Posts Tagged ‘kung fu’

A Wonderful And Devastating Display Of Traditional Martial Arts At UFC Fight Night 82

        There was a wonderful display of traditional striking techniques shown by Stephan Thompson, a Kempo Karate expert and elite kickboxer at UFC Fight Night 82. Johnny Hendrick’s was on the receiving end up a few hard kicks and punches that knocked him out. A great article about this topic can be seen on Bleacher Report. You should give it a read.

From Bleacher Report:
“The traditional martial arts have long gotten short shrift in modern MMA. The Gracie family sponsored early UFCs as glorified infomercials for their Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighting style and quickly proved their point—that a fighter had to know how to grapple to succeed in real-world hand-to-hand combat situations.
Their early dominance briskly undid many previously long-held conventions about how to fight. Simply put, the Gracies made a lot of traditional, stand-up-oriented martial artists look like fools. Even as the legendary family faded from prominence in MMA, practitioners of no-frills western systems like wrestling and kickboxing largely went on to dominate the next two decades.
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press
Chuck Liddell throws his trademark overhand right.
Classic movie-house forms were summarily overshadowed. A lot of professional fighters may well have started in karate, taekwondo or kung fu as kids, but few of them fought like it once they arrived in the Octagon.
Former light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell—or at least his deltoid tattoo—claimed allegiance to kempo karate, but he fought like a brawling kickboxer when it mattered.
Welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre boasted a background in kyokushin, but he was known more for his dynamic wrestling during the heart of his UFC career.
Only light heavyweight titlist Lyoto Machida stood out for his classic karate fighting style—and his reign on top was so short it became a punch line. Machida’s elusiveness and counterstriking were always his calling card, but his patient, unorthodox methods sometimes seemed to work against him when judged according to MMA’s unified rules.
Andre Penner/Associated Press
Lyoto Machida is one of the few to find success through karate.
The Octagon forced fighting styles to evolve with unprecedented speed, and efficiency was at a premium. Techniques that were deemed outlandish or ineffective were quickly cast aside while less flashy but operational skills became the bedrock of modern MMA.
However, this latest—and arguably most unexpected—bend in the evolutionary road makes it seem as though some brands of traditional martial arts were dismissed too hastily. Without warning, our sport has perhaps crossed another generational threshold.
Suddenly, little by little, MMA appears to be headed back to the dojo. Methods that were once considered dead on arrival in the Octagon are experiencing a revival.”

What encouraging words from a standard MMA journalist. The prove is there again. Traditional martial art styles have always been valid. There was simply a point in history where Karate, Kung Fu, and Taekwondo styles were unable to keep combat effectiveness due to a lack of venues to fight in and a decrease in the acceptance of fighting for sport. Boxing and other mainstream concepts have always been acceptable to society through the last century, but more serious ideas such as kicking the legs and other parts has been looked down upon. Only in Asia did Muay Thai stay strong and other various kickboxing methods. In Brazil they have a history of Vale Tudo and the lack of understanding of grappling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu reign supreme for nearly 100 years in Brazil.

Karate and other styles not having to prove themselves in open combat made it easy for shysters and charlatans and other bad things such as mysticism and nonsense to invade the arts. Moves increased this concept with all of the wild Kung Fu and Ninja films in the 70’s and 80’s that allowed martial arts teachers to hide in the shadows of mysteriousness and what is foreign and unknown. Of course many true masters kept the true traditional arts alive and strong (People like Mas Oyama etc.), and traditional techniques always have worked. It is just so many did not know how to make them work and the early UFC battled int he Octagon are a poor example of martial arts masters. That is why BJJ always won as well as wrestling. Now with the knowledge of grappling and how to stuff takedowns the stand up fighters are continuously knocking people out with wrestling and boxing backgrounds. If you did not train your body to kick high and have good balance or understand elusive techniques then he has a serious chance of getting knocked out be experts in a traditional style. Fight Night 82 is an example. I believe to be a good fighter and martial artist you should specialize in something and master it. Gone are the days is just power lifting an learning to throw left hook combos and sprawl. You really have to know more and also try and master something. Jack of all trades will no longer be the champions.

Movement Coaches Are All The Rage Now And I’m A Skeptic

        Word champion fighter Coner McGregor hired a movement coach named Ido Portal. He won his fight against Jose Aldo and now many MMA guys think they need a special movement coach to help them move better and somehow it translates into fighting.

Ido Portal is basically a hippy, new ager who created some movement routines for guillible hippies and hipsters. He even has long hair and a man-bun to “top it off.” In the above video you see all kinds of wacky movements, but most of the movements are not actually wacky and are found in various disciplines such as dance soccer, and martial arts. I am pretty sure Brazilian Jiu Jitsu guys work on crawling motions that are scene in the video. You do not need a special man-bun, new ager to teach you how to move if you already tae Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I don’t know what COner gets out of this training except some boastful psuedo philosophical, delusion of grandeur about his abilities. The fact is often times having a delusion of grandeur about yourself and how special you are to the universe helps you win titles in MMA and boxing. Even if you do win, some of the things McGregor says about himself are still total delusions. BUt that is part of his entertainment value. His movement training is also entertaining because of its silliness and total pretentiousness.

Ido Portlan has “movement camps” that you can go to f you are rich and want to waste time moving around with other people.

Yes some of the movements are hard to do and take athleticism, but the average person does not have such prowess. Many of the movements scene are found in gymnastics and various dance styles and some sports like soccer as well as taking concepts from martial arts. But obviously training in actual martial arts s far superior than wasting time in a movement camp.

The point I am trying to make is this new movement trend, which is basically a result of the hipsters taking over MMA and BJJ, is pointless when you can just train in traditional martial arts styles of various Kung Fu, Karate styles, and Taekwondo that specialize in all kinds of movements and intense motor coordination. The MMA world has often shunned all traditional martial arts not deemed acceptable by certain folks such as wrestlers and boxers and Muay Thai guys, yet now these MMA fighters are embracing this silly movement trend. So bypassing actual martial movement styles for some hippy dude with a weird name that sounds like a bag of potatoes and an internet program is just ridiculous. Why does poomsae and kata  exist? It is total body control. Also taking grappling classes will help you move on the floor just find without a man bun new ager guiding you.

I just don’t see a point and I am septical of this coach. I kind of agree with what one poster said on the Sherdog Forums, that Ido Portal is a snake oil salesman. Sure many of the movements he teaches are good because the average child already did them for many years on the playground at the park or school. Also climbing trees. It is funny to see grown men walking aroun an hanging on stuff like it is some spiritual mind and body unifying thing when 5 year old children do it every day without a thought.

Does anyone know Ido Portal’s credentials? Why even train with this guy? Why not go to a licensed physical therapist who is an M.D. and understands the anatomy of the human body in a scientific way? That sounds far superior than some street gymnastics guy. Nevertheless, Coner McGregor is still highly entertaining an his open mindedness about martial arts is refreshing and is one reason he is good, even if I believe he is being duped by this Portal guy.

If people an spend hours doing movement training, there is no excuse as to why an MMA fighter cannot dedicate a few hours a wee studying forms from Karate or Taekwondo. I wonder if ay MMA fighter will actually see the light and start developing crisp and precise movements through actual traditional martial arts motions. Most MMA fighters have no patience to learn perfect traditional movements of martial arts and think it is a waste of time. If they would open their minds to the older combat arts they would have better technique by far instead of so many with sloppy punches. By far people with years of traditional training who transition into MMA do better than the average MMA gym member with gold belt dreams (that will most likely never come true).

Chuan Fa Influencing Early Taekwondo With Bajiquan From Ju An Pa Kung Fu 

        Kung Fu is often listed as a martial art that influenced the formation of Taekwondo in Korea. A Modern History of Taekwondo explains that the founding master named Yoon Byung In of the kwan Chang Moo Kwan (AKA YMCA Kwon Bup Bu) lived in Manchuria, China during his early childhood. There he learned the Chinese martial art called Ju An Pa (1999, A Modern History of Taekwondo, p. 7). I could not find any information on what exactly Ju An Pa is, or was, but people often label it Chuan Fa. It is a common thing to read on Wikipedia when looking up information on the early kwans, or when reading Taekwondo websites that have a history page, that something called Chuan Fa was practiced by early kwan leaders or was influential in the forming of Taekwondo. But that term simply means “Chinese martial arts” and has no distinction of a specific Kung Fu style. Apparently, the words Chuan Fa are a Chinese term meaning “law of the fist” (Oriental Outpost, date accessed 2015). So like the term “Kung Fu,” “Chuan Fa” is also an umbrella term for various Chinese martial arts. Much like the word Karate is an umbrella term for Japanese and Okinawan arts.

