Discussion in 'Tae Kwon Do' started by mountainsage, Dec 22, 2003.

  1. mountainsage

    mountainsage New Member

    I had the most interesting conversation with my instructor today and wanted to get some opinions. I was practicing my WTF forms in an open class and my instructor stopped me and stated that my simulating grabbing an arm prior to punching was wrong ( I hope folks understand what I mean). His exact statement was " It's o.k. to do that in training, but don't do that when doing forms." Aren't forms supposed to be training? Shouldn't a person train like they fight? What in the hell is going on with Taekwondo? I just nodded like a good student, yet the situation is not setting well with me. I am a red belt and I am uncomfortable with strongly disagreeing with my instructor, yet I need to draw the line between art and sport for me. I know that sounds arrogant, but I have to look at myself in the mirror everyday.

  2. Chazz

    Chazz Keepin it kickin TKD style

    WTF TKD is more sport. Their sparring and forms are done more to tournament aspects. On your forms he is saying that in class that is good when you go to a tourney or in front of others you should do it to where it LOOKS better. As long as you stay with a org/style/school or whatever that is more sport minded then you will get what is better for the sport. If you go to a more traditional school they will work on your technique and more mental ideas of the art.

    At least this is what i have seen and taken in!
  3. Tosh

    Tosh Renegade of Funk

    I agree with Chazz on this one.

    The whole danger of doing technique in forms is that you have far too much licence to do things that just wouldn't work if there was an opponent thier.

    Your instructor is probably concentrating on ensuring you are utilising the correct technique rather than a full speed release.

    However, and this sort of thing really gets to me, why did you just sit and nod??? It sounds like you don't understand why he was asking you to do it this way. If not and he explained it well enough then you wouldn't need to ask the question here.

    I have an open policy in my class, where if anyone has any question about the technique or about why I am asking them to do it a specific way, I am brutaly frank. even when that answer involves the responses;

    "because it is for one very specific situation in this pattern, which you would probably only use in this situation"


    "I don't know, but I'll find out for you"

    at the end of the day your instructor is there to answer any questions you have.
  4. Chazz

    Chazz Keepin it kickin TKD style

    I agree on that. Anytime that you have a question you should always ask it. If you dont you may never get the answers that you need to become better at what you are doin. Even if he didnt give you the answer that you wanted, at least you have one.
  5. mountainsage

    mountainsage New Member


    Yes Tosh, I did understand what and why he was saying. The problem is that I am an opinionated, middle-aged redneck farmer with zero tact, so silence is sometimes the best option. I have no desire to compete in martial sport, even though I am in WTF. My master requires two tourney for BB and I have explained that I am willing to remain a 1st gup til death rather than go to tourney. For reference, out closest tourney is 6 hours from our town, one way. I don't have the time to travel 6 hoours to compete for 3 minutes total in a situation were the winner has been decided ahead of time. Welcome to martial sport.

  6. Artikon

    Artikon Advertise here ask me how

    I think the simulation of grabbing when doing forms is okay to do in some specific areas . . . just not all the time. I see alot of people clench and unclench their fists before each punch in a grabbing motion prior to every punch. I see this as a dangerous practice as you fight the way you train for sure, and if you get in the habit of committing one hand to a grabbing motion everytime, the one time someone's arm isn't there means you're in for a world of hurt.

    I believe Tosh is also right that to actually practice a grab you should have a live partner to work with so you can also get the feel of muscle and resistance under your hand.

    As for the two tourney's before blackbelt. If your instructor is set on that . . . which I do agree with since I do believe sport is part of the art and everyone should experience a tournment . . . . see if you can come to a compromise. Do a research paper on TKD sport, or say you'll become an official. Officials get alot more fights than the actual competitors do, and sometimes . . . just sometimes you'll get fed for your efforts :D

    I'm sure there is something that interests you about TKD that you could come to a compromise with your instructor . . . just be sure to keep an open mind and not to compromise yourself in the process.

    Oh btw . . . I'm assuming you are doing the Taegeuk patterns . . . or do your practice the palgwae, or both.

    One last thing I promise, as for the winner of a match being determined ahead of time . . . knock the other person out so there can be no doubt who the winner is :D
  7. mountainsage

    mountainsage New Member


    We will have to agree to disagree on the grabbing the arm issue. My parting shot is the if I grap your arm and manipulate your wrist there will only be one person in a world of hurt and it won't be me. One of the advantages of being big and strong. Artikon, you missing my point, I have no desire to have ANY contact with sport sparring. If sport sparring ended tomorrow, I would be dancing in the streets and throwing parties. A research paper is not a bad idea, but not anything about sport sparring; I'll run it past my instructor. There are many things about the art of TKD that interest me except the sporting aspect. As far as, the experiance of tourneys, I believe that my experiance as a high school wrestler on the state/regional level and running for political office on the local, county, state, and federal level gives me the functioning under pressure experiance tourney pretent to give. Yes, I am doing Taeguek forms and will add the palgwe forms (my choice) and pre-determined winner's was referring to forms competition.
    I'd like to put another question on the table. What is the difference between doing a form at a competition verse doing the same form in your home? My answer is simple, EGO.

