Where Does Taekwondo End, and Gymnastics Begin?

Tames D

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Wow. Lots of haters. I wonder why? Is the skill level too high? Can the people on this forum not tell the difference between a demo and martial arts? Jealousy?

I don't feel hatred or jealousy. I would have to care in order to feel these emotions. I just don't agree with the way they are promoting a supposed fighting art.
 

msmitht

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They are a demo team. I have watched them many times. They include poomsae, basics, sparring and self defense in their demos. They are supposed to peak the interest of those watching and get them excited about tkd. In today's society that is not an easy thing to do.
Should they do 2 poomsae, self defense and talk philosophy? Half the audience would walk out. How about they get some overweight, out of shape black belts to do some hip high kicks and pull a muscle while attempting a wrist throw? Or maybe get a "pressure point" knock out expert to bs the crowd and then touch a whelp 3 times and he faints.
 

msmitht

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I know what you mean, but playing the devil's advocate, shouldn't a TKD demo DEMONSTRATE TKD? Imagine there were nunchuks, and the person threw them in the air, did some cartwheels and flips - that would be like baton twirling. So when does TKD end and gymnastics (or baton twirling) begin?

in this video.

If you ever saw their whole demo you would feel differently. Comparison with baton twirler silly but both will get the audiences attention.
 
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Gwai Lo Dan

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If you ever saw their whole demo you would feel differently. Comparison with baton twirler silly but both will get the audiences attention.
I wouldn't say silly. I was coming back to the question: how far out into acrobatics and performance does TKD reach, before it becomes something else - gymnastics, or in a hypothetical case with throwing nunchuks in the air, baton twirling. So how far out does TKD extend to you? Where do you say that it is no longer TKD?
 

Mauthos

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I have to admit that of late with more and more TKD teams performing these types of demonstrations, even though there is a lot of stuff in there that on the surface would be considered the domain of gymnasts I have begun to associate these performances as TKD. So in answer to your question I don't think there is a clear cut between the two anymore.

With my personal opinion I would not spend the time learning those types of flips and spins etc as I prefer to try and hone my skills for actual self defence or combat situations where I think this flips and huge spinning kicks are not necessarily useful. Although, I can also admit that I am jealous of that skill and I would love it if I could move like half of those guys do, but my martial path took a different route. Oh well. :)
 

oftheherd1

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Very interesting to watch, and these guys are very athletic without a doubt. But I think a good street fighter would have a field day with someone attacking them in this manner. I guess I'm just old school. I still think Martial Arts should be 'Martial' Arts.

It's been a very long time, but I seem to remember some kicks when I studied TKD, that were multiple kicks, that were designed to look as if the first was intended to strike, but was really a feint. The opponent, not used to that kick, would avoid the first, and expecting the kicker to be off balance and over extended, would then quickly move in, running into the second kick. Not what you do with every attack, but a useful tool given the right opportunity.

I dont think these guys would attack anyone in this manner, its just a demonstration of their skills.

I agree that would not be a normal for an attack. But using only the first part of the kick with good, but not apparent control a couple of times, might well set up an opponent for a devastating 2nd kick.

All the above said, I think most of us would expect to find quickly delivered low kicks to best serve in a fight, or even friendly sparring.
 

miguksaram

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It is called gymkata. The athleticism is amazing, but it misses the point of quiet humility for a martial artist.
How? They are practicing inside their own school? Are you saying that if they were doing traditional poomsae, then this video would be ok or if they were just kicking paddles with regular round kicks or spin kicks then they are practicing quiet humility? I really don't understand how humility comes into play at all in this.
 

miguksaram

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No one said they don't have skill. But their style of "fighting" is not for me.
But you have not seen their style of fighting. All you have seen is their style of demo. It is a safe bet that they know better than to try and throw a 540 jack knife kick in a an actual combat situation. But ask yourself this, if they can produce enough speed and power to throw some of these more fancier techniques, do you really think they would slack in throwing a simple spinning heel kick or a simple round kick?
 

ralphmcpherson

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But you have not seen their style of fighting. All you have seen is their style of demo. It is a safe bet that they know better than to try and throw a 540 jack knife kick in a an actual combat situation. But ask yourself this, if they can produce enough speed and power to throw some of these more fancier techniques, do you really think they would slack in throwing a simple spinning heel kick or a simple round kick?
Exacty. These guys would cut you in two with a simple kick. I wouldnt mess with them. On the upside though, it would be swift. You would blink, then wake up in hospital with multiple fractures :)
 

Tames D

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But you have not seen their style of fighting. All you have seen is their style of demo. It is a safe bet that they know better than to try and throw a 540 jack knife kick in a an actual combat situation. But ask yourself this, if they can produce enough speed and power to throw some of these more fancier techniques, do you really think they would slack in throwing a simple spinning heel kick or a simple round kick?