        It is explained in a Modern History of Taekwondo that Yoon Byung In trained with Chun Sang Sup (Founder of Choson Yoon Moo Kwon, which became Jidokwan) pretty much all the time. They trained so much together that they were labeled brothers in the martial arts (p. 7). Wikipedia also mentions they traveled to Manchuria together and train in Kung Fu together. This emphasizes that even the Jidokwan (formerly the Choson Yoon Moo Kwon Kong Soo Do Bu) must have dabbled in Kung Fu, or at least Yoon’s “Ju An Pa” influenced them. Wikipedia also states on the Chang Moo Kwan page that a style called Bajiquan influenced Taekwondo. Yet the source they cite cannot be found. A few websites of random Taekwondo school’s with a history page have also listed Bajiquan as a style that influenced Taekwondo. Just simply type “Kung Fu influence on Taekwondo” or “Bajiquan influence of Taekwondo” and you will see pages that claim this. Other sources not worth mentioning will simply list Kung Fu or Chuan Fa as a style that influenced Taekwondo. When I first saw Bajiquan being listed on Wikipedia I instantly went to look for youtube videos on the style to compare it to Taekwondo movements. Later, one blog I found that emphasizes ITF “Taekwon-Do” claims that Bajiquan influenced Chang Moo Kwan, and “probably” influenced the Jidokwan (So Shim Kwan, 2011, date accessed 2015). I have not found any academic sources or other types of “really credible” sources that mention Bajiquan or what kind of Kung Fu influenced Taekwondo, but I think the author of that ITF blog is right. Yet, I hate to actually agree with an ITF person’s view of Taekwondo history, but this part of Taekwondo history does not have to do with General Choi so I think it is acceptable to agree (note the sarcasm). I actually think it is plausible that Bajiquan did influence Taekwondo. It is a fact that Kung Fu (Chuan Fa or “Chinese styles”) influenced Taekwondo, and Yoon Byung In and Chun Sang Sup had access to it (in the form of Ju An Pa) and most likely taught the concepts in their gyms.

        I think it is possible thatt Ju An Pa must have been a name of a style directly related to, or an off shoot, of Bajiquan. Of course I cannot be sure 100%. There are several systems of Bajiquan created by various masters throughout the ages. This Chinese style also developed in areas within Manchuria where Yoon Byung In grew up. This style most likely developed from Shaolin Temple styles like most Kung Fu did in the North of China. I believe that it is more than likely that Ju An Pa is actually Bajiquan. A possible explanation for a strange name could be that his local instructor wanted to name his teaching something different like many instructors do. As there are many types of Karate with various names, Ju An Pa could be a name for a specific type of Bajiquan that his teacher developed that would label his style a more personal name. If anyone reading this knows what Ju An Pa means in Chinese let me know in the comments. Ju An Pa could also be a style that had influences from carious kinds of Kung Fu styles including Bajiquan techniques. I think that Yoon Byung In had to have been exposed to various kinds of Kung Fu in Manchuria besides the Ju An Pa he was dedicated to. Martial artists often trade techniques such as a kick or punch.

        The full name of this Chinese martial art (or Chuan Fa method) is Kai Men Baji Quan which means “Open-Gate Eight-Extremities Fist.” If a reader of this blog wants to know what that name means or why there are “8 extremities” I suggest looking up the martial art style and researching it. This article is not about researching Bajiquan, but about movements and concepts within it that I see have influenced certain motions within Taekwondo. I am not saying Taekwondo looks like Bajiquan, but that Taekwondo has subtle motions which are similar techniques and could possibly have the similar applications. I have found some video evidence that supports this. On quick notice it is apparent that Bajiquan looks absolutely nothing like Taekwondo. This is obvious, but the concepts of some of the motions actually do look similar. Bajiquan is a quick, explosive, and very intense form of Kung Fu. Taekwondo is mostly slow and rigid with a step-by-step basis. Yet, some of the Taekwondo poomsae do in fact flow more and are faster when it comes to advanced black belt forms. Some of these forms have motions that look similar to what can be seen in Bajiquan. Before I explain how Bajiquan has similar motions with Taekwondo I will first explain a little about Karate’s influence on Taekwondo.

        Taekwondo takes another approach to training movements. A slower or more singly-concentrated effort with power for each step. The rhythm is different from Karate and Kung Fu with each step being one at a time. Kung Fu styles can slow up and speed up as they go. Bajiquan shows intense power, slowly winding up then fast bursts of power. Karate often has a step-by-step way of moving one at a time, but there are often parts of their forms which explode in speed with multiple hand motions and faster stepping as well as going off line diagonally. Karate can throw a punch with one step, then take 2-3 fast steps exploding with fast bursts of hand speed with blocks and counter strikes. There are also very slow, flowing, meditative, multiple hand motions in Karate for each step more often than in Taekwondo.

       This below video is a good example of how Karate uses multiple flowing hand motions within one stance, and also speeds up and slows down and uses various angles of attack and defense. Instead of going in straight lines up, down, left and right, Karate often goes into diagonal lines. So Karate could be going forward, but then go off to the side diagonally to block or attack. Also in the video notice the many slow hand motions and directional changes that are different from Taekwondo.

Another example of fast bursts of speed instead of just one step at a time is this female Japanese Kata champion:

Taekwondo forms usually stay within the same rhythm and do not slow up or speed up very often. For example this daughter of a famous Taekwondo grandmaster performing Tae Geuk Pal Jang:

        Taekwondo is basically a step and strike/kick, or a step and block way of doing forms. A couple of forms have 2 or 3 blocks in one stance, and hardly any multiple, slow flowing, meditative hand motions in it per stance (examples are how Koryo has one meditative breathing motion in the form not counting the ready stance, Tae Geuk Yuk Jang also has only one etc.) Where Karate might have 2 or 3 separate meditative hand motions and deep breathing within one stance, Taekwondo usually has 1 within a stance. Taekwondo is a very slow paced stepping martial art when practicing forms. Yet, this allows a practitioner to concentrate more power into each strike and each block. It is less about looking attractive and more about practical motions. This is not to say Taekwondo does not look good. It is just a different theory of martial arts movement. Most of the founding masters of Taekwondo had high black belt ranks in Karate and originally taught Karate forms to their students. Why Taekwondo became slower paced and 1 step at a time and less flowing, I have no clue. It just developed that way and the people who created the Taekwondo forms back in the day must have decided they wanted to move less complicated and at a slower pace for whatever reason. Originally, the Pal Gwe set of forms were created which incorporated motions that were copied from parts of various Karate forms called the Pinan set. But they were modified and changed slighty, yet the same movement is apparent. Kyokushin Karate is a form of Karate that moves slower more like Taekwondo does. It also developed into more singular stepping in an unchanging rhythm. Kyokushin uses the Pinan Kata’s which show almost the same motions as the Pal Gwe Poomsae in certain parts. Examples:

Kyokushin Karate motion in a Pinan form (only watch from 2:50-2:56):

Taekwondo motion in a Pal Gwe form (only watch from 1:13-1:18):

Here is an example of the Shotokan pinan movements (watch 0:29-0:35 only):

Notice the differences yet its the same kind of motions, just slightly different, but essential the same application.

Also, the high black belt level form TaeBaek also uses the same motion (watch from 0:40-0:46 only):

Most of Taekwondo’s motions are variations of Karate motions, but done slightly different. The Pinans were developed from Shotokan and taught by early masters of Taekwondo, most specifically in Tang Soo Do. But various Karate styles incorporate them into their curriculum.

Later the Kukkiwon decided to make new forms called the Tae Geuk set which uses short stances mixed in with the standard long stances. If one is lucky he can find an instructor that will teach him both Pal Gwe an Tae Geuk forms.

Taekwondo is very much like Karate. I have the opinion that Taekwondo is 80% Karate and 15% Kung Fu and %5 modern renditions of Taekyeon (at least in spirit from what historical ideas that the Koreans found to re-create Taekyeon in order to instill national pride by trying to reclaim their culture lost from Japanese occupation). So most Taekwondo motions and forms are practiced very hard, rigid, and slower than Kung Fu and most Karate. Chuan Fa (Kung Fu) is more fluid and soft with various wild movements. Kung Fu looks great for dancing, yet Taekwondo looks stupid for dancing (but why are the Koreans doing this Taekwon-Dance trend!!!)    

Now back to Bajiquan! Practically every serious martial artist that trains in Taekwondo knows about the historic Japanese and Okinawan Karate roots of Taekwondo. But hardly anyone knows about the Kung Fu roots. People know there was a Kung Fu influence, but no one I know of can explain the exact types of Kung Fu that influenced Taekwondo except for what I read in A Modern History of Taekwondo which said Ju An Pa was a style that was practiced. But understanding the area Yoon Byung In grew up, and the types of martial arts taught in Manchuria, and the ways these styles move, and comparing them to certain Taekwondo forms, it suggests that Bajiquan is possibly a main style that influenced Taekwondo in various motions, and Ju An Pa is probably a type of Bajiquan.

        I will try to mark where, in the video’s below of Bajiquancertain motions are possibly influential to Taekwondo. To understand which movements you need only to watch the time limits I list.

1. The Bajiquan Long Form

2. Another version of the same form

3. Various Bajiquan forms

Notice the straight line movements. It keeps going forward with a lot of power. There are a few Taekwondo high black belt forms that behave in a similar way, all though without the same speed of Kung Fu flair. The forms that come to mind are Pyongwon, Sipjin, Jitae, Cheonkwon, and Hansu.

Upward elbow strikes

Bajiquan apparently is known for elbow strikes. Watch the first video at 0:12-0:141:23-1:25, 0:57-0:59, and 2:41-2:43.

