View Full Version : Why is Tae Kwon Do the most popular martial art in America?

11-29-2000, 08:11 PM
Why is it that Tae Kwon Do is the most popular martial art in America?
Are Koreans just better at Marketing a martial art to the general public?
TaeKwonDo McDojo's are everywhere, there are 20 TKD schools for every Kung Fu school in America.
Why is this?
Kung Fu had Bruce Lee and Kung Fu movies to boost it's popularity in the 70's. Judo and Karate were huge in the 60's, and ninjitsu boomed in the 80's. But through it all, TKD has always been the biggest martial art name in America.
Why is this? Just because its an Olympic sport?

11-29-2000, 08:36 PM
generally its seen as easier, I havnt got any experiance with it myself but thats what I'm told.

Red Adder
11-29-2000, 08:47 PM
Good Marketing?

my opponent may hit me many times; I only want to hit him once.

11-29-2000, 08:52 PM
I would think there are few reasons:

1)Comprehensive curriculum. (easy to follow)

2)Legions of black belts in relatively short time (Everybody wants to be a winner in America)

3)No hard contact (less injury, less pain and people like)

4)Olympic event (strong marketing strategy)

5)Less infighting amount schools. (you can't clap with one hand)

6)Well... This is my personal favorite reason - lots of hot chicks in TKD. =D (just kidding, love to mess around with the Ladies, LOL...) /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I have visitors from TKD all the time. They are always polite and they listen quite attentively. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif I think that shows their strength.

Hope the TKD folks don't mind my saying so. /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif


Contraria Sunt Complementa

11-29-2000, 08:58 PM
Wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that traditionally, the Chinese arts were pretty closed to outsiders, whereas tae kwon do was brought over as a sport and Korean teachers were much more open on who they taught. Obviously, that's changed a lot, but even my sifu admits that his masters treated some of the more advanced techniques secretively as late as the early 70's.

Though I will back up the statement that tae kwon do is an easier art. Heck, even after training for several years in tang soo do which I found is a lot more difficult than TKD, I feel like a total inept with even the most basic kung fu sets.

Besides, most of the Chinese styles I'm familiar with don't have a "blackbelt" or "black sash"... and a lot of Americans just want to brag that they have a blackbelt.

11-29-2000, 10:18 PM

I love your reasons, particularly number 6 /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

TKD is a bit more simplistic than other systems, but I think it's simply gotten more press and has enjoyed a rather large marketing machine since Korea began demonstrating it and teaching it in other countries. It was part of the mission of TKD of Korea to spread it throughout the world and have it be a united international system stemming from and controlled by none other than Korea.


11-30-2000, 02:25 AM
Just speaking for myself I took up Tae Kwon Do initially because I was young and fit with no real training and TKD looked to me like it taught everything neccesary without all the BS. There were blocks, punches and kicks, and every move was clearly defined, it looked effective. The other styles all seemed to concentrate on stuff I never thought I'd need like weapons, grappling and groundfighting. Added to this the moves, particularly in Kung fu, were so fast when practiced properly that they looked messy and ineffective, and looked totally impractical when slowed down. I got out of TKD for a number of reasons. Partly it was because of the political in-fighting here in Australia at the time. Also with experience I came to see the obvious limitations in the system. I was pretty good by TKD standards, but it came as a surprise when I sparred peole from other styles that I was getting creamed in certain situations and had absolutely no response. Added to this age and experience made me think more about practical self defence of myself, freinds and family, and less about how effective a style might be or how good it looks in a brawl outside a pub.
I think similar reasons probably explains TKD popularity for most people. At least here in Australia it tends to be a young persons sport, I know very few TKD practioners over 25 who stick with it. Most move on to other styles, whereas my Kung fu school has a juniors class and the entire seniors class is over 23, most over 30. Does the same apply in the US?

Oh yes and one other thing, here in Australia most TKD schools have a lifetime membership. Once you join you're a member for life unless you make the effort to draft a resignation. This means a large discrepancy between membership numbers and actual practitioners. Hell I'm still a member of 3 different TKD clubs and I havan't trained for 3 years.

