How do you teach Practical Tae Kwon Do

Discussion in 'Tae Kwon Do' started by Liam Cullen, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. Liam Cullen

    Liam Cullen Valued Member

    I'm pretty sure one of the only videos I've seen of you doing TKD was of you performing jump front kicks against a kick shield? :eek:
    So you don't teach any spinning techniques in class?

    Just curious, have you had a look at The Taegeuk Cipher by Simon O'Neill? I think you might like it, and I'd be interested to see what you think...
  2. aaron_mag

    aaron_mag New Member Supporter

    Then do you do windsprints? Because jumping kicks, in my opinion, are some of the best self-defense techniques. Not the technique in themselves, but the cardiovascular benefit. I currently have two students who come from a karate background and both of them said at different times, "This is the hardest aerobic thing I've ever done..."

    I can't see how being aerobically in shape is not self-defense related. I mean at the very least you can outrun the person.
  3. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    Fair point, but there are other close range fighting techniques in TKD which can be drilled against pads or people to create aerobic/anaerobic fitness development while at the same time improving close range fighting skills. So I can see why Matt would have opted not to teach certain things.
  4. Rob T.

    Rob T. Valued Member

    But still you use TAGB rather than TKD or ITF TKD or the ITFs or Chang han style, etc, etc. If you believe it is wide spread through out TKD and Karate why not say?

    I can’t see you being put off by the "Well that's Karate...not TKD". I do hope this is coming across ok, I’m not having a go at you – I like your style of debating and agree on a number of points. I agree with Mitch that your obvious dislike of the TAGB gets in the way of the valid parts of your arguments.

    It is a TKD text book, and is a supplement to normal training. The examples given were pure Gen Choi TKD. That is the Art we practice. Every Instructor I know has been taught a variety of applications by their instructor. The basic text books are very much the bare-bones.
    I’ve been to a fair few Willie Lim seminars, so it’s possible. Interestingly if Willie had written a book when I first attended his seminars it would be different from what he teaches now. I don’t think that would reflect on his expertise.

    I agree that the by staying with the Gen Choi explanations the TAGB don’t do themselves justice, I assume (like Mitch I’m junior and not privy to all decisions) that the books were designed as a convenient memory jogger not as a complete reference to the art.
    If that was the only application taught by the TAGB your argument would have merit. The book shows the classic applications as taught by the founder. Did you really only get taught those when you were a student?
    Once again, it’s your opinion that TKD has failings – but it’s the TAGB you single out.
    Once again you have drawn a conclusion without any evidence other than your opinion. Both in what are the failings and how I feel about them. What bothers me or doesn’t probably isn’t at all obvious considering how well you know me.

    And yet again there is your anti-TAGB feelings, would that ‘current or potential student’ be better of in the UKTA, GTUK, UKGT, GUKT, GTI, PUMA, GTF, BUTF, YMCA, AIMAA, PTO, APTI, DISCO, etc? What you see as the failings are in the art, or the arts.

    I'm not on the forum much so please excuse my ignorance but what art do you practise now, and is it 'perfect'? Or are there flaws that you consider minor but others may consider major?
  5. Rob T.

    Rob T. Valued Member

    Just a quick question for all here, how much of TKD can you drop or change and still claim to teach TKD? Obviously please swap TKD for Karate or KF or whatever your base art is.

    For example, and sorry if I'm wrong here, Matt still calls what he teaches TKD but I've not heard John (JWT) say he teaches Karate (instead I've only heard DART or HF systems). But the 2 have taken similar steps away from the original art they studied.

  6. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    To clear up any confusion then, I view DART as a very traditional form of Karate (and that's with the original Kanji). On my website, DART is described as follows:
    Defence Attack & Resolution Tactics (DART) is a physiology and psychology based Karate system designed to develop and enhance the necessary survival skills to negate, survive and escape violence. The DART training method evolved from applying studies in modern sports science with research in psychology, physiology, kinesiology and violent crime statistics to traditional Karate techniques and training.

    I don't place undue stress that what I'm doing is Karate in the same way that Krav Maga instructors don't place too much stress that what they are doing is Ju Jitsu.

    Club grade uniforms carry both our DART and Karate logos.

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2009
  7. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Can I just say that despite my continued criticism of the TAGB and the people that run it, everyone has debated in friendly terms and this has actually resulted in a good debate IMHO. Cheers for that. :)

    your obvious dislike of the TAGB

    I dislike bad information being given to people that don't know better. I dislike "high level" practitioners lacking BASIC knowledge but continuing to take fees from people, maintaining their status and pretending they're as good as they say they are. I dislike students investing time, energy and passion on arts that lack the foundations to truly reward those students. I dislike people stumbling upon the truth of things but continuing to do as they have always done as changing may mean a loss of students/money/face/status. I dislike large martial arts associations that have become so big they actually dilute the overall experience for many students. I dislike associations that have become so big a new student is essentially entering a lottery as to whether they get a teacher that goes that extra mile and rejects the twaddle taught by rote (as I imagine Mitch and Rob do) or someone that has fallen for it hook, line and sinker. I dislike arts that have a large disparity between what they learn in patterns and how they actually fight (or try to fight) in reality. I'm sure I could find more...

