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#422005 - 08/30/09 05:31 PM Re: Should TKD patterns be scrapped? [Re: tkd_high_green]
Supremor Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/22/04
Posts: 2510
Loc: UK
Quote:

The best patterns person at our school has the most beautiful, technically accurate kicks and they just shine in his patterns. Full extension, height, and power. He may weigh half of what I do, but I've been on the receiving end and been flattened by his kicks before.

A persons skill, how they hold their body, the cleanness of their technique shows in their patterns. I don't care if it's a traditional pattern that has been around for a thousand years, or one made up on the spot. A person with a sloppy pattern is going to have sloppy techniques.


Laura, you make an interesting point, and anecdotally to me it also appears that often the people with better patterns, also spar better. However, as one of those people (throwing modesty aside for a moment! blush ) who does both well, I would say that little of that was gained through practicing patterns.

Let me try to explain. When I was grading for my colour belts, I remember becoming a green belt and realizing I had to perform Won Hyo Tul, for which I had to do shoulder level side kicks at full extension. This was something that I couldn't do! But I did not manage to do it by practicing my patterns. Rather, I managed it by isolating the skill- i.e. kicking at shoulder height with strength, power and balance- and practicing that skill an awful lot (like half an hour everyday of practicing just that). Surprise, surprise, within a few months my side kicks improved immensely. Perhaps this was due to the motivation to perform my patterns well, but it was not at all due to practicing the patterns themselves.

Again, I achieved my goal due to specificity. If you want to do something well, it is usually no good doing practicing something different. You don't get good at maths by studying geography. When it came to improving my sidekicks, the fact that there were sidekicks in patterns was only incidental, because my main training to achieve better sidekicks was by practicing sidekicks a lot.

This whole argument reminds me a lot of th debates within language acquisition. There has been a big movement in language learning away from lists of vocab and books of grammar, towards use of native materials and media. Just look at this website on learning Japanese:

http://www.alljapaneseallthetime.com/blog/

I think that martial artists could learn a lot from this commonsense approach (although I don't agree with everything he writes, in terms of when to start outputting in a target language). Simply, if you want to get good at something, you need to practice that thing as much as possible and as closely as possible. Once you start doing that, weaknesses become much more apparent, and you are better able to work on those weaknesses by, guess what, practicing those weaknesses an awful lot!

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#422008 - 08/30/09 06:20 PM Re: Should TKD patterns be scrapped? [Re: Supremor]
von1 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/04/08
Posts: 260
Supremor

10 years, where or what have you been training?

I have stepped back from TKD, I have stepped away from TKD, and I have moved with in TKD, but not even close to 10 years. I believe my record is aprox. 1 year, had to test the waters of other ma"s a few times.


Edited by von1 (08/30/09 06:24 PM)

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#422011 - 08/30/09 10:09 PM Re: Should TKD patterns be scrapped? [Re: von1]
Supremor Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/22/04
Posts: 2510
Loc: UK
Quote:

10 years, where or what have you been training?


Well, first of all I said that I hadn't been training a decade yet. My background is pretty simple- 6 years ITF TKD(5 years with no break, then off to university so only training in holidays). 3 years judo, on and off(about 18 months continually, then a 6 mcoth lay-off, then another year continually). 1 year kickboxing during the university term.

I would say that at the end of it all, I am a thoroughbred ITF taekwon-do guy. I do a lot of grappling nowadays, but I consider my striking my primary skill set. I do have a black belt in taekwon-do, and I did really spend a heck of a lot of time practicing patterns. I didn't really do it for the transfer to my sparring or self defense skills, but purely because I have the notion ingrained in my head that it's not worth doing anything if you don't do it 100%. That is why I think I am qualified to give an opinion on why skill in performing patterns often seems to correlate to skill in other aspects of TKD.

Also, I would freely admit that I am one of those sports guys, who trains mostly for having a good scrap in class! I like competing a lot, and I don't mind rules. I also don't really see the need for self defense in my own life, living in nice neighbourhoods and being sensible enough not to hang around in bad ones.

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#422040 - 09/01/09 03:24 PM Re: Should TKD patterns be scrapped? [Re: Supremor]
EarlWeiss Offline
Member

Registered: 07/29/05
Posts: 322
Seems in 1989 TKD Times published an article that addressed some of the benefits of pattern pracice.

Reprints available at

http://www.geocities.com/ustfregion5/Forms.html

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#422043 - 09/01/09 06:09 PM Re: Should TKD patterns be scrapped? [Re: EarlWeiss]
Dereck Offline
Prolific

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10413
Loc: Great White North
I would expect nothing less then TKD Times to see benefits.

Quote:
"Many instructors and martial arts experts have espoused the importance of traditional forms. They reason that forms not only develop skill levels and techniques, but stamina, muscular development, proper technique from, balance, breathing and power as well."


This is not saying anything we haven't discussed. To a very small degree on some of these, I can agree with however any benefits receive doing patterns would benefit better patterns more then anything else. In fact I would say that other training that is live will benefit patterns more then patterns would benefit it.

