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#229264 - 02/09/06 04:42 AM "traditional" & "modern" TKD ... ?
sjon Offline
Smiter of the smited

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 186
Loc: Spain
Hello.

It’s been some time since I’ve posted, although I’ve tried to keep up to date with what’s happening on the forum. Now that I have a moment, I feel a need to try to clarify a few points that keep coming up.
Tek, please don’t take this as a personal attack. You are making a tremendous contribution to the forum, and are expressing a lot of valid ideas. However, this “modern” vs “traditional” thing is really getting too much for me, and I feel I need to make my position, at least, clear.

You identify “modern” TKD (WTF, I assume) chiefly with fast kicking and “traditional” TKD (TSD?) with hard blocks, more static stances and more hand technique. Fair enough. However, one of your gripes with the latter seems to be that you consider trying to block a kick a bad idea, particularly if the kicker is wearing your famous steel toe-capped boots.
OK, first, you’re assuming that there is some degree of kicking other than low kicking in most SD situations, which there isn’t. If you don’t know this, then you haven’t experienced a real SD situation.
Second, you’re assuming that all “traditional” schools teach students to use their relatively weak forearm bones to block the much stronger and heavier shin bones. This is a really bad idea and will earn you a broken arm.

Do you honestly believe that you will be able to lay a “fast combination of kicks” on an attacker in an SD situation? Have you considered the distances involved in SD? Do you think that the kind of person who is likely to attack you seriously is going to allow you that kind of space? Is he going to square off from a distance, or is he going to make sure he’s in your face before allowing the encounter to get physical? Hell, it’s common sense, man! I really think that much of what you are saying is based on the assumption that sport sparring techniques are a good idea in a critical SD encounter.

Going on with the “modern” vs “traditional” thing, I think you are too quick to categorise. Apart from the fact that the non-sparring (i.e. non-sport) aspects of “modern” TKD – the patterns, the one- and three-steps etc – are very similar to “traditional” TKD, you are assuming that those are the only two models. Personally, I would establish the following models:
- “early TKD” (TSD/KSD), emphasising power striking and a relatively small range of techniques, influenced by the need to teach soldiers quickly
- “mid-period TKD”, exported from Korea in the 1960’s, which was similar to the earlier model, but with added high/spinning kicks to attract the public’s attention, and an increased sport-sparring tendency
- “modern TKD”, both WTF and ITF, in which sport sparring and physical education of one type or another are paramount, in which “traditional” patterns and one/three step sparring are practiced, plus whatever “self-defence” tricks the instructor happens to have picked up along the way

To these three basic models, I would add a fourth, which is the one I’ve been trying to put across in most of my posts. As anyone who has read my posts will be aware, this involves going beyond the basic “face value” interpretations of block-counter, and training more SD-applicable responses using the same movements but not the same techniques. For example, this means NOT thinking that conventional blocking is the way to defend, but using the same movement that the block traces in a way that pulls, strikes, twists or presses in order to discover grappling applications. By the way, this kind of interpretation relies a lot more on body shifting than on blocking.
Is this TKD? Was TKD ever practiced like this? Probably not, but it IS how the arts which later became TKD were practiced (I’m talking about Okinawan Karate and the Chinese Quan Fa styles), and I’m fairly confident that the early TKD masters were familiar with these concepts even if they didn’t teach it to the general public. Whichever way, it is information which is preserved in the patterns of TKD – directly descended from the Okinawan ones – and it is therefore entirely valid to approach them in this way, particularly if it is going to improve our SD ability.

About one-step sparring, I agree that it is an excellent learning tool, and is the best way to practice set SD routines. You propose this method as a superior one to patterns practice. Don’t you see that they are two aspects of the same thing? The patterns get you to ingrain the sequences in your body’s memory and develop strong, balanced movement. Then you take these sequences and practice them with a partner, which is one- and three-step sparring. No-one is suggesting that just by marching around the dojang performing patterns you are somehow going to be able to apply them without previously having trained these applications with a partner.
Despite your insistence on the superiority of one-step over patterns, the example you give of a one-step sequence is exactly the same kind of thing found in the patterns when they are interpreted as “face value”, i.e. simple blocks and counters. Where is the superiority in this? And if you are so concerned with the effectiveness of the method, why have the attacker step back into long front stance with a low block before attacking? Try doing it from close in, with the attacker verbally baiting you and pushing you before launching the real attack at a moment of his choosing. Try applying the sequences shown in the patterns as something other than “face value” techniques.

OK, I must get back to work. Again, Tek, don’t take it personally. I look forward to hearing from you and from others.

