Page 1 of 2 12 Last
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    1
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Tang Soo Do. Opinions?

    I live in the Southeast Michigan area and I feel like I couldn't find a decent karate school after checking about 4-5 schools out. I was looking to do Shotokan or Kyokushin but the only decent school was teaching Tang Soo Do. The dojang I now attend is a part of the International Tang Soo Do Federation.

    So the first thing I noticed right off the bat is that the self defense stuff is seriously full of ****. You would get dropped just trying to do any of the things they teach you, but I think a lot of karate has bad self defense techniques in general.

    I was told by others I would be doing most of my kicks with the ball of my foot, which sort of worried me. I was pleasantly surprised that the kicks they teach there are more "proper", compared to other TSD schools. For example, two TSD schools I watched were doing roundhouse kicks with the ball of their foot, ours is more of a TKD kick. I was told to focus more on power than speed with kicks, and I don't know if that's a bad thing.

    We do full contact sparring as well.

    I don't see any child black belts, but I did see a kid that couldn't have been older than 8 with a blue (black belt candidate) belt. I don't know the minimum age for testing.

    I see a lot of TSD bashing here, and I'm curious as to why that is. Is it just because it's Karate? What is exactly wrong with TSD compared to say, TKD, Shotokan, Kyokushin, Goju Ryu, etc.?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    225
    Style
    TSD, Karate & Kickboxing
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Personally I see nothing wrong with TSD as a martial art, heck I currently do it (I come from a Shotokan karate & kickboxing background, plus I've trained in other styles/arts) and enjoy it.

    However... I've seen video's of some TSD clubs that leaves a lot to be desired. It really does depend on the association and the instructor. You'll see some TSD clubs more sports orientated, some more self-defence orientated (for example my instructor teachings are similar to Iain Abernethy), just like the other arts/styles you've mentioned.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    99
    Style
    TSD, Missing BJJ and Judo
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Tang Soo Do is basically Karate with the cannon of Korean kicks layered on top of it. Continuous contact sparring is a good sign. I've noticed that a lot of schools go very compliant when they start doing "self defense", but you may be able to find people at your school who will help you test them in a less compliant way. I was fortunate enough to have an instructor who encouraged that sort of testing.

    My take is that you need to know what it is you want from the training you're doing (Fitness? To fight? To look cool? Practical self defense? To hang out with fun people to do athletics?). The answer to that (and if you are getting what you want) will tell you if you should keep training there. If you're not getting what you want through this TSD school, find something else. If you are, keep training.

    I have a cho-dan in TSD and am back doing it right now because it's in the town I live in, I need to lose weight, and the forms and kicks are fun (and doing them with other people makes it more likely that I won't be lazy and let myself stay fat). I've trained in BJJ and Judo, but there isn't any of that in my area, and I hate running or using the elliptical for cardio. 12 lbs down, 70 to go.

  4. #4
    Permalost's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    14,379
    Style
    street paddleboarding
    2
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    The tang soo do I've experienced had lots of things that I felt were at least less than optimal for fighting. These include:
    -line drills that used exaggerated stances and chambered hands

    -unrealistic one-step sparring techniques, where an unrealistic lunge punch is held out while the other person executes several moves against their static attacker. Plus the attacker would step back in a downward block stance before stepping in to lunge punch. Why?

    -kata that emphasized lunge punches and downward blocks (I approve of neither)

    -lip service to a vague, oversimplified lifestyle of buzzwords

    -point sparring

    -the primary defensive motions were upward blocks, inward blocks, outward blocks and downward blocks, all of which are mediocre and take time that could be better spent on proper defenses

    -practicing from a horse stance

    -very little spontaneous action; everything was pre-choreographed techniques executed by the numbers.

    -terrible knife defenses that assume a knife attack will come like a huge telegraphed lunge punch or hammerfist that can be defended with a Steven Seagal armlock

    These points pretty much sum up the entirety of class, so its actually easier to ask what's right about TSD. If you see a lot of TSD bashing here and you can't figure out why, you're probably ignoring the many posts like mine that spell out why. Your mileage may vary.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    462
    Style
    MMA BJJ TKD
    1
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by abploon View Post
    I live in the Southeast Michigan area and I feel like I couldn't find a decent karate school after checking about 4-5 schools out. I was looking to do Shotokan or Kyokushin but the only decent school was teaching Tang Soo Do. The dojang I now attend is a part of the International Tang Soo Do Federation.

