Is Taekwondo really street effective?

Discussion in 'Tae Kwon Do' started by Anarch, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. Anarch

    Anarch Valued Member

    I took it when I was about 9 and when I was about 11, I think. About 2 years ago I started training in Muay Thai and would have to say I prefer Muay Thai over anything I've tried and I've been able to use it in the streets on a few occasions. Most effective part is the thai clinch and knees in general.

    When I took Taekwondo it seemed to be for sport. I didn't see them emphasize too much on the whole 'self defense' aspect of martial arts and the things they were teaching (to all belts) didn't look like they'd be too useful.

    Reason I'm asking is because I got kicked out of our local Kung Fu academy about 2 years ago because I started getting in trouble but now I'm really interested in starting martial arts back up but I want something that'll help me build my confidence back up and actually be useful on the streets as well. In my opinion it's much harder to land a successful kick in an all-out brawl considering the fact that most people tend to rush and when you factor in adrenaline, sometimes that'll prevent your kicks (imo)

    In your TKD experiences, have you ever used any techniques on the street and if so, how well did it work?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Welcome to MAP.

    What is effective on the street is awareness, the abilty to talk yourself out of a situation should it arise, the knowledge that any martial skills you may have are to be used as a last resort and so on.

    Effective self defence is a seperate skill away from your normal martial training.
    Muay Thai, TKD or any other arts are unlikely to teach you about the different types of aggressor you may come across, how to deal differently to each aggressor, your legal standpoint etc.

    Sure some decent striking skills may serve you well should it all kick off, but it is like the driver who has a cosh next to his seat. Is he more likely to let a situation go, or likely to engage an aggressor because he he has a weapon next to him?
  3. StuartA

    StuartA Guardian of real TKD :-)

    May I ask how old you are (approx)?.. I ask as kid TKD can be very different from training as a teenager/adult. Also, what were the previous systems of TKD you tried and where?

  4. Anarch

    Anarch Valued Member

    I'm 20 years old now so when I took it it was quite some time ago. They advertise that they are more traditional (I think it's called Blue Cottage style). I prefer to learn traditional as it really lets you get a good grip of the art. All these people teach how to kick, but not what to do with it. That's what I loved about Muay Thai and Kung Fu. They teach you the art, how to use it/applications, sparring, etc. Just seems like Taekwondo has been so watered down and although I think it's a beautiful style, I question just how effective it really is.

    I know it all comes down to the gym and the individual. My problem is I can't seem to just straight up launch a kick at someones face in the heat of action. Maybe after a few years and it's become instinctive. But Muay Thai took me about 2 months until I was able to spar with black belts and keep up.
  5. Seventh

    Seventh Super Sexy Sushi Time

    Oh geez, haven't had a thread like this in a while. As a former TKD'er, I'm going to say yes, but only if you find a good school with a good instructor. Pretty much any martial art club that has a good instructor that drills you realistically in some form is a good school.

    The biggest difference is the ratio of good clubs to the bad ones. TKD has a rather bad streak when it comes to good schools (speaking from a SD point of view, there are of course some good competition-based TKD schools out there) to watered down ones. You are far more likely to find a decent Boxing or Muay Thai gym compared to TKD.

    Besides that, ditto on what Simon said.
  6. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    A lot of TKD is for sport. Same as Judo, wrestling etc etc. The people who do it as a sport wouldn't be interested in street effectiveness, why would they care?

    If you want street effective training you find someone who does it, and that's not down to the art that's down to the Instructor, because as Simon says the soft skills side of SD are in many ways much more important than the physical.

    I'm confused by your timeline btw Anarch? You did TKD as a kid then stopped. You did Kung Fu until about 2 years ago then got kicked out and started MT instead, right? So why are you talking about going back to MA if you're doing MT now? Just stick with MT if you enjoy it.

  7. Anarch

    Anarch Valued Member

    I do enjoy Muay Thai but I haven't trained in a gym for a couple years. I mainly practice technique, workout, do bag work, etc now from my house. There's no MT where I live (other than where I got kicked out [which I was privately trained in MT]).

    But to clarify, I did Muay Thai and Kung Fu about 2 years ago at the same place. Being that they were both from that school, I got kicked out of both. Since then I did MMA and tried to teach myself some Krav Maga but I enjoy TKD. Sorry if I was unclear at first.

    Another question: has anyone here actually used TKD in a street fight?
  8. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Several people yes, they can tell their own stories.

    Personally I've talked people down from confrontations and avoided them through awareness, which I view as part of my TKD training. I'm heading to my mid-forties now so haven't had need for self defence in a long time, beyond those soft skills. In the self defence training I do I've used elbows, punches, knees and grabs, all from my TKD.

    What schools/clubs have you got nearby Anarch? If you give us a rough idea of your location people might be able to give you some recommendations.