You're right, I haven't seen their style of fighting. I'm only seeing what they are promoting. And until they show their style of fighting, I have to assume the demo is what they do. And thats not fighting in my opinion.
 

Tames D

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Exacty. These guys would cut you in two with a simple kick. I wouldnt mess with them. On the upside though, it would be swift. You would blink, then wake up in hospital with multiple fractures :)

Please, ask them to show that side of their talents. I'd love to see it. Until then, it's just gymnastics to me.
 

ralphmcpherson

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Please, ask them to show that side of their talents. I'd love to see it. Until then, it's just gymnastics to me.
This is a demo team. Watching them do front kicks to someone holding a pad will put people to sleep. Ive done enough martial arts to know that someone who can throw a lightning quick 540 kick usually has very little problems throwing a roundhouse kick to the mid section. Its like watching a weight lifter bench press their own body weight and then saying "thats all good and well, but I want to see him bench press 10kg".
 

Tames D

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This is a demo team. Watching them do front kicks to someone holding a pad will put people to sleep. Ive done enough martial arts to know that someone who can throw a lightning quick 540 kick usually has very little problems throwing a roundhouse kick to the mid section.

It won't put me to sleep, but I guess I'll take your word for it. Obviously we won't see it on video. They are a demo team, I get it.
 

ralphmcpherson

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It won't put me to sleep, but I guess I'll take your word for it. Obviously we won't see it on video. They are a demo team, I get it.
You have to view it more like a sports highlights reel. Type "rugby" into youtube and you will see footage of guys running a hundred metres and swan diving under the posts, big hits, chip kicks etc but watch an actual game and you see these things are the "highlights". Our club has a demo team and its put together as an extreme demo of what we "can" do. It draws big crowds, and has people on the edge of their seats but its far from replicating what an actual class looks like. And I can assure you the guys and girls in our demo team can fight, and fight well.
 

RTKDCMB

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But ask yourself this, if they can produce enough speed and power to throw some of these more fancier techniques, do you really think they would slack in throwing a simple spinning heel kick or a simple round kick?

Maybe, maybe not. If they spend all that time perfecting the more spectacular and acrobatic kicks then they are spending less time on practicing the simple, more practical kicks and will thus have less power than they would have if they spent more time practicing the basic kicks and less time on the acrobatics.
 

ralphmcpherson

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Maybe, maybe not. If they spend all that time perfecting the more spectacular and acrobatic kicks then they are spending less time on practicing the simple, more practical kicks and will thus have less power than they would have if they spent more time practicing the basic kicks and less time on the acrobatics.
The more acrobatic kicks are usually derived from simpler kicks. Someone who does thousands of tornado kicks, for example, would also throw a good roundhouse kick. Or a spinning hook kick you are still doing a hook kick. The flexibility and co ordination required for these kicks could only enhance the simpler kicks.
 

Thousand Kicks

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Personally I would call this style of kicking, or tricking as I've heard it called, a subset of TKD. Just as I would call olympic style TKD a subset of TKD; and poomse for that matter. None of these things individually are TKD, but collectively they represent TKD.

Obviously these are not self defence techniques. But, they do represent an aspect of martial arts which is to push yourself to become the best you can be. The ability to perform these kicks represents hours and hours of practice. I'm sure this is not all they do.

You would also find that these practicioners are very fundamentally sound. You have no chance of performing a 540 if you can't even do a competent wheel kick or turning roundhouse kick. I have always interpreted this style as a student performing basic kicks and asking themselves how they could take it up a notch.

It is just as much a part of TKD as anything else you would typically practice in a dojang.
 

Balrog

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IMNSHO, once your butt gets up over your head or you spin more than 360 degrees, it becomes gymnastics.
 

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