    So the first thing I noticed right off the bat is that the self defense stuff is seriously full of ****. You would get dropped just trying to do any of the things they teach you, but I think a lot of karate has bad self defense techniques in general.

    I was told by others I would be doing most of my kicks with the ball of my foot, which sort of worried me. I was pleasantly surprised that the kicks they teach there are more "proper", compared to other TSD schools. For example, two TSD schools I watched were doing roundhouse kicks with the ball of their foot, ours is more of a TKD kick. I was told to focus more on power than speed with kicks, and I don't know if that's a bad thing.

    We do full contact sparring as well.

    I don't see any child black belts, but I did see a kid that couldn't have been older than 8 with a blue (black belt candidate) belt. I don't know the minimum age for testing.

    I see a lot of TSD bashing here, and I'm curious as to why that is. Is it just because it's Karate? What is exactly wrong with TSD compared to say, TKD, Shotokan, Kyokushin, Goju Ryu, etc.?
    Sorry mate, couple of questions for you. I'm probably missing the obvious but:

    1) What do you mean the only 'DECENT' school?
    2) Again, why was the TSD the only DECENT school? Is this based on the look of the building? ability of instructor? Need some detail here...
    3) there is nothing wrong with kicking with the ball of the foot. It is a naturally tough part of the body. Kicking with instep has it's place too but you can't condition the small bones in the foot and the instep does not protect them. If you are wearing shoes or boots, having the foot flexed would give a good impact from the toe area of a sturdy boot too.
    4) A proper round house/ turning kick uses the ball of foot. The instep would be more for sparring. Yes, it can be used in a live situation too, I get that but this is not a reason to dismiss the ball of the foot completely.
    5) Full contact sparring- I've never been to a TMA class yet that does full contact. I'm in UK and been doing MA for about 23 years but I consider full contact not holding back whatsoever. Is this really what you guys do? If so, fair play :)
    6) Power. This is energy divided by time. The quicker you complete a kick, the more power it has. So you cannot really concentrate on power WITHOUT also concentrating on speed. What you should concentrate on is correct technique delivered with power and force. This is me being picky but correct.

    There is nothing wrong with TSD compared to any other style. It's an age old debate really but it depends on the stylist rather than the style and what the instructor can bring to the mats in ability to fight AND ability to correctly teach technique.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    17
    1
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by abploon View Post
    I live in the Southeast Michigan area and I feel like I couldn't find a decent karate school after checking about 4-5 schools out. I was looking to do Shotokan or Kyokushin but the only decent school was teaching Tang Soo Do. The dojang I now attend is a part of the International Tang Soo Do Federation.

    So the first thing I noticed right off the bat is that the self defense stuff is seriously full of ****. You would get dropped just trying to do any of the things they teach you, but I think a lot of karate has bad self defense techniques in general.

    I was told by others I would be doing most of my kicks with the ball of my foot, which sort of worried me. I was pleasantly surprised that the kicks they teach there are more "proper", compared to other TSD schools. For example, two TSD schools I watched were doing roundhouse kicks with the ball of their foot, ours is more of a TKD kick. I was told to focus more on power than speed with kicks, and I don't know if that's a bad thing.

    We do full contact sparring as well.

    I don't see any child black belts, but I did see a kid that couldn't have been older than 8 with a blue (black belt candidate) belt. I don't know the minimum age for testing.

    I see a lot of TSD bashing here, and I'm curious as to why that is. Is it just because it's Karate? What is exactly wrong with TSD compared to say, TKD, Shotokan, Kyokushin, Goju Ryu, etc.?
    IDK if this will be of any help but there are a couple of important distinctions to be made.
    a.) If you read Funakoshi's books it becomes quickly evident that "karate" (IE Shotokan) was intended by him to be a form of "physical culture" based on a Military Science which is the classic definition of "martial art". Certainly there are SD applications but Funakoshi stated repeatedly that his practice eschewed fighting, plain and simple.
    b,) Back in Okinawa a number of great teacher were pissed with Funakoshi for the way he represented Okinawa-Te, "Shudokan" is a good example of how some folks wanted to bring Okinawa-Te into the 20th Century but retain more of the combat side of it.
    c,) The reason for this trip down memory lane is that when Karate came to Korea during and after the Japanese Occupation, both Shotokan and Shudokan were practiced. Essentially, those who practiced SHOTOKAN transitioned into Taekwondo while the Shudokan people became more Tangsoodo. Its not all-together cut and drid and there is some blurring, but the difference in philosophy has been a real bone of contention ever since.
    d.) General Choi was often playing both sides against the middle trying to sell his Shotokan-based material to the ROK Military but there were also others who wanted to have civilian schools that had to pander to Korean mothers who didn't their little darlings getting hurt.
    e.) OTOH there were the TSD schools which started essentially as Korean "kick-boxing" but had to soften their approaches for the same reasons as TKD; to wit: "everybody wants to be a bad-ass MA person, but few actually want to do whats necessary to make that happen. As with most things, people talk a far better gasme than they play. Just sayin.....

