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ckdnoob
11/13/2011 2:12am,
Hi everyone.

I'd like to start by saying hi to all the other noobs and everyone in general. I look forward to conversing with all you guys in the future. I found this forum while doing searches for my chosen style (Choi Kwang Do), and if you haven't seen some of the threads about it, alot of them are pretty critical of both the style itself as a martial art and the actual organisation and culture of it. I'm not here to hate on anyone from other styles but I'd like to share my CKD experience since it is a positive one and there don't seem to be many of them on this forum.

I took up CKD a few months ago here in Townsville, Australia where it has really taken off in comparison to most major cities in Australia where the more traditional styles saturate everything. I've been training in a full time training centre with great facilities and equipment (not the best I've ever seen but a pretty high standard). The chief instructors are fantastic in all aspects and the other instructors and black belts are friendly, accepting, patient and willing to teach those on lower belt ranks.

As for having a "guaranteed pass" at all belt gradings, I have been told by my instructors that this is not the case in their school and given that I've only tested once, for my white senior, yesterday (which I passed), and haven't witnessed anyone elses' belt gradings I have to take their word on it. None of the adults I train with seem to have a skill level below their belt rank, however as a noob to MA I'm probably not the authority on that one. Also we don't pay for our gradings, they're included in the price. You could argue that despite this there might be leniency given to students in order to keep them paying their fees, however personally I would quit if I thought I was having belts just handed to me. I'd like to think when I achieve something I've actually achieved it.

As for Grand Master Choi's wheelings and dealings, I simply couldn't care less. It's like the dodgy priest. Just because the guy who guides your prayers buys an underage hooker doesn't mean the prayer was bad. Also, as a long time participant in the sports of Golf and Rugby I can safely say that none of the stories I've read are any worse than the shonk I've encountered in those two sports. I'd also like to point out that it's much harder to get away with shoddy business practices like what Choi is accused of in Australia than the USA, so I suspect my school is probably not a part of any of that.

My impression of CKD is that it is a practical, safe martial art that is fun to learn and the learning environment has been designed to be friendly to people who aren't looking to go home too sore and bruised. It's worth reminding people that it's designed to defend against street attackers, not in competition with other martial artists from different styles. There is a huge difference, unless the street attacker happens to be trained in another martial art. Granted Choi should probably not make claims like "superior to all other martial arts" because that's obviously impossible to prove, especially when the discipline doesn't allow for sparring but it's not the worst thing anyone's ever done.

Finally, alot of people pay out on the style for its' no sparring rule. This is BS as there is just as much, if not more sparring than in most karate, TKD or other martial arts that are held in churches, community halls etc. It might be softened with shields, focus mits, light contact or even no contact, but the intensity is there. It is not full sparring, but it is as close as what many other schools in other styles offer. Personally I'd like to do full contact sparring so once I've got a bit of skill in CKD I probably will learn some judo or something and eventually do some full contact MMA sparring. Who knows I might be the first CKD guy to actually test it out against other styles.

Love to hear your thoughts, especially love to hear from other CKD students.

Rock Ape
11/13/2011 7:17am,
Welcome and thanks for the intro

patfromlogan
11/13/2011 4:26pm,
Welcome!

I'm very familiar with an Okinawan karate dojo that has auto promotions. One year, yellow, two year blue, etc. The Sensei said once in testing that if one person screws up, it's their problem, if several make the same mistake, it's his problem. It's a good rigorous dojo and their bbs have done well in tournies and a few in mma cage fights. Years ago I thought that this auto advancement was bs, but now I've changed my mind - I've sparred too many too many times.

They line up, all the advanced in front, and in decreasing belt rank toward the back. One year near the end of the warmups they were doing forward shoulder roll back to fighting stance with a few strikes. The first row, many testing for higher dan ranks sounded soft and looked very smooth. Then the browns, greens and so forth, as a line all rolled. When the whites going for yellow rolled Sensei got all excited and stopped them. He said that they sounded like a rock concert drum solo. All elbows, knees, heads, and banging ankles and feet! And he pleaded with them not to hurt themselves. He told one teenage girl bb to demostrate and she dove down and then up like an Aikido master, barely making a whisper of noise. Then to much laughter the whites thumped and bumped and crashed their way down the (hardwood) floor.

ckdnoob
11/13/2011 9:39pm,
Thanks for the welcome guys. Despite patfromlogans' comments I still am in the camp against automatic advancement and I still hope CKD doesn't do it, however it has crossed my mind since I started that if in their experience it takes students a set amount of time to learn a skill and they test according to that timeframe, then most will pass, especially in sometyhing like CKD where high levels of athleticism are not required.

