Discussion in 'Tae Kwon Do' started by Sketco, Jan 11, 2012.

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  1. Sketco

    Sketco Banned Banned

    Some of my friends and I both in and out of TKD used to jokingly refer to taekwondo as "take one go". The joke was that it would take one go in a crowded area, on a slippery floor, or in a pair of jeans to realize that most of the TKD kicks just aren't self defense feasible.

    My personal opinion is that the straight kicks like the push kick and side kick would work fine but that pretty much all the other kicks would not be particularly useful in any of those situations.

    Considering TKD is predominantly a kicking style considerably lacking in hand techniques I'm interested to hear your opinions on how TKD would fare in self defense situations in:
    -close quarters
    -slippery footing
    -less than adequate clothing
  2. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    I'd say firstly you might need to re-evaluate your ideas on TKD :)

    Secondly I think that if a boxer couldn't use one hand for some reason they wouldn't try and punch with it.

    Thirdly, Chuck Norris Action Jeans dude! Here, have a close up of his crotch on me :D


    Attached Files:

  3. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Classic ad. I wanted them when I was a kid... sadly I didn't have a TKD kick to go with them. :p
  4. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Predominantly, but not exclusively. Like Mitch eluded to, "a better understanding of TKD is required."

    How many arts train for this and how?

    Who trains in work specific clothing?
    Do you wear a suit to class, construction steel toe capped boots?
    Do you train carrying a brief case or other associated items?

    The answer to much or all of the above is no.
    Self defence classes do not even cover a lot of this, so the question can be asked of any art, not just TKD.

    I think the question should be asked, but with an, "insert art here" space.
  5. liero

    liero Valued Member

    Simon, I think you just hit the nail on the head!
  6. TKDstudent

    TKDstudent Valued Member

    I do not think that this is a common misperception of TKD, but it may have some validity. I can say that - well original TKD, or the original style or system that was 1st labeled TKD was for SD & had as its focus SD, with more than enough hand techniques & other appropriate leg techniques for the situation you describe, BUT the emphasis on sports by SK has pretty much got us where we are with the poor reputation of TKD.
    This coupled with the emphasis on kiddies training & having schools to make money, have really taken the focus from real or effective SD. This is not limited to the WTF, as the ITF has their fair share of this as well. Often the ITF tries to cover this by adding some really fake go along SD skits or make believe Hollywood type of SD moves, lacking any realism at all, just to say, see we do SD. However that may be even worse than not doing SD, if the result is a false sense of security.

    So original or military TKD has a strong SD component & this 1st system of TKD was actually devised as a mix or consolidation of the MAs available to them in the ROK Army. However, with the emphasis on competition in both sports sparring & patterns,effective or realistic SD has often been lost. So I would suggest that if one wants to avoid this trap, they MUST train SD with as much REALISM as is possible. This after all is what Gen. Choi taught, even though all he seemed to emphasize or go over in his seminars was PATTERNS! there is a downside to that emphasis as well. A critique some of his soldiers would say, was that he was not a fighter, so he emphasize his patterns. they were of course his signature & what made his TKD unique or different from karate or the others that eventually used the name TKD. But it is not what is needed for SD!
  7. TKDstudent

    TKDstudent Valued Member

    Well yes of course. But more importantly we have to actually insert these aspects into our training. Or if we have them, then practice them under more realistic conditions.
    How many do this?

    Additionally I think we also have to remember that ITF TKD, while has the main physical focus on SD (or should) according to the founder Gen. Choi. It has its main focus on the personal total growth of individuals as moral beings for the betterment of society, in hopes of building a "more peaceful world".
    So if we are looking for raw SD, a combat style is usually the best way to go. I for one am not giving up my original TKD & my attempts to keep the physical focus on as realistic SD as I can, which far too often is lacking.
  8. Sketco

    Sketco Banned Banned

    That's what I said...predominantly.

    I train on a polished concrete floor which is quite slippery and where one can lose their balance if they're not careful.

    I always train in skate shoes and every few few weeks swap out my regular training pants for jeans.

    Well then I see room for improvement.