Watch the second video at 0:09-0:10, and 2:09-2:11.

The Hong Kong TV Show called Kung Fu Quest did an episode on Bajiquan and showed an elbow strike. View the following video from 2:50-2:53.

Now watch the Taekwondo form Pyongwon video below from 0:26-0:27, and at 0:38-0:39.

Notice the elbow strike? It is a different stance, yet it has the same principle of an upward elbow attack from close range. The Taekwondo stance is opposite leg and arm, and the Bajiquan stance is same arm, same leg. Just like the Bajiquan master on the episode of Kung Fu Quest said, it is an attack they least expect. I know that Karate has upward elbow strikes as well, but this is just one similarity I see with Bajiquan and Taekwondo. The Pyongwong form also happens to be in a straight line much like Bajiquan’s form.

Linear directions and forceful stepping

        In this straight forward motion they use momentum to give power to strikes. Here is an example from the first video. Watch the first Bajiquan video up above at 0:27-0:30, and 1:47-1:54.

Now contrast the forward stepping and punches with the move in the Taekwondo form called Sipjin. Watch from 0:27-0:30, and 0:36-0:39.

Notice the forward stepping motion with a punch. I believe that is possibly one type of motion Taekwondo took from Bajiquan. It is of course practiced in a slower Taekwondo fashion, but it is nonetheless a forward stepping punch motion into horse stance much like Bajiquan’s. It allows for serious power in the punch going through the target.

“Santeul makki,” mountain blocking, or twin wide open blocking

        In Sipjin there is another move I notice that Bajiquan uses. It is what Taekwondo calls a “mountain block” which is hecho santeul makki in Korean. It is also known as “twinw ide open blocking.” Pyongwon also uses the same move. Looking up above at both the Sipjin an Pyongwon videos you will notice the move. The following video is an explanation:

Notice how the Bajiquan videos have this similar movement. Watch the very first Bajiquan video from 0:49-0:51, and 2:28-2:30.  Watch the third Bajiquan video from 0:32-0:34, and 5:27-5:33. Now of course they do it slightly different, and possibly their version are some sort of “hammer fist” strikes out to the side, or they could be blocks as well. The application for the Taekwondo movement of hecho santeul makki is the idea of breaking an attackers elbows who is grabbing you in front. You trap his arms and force your arms upward into his joints and break them. The Bajiquan movement could have similar application as well.

Downward hammer fist to the head level

        Tae Geuk O Jang, and Pal Gwe Pal Jang forms both have a downward hammer first strike. It is called mejumeok naryeo chigi. View the following videos:

Tae Geuk O Jang (watch from 0:58-1:20):

Pal Gwe Pal Jang (watch from 1:18-1:28):

Now watch the Bajiquan videos. First view video 1 of the Bajiquan videos above. Watch from 0:14-0:150:47-0:50, 1:24-1:27, and 2:23-2:26. Now watch the second Bajiquan video above from 0:23-0:25, 0:13-0:16, and 1:26-1:29. And finally, watch the third Bajiquan video from 1:51-1:53, 2:33-2:34.

The same motion is apparent. Of course it is done in a fluid Chinese way of moving as well as a different stance, but it is still possible that these motions were part of early kwan martial arts because of Byung In Moon and Chun Sung Sup’s Kung Fu teaching. Possibly these movements were common within early Korean Taekwondo and were put inside Pal Gwe Pal Jang, and later reissued into Tae Gaek O Jang. But then, if Karate also has these motions it could have come from Karate. But Karate originally developed from Kung Fu as well. I still think the downward hammer fists with the application of clearing a grab off of your wrist by swinging it underneath the armpit and your opposite hand’s palm clearing your wrist is probably from Kung Fu.

Fist to palm pulling motion juchumsegi palmok pyojeok chigi

        There is a motion in Taekwondo where one pulls the fist to the palm of the hand. The only poomsae that has the fist to palm or wrist pulling back motion is Hansu. This motion is called juchumsegi palmok pyojeok chigi or arae pyojeok makki. The first means horse stance, wrist target strike. The second means underneath (or low, or downward), target blocking. You can say it both ways.

Here is the technique:

Watch this video of Hansu from 0:31-0:33, and again from 0:45-0:47.

Watch this next Hansu video from 1:58-2:06:

And also watch this last Hansu video from 0:36-0:38, 4:42-4:59.

Bajiquan also has this same type of motion, although not identical, it still has the same motion and most likely a similar application.

Watch the very first Bajiquan video up above from 0:37-0:39, and from 2:06-2:08.

Watch the second Bajiquan video from 1:00-1:02.

And watch the third video from 0:19-0:21, 2:10-2:13, and 3:58-4:02.

        Of course, just as the other movements mentioned in this article, the move is not done exactly the same as the Taekwondo way, yet it is very much similar. It has the same concept. The Bajiquan guys are doing it higher on the wrist and arm, whereas the Taekwondo way is hitting the top of the fist into the palm of the other hand. I know this movement is also apparent in other Chinese martial arts as well. I firmly believe this move did not come from Japanese Karate, but from the Kung Fu roots of Taekwondo whether it be directly from Bajiquan or another style. Like I said before, Yoon Byung In had to have been exposed by various Chinese styles with similar movements.

 Simultaneous high block and face punch, keumgang apjireugi

        The movement of a high block simultaneous with a high punch to the face is called keumgang apjireugi. This means “diamond high punch,” or “diamond face punch.” An example of this movement is in the forms Jitae, and Cheonkwon.

Example of the movement in Jitae (watch from 0:44-0:46):

Example of the movement in Cheonkwon (watch from 0:59-1:05):

Now if you watched the sequence from 0:59-1:05 you will see the man do the movement 2 times. He does a sequence of movements with a downward double knife hand block, scissor block, the high block and face punch, butteerfly kick, then again the high block to face punch. He does keumgang apjireugi twice. If he was not wearing a Taekwondo uniform and was in regular clothing would you be able to tell that what he did in that sequence was Taekwondo in itself? I think a person could easily assume it was Kung Fu. The form Cheonkwon is full of Kung Fu types of movements.

Now see how Bajiquan has the same movement:

Again go back to the very fist Bajiquan video above in the list and watch from 0:33-0:34, and from 1:57-1:59.

Now go to the third Bajiquan video and watch from 1:01-1:04, 1:15-1:17, 3:31-3:37, 3:49-3:51, 4:03-4:05, 4:14-4:17, and 4:30-4:32.

The movement is the same as the Taekwondo technique. It is likely that Taekwondo got this move from Bajiquan. Now of course this may have come from Karate, but with the fluid Chinese style movements in Cheonkwon I believe this move came from either Bajiquan or another Kung Fu style. Various styles of Kung Fu have the same movement as well. Even so, reflecting on Yoon Byung In and his Manchurian Kung Fu training I think it is very plausible it came from his Ju An Pa or Bajiquan influence on his training.

        Now of course there are other movements I could go over, but this article was tedious enough. I could also mention other forms like Tae Geuk Chil Jang with its palm block in tiger stance, and tiger stance and back fist over the arm, and inside crescent kicks to the palm  into elbow strike. I could also mention cross stepping from Tae Geuk Pal Jang and the outsie block into elbow strike to punch as well. I could mention the butterfly kick in Cheonkwon too. These movements are all very Kung Fu-like. Especially the butterfly kick. Chinese martial arts are full of the tornado crescent style kick that is called the butterfly kick in Taekwondo. The move here you do a tornado crescent kick into the palm of your hand. Chinese martial arts have always had the inside the foot kicking to palm of the hand as well as the flying spinning tornado-like crescent kicks. Okinawan Karate of course also has small inside crescent kicks as well, but I believe the ones from Taekwondo come from the Kung Fu influence from various Chuan Fa styles, most most likely the Ju An Pa, or Bajiquan styles.

        I think by the time the poomsae of Taekwondo was being created these Bajiquan techniques were common practice in the early formation of Taekwondo and added in. They not only have a combat application, but they also look really aesthetically pleasing and display athleticism and agility. I think the Chang Moo Kwon and Jidokwan collaborated and had influence on the other kwons.

        There are many reasons why Taekwondo turned into a slow paced martial art in their forms doing one step at a time. The main reason is because most kwon leaders were Shotokan and Shudokan Karate masters and some were already practicing the Karate style in the form of Tang Soo Do, the Koreanized version of Karate. Both Yoon Byung In an Chun Sang Sup were Karate masters with high black belt levels. Yoon Byung In was so passionate about martial arts he received a 5th degree black belt in Shudokan Karate from Toyama Kanken when he went to Japan to study abroad. He most likely dedicated himself more to Karate than Kung Fu and his Karate influence must have influenced his Kung Fu interpretations of movements. It is said he still taught his students his Chinese martial art style as well. But why Taekwondo is not more Kung “Fooish” than it is, is probably because his Karate mastery became more prevalent in his personal expression as well as the other kwon leaders all studying Karate. Chun Sang Sup of Chosun Yun Moo Kwon Kong Soo Do Bu (Jidokwan) also studied Karate first as well as Judo before he collaborated with Yoon Byung In‘s Kung Fu. Yoon Byung In possibly started to like Karate more than his Chuan Fa as he gained such a high level of expertise in it over the years.

