Posts Tagged ‘board breaking’

Uriah Hall Jump Back Kick To Flying Knee And Punches TKO Of Gegard Mousasi 

        Last night on UFC Fight Night on Fox Sports 1 there was an nice display of traditional martial arts fight finishing in the second round between Uriah Hall and Gregard Mousasi. The fight was in the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo, Japan.

He timed a jump back kick perfectly as Mousasi shot in for a takedown. He tried to recover and immediately do another takedown only to receive a flying knee to the head. It was pretty exciting to watch during the event because the first round Hall was on his back and almost got submitted by a rear naked choke. Although, Hall did turn the grappling around and go for an ankle lock or heel hook. Then he went for a kimura and transitioned to try for an armbar. All were unsuccessful. Then he made a bad decision and gave up his back to Mousasi. Hall was saved by the bell.

Hall needed to get shaken up because that brings out his killer instinct and he is no longer a nice guy. BAM! an BAM! and bam, bam, bam, bam, bam until the ref stopped it.

Uriah Hall has a Karate background from Tiger Schullman who runs a large chain of Karate/MMA gyms in New York.

What Hall’s beautiful martial arts technique display though is serious power. It reminds me of why we break boards and bricks in various ways.

Often times in Karate and Taekwondo the practitioner will break bricks and boards. A powerful back kick can break many boards and bricks and the power from that kick going into someone’s head is devastating. In the above video Master Hee Il Cho displays various breaks, but watch for the jump back kick, and watch for the straight punch downward on bricks which are set up on the ground. Uriah Hall did the jump back kick, a flying knee, then finished with some hammer fists then held his opponents head down on the mat and began to throw multiple straight punches. These last punches are one reason why Karate, and Taekwondo, people break breaks on the floor. It is the practice of a finishing move to destroy the attacker after you have knocked him down, or thrown him beneath you.

Some people criticize traditional martial arts for breaking bricks on the ground when attackers are facing you standing up. This is because they do not understand that after the enemy is on the ground a strong finishing blow or two can make the attacker stop. Uriah Hall’s excitement cause him to throw less powerful fast punches but they still got the job done.

Kyukpa Is Not “The Art Of Destruction”

        Before I even started martial arts seriously I had always heard that “Karate masters” break boards. Breaking boards is a common thing in martial arts, especially Taekwondo. Not only breaking boards, but bricks and tiles and other such things. When I was a kid I always called it board breaking, and everyone else I heard talk about it called it board breaking as well. When I started Taekwondo I learned that the Korean word that means board breaking is called kyukpa, but it also refers to breaking various things as already mentioned. At Taekwondo tournaments sometimes they had a “kyukpa event.” It was also called “board breaking competition.” Never once did I hear people say, “Hey are you going to participate in destruction?” Seriously, what the heck does that mean? Why yes, I am going to participate in destroying things, in ultimate destruction. It sounds so badass!!! Grrr!!

        When people started calling it destruction it was usually the mcdojangs in town who called it that. Then when the internet got popular a few random Taekwondo groups called it destruction as well. I personally think calling kyukpa “destruction” sounds stupid. It makes me feel like I am going to participate in destroying the world and everything in it, and all people and just destroy! Destroy!! Destroooyyyoouuuu!!!! or something to that effect. I recently saw an online Taekwondo article on a website call it “the art of destruction.” It said you should “participate in the art of destruction.” What do you mean? Participate in death metal music and break guitars or burn down buildings and blow bridges up? Is the art of destruction an anti-world anti-life philosophical outlook on life? Or does it mean being a demolition man at a construction site who sets up TNT and other explosives in order to implode a building so it can be rebuilt later in a much better way? So if you are a master board breaker does that mean you are a “master in the art of destruction?” It sounds so stupid.

1. When you break boards nothing was made out of them or constructed out of them. So therefore you cannot “participate in destruction” with them since you are not tearing down a house or fence built with the wood. You cannot destroy the boards themselves either since all you are doing is breaking them in half. Now if you could bust them up into 100 pieces of wood maybe I would acknowledge that the board had in fact been destroyed. But then you would have to use those crappy “balsa wood” thin demo boards for children to try to come close. It is the same with bricks.

2. Technically all you are doing when kicking or punching through boards, bricks, tiles, ice etc. is breaking them. You are simply breaking it. It is a more proper and accurate term to call it breaking. I don’t think anyone actually destroys a board or brick when doing kyukpa.

