Riddle me this???? Athlete Or Fighter????

Discussion in 'Tae Kwon Do' started by paulol, Jun 23, 2004.

  1. paulol

    paulol Valued Member

    Is the over emphasis on the sport aspect of TKD creating great athletes that can’t defend themselves in a real fight?
  2. neryo_tkd

    neryo_tkd Valued Member

    :woo: :woo: :woo:
    who told you that????
  3. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Unfortunately, this is a topic that comes up frequently. Personally I find it to be a bit over-generalized (usually by people who have experienced some bad TKD schools.) There are lots of schools out there that teach TKD that are not in it for the sport side. I would also say that there are TKD schools out there that train hard for the practical self defence side. We don't hear much about them because they aren't out campaigning for the Olympics or doing big bright demos or being written about in magazines. They work hard and spend their free time training or cross training.

    Now, on the other hand, being a good athelete on the competition side does not necessarily have to make you bad at self defence... but that's a topic that has been discussed a lot and one in which I don't see a clear answer... to me, it falls under personal "case by case." (I think about my co-instructor... she did great in competition and is one of the meanest, most viscious self defence teachers in the area)

    Anyway, here's a bunch of reading that gets into a lot of similar topics... it'll give you a good idea where some of the board members here stand:

    Avoiding common mistakes
    Practical TKD self defence
    TKD any good on the street?
    Step sparring
    Self defence in TKD
    WTF self defence
    WTF sparring punches
  4. paulol

    paulol Valued Member

    Thanks !

    Thomas I will look at these threads. But I might just ask it in different way?

    As with your co-instructor's case......

    You could be a great fighter and street wise and do very well in tournaments. But could you be a top compition winner and transfer it to the street?

    In my experience in Ireland the later is the case!
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Again, I think both cases revolve more around the individuals... not necessarily the style (although the school, instructor, teaching style, etc. will all influence that).
    From my personal opinion, doing well in tournaments takes a lot of time and practice on the specific skills for tournament fighting. I have seen people who are skilled at the practical side of martial arts train up and compete in TKD tournaments. Some do well, some don't. Generally after a period of time, they tend to back off from the competition stuff and focus more on the practical stuff... which leads to a bit of deterioration of "tournament skills". If you have the time to do it, you can do both. (And competition training requires a lot of time... and not just in MA skills...)

    Most of the students I see tend to be older, may want to do a bit of competition, but generally want to learn practical martial arts... so that's our focus and where we spend most of our time (there never is enough time is there?) When our students compete, they tend to do pretty well though.

    In my heart, I will say "absolutely" because I believe that competition should be the way that we test our skills, reflexes, technique and etc. Students who have mastered their skills need to be able to transfer those skills to self defence... that awesome head kick they use for knockouts should be also be available with the same speed and power as a low kick.

    However, keep in mind that some competitors want to compete. They don't want to learn martial arts for self defence and in their case, it may not transfer as well. However, to me anyway, martial arts is more than a collection of technques. The student should also be able to use his or her head to avoid the confrontation or use their timing and speed and power in an actual confrontation.
  6. kareem

    kareem New Member

    personally i think it all depends on the individual. some ppl freeze during competitions but in real situations know exactly what to do and get the job done, and vice versa. i guess i can say all athletes arent fighters, and all fighters arent athletes.
  7. paulol

    paulol Valued Member


    Thank you all for your comments. I was just looking for the feelings out there and Thomas has given me some good threads to look at.

    Also the others who posted had good points.

    So it seems to be down to the individual and school !

    The end :love:
  8. jeff29053

    jeff29053 New Member

    Sport MA's

    I think the sport side of martial arts is evolving into a more popular aspect of the MA's. It intrigues the general practicioner and fan much more than more combative type training/matches.

    Unfortunately, i do fear this will lead to a wickening in the martial arts, in fact im going to stick my neck out and say it already is.

    More and more and more and more schools are training nicer, with less force, over extended moves, etc.. just to learn to score in a sport setting and to keep the practicioners happy and paying.

    The sport and money side of the MA's is beginning to hurt the majority of schools. It sucks, but thats what appears to be happening.

    I think some sport competitors can defend therselves because they train not only for sport, but also for combat. But some simply train to score and i do feel this ultimately is a bad thing and could end up getting them hurt badly in a fight type situation.
  9. estranged13

    estranged13 ex video game freak

    meet me on the street and we will settle this :D

    lol anyways. i think that the responsiblity of practical application is up to the practionier not the instructor. Your teacher can only "spoon feed" you so much but you have to learn how to apply what you've been taught.
  10. paulol

    paulol Valued Member

    We can only try to bring the reality back to the dojang ourselves, as this seems to be a minority in TKD.

    I'd like to see that!! :D

    But if the door is not opened by the instructor the student will not know to look! Also I would have prefered to have learnt these from my TKD instructor instead of having to go looking for them. :D
  11. Kwajman

    Kwajman Penguin in paradise....

    Oh man, you got Thomas going now!!! Actually look at his threads, he has great stuff.
  12. Kwondo

    Kwondo 3rd Dan WTF Taekwondo

    It's all on what your going for. Some love it because of the sparring, and some want selfdefence....... some wnat both
  13. jeff29053

    jeff29053 New Member

    Train for sport...

