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#121984 - 09/21/04 08:33 AM TKD "State of the Union"?

Hello Fighters,

Do any of you have any insight to what has happened to the ITF leader on the charges that were brought against him recently? Does this truly spell trouble to Taekwondo as a whole? I think it does have a place in the MA community but this recently controversy has probably put a nice "black eye" on the community in whole, from Seoule to San Diego. There is even rumor that TKD will be dropped in the next Summer Olympics and to be replaced by either Japanese Karate or Chinese Gung Fu?

Have any of your leading school administrators in your Kwans or DoJangs mentioned any of this? And if so, could you share what you have heard about the state of TKD as a whole to us here?

I am a former TKD practioner of 3 different schools myself and practice on my own for health and conditioning purposes these days only.

I know TKD is not entirely without controversy from the "jump" but I have always enjoyed its health benefits and disclipine aspects to its training, vice being a gym rat without any direction.

I also know that there are awful, awful schools all over that teach a variety of TKD, some very watered down versions of Karate along with bits and pieces of other martial arts to boot which then encompass thier Tae Kwon Do disclipline. These schools I mention here are the famous "Mc Dojos" you hear about from time to time or the "Buy a Belt Programs" you also may hear about as well.

I've done (I believe) all of them. I personally think you should only have no more than 5 belts to achieve black belt after 2 to 3 years of intensive study with a good instructor and good students. Period. For those of you who are in schools that are requiring you to buy more than 5 belts, be aware!

I like TKD because I truly love the Korean people and culture (was among the Koreans for 2 years in the 80s and have many friends in South Korea). I studied TKD on board a Destroyer in the Navy with a green belt to pass the time away between stints on the weight pile. TKD was the only way I'd
"move my butt" cardio wise.

My overall philosophy is always that martial arts is (no matter what art or science) ALWAYS GOOD and much much better than sitting on your arse playing Tekken by any means.

Keep up your hard work no matter what you pursue and always remember to TRAIN HARD and SEEK THE TRUTH.

Thanks in advance for your information and input on this if you have any.

#121985 - 09/22/04 11:45 AM Re: TKD "State of the Union"?

For those of you who are in schools that are requiring you to buy more than 5 belts, be aware!

That was the quote from the thingy above.

Be aware of what? Of being at a WTF school? WTF has 10 from white to black.

Are they ripping people off? Should we all burn our belts? Maybe you can ask the olympic athletes to join in the belt burning. Damn you WTF! Making us "BUY" more than 5 belts.

I don't think we bought any belts really...

As for the ITF, if you remember, it went through **** before. ITC ITF look it up.

#121986 - 09/22/04 03:31 PM Re: TKD "State of the Union"?

Point taken Random and thanks for the feedback.

My concern is the cost of such schools that have you sign a year contract, purchase a belt ,gi, book and video for every promotion and double the amount of required belts other schools that require you to make black belt.

I've been to 3 (did not make first dan black in any however) and 1 school let you "slide" monthly payments or budget them, did not have a contract and you only needed 3 belts to first dan black belt after 2 to 3 years of class time (at a rate of about 2 to 3 classes a week). This one was in San Diego in the '80s

Another I attended in Delaware (in the 90s) required 12 belts to first dan in about 2 years, along with a purchase of a video and book for every promotion.

Yet another at the YMCA (in Philadelphia, I attended 2 years ago) required only YMCA membership dues and 5 belts/2 year class time (minimum monthly class attendance also)to first dan.

I liked all schools, but my job had me moving all the time around the country, hence my failure to make first dan in any of them.

I just wonder about the character of the schools that require all that "material" (10 plus belts) to make first dan as I mentioned earlier..ala "Buy a Belt Program" and the like when you can be certified in other schools with just 3 to 5 belts and just a brand new gi along the way (?). The only real investment in such a school in my humble opinion would be time, I would think...?

I'm a fan of TKD no matter what, but just question some of these so called "Mc Dojos" out there and I think they require some true looking into before one enrolls and pays I did in Delaware.

I guess the belt issue or any other "underlying costs" depend on the school and the quality of ma it teaches. Harvard is expensive..I understand.

As for ITF, I hope it does come through and we can see TKD in the Olympics. In my heart, TKD does still have a place in the Olympics and is truly great to watch (ok, I'm a little biased here). [IMG][/IMG]

Good to hear from you Random and Keep on Kicking!

#121987 - 09/22/04 04:45 PM Re: TKD "State of the Union"?

TKD IS in the Olympics. WTF. ITF/ITC will never get an Olympic Committee to okay their style of fighting. It isn't "different" from anything.