    Now if those sorts of dislikes apply to the TAGB then that's hardly my fault.
    The TAGB just happens to be my own personal contact with such things.

    The book shows the classic applications as taught by the founder. Did you really only get taught those when you were a student?

    Pretty much. I remember a few sessions with Gary Bradshaw where we explored the more realistic stuff but compared to the endless repetitions of patterns with no applications at all or the ridiculous 2 step sparring (about the only place movements from patterns were applied) that was like a drop in the ocean. And again...there seems to be an over-deference to "classic". They might be classic. But they are crap and someone should have spotted that before now.

    And yet again there is your anti-TAGB feelings, would that ‘current or potential student’ be better of in the UKTA, GTUK, UKGT, GUKT, GTI, PUMA, GTF, BUTF, YMCA, AIMAA, PTO, APTI, DISCO, etc?

    No idea. Send me a copy of the books their committee members and/or high grades have written and I might be able to tell. :)
    Show me some of their pattern application stuff and I might be able to tell if they understand that which they are in charge of or not.

    I'm not on the forum much so please excuse my ignorance but what art do you practise now, and is it 'perfect'? Or are there flaws that you consider minor but others may consider major?

    I currently call myself a "martial artist" and that's about as far as I go when describing my "art".
    That said I currently do Thai boxing and Shidokan Karate.
    Are they perfect? Well I'd consider Thai as good as can be for the foundation of the "stand up" portion of combat but it's far from perfect.
    Is Shidokan perfect? No. It's slightly troubled by the same issues you mentioned (lack of good applications for kata) but patches over that inadequacy by mixing in some solid grappling, Thai and a sparring rules format that doesn't allow someone to hide holes in their game.
  8. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    I can't speak for any of the other TAGB committee members, but I've trained with Kenny Walton since 2003. He is far from lacking basic knowledge regarding the applications of moves from patterns. This probably sounds like a stab at the other committe members - it's not intended to be - but... Remember the TAGB committee is a democracy and the material included in the old TAGB manuals was probably the one that got the most votes. So even if a senior member was against certain moves being included, if more members voted for a certain application then it would be included. I've learned both traditional Choi-esque applications and brutally realistic applications to the movements of patterns from Mr. Walton, and he is probably the most rounded martial artist I know (in terms of knowledge and ability). I've trained with the likes of Benny Urquidez, Dan Inosanto and Herb Perez, in regular training sessions and on seminars, and Kenny Walton is still the best so far.

    I'm not with the TAGB anymore but I still see Kenny Walton the most gifted and knowledgeable practitioner of the martial arts (not just TKD), so I strongly disagree with his name being associated with the idea continuing to take fees from people just to maintain his status, etc.
  9. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Well there you go.
    That's possibly some insight into the matter.
    It still seems a little odd though...I can imagine them all stood in the studio..."what shall we say this technique is for boys?...flinch response haymaker block?....nah...don't be silly Kenny....that's for blocking two punches at the same time is that....but that is clearly impossible says it's possible in't Choi's book though...well that settles it...two punches it is then...stop frowning's going in the book..."

  10. Rob T.

    Rob T. Valued Member

    I take it you've not been on one of Dave Oliver's self defence seminars - brutal and effective are two words that spring to mind, hmmm maybe brutal should be in capital letters:)

  11. Rob T.

    Rob T. Valued Member

    Funnily enough your experiences in your former club are more relevant to how things are in PUMA now, Gary Bradshaw hasn’t been TAGB for a good few years. :)
  12. StuartA

    StuartA Guardian of real TKD :-)

    Regarding the TAGB books.. I see it as this:
    They were printed at a time (95-97) when the applications were the 'classics' (as PASmith put) and the way I see it, they still sell and still make money and thus its a 'business' decision to leave them for sale. However, if they have trained with Willie Lim and such like, it would of also been a good idea to revise them.. but obviously this takes time and effort and they probibly simply couldnt be bothered! That said, they have released a new book in 2008 (according to Amazon)! I do, TBH, get a feeling of "we do our own thing, so what" when it comes to the top boys, but there ya go, again, any changes would interupt the business side of things obviously and I doubt anyone NOT on the committee has a say either way, so PASmith is chatting to the wrong people really and Rob and Mitch don't need to defend them (as oppose to discuss the issue) because they are not responsible for it, whether in the TAGB or not.

    I understand both PASmiths argument (that the applications are authorative as it comes from 7th/8th dans etc.), but also see Robs and Mitch's.

    Speaking of business, I'm happy for them to leave them 'as it' as it means books like mine, Simons and Matts sell more :) lol

    Last edited: Feb 5, 2009
  13. StuartA

    StuartA Guardian of real TKD :-)

    Questions for Matt

    As the thread has taken a new route from the OP and has some good questions for Matt, I'm interested, out of curiosity, in knowing the following:

    Why not?

    But you still grade students dont you? (I recall reading on facebook or soemwhere you congratulating students on a recent grading). How do you diffientiate different gardes? What do students have to do to pass gradings?