        The English dictionary defines “destruction” as the condition of being destroyed; demolition; annihilation. This is hardly anything that happens when doing kyukpa.

        It defines “breaking” as to smash, split, or divide into parts violently; reduce to pieces or fragments. This sounds completely like what happens when doing kyukpa and is the accurate term and does not sound stupid.  

        I believe the Korean word “kyukpa” simply means “breaking” or “breaking method” when translated into English. It does not mean “destruction” or “destroying method.”

Man that board has been totally DESTROYED!! Look at it! Destroyed maaan!

But I guess all the cool mcdojang kids are using the term destruction now days because it sounds so cool and makes their Taekwondo performance sound so hardcore!!! DESTRUCTION MAN!! TAEKWONDO DESTRUCTION!!

Taekwondo Stone Hands Conditioning

        If you are going to be a serious Taekwondoin you should condition your hands and make them hard so you can punch things without breaking your hand as easy. Karate guys do, and real Taekwondo masters always have done it. The mcdojangization of Taekwondo has nearly made this type of training obsolete. Let’s bring it back! It is a black belt requirement in my program! If you do not have a makiwara try these methods in these convenient videos below! Enjoy!

Train hard! Tae Kwon Do! Hopefully you will be able to punch people’s skulls without damaging your hands! Enjoy punching people in the face!

More Taekwondo Korean’s Breaking Balsa Wood

        Here are some high pitched screaming crazy Korean Taekwondo guys breaking balsa wood with trick kicks.

Are people actually impressed with the ability to break paper thin wood pieces? Does it reflect real power and hard impact? I don’t think it does. It shows accuracy and I guess flimsy pieces floating in the wind, twisting around in the air, and  softly landing on the pavement might look more interesting than kicking paddles, but it does not show powerful striking ability or any strike that would hurt someone. Why is it that so many crazy Taekwondo demos like this have guys doing insane and inefficient kicks that are over the top, twisting and flipping in the air, but their basics or poomsae or any demonstrative action to show real martial skill is so freaking terrible? And do not even get me started on the Taekwondo dance routine they showed.

Here is an example of how stupid these flimsy boards are. In this demo video a guy holding a board is clearly seen accidentally breaking the board with his bare hands before the guy can even kick it. Then pretends like he broke it. What a joke. Here watch at 5:03:

When almost the entire martial world is engrossed in watching MMA fighting in the UFC and Bellator, GLORY Kickboxing and intense grappling challenges such as Metamoris, and many martial arts masters who train for self defense are laughing at us, why do such Taekwondoin keep doing this? People want to know why Taekwondo is a great martial art, why they should enroll in it, and how it is effective for self defense and fighting! They keep doing these demos no matter what. Instead they recruit people who lack any fighting interest and simply want to do dance numbers and show off with aerial acrobatics. It seems the madness will never stop.

Korean Tiger’s US Team. Apparently there is now a franchise going with the Korean Tiger name:

When Koreans themselves do not give a damn to promote Taekwondo as a serious fighting art and proving its worth, and do not respect their own cultures martial art with combative integrity we know Taekwondo is just going to die sooner than later. Only a ghost will remain of what once was. The only similarity left will be the wearing of a dobok…

…that is until the WTF introduces a more idiotic looking dobok that has nothing to do with the original and practical uniform that Taekwondo in Korea used with pride….and if the name Taekwondo still remains then it will just be a ghost with the name Taekwondo and nothing of the former life.

Flashy Spinning, Flying, Air, Kicks And Their Ineffectiveness For Real Fighting

*Authored by White Dragon. 

        Taekwondo is known for its kicks, especially its amazing, flying, twirling and spinning kicks. They are very impressive to audiences at demos. These kicks are amazing displays of acrobatic talent and agility. They take a lot of talent to perfect and years of practice to get good at. This is especially true when people use them to kick targets like kicking paddles, or demo boards to break as it displays accuracy of movement. Some Taekwondo experts can kick full on 1 inch pine boards which are the typical board to break for a display of power (mostly used for promotion testing), and are very different from the typical very thin demo boards many Taekwondo people use at shows (demo boards are incredibly thin, almost like balsa wood and a child can break it). But even still, the fact they can target correctly and smash these things is very cool. I have a lot of respect for high flying, crazy kicks because of the fact they are great displays of agility and talented athletic movement. On the other hand I do not respect them in the same sense as them being highly combat effective or necessary, or even important to learn. Being able to pull off wild kicks does not necessarily mean you are going to be a great fighter or even good at self defense. It is possible someone can be good at acrobatic kicks and fighting at the same time though (MMA stars like Anthony Pettis), but it is not as common. Yet, I personally believe more people who have such talent should (even though many are not) still be decent at using Taekwondo in a fight or self defense situation.

