up chaos for its own sake, and suggested it as a form of attention-getting (free advertising?) by which he was kept as the focus of attention. Good for his business but bad for the KMA--- not that he was probably very concerned about the latter.

Secondly I see no productive outcome from these exchanges. Its not like anything is going to be resolved and the KMA made better by an ultimate reconciliation. Instead someone is going to escalate over another person--- up and up--- until someone says something that cant be backed down from--- on a very public stage--- and then we have crossed a line which is very difficult to come back across. But nothing will actually be resolved. Therefore, I would like to suggest something.

My suggestion is that we train in activities geared towards power and control. Like an orchestra constantly tuning up for a performance that is never given, we run our forms, perform our drills and play our respective parts over and over again. Some of us hone our skills to extraordinary levels, but only with the view of never actually getting to use the skills for the intent for which they were originated. My sense is that the frustration can be terrible, like those Special Forces soldiers who train their whole careers and are never part of the 10% who actually see combat. Out of frustration, then, we turn on each other with some unstated prayer that we can pick a conflict with a fraternal practitioner who will appreciate such a frustration albeit at an unconscious level and furnish us with an opportunity to relieve that pressure.

For my part, as an outside observer, I can only encourage people to learn to deal with such pressure as it is the inevitable result of the Warriors Path we have elected to follow. And if we can learn to reconcile such conflicts as this we will no doubt be successful in bringing peace to the conflicts of others. Nobody said following a Warriors Path was going to be easy. At least, nobody ever said it to me. FWIW.

Best Wishes,

Bruce
Bruce,

As I have stated in other/earlier posts, I've been around long enough to get a "lay of the land". But, after conversing with you via some earlier threads I know I have nowhere near your experience or knowledge of either the history or current state of KMA. Regardless, I tend to agree that these conversations, while possibly thought provoking and emotionally stimulating, are generally pointless because, as you alluded to, nothing will be solved or changed by these discussions. We are fighting a two-headed monster that isn't going away.

On one end, we have the current leaders of the various "ruling bodies" who, while verbally espousing the great character building and discipline enhancing benefits of KMA in the spirit of the Hwarang Warriors, are driven by their egos and their wallets, and are content to lower their standards for the arts if it means a larger following which = more $$$. And it doesn't matter that some of the "old guard" is dying out. After the death of Gen. Choi, it has becaome apparent that the "new blood" is just another generation of vultures waiting in the branches.

On the other end, we have a willing audience of wannabe-warriors here in the US who have become accustomed to a culture which is more concerned with making people feel good about themselves regardless of the effort put out, and where people have become spoiled and accustomed to getting everything they want, and quickly. If you want to shed a tear or two, read Tom Brokaw's "Greatest Generation". Compare the ethic of the depression/WWII generation to what we have now. All the talk in the world will not change this. It's a sociological "sea-change".

When I consider the (lack of) leadership in today's KMA, and the state of our own society, the result in KMA here reminds me of the ending line in the Harry Chapin classic "Taxi":
We both got what we asked for, such a long, long time ago......
 
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XxTKDPenguinxX

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Here's my two cents worth...

I am a member of the ATA as well as an instructor. I have seen countless times of how the Korean Martial Arts can get a bad name just within our orginization. But in the same views, I have seen great things done with TKD and abroad that it can not go ignored.
Like everything in life... you get out of it what you put into it. This can be true when speaking about the school owners, instructors, students, and even parents.
With a poor school owner (usually chief instructor) they are worried about nothing but money. Make the parents happy so they will keep their kids in TKD and pay the prices for new weapons, uniforms, special classes, t-shirts, etc. Because of this poor school owner, the bad parent becomes worse (bad parent meaning that they just want their kid to advance no matter if deserved or not).
The instructors (when under the owner) will kiss up to the cheif instructor/owner, thus creating lesser students...ignoring the basic techniques... allowing poor results. They will help feed the situation, only to be left aside in the end.
The student is just as bad if they deny themselves the challange of it all. To ignore their bodies when they can see, for themselves, that there is something missing.
The parent who allowes the child to never practice at home. To never encouage the child to never give up. To belittle the child if they aren't doing as well, yet trying their hearts out!

Then there is the instructor who has set the bar above and beyond the others. The dreamer who will not allow his/her ethics of the Martial Art to be cast aside. This is the instructor, student, parent, and practitioner who remains after the school is closed to work on his/her forms. To work on the same techniques over, and over, and over, and over. This is the one who cares the most about his/her students' progress, and usually cares more than some of the parents.

