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#249306 - 04/27/06 02:08 PM The truth about TKD
MrBerzerker Offline

Registered: 04/04/06
Posts: 74
This was inspired by an episode of the boondocks where Martin Luther King Jr. comes back to life and tells some people off. (You'd have to watch the episode to understand what I'm talking about).

This is not a bashing of TKD. It is just the cold hard truth about the art, how it's been dumbed down, and how it's been commercialized over the years.

So here we go...

Forms: The purpose of a form is to prove to the judges that you have learned and can properly perform the moves of your current belt level. This is why white belt forms consist of low blocks, inside out blocks, front stances, and punches. It is also why brown and blackbelt forms consist of just about everything under the sun. It is only nessesary to learn one form per belt level. I know that you want your students to be recognized by both the WTF, and ITF, but learning two forms at once cuts out your drill time. And seriously, why the hell should an orginization turn their backs to a student just because they don't know "their" forms? It's silly.

One Steps: Knowing 12443525463 ways to counter an overextended punch is not very useful in a real life encounter. These things aren't even traditional TKD. They were invented a decade or two ago, by god knows who. Time would be better spent on sparring drills, and bag drills.

Sparring: TKD practitioners already have a bad rep for not knowing how to punch/block a punch. Not allowing punches to the head only reenforces this stereotype. It also makes for bad self defense. If you want to do sport sparring that's fine, but give the other people in class a chance to do continuous contact sparring with punches to the head. Some people are there to learn how to defend themselves. Not win a tournament, and walk around calling themselves "Cobra", or "McHitsalot".

Non-Contact Sparring: For the love of god, there's nothing sadder than watching two BB's with $80.00 worth of protective gear on not hit each other!! One guy is thinking,"I think that one would have hit had I followed through". The other guy is thinking, "I think I blocked that one". You can't really know if you've been hit unlesss you've been hit. When you don't know when you've been hit, then you don't know when you're leaving bad openings for your opponent to take advantage of. Non-contact sparring completly defeats the purpose of sparring. Why are certian schools so afraid that someone is going to get seriously injured? Boxers actually aim to hurt each other when they spar and yet you hardly hear of a boxer going to the hostpital in an ambulance.

Board Breaking: If your schools doesn't do board breaking or uses plastic boards, then YOU ARE NOT A MARTIAL ARTIST!!! The black belt test break should not be palm hand through one board. If you have never broken a board then you will never be able to hurt anybody with your kicks. People are a lot tougher than those white pine boards. Also people need to not be so afraid of going past one board. Breaking multiple boards has little to do with strength. As long as you plant your heel right smack dab in the middle of the first board the other two will break easily.

Belt Ranking: Belt = time spent doing TKD. It does not always equal skill in TKD. Skill and time corelate so by the time you get to be a BB you are usually pretty skilled. Sadly I have seen more than a few people in my lifetime that did not deserve their rank.

For the newbies: Congrats on starting TKD. If you came to learn a fun sport, then good for you. If you came to learn how to defend yourself then take a look around. Are there mirrors in the Dojang? Is there a heavy bag or two? Does your school do full contact sparring? Do you break real boards in your school? If you answered no to two or more of these questions then RUN AWAY AS FAST AS YOU CAN!!! And join up with the local boxing gym. No matter how well your instructors can kick, it's all for show unless they train for real self defense. The majority of TKD schools teach it as an art first, a fun time second, and self defense last.

Kicking: Kicking can be of great use to you in a real fight. BUT ONLY IF YOU HAVE GOOD PUNCHING SKILLS AS WELL!! You cannot go into a fight doing nothing but kicks and expect to win. Kicks are there for when your opponent leaves an opening that your hands cannot get to as quickly as your feet can (front snap kick to the cheat, or sidekick to the ribs when they are too far away to punch for example).

Edited by MrBerzerker (04/27/06 02:20 PM)

#249307 - 04/27/06 02:41 PM Re: The truth about TKD [Re: MrBerzerker]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
MrB -

I appreciate the strength of your opinions. This does not mean that I agree with all of them. Board breaking in particular has NOT A THING to do with martial arts, IMHO.
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

#249308 - 04/27/06 02:45 PM Re: The truth about TKD [Re: MattJ]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
The only thing MattJ breaks is noses.