    If you train for sport then you are prepared for sport...
    Thats my opinion... Take someone who is a full contact fighter and put them against a world sparring champion and who do you think wins 80% of the time???

    The one trained for sport or the one that has trained for combat and can actually take a hit?

    My money is with the man training for combat, look into the applications all you want. If you cant take a hit it means nothing IMHO.
  14. kevamania

    kevamania Valued Member

    Competition teaches speed,reactions etc and builds confidence,this coupled with a little bit of common sense(knowing how to aplly what you know to different situations) will go a long way in any self defence situations.
    Anyway a good instuctor will specify if its sport or not and what to use and what not to use in self defence in case you dont know.
    Its possible to do both if you put your mind to it.
  15. estranged13

    estranged13 ex video game freak

    i think it is opened alot be some people choose not to enter. But i agree with you fully
  16. paulol

    paulol Valued Member

    I would make one change to your comment above, and that's swap "Competition" for Sparring.

    Competition is what can drive the sparring on to become the dominant aspect of the system, instead of being a training tool that "teaches speed, reactions etc and builds confidence". In most TKD cases, the art is given to the student as a sport driven style to make it more open to the public and fill the hall with all types of people (self-defence, sport, fitness).

    Don't get me wrong though, I have nothing against people who do push the sparring style. It's just that I feel TKD masters were looking at systems like Judo and freestyle Karate, with the big tournaments and media persona, and said "I want a bit of that". So the sparring in TKD was pushed to the front and driven by all firstly WTF groups and shunned a bit by the ITF styles. But when the ITF saw that WTF was going to become part of the Olympic program the ITF changed their tune, and there was a big effort from the ITF to try to come to some agreement with the WTF about a joint participation in the Olympics. But the ITF had burned to many bridges and this offer of peace was thrown back in there face.

    It was this obvious show of greed from MA masters that turned my stomach. Because no matter what is said about the showing off of the system to the public, testing the skill of the fighters, etc. It's really for the money, and don't think it's for anything else (I'm talking about the big tournaments!).

    Sorry about ranting on there!! :Angel:
    I would prefer an inter school cup as opposed to one big money making spinner for the head office of an association. In this way you could have a team from one club visit another for a fight night that can be promoted in the local area by the host school, and they can make some money for themselves on it. I would guess that the association would have to get a cut but at least it would be a fair spread of the wealth! But not just sparring involved, also breaking and patterns.

    I have seen these small events before and they are really great for both schools who get involved.

    The host will get the benefit of the door takings, the raised public image in the community could gain them new members and there own members will get a buzz out of having such a thing happening in there club.

    The visitors will get the buzz out of travelling to another area, meeting other TKD-ka, and both schools will get a better view of the standard of their sparring.

    Then to get to this a school can have internal tests to make the team, which again will drive the students to get there fighting to a high standard.

    I should copyright that!!! But maybe someone else has thought of it already??
  17. Tittan

    Tittan Valued Member

    I know, first hand, that with what you've learnt in tkd class, and some common sense, you can defend yourself on the street, but I would also say that it depends on where your club's focus is. If you've only done point sparring, you might get confused if someone kicks you in the leg, or punches you in the back of your head... Get your instructor to supplement the sparring with hosinsul, this way you learn a bit more about how to defend yourself. And, if he doesn't want to spend time on hosinsul, or if you think he spend to little time on it, find yourself a Hapkido club where you can cross train ;)
  18. paulol

    paulol Valued Member

    Tittan, I would not want any student of mine to have to go looking at other arts trying to fill the gaps in TKD. I would try to show them a bigger picture of the combat system. But I am not against cross training as the experience gained in invaluable. After all I done it myself, I just don't want to have others do it for the reason above. :D
  19. Tittan

    Tittan Valued Member

    I agree totally, but for me this is the way I have to do it, unfortunately. In my club they _think_ they are traditionalists, but it's all about testing for a new rank and winning the gold in the competitions. This is why things like hosinsul and even one step sparring is looked at with... I don't know, contempt perhaps?

    Figure this: If it is patterns or sparring we do, everybody is red and sweatty, but if it's hosinsul or step sparring, people complain about getting cold! :eek: (Not everybody off course, but the main bulk.) That is why I was thrilled when I first found Krav Maga, then the FMA's and finally Hapkido. You need to practice hosinsul/self defence right, and that is not by getting cold...
    You know, it's said often on this forum: If .... then you ask yourself if this is the club for you... That's what I did, and that is my advice to others in my situation. (But as I type this I realize it's a completely different discussion, so I'll stop now :D )
  20. paulol

    paulol Valued Member

    You are not alone!


    You are not alone in this belief, and I have seen many a time the situation you have mentioned above. Indeed if hosinsul is done right (hard, fast and physical) a person could get a great work out.

    Were things will be slow is at the start when you are learning the bungai and this might frustrate a BB who is worried about getting cold doing something that they don't really want to learn because it's too hard.

    Have a look at Matt's site http://www.practical-martial-arts.co.uk here you will find a few other like minded MA'ists.

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