    True but you skipped over my question about kicks in close quarters. How do you think a predominantly kicking style fairs in a crowded or enclosed space?
  9. liero

    liero Valued Member

    Have you ever been?
    [ame=""]Kicked in The Nuts - YouTube[/ame]

    Although you could have a counter argument
    [ame=""]Sports Science: "World Record Kick to the Groin" Part 1 - YouTube[/ame]

    [ame=""]Sports Science: "World Record Kick to the Groin" Part 2 - YouTube[/ame]
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  10. asphalt666

    asphalt666 Valued Member

    Taekwondo differs from school to school, there is even huge differences between same style taekwondo schools (ie: between WTF school for example). The school where i first started (was ITF back then and swapped to WTF, don't ask how) is now mostly emphasing on competition and there training focuses on fighting WTF style. The WTF school i go to nowadays is a small school, with all necessary WTF teaching to have all the proper grading, but our teachers used to practice Hapkido and/or Judo (one also did boxing and Karate) and our "/schooling" is including quite a bit of SD techniques (even though we can't use them in competition). Making a generalization on on art is unfair because the teaching will change from one school to another.

    The "slippery floor" condition is not someting you will learn anywhere just to practice those kind of situation, it happens (as you said) that the local/dojang might be slippery because of dust, or being in a competition, the arena floor might be of a weird feeling and we end up being with slippery one will teach you "hey let's go on the ice skating ring barefoot to practice slippery condition" it is just something that when in that situation you will adapt automatically.

    Your logic could apply to any martial art. What about if the floor is covered in broken glass and seringues, judo or any grappling would be strongly not recommended right? highly not probable that this will happen, but what are the chance you pick a fight on a highly slippery ground without the appropriate shoes?

    all martial arts have their weak points and strong points, doesnt mean that they end up unuseful for this.
  11. TaekwonTiger

    TaekwonTiger Valued Member

    wow....nuts of rock?

    I'm not a dude, but I'm not sure if 5 years of pain are worth that sacrifice....respect to that guy....ouch :S
  12. Sketco

    Sketco Banned Banned

    Kicked in the nuts? Yes I have. And you'll notice that I said straight kicks have utility in close quarters. Any kick along the centerline takes up far less space. Those are the kicks that I would generally say are more SD oriented.

    Yes but in general taekwondo is a predominantly kicking art.

    As I said, I train on polished concrete which is quite slippery.

    My point is that many of the kicks used in TKD would not lend themselves particularly well to being on a slippery floor. Something like muay thai has the benefit of aslo having knees which would cause similar damage, be more effective in close quarters, and decrease the chance of you slipping. And no, it's not something you adapt to automatically. I've seen quite a few people slip while fighting outside in winter conditions.

    I'd say that would make it more recommended in order to keep you from going onto the pointy objects and send your opponent there instead.

    In Canada... far better than you'd imagine.

    No but there are environments which certain martial arts are less suited to. I see most of the TKD kicking as not being useful for certain SD situations because of close quarters, footing, and clothing.
  13. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    TKD has knees. And elbows. And all the other bits humans have :)

    Low turning kicks work nicely at close range and require less balance.

  14. StuartA

    StuartA Guardian of real TKD :-)

    Ya beat me too it!

    So instead I`ll add that TKD hand technqiues outnumber the kicks by around 8 to 1 - so any TKD'er with a brain, in a situation where kicks are hard to work effectively would simply use his hands! In fact, in most SD situation, I`d hazard that a properly trained TKD'er (meaning having some training relating to SD as opposed to just sport) would use hand techniques anyway!

    Me thinks maybe the OP is perhaps refering to competition style WTF TKD because the misconception seems quite a large one!

    Article for the OP or anyone else who feels similar - note no.1 on the list!

  15. liero

    liero Valued Member

    I know Sketco has over 800 posts, but this type of thread smells like thinly veiled trolling. Almost every month someone comes into the TKD section and throws the same arguments out. And when presented with any contrary evidence to their viewpoint puts their fingers in their ears and says NOPE YOUR ALL WRONG.

