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#120699 - 03/06/05 08:20 AM Re: Why is ATA so bad?
Anonymous
Unregistered


B-2,
I suggest two things for you to try, first go to ATAonline.com to get the actual history of the ATA and Songahm Taekwondo because yours is a little off. Second, you need to learn a little bit more about what Martial Arts is all about. It is not just about the HARD Training and the fighting, there is a huge mental side to the martial arts that it appears you are sadly missing. I am a martial arts instructor and I have studied the martial arts in a variety of forms and styles for over 30 years. Martial Arts is like any other subject, the decision of better or worse is completely subjective. It all comes down to what works for you. Any martial arts school that is able to provide training and solve issues for their clients and make money at it is successful. The problem with martial arts schools of the past, present and future is that they have to make money in order to continue to exist. The ATA has merely found ways to do that while sustaining a somewhat standardized style and system. The advantage to the ATA is that you can go to almost any ATA school and receive same core curriculum. The ATA has just provided the public that is so mobile now a days with a system of schools across the world that provides a solid system of martial arts training. I also suggest that you perhaps should try another ATA school and hopefully you will better results. I am not saying that the ATA is perfect, no style or school is but they are continually changing to make improvements to meet the needs and/or wants of their clients. I hope that at least some of this sinks in for you and that you continue your martial arts training, good luck in all that you do.

signed,

a 5th degree black belt instructor
[QUOTE]Originally posted by B-2:
drp2345,

ATA stands for American Taekwondo Association, founded in 1968 by the Lee Brothers (Haeung Un Lee being the primariy eldest and Grand Master-now deceased)along with Soon Ho Lee (now the Grandmaster)Inn Ho and Gyun Kun; who came to the US who now run the Association from Arkansas today.

The school and style was once called Songham (which was taught in parts of Korea before coming to the US in 1974). Then it became the American Taekwondo Association of today.

Songham or "Traditional Taekwondo" as they call it in the ATA is still the style taught today.

It's a form heavy curriculum(70% or so, 15% sparring and 15% self defense).

I believe Songham Taekwondo (according to the manuals) may have once been a really strict, hard ass, 5 belt-2 year conditioning course to reach bb in KOREA, THEN you were supposed to become a STUDENT and learn the good stuff in the Dan Ranks.

But then the Lees came to America and ran into some "Schlikmiester Marketing Mavens" and were taught the ways of the 'Grandmaster Dollar' and added 6 plus more belts to the Black Belt curriculum (in 1983) along with some neat videos and books (additionally priced as well) developing what many schools today would be called the Black Belt Academy.

You can still train hard and lose some weight and have some fun with others at ATA. That's ok.

But in most ATA schools, you have to almost pee on the Senior Instructors desk to fail the belt tests (ok, the jr. Color Belts I guess would be more accurate-black belts a little tougher to pass-I saw them fail a couple times in testing).

Like I wrote earlier, this school is good to help you out in other sports that require some balance, hand eye and a little disclipline. It gives the tykes a little confidence too whom are normally withdrawn and shy. I think that modern problem of ADD can be even remedied by places like ATA and Martial Arts in general. and that is nice.

But compared to an old fashioned full contact Kung Fu class (if you are talking traditional, mind you) this may not work for you.

My Kung Fu class did not require a contract and you paid when you could and trained with the "grandmaster" but has you only call him by first name even though he was triple the age of any instructor at ATA whom I called "sir" or "mister/ms".

I believe the Lees had true and emotional ties to General Choi (the recogonized founder of Modern TKD) before going McDojo. I enjoyed talking to them on occasion. I favor Koreans in general for I have dozens of friends in Korea from my days in the service so this is not a slam at TKD nor Koreans whatsover.

In fact, the YMCA in Philadelphia PA has a really nice TKD School in the style of Chung Do Kwan. Very informal but really nice school that stresses more self defense and GOOD HURTING STANCES AND STRETCHES. [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

These guys let you train in a T-Shirt and sweats (only the belt marks your "level") and you will be marked up/bruised after a class, but they are good folks. However, the Korean Grandmaster is long gone unfortunately (also deceased).

