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  1. #201
    DerAuslander's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Folytopo
    And Hi, this is a great forum.[/COLOR]
    Glad to have you. Please continue posting.

  2. #202
    HonkyTonkMan's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Folytopo
    [COLOR=#d5ccb7]I think this brings us to the question "Is Taekwondo an effective system of Fighting?"
    It can be with the right training methodology and a realistic view of its limitations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Folytopo
    If Taekwondo is not I an effective system of fighting than would it be considered a martial art under EternalRage's definition or would it be worth learning as a martial art?
    Please see my above answer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Folytopo
    I think it is effective as long as you crosstrain although that applies to pretty much every thing.
    And here you have it.

    Welcome to Bullshido.

  3. #203

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    Quote Originally Posted by Folytopo
    I think this brings us to the question "Is Taekwondo an effective system of Fighting?"

    If Taekwondo is not I an effective system of fighting than would it be considered a martial art under EternalRage's definition or would it be worth learning as a martial art?
    Actually, according to the noted martial historian, the late Donn Draeger (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donn_Draeger) to be termed a 'martial art' at all it had to fit a certain criteria. This was that it has to of been taught to an active military force for use on a battle field - of which TKD covers both! 1) Taught to Korean military 2) used in Vietnam

    But is it an effective fighting system? According to the Vietcon... most certainly! According to the guy that just used to to defend himself.. again most certainly! According to the watching the guy who watch the kid who trained at the McDojang and refused or didnt reckonise it until its to late and got beaten up.. then no!

    Stuart

  4. #204
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I agree with oldman, but taekwondo's deep rooted (ATA) Mcdojoism means that many students don't have the right training methodology and that is taekwondo's major challenge for the future.

    And thanks

  5. #205

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    Quote Originally Posted by Folytopo
    I agree with oldman, but taekwondo's deep rooted (ATA) Mcdojoism means that many students don't have the right training methodology and that is taekwondo's major challenge for the future.

    And thanks
    Ah! But that doesnt answer the question "Is Taekwondo an effective system of Fighting", it just adds another in the form of "Is the Taekwondo as taught by the ATA an effective system of Fighting"?


    Stuart

    Ps. welcome too!

  6. #206
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Well played

  7. #207

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    They say taekwondo and karate are somewhat identical because of the japanese occupation in korea but the biggest difference is that karate is 60% hand techniques and 40% legs while taekwondo is 60% legs and 40% hand techniques. I train in both of them but i am not as good with my legs as my hands are better

  8. #208

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    Quote Originally Posted by kalvin374 View Post
    They say taekwondo and karate are somewhat identical because of the japanese occupation in korea but the biggest difference is that karate is 60% hand techniques and 40% legs while taekwondo is 60% legs and 40% hand techniques.
    That's maybe a tiny bit simplistic. Teeny, tiny bit.

  9. #209

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I would like to address (readdress as others already have) some of these points. Mostly it all comes down to the instructor/school and how they do things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kintanon View Post
    The Bad:
    Forms - You will spend a LOT of class time memorizing a series of techniques and performing them over and over and over and over and over again. This is boring. It also doesn't tell you what to actually DO with the technique. Frequently you won't even told what the technique IS, just that you should do it after this other technique.
    Forms exist in most traditional martial arts. There is nothing exclusive about them to TKD. Yes, they are practiced over and over again. Those are some of the more boring classes. No more boring than doing punching drills in line for an hour. A good instructor will tell you exactly what each technique is for, why it is being utilized, and how it applies to real fighting. The problem is, not all schools teach this, because many schools never pass on these "secrets" to their students. As with any art, you have to look at each individual practitioner/teacher/school and decide if that is how you want to train. I would say that forms count as neither a good nor a bad.

    Point Sparring - When you do finally get a chance to step up and spar you'll probably have been taking TKD for 6-8 months. Most schools let you start sparring at the 3rd or 4th belt rank. You'll have learned some basic kicks and punches and you'll probably be eager to test them out. First you'll need all of the appropriate equipment, which we will discuss later, But we'll assume you have that for now. You get into the ring and it's NOTHING like anything you've been learning. You'll be tapping each other with your feet without enough power to kill a fly. Punching to the head will be forbidden, as will kicking to the head for beginners most likely. You'll see people actually turning their backs on each other in the ring! Why? Because you're POINT sparring. This is a high speed game of tag. Just touch a point zone three times (Or 5, depending on your organization) and you win! This is also fun once you get the idea, but it's just a game of tag. It has zero relation to fighting or self defense. So keep that in mind.
    I know in my school, we started sparring from day one. In the school I operate, we start from day one. We have several different styles of sparring. Point sparring, free sparring, Hapkido sparring, and heavy sparring. Each is used in different ways to teach different skills, practice those skills, and utilize them in as realistic a combat conditions as possible. You're right, point sparring isn't very realistic, but in all the schools I have been in there has never been points awarded for "You'll be tapping each other with your feet without enough power to kill a fly." For a point to score, it must be a solid hit without any interference. A partially blocked attack will not result in a point.