11-30-2000, 04:33 AM
Tae Kwoon Do is very simple, its like A, B, C. No big deal at all, even a 10 months old baby can learn and become a Black Belt at age three. LOL /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_redface.gif

11-30-2000, 05:13 AM
The reason that TKD is the most popular is that it's open to everyone. Walk in, get a uniform and start learning. We've had people who just should never have walked into a martial arts school join. Sometimes a funny thing happens, they get better, they learn and they start to live the martial arts life and sometimes they excel.

I've seen some very bad and medioce TKD schools but I've found several very good TKD teachers in my area that actually have very good fighting skills so I'm not buying the argument that all TKD people can't fight. Is the system simple? Yes, but I'd rather have 10 good simple tools that I can use than a hundred that I can't.

I used to be daga

11-30-2000, 05:25 AM
One thing i think people are forgetting, is the clean imagery.

Aside from the fantastic kicks, if you ever watch a TKD demo, it's clean and fantastically offensive.

That's what everyone wants, a clean easy fight that disables the enemy while you remain out of range.

Kicks seem to be the best answer. It's a pyschological thing. You kick the crap out of the opponent while he can't come into your range.

Too bad life dont workout so cleanly.

Nuff said

The Force will be with you...always

11-30-2000, 05:38 AM
you guys are all stupid.

11-30-2000, 05:58 AM
What about the guy that knows 100 techniques and you have no clue. You can have 10 solid techniques, but if your in a more advanced system they don't have to be the same 10 cliche techniques that people expect you to know as a tkd guy. You may even know a joint lock or two. So what? I know joint lock and throwing counters and well over 100 techniques and I can use them. I can't use 100 percent of them on everybody, but most of them I can and the one's I can't do, maybe someone else can, but I can recognise when it's coming and because I know the finer points of the technique that I don't happen to be good at, I can tell when someone is trying to set me up with it.

8Step Sifu

11-30-2000, 02:25 PM
TKD has a very clear and graspable system.

My Korean TKD instructor (a true master) told me that the guys at the Kukkiwon (almost like the Shaolin Temple, but actually for real combat) spent a lot of time/money/brainpower to clearly arrange the system for mass consumption.

The way I was taught featured me getting a step-by-step breakdown of warmup, drills, sets, and sparring. Every time I went into a different TKD school (I've always gravitated toward TKD schools run by traditional fighters), the routine was pretty much the same.

My instructor told me that at the Kukkiwon, they figured out that the body moves better in that bouncing motion as practiced by Western boxers. So they tailored their art toward the kickboxing arena but also realized the limitations of the rules.

Japanese Shotokan karate has much of the same things to offer as TKD, though I notice that American karate schools have learned the efficacy of the kickboxing bounce as well. My Japanese sensei frowned on this (he was a brawler, not a point competitor), but the bounce worked well for me in the kickboxing ring.

Kung fu is no more or less graspable than TKD is, but the level of instructors varies far more due to kung fu instruction not being standardized (something that Adam Hsu advocates).

Personally, I prefer the nonstandardized approach. But the standardized approach has merit too.

Black Jack
11-30-2000, 09:47 PM
Rogue has the right answer 8 Step but I will take it one step further.

To become proficient in self defense it is the simple techniques & the concepts surronding how these tools work that will get the job done.

From a pragmatic viewpoint the best combat tools are those that can be learned easily by the average person and not by having to spend 10-20 years doing line drills and forms.

These solid fighting tools have to be simple, direct, aggressive and practical enough to work on determined and better armed attackers.

If you speak to people with first hand knowledge of street combat experiances, people like some cops, streetfighters or even veteran CQB soliders you will tend to notice most of there responses boiled down to basic gross motor movements and simple and direct tools backed by a serious fighting spirit.

The best tools/concepts are the ones that can be applied to a vast variety of attacks, enviroments, situations and even more so under extreme stress.

I call these the "bread & butter" techniques.

It is better to learn concepts and simple tools than a 1,000 techniques that you will not be able to apply in ten or twenty years time or even now due to attribute limitations or complicated movements.

