Archive for March, 2014

 Every Martial Artist Should Cross-Train In Boxing Part 3

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*Authored by White Dragon. 

        I did need that rest last weekend and I felt better afterwards. Often times if you show up at the right time they have a “stomach class” where you do different ab workouts and calisthenics for 15 minutes, each exercise lasting for 1 minute. So you do 15 things.  Everyone goes into the ring and works out in a circle. It is usually led by a high school girl who is a coach.

Week 3

Monday–        The first day of the week today I did 30 minutes elliptical, 5 rounds of the speed bag with medicine ball situps in between rounds, stomach class,  some shadow boxing and then about 5 rounds of the heavy bag working on the 1-2 combo and my left hook. Before I left the coach said I need to pay more attention to my left hook. Unlike MMA a proper boxing left hook is a close in punch and not an arching outward, afar away punch like a haymaker you often see in MMA which ends up slapping the opponent with the front of the knuckles. I need to make sure my left hook is tighter and I get in close to the bag to hit it, or let the bag swing bag and then I hit it. The left hook is a close quarters punch if the opponent has closed the distance on you.

Tuesday–        I showed up and the coach had me do 1 round of jump rope and to quickly work on blocks with another student. Then we did stomach class for 15 minutes. After that we took turns throwing punches and using the first 2 blocks catching the jab and blocking the cross punch. We took turns then did a more free flowing drill in the ring. After that I did 5 rounds of the speed bag with medicine ball sit ups in between, 5 rounds of shadow boxing with jumping jacks in between, and 6 rounds of the heavy bag working on my technique of jab, cross, and the 2 blocks and moving around it with a defensive drill in between.

Wednesday–        Today I will take the day off because I have not slept well enough to recover lately. I also will just teach one of my Taekwondo students tonight.

Thursday–        I got to the gym and did 5 rounds of jump rope and light shadow boxing in between rounds, 5 rounds of speed bag with 10 pushups in between rounds on pushup bars, then the coach asked me if I want to spar. I said yes, so after I did 1 round of shadow boxing I put on my gloves and got a headgear. I sparred a few rounds and it was fun because I sparred with guys who helped me learn and were not out to beat me up. I was able to hit the guys a few times. I stayed my distance out and just kept to 1-2 punches and palm blocking. I need to work on blocking better and to always keep 1 hand near my face for protection. After I sparred the coach says I’m doing well and have really fast punches. I just need to work on being relaxed and calm. I was able to throw some combos too and I got hit a few times but it wasn’t that bad. After that I did 2 rounds on the heavy bag before leaving. I also asked the coach if I could practice the overhand right because one of the guys I sparred with threw that at me. I asked the guy about it and he tuaght me how to do it. The coach, though, says do not practice it and stick to the jab, cross and hook punches only and to keep the hook at face level. Do not throw it low because to do that I need to know amore advance movement off to the side and I need to focus on the basics first. He said the basics will win fights and beat people and it is most important. He also reminded me about the straight left hook that is from the distance. It is a straight punch and slightly arched. You can throw it right after the right cross punch. It’s not the same as a close in left hook that punches sideways as it still punches straight. It was great to learn a new idea about punching and get some technique help.

Friday–        Day off, gym is closed. My left wrist has been sore for a few days. Working the heavy bag is tough. I always work it lightly now days.

Saturday–        Because of obligations I did not train today. I may or may not train tomorrow.

Sunday–        I took the day off.

Week 4

Monday–        I did 45 minutes on the elliptical. Then 5 rounds speed bag with medicine ball situps in between, 5 rounds shadow boxing with pushups in between on pushup bars, 5 rounds heavy bag with defensive drill in between, and then after this I sparred some people for about 4 or 5 rounds. It was hard and I got hit enough. One 0f the best students hit me pretty hard in the nose. Yes these guys do not hold bag too much nor care. It is not easy sparring when the only weapons I have are jab, cross, and hook and only know 2 blocks. I was told only to train those and nothing else, but then the guys I spar are doing wild looping punches and keeping their hands down etc. It is very crazy and kind of annoying. In a way it is counter productive for my learning but at the same time I am learning about fighting and how I react when hit. It takes a ton of stamina!!!

Tuesday–        25 minutes elliptical. Before I could reach 30 the coach told me to join the stomach class. After stomach class I did 5 rounds of speed bag with medicine ball situps in betweenm rounds, 5 rounds of shadow boxing with 10 pushups in between rounds on pushup bars, then 3 and a half rounds on the heavy bag with a defensive drill between rounds before the roach told me to get my stuff on and spar in the ring. I sparred 2 rounds with 2 different opponents. The first guy was older and he did not hit bag but dodged a lot. The second guy was a chubby and round man and shorter but had incredibly fast hands so it was hard to defend but I managed to defend a lot. I did get hit hard in the face and my lip was bloody. But getting hit like that I recovred and got back into the fight even more aggressive. During this round I did manage to connect with a 1-2 combo and it felt good. I did some funny stuff like using Taekwondo fakes and the coach yelled at me, “What was that?!?!” hahaha. He said I am improving and doing good. It was an intense workout!