        Since most of the kwon leaders were Karate masters (iroically excluding General Choi since there is absolutely NO evidence he got above 2nd dan in Karate) as well as studied Judo one can see why the early Korean masters adopted the Japanese gi (uniform) and not other kinds of clothing like you see in Chinese styles. Chinese styles have no belt system, but Japan was so influential on Korean culture they adopted the belt system as well and the same uniform. Only later did they create the v-neck style that we wear today. One can see how Taekwondo is heavily influenced by Karate, yet now after understanding the knowledge about Chuan Fa movement through Bajiquan and what Ju An Pa possibly was one can also see how Taekwondo has a very real Kung Fu influence from China. Taekwondo is a very eclectic martial art. This has given Taekwondo the ability to refine, and adapt techniques over time to make them better. Taekwondo technique is still being refined and researched by the Kukkiwon in Korea today.

Video Analysis Of Kung Fu Influence On Taekwondo 

        It is true that there is a slight Kung Fu influence on Taekwondo when it comes to self defense and certain movements. I have found a couple of Eagle Claw style, Kung Fu forms videos that show a few similar movements found in Taekwondo, high black belt level forms.

Here is a video showing Eagle Claw’s form called Kung Lek Keun which is translated “Power Fist.” Just watch the beginning motion as he starts. He raises his arms upward and then moves his elbows straight down hard.

That motion is the same move found in the Taekwondo form called Sipjin which is translated “10.”

The beginning motion in this form is called a “bull block” but it is done with tension and slow movement.

Then is uses explosive power downward. A bull block itself blocks simultaneous, sideways strikes coming at you at a high level toward your head. This is different from simple upward blocks. But in this form this movement is actually an escape from someone holding you from behind. The fists come up through the arms and the elbows jam and pull down on the attacker enabling you space to escape.

Another Eagle Claw form is called Jeet Kuen which is translated as “Quick Fist.” Again, just watch the beginning motion. He raises his arms in a circular motion outward and comes up with a double hand strike to the chin area. His palms are open and fingers are jabbing the attacker’s throat or underneath the chin.

It is similar to the Taekwondo form called Cheonkwon which is translated as “Heaven’s Great Might.”

The beginning motion in this form has the same circular direction of the arms moving and an upward double hand strike. The only difference is the Taekwondo form goes into a “tiger stance” with a double, middle knuckle-fist strike upwards to the chin level instead of finger jabs. This motion is actually a simultaneous palm block sweeping away a high attack such as a headbutt. If a person has grabbed you and headbutts toward you the 2 palms, you push away his forehead, and a counter with 2 middle knuckle strikes just underneath his chin will knock the attacker out saving you from your head and nose getting bashed by his forehead. This motion is called a “Spring Punch.”

What is interesting is that the Taekwondo form Cheonkwon has the idea of “great sky” such as “watching an eagle fly high in the sky” and the emotions felt when a man looks at how great and high the sky is. It is very interesting how it alludes to a great sky such as seeing an eagle fly so high which is reminiscent to Eagle Claw. The very beginning of the form has the palms extended out sideways on both sides which has the meaning of “the bird expanding its wings.” Much like an eagle expands it wings and stretches them out as it launches off a cliff to fly.

There are also similarities with the circular palm blocking followed by a punch in Cheonkwon and some movements the Eagle Claw form showed. Another big movement that the Eagle Claw stylist shows is the butterfly kick which is the same kind of kick seen near the end of Cheonkwon with the tornado-like spin and kicking the palm of the hand in the air.

This is not to say that the exact Kung Fu style of Eagle Claw influenced Taekwondo directly. That is an overstatement. What this comparison shows is that Kung Fu, as in Chinese martial arts concepts themselves, are apparent within Taekwondo. Martial arts traditions like Taekwondo have techniques that can be traced back to ancient times. Similar concepts passed along through the ages that appear in various martial arts throughout Asia. This is something to be proud of as a Taekwondo fighter.

A Korean Actually Showing Good Self Defense Applications Of Movements

        Just when I lost hope that South Koreans would promote Taekwondo as a fighting art and thought, possibly, that Koreans simply think Taekwondo is a form of hip hop dancing and ballet I find a couple of really cool videos. Apparently, this guy’s name is Lee Dong Hee and he is showing some great body mechanics on both himself and his attacker. It reminds me of how Kung Fu masters show the intricacies of joint movements and body postures that enable them to attack certain areas and take a man down. He is using movements from poomsae and I find this very encouraging. We need more and more guys like this to bring the roots of Taekwondo back. It is refreshing these are not simply “how to score points for Olympic Taekwondo sparring” videos.

This is the kind of sabum that I would want.

How Not To Become A Murder Victim

        There are a lot of evil people in the world. There are many criminals who murder. It could be someone mugging you, a gang member, someone who just gets mad and goes on a rampage, a sociopath who takes his mental state up a notch to murder, or a serial killer who just loves to kill. Of course there are also rapists who don’t happen to murder their victims, but often times rapists also murder their victims. Most people who are normal do not want to become murder victims. Maybe there are a few weirdos out there who want to die like that because they are insane or sick, but yes, people generally do not want to become a murder victim. There are a few easy and common sense steps to take in order not to be murdered. I have studied and heard about many cases of murders and I notice that most victims make similar mistakes and totally lack common sense. To avoid being killed by a maniac is a logical process. It is pretty easy to avoid in most cases. All though there are times when someone who is actually doing everything right can be killed. But it is very rare compared to the other victims. Usually children who are weaker or the mentally disabled can be easily killed. Even so, if you are a typical person you can avoid it. In this article I will try to cover all of the bases I can think of for how to NOT become a murder victim. Typical humans can avoid being murdered by following these easy steps.

1. Always be aware of your environment. This is to say BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS! This is not that hard. Maybe it takes a little mental effort because you might not be able to day dream, but this is a good thing! Daydreaming can get you killed! When going into places you are not familiar with (or a public place such as a street, road, parking lot, hallway, building, forest, or getting into your car and not paying attention to what was around you before you opened your door to load it etc.) observe everything! How many people in the Walmart parking lot are out there? How is the lighting? Are there tall trucks or cars parked next to your car where someone could hide and not be seen? Who is behind you? An old lady taking her cart out, or some weird gang banger in a hoodie (oh I said hoodie! oh no call Al Sharpton!) hiding his face walking near you? Maybe a weird guy with a crazy beard? Maybe a normal dad looking man with a football hat on. ANYONE of these people could be a serial killer. Looks can be deceiving, but often times taking things at face value is smart. Generally, do not judge a book by its cover. But then, still, take in observations.

The way people dress or look communicates something. Like it or not dressing in clothes that look like gang banger attire often times actually communicates that that person literally is a gang banger, or at least a thug who is a criminal. Sometimes it is not a thug or a criminal but someone who WOULD LIKE to be one; such as a gangster wannabe. Still, even if someone is not actually in a gang or is not yet a criminal, a person with that attitude is dangerous. You cannot read people’s minds so if you feel they could be a threat it is best to listen to your gut instinct. The whole tough guy persona often times is a person about to boil over or one who will succumb to scratch an itch of desire for being a real thug. Someone who wants to become a gangster tends to easily become one. Sometimes fake gang members are more unpredictable and dangerous than real and true gang members. They have more to prove.
Also, a criminal always has to commit their first crime sometime, or a serial killer their first murder. Don’t let it be you. If you personally feel uncomfortable about how someone looks in the way they dress, or their facial expressions, or the way they walk, trust your gut feeling and keep an eye out to avoid them. If a guy in dark sunglasses and a hat and a puffed up collar on his coat seems suspicious to you then try and avoid him. Political correctness can and will get you killed. Offending someone who wears a hoodie is better than allowing that person who wears a hoodie to kill you. 
Now back to not judging a book by its cover, do not assume the nice dad looking guy is safe if he asks you what time it is and steps close to you. He may be about to grab you and pull you into his truck. Always remain a safe distance when talking to strangers. A safe distance is a distance that makes it impossible for someone to physically grab you without first traveling toward you a few steps. Make sure it is about 4 steps, enough time for you to run and escape. It is not that hard to walk 1 step and grab someone fast. This is common sense. It should also be taken into account that decent men who use common sense understand it is a bit shady to walk up to a young woman who is alone. Most people who are decent know this and if they do need to ask a question do so at a nonthreatening distance and do not try to communicate a threat. They will then say thanks and go about their business. Even a nice, smiling guy who walks close and appears not to be threatening has no business getting too close to someone. This could be a ploy to make you let your guard down.

2. Do not be alone. Most often a murder victim is killed when they are alone. Usually you will not be singled out or attacked if you have people with you. Think about your situation and where you are at. Should you walk across a parking lot alone at night? Should you walk down a gravel road off the highway a few miles away with only woods around you? Should you drive into a run down seedy neighborhood alone? As a young woman, should you travel alone and stay at a seedy hotel where crack dealers are outside such as a strange downtown location? Think about these types of situations and use common sense. Logic says you should make observations and if something seems unsafe or just a little odd do not go there. If you have friends bring them with you. Don’t be naive! Why walk across a large parking lot with low light alone? Ask the owner of a business or a security guard or a friend to walk with you. Most often women can be kidnapped in such locations or killed on the spot because they are physically weaker than men.