ATA requires 1 to 2 year contracts and you see the "grandmaster" once every 2 years.

No contracts at all with Hung Gar Kung Fu in Buffalo NY.

Its all about choice as always. People enjoy the formality, rank and file of ATA (it IS very organized).

But I like getting past all that and having someone just really teach me how to stretch, kick and punch with endurance, energy and balance without any of the other malarky.

That's just me. Again, there are olympic style fighters in the ATA and not everybody is pudgy and wind bagged like the myths would believe.

Just a matter of choice is all....

I hope this gives you more idea about ATA-American Taekwondo Association, drp2345

Good luck to you and all your training endeavors.

B-2



[/QUOTE]

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#120700 - 03/06/05 03:39 PM Re: Why is ATA so bad?
Anonymous
Unregistered


(all my experiances regaurding ATA practitioners has given me a biased viewpoint, but its good to be devil's advocate every once in awhile)

I'm not going to get caught up in the innitial argument, but though the ATA in general has a bad rep doesn't necessarily mean there aren't schools worth training in. Sometimes the instructor matters as much as the affiliation. According to stereotype, WTF is supposed to produce strictly sport oriented fighters who throw mass amounts of arc kicks, and keep no guard. However, my school is affiliated with Kukkiwon, but our Grandmaster actually frowns on the sport aspect of olympic TKD, and instead prefers to train as practically as possible, even allowing us to use takedowns and almost any other Hapkido techniques in our free sparring. Everyone is taught to keep their guard up or get kicked/punched in the head, and we have an equal ammount of attention dedicated to forms as well as sparring. Black Belts are permitted to fight anyway they see fit once having earned that level (for instance, my fellow BB's and I have trained in boxing, I'm currently training in JJ, and so long as we keep a degree of control, we are allowed to intigrate).

So stereotypes aren't always that accurate. I've heard from many in my school that its do to a standard of respect and status that we're connected to kukkiwon, for the most part.

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#120701 - 03/07/05 10:42 AM Re: Why is ATA so bad?
Anonymous
Unregistered


I've been with a small ATA school as an adult for about 3 years and have seen many people "no-change" in rank (children and adults) and, even more common, held back or asked not to test.

With 100% certainty I can say, at least at my school:

NOBODY is guaranteed a belt of ANY rank except white.

I've been bloodied...I've also knocked people out.... sparring is "point-break" but it IS full contact.

I've worked at other schools and I find the ATA forms more demanding than most. Self defense is about average....some good, some not-so-good. It's all Hapkido.
I've also found (while sparring olympic style and Muay Thai at other schools)that my training is good enough to hang with, and beat same-rank guys...even when sparring on "their turf" in their style.


In fact, the only "negative" on this board that seems acurate to me is that the ATA ground fighting is poor. It's TKD... if you want to learn ground fighting you should take BJJ.

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#120702 - 03/19/05 06:48 PM Re: Why is ATA so bad?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Iím an instructor in an ATA school. We donít teach people how to beat people up. Or how to take 4 guys on in an alley. We teach confidence, respect, and discipline. We teach people how to handle situations physically, and mentally. I know my school at least isnít as hardcore as alot of schools out there. Iíve checked out alot about 5 schools when looking for a place to train and the ATA was on only one that taught more then just fighting. And as an instructor now, I see how other schools are run and still havenít seen a better one then mine. I go to competitions and see how other students act compared to mine, with there respect towards me and the judges and there parents, there is such a gap in the other students training. The great thing about the ATA is that there are so many schools, when one school comes with a good idea that works such as a new way of teaching all the other schools hear about it and are able to implement it.

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#120703 - 03/28/05 07:28 PM Re: Why is ATA so bad?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Iím an instructor in an ATA school.

I wouldn't advertise this. Maybe you couldn't tell people hate you?

We donít teach people how to beat people up. Or how to take 4 guys on in an alley.

