Critical/unbiased analysis of Kukki Taekwondo. Serious discussion.
I'm going to steal the 'analysis of kempo' idea and make an analysis of Kukki - or South Korean (WTF-style) Taekwondo. I know a lot of people don't like me hear because of my defending of TKD. But I created this thread after seeing a kempoist critically analyze Kempo. Thanks to the guy for giving me the idea. Please read the thread without bias. I started the thread for the sake of serious discussion. I wish you guys would take this one seriously. Thanks.
Intro: I personally think that WTF Taekwondo is a good, effective, and worthwhile style to study if learned and practiced correctly. But being on MA forums have made me aware of a lot of criticisms of TKD. While I disagree with some of those criticism, through my own thoughts and experiences, I would have to agree with some of them.
Some Accurate Critcisms:
1. There's just not enough punching in WTF TKD. Body punching was always a part of sparring but was never officially counted until this year. If you read General Choi's TKD encyclopedia or even go on the Kukkiwon website (www.kukkiwon.or.kr), you can take a look at all of the punching and close range techniques. They're there. We have the hooks, the uppercuts, the knees, and the elbows. The problem is they aren't put into practice as they should be. As a result, while WTF TKDins feel comfortable at far range, a lot of them feel uncomfortable at close range.
2. The side stance in TKD is often criticized. The side stance also happens to be used in a lot of TMA also. It's true that to throw effective boxing-style punches you need to adopt a more square stance. The side stance also seems to be more vulnerable than the boxing style stance in terms of takedowns. And another thing about the stance is that people criticize WTF TKD's bouncy-hippity-hoppity style footwork. Although it is good for WTF TKD tournaments (ITF guys hippity hop as well), it just won't cut it in MMA.
3. McDojangs... Not only is this the case for Taekwondo, but McDojangs seem to be infiltrating all martial arts, TMA in particular. For Taekwondo, you actually have to look around and look through various schools in order to come across a good one. However, arts such as Muay Thai and Kickboxing, it is not uncommon for a practitioner to be able to find a decent school in one shot. Some common problems of McDojangs include:
a. Lackadaisical instructors who half ass their teachings and are "soft"
b. Instructors who don't correct their students when they are wrong
c. Instructors who teach wrong material or only a part of it
d. Lack of a organized, structured cirriculum
The myth that Korea has better dojangs is incorrect as well. A lot of Taekwondo dojangs in Korea have been reduced to crap, as the talented high school and university students fight for their school under talented instructors. People who are looking to be contenders enter private instutions and such. Most public dojangs in Korea consist mostly of elementary school kids.
Some Inaccurate Criticisms:
1. 'WTF TKD has weak kicks' is a misconception. The hogu (body armor) and the appearance of some kicking mechanics make TKD kicks seem weak but that is not true at all. WTF TKDins use mostly the roundhouse kicks, axe, back, and back spin hook. Among the RH kicks of WTF TKD, there is the bandal chagi and the real dollyeo chagi. The bandal chagi is a medium range roundhouse kick used to swiftly strike the midsection to set up for the power shots which come from the real, original dollyeo chagi which are very powerful. That being said, the bandal chagi that is used so often is not weak by any means. There are plenty of foot injuries, broken bones, knockdowns, and KOs in WTF TKD.The bandal roundhouse kick lacks the penetration of other roundhouse kicks such as the Kyokushin or Muay Thai roundhouse. However, the bandal still generates large amounts of power through speed and a 'knee whip' motion. The bandal - or half roundhouse - was also designed to make the target/objective point to be past the opponent which does end up giving penetration. Also keep in mind the real, original TKD dollyeo chagi (full roundhouse) rivals Kyokushin and MT RH in power.
This following link compares the old-school Karate RH, Dollyeo Chagi, and new Bandal chagi: http://tkdtutor.com/09Techniques/Kicks/RoundKicks.htm
Keep in mind that the bandal was developed by researchers with BOTH speed and power in mind.
Solutions to Accurate Criticisms Listed Above:
1. Not enough punching: The WTF started a program of reform that started last year in 2005. They have pledged to continue these reforms and their new reform committee meets on a regular basis. One of the reforms that they enacted was the official recognition of punch points. They will now start recognizing body punch points and have made sure TKD competitors will start wearing gloves. It's no face punching but it can be seen as a step in the right direction. Also, the KTA (Korea TKD Assoc.) agreed to start a full contact TKD league in June.
2. Side stance: Adopt to the boxing stance. Period.
3. McDojangs: They will never disappear but the Kukkiwon and the WTF have joined hands in an effort to improve TKD instruction. In Korea, they have started marketing efforts to target adults. Targeting adults will bring about better education in Korea where most students are children in regular, public dojangs. Thus, the number of adult trainees in recent years has gone up. In addition, the Kukkiwon and WTF have agreed to promote higher quality instruction. The Kukkiwon has pledged to finally develop a structured, organized, and comprehensive cirriculum for all dojangs to follow. And I am pretty sure the Kukkiwon has also agreed to make sure all WTF TKD instructors are qualified by the Kukkiwon.
Conclusion: Hopefully TKD's state will improve. I believe it's a good, effective art but I think it would have less "holes" if the reforms work out. The Kukkiwon and WTF are taking steps in the right direction. Several issues such as FACE punching remain to be unanswered. If the ITF and WTF ever reunite (talks are in progress), I can see face punching becoming a reality. However, I do not see the WTF putting in face punchign by themselves soon.
Opinions and comments would be much apprecaited. I spent a lot of time on this lol... :dark1: Thanks....
Feel free to add. WIth that being said, I clearly recognize TKD's limitations and the need for crosstraining.
Last edited by TKDer; 5/14/2006 1:26pm at .
However, I'm not convinced that the work with McDojangs will have all that much effect (listed as point #3). I'm not sure where you are, but around here, many of the TKD schools are completely independant. When this is the case, there's no motivation to maintain/improve standards of performance other than that coming from the instructors and the students themselves. Who cares what someone in an org thinks when your school is not affiliated? And to take part in WTF-sanctioned comps, all you have to do is register with the USTU (which has, to my knowledge, no standards or technical requirements to join).
As for the side stance and the hopping, those are things that come out of sparring rules. In order to change those things, the rules would have to be changed. In every sport, people tend to use techniques that are most beneficial within the rules of that sport. Some things done in sport BJJ, for example, would be bad if strikes were included. If takedowns were allowed in WTF sparring, those things would change.
I think one of TKD's largest problems is the restrictions in sparring. There are many techniques that are part of the overall "TKD Curriculum" (leg kicks, face punches, elbows, and knees for example) that are trained somewhat but not in sparring on wide scale. The result is that many practitioners "know" them but don't know how to use them effectively.
Another problem is that, when I make these kind of suggestions, people say things like, "Well, that wouldn't be TKD anymore, would it." But some people are just stupid; what can you do?
All WTF TKD is ****. I we've done this analysis already. It ranked extremely poorely. Try the search function next time. You fuckheads give me a fucking headache I swear.
I searched and didn't find it.
You get kneed in the head how many times in fights yet complain that we're giving you a headache?
That really says something about the state of TKD discussion around here.
Originally Posted by Captain Spaulding
Wow, the link for the round kicks has is illustrated using the image of a chick.
I finally believe DerAuslander108.
TKDer, include something about TKD bein' for the chicks.
Hopefully further rule changes will include a heavier emphasis on face punching along with a gradual removal of protective gear. This does look like a step in the right direction though.
Are there any foreseeable problems with this method of change? I don't see a problem if this becomes a trend.