    I will agree though, that schools that practice Olympic style point sparring are often as you describe. In my school, head attacks are encouraged. Tremoring force is usually the indicator of an adequate technique (and even worded that way for Olympic TKD sparring rules for hand techniques). However, this is inaccurate at best: "It has zero relation to fighting or self defense. So keep that in mind." Point sparring is a controlled manner of fighting that can allow you to work on specific techniques that can be applied to real fighting and self defense.

    Again, it comes down to the individual practitioner/instructor/school.

    Snappy Kicking - The TKD style kicks with their whiplike extension of the leg are known to cause horrible knee troubles down the road if you aren't careful. Most TKD schools never mention this and never talk about how to avoid those problems. For this reason alone you should be very careful if you decide to enroll in a TKD school. Take care of your knees!
    Definitely take care of your knees, and that goes for any fitness activity. I will say though, that while my MD said to knock off the martial arts (went into it with bad knees), my physical therapist and my orthopedist both said the martial arts (TKD and Hapkido for me at the time) were great for my knees. Make of that what you will.

    The Ugly:
    Contracts - Almost every TKD school will want to lock you into a contract. Usually they'll dress it up by calling it a "Belt Program" of some kind. Like the Green Belt Program means you sign up to keep paying them until you get a Green Belt (About a year) then they'll pressure you to join The Black Belt Club or some other inane name. It's really just another contract, usually 2 or 3 years long which has you paying them until you get a black belt. A LOT of schools are very nasty with these contracts if you want to leave and will bring down the wrathful lawyer-fu on you. Always be VERY clear on what is WRITTEN in the whatever you are signing. Do not take anyones word for what they will and will not enforce. If they tell you something make them write it into the contract and you both initial it. Make sure you KEEP A COPY of that modified contract in case of disputes.
    I think I can honestly say, that most martial arts schools in my area have contracts. This is nothing exclusive to TKD. I do agree though that contracts are an evil that I personally believe martial arts as a whole can do without. As for the nasty schools, we have on in the area. They are interested primarily in your money, evidenced by their three year contract that they insist you sign before even talking to you about their program. Their Lawyer-fu is phenomenal, and they are even listed as a preferred customer on one of the collection agencies around here. (I will be happy to provide the documentation to back this up, but I am not going to publicly shame them.

    Testing Fees - In addition to whatever monthly cost you're paying you'll also be required to pay for your testing. The prices vary pretty widely based on organization but will usually be equivelant to the cost of 1 month of class for your color belts and 3 months of class for your blackbelt test. That's not a hard and fast rule, just a trend I've noticed as I looked at schools.
    I have seen this too. I use testing fees at my school. However, the fees are enough to cover the costs of the materials for the test. What I will say is that schools that don't have separate testing fees usually have slightly higher monthly costs. IE, the costs of testing are rolled into the monthly tuition. As you say, not a hard and fast rule, but a trend in school I have looked into.

    Merchandising - This is where we talk about the gear you need. To start with you need a Do-bok, or Gi. It's essentially a set of white pajamas. Most of the time you'll get one of these for about 35$. You can buy really nice ones for slightly more, you can even buy all kinds of Designer Gis with flags or sparkles or whatever on them. Next you'll probably have to spend a few bucks on the patches for your school and organization, possibly a patch for your Black Belt Club status when you get there. You'll also need sparring gear. You'd think from my description above that you could do that with minimal, or even no gear. That is not the case. You'll need a Head Gear, Gloves, Foot gear, Shing guards, and possibly a chest protector. If you go the discount route you can pick this all up for around 75$. It will fall apart within a year. If you get quality stuff it will run you about twice that and last for 4 or 5 years.
    Most martial arts want you to wear some sort of uniform. Many schools insist on branded uniforms, which ensures that you have to buy your uniforms and gear through that school, usually at a greatly inflated price. Most schools also require some sparring gear (head, hands, and feet at the least). A lot of the gear requirements comes from requirements laid down by the insurance we carry on the business. So, while I agree this is another "ugly" side (I would classify it as bad) of martial arts, it is in no way exclusive to TKD.

