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Corum Irsei
4/17/2013 2:43pm,
Hi all! Quick background: 32 years old. Studied Taekwondo all throughout my elementary school years up until mid secondary school. Red belt. Stopped. Then came college, part-time job, and real job. Anyway, since I am more or less acquainted with my schedule, I decided to get reacquainted with martial arts. Of course, I gravitated to this particular one. Loved it back then and it still works well with my physique. Found a dojang and signed up for a twice-a-week evening class with the senior instructor. We are 3 in a class and the others are in their late 20s. I requested to start back to square one because, having a different mindset from when I was a kid, I want to start out properly (i.e. fine-tune the technique). The groundwork may be there and the pickup will of course be easier due to recall, but I'm not treating it as a adrenaline outlet anymore. Also, I will only be cheating myself if I took the easy route.

Anyway, here's my reason for visiting the forum: how can I be more efficient? Any tips on and off the dojang? Since it is only twice a week, I feel that I need to also do some research and training during my off-days. However, I only can do it in the confines of my apartment because a gym is out of the question and I do not have time to take up another discipline.

Also, this is a vague question, but how can I make Taekwondo into something more practical? I am not starting a debate on whether this is good for self-defense, but what I want is for the things I learn to become "muscle memory" and possibly be of use in certain situations.

Finally, what exercises can I do to inject more power into my kicks and punches? Sorry, it should be commonsense, but back then, I never did any extra-curricular training apart from those tri-weekly classes.

Permalost
4/17/2013 2:50pm,
Welcome to Bullshido

Of course, I gravitated to this particular one. Loved it back then and it still works well with my physique.
What's your physique?

how can I be more efficient? Any tips on and off the dojang? Since it is only twice a week, I feel that I need to also do some research and training during my off-days. However, I only can do it in the confines of my apartment because a gym is out of the question and I do not have time to take up another discipline.
Efficient in what way? What are your goals in TKD?


Also, this is a vague question, but how can I make Taekwondo into something more practical? I am not starting a debate on whether this is good for self-defense, but what I want is for the things I learn to become "muscle memory" and possibly be of use in certain situations.
Once you're comfortable sparring TKD, maybe try sparring people from other backgrounds.


Finally, what exercises can I do to inject more power into my kicks and punches? Sorry, it should be commonsense, but back then, I never did any extra-curricular training apart from those tri-weekly classes.
A heavy bag or wavemaster would be ideal, but in an apartment you might have some trouble.

franginho
4/17/2013 3:00pm,
Hello Corum Irsei,
welcome to the forum.

Responding your questions...
1) How to make TKD somewhat more applicable: There are a few ways, first try to use the technique but be aware of the set up/rule set they are taught in. For instance in WTF TKD and as far as i know in ITF as well, there are no punches to the head(in sparring), and sparring is point oriented. Keep that in mind, it works like this in the dojo but not if you want to apply it "for real".
Same goes for Ilbo-terion and if you do it sanbo-terion (please excuse my spelling, I have no clue of how to phonetically translate that into english and I haven't trained anything regarding stand up in years), the scenario is reduced, one/two attacks that are in line and telegraphed - little to no direct aplication.
There are no low kicks practiced in most schools/kwans.

How to fix all this? Spar under a MMA/MT/Sanda/Kickboxing rule set, this will give you an idea of how to apply what you have learned in a more "real" setting.
Cross train if you can/want.


2) As for how to improve your speed/strength, the most obvious one is - Start lifting!

There is another way that I used when I didn't have access to a gym that was self resistance training (results were so so and views on this are, I guess, critical). It works like this. You do the move you are doing, lets say a punch and you flex the contrary muscle (biceps - triceps) while doing the move, hindering yourself from doing the move, this is done rather slow and with lots of focus... as I said, most likely not your best option but helps focusing and understanding your body and the technique.


Hope that helps somewhat.

Permalost
4/17/2013 3:05pm,
There is another way that I used when I didn't have access to a gym that was self resistance training (results were so so and views on this are, I guess, critical). It works like this. You do the move you are doing, lets say a punch and you flex the contrary muscle (biceps - triceps) while doing the move, hindering yourself from doing the move, this is done rather slow and with lots of focus... as I said, most likely not your best option but helps focusing and understanding your body and the technique.
I'd recommend bodyweight calisthenics over this^ for developing speed/strength without a gym.

franginho
4/17/2013 3:06pm,
What he said... Body Weight/ Polymetrics!
Well my brain goes into stupid mode when I think back about then...