Why try to learn a 100 blocks when you can learn the simple concept behind blocking and then be able to create your own blocks that can fit into the format of your given situation & angle without having to rack your brain for block 96 that might fit that attacks given angle, hardness, softness and speed.

Simple attacks should be able to work for a 300lb fighter as well as a 120lb fighter. Barrages of elbows, headbutts and knees are great examples that can be applied by any weight range with brutal collateral damage to there attacker.

The same can not be stated for a lot of other tools for both of the fighters due to physical attributes and size differences. Its important to have a solid repertoire of other tools to round out your fighting abilities but they should still all be easy to master for practical self defense.

A major factor is the intensity of your training and your attitude when it comes down to push and shove.

A street punk intent on murdering you and raping your girlfriend is not going to give a crap if you study a complete and total chinese system that has over 25 forms and has esotric healing arts and QiQong meditations.

Simple is the way to go hands down.


11-30-2000, 10:29 PM
Hi Robin,

LOL...Glad you approve of #6 /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

BTW, I thought you are a fellow Cannuck? /infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif


Contraria Sunt Complementa

11-30-2000, 11:46 PM
The reason why TDK has become so popular is because of the ease of it. (in my best cheasy korean voice) "You sign contract, one year, you get black belt, gaurentee). I have seen, 5 and 6 year old black belts in TDK. To me thats disgusting. There are 10x as many TDK tournements then any other MMA or style specific tournements. That is most likely why it is so popular.

Assumption is the mother of tragedy. Just keep and open mind, be ready, and go full force.

12-01-2000, 01:38 AM
Well, I have defended TKD and I have maligned it... both on this same forum. Everything hs a good and bad side to it.

However, I hope all of you people that rae saying it is easy can perform aerial techniques with ease. I can. I am sure Robin can to. In other words, if you dont have the skill, coordination and balance to do the high kicks(Even if you dont agree with them. I really dont but at least I can DO them.) you shouldn't be calling it "easy". Simple is a term I like a lot better.

Also, since everything else has been said before, even what I am going to say now... ITS THE COOL KICKS!!! You know how the public loves flashiness. I have been to alot of MA shows and it is interesting to note that demos I thought were flashy and lame generated the greatest applause. Its almost like entertainment.

Oh and Huang... gotta' love the Kukkiwon! I wanted to visit there at one time and maybe I shall, maybe I shall.

12-01-2000, 06:50 AM
Thanks for the support Black Jack.

8stepsifu. Do I have to practice 100 techniques to see them coming? I think as a sifu you should know every technique of your system, but most people could get away with using a fraction of what your system has to offer. And that's including fighting against other martial artist. My TKD master has told me that he's won fights with simple techniques, he's been defeated by simple techniques but he's never been defeated by complicated techniques.

This may sound like a bit of a back peddle but saying that we have ten techniques is off the mark, I should have said that we have about ten simple movements that can be applied at different angles to different targets in different combinations. If you think TKD is simple you should see ours, you could have all the basics down in a couple of months. But then you would spend the rest of your time perfecting them.

There can be an elegence in simplicity.

Legit question time 8step:
How long did it take you to be able to utilize all of PMs techniques?
How often do you practice each one and for how long?
Do you practice against an unwilling opponent?

I used to be daga

12-01-2000, 06:57 AM
TKD is popular because its marketed almost exclusively to children. Don't believe me? Check out your local yellow pages...

Parents buy into the idea that it is a cure-all for little Johnnie's lack of self-respect, attention-deficit, poor grades, etc. They sign him and his sister up, and shell out more money for belt test fees. The system feeds upon itself.

But lately I thought that TKD was kind of on the decline simply because it had gotten too large to sustain...?

12-01-2000, 07:20 AM
All of a sudden this forum has a strange obsession with bashing in TKD in any way possible. It really shows how ignorant some of you are by not knowing mearly anything about the art, instead of what you see in movies or on TV.

Go and so some real intellegent research on the actual art and then see if you still have the same opinion.

I'm not trying to change your mind about the art, it really doesn't matter to me if you like it or not, but don't just bash it when you don't know anything about the art.