    Poor Quality Control - This is probably the worst thing about Taekwondo. If you go to class and pay your money you will get promoted. If you stick around for approximately 4 years you will get a black belt. You may not be able to fight your way out of a paper bag. You may barely be able to stand up under your own power. But you will have a black belt. Children under the age of 16 are regularly given black belts in TKD schools. There is essentially no quality control at all.
    This is probably the most school/instructor dependent thing you have said in this whole review. I know in my school, and the school I personally train my TKD under currently, this is absolutely not the case. No one is promoted just for "time in rank." They are only promoted once they have shown the skills, dedication, and proficiency to be deserving of that rank. I will also point out, that in TKD (WTF for sure, probably the same for ITF) under 16 you are awarded a Pum black belt, not a Dan black belt. It would take longer than this reply is meant for to explain the difference, but rest assured, while many styles have black belts under the age of 16, there is a definite distinction made in TKD.


    Summary:
    Taekwondo is a GREAT art for fun. It's fun to do, it's usually got a great social component to the schools. There is good emphasis on discipline and all that. Taekwondo is NOT a way to learn to defend yourself. Or a way to learn to fight. It COULD be. And you might stumble on the 1 school in 1000 that teaches it that way. But you are more likely to run into a TaeKwonDaycare than a school that teaches you to fight. If you're just in it for fun and like what you see when you go and check out the classes then by all means, sign up for TKD. Read your contract carefully and know what you're getting in to. If you want to learn how to fight, or want to be able to defend yourself against a belligerant drunk in a bar Taekwondo is not your best option. By nature of being in better shape you will be able to defend yourself slightly better than having never taken it, but you will not have the advantages you would have if you studied Boxing, Muy Thai, Kyokushin Karate, Judo, or Wrestling as far as KNOWING you can handle a resisting opponent.
    In summary, your summaries are good, and I would say accurate, but for martial arts as whole, and not exclusive to TKD. You are correct though, a lot of TKD schools are great day cares. There are far more than 1 in 1,000 though that will teach you real combat, real self defense, and the like.

    In warning, any school that pushes a contract at you, is definitely leaning towards being a McDojo. They may be great martial artists and have very legitimate training, but they are also very interested in your money.

    As with anything, find a style and instructor that is teaching what you want to learn from the art, and that you mesh with well. An instructor/school may be the best in the world, but if you and he clash, then you will not get the greatest potential from it.

  10. #210

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    "Forms exist in most traditional martial arts. There is nothing exclusive about them to TKD. Yes, they are practiced over and over again. Those are some of the more boring classes. No more boring than doing punching drills in line for an hour. A good instructor will tell you exactly what each technique is for, why it is being utilized, and how it applies to real fighting. The problem is, not all schools teach this, because many schools never pass on these "secrets" to their students. As with any art, you have to look at each individual practitioner/teacher/school and decide if that is how you want to train. I would say that forms count as neither a good nor a bad."

    - The issue isn't with forms, it is in the over reliance on forms as a means for assessing progress in TKD. In the case of GBTKD (the official WTF body in the UK), forms are the only pass/fail requirement for grading, with sparring and the breaking of a board being to other tests, of which you only need to pass one to get your black belt. Thus the emphasis in a lot of schools is on perfecting forms over sparring ability or the ability to generate power in a kick.

    Secondly, 'secrets' hidden within forms is one of the oldest forms of Bullsihdo around. In TKD, I've encountered the legends about high kicks being designed to kick riders of horses, chop guards (the old Blue Belt pattern) designed to stop staff attacks and that X guards (old red belt, current 8th pattern I think) being an effective defence against kicks. They're all bs, far better to show the basics then let people find out what works for them and what doesn't, instead of hiding techniques in dances, this isn't colonial Korea, we don't need to hide techniques from those wily colonial Japanese soldiers.

    "I know in my school, we started sparring from day one. In the school I operate, we start from day one. We have several different styles of sparring. Point sparring, free sparring, Hapkido sparring, and heavy sparring. Each is used in different ways to teach different skills, practice those skills, and utilize them in as realistic a combat conditions as possible. You're right, point sparring isn't very realistic, but in all the schools I have been in there has never been points awarded for "You'll be tapping each other with your feet without enough power to kill a fly." For a point to score, it must be a solid hit without any interference. A partially blocked attack will not result in a point."

    - Sounds like you go to a good TKD school, now try to implement the tactics that are engrained in you in K-1 style kickboxing, or mma sparing, the ability to attack the back means that the base defensive tactic of TKD (cover up and retreat) is ultimately flawed outside of a TKD sparring/competition setting. This isn't a criticism of your school or your reasons for training, but most people coming along to TKD classes are expecting to gain some ability for self-defence, and if they are lucky enough to go to a school whereby they train sparring, they are getting taught bad habits for self-defence because of tactics that are utilised across TKD.

    "I will agree though, that schools that practice Olympic style point sparring are often as you describe. In my school, head attacks are encouraged. Tremoring force is usually the indicator of an adequate technique (and even worded that way for Olympic TKD sparring rules for hand techniques). However, this is inaccurate at best: "It has zero relation to fighting or self defense. So keep that in mind." Point sparring is a controlled manner of fighting that can allow you to work on specific techniques that can be applied to real fighting and self defense."