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    10
    Style
    TSD, Yang Tai Chi, MMA
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    -line drills that used exaggerated stances and chambered hands
    == this stuff is for beginners, basic movements, etc.

    -unrealistic one-step sparring techniques, where an unrealistic lunge punch is held out while the other person executes several moves against their static attacker. Plus the attacker would step back in a downward block stance before stepping in to lunge punch. Why?
    == eh, it looks cool? With my dojang we start out like that, but when you get to higher ranks (green and up) we will start doing one/two steps against jabs, hooks haymakers. Since you are most likely to get hit by those than a reverse punch. Even in tournies :p

    -kata that emphasized lunge punches and downward blocks (I approve of neither)
    == not all of them.

    -lip service to a vague, oversimplified lifestyle of buzzwords
    == glad my dojang doesn't do that (but we do have to learn 22 basics in korean for cho dan)

    -point sparring
    == unpracticle but a game of fast tag none-the-less

    -the primary defensive motions were upward blocks, inward blocks, outward blocks and downward blocks, all of which are mediocre and take time that could be better spent on proper defenses
    ==Like what kind of proper defenses? These shouldn't be passive blocks but attacks to your opponents attacks that cripples your adversaries limbs.

    -practicing from a horse stance
    == builds good base and strong legs!

    -very little spontaneous action; everything was pre-choreographed techniques executed by the numbers.
    == ya, that's stupid. My cousin attends the other TSD school and they use numbers for the techniques. Also, the aliveness of the person "attacking" you is very.... lax.

    -terrible knife defenses that assume a knife attack will come like a huge telegraphed lunge punch or hammerfist that can be defended with a Steven Seagal armlock
    === see my above comment =/ We learn it as a begging movement only. Once you have the movement down. Then, knife defense begins to suck. A lot. My instructor was a high level body guard, so all that fancy knife stuff doesn't fly.

    These points pretty much sum up the entirety of class, so its actually easier to ask what's right about TSD. If you see a lot of TSD bashing here and you can't figure out why, you're probably ignoring the many posts like mine that spell out why. Your mileage may vary.
    == unfortunately, you points are pretty accurate for most TSD places =(

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    4
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Tang soo do is easily dismissed as rubbish because a lot of what is taught in the earlier stages would be pretty useless in a real fight.

    But the actual intention is much more subtle.

    Consider the seemingly pointless lower grade one step. A straight punch comes straight toward your face, then you apply some often convoluted technique to defend yourself against it. It simply wouldn't go like that in real life. So why teach it?

    Well, a new starter might not be a natural fighter. The idea of a fist heading towards their face might literally paralyse them with fear. By practicing these often impractical one steps the student is becoming accustomed to maintaining clarity of thought even with a fist coming towards their face. Of course even this is useless if the 'attacker' is stopping so far short that the defender has to reach in to show the technique. A good teacher will encourage a degree of closeness such that the defender has to make it work, or at the very least get out of the way.

    Lots of the blocks are too slow to be useful. But again, they are not meant to be used exactly as they are taught. They are taught the way they are because they develop muscles and coordination and in fact, as becomes evident in the higher grades, they form the foundation of grappling techniques that are not really seen at the lower grade end of the syllabus. Same deal with crazy high kicks and massively convoluted 360 jumping kicks. They are not for use in combat. They teach coordination and balance and timing.