What do you teach people? How to frolic in fields and make bitchin' strawberry coconut cupcakes?

We teach confidence, respect, and discipline.

Oh. Right.

Confidence. You mean arrogance? Confidence means believing you are going to win at a tournament and then winning. Arrogance is believing you're going to win at a tournament and then losing to some WTF kids and then saying they aren't disciplined or respectful.

We teach people how to handle situations physically, and mentally.

Except if those situations are fighting someone else or defending yourself.

I know my school at least isnít as hardcore as alot of schools out there.

You could put it that way.

Iíve checked out alot about 5 schools when looking for a place to train and the ATA was on only one that taught more then just fighting.

They also teach you everything you need to know to get your accredited daycare license!

And as an instructor now, I see how other schools are run and still havenít seen a better one then mine.

Because your opinion is completely unbiased.

I go to competitions and see how other students act compared to mine, with there respect towards me and the judges and there parents, there is such a gap in the other students training.

What? Are we disrespectful? The only disrespectful thing against Tae Kwon Do is the ATA and excuse us me if I hate all of you people cluttering up my tournaments and my martial art with their soccer mom, give me more money, better than thou attitudes.

The great thing about the ATA is that there are so many schools

You just hit the nail on the head. Want some fries with your belt?

when one school comes with a good idea that works such as a new way of teaching all the other schools hear about it and are able to implement it

A good idea? You have to be joking me or you're kidding yourself.

[This message has been edited by Hannah (edited 03-28-2005).]

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#120704 - 03/31/05 08:02 AM Re: Why is ATA so bad?
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]Originally posted by Hannah:


What? Are we disrespectful? The only disrespectful thing against Tae Kwon Do is the ATA and excuse us me if I hate all of you people cluttering up my tournaments and my martial art with their soccer mom, give me more money, better than thou attitudes.

"The great thing about the ATA is that there are so many schools"

You just hit the nail on the head. Want some fries with your belt?

"when one school comes with a good idea that works such as a new way of teaching all the other schools hear about it and are able to implement it"

A good idea? You have to be joking me or you're kidding yourself.

[This message has been edited by Hannah (edited 03-28-2005).]
[/QUOTE]

You know its funny how fast things can change. In my first post in this thread i was a devout follower of the ATA. I was also on my may to becoming an instructor, now only a month or so later have I removed myself from the ATA and I am much happier. I wouldnt be quite as upfront as Hanna was but to be honest. the ATA will destroy you. what I mean is, I was being given a false sense of security. I was a second degree black belt and I had a gut and pretty much NO muscle definition or endurance. Sure I had improved from when I first walked in to the school, but there was more improving that needed to be done and the ATA could not get me there. MY instructor had a pot belly and was in worse shape than me. Everyone was kind and MY ATA school did teach good morals and values, and YES you need those if you ever want to be a martial artist, w/o morals you are just a fighter and you wont get MY respect. Take it from a former student, the ATA is false hope commercialized and sold in mass.

edit: Even if the instruction at an ATA school is great, the ATA structure still has you paying alot of money each month for various things. In one month I had spent almost $400 on midterms, monthly dues, and testings. [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/frown.gif[/IMG]



[This message has been edited by Mr. Lawrence (edited 03-31-2005).]

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#120705 - 03/31/05 05:24 PM Re: Why is ATA so bad?
Anonymous
Unregistered