Very interesting stuff about the dojo in Okinawa. It has occurred to me that alot of different organisations award rank according to time served, and if it works there, then applied properly it could work in MA. Each dojo to their own I suppose. My other theory is that there'd be no point in someone like me going to full contact, high intensity MA where it takes ages just to get off white belt, because I'd hate it and lose interest and not bother learning it. What I'm learning may or may not be as effective as other MA's (If I leave the fight uninjured it's as effective as I need it to be), however I enjoy it and continue to learn and try to master it, so that I'll actually be confident in my ability if I ever need to use it and not just know two thirds of one move I started learning six months ago.

stealth_monkey
11/14/2011 1:54am,
Welcome to the site. In newbietown, there's rules against coming down too hard on new members. I will point out a few things, just in case you feel like venturing out into the other forums eventually.

What you have to know is that for every thread deriding a martial art, a practitioner joins the forum and makes a few common arguments.



It's worth reminding people that it's designed to defend against street attackers, not in competition with other martial artists from different styles. There is a huge difference,
This argument is simply rejected by this site, most people won't even bother to explain why. Search for "sport vs street" and I'll guarantee any thread will have this brought up.


Finally, alot of people pay out on the style for its' no sparring rule. This is BS as there is just as much, if not more sparring than in most karate, TKD or other martial arts that are held in churches, community halls etc. It might be softened with shields, focus mits, light contact or even no contact, but the intensity is there.
That's a common misunderstanding to have. I'm not familiar with your style's sparring rules, but from what you describe (and a quick youtube search), I'd suggest the reason for your confusion is that most posters won't consider your activity worthy of the name sparring. Light contact sparring has its place, but if that's all you practise it's about the equivalent of someone practising dog paddle and calling themselves a swimmer.


It is not full sparring, but it is as close as what many other schools in other styles offer.
Many other schools in other styles are similarly derided for their lack of sparring. You should not use them as a comparison.


Personally I'd like to do full contact sparring so once I've got a bit of skill in CKD I probably will learn some judo or something and eventually do some full contact MMA sparring. Who knows I might be the first CKD guy to actually test it out against other styles.
That is an absolutely fantastic idea


Again, enjoy your stay.

ckdnoob
11/14/2011 7:47am,
Thanks for the heads up stealth_monkey. Am I detecting a primate theme with the names on this forum? kidding.

Put most of that down to my lack of proper terminology. If you consider sparring to only be full contact with minimal protection then no, CKD offers nothing like that, and point well taken on not comparing to other forms just because they lack in the same thing. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that if it gets someone like me who wouldn't cope stepping straight into that world into better shape in order to one day take that step then I don't see it as a bad thing.

Again, cheers for the corrections. see you around.

ermghoti
11/14/2011 8:32am,
I guess the point I'm trying to make is that if it gets someone like me who wouldn't cope stepping straight into that world into better shape in order to one day take that step then I don't see it as a bad thing.

I am an old guy, starting out in Sanda, which is kung fu based sport kickboxing. The gym is full of n00bs every class, from other old guys, to teenaged women, and everybody in between. Nobody gets punched to death, In fact, at my level, there is no sparring; getting hit by my own glove putting up a lazy target, or holding thai pads is as rough as it gets. Saying an art that incorporates hard sparring does not mean that it grinds up n00bs, it means that it progressively works up the contact level to full contact. Saying an art eschews hard sparring means its students and techniques are never tested against opponents who are actively trying to undermine the application of those techniques, which means impractical moves are left intact, and often esteemed over more useful attacks and defenses by the very "merit" of their being unworkable due to their complexity/subtlety/reliance on particular actions by the opponent.

gregaquaman
11/14/2011 10:10am,
Just stick with "I do it cos I wan't to " And you will be fine. The more you try to defend your martial art the sillier you look. Train, enjoy life and try not to get into street fights and you are doing well.

I am down in Airlie beach an we have MMA get togethers from time to time. Sparring, training . All low ego stuff. I will give you a bell when the next one is on.

ckdnoob
11/14/2011 6:03pm,
cheers gregaquaman, love to come and watch.

cualltaigh
11/14/2011 6:27pm,
cheers gregaquaman, love to come and watch.

Why not join in? The more the merrier!!


I am down in Airlie beach an we have MMA get togethers from time to time. Sparring, training . All low ego stuff. I will give you a bell when the next one is on.

Any tentative dates in mind? (I might be able to jag a weekend off with sufficient notice).

gregaquaman
11/15/2011 11:06am,
Possibly next year some time. I did the airlie beach throwdown (sorta) thread last time. (I got about 3 weeks notice but I will try to get more)

I will just revive that and then PM everybody I can. Airlie is a bit out of the way so doing it this way means we don't look all lonley if no bullies show up.

ckdnoob. **** yeah jump in if you want. These weekends are not about monstering new guys. (Now monstering me is a different matter)

It is more about just refining our skills and having a play.

ckdnoob
11/15/2011 5:52pm,
What was I thinking? of course I'll join in. Should be fun. Am going away for a couple of weeks at the end of jan start of feb, but other than that I'm in.