Wednesday–        Today I took the day off because I was very sore and also very sleepy all day. Boxing workouts are tougher than you think.

Thursday–        On this day I I did 30 minutes elliptical and made it through 3 and ahalf rounds of the speed bag with medicine ball pushups in between rounds before the coach asked me to spar. He said you do not want to be tired when sparring. So I sparred 2 different guys, the same guys from last Thursday, for 3 rounds total. So I sparred one guy twice. It was okay, I got some okay hits. I pulled up a quick jab and also a straight right at another time. I worked on trying to avoid punches. I started out slow, but my last round I took on the aggressive mode. I know I would be torn up and punched all over if they wanted to get me in the corner, but these guys were nice and worked with me at my level. I do realize when I want to throw a right hand I tend to pull it bag. Part of the reason I punch awkward is the head gear is so big and forces your hands out with the big gloves so my guard is very wide compared to if I had bare fists holding my hands in Taekwondo. After sparring I did about 3 rounds of the heavy bag working on my 1-2-3’s.

Friday–         Rest day, the gym is closed.

Saturday–        Today all I did was teach one of my students Taekwondo and did not train boxing today. My wrists are very sore, I must have had incorrect punching form on the heavy bag. But it seems even with correct form you get sore. I have had bad wrists for many years to begin with so I must be prone to injury like my shoulder and knees. I will rest from impact today.

Sunday–        This day I did 3 rounds of jump rope with 15 pushups in between rounds. 5 speed bag rounds with 15 pushups in between rounds. Then i did 5 shadow boxing rounds with medicine ball situps between rounds. And finally 5 or 6 sounds on the heavy bag with the defensive drill in between rounds. I did not feel like sparring today because I felt out of it. Probably tomorrow I will spar.
I found out that the guy I sparred a week ago who hit me in the nose really hard is known to be a jerk. He does not hold back for anyone and will not work at anyone’s level. Instead, he will just try to hurt you and beat you up. He is known to do this all the time and people have told me not to spar with him. One guy I talked to today was an amateur fighter who I sparred my very first time in the ring doing a drill where he could not hit back. This guy is very nice and encouraged me about boxing and fighting. He said the anxiety I feel and fear is normal and if I could pass the test of fighting that guy who is a jerk then i can definitely do boxing. He told me that jerk guy has had 50 amateur fights and sparring him in the gym is seen as a test. If you can survive him you can do boxing. So I feel somewhat encouraged about it. But my nose still hurts from when the guy hit me a week ago. The guy I was talking about about this, the amateur fighter who is nice, also gave me pointers on some blocks and pivoting motions. I found out he also used to do Ishin Ryu Karate and did tournaments. Very cool.

I have now completed 1 full month of boxing training!

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White Dragon is a 3rd dan Taekwondo Black Belt with over 19 years experience in the Martial Arts and head instructor of the White Dragon Dojang Martial Arts Training Program. 

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Steven Seagal Loves Russia And Bonded With Putin Over Martial Arts

*Authored by White Dragon.

Steven Seagal has recently said he might apply to become a Russian Citizen after all this Crimea news. Seagal is very popular in eastern Europe and has made many B-grade movies there that went straight to DVD. he has bonded with Putin over martial arts. Martial Arts can cross boundaries and connect people, but come one we have to keep our eyes open about someone’s character. Putin is a pretty bad guy. Putin and Seagal are working together to create a Russian fitness program that includes martial arts.

Read a Yahoo article about this story:

Steven Seagal Loves Putin and Might Become a Russian Citizen Because of Ukraine.

Personally, I think Barrack Obama has no clue what he is doing and is just out to further his agenda. I choose to stay out of this Crimea situation and do not think the US needs to get involved and should just let it go. Maybe Seagal has some good points, but then he says Georgia attacked Russia so, who knows:

Annnnnd some cool Aikido moves in Russia:

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White Dragon is a 3rd dan Taekwondo Black Belt with over 19 years experience in the Martial Arts and head instructor of the White Dragon Dojang Martial Arts Training Program. 

 

Sport Karate Is Serious And Deadly Like Street Fighting

        Sport Karate with foot pads is just as deadly as real street fighting techniques that can break your ribs! Boards are as strong as ribs man! Ed Parker says so!

I need to start demonstrating that I could have broken ribs and always do light touch sparring and also break boards with sport karate techniques!!!

 

*This entire post was sarcastic.

Crossfit Cashing In On The Self Defense Craze

*Authored by White Dragon.

