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Akurra
1/27/2005 10:10pm,
So, at my college, in addition to aikido there is a shotokan and TKD club. Been to the shotokan, and it's pretty much classic bullshido. Not hardcore bullshido, but enough to be a waste of time and money. I had checked out the TKD place once before and liked it, but now i actually have time to go there. If you would like (or not even), i'll put up a report of what my experience was today. (bit long)

First Impressions.

Teacher was a bit chunky round the middle. Not really in fantastic shape but not obese or anything like that. Not the best first impression. He was glad to talk about the class structure and what he liked to teach. The more advanced students are in very good shape and seem to know what they are doing more or less. Over all, seemed like a bunch of regular guys with regular lives, no obsession with Bruce Lee or any other outlandish behavior.

Instructor

As noted before, not in good shape, although he is extraordinarily flexible. He's fairly laid back and down to earth. He really isn't trying to push the idea of being deadly or special or anything like that. No ego that I can see. My Aikido teacher has met him and likes him okay so that's a good sign too. He's psyched about the new batman movie.

Throughout the class he did give helpful insights to techniques, but there was a little talk about chi, but I think he just meant energy in a physical sence. And maybe he was trying to appeal to my aikido side. He also mentioned a few things about shotokan and what he believed to be the history of it. He said it was taught to school children so they wouldn't hurt eachother. And the wide stances came from the tiny Okiniwans fighting the taller samuri. They would try to hit the samuri's foot with theirs to strike some pressure point thing, but he didn't advocate using it so I think it's generally a harmless fantasy. (could be true, not a real expert here)

Class structure

Tuesday and Thursday from 630 to 8. Goes something like this

20 min stretching
10 min conditioning through stair running, bounding, hopping
10 min calisthenics
30 min drills
20 min sparring (thursday only)

On tuesday they do a bit more conditioning and exercises and they throw in forms (I like the fitness aspect, part of me joining is getting some conditioning and aerobic exercise in as it's the only way I'll keep interested long enough to actually get something done) Instructor said that they do forms because they're needed come testing time (it's not done by the instructor, rather the whole federation)

Techniques (you can tell me what you think of what he taught)

Apparently what used to be some form of TKD is now "Budokukwan" TKD (or something) Because of this the teach now incorporates a lot of non TKD stuff. We use hand techniques from boxing, low kicks and knees from Thai boxing, and grappling from Aikido and Silat. Actually the only TKD thing left are the higher kicks. The drills we did were pretty tiresome physically.

We started with the good old jab cross. "Fighting stance" was very similar to boxing. "We dont' do any of this bullsh1T" he said going into a deep backstance. He showed the jab and cross, saying the jab is just a reaction getter and the cross was the real punch. He instructed to punch from the waist and keep the shoulders loose. He advocated a verticle or 45% angle fist.

We then worked on the thai low-kick. He really liked the kick, exagerating it slightly saying, "this'll drop someone, i dont care who you are." But the technique seemed alright. He instructed to use the hip to throw the leg like a baseball bat, there was little to no knee action used. He demonstrated a few times and the kick definantly carried some power with it, i could feel the pain through the kick-sheild. He seemed to like my kick, wanting me to work on my speed and keeping my hands up.

Last drill of the night was a combo, jab-cross-knee. yadda yadda yadda, same jab cross, just grab the guy behind the head after and drive the knee into the abdomen or chest.

That was the end of that class, he said because everyone was new he just wanted to get everyone started up. Some days they focus on ground fighting, some days they mix up the striking and takedowns. We didn't have time to spar that day as it took him a little while to get through the drills.

Anyway, thats what I got to report, anyone want to add some gems of advice please do.

lifetime
1/27/2005 10:16pm,
*gasp*

Someone has found the fabled Hardcore TKD school!

liuzg150181
1/27/2005 10:18pm,
Sounds really good......

Akurra
1/27/2005 11:06pm,
still plenty of chances to mess up though, I will have to test the students in combat. If the middle ranks can beat me up okay, ill give it the thumbs up.

chaosexmachina
1/27/2005 11:52pm,
I think it's safe to say that it's isn't really TKD anymore.

EternalRage
1/28/2005 12:05am,
osiris has spoken...

chaosexmachina
1/28/2005 1:08am,
Right, what makes TKD TKD is the absence of those techniques.

I think that's what I was trying to say.

chaosexmachina
1/28/2005 6:18am,
Dammit, I'm not sure now. I'm confused. I think maybe I should get some sleep.

MrMcFu
1/28/2005 6:48am,
Because he kicks low and knows the jab and cross? Right, what makes TKD TKD is the absence of those techniques.

Pretty much, sarcasm or not.