Corum Irsei
4/17/2013 3:12pm,
Welcome to Bullshido

Thanks!


What's your physique?

Swimmer's build and long legs. Also did soccer and biking.


Efficient in what way? What are your goals in TKD?

Can't give a concrete example now, but maybe effective in the sense that I will be able to defend myself more competently against say a drunken lout in a bar (as opposed to just haphazard fisticuffs) or be able to react with more fluidity or finesse in a potentially dangerous situation. Goals? Am planning to be here for the long-haul. Not in a rush to go black belt and want to be comfortable with the arsenals, etc in each level before I advance. Also not interested in competition-type taekwondo, which I also relayed to my instructor. No plans of competing anyway.


Once you're comfortable sparring TKD, maybe try sparring people from other backgrounds.

Will try in the distant future. Never had a problem sparring as a kid against another kid, but it will be different now. I will most likely be maimed by my opponent at this point in time. Will focus on improving myself first. Good idea though. However, none of my friends or coworkers have any combat training and I don't exactly know how to ask someone to spar with me without coming off as a braggart.


A heavy bag or wavemaster would be ideal, but in an apartment you might have some trouble.

Will shadow punching help or do I need something solid to hit, for example? No place to hang a bag.

Corum Irsei
4/17/2013 3:20pm,
I'd recommend bodyweight calisthenics over this^ for developing speed/strength without a gym.


What he said... Body Weight/ Polymetrics!
Well my brain goes into stupid mode when I think back about then.

Are calisthenics and polymetrics interchangeable?

Any good body weight workout plans to recommend or those geared to improving striking power?

Permalost
4/17/2013 3:25pm,
Can't give a concrete example now, but maybe effective in the sense that I will be able to defend myself more competently against say a drunken lout in a bar (as opposed to just haphazard fisticuffs) or be able to react with more fluidity or finesse in a potentially dangerous situation.
A drunken lout is actually a fairly low bar- they're most often beaten by people with no training at all, as they are also untrained people but even less adept due to intoxication. I mention this because I've seen people say that their training is so great because its worked in The Streets, and its worth noting that this isn't the best indicator of good technique or whatever.


Goals? Am planning to be here for the long-haul. Not in a rush to go black belt and want to be comfortable with the arsenals, etc in each level before I advance. Also not interested in competition-type taekwondo, which I also relayed to my instructor. No plans of competing anyway.
Few people get into martial arts for competition, but just keep in mind that your attitude may change as you get better. Competition will give you a chance to go up against people who actually know the same stuff as you.



Will try in the distant future. Never had a problem sparring as a kid against another kid, but it will be different now. I will most likely be maimed by my opponent at this point in time. Will focus on improving myself first. Good idea though. However, none of my friends or coworkers have any combat training and I don't exactly know how to ask someone to spar with me without coming off as a braggart.
Maybe poke around Craigslist or the Throwdown forum to see if other martial artists are out there. I trained with a judo guy in the park that I met through Bullshido, and we trained/sparred weekly for like 2 years.



Will shadow punching help or do I need something solid to hit, for example? No place to hang a bag.
I'd say shadowboxing is useful but only if you've learned how to do it properly. Not sure if your TKD coach teaches this. Does your dojang have heavy bags? Or some kicking shields?

Corum Irsei
5/02/2013 3:11am,
After 9 sessions, I can finally give a more concrete update. Despite being a former red, I found it very refreshing to start from square one. Most of the motions were familiar, but at least I was corrected (either I had forgotten or just breezed through it in the past or was doing it wrong) on each and every stance and block. The poomse and self-defense forms are now not just "going-through-the-motion" activities for me (yup, I just enjoyed the kicking and sparring parts when I was a kid) and hopefully with practice, the movements would become instinctual. My kicks are still crappy, since age robbed me of my flexibility, but I was assured that with the proper stretches (on-and-off the dojang), I'd get my form back. We are now only two in a class, as the third student felt the training routine was too slow and kept saying that after more than 8 sessions, we should already be preparing for yellow.

Anyway, I have a few questions and want to share a bit of interesting oddities I've noticed in the class.

First, is it ok to have 2 instructors? Not at the same time, but I noticed our instructors usually alternate every 2 sessions. Nothing much is different save for 2 slight things: one is more focused on hand techniques (blocks, punches, and hip-relation to the punches when throwing them) and the other is more on kicks and forms... also, one tends to breakdown the techniques into 3 movements, whereas the other does it in 2, then makes it into 1.

