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post #38 of (permalink) Old 06-04-2007, 03:03 AM
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Posts: 649

I took Tae Kwon Do before moving on to other martial arts, and here is what my experience has shown me. First of all, World TaeKwonDo Federation is puuuuuuure crap. Their hands are constantly down, and their kicks have been modified for high-speed tapping ability...but have no force. That is watered down TKD, and it is useless.

But then again, nowadays, I see alot of karate and kung fu practitioners emulating that style... Goddamn MCdojos. =[

But, anyway, the TKD I learned was very different than the TKD that people seem to think of. To be honest, it played out like kickboxing in my opinion. We were taught punching combinations, punching-kicking combinations, and so on. We were also taught knees and elbows, but I never got to the rank where I was allowed to use it in sparring. =[

Regardless, in that class, you would hardly ever see any jumping spinny flashy stuff. That is, unless it was like... a red belt against a white belt, where one could afford to screw around. And even things like spinning back kicks would need to be set up with other techniques. Again, to me, it felt alot like kickboxing.

As for the self-defense aspect, well... I'll admit that even this variant of TaeKwonDo didn't offer all that was needed. But then again, few arts do. The most important range of fighting, that one needs to know for street fights, is the clinch. That is where most fights end up, before the ground. In fact, I've been in/seen my fair share, and I've ended up in the clinch more than enough but never on the ground. However, knowing how to punch, kick, and control distance effectively is still better than nothing. Those are benefits that good TKD will render.

Back when I was a practitioner of TKD, I had gotten into a few interesting scuffles. The first of which, didn't allow me to use anything I had learned. It immediately went to the clinch, and I was getting punched alot. Thankfully it got broken up. It was a bit of an eye-opener on controlling distance.

A year or so later, I had found more success with this. I got into a fight after school with these two kids. Now, I'm going to admit, I attribute this win in no small part to the surprise factor... but I still was able to apply TKD. These kids were just bullies and didn't expect me to fight back. So when one came at me, I gave him a roundhouse kick to the stomach. To get more penetration, I didn't hit with my instep, but insted my toes -- a technique viable only when shoes are involved. Well, and if its a soft target. It took the wind right out of him; he didn't even see it coming. then I turned on the other guy who just shocked and I chased him down with a flurry of punches until he fell over. If I didn't know TKD, and went back to just flailing wildly, it could've gone alot worse.

But in the end, with any martial art, you just have to modify techniques for the situation at hand. I mean, while some grapplers sure love their flying guard, it can't be all that smart to do it on cement. With TKD, obviously high kicks are out. But it still taught me how to put power into them, so I just aim them at the legs or stomach instead. And, though I hate to sound cliche, it all comes down to the individual's abilities.

But, in closing, I have to say... my current style is very big on knees and elbows from the thai clinch -- and I do consider that an indispensible technique despite the fact that I'd be otherwise biased towards TKD since it got me started in martial arts.

Last edited by Kin; 06-04-2007 at 03:07 AM.
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