        Crossfit is cashing in on the self defense craze. Crossfit has always had many MMA gyms using its fitness techniques and various MMA gyms also have Crossfit certified coaches. But lately Crossfit has also been criticized by the martial arts community as not actually benefiting anyone for making them tough or strong for fighting or self defense. Some Brazilian Jiu Jistu practiiotners made fun of crossfit with this meme:

Apparently, Crossfit has teamed up with Tony Blauer to create Crossfit Defense seen below:

Crossfit Defense is basically reality based self defense for yuppies. Crossfit has already been criticized for being more of a cult than a workout gym franchise and has come under fire for causing its members injuries and has taken heavy criticism from the overall fitness community. Most personal trainers I have met shun Crossfit and think it is a gimmick. I would agree, and Crossfit Defense is just another gimmick. Crossfit realized it has no ability to save anyone’s life from attacks just because people have ripped abs and can do a bunch of sloppy kettle bell pulls and cheating pullups. They sacrifice form for higher amounts of wight and reps. Likewise from the video one can see Crossfit will sacrifice form for sloppy self defense techniques that probably will not prepare someone with a warrior mindset to fight for their lives. Buaer’s SPEARS is just the typical reality based self defense (RBSD) program that will shun the dojo and claim martial arts and self defense are not the same thing and you have to know their system as your Karate or Taekwondo is not good enough itself.

In actuality, learning a martial art system from a good instructor who promotes it as a self defense art and fighting system, taking the time to learn the techniques and master them, while keeping fit is what will make someone good at self defense. Not joining a fitness cult that is now cashing in on RSBD. RSBD always says the typical crime statistics and seems to spend more time in a classroom drawing on the board and talking about their theory of violence or aggression etc. than actually training to fight. At least at a boxing gym you will learn to fight within 2 weeks, and fight you will! RSBD constantly has guys who talk real tough, egotistical and also using casual cussing much like you see in the above video where he says the F word twice for no reason but to sound “serious maaaan!” Tony Bluaer is friends, or was friends, with Tim Larkin who created another RSBD system called Target Focus Training (TFT). I trained in TFT for 1 semester in college and met twice a week for about 2 and a half months. My opinion about TFT is that it is crap and a waste of time and also unrealistic. If Crossfit Defense is anything like typical RSBD it is going to suck. Slapping the Crossfit name on it does not make it legit and any serious fitness or martial arts expert is not going to want to be associated with cultlike fitness and RSBD programs.

Do not drink the kool aid! My guess is that your average suburbs or well to do city dweller apartment complex is going to have Crossfit chicks and dudes talking about how they know self defense and you are all wasting your time in your “krotty gyms!” Prepare to get even more annoyed. Many martial artists are also fitness fans and have 1 ear to hear the annoying pretentious crap Crossfitters spout out, now the other ear of the martial arts side is also going to get to hear more pretentious crap that Crossfitters spout out. GREAT! Yes, Crossfit is reality based fitness man! And it is also reality based self defense! No mirrors!

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White Dragon is a 3rd dan Taekwondo Black Belt with over 19 years experience in the Martial Arts and head instructor of the White Dragon Dojang Martial Arts Training Program. 

 

King Of The Demo Failure

        If you have been involved in Taekwondo for some time you have probably also watched various Taekwondo videos on YouTube and have seen this already; but nonetheless I could not pass on posting about this hilarious video. Maybe some of you have not seen this yet.

        Not only is his blue dobok a failure, he just plain fails at every move he tries. He gave himself way too high of expectations. He tried to do things he has no ability to do properly yet. He would have been better off doing simpler techniques that would work well for him which would impress people. Instead he decided to do do a demo with absolutely no knowledge of proper physics, board holding techniques, how to punch through a surface and improper footwear. ALWAYS PLAN AHEAD PEOPLE!

I admire the fact he did not do any Taekwondo-dancing, but still…this is what happens when your training has made you delusional and you never practiced it realistically.

What he should have done is this:

Yes, Grandmaster Hee Il Cho’s blue dobok is ugly, as well as his student’s, who wears one reminiscent of what the ATA started out wearing; but he has the right to wear such random colorful uniforms since he can kick my butt. So i will not claim his blue dobok is a fail like the other guy’s uniform. And I am thankful that Grandmaster Cho never once in his life did TKD-dance demos.

 

Taekwon Dork Water Jug Strength Training

        Seriousy, dude just buy some freaking weights!!!

I mean how hard is it to just buy actual dumbbells. He even says he prefers them. If you are incredibly weak, or elderly and need to do doctor recommended physical therapy exercises ok, but a martial artist? No! Does this master have water jugs everywhere in his dojang?

 

Taekwondo Is Not Karate, Taekwondo Is Karate, Karate Is Not Taekwondo, Karate Is Taekwondo

*Authored by White Dragon.

        Taekwondo is a Korean martial art system with its own name, own ranking structure, chosen techniques, and its own style. Taekwondo came from various influences of martial arts with the most heavy influence being from Japanese Karate. In this way Taekwondo is not Karate, yet Taekwondo is Karate. But one point that needs to be made: It is time to stop advertising Taekwondo schools with the word Karate and stop trying to make it synonymous with Karate.