i agree with some thigns said here.. others, i am highly offended. the attack by hannah was completely inappropriate and uncalled for. and while yes, i do pay a lot of money, the ATA academy where i train (yes, train) now is the best tkd education i've ever gotten. i know it has a bad reputation, but i am fortunate enough to have an instructor who breaks the mold and really does care about something other than the contracts, sales, and all that stuff. for me, at least, this is no mcdojo, it is a real, good, sturdy foundation, and a great place to learn. i've had instructors who were mean, loud, obnoxious, even abusive. i've had ones who had no knowledge whatsoever over what they were supposed to be teaching. at the ATA, my instructor will refuse to let someone test unless he is 100 percent sure they are ready, and they will succeed. if they do not know the material, if they do not show discipline, respect, and all the things that make this art great, they are not allowed to test until they do so. i will admit that i've questioned whether or not it is all for the money, but any instructor who will come with a handful of students to the local gym/gymnastics academy after teaching classes all day, and spend two hours there with them, asking nothing in return, thats my idea of a person who really has his priorities straight.
so hannah, if you wish to tear me apart and verbally attack me as you did the other ata person, by all means go ahead. for the only thing that shows is your weakness and quickness to temper.
as a matter of fact, i feel sorry that you are so quick to do something like that to someone who simply posted his opinion and feelings for his school.
it's simply a disgusting thing to do.
might i also add that i am in perfect physical condition, as are many of the other students at my school. this is simply because i personaly have the initiative to keep my body in the shape that it is. i dont expect to go to any martial arts school and come out with any huge gains in muscle definition or weight loss. it takes some initiative and work on your part, outside of the school.

[This message has been edited by deadlyhands123 (edited 03-31-2005).]

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#120706 - 03/31/05 09:41 PM Re: Why is ATA so bad?
Anonymous
Unregistered


As an ATA member, I'd have to say that the organization is a little too money hungery for my liking, but if you have the right instructor, the training is good. and the forms are very balenced as far as working both sides of the body

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#120707 - 04/06/05 02:57 PM Re: Why is ATA so bad?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Well, hello everyone, I'm here to defend the ATA so I'll just get to the point.
First of all I have to say that I'm 18yo and I've been training in the ATA(STF in my country, Argentina) for 8 years now, I'm a 1st degree blackbelt and I've been to many open tournaments(the ones in wich any martial artist can get in). I have lost just one time in those tournaments, so you can't say ATA sucks against any other TKD or martial art. The reason ATA makes it's own championships is that our rules are different than yours. Inviting other martial artists to our championships would result in ATA students winning most of the fight, the reason is simple, it's not because ATA is BETTER than any other style, it's just that the point and stop thing makes it much more easier for us to score, cause we're used to that fighting system(that doesn't mean we don't train continuous sparring, we do, a lot). And also, we use a kick that's not allowed in your championships or tournaments, wich happens to be the most practiced kick in ATA...
ATA techniques are as effective as any other martial art, what happens here is that bad martial artists blame the style instead of blaming themselves for not training hard enough. I must add that we even train stuff other TKD styles don't.
I wouldn't call the ATA a commercial TKD, but I must admit it's more expensive than others, this is because ATA is much more organized. Here in my city, there are many Karate, Taekwondo ITF/WTF, Kung Fu, etc instructors that aren't even instructors, they Increase their black belt degrees by themselves, that will never happen in the ATA, I assure you.
Most of you say the guaranteed black belt means that you're gonna get a blackbelt if you pay, even if you **** . Well, that's not true in most schools, there are many ATA instructors in this area, and just one uses that system, the others(including my instructors) won't let you take the tests if you're not ready, It's a matter of honor, no instructor would like to have the worst blackbelts would they?.
To sum up, ATA is the most organized TKD style ever, and that costs money, but calling an ATA gym a mcdojang is really offensive and not true at all.
I have some videos using my nunchakus(saang jeol bong) if you want to see them(I learnt how to use weapons on the blackbelt program, and no, I didn't pay more), just email me, I can make some videos kicking if you ask me too.
Please hannah, son't be so disrespectful and always remember that it's not good to generalize.

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#120708 - 07/11/05 02:25 AM Re: Why is ATA so bad? [Re: Applepie]
Spin_Hook Offline
Member

Registered: 07/07/05
Posts: 45
I guess my question would have to be, "does it really matter what people think if you ARE a genuine martial artist." People are always going to talk and downgrade. It should be pretty easy to tell if your school is a McDojang.

I usually just judge each club individually based on the skills of its members. Reputable martial artists = reputable club.
_________________________
Aim first to understand; then to be understood.

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