Contracts...gotta hate them. Locking a student into something is bad. Having them buy a TON of stuff is bad too. Personally this is how things are run by the school I train at.

Uniform: Plain white. Optional at lower rank, the higher your rank if you have a belt, the more a Uniform (any white V or black v for blackbelts) are "suggested".

Belts: Optional. $25 if you want to get a belt and certif. That's up to (but not including 1st dan). If you don't want a belt/can't afford one, you still test, but just don't get the stuff that goes with a belt.

Books? None. Tapes? None. If there is a tape for you to watch, it is provided like a library service for free.

Personally, I don't like the 10 levels WTF has. I think that you could stay longer at one level, than have a Middle level for that rank/color.

Even when in color belt national level AAU/USTU competitions the belts are split up in about 3-4 division.

Beginner: 10, 9, 8th kup
Intermediate: 7, 6, 5, 4th kup
Advanced: 3, 2, 1st kup

Blackbelt: 1st dan and higher.

At least for sparring divisions. Can't quite remember if forms are the same breakups.

But, yeah, I know of schools that guarantee a black belt in 2 years or less...going 2 days a week. All you have to do is sign a 2 year contract and when you are done paying (if you do it up front it is A LOT faster than 2 years) you get your BB.

I also know of schools that have SEVERAL belts (around 20) before black belt. Testing is "required" and set on a "time frame". So you are paying the instructor X amount of dollars if you like it, or not.

But that isn't just a TKD thing. Lots of places in other arts are doing the same thing. Just TKD was more popular and seems to have been doing it for longer.


#121988 - 09/22/04 11:31 PM Re: TKD "State of the Union"?

I personal believe that alot of Taekwondo schools in these modern times lost its true meaning. IN truth alot of teachers are BS these days.... its usually about the money and glory. I mean there is no true disipline taught... whatever impresses the parents or whatever it takes to get money..

it really doesnt matter how many belts you earn, but what u actually learn.

I am korean myself and have studied taekwondo in both the US and Korea. Korea is espeically more strict and formal, and their teaching methods are insane... but they teach the true elements of taekwondo.

Alot of taekwondo schools these days just teach forms, a couple of technights and useless sparring.

Yes i have been sparring in tournaments and myself have been successful. But when u get in a real street fight..... it doesnt work... why cause we were never really trained in real situations.... just practicing something a couple of times doesnt mean u will be able to defend yourself..... if you truly want to learn the true element of any martial art u must be devoted.. meaning practicing the same 1000 techniques over and over again until it because a natural part of u..... it becomes a religion almost.........

Many people beleive that taekwondo is something that you just learn in a couple of a classes a week, and u will be effective.... that is a true lie and thas why i believe alot of taekwondo teachers are BS cause they fool u into believing it... honestly they dont really care if u practice 3 hrs everyday or 3 hours a week. they care if bring the check.

#121989 - 09/23/04 10:50 AM Re: TKD "State of the Union"?

Sounds like from the feedback here so far, TKD is in fairly good shape and will continue to be so, despite the current "crisis" at ITF HQ. (despite all the complaints, TKD does seem to be fairly organized overall and I believe this helps with thier ongoing success overall).

And WTF will not be effected at all by the controversy and will have fighters again for Bejing 2008 (per Random's post yesterday).

Good news indeed! Thanks for the update. Steve Lopez is quite the unheralded hero (TKD Gold Medal Champ in Athens).

Lopez fought like the warrior against a very rowdy and dangerous crowd to take the gold. The match had the makings of a MA movie if any I've ever seen.

Excellent points on school contracts, etc. It looks like most MA schools are probably going "corporate" anymore and I guess we would be all very lucky if we could just find that great old Sensei/Sahbumnim/Teacher of our own in Japan or Korea and just have him or her "adopt" are gaijin selves and ultimately teach us the "science" out of thier heart so someday we too could fight in the Kumate, like Frankie Dux in "Bloodsport" [IMG][/IMG]

(Yah, I know-If wishes were horses, dreamers would ride!). Gotta love them MA flicks!

Hey, I honestly wouldn't mind IF the IOC added Karate and Kung Fu in the Olympics either. I think that would be kind of interesting and great insight on styles, etc for public consumption on the tube. What do you all think about that?

Share on this if you please..(all discliplines welcome of course).

I'm truly an avid practioner of TKD hence all my concerns about the "state" on this thread, as if you couldn't pick that up.

I personally enjoyed training in TKD for a myriad of reasons (conditioning, endurance, agility, teamwork and focus-primarily).

The "street fighting" application parts are always in question. I've never used any TKD outside the dojang. I found my high school wrestling experience was far more useful than any TKD training when it came to 'Full Tilt Boogie' brawls in the saloons of the Subic Bay Phillipines back in the day during my military years.