        Some examples of this issue is how people now talk, “Oh my son is at Karate he will be done at 3.” But in reality you drive by and the gym is a Taekwondo gym with Korean flags everywhere. How often do Karate gyms that actually teach Japanese or Okinawan Karate claim to teach Taekwondo? Not many if any at all. So why do so many Taekwondo organizations advertise with Karate and use Japanese terms for everything like, “Sensei” and “gi.” This is annoying. These are signs of mcdojangism and a fake Taekwondo style that has absolutely no historical significance to Korea or proper Taekwondo.

Some ATA Taekwondo guy puts these posters up around my neighborhood. Bully prevention and leadership skills from Karate training huh? Except for the fact it's not Karate. Heck it isn't even really Taekwondo!

Some ATA Taekwondo guy puts these posters up around my neighborhood. Bully prevention and leadership skills from Karate training huh? Except for the fact it’s not Karate. Heck it isn’t even really Taekwondo!

        Early on in the 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s many legitimate Taekwondo masters did advertise using Karate. On very old gyms one can still see traces of this with old rusty signs and old paint on rooftops that say “Karate” in big, bold lettering. The reason many Korean grandmasters used the word Karate was because the word Taekwondo was not known to the average person who would have no clue what a Taekwondo gym is. Since taekwondo is obviously linked to Karate many masters saw it necessary to use Karate when advertising or making a sign in order to let people know “Yes, this is a school where you learn to fight in an Asian way.” The average American did not understand the difference between Karate and other fighting styles and once they got into the gym they did realize they were learning Taekwondo. Back then there was leeway for this method of advertising for Korean martial arts and I believe it was okay to use the term Karate. But not anymore!

        The year is 2014 and it is time to move on and stop using the term Karate for Taekwondo gyms! In the late 80’s and early 90’s Taekwondo at that point became the world’s most popular martial art and still maintains an extremely high degree of popularity worldwide. There are Taekwondo gyms with Korean flags in every town. People know the difference between Karate and Taekwondo now. The Taekwondo masters have had over 2 decades to educate the ignorant public about Taekwondo as its own style and there is no excuse to keep using the term Karate. Not only does using the term Karate piss off actual Karate masters and Karate school owners and takes away from their Japanese and Okinawan arts, it also disgraces Taekwondo by portraying the idea that one must hide the term Taekwondo, or that one is actually training in Taekwondo in order to look better to the public. It is as if Taekwondo gyms are admitting Karate is superior to Taekwondo and they wish they were Karate. It is offensive to the martial artist who loves Taekwondo and should also offend Korean masters who worked hard to get Taekwondo spread worldwide. Did they do this in order to pretend they were a Japanese style? No way! Korean nationalism does not allow for this!

        Yes Taekwondo could be said to be a kind of Karate and was known as Korean Karate for a very long time. One of its predecessor styles called Tang Soo Do which literally was Korean Karate with the exact same forms and movements as Karate does exist, but Taekwondo is far beyond just being a Karate style and has totally developed into its own unique style with its own theories and applications. It is time to just call it Taekwondo. Yes Taekwondo is Karate, yet Taekwondo is not Karate. Taekwondo is Taekwondo and has progressed beyond Karate even if they use a belt system and uniforms much like Karate fighters. Mcdojangs have got to stop using the word Karate on all of their advertising. Both the ATA and Tiger Rock are notorious for committing this crime, yet they are not even real taekwondo anyway so it is not crazy to understand such fake systems would use incorrect terms,  but I have seen actual Kukkiwon gyms and ITF gyms still using the word Karate. Now if this was from decades earlier and it is too expensive to change a sign I understand, but not in current advertising please!

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White Dragon is a 3rd dan Taekwondo Black Belt with over 19 years experience in the Martial Arts and head instructor of the White Dragon Dojang Martial Arts Training Program. 

 

 Every Martial Artist Should Cross-Train In Boxing Part 2

*Authored by White Dragon

Continuing on the series of boxing training here is the second weeks training log.

I had to pray a lot and get my mind ready to train again this week since I had an idea I would have to spar with some of the tough guys in this gym. The coach likes my jab and cross, he says I am a fast learner.

Week 2

Monday–        The next day I had to spar against a amateur fighter who is a champion. The catch was he could not punch me back. Instead I  could punch him as much as I wanted and he could only block and evade. And did he evade! This was a learning experience to show the power of boxing. My coach wanted me to see how hard a real fight would be. It is hard to hit a moving target who is fast and can move out of the way, but you realize you are easily able to be countered and knocked out from your slip ups trying to hit this guy. Also the stamina is takes to keep punching and moving around is extreme! You have to be able to punch for 3 minutes basically not stopping for only 1 round! Imagine 3 rounds for amateur bouts! The coach asked me to imagine of a guy did that on the streets and how he would win using footwork and evasive maneuvers and counters. I was very impressed and this was another life lesson as a martial artist. I was able to hit this guy about 2 or 3 times but he told me “You was open all day!” And he was very nice to me and helpful to teach me. I kept using my Taekwondo stance too much which does not work well in boxing. I was too rigid and too afraid and I need to relax. I overheard the coach saying to another trainer that I am too stiff and need to relax and if he saw me shadow boxing and how loose I was, but in the ring I tense up. This is a habit I will have to break. It was fun sparring him but imagining that someone would hit back scares me and this is a fear I want to overcome through this training.