I take offense when people bash the orginization I belong to and TKD as a whole. I understand, to a degree, why they do... but what is done.. is done. The most anyone can do now, is help change that image. Take the bull by the horns and do what they know to be right and true.
We all have a code within most orginizations... Learn it, live it, love it.
Want to change TKD's image? Seriously? Then practice what you know to be true. Give 110% each and every time. And when you can't give any more...push it another 10%.
 

MichiganTKD

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It was certainly not my intention to single anybody out, despite what Rudy thinks. One thing I have noticed: when talking about McDojangs or those who contribute to the negative perception of Tae Kwon Do, nobody ever feels that THEY do anything to contribute to TKD's negative perception. As a matter of fact, they get downright offended at the suggestion that they might be anything but genuine contributors to the art.
I certainly didn't intend or want to get into a shouting match with Rudy or any other Instructor. But the fact remains: Tae Kwon Do has a certain image problem. And while nobody wants to accept any responsibility, there are numerous Instructors (and sometimes I use the term loosely) who make it worse by shoddy teaching, exagerated or phony credentials, outrageous fees, selling belts, and prostituting themselves or the Art. Some may be offended at my use of the term. But what is a prostitute? Someone who sells themselves strictly for money.
It is impossible to single anyone out-the problem is too widespread. But neither should we sit back and let those who contribute to the problem reap their benefits. After all, cockroaches thrive in darkness. The best way to scatter them is to expose them to light. The best way to expose those who contribute to Tae Kwon Do's image problem is to expose them and offer a better way.

By the way Bruce, I understand the problem of keeping students. I suppose if I conducted class the same way these guys did (selling belts, watering down the program, offering the fancy uniforms etc.), I'd have tons of students-like McDonalds has millions of customers. I refuse to so I don't. I at least have my integrity. That you can't buy.
 

MichiganTKD

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By the way, in case anybody wondered (or cared), my avatar is Sam Kinison. Loud, sometimes rude, opinionated, and usually right. Felt he was appropriate.

RIP Sam.
 

hardheadjarhead

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We are fighting a two-headed monster that isn't going away.

On one end, we have the current leaders of the various "ruling bodies" who, while verbally espousing the great character building and discipline enhancing benefits of KMA in the spirit of the Hwarang Warriors, are driven by their egos and their wallets, and are content to lower their standards for the arts if it means a larger following which = more $$$.


I couldn't agree with this more.

On the other end, we have a willing audience of wannabe-warriors here in the US who have become accustomed to a culture which is more concerned with making people feel good about themselves regardless of the effort put out, and where people have become spoiled and accustomed to getting everything they want, and quickly. If you want to shed a tear or two, read Tom Brokaw's "Greatest Generation". Compare the ethic of the depression/WWII generation to what we have now. All the talk in the world will not change this. It's a sociological "sea-change".

When I remember those young Marines going into Baghdad, I couldn't disagree more. Again, as I've said elsewhere in unrelated threads, this is a somewhat curmudgeonly and reactionary attitude that calls for the "Good Old Days" and the heroes of yore and their noble attributes. Where in the Hell are Aragorn, Holgar, and Arthur when you need them? We start quoting Benjamin Disraeli while tearing our hair, wailing "Sprung from our loins is a race of weaklings!"

Most of the fighters of the martial arts avoid TKD and go into other systems. This is a harsh reality but one we need to face. The game has passed us by. Part of this was because of the McDojang syndrome, and part of it was due to the Olympic style of fighting with its flash and lack of practicality. I've argued that there are good TKD schools out there--and there are--but there are a huge number that can't teach (or won't teach) their students effective fundamentals of fighting. Many of us are still doing silly little one steps to defend against an impact weapon, or we're totally clueless as to what to do when taken to the ground.

This left us with the "warrior wannabes", the soccer moms and their kids. Other systems picked up the young men and women who care to learn to tussle. Blaming society for our failures accomplishes nothing.

Regards,

Steve
 
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XxTKDPenguinxX

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hardheadjarhead said:
I've argued that there are good TKD schools out there--and there are--but there are a huge number that can't teach (or won't teach) their students effective fundamentals of fighting. Many of us are still doing silly little one steps to defend against an impact weapon, or we're totally clueless as to what to do when taken to the ground.

This left us with the "warrior wannabes", the soccer moms and their kids. Other systems picked up the young men and women who care to learn to tussle. Blaming society for our failures accomplishes nothing.
I totally agree, Steve.