Seedy hotels are not smart to stay at

It is dark and no one else is around. Men are stronger and more intimidating for a potential murderer. It is safer for a typical male to walk to a vehicle in such a location than a typical female. This is not to say that a man cannot also be killed. It depends on the weapon, a gun or knife? Maybe a club to the head from behind? Friends will lessen the chances of a serial killer or mugger to single you out for a target. Ask your male friend to walk to your car with you, or get your car and pull it around for you. 
Most murderers want to kill their victims easily without much barriers in the way. Of course there may be some who enjoy a little fight before killing you (very rare but it happens) they generally want to easily dominate you. Bringing 5 friends will keep you safe. Even 1 friend with you makes it harder for both of you to become victims. For women, bringing male friends with you can scare away threats.
Both men and women should not hitchhike or pick up hitchhikers. You don’t know that hitchhiker, he or she could be a killer. If you are walking and think about hitchhiking, don’t! You do not know the driver of the vehicle and they could also be a killer. There have been several freeway killers who murder hitchhikers, or are hitchhikers who kill occupants of vehicles. Don’t take your chances!


Picking up hitchhikers can be dangerous.

Do not go into the apartment of a stranger you just met, do not sit in the car with someone you do not know who offers you a seat (even if it is cold outside, just go back into the establishment you were just at). Do not walk off onto the beach at night with someone you do not know (ladies even if he is cute don’t do it! Offer to sit inside where people are around to talk), do not go into the hotel room of a person you just met either. These kinds of things are just common sense, but unfortunately people do not seem to get it. 
Obviously there are times when you HAVE to be alone. And a healthy life is one that allows solitary time as well. We cannot nor do we want to always be around people. Make sure your alone time is spent in a safe place. A park with people, or your own home with a locked door. It must be a familiar place you know everything about and can take proper security precautions. Locked windows and doors, a place where you know the neighbors etc. If for some reason you have to stay in a hotel alone just make sure your door is locked and you look around the hallways when going to an elevator. Please, do not stay at seedy or strange hotels known for murders or drugs. It is not the smartest thing for young women to travel long distances alone, they do it at their own risk. Many times lone females become murder victims when traveling. Stay at places with good reviews with many employees around etc. Do not be vulnerable.

3. Do not hang around with people who are involved in illegal (or unlawful) activity such as drugs, or gangs. Stay away. Being involved or friends with people who are in gangs or involved in selling drugs, or buying drugs puts you in the realm of other people besides your friend who also do illegal things which gives you a higher chance of one of these criminals to end up killing you. Many people who break the law on regular occasions might break the law by murdering you. Your friends who are around such people can bring “who knows what” into your life. If you have a boyfriend who brings over other drug users, or criminals to buy drugs, many strangers can walk into your residence on regular visits. It is smarter to not live in a situation where regular criminals/law breakers/people who do illegal things and strangers are regularly walking into your place of living. Also, do not have a friend who regularly brings you around such people: visits to houses, motels, and other places you might be around them. It would be smart not to put it past people involved in criminal gangs, or other activities, to also decide to murder people someday as well. Not just rapists or serial killers but drug deals gone bad, a revenge killing on your friend where you happen to be a witness and now they have to kill you too, or other dire circumstances. Avoid negative people in your life. You could end up in a house targeted for a drive by shooting or a house massacre and you happened to be hanging out that night. Do not go to parties known to have wild people who do drugs or act like thugs. Often times fights and shootings occur and you might be a victim.


Drug users also abuse their bodies and minds with all of the harmful chemicals they ingest from drug abuse. Drugs that altar the mind are dangerous and cause people to hallucinate. Not every “trip” is safe or fun for the person. Often times people have “bad trips” that make them go crazy and out of control. Sometimes they become extremely paranoid and believe crazy delusions and end up murdering people. Sometimes they are completely out of their minds on drugs while they commit violent acts. The drug PCP gives users extreme physical strength and a feel of ultimate power which often times makes them go berserk and no feelings of pain. Fighting someone on PCP is harder than if they were not on PCP.

Various serial killers have been avid drug users. People like Karla Faye Tucker and her boyfriend Danny Garrett who were serious drug users and involved in sexual deviancy. You do not want to party with such people nor have them as your friends.

4. Do not be friends with or date, or marry a sociopath or someone who has violent tendencies or forms of sexual perversion. For women, if you are dating a man and he randomly does something very strange or odd that feels threatening or very angry you should break up with him and do not take them back.
An example: Your friend meets your new boyfriend who’s name is Dave and gets his name wrong when shaking his hand. She calls him Dan instead. Then your boyfriend Dave, holds her hand tightly and pulls her towards him slightly and his facial expression changes to anger, and he sternly says, “My name is DAVE! Get it right! And don’t you ever forget it!” Your friend becomes alarmed and you are somewhat embarrassed and worried. That is a sign he is probably dangerous. Trust your instinct.         Such behavior is unacceptable and bizarre and shows he has rage inside and violent tendencies. Break up with him right away and never return his calls. Last thing you want to be in is a relationship with a violent person. They may go crazy and kill you.

Example of a classic, violent sociopath from the movie Mad Max:

Such people use violence and intimidation to dominate and control others.

Use your keen observation skills to weed out sociopaths. Never be stupid and assume you are dating a dream guy within 3 weeks of knowing them. Real relationships with trust take time. A sociopath is someone who has zero remorse, guilt, empathy, and other normal traits. They have no conscience and have no belief in right or wrong. They lack morals completely. They will lie, cheat, steel, and other things to win. It is always about their benefit and control. They will do anything to win and stay free to do anything they want. They are usually narcissistic and cannot admit wrong even if they are confronted with total evidence that proves they did something wrong. If you notice this behavior, or your friends question him and bring it up to you, listen to them, and break up with the guy as soon as possible. Women can be sociopaths too so men should do the same thing. Watch how he or she acts and look for signs. Best way is to catch them off guard. Do they manipulate others? Have they treated people rude who did not deserve it? Do their stories seem far fetched? Do they lie constantly? Do not give into pity and try to change them or love them and “win them over” to the good side. Completely reject them and get them out of your life.
        You do not want stalkers to follow you your entire life and threaten your safety. They could harm you or your friends. At the first sign of strange behavior leave them and ignore them forever. If you have to call the police and get a restraining order and make sure that if they violate it they get arrested. Never return calls to a stalker or any emails. Do not return any messages even if it is to say “Shut up! Stop harassing me!” Even that is enough to excite them because you are giving them attention. If they harass you to come hang out with them or have a coffee refuse it and ignore them. Normal men who are rejected will accept it and move on in life. Others will keep hounding you until you agree one day to have coffee in their apartment where they stab you to death because you want to leave 5 minutes early. These kinds of people are control freaks and possessors who cannot handle rejection and will murder you for revenge for their ego being hurt and loss of domination over you. Some will use pity to get you to feel sorry for them like they are just a sad socially awkward guy who has no friends and you are their only friend and without you they will die. Maybe they have no friends for a reason. Also, use logical reasoning and common sense to understand the difference between normal lonely people and dangerous sociopaths.

Last thing you want is to wake up in a room like this in some guy’s basement in an unknown location with no chance of escape.

Sexual perversion is another issue. Many sociopaths become sexually perverse because they have no moral convictions since right and wrong do not register or matter to them. Also, people who are not typically sociopaths can also become sexually perverted by certain circumstances. Most people who are sex addicted will satisfy their lusts through non-dangerous means such as pornography, or willing sex partners. But often times the lust of certain people becomes perverted and depraved. Often pornography sets people on a course of more intense highs and more extreme desires. Normal sexual behavior is now boring and they need an extreme thrill and they develop a sick fetish. These fetishes or thrill seeking can lead to depraved sex acts even leading to rape and murdering. Many serial killers are sexual sadists who sexually torture and kill victims. If you know people who are addicted to pornography, especially if it extreme or beyond normal sexual acts, you should avoid them and do not let them near your family. Keep them at a distance. Yes, if you work with people who are into porn or depraved sex do not allow them into your personal life beyond work. If someone is constantly obsessed with sex and bizarre sexuality you should avoid them. The best bet is for people to avoid others who frequently watch porn, visit strip clubs, solicit prostitutes, or have sex with anyone. Avoid one night stands, why risk it? You do not know them, they could be leading you to a torture chamber where you cannot escape. You cannot trust anyone who you just met. Especially someone who met you for the sole purpose of having sex. They simply are using you, as you are them, for sexual pleasure. It is very dangerous. Do not become a person who sleeps around with random people, or do not become a prostitute. Many victims of serial killers are prostitutes, or people who generally love to party and go clubbing or bar hopping. People with low inhibitions. Make sure that if you do decide to go clubbing or bar hopping, you understand that there is a risk of strange people approaching you who are patrons of such establishments, and bring friends. Do not go home with random guys or invite them over. 
Also, do not frequent sex shops or be anywhere near them, or any kind of sex club. These are magnets for the sexually depraved psychopaths who you might meet. Or at least friends of potential crazies they might introduce you to later. Swingers clubs and the like have been known to be places serial killers hang out in. Eventually their abnormal sex acts are not enough and they must fall deeper into depravity and might end up making you their murder victim. This goes for both homosexual and heterosexuals. Yes, the homosexual scene has much dark deviancy as many famous serial killers were male homosexuals (Jeffrey Dahmer, Daniel Conahan, Dean Corll, William George Bonin etc.), but of course heterosexual, sexual sadists often make females their victims. Also, some females have also become serial killers but it is not as often as males. So men also need to not assume they are safe to participate in such clubs and activities. Men need to understand there are also females like Jodi Arias who are a living example of a sexually deviant, female killer. It is just safer and smarter to not engage in sexual deviancy and to behave in a normal sexual way where time is taken, relationships are developed etc. Just make sure it is with the right person.