    Even people who train taekwondo exclusively for competitions (including myself) are not stupid enough to think that in a real confrontation they should drop their hands, bounce in fighting stance and set up a head kick. Hell, It's hard enough to do that in the limited TKD rule set let alone in any of the situations that have been talked about in this thread.
  16. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    i cannot double leg in jeans does that limit the use of wrestling in a club fight?
  17. Sketco

    Sketco Banned Banned

    Then get your nose checked. I'm not in the habit of going to a style forum and trying to **** people off. I greatly admire the skill with which TKDers can pull off certain kicks/aerial maneuvers preceding kicks. I'm just questioning the environmental efficacy of what TKD guys are generally best at. I respect peoples' opinions and I'm here to have an intelligent discussion, not start the mindless garbage which is far too prevalent across the internet.

    It limits the use of a double leg takedown if you're wearing jeans, but doesn't exclude other wrestling, especially clinching if it's too packed to even get someone down.

    So my question then is why have the ruleset set up that way? It's not like boxers, wrestlers, muay thai fighters, MMA fighters etc etc have to disregard what's most prominent in their competitions.

    Could be.

    That's a lot different that disregarding what's trained for competition and you know it. A boxer trains to punch and unless you're handcuffed you can pretty much always punch.

    And while I do know that TKD includes other hand techniques I've never seen any TKD school which trains hand techniques, knees, elbows, or even standing locks/chokes to near the same extent that they train kicks nor have I ever seen a TKDer who can say match a boxer in punching, or a MT fighter in knees or elbows, or a jujitsuka in locks. Generally what TKD is best at out of everything is kicks. Generally what it seems most TKD schools train is kicks and the competition rules are usually scored highest for kicks.

    Also my above question about having a ruleset/scoring system which seems very unrelated to the environment/clothing of real fighting remains.
  18. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    TKD is a large system.

    the way you train is more important the what you train.

    many types of attacks can be nullified by scenarios like being handcuffed, enclosed spaces, being on the ground etc. but doesnt make an attack mode less useful.
    its just not useful for that scenario
  19. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    There are a number of different sparring rulesets in TKD, up to and including full contact with sweeps, throws etc included. They are, unfortunately, rarely trained in most clubs.

    The most commonly seen sparring, Olympic style sparring, was designed and has further evolved as a sport, not a method of self defence, in the same way that Olympic judo has.

    Olympic sprinters are very suited to the running-away-really-fast section of self defence, but I doubt they worry about the crossover, they are too busy focussing on their competitive discipline; the same is true for competitors in Olympic TKD.

  20. liero

    liero Valued Member

    Ok, thanks for clearing that up. You need to understand this discussion is a common thing, and it always tends to start and end in the same way...for people to come in and attack taekwondo left right and center. Most of whom have knowledge of TKD limited to one or two Mcdojo's that they or their kids trained at, or what they read from Bullshido.

    As it is, taekwondo is a martial art that is multifaceted as most organisations aim to have something set up for everyone. At my main club we have fun classes for 4-6 year olds, which are basically just gross motor activities, games and the occasional lecture on respecting your parents/elders and stranger danger. We have fitness classes, and taekwondo classes for Kids, Teens, Adults and even specifically for Parents and Seniors (50+). The senior classes are unbelievably successful. We get grandparents in who have not done sport in years, even decades, especially not a martial art. They improve their fitness, flexibility, social lives, self confidence, learn some self defence techniques they will likely never need all while having fun. The quality of life that comes from TKD is massive for them. In addition to this, we have practical self defence classes and cross training with other styles, and serious WTF competition fighters who perform well at international competitions. There is also a demo team who excell at funky XMA kicks and "self defence" routines

    This is just one club, let alone TKD globally. The implication is that many people get the benefits they are seeking out of TKD, which may or may not be self-defence as a first priority. However, all these people, through the belt system (at least at my club) are taught many things about self defence.