"I saw my friend beat up a TKD guy easily..." Well that's nice but what does that say about the TKD guy and the art? 2 different things!

All I'm asking is for you guys to stop being so childish and ignorant and actually research on something, then judge it when you have good facts...instead of ignorant opinions and trying to sound like you know what you're talking about.

12-01-2000, 07:24 AM
I am not taking a shot at TKD here, but i think it looks more like a martial art to the general public because of its many different high kicks. In martial art movies heroes usually win with high kicks, and all TKD schools i've ever seen do that with relish! Again i am not saying this as an insult but advancement in grades seems faster in TKD as well, so the average person will feel like they have acheived more than in a system where grading are few & far between, or there are no grades at all. None of this reflects on the actual usefulness of TKD tho, to find that out everyone can just visit a Dojang(they are in most towns).

12-02-2000, 07:56 PM
Jig Ga:
I think if you read some of the posts, you will find that not everybody is putting down TKD. There has been intelligent discussion about it.

In my area, kenpo karate is king; there are more kenpo schools than any other art here, including TKD. I personally like TKD, in particular, the older style of TKD, not so much the Olympic style. During my karate years I also took some TKD and yes, I was able to do all the high kicks, flying triple-kicks, jump spinning hook kicks, breaking stunts, etc. However, I had long wanted to learn kung fu, and eventually when the opportunity came, I switched to CMA, which I prefer...which is not a knock on TKD or karate, only that I like Chinese systems better. There has been a tradeoff; my high kicks have degraded considerably (due to lack of emphasis/concern on my part), but have developed in more ways on my own martial arts path.

Why is it more popular? I'm just preaching to the choir, but simply because it's marketed very well, the major emphasis nowadays is teaching children, not to mention the TKD movements are, to most people, what they think of when they think "martial arts." There are a lot of very underage black belts, but I've also seen these in other systems as well.

12-02-2000, 08:28 PM
Jimbo, thank you for sharing your opinion respectfully.

That was all I asked for.

05-16-2001, 06:05 PM
I think a large part of it is that it's a balance of "exotic" and "straightforward."

People have an odd tendency to assume that what's new and different to them is better than what's familiar. Things like boxing and wrestling are familiar. But kicking people in the head is exotic. For me, at least, that's what really stood out. Watching Chuck Norris movies in the eighties, it wasn't the jab/cross combos he threw that fascinated me. I'd seen that before. But the spinning kicks. That was something else entirely. And taekwondo has that sort of thing in spades.

When you say the words "martial arts" to most lay people, the first thing I suspect they'll think of is kicking. And few arts are as well known for their kicking as taekwondo. That's what marks it as so different from what people recognized as fighting previously.

But then, kung fu is exotic too, right? But that's where the balance comes in, I think. While the idea of kicking someone in the head is exotic, the notion of impact to an opponent's head being a viable combat idea is comfortable to us. Whereas something like chi sao, pressure points, mantis claws, etc. And the underlying principles of wu wei, etc. I think there's a question of accessibility. People liked the combination of newness and familiarity.

I'm not trying to make any statements about the reality of either art here. Just a couple of suppositions about the public's interpretation.

Personally, I'm a big fan of both arts.


05-16-2001, 07:24 PM
Though I'm not what you'd call a huge supporter of Tae Kwan Do, or Korean systems in general, I think they get an unnecessarily negative rap. In reality, statistically speaking, the percentage of good TKD schools is probably somewhere around 1% at best, which is the same as the percentage of good kung fu schools. The difference is, because the total number of TKD schools is so large, the sheer volume of bad ones stands out even more than the volume of bad kung fu schools.

On the original question, aside from all of what's already been said, it's just easier to start a TKD school. Most students are teaching lower level students long before their first black belt, and not that unusual for someone to be running a school after only spending a few years in the art.

Just my 2 cents.

The way of the samurai is in desperateness. Ten men or more cannot kill such a man. Common sense will not accomplish great things. Simply become insane and desperate. - Hagakure

05-17-2001, 12:28 AM
i think its the flashy kicks and ariel techniques that make TKD very impressive and attractive to most people. in lots of movies, those portrayed to know martial arts often fight with big and high kicks and i think thats what the most people think of when they hear martial arts.