    Is there freedom in this? I ask as senerio-based sparring often starts with opponents in bad positins etc., meaning they usually react certain ways, but free sparring (or tradition sparring_ emulates fighting as opposed to SD type drills.

    Just wondering!!

  14. mattsylvester

    mattsylvester One proud daddy!

    Hi Liam,

    Sorry, should have explained myself better, I was linking that to sparring, self-defence and gradings. The jumping kicks that we do are only 'taught' per-se in order to work the legs and cardio etc. We don't 'teach' them as part of the syllabus if that makes any more sense? So you won't ever have to be able to perform a jumping kick in order to score well in a grading. Nor would you have to do a jumping technique as part of one-step etc.

    No, don't bother with spinning techniques. The environments I work in and which my core students work in generally preclude these things for example, pubs, nightclubs, offices etc.

    I'm all about keeping things as simple as possible.

    Not yet, I've been very studious in avoiding other TKD application books so as wel avoid claims of 'you got that from x book' and also to then see whether like-minds truly think alike :)
  15. mattsylvester

    mattsylvester One proud daddy!

    For some reason, the quote has lost what Stuart's quoting so I've filled in the gaps. :) Also very, brief and high-level answers as I can't/won't go through the entire syllabus. Take way too long.

    Because I don't believe that in order to generate power, good technique etc you need to spend time breaking. I'd rather have students generate power and focus on the pads, through kicking drills on pads and through the use of things like the Imptec which measures both power and accuracy etc.

    We use different coloured t-shirts. We use t-shirts becuase that's what a lot of people wear no matter what the weather (granted it can be under things, but in bars etc tops usually come off and it's back to tees).

    Very briefly, in order to grade students have to do (and this isn't a fully inclusive list) normal pad work, break falls, theory, defences (against knives, guns etc), disadvantaged pad work, patterns, pattern applications, demonstrate pressure points, moving in stance, scenario sparring, dis-advantaged sparring and so on. Obviously this isn't a full and complete list.

    We also have age-appropriate syllabuses from 4 up. They get nastier as they progress.

    Yes, there's a lot of freedom. The opponent will be told what he should do (attack or back down) but the defender has no such restraints. Therefore if he thinks an attack is coming, he can pre-empt, or he can wait to see what happens and fight from there, or if the attacker does back down then he's free again to either let it go, or (depending on what he thinks 'might' happen) he can again attack.

    The techniques that they both use aren't defined, so there's no scripting aside from he will/won't attack.This means that the actual 'fighting' is free.

    Hope that this is clearer.
  16. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    This is a very nice mix Matthew. You must produce some excellent TKD students.

    On the scenario side - I assume the defender is allowed to attempt a verbal defuse and the attacker is briefed as whether to accept/not accept/pretend to accept etc?

    Colour coded t shirts like the ones I use (previous page)?
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2009
  17. mattsylvester

    mattsylvester One proud daddy!

    Hi John,

    Yes and yes :)
  18. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    So to clarify before moving on....Dave Oliver is a badass...Kenny Walton is a the crap applications getting in their books must be down to someone else? :)

    OK here's a thing...through this discussion it's become apparent that some people think Gen. Choi didn't really have the knowledge and background to fully understand what he was dealing with.
    With that said couldn't it be argued that Matt's book is somewhat miss-named?
    If Choi had no idea about applying the moves in the patterns in what sense can the "roots" of TKD truly include realistic pattern application?
    To my mind going back to the roots of TKD is actually better exemplified by keeping up the crap applications Choi proposed. Seeing as that is what was available at the start (the roots if you will)?
    It seems to me that what Matt is actually doing is reconstructing TKD as a modern realistic combat system rather than going back to an earlier form that was already structured that way.

    I also have a question for you feel that your continued support of TKD is in part due to your own intellectual curiosity with seeing what you can do with it and a sense of going against the norm?
    In other words do you like confounding people's expectations?
    From the sound of it you could equally call what you do "Modern Combatives", "Matt's fighting system" "The MS defence system" or whatever. You could even substitute the heian/pinan katas instead of the TKD patterns and it seems like what you teach wouldn't change at all and you could then call it "Karate".
  19. mattsylvester

    mattsylvester One proud daddy!

    Hi Paul,

    I do hope it isn't mis-named, I don't want to have to re-do the cover again :)

    Yes, I like to see what I can do with it and yes, I've been going against the norm since 1995 when I first started doing pressure points and pattern applications. Hence me now being an indy, I kept annoying senior belts.

    I was going to call it 'Sylvester's Simplistic Street System', or the 'Reality Ryu' but most of my students have lisps and can't say their 'w's :)

    I could also call it Karate yes, because I've done all the Heians and switching from one to the other really isn't that hard. Or I just call it Chung Do Kwan Taekwondo :)

    But I'm happy with Practical Taekwondo as a concept.
  20. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Cool...I'm not knocking it. I'll certainly pick up a copy of your book and I don't even do TKD anymore!
    Can you sign me one? :)

    Perhaps I should anonymously send a few out to the TAGB committee? :evil:

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