Thread: Visit to a tkd dojang
7/08/2005 8:42pm, #1
Visit to a tkd dojang
After realising the wealth of dojos/dojangs etc in my new city, I decided that since I have no life or friends, I might as well check a few of them out. first on the list is the WTF TKD dojang down the road-"Sun-Do" TKD.
So I get there after a bit of looking, and the first thing I notice is that its quite a nice gym. big floor, mirrors all along one wall, couple of heavy bags, changing rooms, even a little area with couches. not like real expensive couches, bit tatty really. and also a HUGE amount of tkd vest thingies. like seriously, must have been about 80. As for the other people- there was a couple of big guys, neither looked particularly fit. a bunch of kids, about 6, and some teenagers who were about my age. apart from the kids and one girl they were all bigger than me (which isnt hard since I am 5'8 and 150 pounds) The instructor was probably about 40 years old, but he was in very good shape. certainly knew his ****.
So I walk in a little late because I had trouble finding it, and met the instructor whos name I cant remember (not a slight, I NEVER remember someones name from one meeting. I am terrible with names) we talked a little, I said I was just looking round at various clubs, and had a little bit of kickboxing experience, which he seemed to appreciate (and pointed out that they do kickboxing classes there as well) Then I jumped into the warm up they were doing. ran around the hall, jumping, doing kicks, etc, then stretching. Didn't really compare much to my usual warm up of about 10 minutes skipping but it got the juices flowing good enough.
Then we got out these one hand slappy pad things, they kinda looked like table tennis raquets. but not made of wood obviously. I don't like these things, especially when the majority of the class were either young or fairly pathetic looking. We took turns holding the pad thingy while others took turns kicking them with various kicks. I didnt do any on full power because I really was afraid of snapping some fairly twiggy looking wrists, especially if I missed and hit their arm. Some of the kicks were a bit foreign to me like spinning hook kicks (which I havent done for about x million years) but I did alright (ok not to brag, but I kicked harder than anyone else except the instructor) with the basics like roundhouse and axe kicks. We did do one punching drill, and by all that is holy none of them could punch. even the instructor had really poor punching ability. but then if this was the usual amount of time they spent on punching its not surprising.
I should point out here I dont know how the tkd belt system works or how long between gradings they had at this club, so for all I know they could have all been total noobs. But I am guessing a red belt is pretty high, and to be honest I wasnt impressed with the kicking abilities of anyone. I am no great shakes at kicking due to a bit of a hip problem, but for an art that seems to focus almost exclusively on kicking they were really weak. BACK TO THE STORY.
Next up we put on some of those chest protector things. I can see why punching isnt so common in tkd wearing these ungainly things. we did these drills that basically amounted to lightly kicking each other with various combinations, then doing some "reaction drills" where you dodged a kick then kicked back as fast as you could. the temptation to just grab the kicks was there, but I resisted :D
Finally, some of the members did some sparring. I was tempted but I figured it might be a bit rude and since I get two free lessons I would ask next time before the class. I was happy to see that unlike a lot of tkd I see they had their hands UP instead of hanging by their sides. their guards still werent too hot but better than nothing which is often the case it seems. After that we did some push ups and class was over. I guess this is where the summary comes in?
-Real nice coach, and he knew his stuff. very good spinning hook kick, was patient, friendly. good teacher.
- Nice gym, lotsa stuff. Must have been twice the size of my MT gym, and had lights in the toilets too so I didnt have to use my fluro piss to guide my aim (multivitamins)
- Good workout. not great, but better than a lot of places I have seen. worked up a sweat.
- No forms and not much air kicking except during the warm up
- No bullshit pretenses about street deadliness or any of that crap. At no point did he make any mention of deadly strikes, registered hands, or any other bollocks.
- Appalling punching even from the coach.
- Kicks were quick and looked nice but there was **** all power in them. enough to smack a paddle out of the way and make a nice noise, but in a muay thai environment they just would not hold up.
- We had two bags in the class but we didnt use them. I felt that was a shame because heavy bags are great for developing power.
- I dont know what it is about tkd, but it seems to attract people who really dont have great physical attributes. this is a nice way of saying it was a class of limp wristed nancies. the instructor seemed like he could hold himself in a fight, but I think the rest of the class would have been dog meat.
Overall... it was alright. The coach, as I said, was very good, but the stuff he was teaching just wasnt that **** hot. I still cant get this idea of bringing your knee up, chambering, then snapping the kick out. it just seems to me an ineffective method of kicking, but then this is an environment where points come from speed not power.
Would I train here? no. Is it a mcdojo? not really. the guy even recommended me to a kickboxing class and showed me what other MA classes they do there if I was interested in them. Is it bullshido? well, if you are in it just for the sport and arent concerned about self defense, it seems ok. if you are in it to learn how to defend yourself it is probably one of the last places I would go to. the sparring methods are just so far removed from an actual fight that the only thing you would really gain to help you defend yourself is a higher level of fitness.
7/08/2005 8:59pm, #2
I would be interested to hear if the KB classes were more intense.
A red belt is usually the belt beneath or the second belt beneath black.
7/08/2005 9:03pm, #3
From the way you've described about your MT clasees.Taking TKD would seem like a step-down from what you're uuse to.Were you just curious or are you serious about joining.Because,i guess you can go to parties and show-off your belt you got in 2 eyars of TKD.
7/08/2005 9:04pm, #4Originally Posted by Ikken Hisatsu
I don't really know why I felt compelled to write this though. You wrote a good review.
7/08/2005 9:05pm, #5
yeah im going to the KB class on monday. I never said I would join, just that I was looking around at the local dojos.
7/08/2005 9:23pm, #6
Those small kicking shields? I think they're called porkchops.
I think the body protectors are called "hogu".
TKD as it's usually taught does tend to have creative kicks which often lack power. So your experience sounds like a pretty good version of what's par for the course.
7/08/2005 9:28pm, #7Originally Posted by Wounded Ronin
Ikken, how did the school try to sell it's art/sport? Did they say it was a good fighting style or do they train to compete in TKD tournaments? Or what?
7/08/2005 9:35pm, #8
That hip problem you have, is it where you can't do side splits or high roundhouses well? I seem to get pains in the sides of my hips when I do that.
7/08/2005 9:45pm, #9Originally Posted by SYB
7/08/2005 9:47pm, #10
Ikken if you like it you can join.
Personally I would not bother. If your trained in Muay Thai I fail to see what benefits Taekwondo could bring to you. I suppose they could teach you kicks which are not commonly taught in Muay Thai. Like the reverse side kick. Things like that.Hannibal: The sworn enemy of dishonest politicians, source of entertainment on Bullshido and newly appointed Office Linebacker. Terry Tait ain't got **** on me !!!!