Its all fun and games til someone loses an
eye. Then its just fun.

05-17-2001, 03:42 AM
Everyone sees reality from a different perspective. Individual perceptions and experiences are what make us unique in our thinking and analytical processes. Why is Soccer such a hit around the world, yet receives mediocre coverage and lessened acceptance in the States? Why are there differing opinions on the validity of religious and political philosophies worldwide? Why do some of us prefer the traditional arts to modern cross-training? As long as it doesn't effect you why should you care about any of these things? Don't begrudge the popularity of one art because of its success. If TKD is your style, more power to you. The same goes for GungFu, BJJ, Muay Thai, Karate, whatever. The more exposure the layman has to MAs the better it is for all of us in the long run. Besides, all styles are just fragments of the whole. Master one, then complete your totality by beginning the mastery of another, or just learn that which is relevant to YOU! Do what ya' like, and don't hate unless hated. Obviously everyone who contributes to this forum is alike in some way, so we are all FAM' ! Naw' mean...

old jong
05-17-2001, 04:06 AM
I have a few friends in TKD and they say it is fun!!!So why not?... ;)

C'est la vie!

05-17-2001, 09:54 AM
Hi guys,

I think this subject is a good one for comparing the evolution of martial arts in different countries and so different cultures: it is often said that behaviors in the US (and I'd say it's also true for Canada) are the future of behaviors in Europe...

I practised Tkd for more than three years, and decided to have a break. I never thought that tkd was easy to learn as it requires a good physical condition, balance, speed. Anyway I decided to have a break after training for three months with a former Africa vice-champion. That guy is really strong, and is really good at fighting, he also has good kicks. Anyway, as he says himself he is not good for the traditionnal part of Tkd. I think that this experience pointed out that in France, Tkd has evolved the following way: many instructors now only know the competition part of Tkd, and so they won't be able to train their students with efficiency. Most of them are kind of reinventing the traditionnal part of Tkd, teaching their students some really weird stuff. Moreover even if most instructors I know are really good, many of them can't explain how to perform the techniques as they do.
I think that this happened in the US, and is know a well developped trend: why has this happened so quick in the US? First, hadn't the US some army troops in Korea in the early 50's? That might have helped to develop TKD in the US. Next, in the US, has an instructor a MA diploma in all cases ? I don't tink so: in France for example, almost everyone who wants to teach a sport as a profesionnal has to have a diploma which is delivered by the France, and whose syllabus is composed of : anatomy, pedagogy, and the full syllabus of the sport you want to teach....
So as it might not be the case in the US, with a few years of practice, any one could proclaim himself a Tkd instructor (it doesn't help to build a good image of Tkd)

So here is my point you guys are our future if we don't change things now....

05-17-2001, 06:57 PM
“TKD is popular because its marketed almost exclusively to children. Don't believe me? Check out your local yellow pages...”

Most of the students are children. A child who becomes a black belt in TKD is recognized as a child. An adult is recognized by Kukkiwon as an adult.

Age 15 years and above is a Dan; 14 years and below is a Poom.

I hope this clears things up for everyone who is ‘bothered’ by young children being TKD black belts.

In my opinion, some of the young children I have seen at my TKD dojang are excellent athletes. If they can maintain their ability into adulthood they will be excellent martial artists. Pound for pound, these kids are among the toughest around. I do not know anyone who has received their bb in less than 3 years (took me almost 5). I have read on this forum people in CMA and JMA ‘leapfrogging’ their classmates and receiving belts undeservedly but have never seen this in TKD. TKD is just as difficult as any MA. I have been studying Aikido as well and remember my struggles with TKD years ago. The same struggles are there no matter what MA.

I wouldn’t want to mess with a TKD guy on the street. He may just kick you in the nuts before you have a chance to blink. If he happens to miss, there will surely be an immediate follow up.