    To truly assess tang soo do, and probably any style for that matter, one needs to look beyond the surface. Quite a lot of tang soo do is actually brutally dirty street fighting, but only the surface it looks like a dance style more than combat sometimes. But a good teacher will make it clear that it's not meant to be used as is taught in class. If you find yourself having to defend yourself for real you don't do tang soo do. You do whatever you can and must. The tang soo do training is there to broaden your options.

  9. #9
    Christmas Spirit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sinsinnatti Oh Hi Ho
    Posts
    13,893
    Style
    all things in Moderation
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by cl1 View Post
    Tang soo do is easily dismissed as rubbish because a lot of what is taught in the earlier stages would be pretty useless in a real fight.
    So instead of drilling the fundamentals and foundation you are purposely teaching people "the wrong way"
    But the actual intention is much more subtle.
    Oh I can't wait. Let's see where this post is going.
    Consider the seemingly pointless lower grade one step. A straight punch comes straight toward your face, then you apply some often convoluted technique to defend yourself against it. It simply wouldn't go like that in real life. So why teach it?
    Very good question. I am going to assume you are going to answer with a short and to the point reasonable explanation.
    Well, a new starter might not be a natural fighter. The idea of a fist heading towards their face might literally paralyse them with fear. By practicing these often impractical one steps the student is becoming accustomed to maintaining clarity of thought even with a fist coming towards their face.
    Yes! That is why boxing clubs and full contact martial arts start off with gentle sparring. Nothing prepares you for being hit. Nothing except getting hit.
    Of course even this is useless if the 'attacker' is stopping so far short that the defender has to reach in to show the technique. A good teacher will encourage a degree of closeness such that the defender has to make it work, or at the very least get out of the way.
    ... if you want to learn how to get hit you gear up and work with someone who knows how to instruct. The stuff you are talking is super basic striking coaching skills. Except you seem to be making excuses as to why you don't teach basic striking, and play patty cake instead. Patty Cake with techniques that don't work... as your foundation skills... ok

    Lots of the blocks are too slow to be useful. But again, they are not meant to be used exactly as they are taught.
    Maybe you enjoy styles full of fluff and bullshit. I do not see the need to learn something wrong.
    They are taught the way they are because they develop muscles and coordination and in fact, as becomes evident in the higher grades, they form the foundation of grappling techniques that are not really seen at the lower grade end of the syllabus.
    So you are telling me that there are better ways to train an activity than actually doing the activity?
    I say you are completely insane if you truly believe that.

    Same with grappling. The ONLY way to get the hang of grappling is to get to it and focus on the fundamentals as soon as possible, from the most qualified person you can.
    Same deal with crazy high kicks and massively convoluted 360 jumping kicks. They are not for use in combat.
    You do not know what the **** you are talking about.
    They teach coordination and balance and timing.
    You do not know what you are talking about. Pardon my language earlier. You shocked me with the first one.
    To truly assess tang soo do, and probably any style for that matter, one needs to look beyond the surface. Quite a lot of tang soo do is actually brutally dirty street fighting, but only the surface it looks like a dance style more than combat sometimes. But a good teacher will make it clear that it's not meant to be used as is taught in class. If you find yourself having to defend yourself for real you don't do tang soo do. You do whatever you can and must. The tang soo do training is there to broaden your options.
    dirty street fighting huh?

    ....

    lol
    Quote Originally Posted by ghost55 View Post
    Violence is pretty uncommon in clubs in this area, and the dude didn't seem particularly hostile up until the moment he slapped me.
    I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out.
    BILL HICKS,
    1961-1994

    Quote Originally Posted by WFMurphyPhD View Post
    Slamming the man in the bottom position from time to time keeps everybody on their toes and discourages butt scooting stupidity.

  10. #10
    Christmas Spirit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sinsinnatti Oh Hi Ho
    Posts
    13,893
    Style
    all things in Moderation
    1
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Yeah I just dropped 18 minutes of spinning/flying/crazy/high kicks on you.

    Thank me later it is an awesome comp.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCg3bpdfc7g

    Quote Originally Posted by ghost55 View Post
    Violence is pretty uncommon in clubs in this area, and the dude didn't seem particularly hostile up until the moment he slapped me.
    I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out.
    BILL HICKS,
    1961-1994

    Quote Originally Posted by WFMurphyPhD View Post
    Slamming the man in the bottom position from time to time keeps everybody on their toes and discourages butt scooting stupidity.

Page 1 of 2 12 Last

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Log in

Log in