Tuesday–        The next day after this I decided I was very sore from training every day the gym was open and my jab arm is sore because I worked extensively on the heavy bag with my jab. I need a break and also to calm my nerves because hard training is a mental thing. I do not want to get burnt out too quickly since I have over 2 and a half months to go!

Wednesday–        I got back into training again. I had to first teach my student some Taekwondo and after that session I went back to the boxing gym.  I ended up not having to spar this day and I felt somewhat relieved. Instead I was told to work on my technique. If I messed up he would yell at me. Take it with a grain of salt. I was on the elliptical for 45 minutes. Then 5 rounds speed bag, in between did sit ups with a medicine ball of 10 lbs. Then shadow boxing 5 rounds, then heavy bag about 5 rounds, and finally went through 3 cycles of a cross fit routine. I was there for about 2 hours total. The trainer was super enthusiastic and saying I put in good work. No one was at the gym but me since I think here people go to Wednesday night church. Anyway he told me that he never lets people fight in competitions unless they have trained with him 7-9 months. That is good to know. He says my right cross is looking good.

Thursday–        The next day I went earlier in the day and I felt tired and sleepy. I kind of did not want to go but I said I need to anyway. When I was on the elliptical for about 20 minutes the coach came in and said I was there not too long ago and that I should wait an entire 24 hours before I come back to train. But he said I could just do cardio but don’t hit the bags or anything. Just shadow box and do some sit ups. He said it ruins your training if you come in too much and it is counter productive. I just did 30 minutes elliptical, 30 minutes shadow boxing in the ring and worked on technique, then did some ab work with sit ups and planks and I was out of there. Nice work out.

Friday–        Now the next day was a rest day. The gym is closed. Man does my left jabbing arm feel soooo tired…I need this break. My bicep is so weak feeling.

Saturday–        I decided not to go to train the next day because my left arm is still sore. I think I punched way too much and have overuse symptoms on my shoulder. Hopefully tomorrow I can train. I have to teach my Taekwondo student later today though. I think I need this recovery. Unlike in Taekwondo or Kickboxing you cannot kick in Boxing so there really is nothing to do if your arms are too tired. You cannot take a break and work on kicks. So no point in going to the gym today until my body is ready. I have bad shoulders on both arms, my left is bad, but my right was worse and I had to have shoulder stabilization surgery over a year ago so I believe my shoulders do not last as long as a normal person’s but I can still work out and punch extremely hard. I just need more rest than average people and to always be careful.

Sunday–        Again I decided to take this day off because my shoulder and wrists are not healed up enough to do serious punching. I believe I over trained these past 2 weeks and need to really take the coaches advice seriously about proper rest between training. I will make sure I do this. One down side of boxing that I realize is that they only allow you to train one side of your body. They believe you are either “southpaw,” or “orthodox” in your stance. So if you feel sore on one side you cannot switch sides and train unless you want to get yelled at. I personally believe for self defense you should train both sides, maybe you will have a favorite side and train it more often but you should take a decent amount of time training the other side as well, especially if kicks come in. I also realize one side of my neck can get more stiff because of only standing one side and looking over only one shoulder. I also believe you could suffer from “runners knee” if you are not careful as when you shift around, shadow box, or spar you only put weight on one side of your knees and not the other much like runners who only run in one direction on the track and never the other direction. With my bad knees I will have to be careful about over training. I also have a bad ankle from previous injuries so when I jump rope that bad ankle tightens up with shin splints if I over do it. Anyway, I plan to train a good session tomorrow. I don’t know if he will have me spar or not.

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White Dragon is a 3rd dan Taekwondo Black Belt with over 19 years experience in the Martial Arts and head instructor of the White Dragon Dojang Martial Arts Training Program. 

The WTF Giving Vladimir Putin An Honorary 9th Dan Black Belt Was A Mistake

*Authored by White Dragon

        On November 3rd, 2013 the World Taekwondo Federation gave Russian Dictator President Vladimir Putin an honorary 9th dan black belt in Taekwondo. The WTF has a history of giving undeserving people high ranking black belts for various reasons which are excuses to get Taekwondo in the news or to serve some special purpose for the WTF. Many people are undeserving because they have zero physical skills in Taekwondo, and others are just people of low character like Putin who decided to invade the Ukraine and basically wants to take it over. The WTF did not see this coming did they? But then are they so blind as to forget that he already invaded Georgia during the 2012 Summer Olympics? Was the WTF so busy focusing on Olympic Taekwondo fighting that they did not see the news during the Olympics that Putin invaded Georgia and was having a war with them? He is now causing a war with Ukraine as well as any other countries from the global community that will get involved.