#249309 - 04/27/06 02:47 PM Re: The truth about TKD [Re: MattJ]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
The other thing I would add is that one shouldn't overlay one's own description and requirements of a martial art on someone else's practice.

#249310 - 04/27/06 02:59 PM Re: The truth about TKD [Re: butterfly]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
But if we don't do that how are we supposed to feel "better" than other people?

#249311 - 04/27/06 02:59 PM Re: The truth about TKD [Re: butterfly]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5844
Loc: USA

Excellent point!

Nothing more annoying than a person that takes the limits of their OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE and mistakes it for THE LIMITS period.

Guy has a point/points--no question.

But to take that point and apply it to an entire planet of people is kinda reaching.
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

#249312 - 04/27/06 03:01 PM Re: The truth about TKD [Re: oldman]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5844
Loc: USA

"But if we don't do that how are we supposed to feel better than other people?"

Now thats funny!

Edited by cxt (04/27/06 03:02 PM)
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

#249313 - 04/27/06 03:02 PM Re: The truth about TKD [Re: cxt]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884

Guy has a point/points--no question.

Yes, but I think a different hairstyle might make them less noticeable.

#249314 - 04/27/06 03:25 PM Re: The truth about TKD [Re: oldman]
GuitarNinja Offline

Registered: 03/17/06
Posts: 182
I agree and disagree with this, I agree face punches should be allowed, I agree forms should be better regulated but used more often as a self defense mechanism. I dont break boards, but I sure as hell know I can break someones face, if just breaking one pine board isnt enough for you... then why contradict yourself and say breaking more than one is just as easy as long as you break the first board... then it would make sense to practice only breaking one board, save money on breaking 4 at once or something : ) lol

Not everyone wants to be hit, not everyone is there to fight, some people want art, some people want deadly techniques, whatever, who cares. I want a hot dog for dinner and my fiance wants chicken.
Mastery is in the practice itself.

#249315 - 04/27/06 04:47 PM Re: The truth about TKD [Re: MrBerzerker]
theoldone Offline

Registered: 03/05/06
Posts: 172
You know, we (people) talk a lot about things on internet forums. (OK, that's what they're for, duh) But it seems to me there are two primary ways we go about it:

1. We defend our view of things because we see things only from our point view.

2. We really open up to the possibility that other views hold valuable insights that help enhance our understanding. Thus we expand our minds.

We talk about how TMAs are dated, we talk about how MMAs are too function-oriented, we talk about how TKD is useless with punches, we talk about how grappling is useless in a street situation, we talk about how strikers are helpless against grapplers.

Fact is, we can talk about anything under the sun and we can talk about them until the cows come home or the gods of war arise out of the depths of the earth to destroy all MAs, but it seems to me that many of us are missing the point in all this talk.

In the final analysis, after all the talk is done, we are faced with one final question: what are we going to do about it? Will you use all this talk to learn? To expand your mind? To absorb what is useful?

Or will you content yourself with using it to keep on saying how good your art is and how all other arts stink?

In the words of Bern Wheeler (an advertising agency owner who wrote the book "The One And Only Law Of Winning"):

Only constant self-confrontation of responsibility reaps results

He was writing about personal individual success, but if you'd use that principle in your MA training, you'd reap results and knowledge far beyond what you presently possess.

So, OK, some people are saying TMAs s*ck. Some are saying MMAs s*ck, etc., etc. But after reading and listening and researching or whatever, what is your responsibility to yourself amidst all these generalizations, beliefs, prejudices, etc, as a individual martial artist, as your own individual person?

Do what your intelligence/wisdom/heart tells you is your responsibility as an individual martial artist and your own individual person, and you will begin to define your own individual path to the martial arts.

You will then not be so susceptible to the fickle winds of hype, misinformation, pride, prejudice, etc., that run rampant in the MA world. You'll also not be so easily taken up by the personality or "authority" of a grandmaster, guru or mahaguru or whatever.

You'll be your own person. You will be your own thinker. You will do your own thinking. And that would be a goal that is worth much more than being able to scale 20ft walls with nothing but your fingernails, would it not?

Finally, "The Thinker's Way" (Author: John Chaffee), would be as good as any to follow as a martial artist:

- Think Critically (not to be confused with being critical)
- Live Creatively
- Choose Freely
We Are Beautiful, Temporary Patterns

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