Akurra
1/28/2005 1:04pm,
Even the McTKD i took in my past had the cross, the hook, and the uppercut. I mean, what other kind of punches are there? Every striking art I can think of has the cross/reverse punch in some form or another. Low kicks were part of the cirriculum too, although the mechanics were a little more Tae Kwon Doughy.

I know the teacher said we were taking techniques from other arts, but I think that was just a way to describe the techniques without going through all the mechanics of it. In any case, I don't think it says anywhere in TKD that you're not allowed to improve upon the techniques you have.

MrMcFu
1/28/2005 1:32pm,
Are you really that dumb? Perhaps you should take a closer look at what it DOES have.

Are you really that guilible? I used to think you knew something about TKD. Enough to see its weaknesses anyway.

Forseti
1/28/2005 1:51pm,
Are you really that dumb? Perhaps you should take a closer look at what it DOES have.
I think one relevant point here contained in what everyone has been saying (mostly in the context of the art vs sport debate) is that I think it isn't really fair to evaluate an art purely by the corresponding sport. That would be fine for the judo I'm doing because everything we do is essentially for competing. Even if you don't plan on ever competing, what your training is for is for judo competitions. Conversely, the competition aspect of TMAs is just one aspect (usually not even half) of the whole program. So, when they compete it means something a lot different than when others compete in a different context.

By analogy, evaluating the SAT and SAT prep courses purely on the content of SAT tests is perfectly reasonable since it is all about the test. But, most math classes, say, shouldn't be evaluated based on the tests the instructor happened to give in the context of the class. And such testing will normally be inadequate in a general context compared to, say, the SAT or the math subject test of the GRE. However given that the students were not presented with the test and asked to prepare for it as the sole end of the class but rather were taught some body of material and then later tested on it, the course as a whole is much more credible than an SAT prep class. In general, something like the SAT (and other similar tests such as IQ tests in general) shouldn't be used as a substitute for actual academic achievement.

In this case, it would be absurd to think that someone is a good academician or any academician at all, for that matter, simply because they have a high SAT score. Even in the most extreme case, they just use it for admission -- not to base an entire degree on. (You don't get college credits for an exceptionally high SAT score.) Perhaps also, this is what people are talking about when they say that TKD has been perverted by the WTF/Olympics.

EternalRage
1/28/2005 2:58pm,
I think one relevant point here contained in what everyone has been saying (mostly in the context of the art vs sport debate) is that I think it isn't really fair to evaluate an art purely by the corresponding sport. That would be fine for the judo I'm doing because everything we do is essentially for competing. Even if you don't plan on ever competing, what your training is for is for judo competitions. Conversely, the competition aspect of TMAs is just one aspect (usually not even half) of the whole program. So, when they compete it means something a lot different than when others compete in a different context.

By analogy, evaluating the SAT and SAT prep courses purely on the content of SAT tests is perfectly reasonable since it is all about the test. But, most math classes, say, shouldn't be evaluated based on the tests the instructor happened to give in the context of the class. And such testing will normally be inadequate in a general context compared to, say, the SAT or the math subject test of the GRE. However given that the students were not presented with the test and asked to prepare for it as the sole end of the class but rather were taught some body of material and then later tested on it, the course as a whole is much more credible than an SAT prep class. In general, something like the SAT (and other similar tests such as IQ tests in general) shouldn't be used as a substitute for actual academic achievement.

In this case, it would be absurd to think that someone is a good academician or any academician at all, for that matter, simply because they have a high SAT score. Even in the most extreme case, they just use it for admission -- not to base an entire degree on. (You don't get college credits for an exceptionally high SAT score.) Perhaps also, this is what people are talking about when they say that TKD has been perverted by the WTF/Olympics.

Very urbane retort... having sown complicity in the GRE yesterday morning, I can thouroughly appreciate the sagacious nature of your inculcation.

no seriously that was pretty good post. very literati

Forseti
1/28/2005 3:30pm,
Very urbane retort... having sown complicity in the GRE yesterday morning, I can thouroughly appreciate the sagacious nature of your inculcation.

no seriously that was pretty good post. very literati
Thank you. :zicon_vik

Thaiboxerken
1/28/2005 3:35pm,
I never understood why some people do "kata" using weird stances, emphasizing how important the stances are.......... then they have a "fighting" stance.

Captain Spaulding
1/28/2005 3:51pm,
Forseti already gave a great explanation, but I friend of mine had a saying that I think applies really well here. At our TKD school, we'd occasionally get people who had just moved to the area but had done TKD before. Some of them were black belts. We were amazed at how bad many of them were (not all, of course). One particular time, I had met a black belt who didn't even know what a hook punch or an uppercut WAS, let alone how to do them.

Afterwards, I said to my friend, "It's people like these that give TKD a bad name."

My friend responded, "It's simple ignorance to have the misfortune to drink sour milk, having never had milk before, and then to think that all milk tastes like that."