Serial killer cult member Manuela Ruda: “I signed my soul to Satan.”

5. Do not be friends with people involved in the Occult or Satan worship, and do not be involved in it yourself. Whatever your beliefs are about supernatural things, whether you believe people can become demon possessed or gain magic powers through sorcery, or you believe it is a mental delusion in crazy people who take things too serious does not matter. The fact is often times people involved in the occult or Satan worship, or various self styled Satanists or witches etc. are dangerous people and untrustworthy. Of course not all people involved in witchcraft religions, Satanic organizations, or claim to practice magic are murderers. Some are harmless people with alternative views on life. I just personally do not want to be around such people or be friends with them. I would keep them at a distance simply because they have conflicting moral standards. Satanists, whether it be literal worship of a being named Satan or a theatrical Church of Satan member who uses it for shock value, have opposite moral values compared to traditional religions. Selfishness and lying are not considered evil in such beliefs. I personally do not want people who have alternative morality around me. Such people can be negative to your life.
Despite what atheist Satanists would claim, there are other types of occult practitioners and self styled Satanists who actually believe in demonic spirits and possession as well as magic spells. These people, whether you want to believe are literally demon possessed or delusional, sometimes can have the same result: murder. And they might murder you. There are a lot of ritual crimes where people have murdered other humans for sacrifices to a spirit being or to Satan. Famous Serial Killers such as Richard Ramirez (the Night Stalker) and David Berkowitz (the Son of Sam) were devil worshipers and believed their victims were sacrifices to Satan to give them power. There have also been groups of people who plan a murder of an unsuspecting victim such as the drug cartel, Satanic cult in Mexico led by Adolfo Jesus Constanzo in the 1980’s. People who get involved in occult practices often times put their minds into altered states, or are people who are susceptible to strong delusions and become schizophrenic. Often times the occult practices and seances are mixed with drug abuse making it even worse. Hanging out with people regularly involved in occult quests or worshiping of evil entities or philosophies can be hazardous to your health.

6. Do not trust strangers or people you just met. Make sure you do not trust anyone who you have not known a decent amount of time and have not met their social circle or family. Online dating poses a threat so make sure when you meet for the first time it is in a public place and you have friends around. Maybe bring friends to sit at another table who will keep an eye on you. Do not just invite the person over to your apartment when you only have known them for a short while. Often, victims of killers will invite them over to their house within 3 weeks of knowing them. How many dates is that? 3-6 total? How is that enough time to decide to have sex or invite someone to stay over? This is risky behavior and victims tend to be people who do this. Do not be desperate, and take your time in relationships! If you know someone and have never met their family or friends you should not be doing such things yet.
One example: A guy you just met at a bar talks to you for a few hours. Then he asks you to come over to his place, or he could come to yours. He obviously wants to get you alone for sex. Doing this would not be in your best interest because while you may think it’s just going to be a fun time, you do not know him and are putting yourself in a vulnerable situation. Are you really that type of girl? What if his plans are to kill you in a horrible sexual crime? You never know. Also, it is not implausible that sometimes females bait men into becoming their victims or to bring them to another person who wants them to be their victim such as a boyfriend/girlfriend team of killers. Even as a male you might want to take the new friendship/relationship slow before just going somewhere alone with them. Of course guys stand a better chance of fighting an attacker than a lone female victim would.
Another example: a guy rides up on his motorcycle and you are a young female. He starts complimenting you and flirting. You notice his biker vest has the logo of a notorious outlaw biker gang. He asks you to get on the back of his bike for a wild ride and to go party. It is probably best to decline in a polite manner and leave the area. You know he is in a criminal gang which brings criminal activity around them which is negative for you. You don’t know his intentions and the outlaw affiliation is a big red flag that he is dangerous.

Hey girl, you are looking fine. Wanna go for a ride and party?

7. Do not appear to be safe to approach by random strangers. You can avoid being murdered by not overly smiling at strangers or “sharing a moment” with someone you have not talked to with prolonged eye contact. Some crazy people,

A stalker can follow someone around who is ignoring his surroundings by walking and texting then mug him or murder him.

schizophrenics, and other weirdos might make it more than it appears to be. Of course it is necessary to make eye contact as you walk by people for less than a second to show you are aware and confident (which scars away some attackers) but do not go out of your way or be approachable by just anyone. You could have met a new stalker who will harass and follow you forever and murder you later. Do not look distracted by walking and texting or talking on your cellphone. You could be easy to attack.
Also, being easily approachable makes you a target for muggings and rapes. Make sure you show confidence, attitude, and strength, and are aware of your surroundings when walking down the street. Show confidence in the way you walk and carry yourself.

 

8. Know how to fight. Learn martial arts. Knowing how to fight is essential for self protection. If you are aware of your surroundings and become aware that a certain person is about to try and kill you but then you do not know how to fight you are pretty much left with a very low chance for survival. Knowing how to fight will solve the rest of the problem. You must be aware of your environment as well as know how to defend yourself effectively. Learning a serious martial art from a qualified instructor who emphasis self defense is key. You need to take martial arts with the intention of learning how to fight. It is not sport you must train in and it is not just a fitness fad either. MMA is good for sparring practice, but lacks conviction for the perfection of techniques and does not train a self defense mindset. Training in a traditional martial art that teaches hard sparring is a better option. Just avoid mcdojos/mcdojangs and sport oriented gyms. Find someone who will teach you vital striking, joint locks, takedowns, ground defense, and everything else you need to survive a street fight.
        When you know how to fight, if a killer attacks you, you can fight back and deflect their initial attacks. You can disable and even kill them before they have a chance to kill you. If one attacks you and you then end up in a struggle you could get them off of you if they take you to the ground, or deflect a weapon attack and escape, or just strike them in vital areas and beat them into incapacitation or choke them out. Whatever you have to do to live!

9. Be physically fit and healthy. To be a good fighter or to be generally hard to kill you must be in good health and have good fitness. If you can run faster and longer they cannot catch up with you easily. You could run to a safe location such as a store with people who can help you. Or you can fight longer than them and they will get tired before you and you can take advantage of them and turn the tables and make them your victim instead. Also, it takes will power to survive intense situations such as being harmed or hurt and taking the advantage at the right moment through pain and agony to survive and live. What if he is cutting you? What if he is beating you? What if he has trapped you? Being healthy makes you last longer so you can eventually find the moment to escape or kill them. There are various stories where women were in horrible situations in much pain from a killer and they still survived by sheer will and strength. Weaker people would not last.
Along with physical fitness you must be mentally fit as well. A strong mind with an intention and will to survive is a must. Otherwise you may fade out and allow yourself to die. Martial arts are a great way to train your mind to be strong willed. Indomitable spirit!

10. Own a weapon, carry it, and know how to use it. Obviously, a gun is a very effective way to survive a criminal attack. A mugger, burglar, rapist, terrorist what have you, can be killed simply by pointing it at them and pulling the trigger. You must know how to use the gun, respect it, and have skill in aiming it to hit your target. Firearm practice is important. Often times the killers will use a gun to threaten you or just shoot you, but if you shoot them first in the right spot they cannot harm you. Target practice will help you aim for the right spots to neutralize them. If you miss or hit another part of their body that is not vital they can still keep attacking you. Aim to kill. Do not aim to simply injure. 
A knife is also a handy weapon if you know how to use it. If you train to use a knife and have an understanding of a blade you can use a knife to stab and slash an attacker. Just like a firearm you must know how to cut and thrust into vital areas that cause the most pain and damage. The spots that cause death to the attacker are the best. Know which arteries to slash and what pressure points to stab into to stop an attacker. Be fast. Learn a knife martial art style such as Kali. Or train under an instructor who trains to use weapons on top of your hand to hand combat. Know how to keep your knife and not allow it to be turned against you and learn how to turn an enemies knife against himself. Also, know empty hand combat and be skilled at it, do not only rely on a weapon. Learn to improvise weapons as well. Take every day objects and make them become a weapon. Use your observation skills to scan the environment and look for a weapon. Having a weapon is more threatening and more dangerous for an attacker than if they were facing someone with no weapon.

        With common sense it can be easy to avoid being a murder victim. Avoid certain types of people. Sometimes killers can be a mix of the various things mentioned above. There have been literally Satanic, drug dealing, drug abusing, sexually perverted, sadistic, sociopathic, cannibal, criminals such as Adolfo Constanzo who did it all. Then there are others who are one or the other types of things. It does not matter the scale or degree of murder people commit, the fact is they murder period. Avoid such people. Unfortunately, some victims have no choice who they are around since some people have bad parents who either abuse them, or are friends with bad people such as a dad who uses drugs and often brings bad people around his home. These are sad cases and it is hard for such people to get help.

