Why is Taekwondo looked down on?

Discussion in 'Tae Kwon Do' started by shotokantiger9, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. Matt F

    Matt F Valued Member

    Yea I take other ideas as well as TKD ways to train them.

    The blank statement by the guy who said it was useless I presume.

    Mmm im not sure ,though will take a look.

    Well it was meant to be.I was trying to point out just saying it means nothing to anyone doubting if TKD works.You did not find it helpfull.Fair enough.
  2. StuartA

    StuartA Guardian of real TKD :-)


    Fair enough back then :)

    Well.. every art has limitations.. nothings perfect, so it applies as much and then again as little to TKD as the next art... so as it applies to all, it probibly wasnt worth mentioning... though I cant really recall what this specfic quote refers to now anyway :confused:

    The post by Vasiwahtsiname or what ever it was! Sorry, but MAP is so slow for me at the momement its a pain to go back and look.

    Okay fine.. I was probibly tired or grumpy or whatever... I apologise.

    Fair enough.. like I said, probibly grumpy for some reason and I can be quite defensive about TKD, moreso, not cos I think TKDs the ultimate.. but because I hate getting lumped in with the crappy stuff out there.

    Not really.. I dont get offended easily.. things like that i usually find pretty funny

    Unlikely... if we got into it we would probibly both be pulled up by a mod and told to keep it on topic.

    Most of the book stuff is yes... though the Practical TKD book by Kim bok masn is surprisingly decent. I was however refering to the fact that it was a big part of TKD more so than what actual defences are used.. these can be updated,.. though the ethos wont be is one believes it not part of TKD.

    I know Karls system to a point, we utilize some of his teaching in the knife stuff we do (wraps and so forth).. like i said, its a way of updating the methods for the mindset.. the mindset was always there however

    Though gun defences are part of the TKD I was taught, I go with the modern methods.. though again, the mindset was there with early TKD.. my stuff comes mainly from a military self defence instructor, who actually brought real guns to a training session once.. so no, its not about luck and is very much about know the right moves, that work.. as the wrong ones can get you killed!.. And no place in the Dojang (!!).. havnt you seen the news on increased gun crime these days (if in the UK)!!

    many of TKD original pioneers were Judo BB's.. hence, some training methods from Judo are already part of TKD.. although things can (and should) always be improved upon with more modern methods etc.

    Still.. hes a great martial artists.. so thats excellant to hear.. nice one.

  3. StuartA

    StuartA Guardian of real TKD :-)

    Yup :)

    As opposed to saying TKD doesnt work!!! Difference is.. if this was a court of law I have evidence to dispute that.. the same cannot be said for the other guy!

  4. aaron_mag

    aaron_mag New Member Supporter

    To steer the discussion in a different direction (and maybe that should be a different thread) what are you seeing on a school basis in regards to this issue? The greater question is, "Does the ever growing popularity of MMA mean the death of the stand alone TMA school?" Almost every new school I see pop into existence is MMA based whereas the ones closing their doors are TMA type schools.

    Here is what we see personally:

    Enrollment, believe it or not, is UP! BUT this is not from tremendous interest of new people in TKD. This actually comes from a very high retention rate of the new students who do join and all the old students who have been around for years and years. We don't have any contracts so it is nice to see people find value in it and stick around. Retention is a good vote of confidence. I had a conversation with someone who has taught at several MMA gyms and he was talking about the lack of retention (it is like a 'revolving door' as he put it). The funny thing is here is this MMA guy theorizing to me that maybe they need a cultural connection (like TKD to Korea) to invest people more and thus increase retention.

    It was a funny conversation. I was laughing and saying, "We have the complete opposite problem. If we can get them around for a bit they stay, but we can't even get them to come in and give it a try!" :)

    But the lack of interest in new prospective students makes me wonder if TMAs will survive in the long term. I have had existing students tell me it is very hard to get friends to even come watch a class. They 'know' what TKD is about and they are not interested.

    It is an interesting conundrum. Like StuartA and others I have no interest changing what we do. If it came to that I'd rather just not teach (I have a day job, I truly love the art). And watching the Machida DVDs the Shotokan his family teaches is almost EXACTLY the same techniques. So based on his adaptation for it in MMA, high retention, personal experience, students that have defended themselves, etc I really believe it has value.