        It is not a requirement for a Taekwondo master or instructor to be an expert at flying kicks. Originally, Taekwondo curriculum did not demand this nor are such flying techniques in the poomsae of Taekwondo. Flying, flipping, and multi-spinning aerial kicks were never, and are not established as mandatory techniques for a Taekwondo master. Even so, a Taekwondo black belt should be able to do various and more simple jumping and flying kicks that actually are effective. Some of these kicks are found in the high dan grade of black belt poomsae such as the butterfly kick and flying sidekicks. Jump front kicks, jump round kicks, jump spin kicks, jump back kicks, flying sidekicks, tornado round and axe kicks etc. are all important kicks and work well. These are simpler flying and spinning in the air kicks that have a realistic combat effectiveness and one advanced black belt poomsae called Cheonkwon uses a butterfly-style-tornado kick. For an example of the effectiveness of a tornado round kick, watch this guy get knocked out with a such a kick in an MMA fight:

That was very combat effective Taekwondo kicking. He used a back kick, then set his tornado kick up with a connecting stepping axe kick to the face. That was a flying in the air and spinning technique. The tornado round kick. Usually you learn that around blue belt and begin to perfect it at red belt. So in themselves flying or spinning techniques are important to know and are effective. On the other hand there are a whole different breed of acrobatic and flying kicks that absolutely have no combat value and are completely ineffective. I do not consider many of these even Taekwondo, just adopted gymnastic, break dance, and Capoeria demo movements. These are what people call “tricking” which is a new term in the last decade that came into prominence through YouTube. Many kids join a martial arts class and strictly work on flying and twirling kicks. People compete in XMA tournaments to show off and have created a type of hip-hop-breakdancing attitude for martial arts. In my opinion this is silly and weakens martial arts, yet it is not completely a cardinal sin to do such things. I just personally believe the arrogance and ego that come with this competition is much like hip hop culture, “YEAH BOOYYY WHATCHYA GUNNA DO FOO’! YAAAYUUHHH. WE BAD!!” That type of nonsense is seen constantly in such videos of tricking. All these people do is show off doing gymnastics and the kicks they use could never work in a fight, and most would never even hurt someone even if they did connect with a kick since there is no power because their spins are counterproductive for impact. Many spins go in opposite directions of the kick. One way they market their “martial arts tricking” is by claiming it is “mixed martial arts with gymnastics.” But there is nothing “MMA” about what they do as they simply have a mcdojang attitude about everything. Most of these kids work at mcdojangs and are the mcdojang star at their academy and are used for marketing purposes and demos.

These same kinds of techniques of “tricking” are often displayed in Taekwondo demonstrations and shows by groups without the “tricking” attitude. The Kukkiwon demo team, the Korean Tigers etc. all do various acrobatic kicks and jump extremely high. Sometimes using people as bases to jump off of and are launched by such people with their hands catching their feet to lift them up in the air extremely high to do a back flip board break. In reality this is not going to happen in a fight. Or maybe it would, if for some reason, there was a bad guy standing on something high (like a balcony) and another guy and his Taekwondo friends were fighting him in a gang fight, and they launched the Taekwondo guy into the air to kick the bad guy. But then the impact of the kick is not going to be that hard to cause much damage. But then maybe it could who knows. Obviously, this is mostly fantasy and movie style fight scenes.