World Taekwondo Federation President Choue Chung-won, gives an honorary Taekwondo 9th dan black belt and uniform to Russian President Vladimir Putin in Seoul, South Korea. Oh and it’s an expensive Nike dobok too! I bet the first thing Putin did was take sexy photos in it, then one of him without a shirt on and just his pants and dobok on too posing so hardcore!

       The WTF gave Putin an honorary 9th dan black belt (the highest level one can achieve in Taekwondo) because they believe he gas done much to promote the martial arts. They said he did a lot to promote Taekwondo competitions in Russia and he is also a black belt in Judo and a Sambo expert. He has actually done more about Judo and Sambo than anything related to Taekwondo, but I guess the WTF just wanted an excuse to get in the news and say he has worked to promote Taekwondo tournaments to a high degree in Russia. Maybe he has but still, I have never heard of Putin training in Taekwondo ever, not even 1 day in his life that I know of. If he has then I would love someone to let me know. Is receiving a 9th dan black belt, which is Grandmaster status, proper for what Putin has done apparently for Taekwondo? I don’t think so.

        For your information, the WTF is not the world ranking body for black belt ranks, but is simply a tournament organization for Taekwondo sport competitions. The true world ranking organization for Taekwondo is the Kukkiwon, which is the World Taekwondo Headquarters. But the WTF and Kukkiwon are both linked and support each other fully. Kukkiwon rank is the only rank allowed in Taekwondo competitions and the Kukkiwon currently only recognizes WTF events as true Taekwondo competitions, all though the Kukkiwon is the self defense and martial art of Taekwondo and WTF is the sport aspect.

Even President Obama was given a black belt by the WTF. Yes his punching form is superb so he is much deserving as he has actively promoted martial arts and Taekwondo his whole life! Oh wait, no he hasn’t. He is a girly man who wears mom jeans.

Yes, President Putin could beat up our President Obama. That is a fact.

Judo black belt Vladimir Putin

Putin even wrote a book on Judo, but what has he done for Taekwondo that is deserving of a 9th dan black belt?

         Since the WTF is only a sport organization, and not a certification body, the ranks that they give out are simply symbolic and honorary. But in some cases they have honored world leaders who actually have a Taekwondo training history such as President Porfirio Lobo of Honduras; who earned a 3rd dan black belt level on his own prior to being honored with a Taekwondo uniform (what do no extra dan rank?!). The WTF has given multiple U.S. presidents black belt ranks as well as world leaders in various countries. It seems to be just something they do to further relations between Korea and other countries. It is pretty much a given that if you are a president or important person that influences the world in some way you will automatically be given a WTF honorary black belt. In some cases it seems like this might be just for fun and a nice gesture for diplomatic relations, but often in reality sometimes the people given these honorary ranks do not deserve it. Especially Vladimir Putin.

But sometimes the WTF does actually honor Taekwondo martial artists who are world leaders, as in the case of former WTF President Lee Myung-bak presenting a Taekwondo uniform to Honduran President Porfirio Lobo in 2011 who was at the time a 3rd dan black belt already. He received an honorary 9th dan certificate later.

Taekwondo is a martial art that teaches all kinds of physical abilities and physical health, yet it is a style that also focuses on the spirit or mind of the practitioner with a moral code of conduct called the 5 Tenets of Taekwondo. They are: Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self Control, and Indomitable Spirit. With the recent controversy of Russia invading the Ukraine and Putin leading this take over it is obvious that Putin is not a man that follows the 5 Tenets of Taekwondo, well at least all of them. He seems to have perseverance (to get what he wants and will keep working to get it), self control (to wait for the right moment to get what he wants because he is disciplined to use strategy to seize power and control), and indomitable spirit (an unconquerable attitude that no one will defeat him as he takes what he wants through dictator-like behavior); but he most certainly does not have courtesy (taking over land and manipulating countries for power is not courteous), and he does not have integrity (he does not talk honestly or behave honestly and he is a self praising president with his shirtless hero poses in photos and pride like he is the most badass president in the world *but he actually might be because the USA has this girly man called Obama who wears mom jeans and wears a stupid bike helmet while guys like Putin are hunting, fishing, flying jets, kicking ass in Judo, riding horses across the land etc.* and his lack of integrity was shown when he was accused of stealing a super bowl ring from NFL player Robert Kraft of the Patriots in St. Petersburg on a visit in 2005 with other world business leaders). So no, Putin does not deserve a black belt in Taekwondo let alone a freaking 9th degree black belt making him an honorary Grandmaster of Taekwondo. I am sorry but in no way would I ever acknowledge his rank or ever bow to him on a dojang floor.