  8. Tosh

    Tosh Renegade of Funk

    Re: Thanks

    I'm not being picky but you do not relay that to well in the post. It reads like your instructor was just telling you do to it just for the sake of the pattern "looking" good.

    If this was the only explanation you were afforded then IMO your instructor needs a refresher course on the why's and how's of instruction as it's not a very satisfactory answer for a beginner, let alone a 1st kup :(

    Concerning WTF 2 tourney thing.... bummer. Ever thought of defecting to the ITF? Sure you have to spar to grade but you can certainly officiate at a comp in order to grade to BB!! ;)
  9. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Mountainsage: Requiring competition

    At our school, the master recommends that every student competet in at least one tournament before blackbelt... and ideally would like to see all students compete once per belt level, whether it is inter-school, local, state or national. Even though we teach WTF style Taekwondo and do train for tournaments, our main focus is on a well rounded system. Here is why we favor that students compete before black belt at least once:

    (1) We want to see how a student handles getting hit by someone they don't know, someone who wants to knock them out.

    (2) We want to see if they are gracious in defeat or victory. How do they portray themselves (and the school) in public?

    (3) How do they compete? Are they calm and cool? Do they have good control? Do they try their best and keep their temper even when outclassed?

    (4) As a black belt, we will begin grooming them as an instructor. If an instructor has never fought in a tournament, how can they teach how to do it?

    (5) We want to see what they learn away from the school... using their style in competition aganist someone of similar abilities. What they learned is more important than if they won.

    To answer your question about the difference between competing away and doing it in your own school is seeing how much a student can "turn it up" in a new place. Can they handle the stress or will they fall apart? The environment of being in a new place with different people, all motivated to win, adds a new element to your practice.

    On a personal note, I am not a big fan of sport sparring. I did compete because my master required it and through the stress, uneasiness, pain, disappointment, and such were a lot of lessons that I carry with me into the classroom and own life to this day. I also have done lots of stuff, ranging from being a parachutist-qualified interrogator for the US Army and trips to tough parts of the world... fighting in those tournaments (including a placing in New York State championships to earn a berth in nationals) were a different kind of stress and a very imporatnt part in my development as a TAEKWONDO artist. Just some things to think about...

    (P.S. to Tosh's suggestion of officiating... I would respectfully submit that NOONE should be alllowed to officiate a TKD match unless they've competed... and this is another reason to require a tournemnt for all black belts... because somewhere down the road, they probably will have to ref a match!)
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2003
  10. mountainsage

    mountainsage New Member

    Thanks Thomas

    Well presented ideas, Thomas. The thing that jump out at me from your post is how do you compare jumping from airplanes to TKD. I could always chose to tournament spar, but try and throw me out of an air and the fight is on. Try to get me in an airplane and the fight in on:D. Those items you mention are on a much higher level than sport sparring could ever hope to attain. I should clarify that I do spar with my classmates on a regular basis and have since whitebelt. At that time, 3years ago, I regularly sparred with red and black belts(size and strength thing again). Adressing your point, if these trait aren't shown in class what makes a person think in a public situation that will change. I also found the inference of a win-lose very interesting, I might be mistaken, but aren't the martial arts about personal growth not win-lose records. If W/L is that important may I suggest to those individuals that kickboxing is a better option. As to my forms question, if a person needs to "Turn it up" for tournies then the problem is training before the tourney. You perform like you practice, there should be no need to turn it up, the volume should be at max already. " Train like it's your last day."

  11. Tosh

    Tosh Renegade of Funk

    Re: Mountainsage: Requiring competition

    Thomas, our definitions of "officiate" seem to differ. :)

    There are many roles at a competition that do not require ring experience. Scoreboard official, timekeeper, breaking offical.... the list is endless.

    I completely agree that no one should "centre referee" if they have never competed and even corner judge I would limit them to a large extent (depending on the nature of the match).