Regards,

sjon
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#229265 - 02/09/06 05:54 AM Re: "traditional" & "modern" TKD ... ? [Re: sjon]
TeK9 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 2257
Loc: Northern California, USA
Hey Sjon glad to see your back, it's good that you've kept up forum. Um, I havn't read your thread yet, so this isn't a response. Somehow I kind of new the Traditional vs Modern title of the thread was going to be addressed. If you have time stop by the Step SParring Notebook thread and add a step sparring exercise. Remember just one per post please. I think we are going to build a very good notebook with some great step forms. I'll send a response to your post as soon as I have the time to really think about it. Hopefully someone eles makes a contribution hopefully along the lines of what I say, but it looks like this forum is more ITF or Traditionally WTF dominated.
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#229266 - 02/09/06 06:38 AM Re: "traditional" & "modern" TKD ... ? [Re: TeK9]
sjon Offline
Smiter of the smited

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 186
Loc: Spain
Hi Tek.

Quote:

If you have time stop by the Step SParring Notebook thread and add a step sparring exercise. Remember just one per post please. I think we are going to build a very good notebook with some great step forms.




Cool. Will do. This is a really good idea.
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#229267 - 02/09/06 06:42 AM Re: "traditional" & "modern" TKD ... ? [Re: sjon]
Shyro Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 55
Hello, I'm new to this forum, but I would like to take this opportunity to express my own opinion on the topic of traditional VS modern.

These days there is a clear tendency, even among instructors and masters to refer to ITF and WTF as styles of taekwondo. This is a big misconception.

Currently I teach Taekwondo and also take classes under two instructors, one affiliated with ITF and one with WTF. Aside of these two instructors I have experienced taekwondo classes from many other instructors and one thing I can tell you from my experience:
- The techniques you practice and the methods of training you use depend only on the instructor or master you have. Not on who they are paying to be able to teach taekwondo with health insurance.
Taekwondo is taekwondo, there are no distinct taekwondo styles. The teachings of an instructor affiliated with ITF are the same of one affiliated with WTF. The only difference is that one teaches tuls instead of pumses and one has his students sparring with different rules from those the other uses. But the techniques and theory behind them is exacly the same.

For example, I'm currently affiliated with WTF and, in a month or so, I'll be with ITF as well. Despite this, I've been teaching sparring lessons with rules from ITF and also from WTF to the same students. It simply allows them to develop as a much more complete martial artist.

I teach taekwondo as a practical self-defense system and use the sparring lessons as the most valuable tool. I usually first instroduce my students to WTF sparring combat so they can start to rely on the leg techniques and develop a fine sense of distance. After that, I start introducing ITF rules so they take caution on the hand techniques. As soon as they spar with safety I instroduce them to conditioned self-defense fighting (hand attacks, leg attacks, grabs, ground fighting and simulations of attacks to vital points).

It is my method of training to use combat sport to develop the ability of self-defense is a real combat situation (always explaining students that many sport combat techniques should not be attempt in real fighting).

In a street fighting situation, a practitioner affiliated with WTF would surely not only use his legs. If he did he would be dead. The different rules of ITF and WTF sparring are just for a sport situation, most of the techniques don't even apply in a real situation (high kick are simply too complex and that makes them dangerous to use in a real fight). And the sport situation is only a tool to teach taekwondo.

ITF and WTF are not styles, they are federations. If both ended because of financial problems you would still be practicing Tae Kwon Do the following day. It is known that in taekwondo sometimes the difference between instructor's training method are so big that it almost seems like they are teaching different things. But that doesn't have nothing to do with the federation with who they work with, but with their experience as martial artists. So please don't refere to modern taekwondo and traditional taekwondo as distinct styles of taekwondo, because that is not correct.
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#229268 - 02/09/06 10:29 AM Re: "traditional" & "modern" TKD ... ? [Re: Shyro]
VDJ Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 1674
Quote:

Hello, I'm new to this forum, but I would like to take this opportunity to express my own opinion on the topic of traditional VS modern.

These days there is a clear tendency, even among instructors and masters to refer to ITF and WTF as styles of taekwondo. This is a big misconception.

Currently I teach Taekwondo and also take classes under two instructors, one affiliated with ITF and one with WTF. Aside of these two instructors I have experienced taekwondo classes from many other instructors and one thing I can tell you from my experience:
- The techniques you practice and the methods of training you use depend only on the instructor or master you have. Not on who they are paying to be able to teach taekwondo with health insurance.
Taekwondo is taekwondo, there are no distinct taekwondo styles. The teachings of an instructor affiliated with ITF are the same of one affiliated with WTF. The only difference is that one teaches tuls instead of pumses and one has his students sparring with different rules from those the other uses. But the techniques and theory behind them is exacly the same.

For example, I'm currently affiliated with WTF and, in a month or so, I'll be with ITF as well. Despite this, I've been teaching sparring lessons with rules from ITF and also from WTF to the same students. It simply allows them to develop as a much more complete martial artist.

I teach taekwondo as a practical self-defense system and use the sparring lessons as the most valuable tool. I usually first instroduce my students to WTF sparring combat so they can start to rely on the leg techniques and develop a fine sense of distance. After that, I start introducing ITF rules so they take caution on the hand techniques. As soon as they spar with safety I instroduce them to conditioned self-defense fighting (hand attacks, leg attacks, grabs, ground fighting and simulations of attacks to vital points).