    But I still worry for its long term survival. I suppose time will tell.
  5. TKDstudent

    TKDstudent Valued Member

    MAs were gradually into to the west starting very slowly in the 50s. The flow increased in the 60s & gushed in the 70s due to hollywood & the Chinese kung fu films (ala Bruce Lee, David Carradine R.I.P. & Billy Jack etc). Once karate kid & ninja turtles came, MAs quickly softened. I think it is no surprise that the rise of the MMAs & combat fighting coincided with the increase of kids to the MAs. Prior to this, the MAs was mostly an adult activity for SD, with the added mystique of the eastern philosophy thrown in. Once that mystique wore off & the kids needed babysitting, those students seeking SD looked elsewhere.
    So I know little about MMAs & retention, but it would make sense to me that if one seeks what was previously available in what you label TMAs, but is no longer there, MMAs fills the void. When I started we didn't have kid classes & those that were not interested in wearing PJs, bowing, calling someone a master & all that eastern mystique, they gravitated to the combat fighting schools that were starting to appear. I am not a business lady, but I do know that successful businesses seem to appear when & where the demand is. MAs may never die, as some offer a good all around programs. McDojos will never die as some prefer to buy ranks, belts & fancy pieces of paper & parents need babysitting that at the same time allows jr to run around a bit & teaches them to say thank you MaAm & yes sir!
  6. aaron_mag

    aaron_mag New Member Supporter


    When I started it was primarily an adult activity as well...but I can't complain since I was one of the snotty nosed kids that used to annoy the adults. :)
  7. Theforgotten

    Theforgotten Drifting Aimlessly

    You mean, StuartA = THE Stuart Anslow!? Wow, it is a true honor, sir! Your work is amazing!:bow1:
  8. StuartA

    StuartA Guardian of real TKD :-)

    Thats a good question and I dont think it does. I recall a quote I read many years ago, but not by who (maybe Richard Chun or Jhoon Rhee) and it went something like "Martial Arts without a philosphy is just street fighting".. thats a pertenant point as MMA is still in its infancy and many (though not all) see the UFC and want the fighting side and, without a good instructor with a background in TMA's then you get virtually what that quote describes.

    I recall a few years back a student of mine started training at an MMA club (which was fine).. but he left due to instructor slagging off every martial art on the planet which got on his nerves.. he loved the fighting side (which is what he really went there to do), but hated the lack of courtesy, respect for other arts and the arrogance of the instructor.. I would want my kids to know how to fight, but also know how to keep it in check, as well as not think that beig uncourteous and/or disrespectful is the right... for all their bad points, TMA teach those things in bundles, along side the physical side.

    Furthermore, TMA's are perfectly fine for the average student.. yup, some may want the stuff they have seen on TV's for the macho'ness of it, others still because they are decent people in the first place and simply want to train that way (usually clued up people like PASmith and such).. but TMA's will always have its place I feel and once the trend settles down (and it will), it will even out and possibly come full circle again.

    Well, Im full time and no longer advertise (havnt for years) except for the websites.. hall costs etc. have gone up.. so hat does that tell ya. Im never gonna drive a mercedes like some dodgy instructors I know of.. but Im doing okay.

    Thats interesting.

    Interesting post Aaron.. and yes, I think it probibly deserves its own thread.

  9. StuartA

    StuartA Guardian of real TKD :-)

    I dunno whether your just pulling my leg here.. but thanks and remember:


    (Wait for the chorus) :cool:
  10. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    (usually clued up people like PASmith and such)

    Hahah...fame at last.
    In terms of how TMA and MMA schools are developing I think the style I do now (Shidokan Karate) is the way many gyms/dojos/dojangs will end up.
    It has elements of TMA (kata, belts, gradings, linework, breathing techniques, bowing, foreign terms, links to a foreign culture (japan), hierarchy, gis, etc etc) BUT also has an MMA feel (fairly unrestricted sparring, heavy contact, a mixture of influences (Kyokushin, Thai and grappling), open syllabus, techniques for the main areas of fighting (stand up clinch and ground).
    For me it has the best of both worlds...by learning kata I can better access the work of people like StuartA, Matt S and Iain Abernethy and retain a link to the traditions and masters of the past.
    But also at the core of Shidokan is a rough and brutally simple pragmatic fighting art (as you'd expect when combinging Thai and Kyokushin).
    For students it means they can go in many directions depending on personal preference...some like the kata and formality of a traditional art..others just want to have a tear up in sparring. Most like a mixture.
    I think I see parallels with something like Stuart's TKD. It still has a traditional base but has introduced elements of MMA type training to re-vitalise things and keep it from veering off into abstract and increasingly ineffective TMA introspection.
  11. StuartA

    StuartA Guardian of real TKD :-)

    credit, where credit is due.