It could easily be stated that; America has allowed the lack-luster of martial arts system. People want the titles and the feeling of the Black Belt, and don't want the time spent (they view it as wasting time) doing it.
Fast paced lives and little bit of laziness are our biggest enemies... Period.
 

glad2bhere

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I can't say that I don't agree with those sentiments but there are also some subtler bits that I think we are avoiding talking about. Since I am not a TKD person maybe its safer for me to raise these issues rather than other people here. But if I am to do this I want it understood that I don't mean anyone any evil. I just think these are points that need to be thought about.

1.) Racism.

I am continually surprised at how reluctant people are to represent their needs in their KMA career. A person will not approach a leader/master because they are intimidated by those epicanthic folds in the eyes and the broken English. They won't approach those Oriental features because they seem to bespeak an authority about KMA that noone but an Oriental can have. They won't voice their needs or desires because to do so is non-Confucian ("disrespectful" to ones' seniors). If we were on a bus that was going the wrong way we would either complain to the bus driver--- or change buses. Changing buses is certainly pro-active, but how many of us do not complain because we naturally assume that the bus driver is in the right and we riders must be wrong?

2.) Purposelessness.

I am likewise surprised at how few people actually have a vision of what it is that they are working to do. I wish I had a nickel for every student who calls me wanting lessons in YMK Hapkido and when I ask him what he is trying to do I get an "I dunno". And these are COLLEGE age people!! Like the man said, "if you don't KNOW WHERE you're going, NO WHERE is where you wind up. I'm not surprised that TKD schools keep milling around in the same circles. What would happen to any of us if we decided we wanted a college education so we go into the nearest school, pick a classroom at random and sit down? Isn't that how a lot of people pick their KMA school?

3.) Laziness.

People who are hungry to learn are interested in what they are studying. Please don't give me the crapolla about "respectful students don't ask questions". That stuff went out with the 60-s and 70-s. You can read and you can write (or you wouldn't be looking at these words now). Get off yer uniforms and start doing research. Golfers are continually refining their swings, and bowlers continually refine their delivery. What have YOU refined today? If your school isn't pro-active, tell your teacher you want it to be. If he says thats not what hes about then you have gotten a big question out of the way and saved yourself a lot of head-banging. The Internet can help you find people who think like you do. I have to tell you very honestly that I am not so sure that the Koreans have been holding control of TKD/TSD/HKD as much as we Westerners have been to lazy to speak-up about what our needs are.

OK. Thats all I wanted to say. I now return you to your regularly scheduled programing. FWIW.

Best Wishes,

Bruce
 

Marginal

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glad2bhere said:
1.) Racism.

I am continually surprised at how reluctant people are to represent their needs in their KMA career. A person will not approach a leader/master because they are intimidated by those epicanthic folds in the eyes and the broken English. They won't approach those Oriental features because they seem to bespeak an authority about KMA that noone but an Oriental can have.

Given that the GM I train under is not Korean or Asian, I can't really see this as an issue of race as much as it is an offshoot of the standards of etiquette that were built in. Don't critize TKD, your instructor, or their methods. Kinda makes it hard to offer feedback regardless of the race the person it charge hails from. (Which way is this racism supposed to be going anyway?)

2.) Purposelessness.
What would happen to any of us if we decided we wanted a college education so we go into the nearest school, pick a classroom at random and sit down? Isn't that how a lot of people pick their KMA school?

I'm not really sure how this exclusively or even predominantly applies to KMA, much less TKD. There's not a lot of immediately accessable info on the MA's as it is, so it's still unrealistic to expect someone who's looking for an introduction to he MA's to know the finer tactical standpoint of a school, or how well they'll mesh with that system.

3.) Laziness.

I have to tell you very honestly that I am not so sure that the Koreans have been holding control of TKD/TSD/HKD as much as we Westerners have been to lazy to speak-up about what our needs are.