06-05-2001, 10:13 PM
i took tae kwon doe for 6 months before i left it for 8 step praying mantis kung fu. all i can say is i am glad that i did. originally tkd lured me in because i felt as if i needed to be "ranked." now i realize what a waste of time those six months were. the weird thing is, so mnay people join kung fu, but many do not stay because some of them feel its too difficult, or complex...etc.

To know others is to have knowledge. To know oneself is to be enlightened.

06-05-2001, 10:15 PM

check out the pix especially and sign up for the new forum. (check the box that says stay logged in to avoid problems)

To know others is to have knowledge. To know oneself is to be enlightened.

06-10-2001, 01:14 AM
Excuse me Bad, but why dis TKD and then show applications, strikes and throws that are basic black belt techniques in most TKD and karate styles?

Adventure is just a romantic name for trouble. It sounds swell when you write about it, but it's hell when you meet it face to face in a dark and lonely place.
Louis L'Amour

06-10-2001, 05:08 AM
Baldmantis, shall I assume that a url with "kungfu" in it is not a TKD site. And therefore that your spamvert not only lacks any substansive quality whatsoever but is also off-topic?

I hope there is a special little hell reserved for people that annoying.

06-11-2001, 05:47 PM
The secret to TKD's success is good marketing. Like Tiger Schulman Karate, it's all in the ads.

MonkeySlap Too
06-11-2001, 11:13 PM
The Kukkiwon is not like the Shaolin Temple only for 'real combat'. TKD is not for real combat. The Kukkiwon is a sporting institution. TKD is the national SPORT of Korea.

The Kido association is the Korean government approved martial arts group. TKD is the martial sport.

Not my opinion. The Korean governments opinion. I think your teacher may be....exageratting.

I am a big beleiver in luck. The more I work, the more luck I have.

Internal Flow
06-17-2001, 08:33 AM
The answer is simple.
The Tae Kwon Do is so popular because it is not a martial art!
Actually Tae Kwon Do is a martial art, but all the teachers teach it just like a sport and nothing more.

All things return to it as to their home, but it does not lord it over them.
Thus it may be called "The Great"

06-17-2001, 04:55 PM
monkeyslap: Correct me if i'm wrong but isn't Muay Thai the national SPORT of thailand? Does that mean it's not a Martial Art as well because their government classifies it as a sport? That sounds plain silly.

Free thinkers are dangerous.

07-05-2001, 12:47 PM
Hey alot of TKD styles are sport styles and whats worse is that they call themselves martial art schools but I am lucky enough to have found a TKD school which is a martial art.
The Olympic Games ruined TKD everyone thinks of it as kicking and nothing more well its alot more it teaches respect good moves and great physical fitness not to mention mental strengthening to a certain degree like all martial arts!

Alot of people dis TKD and i don't blame them i have seen 8 year olds get black belts in local papers it sickens me to think that they are graded like that infact it makes me very angry so plz ppl don't generelise against TKD plz because it is offending to be compared to such pathetic schools which revolve either around sport and money .. thanks

07-05-2001, 03:01 PM
Don't mistake sport TKD with traditional TKD.
Win,lose, or draw, alot of these guys can kick faster than they can punch. TKD is effective. Alot of the folks on this forum like to point the finger @ TKD as being inferior. Since most tournaments are unfair to the CMA practitioners, where do all these people get these notions about TKD?

I've studied a few arts and let me tell you this, the TKD kickline is effective when sparring other styles.

09-26-2001, 09:04 PM
I am a student of Kenpo, but I work out regularly with some TKD practitioners. TKD is by far the dominant style in my area, and I think one of the reasons is its diversity. There are some really serious schools and martial artists here, There are also some that are not so "agressive", but still good schools. I know of one student who will probably never swat a fly. But I've watched her poise and self confidence grow dramatically over the past 2 1/2 yrs. This is just one of the peripheral bennifits that make the martial arts invaluable training for kids. As for its being (or not being) a serious martial art, I spared with her dad a couple of days ago and I'm still bruised and sore from the experience. I will agree that there are some schools who are only in it for the money, and I dislike them as much as anyone. But to lump all schools that don't meet ones standards for a "serious" martial art together with these is, in my not so humble opinion, wrong.

joe yang
09-27-2001, 04:14 AM
Good, kukkiwon TKD, under a legitimate, Korean Master is accessable, inexpensive and effective. You don't have to travel to Japan to train. You don't have to go through all the angst of getting into a real Chinese school. The down side is, there are so many American run McDojos, there is also more bad TKD out there than any other martial art.