Muscular development; I'm sorry I draw the line. That is pure BUNK. Muscular development comes from resistance; the greater the resistance the greater development. What resistance does patterns provide; NONE. Body weight exercising is legit but the benefits are pale in comparison to say weights. Patterns don't even provide minimal body weight for resistance if at all. Sorry, that just does not fly. Nobody got bigger or stronger from doing patterns, SORRY!

And if you want better stamina well look elsewhere then patterns. And I would sooner learn my breathing under conditions of live training where I feel my adrenalin running and possibly fear; where I need to learn to control it and not have it control me. Continually put in these types of situations will benefit you much greater.
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#422045 - 09/01/09 08:02 PM Re: Should TKD patterns be scrapped? [Re: EarlWeiss]
Supremor Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/22/04
Posts: 2510
Loc: UK
Earl, my critique of the article would fall into two parts:

First, in the first paragraph in fact, the argument is made that patterns will improve your balance, strength, power etc. This is of course nonsense, for the reasons that Dereck and I have been arguing from the beginning- they are clearly inefficient at improving fitness. If you want to get stronger, lift weights; if you want to get better punching technique, punch things more, etc. etc.

The second part discusses the non-fighting benefits of patterns- aesthetic beauty, the fact that anyone can do them and so on. This is an argument that I have clearly supported from the beginning. In my first post I wrote:

Quote:
But we have to admit that there are many reasons people take martial arts. For those who are looking to get a bit fitter, enjoy themselves and learn a neat party trick, I can see nothing wrong with practising patterns. Even for those, like myself at one point, who simply find it interesting to try and do something "perfectly," as an exercise in focus and perseverance, will also find patterns agreeable. I don't see those goals as somehow less worthy than training to spar or defend oneself, as long as the individual is honest with him/herself.


But this does not stop my argument from being just as forceful. If you want to learn to fight, don't do patterns; if you want to learn self defense, don't do patterns; if you actually enjoy patterns, do patterns. The main benefit of patterns is getting better at performing patterns, nothing else. They have some other benefits as well, but these are so minor, and inefficient compared to other forms of training that they should not be considered when deciding how to reach one's goals as a martial artist.

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#422048 - 09/01/09 10:12 PM Re: Should TKD patterns be scrapped? [Re: Supremor]
EarlWeiss Offline
Member

Registered: 07/29/05
Posts: 322
Originally Posted By: Supremor
Earl, my critique of the article would fall into two parts:

First, in the first paragraph in fact, the argument is made that patterns will improve your balance, strength, power etc. This is of course nonsense, for the reasons that Dereck and I have been arguing from the beginning- they are clearly inefficient at improving fitness. If you want to get stronger, lift weights; if you want to get better punching technique, punch things more, etc. etc.



While I believe in the benefits of weightlifting being on a 3x a week program for about 40 years now. I disagree that the strength of most weight training exercises nenefit kicking and punching directly. I don't know which pattern system you practice so I cannot address it directly. But if you look at the Chang Hon system you will find a beautiful progression of physial activity starting with no kicks nd simple turns to mre complex turns and more complex kicking. A much better way to warm up than junping jacks or jogging. The practice and training needs no extra equipment and can be done virtualy anywhere.

Since I wrote the article in 1989, my thoughts have expanded somewhat.

For instance, when at RMCAT and they taught large exagerated motions which would still be powerful when truncated under adrenal stress, I was thinking "Patterns".

Patterns are not intended to be the only or best training tool . In the Chang Hon ssytem it is clear they are one element of several. If you want to spar, then spar. If you wnat SD, train for that.

what about that pattern technique that would only be useful 1% of the time, so you may not train in it, yet the 1% happens?

If you eliminate patterns and only do sparring or SD, then are you really doing any specific Martial Art? If you are, then what makes what you are doing unique when comapred to any other sparring or Self Defense training?

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#422066 - 09/02/09 03:57 PM Re: Should TKD patterns be scrapped? [Re: EarlWeiss]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
Quote:
"If you eliminate patterns and only do sparring or SD, then are you really doing any specific Martial Art? If you are, then what makes what you are doing unique when comapred to any other sparring or Self Defense training?"

That's where I think you might miss some of what the others were considering. If you are looking at utility outside of an aesthetic or historical connection to an art, then the face of that art is an illusion. That patterns, etc do not matter. What matters is essentially ability to perform and how to make individuals better than they were in the use of the techniques in application.

In that case, a quick study of how better to perform (ala modern sports medicine and coaching) would probably point you into using a MMA paradigm to teach for use. In that case, there are no new techniques or delivery systems, just better ways to teach individuals to use them.

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#422068 - 09/02/09 04:58 PM Re: Should TKD patterns be scrapped? [Re: butterfly]
Dereck Offline
Prolific

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10413
Loc: Great White North
Very nicely put Brad. You looked at this as a whole and explained it very well.
_________________________
"IF I COME ... I'M BRINGING THE PAIN WITH ME"

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#422074 - 09/02/09 08:55 PM Re: Should TKD patterns be scrapped? [Re: Dereck]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Quote:
If you are looking at utility outside of an aesthetic or historical connection to an art, then the face of that art is an illusion. That patterns, etc do not matter.


Exactly! I was trying to think of a way to say the same thing. Utility is my primary concern, and on that face, patterns are the lowest priority.
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"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

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