    This includes: Awareness training, de-escalation, basic grappling, low kicks, knees and elbows, avoidance...And how some techniques wont work in a SD situation. Some of this knowledge comes from other styles. My head instructor and several of the ranking members of the club have completed Krav Maga instructors courses. And we also offer hapkido in addition to TKD to help fill in any gaps left in the technical training. I'd like to point out that at NO TKD class i have ever been to, the instructor has suggested using any kicks above the waist in a SD situation.

    There are many other instructors and students on this forum who take different approaches to their TKD. Some are more specialised and grounded purely in self defense, some focus on competition...etc, etc, etc.

    What the point of my telling you all this is, is that you cant make blanket generalisations about TKD based on the experiences of a few people. If I went to GKR then made a blanket generalisation about karate being rubbish it would be wrong. The same goes if I went to a cardio boxing place and ragged on boxing, HELL the gym I train at is offering MMA classes now, they are run by fitness instructors. How good do you think that training would be compared to if I went to a proper fight gym?

    I cant answer for ITF, but the reason I'm led to believe that WTF TKD rules are set up as is, are for two reasons.
    1) The IOC would not include a MA sport in the Olympics which was very similar to a current one. Couldn't be too similar to boxing (No face punches), nor too similar to wresting (no grappling). I'm not sure how historically acurate that is, but it kind of makes sense.
    2) The defining characteristic of TKD compared to most martial arts, is it's dynamic head kicks. It makes sense that a rule set was developed that would allow these techniques to be tested, used and rewarded in a relatively safe environment.

    Same goes for kicking really I guess, your still making an assumption that a TKD'er CANT punch. Elaborated on below.

    I've seen training footage of some pretty tough ITF fighters who look like their punches are pretty top class. And there are several success stories of ITF fighters who branch into kickboxing. I would agree that a lot of TKD is focused on kicks. And thats really the nature of the art. Kicking is fun, high spinning dynamic kicks are cool to practise and they look impressive. The first time I did a proper board break with a 540 roundhouse I was ecstatic.

    The reason TKD has so many participants is in part due to the fact that it is an enjoyable style to train in. Many people try other arts and end up sticking with TKD because they like it. Granted they may not pick up self defence skills as rapidly as if they did say, MMA, however they are still learning some skills. If my instructor turned around and changed the entire curriculum to pure street self defence, put concrete down instead of mats, made everyone pressure test with FC NHB sparring every session, then not only would the classes only loosely be TKD any more, but we would loose nearly all of the members of the club! If EVERYONE wanted to train in one particular way, there would only be one type of school...But thats not the case is it?

    I think I answered this already. The reason that the ruleset of WTF TKD came about is to allow participants to practise their techniques in a relatively safe environment (in addition to politics).

    I have competed under several different styles of martial arts, and competition rules. I trained in amateur boxing- did a decent amount of sparring but never had a fight, did over 100 karate point stop bouts (with a decent amount of success), fought in a few knockdown karate full contact tournaments (with less success). And a few years ago, I gave TKD comps a go.

    The truth is, I personally really enjoy WTF points fighting. I like to kick people in the head, in the face and in the body. The reason people compete in TKD like most sports is because they enjoy it. It's FUN! It's a sport, why don't people go on archery forums and suggest that people dont do it because in a real confrontation they wont have a bow and arrows?

    The distance from self-defence or "real fighting" is a non-issue to me. In the past 4 years I have had people start fights with me, tackle me, threaten me, etc. AND I have used simple skills to escape all of these situations safely. De-escalation, simple escapes, etc. In fact the only time I have been seriously at risk of being harmed from combat is IN THE RING against good fighters, which to me reinforces the need to train harder and more consistently for my ruleset.

    Basically the point I am getting at, is that TKD is a multi-faceted style which has areas of speciality for all types of people- one of the underlying concepts of TKD is that anyone can train and anyone can get a black belt. You can't make massive generalisations based on one particular area, e.g. competition fighting and it's divorce from reality. Nor can you assume that the major reason people are training is for a confrontation in a crowded space with restrictive clothing. Granted there are specialist TKD clubs which are focussed on this type of training as much as there are clubs with focus on other areas such as Competition, poomsae, destruction, fitness, kids classes, etc.
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