Children Need To Learn Self Defense Not Waste Time In A McDojang

        “We live in violent times” is a statement pretty much every generation claims. In modern times since the 1900’s every generation since has seemed to think the violence occurring worldwide and even locally is somehow an anomoly.  But this could not be further from the truth. The entire history of mankind is one of violence. It should be common sense that people need to learn how to fight and protect themselves no matter what kind of society they live in. This was the norm for practically every culture in history. Learning to fight was part of becoming an adult and being self sufficient.

        People in the United States often think much of the new kinds of murder and death occurring is such a far out thing. But one just has to look south of the border to Mexico and understand other countries’ cultures are blood soaked in violence. Much of the United States is full of violence and has been for quite some time. Much of American inner-cities are full of fighting and violence of all types. Only when suburban or off the beaten path communities experience a murder or a troubling gang infiltration do a lot of people assume learning how to use a weapon such as a gun, and learning martial arts is something people might want to start taking up. What confuses people even more is when children murder children such as the case of the Slender Man murder plot and assault with a knife by two 12 year old girls on another girl. Even worse is when a 12 year old boy actually full out murders another boy the age of 9 on a local playground.

        The fact is, now, children are attacking and murdering children. Self defense is pretty much mandatory for the well being of children in society. Too many kids who are “just plain evil” are being raised by incompetent parents, as well as such evil children just being evil despite their proper upbringing and good home life. The attack of a 12 year old on a 9 year old boy with a knife is one occasion that shows parents can never really trust unknown kids to play with their own. Parents must be involved and watchful of who their children interact with. In this case when it cannot be supervised, a play session should happen with a child properly instilled in situation awareness. Also, a child should be wary of unknown kids or certain neighborhoods kids who might be dangerous to play with. There has always been neighborhood bullies and juvenile delinquents, and now days some might attack and even kill. This occurrence on the playground in a Michigan mobile home park was random and without a known motive.

        One major problem is the fact so many martial arts schools claim to teach self defense when in reality they do not. So many of these schools, deemed mcdojangs because they only care about money, are wasting time and money from parents who want their child to learn how to defend themselves. So much time in such academies children are pretty much baby-sat with silly games and other nonsense that have nothing to do with actually learning martial arts. And when they are claiming to drill self defense the techniques are very suspect and have a very low chance of actually working in a real confrontation. Most of the instructors are told to behave extremely happy and silly and overly enthusiastic in order to coddle kids and make them have fun regardless if they learn anything realistic. This problem causes false security and confidence in kids who are given black belts far too soon and at a young age that is improper for a black belt to be.

        Parents need to make sure they enroll their child in a real martial arts school qualified by the traditional organization that oversees it and not a typical franchise chain with its own made up system created strictly for their own group. True Taekwondo exists as a martial art system, of course overseen by an organization from Korea that allows freedom for Taekwondo dojangs to teach what they want and run their programs in the way the instructor personally wants. At the same time they are still teaching proper Taekwondo and proper techniques with their intended combat applications. Other franchise gyms, the mcdojangs, have a corporate structure run like a multi-level-marketing scheme with forced guidelines existing simply to make as much money as possible. In these schools less time worrying about high quality students is spent and more time is spent on making as much money as possible through various gimmicks (belt tests, stripes, patches, birthday parties etc.). So less time teaching children in situation awareness, instilling proper values, giving proper self defense techniques, and instilling real discipline and a warrior mindset.

        Children need to attend a Taekwondo gym, or any style of martial art’s gym that instills not only physical skills but proper psychological mindsets for self defense. This includes situational awareness, character assessment of people they would meet in every day life, as well as true combat skills. If parents allowed their kids to be given the “military” style discipline that Taekwondo culture traditionally emphasized and taught to have a since of honor and to hold important the martial arts as a serious life skill then children will have a better chance to avoid being attacked. Maybe they would not have played with another kid in the first place, and if they did play possibly an attack could be avoided by situational awareness, and if the attack occurs regardless then combative defense skills will defeat the attacker as well as escaping and finding an adult to call the police. This is not to say the 9 year old boy lacked sense. It is impossible to know the full story. Sometimes an attack can kill even the most skilled people. That is life. No matter what reason the attack occurred and whatever the child could have done to escape is irrelevant to the point that children today, right now, in our american society, need to learn martial arts, to take them seriously as a life skill, and learn how to fight in order to defend themselves.


