Originally Posted by BlacklistShaun
It's an ever changing art? What have they changed major in the last 10 years? 20 years?
Footwork and combinations are two areas that are constantly advancing and changing. Another changing area that I think TKD is underappreciated in is timing and counterattacks.
To be honest I went to many TKD schools that many people swore by and said were "real" schools and they were all the same b.s. across the board. All I would ever get from most TKD practitioners is a lot of talk about how it can be effective on the street, but when you ask them to demonstate what's effective on the street they show you a bunch of flashy kicks and techniques that would never work in real combat.
I've seen that, too, and I acknowledged it in my previous post.
Let me ask this...if there are some TKD schools that produce TKD guys that do just fine in combat then why are there no TKD guys in real combat sports? Where is the UFC champ that's a TKD guy?
Where are they in WEC, Strikeforce, Dream, K1, King of the Cage, etc...where are all these combat ready TKD guys? I mean I would think as many TKD schools as there are across the nation (probably double any other martial art) that there would be at least a handful of guys out there doing MMA that have a pretty much straight TKD background...if it's that effective...
Dan Hardy, Mike Swick, Ben Henderson are 3 top level MMA fighters with Tae Kwon Do backgrounds that spring to mind.
I asked him how much of his style is attributed to the South Korean national sport.
"I would say quite a lot of it, actually. Certainly a lot of the footwork and the movement. With taekwondo being an Olympic sport, and it being based on scoring points, you have to be very quick to move in and out and score your points without getting scored on. So I think a lot of the footwork that I use, moving around the Octagon, moving into strike and then getting back out again, I think a lot of it was taken from taekwondo.
"And all the way through my career I've never really taken too many shots in fights, kind of similar to Machida, I think that's because of the footwork and the timing of throwing the strikes from traditional styles like taekwondo and karate. So it's been very useful to me. Obviously I've had to adapt a few things to suit MMA because with taekwondo it's very easy to get punched in the face and get taken down, so certain things have changed but I have taken a lot from it definitely."
"You can watch my fights. I'm always pretty light on my feet and that's from years of competing in taekwondo, especially as it became an Olympic sport the fighters I was coming up against were getting faster, so I had to adapt, but that was the point where they were just too fast."
For K1, there's Serkan Yilmaz:
Don't get me wrong and think I'm coming off like a dick. I'm really not trying too. I'm just saying that you look at other martial arts like BJJ, Judo, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Karate, and even wrestling....there are guys out there fighting using those styles as their base. Where are all the TKD guys if it's as effective as most TKD guys like to think it is.
There's always been a stigma attached to combat sports in the traditional martial arts. The more committed a practitioner was to their art, the less likely they were to fight in front of a crowd for money, and in many cases, doing so would get them kicked out of their school. Plus, there's the fact that most TKD practitioners set their sight on the Olympics, not MMA. The stigma has been changing more and more, though. For example, the TKD school I used to train and teach at is also an ATT certified MMA school.
To me I feel like a lot of TKD guys want to compare them having a black belt in TKD to me having over 7 years of Muay-Thai experience and in my eyes there is no comparisson. I've never sparred with one TKD guy regardless of rank that's made it past the 1st round.
If they were a 3rd degree black belt, the comparison would be better, but I have no idea who you've been sparring with, so I can't speak to that.