09-27-2001, 08:25 AM
We must be getting desperate if these dinosaurs keep popping up................

Its dangerous to think you are immortal.

09-27-2001, 04:32 PM
You're right about that SA, but then again we should all really be spending our time training in the real world... nevertheless, I cannot resist...

When I first started I was attracted to two things about TKD - the supercool kicks, and the fact that they could be used to break boards.

I settled on karate for a while 'cause I quickly figured I would *never* be able to do that ****, and there wasn't enough else in the style to hold my attention. Just think - if I'd started before I'd tightened up my tendons with raquet sports I'd probably still be jumping in the air and snapping woodwork and knowing nothing better... although I might have a shiny gold medal...

Incidentally, I think it can be revealing to cross hands with a TKD joe... I got knocked over by sheer surprise one time when a guy I didn't know (but didn't suspect of being into TKD) spun a kick at my head during an otherwise friendly chi-sau session.

09-28-2001, 01:08 PM
I agree with Obiwan on the issue that it is good to use kicks so that the opponent cannot come to the range that he can attack successfully. Legs are longer than hands, right? If one executes a punch, you can just simply kick the opponent and that is the end of his punch.

09-28-2001, 05:36 PM
how many of you have heard form sport tkd folks. "Full contact is disrespectfull"

09-28-2001, 07:43 PM
Never heard that but it's funny.

I got nailed by a visiting WTF (as in What the F*** just hit me)style guy today. I thought he was setting up a somewhat sloppy side kick but instead he did a twisting(?) kick and nailed me in the head. :mad: Can't even describe the **** thing but his right foot hit the right side of my head.

From now on, enemies who are associated with terrorist activity will not cohabit the globe with the United States of America. William F. Buckley

Never forget

Good, better, Me
10-29-2001, 04:46 PM
This topic was just another argument over styles.
But okey, I wanna argue as well :)

I'm a WTF practisioner, and competitioner. In my dojang the non-competition practitioners are kinda...Hmmm...(un-flexible) ;)
I've never seen a ITF practitioner fight, but still I know that they don't practise full-contact and their competition rules are even more funny then ours. Nevermind that, I don't doubt the effectivness of ITF but one thing I have to say about fighting a WTF guy. When joined my current WTF school I was so convinced that I would stand out of the crowd (maybe because of my experience in bujinkan budo taijutsu), but when I sparred a blue belt the first time, I was getting a serious but kicking. This wasn't because of the rules, but because he was a fast kicker, had a brilliant technique, had a good footwork and he didn't even go to my faints. Now this MAY be because I just plain suck, but still in TKD you actually can practise the original martial art even if it's a sport these days. Think of it, Someone said that "I trained TKD for 6 months, and I'm glad that I changed the art" or something, but can you learn much in 6 months?!
If I started Hung Gar and waited for 6 months, but it still wouldn't have given me an ability to fight, do I have to change my art? The spiritual development comes due long time hard working, and it still exists even in TKD allthought it's a sport.
My personal opinion on kung fu could be just as opposite as yours might be on TKD. I might think that what's the use of doing forms on imagined targets, what's the use of doing those fancy looking low stances, Why do I have to hit the opponed 10 times when just 1-3 would do the trick?
Well that's not my opinion, if I could practise kung fu in my hometown, I would. Very 2 minded ain't it :p

"The students will eventually become like the teacher, so pick a good teacher :)"

10-29-2001, 05:18 PM
Good, better, me

Most kung fu schools also incorporate free sparring in their curriculum. Even TKD, without sparring practice, is just dancing.

Each martial art speaks to everyone differently. The trick is finding the art that speaks to you, and that's what will work for you.


Surrender yourself to nature and be all that you are.