    - I'd completely agree that Point-sparring is about training certain skills (movement, seizing moments of opportunity), the problem is that in most TKD schools, it is the only form of sparring that occurs.

    To give a personal example, I went along to a TKD school after doing a bit of boxing and Muay Thai. I ended up injuring a Black Belt with a simple leg check (he had never seen someone do that) and a red belt who had come over from a "competition heavy" school would rush in to throw little wing-chunesqu punches designed to score points, yet were weaker than the time I tried to teach my ex how to throw a punch, and this person is supposed to be trained. These kind of tactics and abilities come from an over-reliance on Point-sparring, which is endemic in wider TKD.


    "I think I can honestly say, that most martial arts schools in my area have contracts. This is nothing exclusive to TKD. I do agree though that contracts are an evil that I personally believe martial arts as a whole can do without. As for the nasty schools, we have on in the area. They are interested primarily in your money, evidenced by their three year contract that they insist you sign before even talking to you about their program. Their Lawyer-fu is phenomenal, and they are even listed as a preferred customer on one of the collection agencies around here. (I will be happy to provide the documentation to back this up, but I am not going to publicly shame them."

    - Just because other MA's have the similar practice does not absolve TKD's sins.


    "I have seen this too. I use testing fees at my school. However, the fees are enough to cover the costs of the materials for the test. What I will say is that schools that don't have separate testing fees usually have slightly higher monthly costs. IE, the costs of testing are rolled into the monthly tuition. As you say, not a hard and fast rule, but a trend in school I have looked into.


    Most martial arts want you to wear some sort of uniform. Many schools insist on branded uniforms, which ensures that you have to buy your uniforms and gear through that school, usually at a greatly inflated price. Most schools also require some sparring gear (head, hands, and feet at the least). A lot of the gear requirements comes from requirements laid down by the insurance we carry on the business. So, while I agree this is another "ugly" side (I would classify it as bad) of martial arts, it is in no way exclusive to TKD."

    - a Judo go costs approx. 30-40 for an ok one. Grading fees are 10 up to Black Belt whereby it goes up to 15, belts are also about 10. There are no requirements to attend any seminars, nor have any gear aside from that which I listed. Seminars and competitions are entirely voluntary, an the Shiai (competition) requirements for grade are normally at gradings.

    TKD, you need a uniform +Grading fees up to BB, whereby a BB grading is close to 100 (I'd need to clarify that seeing as it was a few months ago that a coach told me that), plus mandatory attendance of a BB grading seminar, which normally ranges from 20-40, though I have heard of it costing more, on top of owning a complete set of WTF approved competition gear (Hogu, head guard, gloves, shin pads, groin protector total cost approx. 100 on Blitz).

    So while yes the costs that one incurs are not only limited to TKD, the scale of the cost is ridiculous, and these are figures from the NGB for TKD in comparison to one in Judo.

    "This is probably the most school/instructor dependent thing you have said in this whole review. I know in my school, and the school I personally train my TKD under currently, this is absolutely not the case. No one is promoted just for "time in rank." They are only promoted once they have shown the skills, dedication, and proficiency to be deserving of that rank. I will also point out, that in TKD (WTF for sure, probably the same for ITF) under 16 you are awarded a Pum black belt, not a Dan black belt. It would take longer than this reply is meant for to explain the difference, but rest assured, while many styles have black belts under the age of 16, there is a definite distinction made in TKD."

    - Pum black belt i.e. junior black belt, is something that 99% of TKD schools (at least WTF) have done away with in the last decade. I can remember when I started in '98, you couldn't get your 'senior' BB until you were 16, this was dropped to 14 after the 2000 Olympics, then 13 by the time I was a Junior BB (around '02) I took about a year out over '03, and when I came back to TKD in '04, I found a girl who had started about 2 years after me was now a 'Senior' Black belt and senior grade in the class, at the ripe old age of 10. Since then I've met plenty of prepubescent BB in TKD, and they all lack the martial ability, focus and dedication that a BB is supposed to have from long years of training.

    TKD has spent the last two decades achieving it's goal of becoming the largest martial art, without any attempt to maintain quality control. It already is in terminal decline as a martial art, being reduced to nothing more than an alternative to football or rugby as an after school activity for most of its participants, with the talented/interested martial artist being lured away by styles that have had success in things like the UFC, Bellator or Glory, and those who remain being nothing more than hobbyists and McDojo owners who will do nothing to develop the art or improve its marketability in the face of full-contact styles promoting themselves through such events.

    So while you may have lucked out an found, as you put it, the 1 in 1000 of good schools in TKD, this thread is about the 99.9% of TKD schools that are teaching flawed tactics, exploitative business practices and false promises of personal development and security.

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