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. 

  1. 종원 박 says:

    Respect from south korea, man.

    I do love training taekwondo in my gym, But sadly many people think Taekwondo isnt effective than Major MMA(Boxing, BJJ, MT…)… even the korean people!

    I always told them that Hook kick and Axe kick is deadly and many UFC fighters(Anthony pettis, Bendo, Cro Cop, etc…) is a Taekwondo fighter.

    We need the DOJANG. Not a kindergarten.

    • White Dragon says:

      Heck yeah! Awesome comment man! What city in Korea do you train in? What rank and how many years did you train?

      Unfortunately, the truth is that the Koreans themselves ruined Taekwondo by overly commercializing it and bastardizing it in order to get fame for the name Taekwondo and also Korean nationalism. So many Korean masters did things just for themselves as well to make money. Taekwondo became simply a marketing gimmick to make money instead of teaching the respectful, honest and brutal art of Taekwondo fighting. Koreans while wanting honor and respect for their nation have actually lost respect for it. Their plans backfired, but many do not even care. There are a few Grandmasters who really do teach the real self defense art of Taekwondo.

      The problem is too much focus on poomsae competitions and Olympic only sparring. When you make a martial art silly, then silly people join it, and these silly people from every country in the world influence it and create a world culture that is just silly. This is what happened. It is sad but I am glad that you as a Korean see the truth and do not make excuses and also do not reject Taekwondo. People like us can somehow be a small remnant that saves Taekwondo from fading away into obscurity over time. Because with groups like Korean Tigers and other silly groups doing dance routines and gymnastics, the martial art will simply disappear and no real fighters will ever want to train in it.

      Spread the word of my blog to your Korean brothers! Lets keep Taekwondo strong, serious, and combative!

      • 종원 박 says:

        Just saw your reply. I live in Bundang(near the gangnam, I’m sure you know gangnam.)
        2th dan in Taekwondo, 1th dan in Hapkido, Brown Belt in Kyokushinkaikan.

        I’m in Korean army ROTC now so unfortunately I can’t stay long in my gym anymore…

        You quite know the truth about TKD in korea even though you are american… I’m surprised about that.

        Korean college have a TKD major. Many Olympic star learned TKD from a college. But actual lectures are focus only at Demonstration and Ineffective-Sparring.

        There are lots of UFC fan in korea. But because of their few information, they regard real TKD based fighters are Muay-Thai based fighters! even they saw that fighters actually use Axe kick and Back Spin Kick!

        Yep, now is a tough days to you,me and fellow TKD fighter. I almost exhausted to tell my friends that real TKD is not dead. But I saw your post yesterday, now I see a shiny silver lining. I’m truly glad about that foreign friend doesnt give up to make TKD effective.

        Defend your FAITH, pal. I’m truly respect ya. you are real TKD fighter.
        I will keep watch your site.

        I have some question to ya. maybe you can solve my headrush.
        Q1) What is ATA taekwondo? I heard that Anthony Pettis learned TKD in ATA, not WTF.
        Q2) Is there(America) still have a many TKD practitioner just like 1990s?
        Q3) What do you think about Cross-Training? I think TKD with Boxing is great base.

        P.S : yep, K-tigers sucks 🙂

      • White Dragon says:

        Wow you can go to the Kukkiwon very easy if you live there. Also Gangnam is a very rich district.

        You have ranks in 3 styles? That is cool. I only have rank in Taekwondo. I wish I could have blck belts in hapkido and kyokushin like you.

        Tell all your Taekwondo fighter friends about my blog! It is great to have more serious minded Taekwondo as fighting friends and not boring demos that look stupid and ONLY olympic sparring. I am not Korean but I want to preserve Taekwondo as a real martial art and also for its true culture in korea and not just made up stuff.