The following are some videos of the crazy kicks some Taekwondo people do. These are triple and quadruple spinning kicks:

Kicking 4 pads:

Wasn’t that amazing? That is a high display of foot and eye coordination and acrobatics. It was very cool, but it does not prove one can fight or use Taekwondo to defend themselves. It is much like gymnastics or a special acrobatic dance. This move is unrealistic in combat and those kicks would cause no damage to someone receiving them. The kicks would not impact hard. The first kick would stop the motion since a human being is solid compared to kicking paddles that allow the foot to pass through them. He is able to keep rotating because the paddles do not obstruct his motion. If he did that to a person his first 1 or 2 kicks would not allow him to keep rotating unless his kicks were very soft and he pulled them slightly. Also, what targets on a human being would these kicks be attacking? The angle of his kicks would not allow for a hard leg kick or any vital point. Sure, his last kicks could hit the face but not very hard. A person would just move out of the way of such a wild kick and counter attack with one good solid round kick and he would be hurt. Trying such a kick in a real fight would only put you at risk of being counter attacked with a basic kick that would actually hurt you, and your flashy kick would not have hurt them. Notice how when he landed he was completely off balance and tripping up. This is a big no-no in a true street fight situation. He is open for serious damage.

What is really delusional is that young people or someone not used to watching fights would assume he could actually kick 4 people at the same time with that technique. That he could knock 4 people out with 1 multi-spinning maneuver. There is no way, and it is ignorant to assume so.

Kicking 3 boards:

This guy tries to do a lesser impressive technique, yet which would still be impressive if he could have pulled it off. The only problem is he obviously did not practice enough to perfect it and messes up.  Imagine if he tried to do this in a real fight and messed up and ended up close to his opponent! He would get knocked out with a punch. Doing such a technique would be stupid in a real fight. Again what targets on the body would he be hitting to cause damage? None really. He also messes up. It is impressive he was breaking boards but again these are demo boards and very flimsy. The human body is more solid and sturdy and those kicks do not have power. The video above with the 4 paddle kick contained harder kicks than this video. So when in doubt and if you mess up, simply just do another flying spinning kick such as the 720 spin kick to make up for it so the audience still thinks you are cool, even if you actually suck at what you just did. Again this kick is hard to pull off. But this guy does show talent and skill in acrobatic kicking and it is still cool he can do a 720 spin kick. But it does not mean he is a really good fighter. His make-up flying spin kick he did as a last resort was extremely slow like a ballet dancer and would easily be avoided by an attackers and counter attacked.

So many people waste time only doing fancy kicks instead of working on basic strikes, blocks, and regular sparring for Taekwondo. I have met people who told me that every black belt should be able to do such kicks and Taekwondo is not about fighting. This makes no sense and is a lame excuse for their lack of combat ability. On the other hand some people can pull off great trick kicks like these and also fight good. Not every Taekwondo teacher can do demo kicks nor should they have to. All they need to do is the basics and proper flying, and more basic, spin kicks that can actually work. A Taekwondo instructor or master’s ability lies in his skills in knowledge of the most effective Taekwondo fighting techniques, many which are basics, and his teaching ability. Trick kicks and board breaks like these are simply extra sprinkles on top of an already amazing martial art and are for show. They are extra special things to do to impress an audience, but I believe a true Taekwondo dojang doing a demo should educate the public in simple and effective Taekwondo combat and not simply performance art. Also, not everyone has the ability to do crazy kicks like these nor should they be told they have to be able to do them. Some people have injuries, various body types (many very muscular guys cannot do such techniques but are still scary fighters). You would never see many hardcore, knockdown Karate fighters doing such techniques. Many are built like a tank and are scary fighters to mess with. Doing a quadruple spin kick will not beat them. Think about that.

Trick kicks are cool, but not necessary. If you can do them then enjoy it! If you cannot, do not feel bad about being a black belt as long as you can defend yourself. A good solid right cross might knock such tricksters out if you had to fight them after they do a flying kick and you step out of the way. One simple technique done right can usually beat an overly complicated flashy technique. Some MMA fighters like Anthony Pettis can pull off trick kicks and break boards, and even in an MMA fight he was able to jump off of the cage and do a round kick and knock out Benson Henderson; but if you are a regular Taekwondo practitioner you would know that jumping off of a wall to kick might be an advanced technique yet it is very simple and basic (I was able to do this as a white belt). It is simply a jump round kick which is taught to yellow belts, except using a wall to jump off of. Taekwondo techniques like that can catch people off guard and are flashy yet can be effective, but the extreme acrobatics such as triple spin kicks and backflip kicks after being launched by your demo team members 15 feet into the air are not effective. It is important for Taekwondo teachers to make sure their students understand the difference.


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.