President Vladimir Putin, the James Bond style villain and 100% evil. Ridiculous.

Steven Segal apparently likes him.

The WTF has got to stop giving out meaningless “honorary” ranks to everyone, especially people of low character like Putin. It makes the WTF, Kukkiwon, and Korea look bad and lowers the standard of what a black belt in Taekwondo means. Putin’s 9th dan black belt means just as much as a toy in the bottom of a Crackerjacks box in my opinion. Knowing the history of communism in Korea and the Korean war it is interesting to know the WTF would give the highest rank possible in Taekwondo to a former Soviet KGB agent and total jerk.

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White Dragon is a 3rd dan Taekwondo Black Belt with over 19 years experience in the Martial Arts and head instructor of the White Dragon Dojang Martial Arts Training Program. 

Every Martial Artist Should Cross-Train In Boxing Part 1

*Authored by White Dragon

        Knowing how to throw effective punches and also defend against them is very important for self defense. Most people on the streets throw punches first before anything else. Whether or not a martial artist trains in a striking or grappling art, knowledge of boxing is a must. Every martial artist should cross-train in boxing, whether or not for a long haul or just a couple months, to learn the fundamentals of fist fighting. Just because your martial art style includes punching does not mean you should neglect practical, simple, and proven techniques by masters of punching technique. A boxing trainer is a master of the punch as well as a master of defending the punch. Who else is better to go to in order to learn better punching and defenses against punching but a boxing coach! Taekwondo has punches just the same as boxing but boxing is pure punching and nothing else. So to master punch fighting I, White Dragon, decided boxing is a must for me to grow as a martial artist and also a man. This article will document my training in boxing for 2 months and will be separated in parts in separated articles until I have completed 2 full months of boxing training at a real boxing gym under a qualified level 3 USA Boxing trainer who has had 87 professional fights. The article will be separated by each week.

        I have to admit that at first I was very intimidated to walk into the gym and ask to sign up for boxing. Part of me signing up for boxing was that 1. the gym was close by and the cost was not that expensive nor was there a contract 2. I want to grow as a martial artist and overcome my fear of getting hit hard in the face. Yes I have been in street fights and self defense situations and have taken punches to the face, but still the thought of facing experienced punchers is intimidating and the intense conditioning is something I need. This is going to be a life changing experience for me.

        Boxing culture is different from other martial arts styles’ culture and does not emphasize morality training like Taekwondo ( 5 tenets) or Karate (5 rules) and it is very street tough. The types of people who train at boxing gyms are typical guys and some are street tough and others are not, yet still tough. These people are not at all afraid to get hit in the face. The attitude is very matter of fact and definitely not politically correct at all. Boxing is not a baby sitters club nor does a boxing gym exist to teach you proper morality as boxing is purely a physical sport. It is about competition. The work is extremely hard and surviving the workouts alone is hard enough in itself. Even so, boxing still produces a sense of honor and real honesty in what a man can and cannot take. Boxing training has no place for an egomaniac or macho man tough guy. You will be set in your place and you will not like it if you come in thinking you are already good. On the other hand if you come in with an empty cup, admit you know absolutely nothing and are a baby and need to grow then training at the gym will be a very positive experience. At the current gym I went to the atmosphere has all ages, 9 years old and up. There are middle aged to even older people training there as well as young athletic guys and girls.

        I remember my experience signing up at a local MMA gym and hated every minute of it there for 1 month. You could cut the ego in that place with a knife! Everyone had something to prove and walked around with a chip on their shoulder or a stupid macho man attitude of “yeaaah man lets fight!” People always got hurt, the fighters who sparred you did not ease you into sparring and there was not much safety gear worn. The females there also were ridiculous and full of ego and just wanted to be one of the boys, or enjoyed hanging out with sweaty men. The F word was thrown around constantly by everyone for everything and yes it was not a very positive environment. And if I said a boxing gym is not PC, well this MMA gym is far less PC. I got rocked with punches in boxing class and Muay Thai. I got choked far beyond the time I had tapped out from a choke and even got a mat disease that lasted about 2 months on my wrist. The trainers at this gym including the head trainer barely taught me anything. I was left on my own just to free roll or hit pads with people who had no clue how to hold them. Everything was taught in a class and not much room for personal training existed unless you wanted to pay tons of money for private lessons. Then their cross training workouts were way too intense. People constantly got injured because of rough sparring and Jiu Jitsu rolling. So much ego and macho behavior caused a lot of people to lose control and hurt each other. This MMA gym was a negative place and dangerous to train for anyone who wants to learn real martial arts and get good fast.

