Posted On:9/11/2014 8:19pm
I live in the Southeast Michigan area and I feel like I couldn't find a decent karate school after checking about 4-5 schools out. I was looking to do Shotokan or Kyokushin but the only decent school was teaching Tang Soo Do. The dojang I now attend is a part of the International Tang Soo Do Federation.
So the first thing I noticed right off the bat is that the self defense stuff is seriously full of ****. You would get dropped just trying to do any of the things they teach you, but I think a lot of karate has bad self defense techniques in general.
I was told by others I would be doing most of my kicks with the ball of my foot, which sort of worried me. I was pleasantly surprised that the kicks they teach there are more "proper", compared to other TSD schools. For example, two TSD schools I watched were doing roundhouse kicks with the ball of their foot, ours is more of a TKD kick. I was told to focus more on power than speed with kicks, and I don't know if that's a bad thing.
We do full contact sparring as well.
I don't see any child black belts, but I did see a kid that couldn't have been older than 8 with a blue (black belt candidate) belt. I don't know the minimum age for testing.
I see a lot of TSD bashing here, and I'm curious as to why that is. Is it just because it's Karate? What is exactly wrong with TSD compared to say, TKD, Shotokan, Kyokushin, Goju Ryu, etc.?
Posted On:11/02/2014 10:52am
Style: TSD, Karate & Kickboxing
Personally I see nothing wrong with TSD as a martial art, heck I currently do it (I come from a Shotokan karate & kickboxing background, plus I've trained in other styles/arts) and enjoy it.
However... I've seen video's of some TSD clubs that leaves a lot to be desired. It really does depend on the association and the instructor. You'll see some TSD clubs more sports orientated, some more self-defence orientated (for example my instructor teachings are similar to Iain Abernethy), just like the other arts/styles you've mentioned.
Posted On:11/03/2014 2:17pm
Style: TSD, Missing BJJ and Judo
Tang Soo Do is basically Karate with the cannon of Korean kicks layered on top of it. Continuous contact sparring is a good sign. I've noticed that a lot of schools go very compliant when they start doing "self defense", but you may be able to find people at your school who will help you test them in a less compliant way. I was fortunate enough to have an instructor who encouraged that sort of testing.
My take is that you need to know what it is you want from the training you're doing (Fitness? To fight? To look cool? Practical self defense? To hang out with fun people to do athletics?). The answer to that (and if you are getting what you want) will tell you if you should keep training there. If you're not getting what you want through this TSD school, find something else. If you are, keep training.
I have a cho-dan in TSD and am back doing it right now because it's in the town I live in, I need to lose weight, and the forms and kicks are fun (and doing them with other people makes it more likely that I won't be lazy and let myself stay fat). I've trained in BJJ and Judo, but there isn't any of that in my area, and I hate running or using the elliptical for cardio. 12 lbs down, 70 to go.
pro nonsense self defense
Posted On:11/03/2014 2:48pm
Style: FMA, dumbek, Indian clubs
The tang soo do I've experienced had lots of things that I felt were at least less than optimal for fighting. These include:
-line drills that used exaggerated stances and chambered hands
-unrealistic one-step sparring techniques, where an unrealistic lunge punch is held out while the other person executes several moves against their static attacker. Plus the attacker would step back in a downward block stance before stepping in to lunge punch. Why?
-kata that emphasized lunge punches and downward blocks (I approve of neither)
-lip service to a vague, oversimplified lifestyle of buzzwords
-the primary defensive motions were upward blocks, inward blocks, outward blocks and downward blocks, all of which are mediocre and take time that could be better spent on proper defenses
-practicing from a horse stance
-very little spontaneous action; everything was pre-choreographed techniques executed by the numbers.
-terrible knife defenses that assume a knife attack will come like a huge telegraphed lunge punch or hammerfist that can be defended with a Steven Seagal armlock
These points pretty much sum up the entirety of class, so its actually easier to ask what's right about TSD. If you see a lot of TSD bashing here and you can't figure out why, you're probably ignoring the many posts like mine that spell out why. Your mileage may vary.
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