        You ask about ATA. ATA = American Taekwondo Association which is probably the biggest mcdojang organization in the world. HU Lee started it. He was a Korean immigrant in the USA and started his own Taekwondo organization and his own Taekwondo style. He used to be ITF with General Choi forms, then he threw them out and made up his own forms he calls Song Ahm. He bastarized Taekwondo and made it incredibly stupid. Everything about them is so stupid and horrible. People get black belts in 1 year through them or even less. Their sparring is horrible too.

        Yes unfortunately Anthony Pettis has no real Korean taekwondo. He has ATA Taekwondo. He grew up in it. Yet he is still good though, but that is bc he wanted to be good and joined MMA. He does use TKD tactics though and its something to respect. ATA does use some TKD tactical stuff but usually its crap, He is just an exception. Benson Henderson also did ATA TKD.

        In the USA, in the 1990’s almost all Taekwondo was Olympic enthusiasts and did WTF. Many people were going for the Kukkiwon black belt. but now most Taekwondo in the USA is mcdojang TKD in fake organizations with fake TKD like ATA. Also Tiger Rock (or ITA: International Taekwondo Association) and many other groups like ATF, and random organizations. And independent. Then there are alot of ITF onlyists out there too. Less people do true Kukkiwon Taekwondo, And if they do its almost always mcdojangized and only about olympic sparring and doing stupid demos. Hardly any care about fighting for self defense. Only a few do like me.

        Cross training is awesome and apparently you already do it with Hapkido and Kyokushin!!! I also did boxing for a total for 3 months. Id id 1 month at an MMA place, then 2 at a golden gloves boxing place. I learned the fundamentals really well. I usually train like that and punch that way but I always do my basics of TKD with chambered punches and horse stance etc. I never neglect it.

        yes Ktigers have ruined Taekwondo, especially in Korea and they are pretty boys who cant fight. Posers!!

  2. dobokdude says:

    Hey I am just driving back from a family trip and just passed victory martial arts. They are supposed to be a Taekwondo place but they say Karate for Kids and Karate for Adults, karate birthday parties and XMA and I just a sign that says they are with the ATA. So sad. They have a giant ass X on their wall and it’s a big studio where it looks like you could have a mini tournament in their but I know it’s bullshit. So I talked to my sabonim and he definitely has a good mindset. He adds some other martial arts in so we can be as well rounded as possible. I even like this idea because I like all martial arts but want my primary style to be taekwondo but this way I learn some other martial arts as well without it becoming full on MMA. Also he says this way we can each have our own style because my style and the other students styles ate different. I think this is a good idea. Now that doesn’t mean I think taekwondo is useless. I think that like any other martial art it can be very deadly. Also we don’t do any overly flashy crap and work on basic conditioning, footwork, and this week we will doing Olympic sparring. But yeah but it’s not like the ATA they are dumb what is extreme martial arts anyway? So yeah also the masters that you have interviewed also studied other martial arts which is good. Also when I make this cartoon I want to show that the martial arts in general inspire the will to fight back. Not just physically bit mentally. I want to give kids morals that relate not just to martial arts but to life in general. Because their are alot of cartoons that use idiot toilet humor and cruelty. A great example would be spongebob. The episode one coarse meal is all the proof you need that kids aren’t getting enough moral value from things like this and they get the impression that it’s okay to be cruel to others for fun. Also I wanted to visit south Korea one day but I looked up that blacks aren’t treated very well there and there is even anti racial bullying. I am not saying that all Koreans are racists though. Also I do want to save Taekwondo but can you give me a deeper reason to why it should be saved just in case I am missing something? Thanks. Also get this the Korean government says Kuk Sool Won is their largest martial art even though taekwondo is bigger. That’s because they consider taekwondo to be a sport based off martial art and not an actual martial arts system. That’s sad and I hope to change this with my cartoon. When I told my cousin about it she said it could be a great thing for the martial arts. And good news this German exchange student at my school does taekwondo and he even told me about the leg snapping technique in poomsae. He is an 18 year old 1st dan.

  3. dobokdude says:

    Also my sabonim showed me the fence posture and said yes the way you block depends on who you are fighting. So that’s good. In your experience what would an ATA instructor say if I asked him about blocking and sparring with contact? Also he said that in his experience he’s been able to avoid multi opponent fights by establishing the fence posture and saying he doesn’t want to fight and that people really get into those situations by looking for trouble or being in gangs.

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