    However, for those that do not compete it's a chance for them to give something back to the TKD community whic HAS to be a good thing. IN our association (UKTA) we have different levels of umpire 'class', C to A then International, which dictates the limits of your officiating capacity. There are examination one has to pass in order to be given recognition by the Chief Umpire and while I agree it would be VERY difficult to achieve a high grade without competition experience I think that it is not absolutely neccessary.

    but enough of this dragging the thread kicking and screaming off topic! ;)
  12. mountainsage

    mountainsage New Member

    Sorry Tosh

    My brain missed your second post. I have considered ITF many times. It seem to be gear more toward my mentality, yet there isn't a school or instructor within acceptable distance. The next closest TKD school is about 90 miles away and it is ITF, but the instuctor, a 2nd Dan, was a baby black belt that never got the art part of TKD. I understand from a classmate that goes to college in the same town that he's a great point sparrer, poor quality teacher. Honestly, you are correct about my instructor. I do hear, "Do it this way because" a) the master wants it that way or b) that how it is done for competition. Both answer I find unacceptable.

  13. Edward Hsu

    Edward Hsu Valued Member

    I just have one comment about how everyone 'should' compete in a a 'competitive school...I host 2 tourneys a year,participate in Little League Taekwondo,have produced over 100 state and 15 National Champions and have students who compete internationally....I don't agree with the statement that 'everyone should 'compete in can actually work against the Instructor,Student,Parent ....

    There are a lot of positives and negatives to competition...however in my experience it is best to have a separate program for a competition team.Not everyone is made for MA competition ,especially with the fact that most competitions are run very poorly..bad refs,no mats ,no electronic scoring,bad administration...Master's who do not prepare their students properly for could be a letdown for everyone.
  14. Tosh

    Tosh Renegade of Funk

    Re: Sorry Tosh

    Hands held up, that was my phrase to students when I was a Student, reasons behind it were I didn't want to seem ignorant in front of lower grades.

    The correct phrase should be,

    "Do it this way because the master wants it that way...... there must be a very good reason for it and I'll be sure to find the reason out because I'm not entirely sure myself. In the meantime lets drill this technique a number of different ways and see what benefit this way has over others"


    Whaddya think?
  15. mountainsage

    mountainsage New Member

    I know

    I know the answer to that question, Tosh. My master would says because that is the way tourney people want it done and it doesn't matter if it is practical or not. That win/lose mentality again.

  16. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Banned Banned

    Master? Does he own you or something?

  17. mountainsage

    mountainsage New Member


    Master refers to a person that has earned the rank of 5th degree BB in TKD. I am not familiar with other art ranking systems, yet I believe that most Korean arts are about the same when dealing with rank. I use the term out of respect for my teachers teacher. The term Kwan Bum Nim is sometime used in place of Master. No, he doesn't own me, but he does make the final decision on my promotions, so in a way the master and teacher do control my future in TKD to a certain point if I want to gain rank.

  18. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Banned Banned

    You said "my master", meaning that he owns you. I know what you were trying to do, but calling someone or yourself a master based on what belt you or they have is absurd.

  19. Tosh

    Tosh Renegade of Funk

    Poops, I think you take this phrase far too literally. I see Instructor, Master, Grandmaster in the same lines of Mr, Dr and Professor when dealing with teachers.

    If you have an issue about the title Master then there are many more thread that have discussed this, don't bring the argument here.

    Thank you please ;)
  20. Yang Dae-han

    Yang Dae-han Realising the 'edit'

    Re: Continuation


    I am WTF (KTF) player/master and I just don't comprehend <ok, I do, but find it absurd> the idea of having two differing demonstrations of the same form. Yes, we (my students and I) do forms no different in the tourney setting (and forms such as Taegeuk 7 and Taebaek are prime examples of needing to overtly show grabs), so I find it silly to alter any form for the purpose of making them "look better."

    Oh, and I've seen my fair share of ITF schools alter forms for competition, so the WTF does not have a monopoly on said kniggitty.

    Purpose for change is ego? Hmmm, I suppose, or reassurrance in their worth as a practitioner/player (through winning). I'd rather win by what I do/believe in, not what others' care for.... and as a judge, that can easily be seen.

    As for your belief in tourneys being fixed...well, I've little knowledge on how things work in the US now, but I can't believe it's all that different. Sure, some of the bigger schools may have an edge, but a truly better artist will win...just perform in such a way that your winnings can't be denied. I remember when I went to a tourney in the US, my division (everyone) performed Koryo, whereas I did Choongmoo. Others were asked to re-perform (as they were in ties), and I assumed I didn't place. Sure enough, I came in first....and with an ITF form that most, if not all, WTF judges didn't even know.

    Tourney, well mate, just go. Yes, it'll be far. Yes, it may be fixed. Yes, yes yes yes....but, it'll be worth it in the long-run...especially if you place while doing your preferred form YOUR way. Do it a second time, as the first will be a learning event, and then you may test for your dan. Then you get to say, "nah nanny boo boo."



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