It is my method of training to use combat sport to develop the ability of self-defense is a real combat situation (always explaining students that many sport combat techniques should not be attempt in real fighting).

In a street fighting situation, a practitioner affiliated with WTF would surely not only use his legs. If he did he would be dead. The different rules of ITF and WTF sparring are just for a sport situation, most of the techniques don't even apply in a real situation (high kick are simply too complex and that makes them dangerous to use in a real fight). And the sport situation is only a tool to teach taekwondo.

ITF and WTF are not styles, they are federations. If both ended because of financial problems you would still be practicing Tae Kwon Do the following day. It is known that in taekwondo sometimes the difference between instructor's training method are so big that it almost seems like they are teaching different things. But that doesn't have nothing to do with the federation with who they work with, but with their experience as martial artists. So please don't refere to modern taekwondo and traditional taekwondo as distinct styles of taekwondo, because that is not correct.





I agree with alot of what you say as well as that MANY of the techniques are the same. But there are different styles of TKD as there are different styles of karate. ITF practices the Chang Hon style, WTF the Kukki style. Their stances are different (a front stance in Kukki is much longer and deeper than in Chang Hon). This maybe a Picyune example but it is one that comes to mind, Then there is the sine wave, unique to Chang Hon and not accepted by Kukki. I don't have time to get into much more, but to say that the only thing that separates them is their sparring rules and patterns is incorrect, there are others as there are in the Japanese & Chinese styles. But there are many things that tie them together as well.

VDJ

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#229269 - 02/09/06 12:44 PM Re: "traditional" & "modern" TKD ... ? [Re: VDJ]
Dereck Offline
Prolific

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10413
Loc: Great White North
I still prefer to call them "traditional" Taekwondo or "sport" Taekwondo. Traditional of course has more bases in self defense, forms, etc. that also includes sparring. Sport of course has more emphasis on sparring and olympic competition. I am WTF but we are "traditional" not "sport". Not all WTF organizations are sport. AND not all ITF are traditional.
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"IF I COME ... I'M BRINGING THE PAIN WITH ME"

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#229270 - 02/09/06 01:56 PM Re: "traditional" & "modern" TKD ... ? [Re: Shyro]
matxtx Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 07/12/05
Posts: 700
Loc: england
yea i think its hard to say whats what.
one technique taught by one instructor can be different from another..even under the same affiliation.
so labelling 'traditional'..'modern'..is only the view of the person who knows their teachings of traditional.

ill use the outer or inner forearm middle block as an example.
iv seen some drop both chamber arms befor chambering..some drop one arm.iv seen some make the chamber a move seperate from the block..like chamber then block.iv seen some make it flow..like an all in one move.iv seen some use it where the chamber blocks ,,the 'block strikes'..some where the chamber grabs and the movement for the block locks the attackers arm or takes them down.
..jeez then you have some sinewaving and some hip twisting..whilst doing any of the above...

so many interpretations.
all under 'traditional' block.

some techniques done long winded and obviously useless ..some techniques flowing and no wasted movement making it usefull.making it practical.

then you get the ones who do it long winded not being able to see the practicality of the 'traditional' side.


Edited by matxtx (02/09/06 02:02 PM)
_________________________
I point my saxaphone at the rare Booted Gorilla.

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#229271 - 02/09/06 03:35 PM Re: "traditional" & "modern" TKD ... ? [Re: matxtx]
EarlWeiss Offline
Member

Registered: 07/29/05
Posts: 322
Well, before an intelligent discussion begins there must be an agreement as to terminology. The first misconception has to do with WTF being a style. It is not. WTF is an organization that regulates certain competitions. Other than competition standards it does not regulate standards for technique or rank.Although it could be called a sparring style. An organization often viewed as a sister organization, the Kukkiwon does set standards for rank and technique. The Kukkiwon had , and perhaps still has an inclusionary philosophy where it recognized the rank of those who had achieved rank in a variety of systems. So, a Kukkiwon Black Belt could have a proficiency in one system and no knowledge of others. This seems to be changing with the Kukkiwon holding instructor courses which focus on a single system.
However to say there are not different systems using the name TKD would be even more confusing, since there is no telling where such an idea would stop. Pretty soon everthing from Tae Bo to Tai Chi could be called TKD. I do not know anyone who wants this.

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#229272 - 02/09/06 03:41 PM Re: "traditional" & "modern" TKD ... ? [Re: matxtx]
Subedei Offline
Member

Registered: 12/23/04
Posts: 479
This is another situation in which I'd suggest a study of swordfighting for insight into unarmed combat. The reasons for a block/parry in one situation and a sidestep/backstep or jam in another are incredibly obvious and based on exactly the same principles as unarmed combat. Somehow the weapon just makes everything much more clear, try it!

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#229273 - 02/09/06 04:28 PM Re: "traditional" & "modern" TKD ... ? [Re: Subedei]
Dereck Offline
Prolific

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10413
Loc: Great White North
You lost me on this one Subedei.
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