    And it sounds (from Aarons post) that many MMA clubs could actually do the reverse and incorporate traditional type stuff a bit.. still, we were there first :) Hell, Big John McCarthy has done just that, employing a TKD instructor in his gym, who apparently teaches more than just kicking!

  12. aaron_mag

    aaron_mag New Member Supporter

    While there is some of that I've actually found most MMA guys to be pretty polite and I get into some interesting conversations with them. I know one who fights professionally (has even been the the WEC) and I meet others in seminars and such (lots of people interested in Sambo leg locks). Believe it or not at one long weekend seminar in the late evening when we were just tired, bored, and chatting someone said, "Lets see some kata..." And then lots of people got up and demonstrated stuff. Alot of guys who do MMA have a TMA background still inhabiting brain space. There were some surprisingly good forms...yes even staff forms and the like. :)

    I found it interesting as well. His thinking was kind of related to your quote from Jhoon Rhee above. What he was theorizing was that you need a philosophical/cultural side. People are highly motivated to join for the physical aspect, but unless you engage the mind they are less likely to stay long-term (his thoughts not mine). And this guy was as MMA as they come. Had trained for a long time at Team Quest and had been a training partner for Jeff Monsoon. Big guy and a far better grappler than myself. And here is this young guy (28) after years in MMA gyms telling me, "I think you need that philosophical/cultural connection in the long run..."


    I had no idea you were taking Shidokan. That is the one with the helmet, right? Very hard to find. I think I read that most Shidokan stylists are often blackbelts in other styles before joining Shidokan. I'd be interested in sparring with Shidokan guys from time to time since it would be a good way to see if I could combine my Sambo training with TKD without getting it all screwed up. Note I have sparred MMA before. And 'combat sambo' actually is sort of like Shidokan (which I've done at seminars). But for some reason there is something appealing about Shidokan where I think I'd be willing to make a more long term commitment to sparring partners and such. Maybe it is the Asia cultural connection thingy.

    And back on topic....I can't believe your previous TKD training did not in some way translate over to Shidokan. You can't tell me you felt you were starting on the same footing as those who were there for their first martial arts class.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2009
  13. Liam Cullen

    Liam Cullen Valued Member

    I think a few MMA gyms still have 'traditional' classes even when they're not mixing it into their main training. The Wolfslair has a TKD on Tuesday's for example...
  14. StuartA

    StuartA Guardian of real TKD :-)

    yes.. sorry, so have I.. I guess it could maybe be a bit like some TKD instructors.. the public face is different from the one thats behind closed doors.. that said, I didnt mean to imply all MMA guys were like that and TBH, I know of TKD instructors that are the same. The reason I mentioned it was because (according to my ex-student) he did it every class... it wasnt like an after class chat or something, or a few MMA guys bitching about Olympic TKD or something.. he (the instructor) bashed TMA to bolster his own art/teaching, within the class, to all the students and as my student had been training a number of years it got to him so much that he left the guys class. One thing I have observed over the years is that if the instructor is like that.. pretty soom the majority of his students will be as well!

  15. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    I had no idea you were taking Shidokan. That is the one with the helmet, right?

    Close but no cigar. You're thinking of Daido Juku I believe. Shidokan is described as the triathlon of martial arts as competions run under our rules have a round of Knockdown, a round of Thai and a round of MMA. Here in the UK we don't have the infrastructure to run such comps and have to make do with entering Kyokushin comps. Shidokan in the US seems much more common. Especially aorund Atlanta I think.
    GSP has been awarded a Shidokan BB too I think. :)

    And back on topic....I can't believe your previous TKD training did not in some way translate over to Shidokan. You can't tell me you felt you were starting on the same footing as those who were there for their first martial arts class.