Second, is WTF okay in a practical setting? I asked the type of TKD they were teaching and I was told that it was WTF. After doing some internet browsing, I've noticed that the majority swear by ITF and only say that WTF is for the Olympics. Is the difference in style that great?

Third, I brought up the self-defense issue with my instructors and was surprised when they alloted the last quarter of the session to teaching me simple techniques that I didn't know Taekwondo had. I was told not to use it for sparring, but, for example... one self-defense form involved holding the attacker's hand and chopping the neck. We were taught that we could also grab a different area and knee them in the gut or hit them in the shin. Last week, we were introduced to a wrist lock and twist (?) move for when an assailant puts his arm around you feigning friendship but just wants to keep you from running away. These two for now until we get them right, though. Also the other instructor taught us how to hold a bag or laptop so that we could use it as a weapon when our hands are encumbered. So my question is, is it perfectly normal for schools to teach unorthodox stuff (I didn't even know TKD had wrist attacks) or stuff outside the curriculum?

Finally, to answer Permalost's question, yup, there is a kicking shield and a kicking pad. No punching bag though. I was told, however, that I could practice my blocks and punches on a wooden post if I had no partner to work with. Now, my question is.. What is the verdict on Wolff's Law here? I am not sure which to believe and I am quite paranoid with my hands since I am a dental hygienist and the last thing I need is arthritis.

Thanks!

jedtex88
5/02/2013 3:48am,
OP Have you seen either of you instructors spar yet? Do they allow "free sparring" or is it all point based?

franginho
5/02/2013 6:43am,
Okay, lets get at it...
1) Two instructors are okay, as long as they don't contradict themselves. I have had several different instructors during my TKD time (we had one for SelfDefense, one for Form, one for Competition, one for ibotherio/ilbotherion/sambotherion etc.) Worked nicely.
2) The difference between ITF and WTF are, from what I can remember, WTF uses Poomse ITF uses "palke" (not sure about spelling and stuff, it has been years).
And then there is the entire competition rules thing that also lead to minor differences in technique (dollyo chagi being one that is a good example).
Some ITF schools go for that sinus form stuff but from my humble stand point, it is bullshit.
3) TKD has some self defense stuff, at least it had when I trained (this usually goes for grading) and depending on your school and teacher there can be more or less. Many TKD teachers also dabble in Hapkido which will add more Self Defense.

As for all this being applicable in a real situation... you will fight like you train. So if you all train like sissys you will fight like sissys. My training was, luckily, very versatile with folks cross training a lot and teachers having all kinds of backgrounds. So I took a lot out of it. TKD is nice for sports and should help in a SD situation but it is not the end to it all.
Hope that helped. For more questions about TKD I would suggest you venture into the style forums and ask there :D

DerAuslander
5/02/2013 7:30am,
Also, this is a vague question, but how can I make Taekwondo into something more practical?

You can't. If you are looking for practical training, and your dojang is not teaching that way, leave. Your dojang is providing X and you want Y.

Decide what it is you want out of martial training, and then go get it.


Also, this is a vague question, but how can I make Taekwondo into something more practical?

You can't. If you are looking for practical training, and your dojang is not teaching that way, leave. Your dojang is providing X and you want Y.

Decide what it is you want out of martial training, and then go get it.

W. Rabbit
5/02/2013 12:45pm,
Anyway, here's my reason for visiting the forum: how can I be more efficient? Any tips on and off the dojang? Since it is only twice a week, I feel that I need to also do some research and training during my off-days. However, I only can do it in the confines of my apartment because a gym is out of the question and I do not have time to take up another discipline.


Welcome to Bullshido.

You are not really confined to your apartment are you? There are a million free or mostly free things you could do outside your apartment to get stronger arms and legs.

Corum Irsei
5/07/2013 3:05am,
Okay, lets get at it...
1) Two instructors are okay, as long as they don't contradict themselves. I have had several different instructors during my TKD time (we had one for SelfDefense, one for Form, one for Competition, one for ibotherio/ilbotherion/sambotherion etc.) Worked nicely.
2) The difference between ITF and WTF are, from what I can remember, WTF uses Poomse ITF uses "palke" (not sure about spelling and stuff, it has been years).
And then there is the entire competition rules thing that also lead to minor differences in technique (dollyo chagi being one that is a good example).
Some ITF schools go for that sinus form stuff but from my humble stand point, it is bullshit.
3) TKD has some self defense stuff, at least it had when I trained (this usually goes for grading) and depending on your school and teacher there can be more or less. Many TKD teachers also dabble in Hapkido which will add more Self Defense.