        If a criminal does threaten you, or hold you at gun point or knife point, and commands you to go with them, refuse! Do not go with them! Run away, let them try and shoot you there instead. Usually the killer, if he cannot get you to go with him, will either let you go or run away, or try to attack you to submit you and make you go with him (at which point you can use martial arts techniques to fight). Hopefully he lets you go or runs away and looks for another victim which often happens. Going with them gives him total control over your body and he has you trapped and will take you to a different location, one he is familiar with and can kill you there. He may torture you to death and rape you as well. If he chooses to shoot you right there because you refuse to go with him it is a better death than being taken to a place with no chance of escape and prolonged suffering before death. If you have a gun you can shoot him on the spot before he pulls his trigger! Some killers keep their victims alive for weeks before killing them. Also, if you do get shot or stabbed you might live through it. But I believe you should ALWAYS FIGHT BACK! Be vigilant and vicious! If he will not let you go and wants to kill you then wait for the right moment to attack him first and grab his gun or pull out your own and shoot him. Do anything you can to stop him and escape. Once you feel you are safe continue to run, do not go back to fight him if he is still active. Find help immediately.

        Always be aware of your surroundings and environment. Stay in proper shape, learn to use weapons, learn martial arts. Have total confidence. Do not fear murderers or become paranoid and think a predator is hiding in the bushes and around every corner. Live life, but just use common sense and avoid negative people and if someone communicates to you a threatening thing such as how they dress or facial expression trust your gut instinct and avoid them. Even if they are not actually dangerous people you are still better off not taking your chances. Do not be alone or go to secluded areas without friends, or without telling people where you are going. Do not talk to random strangers or go places with someone you just met. Stay away from drugs, illegal activity and sexual deviancy or one night stands. Hold on to moral values and take things slow. If any person shows signs of aggressive, or violent psychopathic behavior you must purge them from our life as soon as possible. Your life is far more important than political correctness as well. Profiling is necessary in many cases in order to not end up in bad situations. Never go anywhere with anyone you do not know well alone for any reason. Having friends with you helps, but it is also possible a killer could trap and murder multiple people at once so make sure both of you work together to use “street smarts” and common sense. In an active shooter situation make sure you know your escape routes and how to hide, or shoot them first. Make sure all of your friends you hang out with are using common sense as not to attract negative attention. Don’t do stupid things like hitchhiking, or traveling the world alone and staying at seedy hotels for cheap. Research where you are going and know your environment. Avoid fighting or arguments with drunk people or anyone on the streets or in bars. If you are not fighting there is no chance for you to be hurt. If you end up in a fight you then have increased the chances of bodily harm to you and maybe someone in a drunken rage will beat you to death if he gets the upper hand. You never know.

Example of nearly being beaten to death on the streets. Avoid fights.

        The general rule to avoid being a murder victim is to use common sense, be observant of your surroundings, embrace traditional morals, avoid illegal activity, and avoid negative people and be on guard for signs of potential threats in people’s psyche such as sociopathic tendencies and avoid street fights. Learn martial arts and also if you can, learn to use a weapon. The key to not being a murder victim is to avoid attitudes and behaviors that make you a victim. Be logical and rational with street smarts, which is to say use common sense and don’t be naive.

Taekwondo Is Effective For A Self Defense Program:  Why Taekwondo Is More Effective Than A Reality Based Self Defense Course (part 3)

 

III. Taekwondo is not inferior to modern RBSD programs

 

A punch is a punch, a kick is a kick, and a throw is a throw. There is no difference between a Taekwondo punch and a RBSD punch. It is the same. There is nothing new really being said in RBSD circles that has not been stressed within traditional martial arts circles already.

 

Taekwondo has every technique any RBSD program can offer

Taekwondo has every technique any RBSD program can offer, plus the focus on mastering technique and dedication to hard training makes a practitioner more able to defend themselves. It is often said Taekwondo is not effective for self defense and that the techniques are outdated and inefficient. The truth is that any technique an RBSD

program uses is already in Taekwondo. What RBSD programs do is claim all traditional martial arts are slow, ineffective, and would cause the student to be forced to learn 100’s of moves which is “too difficult, a waste of time, and out dated.” Hypocritically though, the founders of such RBSD systems will list their credentials for knowing how to teach self defense which most always consist of traditional martial arts styles. Take for example, “Urban Protective Solutions” founded by a husband who uses his wife to advertise that he,

 “…took his 25 years of martial arts, Commando krav maga (sic), ken po (sic), and brazilian jujitsu (sic), and simplified it to a woman’s needs” (evenbrite.com)                                                     

Also, she states, “This is not some complicated course where you have to learn hundreds of moves” (eventbrite.com).

There is nothing unique about this RBSD elbow strike compared to a Taekwondo elbow strike

So, someone who thinks martial arts are too hard to learn for average women and are a waste of time to focus on has hypocritically listed that it is important for us to know he did 25 years of traditional martial arts training prior. Now with all of the styles he listed it would be impossible within that time frame to master them all at the same time. So that shows it is apparent he is probably not an instructor or master of any of these styles and has thus, proclaimed he is now the instructor of his own made up system that is somehow better than his 25 years of training.

          

This Taekwondo elbow strike is the same technique as above

It leaves one to ask why he didn’t just quit all of the martial arts after he learned the very few, easy to memorize, techniques in his current system. It is also apparent that his wife, or he, cannot spell the names of such martial arts styles correctly such as “Kenpo,” “Commando Krav Maga,” and “Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.” If one was a master or advanced in a style it would seem obvious he would know how to spell the names of the styles he trained in correctly and not advertise with such errors. Besides this, Commando Krav Maga is a fraudulent organization and the founder, Moni Aizik, was sued in a multi-million dollar lawsuit by the true founders of legitimate Krav Maga (an Israeli RBSD system). Jamic (2014) claims,

“Moni Aizik and Commando Krava Maga AKA Combat Survival have finally been served with our large class action lawsuit for fraud, misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, fraudulent inducement, or tortious interference with business.” (pressabout.com)

This is a common problem with a lot of RBSD systems, many are founded on false concepts and groups who are fraudulent or embellish their credentials.

 

It is a myth that you do not have to learn a lot of techniques

No matter what style of martial arts you train in you are going to have to learn a lot of techniques to be effective at defending yourself. This is true even with RBSD styles. The claim you do not have to learn 100’s of moves is a lie. For example, boxing has about 4 or 5 punches, and maybe 8 or 10 blocks depending on what boxing coach you train under. Yet with such a small amount of techniques there seems to be an endless way to combine them together including footwork and torso movement. A boxer memorizes 100’s of techniques. Likewise, RBSD which claims to be simple and effective is going to have you learn most likely 100’s of movements with sweeps, trips, joint locks and strikes. Traditional martial arts already have all of that in their 100’s if not 1000’s of techniques. Along with many techniques and ways of movement and combining them together, much time needs to be spent on repetition over and over to make this instinctual. 8th dan Taekwondo master and qualified self defense expert Sang H. Kim (2009) explains in his book “Taekwondo Self-Defense,”

“Taekwondo training is an education of the mind and body. It is a process of learning and remembering things by which neurological networks in the muscles and brain are linked. Training requires a significant repetitive amount of practice and time to make those neurological wires function properly. This type of learning is an artificially acquired process whereas instinct is an innate behavioral mode.” (p. 18)

Knowing more techniques is always better than not knowing as many. This is common sense.

The basics of Taekwondo are simple to learn and easy to apply. They can also be trained with pressure and live sparring. Many self defense drills and scenario training can also be applied just like any RBSD program. Often times RBSD instructors do not have their students spar live. They instead just do slow motion based movements such has countering a punch and sweeping someone’s feet or locking an arm. The idea is that it is too deadly to spar with, and martial arts sports such as Olympic Taekwondo with their live sparring are not “street effective.” This is ridiculous as Taekwondo sparring instills fighting spirit and a free range striking sparring can be done safely and in order within Taekwondo techniques that do not comply with Olympic rules. Taekwondo can be sparred with or without rules under the safe guidance of a qualified instructor.

RBSD styles are actually founded on proper martial arts techniques themselves from various styles. This is because the founders of practically every RBSD system has a traditional martial arts background. The RBSD instructor Tony Blauer, who founded the SPEAR System (SPEARS) popular in RBSD circles, as well as the one who created the “Crossfit Defense” program for Crossfit actually started out in Taekwondo. In an interview by Matthew Sylvester (2014) he even claims he created his own home dojo and was teaching students (matthewsylvester.com). He developed his own way of training later that uses techniques already available in the Taekwondo he trained in. He just used certain marketing tactics to get himself known and continues to use sensational advertising. If Tony Blauer, an ex-Taekwondo instructor can teach self defense then any current Taekwondo instructor can.