    Oh for sure. I've never said TKD didn't teach me some things (although arguably the 3 years of Thai I did in between TKD and Shido translated far better and I actually had/have a hard time learning new kata so ingrained is some of the TKD stuff).
    All I've ever really said about TKD is that it has training gaps (in it's most common incarnation found in the majority of clubs) I find glaring and unforgivable and that starting out training with a "fetish" for kicking is a handicap when wanting to develop real world skills.
    After my TKD days I fancied myself a good kicker (and even taught some kicks when I moved to Progressive Hapkido, so open was the instructor to people with transferrable skills). It was all the other stuff I wanted/needed.
  16. TKDstudent

    TKDstudent Valued Member

    Ok I am not an expert on MMAs or how other MAs in general do things or where they came from. I will share with you my understanding of the history of KMAs as it relates to this narrow quote which is a good point. Fighting & lawlessness was rampant in Korea during the early years of the post occupation period, compounded by the terrible & extensive damage & death that resulted from the Korean War. Early on it was said that the govt (Allied Forces/US) did not allow MAs or restricted them to some extent. When GM Lee Won Kuk, founder of the CDK made an alliance with the police, he started to flourish.
    When Gen Choi wrote the 1st English book on TKD (65) it contained aims to achieve. Now these aims were very similiar to the character building aspects emphasized by the JKA, documented at least 4 years earlier. However he (Choi) expanded on these & made it a core part of his Art he named TKD, that they developed, 1st in the ROK Army. So this had great appeal to many & was the 1st time it was codified as such.
    Of course GM Jhoon Rhee had a theme might for right. These poor Koreans left a developing 3rd world country that offered little opportunity. They went abroad at a time when the west was being intorduced to Asian Arts on a wider scale, helped along by hollywood. They capitalized on this mystique, becoming successful businesses, sending much needed capital back home to struggling & suffering families. This imigrant experience is common throughout. However it was the only time I know when KMAs were the main export. Of course the ROK is the world's 10th-12th largest economy, exporting such things made by daewoo, samsung, hyundai, kia etc. Things were different then & many other MAs were outspoken about the large influx of such suppossedly high ranking masters.
    I think many MAs capitalized on the West's curiosity for the Eastern Arts, including the Eastern philosophy. Once such a huge emphasis was placed on making a martial sport AND using, taking, co-opting the name TKD, already in place that was defining a developing system of a KMA for SD, things changed. There were also numerous other factors that have led to the softening of all MAs. hence the rise 1st of what was called combat fighting or combat karate for street fighting or SD, as the TMAs appeared to be weakened for that earlier purpose that they had for the most part serviced well. I guess MMAs are a further move in that direction.
  17. TKDstudent

    TKDstudent Valued Member

    I will make a distinction here & would be curious to see how others, including Mr. Anslow view it. He studies ITF or Chang Hon TKD, developed in the ROK Army by Gen Choi & his team of soldiers, shaped along the way by several other influences. His in-depth research has allowed him to share much for SD. his fighting or sparring he does with his students is reflective of the dorection Choi gave but few followed, which is of course to fight, train SD under realistic conditions. TKD was a Modern (at that time) Mix of the fighting Arts that were in SK. Sadly few follow Choi's instruction. I try & know he does, although he may have gotten there via a different path. In my view MMAs are the logical extension of fighting under realistic conditions.
  18. TKDstudent

    TKDstudent Valued Member

    Not sure I am so comfortable with the term fetish, but agree with the very good point.
  19. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Not sure I am so comfortable with the term fetish, but agree with the very good point.

    Over riding interest?

    In my opinion a true fighter should not be *too* attached to any one facet or area of fighting (everyone has their own speciality or preference which is different).
    I think many TKD people are too attached to kicking to the detriment of more rounded fighting skills (gained through a more expansive TKD methodlogy or looking to other arts).
  20. TKDstudent

    TKDstudent Valued Member

    Nothing there for me to counter, I find myself only supporting your contentions & assertions, wishing others would see this as well. I don't think it would hurt for them to consider, nor would it be a waste of time to try. They may benefit. I have, my fellow students have & it has made training imo & from what I perceived from them to make training better & more enjoyable.

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