I don't think the Koreans have that great a grasp on the entity as it is. If anything, the main things going against TKD, or any other MA is intertia and greed. Things have been dones this way, so that's how we'll do them. The greed's simply the braking effect, "Well, if we degrade this, things still move along, our students may or may not suffer, but we'll have bags of gold in each fist and we'll be saying, yippie yippie!.... "

Alongs those lines, I think nostalgia has a detrimental effect as well. Just because something's tradition or old doesn't necessarially mean that it's a good idea, or that something like having folks jump off a ladder to practice breakfalls produces a superor martial artist. Along with his comes the self-defeating notion that people for reasons totally unaccountable to human nature etc were all serious and dedicated students back in the day, but now only slackjawed mush heads want to look into the MA's as a hobby. It's an attitude that's insulting to the current students, and it's totally dishonest as well. There was only a tiny attrition rate back in the day? My Mom's old College Roomate earned her Black Belt in Karate back in the 70's. Now she uses her black belt for Yoga stretches. Huzzah for the ever dedicated, serious, and focused battle hardened steel willed student of yesteryear!
 

glad2bhere

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".....Alongs those lines, I think nostalgia has a detrimental effect as well. Just because something's tradition or old doesn't necessarially mean that it's a good idea, or that something like having folks jump off a ladder to practice breakfalls produces a superor martial artist. Along with his comes the self-defeating notion that people for reasons totally unaccountable to human nature etc were all serious and dedicated students back in the day, but now only slackjawed mush heads want to look into the MA's as a hobby....."

Hey! Hey!! I resemble that remark!! :whip:

I know what you mean. Romantic or idealized interpretations of past traditions don't do us any more good than ignoring traditions for the sake of modern commercial expediency. I know its hard to know where to draw the line. I advocate for holding on to the older anachronistic practices such as learning the polearms but finding people who want to move in this direction is a whole lot harder than finding people who will simply show-up for class as often as they need to. For the activities in which we engage it takes a certain baseline of fervor to get involved in the first place let alone keep going, let alone adopt the activities as an integral part of ones' lifestyle. This type of practitioner, who is so important to keep the KMA traditions alive, simply aren't lining-up around the block with their money in both hands asking to join-up. FWIW.

Best Wishes,

Bruce
 
O

OlympicTKD

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Han-Mi said:
Do you encounter the same stigma toward TKD when in such a situation?


I participate in a seminar every other month, which I wish not to disclose what, but we gather with martial artists of all different styles and experience levels. (Many far greater than my 20 years experience) Anyone that knows anything about martial arts knows that Taekwondo is just as "ligit" if not just as intense as any other style out there. They also know that when we're training for competition or just training for training that we go until we drop. And we have mat work outs and they see that what we do is damn impressive and that they would only wish to be able to kick like us. Taekwondo has the best kicks out there. Not much compares to the dynamics, acrobatics and and flexibility and beauty behind our techniques. So if anyone things that Taekwondo is not as well respected, I am willing to bet they would lie about other things too. And that they are really a close-minded individual with little experience.
 

hardheadjarhead

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OlympicTKD said:
So if anyone things that Taekwondo is not as well respected, I am willing to bet they would lie about other things too. And that they are really a close-minded individual with little experience.


Your seminar experience aside, I'll state without reservation that:

-The martial arts community as a whole doesn't view TKD with respect, for the reasons I've listed and others have listed throughout the thread and elsewhere...but which I will reiterate below while adding a few other points that ought to be addressed.

-This lack of respect is understandable given the large number of TKD schools out there that take advantage of their students by charging them obscene amounts of money for little in return, resulting in "rank inflation". It should be noted that other styles have their abuses in this regard, but TKD has the lead in sheer numbers of "McDojangs" that exist throughout the country.

-A number of TKD schools have taken their notions of slavish loyalty to a level that can be abusive, if not cultic.

-The "game" of Olympic TKD, while it has without doubt taken kicking skills to an elite level, has still become woefully (and literally) one dimensional as far as fighting skills are concerned. This has earned TKD a measure of scorn from those schools emphasizing street/self defense/NHB skills. Many schools emphasize Olympic TKD to the exclusion of other training methods.

-Those TKD schools that merit respect are overwhelmed by those that give the martial arts community a tainted impression.

-In stating this I also would point out that inter-system rivalry is inherent in the martial arts, and were TKD to disappear, some other style would likely become the whipping boy of the martial arts community.


Now that I've said this, am I a liar? Or merely a close minded individual with little experience?


Regards,


Steve
 

glad2bhere

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Whaaat?
"....Now that I've said this, am I a liar? Or merely a close minded individual with little experience?..."

A fair to middling post and these are all the options you give us!?! :rolleyes:

Best Wishes,

Bruce
 

hardheadjarhead

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Read the post ahead of it, Bruce. I was presenting that to OlympicTKD, who gave me and others who disagree only two options. I presented those options by pasting the quote above my text.

The post stands. Be specific in your critique.


Regards,

Steve
 
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