As for all this being applicable in a real situation... you will fight like you train. So if you all train like sissys you will fight like sissys. My training was, luckily, very versatile with folks cross training a lot and teachers having all kinds of backgrounds. So I took a lot out of it. TKD is nice for sports and should help in a SD situation but it is not the end to it all.
Hope that helped. For more questions about TKD I would suggest you venture into the style forums and ask there :D

Will get to the other replies later..

1. Yeah, so far they don't contradict themselves and if there are parts where the mannerisms slightly differ based on personal style, the senior instructor usually gives an explanation (e.g. easier for beginners/kids/first-timers to remember and pick up).

2. But it doesn't necessarily mean that one style is inferior to the other (in a self-defense standpoint), right? What is a "sinus form stuff"?

3. Now, I understand where you are coming from.. Even though TKD is a combat and survival art in the inherent sense of the word, the self-defense training I'll be getting out of it will ultimately depend on my instructor - his instruction and his style + whatever he picked up along the way. Used to have a naive view on it when I was younger (i.e. knows martial art = knows how to fight). And I've learned quite a lot while conversing with my instructors. Will also plug my reply to DerAuslander here because I feel that it also covers the subject. Originally, my three main reasons for (re)taking TKD are self-defense, sentimentality, and familiarity. When I meant practical, I just wanted to know how can I best apply it outside the dojo - in the real world. Of course I am not after a South Korean Military Intent-to-kill style of TKD, but I want something that is more than just a "sport", "hobby", or "means of staying fit". Told this to them and, ever since, we've been having a 15 min period after class to talk about and demo certain other self-defense techniques. It isn't part of the curriculum per se, but it gives me the time to ask sd-related questions like, "what do I do if I get grabbed from behind", etc... and they get to show it to me and teach me the basics. They said it was ok since it is an evening class and we are all adults so it is only right that I get so much more than junior training. It also opened up another door, because those wrist locks they taught me, they learned from another instructor in the dojang who "rents" it twice a week to teach MMA. Is that what is meant by crosstraining? Anyway, they told me that they can integrate that with the lessons every after class so that I could become well-rounded. I don't know what they meant by "we can only teach you little ground defense in TKD" but they said that and they said that I can train with the other instructor to get some MT (I don't know what that is) and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu moves when I feel that I am comfortable with my primary technique (which is of course the reason why I came there in the first place).

And I am good with making TKD my foundation and then add it up with others. But it brings me to this question. Is TKD and BJJ and mt(?) a good combination, with TKD as primary? To the guys who crosstrain, how is it done: be good in your art and go up against other arts? train simultaneously in two arts? or train hard in one and incorporate techniques to fill the gaps? Also, will it be confusing to simultaneously learn kicking/punching with grappling? Any tips? Of course, for now, I am content with the 15-minute sessions, but in the future, I plan to do what my instructors suggested.

Thanks again, and yes it helped!

DerAuslander
5/07/2013 6:55am,
Why do you care what people you have never met on the Internet think about your training which they cannot see and cannot experience with people they do not know?

Why do you care what people you have never met on the Internet think about your training which they cannot see and cannot experience with people they do not know?

Corum Irsei
5/07/2013 7:54am,
Why do you care what people you have never met on the Internet think about your training which they cannot see and cannot experience with people they do not know?


Because, despite this being the internet, where I'm more likely to run into trolls or people who exaggerate/malign/flat-out don't give a hoot, there is the off chance that I get that genuine piece of unbiased opinion or suggestion. Like I said, I am new to this and have yet to come across people who are in the same boat (or have gone through the same boat and then some) as I am.

If you need me to be specific, then let's focus on one area, for example. Crosstraining. How do I know which arts are synergistic or antagonistic to TKD? If I were an instructor or if I ran or owned a dojo, then I'd have the time to experiment on which style is best for TKD and having to work with and learn two styles at the same time wouldn't be a problem because I am already comfortably advanced and intimately familiar with one. Sadly, my job, priorities and other distractions limit me from moving along at an insane and more dedicated pace, so I am taking a long shot here. There are things you learn from books, there are things you learn from instruction, there are things you learn from experience, and there are things you can learn online. If I am able to enumerate even just 3 things from this, then I'd say my time in these forums was worth it.