But again, TKD is a ton of fun and people studying usually do a heckuva alot better in sports overall and do carry themselves better than your typical couch potatoe Tekken Gamers. [IMG][/IMG]

[Gamers-Plz don't get on me about Tekken either..I like the game too but I have to use moderation when I play it or I'll never get off my butt and get anything done. [IMG][/IMG] ]

TKD is the great original Cardio Kick training class but I think for real "anti terror" commando training or security professional training, I would probably be more apt to study aikido, jujitsu, judo, or krav maga for more "real world application", according to thier literature on various sites and pubs.

(never done any of them so I don't honestly know).

Any feedback left from the Olympics anyone?

Will we see this thing go pro someday in the US?

What are your thoughts about Kung Fu/Karate as Olympic Sports? Would they take like TKD has?

Good posts fighters..please keep the "hits" coming!

Thanks again for your time. b-2

#121990 - 09/23/04 11:08 PM Re: TKD "State of the Union"?

I would not know how Kungfu or Karate would fit into the Olympics.

To be a new olympic sport you have to prove you are different than the sports already there (thus the no hands to the face for TKD to keep it different from boxing with kicks)

How would you structure it? Don't know.

#121991 - 10/05/04 04:49 PM Re: TKD "State of the Union"?

I believe when choosing a school you must make sure it has what "you need" not what they need. I work with a gentleman who had the same experience with Temple Kung Fu where after being with them a short period of time was offered a life time membership at any of their studios and this cost him $1000+, plus was still charged for each test taken. After taking just short of a year off he found out there was no life time membership. So you see it is anywhere.

I am in a WTF school that has the many belts. You start as a white belt and then after testing you earn a yellow stripe. After a second test you earn a second yellow stripe. (These are pieces of tape not actual new belts at white belt level only). Then on the next test a yellow belt, a yellow with green stripe, green, green with blue stripe, blue, blue with red stripe, red, red with black stripe and then a black belt. I don't see anything wrong with this and think it is a good idea. Our instructor was taught by a Korean Master that did not do this and only had the main belts but it was found by our school (3 in total) that many people dropped out but by doing this it gave them goals to shoot for plus they could break down the training easier at each of these levels.

At each belt level you are required to learn your pattern, one step sparring pattern, sparring technique and then breaking of boards. Before testing you must show confidence in each of these technique and only after earning a stripe for each ... which can be taken away if not performed properly, then you can test if you have shown the right attitude and have the appropriate amount of classes. At each level you test only your specific techniques except when it comes to the one step patterns. These are sparring techniques that have to do with blocking, sweeping, falling techniques, elbow smashes, punches, knive hands, arm breaking, etc. At each test you must perform each that you have learned previous. I don't know if most schools teach these as I have never seen or heard of it before and this may be only a Korean family tradition.

None the less after two years of going steady (3 classes a week) I am not a black belt and I have proudly earned my blue belt, and at the end of October will test for my red stripe. I must admit the solid belts have always meant more to me. When I become a black belt I will know I have earned it and as our instuctor says, a black belt is only a state of mind and anybody can buy a black belt and his is for sale to anybody who wants it.

And though a black belt is quite an undertaking it is only the beginning. Like playing a piano you must learn all of the keys, pedals and know how to play some basic chords and songs. This is the same for all of the steps to becoming a black belt. Then after you have mastered this then you really learn how to become a pianist ... just like a black belt. At a black belt the training only just begins. I look forward to this.

[This message has been edited by Dereck (edited 10-05-2004).]

[This message has been edited by Dereck (edited 10-05-2004).]

[This message has been edited by Dereck (edited 10-05-2004).]

#121992 - 11/05/04 06:40 PM Re: TKD "State of the Union"?

if they're gonna change it into karate or kung fu, I don't think it will be a crowd drawer. especially kung fu, if kung fu flicks make so much money, lets see how the olympics work out. not unless jackie chan, jet li, and chow yun fat is there acting as special referees (if allowed).

#121993 - 11/10/04 05:22 AM Re: TKD "State of the Union"?

[QUOTE]Originally posted by dane:
if they're gonna change it into karate or kung fu, I don't think it will be a crowd drawer. especially kung fu, if kung fu flicks make so much money, lets see how the olympics work out. not unless jackie chan, jet li, and chow yun fat is there acting as special referees (if allowed).[/QUOTE]

I'm not normally an antagonistic person but that has to be the most idiotic statement I have read thus far on this forum. To say that an art wouldnt be popular because it is used in movie? Are you that shallow?

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