MonkeySlap Too
10-30-2001, 01:44 AM
Hey, I'm just saying it like the Koreans say it.

While I do not consider this putting TKD down. Sure you might learn something that might help you in a fight. But you are also learning things that will work against you - because you are training for the sport rules.

I don't dis sport - I've played San Shou, Judo Randori and other things in my day. But it is only a drill. As soon as you start training to win according to the rules, you are no longer playing martial arts. And you are building muscle memory that could result in your losing to an untrained punk.

Muay Thai is good, but it is not an end-all be-all in the street. Neither is boxing. Personally, I think TKD is rather unsophisticated, and frankly, I like the SPORT version better than the MARTIAL (?) version. I think the footwork training and conditioning will serve you better than the silly techniques and one-step drills I've seen 'traditional' players use.

Actually, as far as sports go, I've seen Judo guys rip through Muay Thai guys in the street, and good high school wrestlers trash almost anyone.

BUT - if you do not realize you are playing a game, someone who does notice will kick your behind.

It all goes back to 'know your enemy, and know yourself, and you will be victorious' - Sun Tzu

Oh, I digress. Somewhere in there is the answer to your question. Sure a sport can help. Doesn't mean it ain't a sport though.

Don't blame me on that one.

"Poor is the pupil who
does not surpass his
master" - Leonardo Da

10-30-2001, 03:26 AM
But at the same time I've visited schools where for the reasons you stated, didn't spar at all. While sparring is not the same as a street fight neither are two man drills. IMO the main attributes that free sparring develope are judging distance, closing and keeping the distance and how to deal with the fluid nature of a fight, things that drills just can't teach.

The only people that I've seen sporting rules ruin are those that are in it just for the sport. I don't think Herb Perez is the ultimate street fighter but I'd still hate to get kicked in the head by him.

"Americans don't have the courage to come here," Mullah Mohammed Omar, leader of the Taliban

There is only one tactical principle which is not subject to change; it is, 'To use the means at hand to inflict the maximum amount of wounds, death, and destruction on the enemy in the minimum amount of time.' Patton

10-30-2001, 03:37 PM

I heard from someone who competed against Perez during those years and he said he took one of Perez's roundhouses to the shoulder and felt like he was going to throwup.

I don't want to get kicked anywhere by him.

And, if anyone has ever watched actual tournaments of TKD Olympic style, you'll notice that they don't go to the head a lot. They go to the midsection more often than not.

Just thought I'd throw that in there.


Surrender yourself to nature and be all that you are.

MonkeySlap Too
10-30-2001, 09:11 PM
No sparring is just as bad as over emphasis on sport.

While Herb may kick like a demon - if he is focused on the rules, he is leaving himself wide open in several areas - where it may not matter how hard he kicks.

This is true of every sport. Our top pro boxers are not always very good street fighters.

You fight like you train, and that is not a bad thing unless you don't know what you are training for.

"Poor is the pupil who
does not surpass his
master" - Leonardo Da

10-31-2001, 04:30 AM
If the person is able to seperate the sport from the martial aspect he'll be fine. Same with sparring, I have no trouble with adjusting my technique to fit the situation. I've always tried to focus my training on effective street techniques, but when I spar I also know how to make them "safe". It is easy to come across people in all arts who've never been taught what makes a technique damaging, TKD people who only spar wearing gear and following tourniment rules are at the same disadvantage as the Wing Chun player who thinks Chi Sao is going to get him through a fight undamaged.

"Americans don't have the courage to come here," Mullah Mohammed Omar, leader of the Taliban

There is only one tactical principle which is not subject to change; it is, 'To use the means at hand to inflict the maximum amount of wounds, death, and destruction on the enemy in the minimum amount of time.' Patton

10-31-2001, 03:59 PM
Ya, the sport sparring leaves the head WIDE open (as my sparring partner reminds me with her foot countless times). Personally, I wouldn't defend myself with my hands down like that and I wouldn't ignore the use of punches, grabs, locks, etc., that come in the full course of TKD, not the sport version.


Surrender yourself to nature and be all that you are.