    And welcome to MAP :)

  9. Anarch

    Anarch Valued Member

    I live in Western NC. The only places I know of are Blue Ridge Kung Fu and TKD Works. There's some Karate place somewhere but from what I saw, it's not too legit. There's another MMA place somewhat close but it didn't work out too well. :confused:
  10. Spookey

    Spookey Valued Member

    "Does Taekwondo work on the street"

    All combat application is theory in my opinion. The variables of combat change drastically in micro-moments. The kick that worked flawlessly today may be in effective tomorrow because of variables.

    Styles don't make people "street effective" people make styles street effective!

    I have served as a private sector security operator for years, and because of this found the necessity to defend myself and others. Personally, I can say I have never suffered a catastrophic failure. However, I cannot attribute my safety to Taekwondo, but rather I attribute it to my training (of which the core has been TKD related).

    A sharp mind, verbal communication skills, awareness, psychology, physical fitness, and years of research and experience are the key factors, not the styles in which I train!
  11. snewchybewchy

    snewchybewchy Valued Member

    ive used taekwondo during street fights alot and i train in gtf taekwondo which is traditional taekwondo which teaches you the sport taekwondo and self defence ground fighting all the traditional aspects of taekwondo that style is good in a street fight do you remember what style it was you were training in like wtf sport style that mainly focuses on the sport aspect of taekwondo or itf/gtf traditional ? like what has been said before it depends how good your teacher is how often you practice and just depends on you entirely if it succesfull or not. taekwon
  12. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    TKD has many aspects that could help someone in a street fight should it come down to it. Footwork, evasion, speed, strong kicks... IMHO, probably the best aspects that all TKD shares.

    For self-defense though, I often see things in TKD that trains bad habits and could work against someone in a self-defense situation. It isn't because of the sport aspect either, it is actually most of the "traditional" stuff that seems to be lacking in practicality for self-defense, IMHO. Seems that movements have lost purpose, like seeing someone block a kick with a downward block. Even in text books they show this. There are reasons why this isn't done in competition (e.g. people get their arms broken), but why is it in the traditional stuff? Well at some point striking a leg can be practical and effective, just not in the situations it seems it is drilled in the traditional TKD stuff I have seen in text books and some dojangs.

    As for better self-defense, a few TKD dojangs advertise self-defense training in addition to TKD and it seems to be mostly Hapkido. Fairly good stuff, IMHO.
  13. Anarch

    Anarch Valued Member

    "This school is a school providing traditional taekwondo classes in the Chang Hun style (Blue Cottage style). We follow the original tenets of taekwondo founding father General Choi Hong Hi, and teach the 24 hyung patterns. Schools like ours are commonly referred to as "ITF" schools after the International Taekwondo Federation, however there are currently a number of organizations promoting ITF-style taekwondo (especially since the death of General Choi in 2002)"

    That's the description on their site. Anyone had any experience in this style or know anything about it?
  14. Seventh

    Seventh Super Sexy Sushi Time

    Could I please have the link to the site by any chance?
  15. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    All it really means is that they will do the Chang H'on patterns (Chon Ji, Dan Gun etc) and spar to ITF rules rather than Kukkiwon.

    Apart from that the nature of the club will depend on the nature of the Instructor and their interests. Best thing to do is go along and see what it's like :)

  16. Anarch

    Anarch Valued Member

    Website here

    But yeah, I guess it really does come down to the individual. I'd like to learn start TKD back for a few reasons:

    -Flexibility (definitely necessary for Muay Thai too)
    -Sparring (allows me to test certain techniques and determine what's useful and what's not)
    -Kicks in general (although the roundhouses are different in MT and TKD, combining them for a more natural feel is always an option)
    -Conditioning (need I say more?)

    I guess my main concerns are that they don't try to take away what I already know and force me to do things that don't fit. I'd love it if they let me use what I already know and what I'll learn.

    Also, I want to know if their emphasis is on self-defense or sport fighting.
  17. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Well, the Instructor is a LEO and former wrestler so the ingredients are there for some good, real-world applicable training. He's a RAD Instructor and their website shows armoured assailant training for women, using Redman suits, so that's a big tick IMO.

    There's only one way to find out for sure though :)

  18. NightSky

    NightSky Valued Member

    Of course it's effective (at least I can say it for traditional ITF).

    You will learn all kind of punch and kicks and how to use them with strongly resisting opponent, you will have Hosinsul (self defense) moves which are choosen as most effective moves from art called Hapkido, and you will do them with really resisting opponents, you will have stronger body from conditional training, better reflexes from tuls and sparring, and hard kicking surfaces through breaking boards.

    Bad news is that about 20% of Taekwondo schools learn all this, and from that 20%, 10% do it correctly.

    Wish you luck in searching..

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