        I came into the boxing gym wary of such attitudes yet the trainer assured me he was not like that and in fact everything the MMA gym owner knew about boxing he had taught him as he was his previous student and the boxing coach laughed and mocked at the thought that anyone could learn boxing in an MMA gym. On my first day I had sweat pants on with a Tapout logo on them. When he saw that he yelled at me and made fun of me for wearing that MMA shit.” He said that is how you can get your ass kicked and that if the guys in his gym saw it they would want to fight me. I only bought those sweats because they were really cheap at the Burlington Coat Factory and they allow me to kick well! He was pretty much joking or using sarcasm to just screw with me about it, but he was very serious about not wearing MMA stuff in his gym. He said, “Why would you even think that is cool???” Yes boxing gyms have cussing but not as much as the MMA gym it is very mild compared to an MMA gym. I now knew never, ever, ever to wear anything MMA related into his gym again! Yet the stange this is sometimes MMA fighters come to his gym to learn boxing and he is okay with them and helps them out. When I started training at this boxing gym it was very positive and the coach actually taught! He would literally teach me technique on his own, as well as have his fighters teach me technique and he coddled me into sparring and eased me into it just like any white belt needs to be! People at the gym said, “We are not here to beat each other up but to help each other learn.” But that did not mean the fighting was soft because after all it is boxing and boxing is full contact so you will get hit. Also, the workouts are given to you as the coach knows exactly what training and conditioning you need to do that day and you only do what he says so it is totally structured. Before I trained here I assumed the gym would just be like an open gym and you would be left on your own. Partly that is true but the coach gives you a definite structured direction on what to do every day. There is also group stomach work classes (sit ups, planks, burpees etc). Everything happens spontaneous. You are working on the speed bag then all of a sudden the coach yells at you to get in the ring with everyone to do ab work. Then later sparring. You do what he says. The following is my experience training for 2 months week by week. This is part 1 of the article separated by weeks:

Week 1

        I survived 1 week of boxing training! I feel amazing, yet still some fear exists because I have no yet spared fully yet.

Monday–        First day the coach has be jump on the elliptical for 45 minutes. After that he taught me the speed bag and lt me work on it for several rounds, then he gave me a crossfit routine with situps, pushups and dumbells. Later I had to learn a 4 punch simple combo that teaches hip rotation with punches.

Tuesday–        The second day I did much of the same and he told me where to go and what to do each time. I was having a lot of fun and feeling great that I am working out really hard. If I did not have a coach I would not want to do such exercises or be motivated. I did more of the punch combo.

Wednesday–        Day 3 I learned how to get into a proper boxing stance and throw a jab and cross. He went over the ins and outs of boxing with me that evening and took time to talk to me with much enthusiasm. I could tell this coach loved his craft and loves to teach. He also taught me a hook punch. He was also impressed I learned the rhythm of the speed bag on my 3rd day. Usually it takes people weeks. He realized I had to have some training before. I had to admit that I am a Taekwondo guy and he was cool with it. I was relieved because most people will bash Taekwondo or think I am some kind of competition for their commercial gym since I also teach martial arts. He let me work around in his gym on my own this day and every so often gave me corrections. When he gives corrections he is somewhat abrasive and sarcastic but he only does it to coach me. Boxing trainers are arrogant but they know what works and what doesn’t and you must be humble and accept his correction.

Thursday–        The fourth day I was taught by one of his amateur fighters and trainers how to move forward and backward in a boxing stance as well as throw combos. I felt so happy! The trainer told me I looked good.

Friday–        Day 5 there are no classes held on friday. This was a rest day.

Saturday–        Day 6 I had a realization that I WILL have to fight and will be in the ring. I saw guys sparring and they do not really pull punches much. I felt intimidated. I know i do Taekwondo and I have sparred and even did Kickboxing sparring but in a boxing gym there is no notion of “light contact” but there is a sense of “go easy” yet it is still rough. Boxing is not for the weak. In boxing you learn simply by trial and error. You are taught the correct form for techniques then thrown out to try it against someone who knows how to box. You will get punched in the face and no you will not like it, but how you react to getting hit will speak volumes of your abilities. Knowing this I have this anticipation about getting hit and I do not look forward to it. I am a Taekwondo guy who has sparring experience yet not much face punching towards me experience and I want to overcome my fears of punches coming at me and build confidence for full contact punching.

Sunday–        Day 7 he had me jump rope and did not tell me to stop and I ended up jumping for an hour and a half. He seemed impressed. I was taught more on blocking than the first day he showed me a boxing stance and jab and cross. Another student worked with me on catching the jab and jabbing back. Also the second block to a cross punch by lifting the wrist and elbow to the ear. I was told to spar in the ring now with jabs only. I sparred with jabs and catching the jab blocking against a seasoned boxer who threw the same back at me. I was hit a couple of times and no I did not like it but I also did get a couple of hits in myself. Boxing is extremely tiring and you have to have extreme cardio and stamina to survive. This is a life lesson. A real fight can be a marathon and if you are not in shape you will die. I felt great after training was over. But began to dread the next day.

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White Dragon is a 3rd dan Taekwondo Black Belt with over 19 years experience in the Martial Arts and head instructor of the White Dragon Dojang Martial Arts Training Program.