Experience from choi kwang do
firstly, i have read most of the threads talking about this art, which has opened my eyes a little into the politics, which i would have to say i agree with, with attending various seminars towards this martial art i would agree that most of the 'chief' instructors in this art are laim, self indulgant and generally boast about how much their schools make. and yet you look at their students and with most of the comments you have made about this art, i would say that i would agree on what you say. even to the very first post i was looking at the magazine cover depicting the guy (who has now branched off from ckd and made a fool of himself) was in the wrong stance altogether.
the thing about ckd is that it is an ever changing martial art. which means when GM Choi trains and decides that this move does not work effieciently as proposed to then he changes it to a way he feels is beneficial for the user, but also keeps instructors on their toes to make sure they teach the art properly. however, this automatically fails due to most instructor being incredibly useless in what they do and think that they are in a blue suit because they are awesome. i know this for a fact as i have seen this at many seminars, and with me being an instructor myself was disgusted at the amount of them just standing around doing nothing. ok, they are students at the same time. but being an instructor means the 'students' are the main priority. so watching them stand around doing sweet FA while me and my team were helping out greatly showed how some cheif instructors run their schools.
towards effectiveness, this martial arts is as equal as them all when used in a different way, hence why i am not about to jepordise myself or my school by revealing names. we use semi-contact sparring in our drills. purely because we KNOW that no contact seemingly fails to people who would actually endanger themselves to fight. but in the same time, how many of you have been so pissed off due to the fact you've lost in a competition under false pretenses??? i know i have, i studied another art that said i lost because i happened to pwn a black belt when i was a blue. kinda shows how childish people are when their 'black belt' students are getting whipped by a lower belt rank, but finding out id lost sent me into such a rage.....i also take mma classes, as my competitive side is definatly out-weighing my judgement on sticking with the belief of this art. as being an instructor i hardly get time to practise in the dojang, purely as i am teaching students to even taking the whole class under the chief instructors supervision. but in this mma class, ive noticed that my techniques are quite similar to those use in muay-thai and other martial arts. maybe it is just me, but as i trained with a muay-thai british champion, who then asked wether i studied it (to which i have not) gives me to think that maybe it is actually certain schools that cause this knock on negative effect of this martial art.
For price wise, i agree that it is rediculously expensive, but to the extent of that most instructors charge to make money themselves. with my school, it is a non profit organization (to back this, i personally know the cheif instructor, as he was a witness of my birth) to which every penny that goes into the school comes straight back out of it towards new equipment, doboks (which 1st one is free to people who join, standard procedure) room rentals etc. for the fact we have a class every day in over 4 different locations including L.A fitness aswell which isnt really the cheapest of facilities either.
again, i believe this martial art is being slanted down to the point of seeing certian school owners showing their amazing but failure martial art classes with the money they make. there is a teacher who earns purely from choi nearly £250,000 a year, and to be honest. seeing him teach the techniques. wouldn't join his class, which makes you think how does he do it??
our instructor team tries to differ our classes every week, even holding masterclasses at the end of the week specialising in different areas (hands, legs, defence drill, close quarter combat - yes we do that also) which seems effective and even using exercise techniques such as natural body strength trainiing and also P.A.C.E training. we even add our own ones in we may have learnt from other martial arts also. maybe that is the point? and yet not so, i train with a 2nd dan who has never done any other martial art. who could kick a lo0t of people to the ground by just flicking his leg, even after having 2 knee operations and a back operation, he pushes himself further then what he feels is his limit, and sparring against him is actually a really good experience. but again maybe it is because i have studied a few martial arts that i have learnt the contact side of it enough to be able to understand how to defend myself in a different way to how choi teaches. i do see that the deflections and attacks they use are effective, but only going when you test them out not just on a shield/focus mitt (to someones earlier comment).
so to finish my rant, in my opinion, this art is the same as every other one. different in so many ways but still down to how the chief instructor is brought up to believe in it. if it is purely for the art, you will an amazing experience out of it (as i believe i do) and yet towards money it seems as though the students are over confident in their abilities and act like pure fools who wouldnt last a minute.
to end on, half the videos you've posted are actually an embarrasment in my opinion. because the amount of times i said on those techniques 'wrong' was unreal......