Tony Bluaer demonstrating a technique already found in Taekwondo

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Sang H. Kim demonstrates a Taekwondo technique the same as Tony Blauer’s SPEAR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RBSD uses overly technical language to fluff up its image

Most RBSD systems use acronyms such as SPEARS which stands for “Spontaneous Protection Enabling Accelerated Response System.” Why couldn’t it just be called fast reaction fighting? Using overly technical sort of “politically correct” words to describe a fighting system is just a gimmick to sound extra smart. Like they have one over the traditional styles such “Way of smashing with the feet and hands” (Taekwondo) or “Way of empty hands” (Karate) that use common sense, straight to the point names for their martial systems. People like Tony Blauer claim they doing something innovative and unique such as his spontaneous protection ideas with their claim of accelerated response. It seems as if he just thought up a cool sounding acronym and forced in technical words that could be used to describe self defense. Possible, he thought SPEARS sounds so cool and had to force in his technical jargon. Really though, he is not providing a unique or new concept. Such technical jargon can be summed up by saying “train to react fast and effectively.” We don’t need a SPEAR to do it. Sang H. Kim (2009) simply expresses,

“There is no single way in self-defense. You can survive only through spontaneous responses that arise from the situation you are in. Avoid becoming attached to a particular formula of defensive maneuvers.” (p. 49)

All of this has already been known and taught within traditional martial arts. There are a number of other RBSD programs with their own founders who use various acronyms with overly technical language which will not be delved into. If someone wants to find out more about RBSD styles one simply has to use Google.

On the other hand, some RBSD systems that have good techniques are actual martial arts styles like Krav Maga which was founded by the Israeli Imi Lichtenfeld. Krav Maga literally means “Contact Combat” in Hebrew (a very simple name). The Israeli military developed his style further. It is an incorporation of traditional martial arts techniques from Karate, Kickboxing, Savate, Boxing, Jiu Jitsu and others. The fact is every technique that styles like Krav Maga have is also found in traditional martial arts styles like Taekwondo. Throat strikes, hammer fists, blocks, vital point strikes, knees, kicks etc., are all in Taekwondo and can also be trained with aggression. There really is nothing special, new, or unique about what they do. It is just the way they talk about techniques and training and their extreme claims of total effectiveness that impresses people. Good old fashioned martial arts are good enough. The only problem is finding a Taekwondo teacher who is skilled, qualified, and teaches for effective realistic self defense.

 

Mcdonangism is not a good enough reason to discredit Taekwondo

It might be somewhat harder to find an instructor who cares about real self defense applications and uses hard training to make his student’s good at fighting when looking at the majority of Taekwondo gyms around. This is the mcdojangism of many martial arts schools. Mcdojang means low quality, poor, silly, and gimmicky martial arts and quickly earned black belts, such as how fast food places like McDonald’s serves low quality food very fast. One ironic issue is that many RBSD people will mock Taekwondo or Karate for giving out black belts really fast to people who have no skill. At the same time these RBSD instructor’s claim their system can be learned very fast, through DVD’s, at seminars, within a couple of months for “total effectiveness.” Often times a certificate of completion is given to the student after attending a seminar. They are guilty of the very mcdojangism they claim is promoted by Taekwondo, they just do it in military fatigues instead of doboks. The problem with over commercialization of civilian martial arts schools is not specific to Taekwondo nor is it a good enough reason to claim that Taekwondo is not effective; or that is cannot be used to properly teach self defense. There are people who do know how to teach proper Taekwondo and understand the applications for movements and are qualified to create self defense programs using Taekwondo techniques. A person just has to look for them and make it a point to find them. While, it is less popular to be a combative and serious Taekwondo gym, there are good instructors out there and a fine quality self defense program can be created using Taekwondo.

RBSD instructors often use straw man arguments against traditional martial arts mocking the way they train techniques. They do not understand the logic or reason for training exercises or techniques like the chambered punch. They fallaciously argue that no one punches with their hands down. This is not true and a chambered punch is a technique for a specific purpose. Taekwondo also has punches from above like a boxer as well. Learning various ways to punch is better than ignorantly assuming a Taekwondo fighter will stand in a wide horse stand with his hands at his hip when attacked. This is a flat out lie. Much of why an RBSD program might stay in existence is through constant belittling of Taekwondo and other traditional styles. Instead of providing much new information or their own doctrine they waste time making fun of Taekwondo techniques and telling their students why every other style is wrong but theirs. This is the same kind of behavior many cults use on their followers.

 

Go back to Part 2                                                                                              Go on to Part 4 

__________________________________________________________________________________________

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.  

Taekwondo Is Effective For A Self Defense Program:  Why Taekwondo Is More Effective Than A Reality Based Self Defense Course (Part 1)

*There are multiple parts to this article and each will be posted over time on this blog. The sections come from a research paper I wrote about Taekwondo being effective for self defense and better than a reality based self defense course. All Works Cited will be listed at the end of the final part of this series. 

Abstract

            Taekwondo is a great martial art for any self defense program and is better than the average reality based self defense (RBSD) program. RBSD discredits Taekwondo and traditional martial arts by saying they are outdated and ineffective because they are not based on reality. This is not true and is just based on straw man arguments. They claim their techniques are easy to learn with “total effectiveness.” In reality, Taekwondo has every technique any RBSD program has to offer and in fact can be trained better with a properly structured program that allows for masterful combat skills. Most RBSD instructors have a traditional martial arts background to begin with and base their credentials on being able to teach self defense on their training history. If an RBSD instructor who started out teaching Taekwondo can then create his own program and teach self defense, then any Taekwondo instructor can teach self defense using Taekwondo itself. RBSD is unnecessary and nothing RBSD instructors present is truly innovative or new knowledge. Taekwondo has been proven in war, modern combat sports, and is a very effective fighting system and good enough to use for a proper self defense program.

 

 

Taekwondo is Effective for a Self Defense Program:
Why Taekwondo is More Effective than a Reality Based Self Defense Course

 

Outline

Introduction

I. Taekwondo is a fighting system

  1. Taekwondo is a full striking system
  2. Taekwondo also has joint locks, throws and takedowns, and vital point attacks
  3. Taekwondo’s methodical training will help a person retain knowledge and skills

II. Taekwondo is proven in war and used by U.S. Special Forces

  1. Taekwondo was proven battle effective in the Vietnam War
  2. The U.S. Military adopted Taekwondo techniques into their combatives programs
  3. The Military and CIA shows Taekwondo is good for civilian self defense

III. Taekwondo is Not Inferior to RBSD Systems

  1. Taekwondo has every technique any RBSD program can offer
  2. It is a myth that you do not have to learn a lot of techniques
  3. RBSD uses overly technical language to fluff up its image
  4. Mcdonangism is not a good enough reason to discredit Taekwondo

IV. Taekwondo is Proven Effective In Full Contact Fighting

  1. Taekwondo is effectively used in Mixed Martial Arts fighting
  2. Sport does not negate street effectiveness

 V. A Taekwondo Self Defense Program Can Run Better than an RBSD Program

  1. Uniforms or special clothing is not important
  2.  The progressive structure of Taekwondo motivates students
  3. The purpose is training effective fighting techniques first over everything else

Conclusion

—-

 

A properly taught Taekwondo program is effective for realistic self defense studies. With proper knowledge from a qualified instructor the techniques can be taught effectively, and are valid for today’s modern standards of self defense.

 

Introduction

Often times people claim that traditional martial arts are not good for learning effective self defense. Some critics claim that it takes too long to be able to use any of the techniques of traditional martial arts in a real self defense situation and that they are outdated and unrealistic; therefore the traditional martial arts are insufficient for learning real life self defense. Some claim learning Reality Based Self Defense (RBSD), from a number of various programs, is better and will actually work, and can be used within a very short time frame without many years of training. Such programs are very trendy and popular among many urban dwelling folks. It is the current trend to belittle traditional martial arts, especially Taekwondo, without much knowledge on the subject and follow any number of RBSD proponents with varying credentials (some of them not that great).

This paper argues that traditional martial arts are a better option for learning self defense, and specifically, Taekwondo is an effective martial art style for learning self defense and better than an RBSD program. It will also explain why some RBSD programs are typically not effective for training realistic self defense and suffer the exact same problems that critics of traditional martial arts claim. RBSD is a quick fix method that uses overly sensational advertising and overly technical words (usually stated in acronyms for the name of their style which becomes ridiculous) and often times gives a false sense of security to practitioners (which is the claim RBSD would make against Taekwondo but is actually the opposite if given a proper Taekwondo program as RBSD constantly uses straw man arguments against traditional martial arts). This paper will also briefly explain the issues of mcdojangism within the Taekwondo community and how such problems have clouded the judgment of people interesting in learning martial arts who would reject Taekwondo study. It will also express the fact that Taekwondo is proven in war, was used specifically by the military for training special forces (along with Karate as both Taekwondo and Karate were blended together), was trained to CIA operatives, has every technique any RBSD program uses, as well as the fact modern MMA fighters, including fighters in the UFC use Taekwondo to win fights or incorporate Taekwondo techniques into their martial arts arsenal. Also, the fact Taekwondo is an Olympic sport trained by elite athletes and is overall great for physical fitness which will aid a person in self defense success.

 

I. Taekwondo is an Effective Fighting System

For nearly 70 years Japan had occupied Korea from 1876-1945 destroying much of their culture and forcing Japanese culture onto Korea including the banning of the average person studying martial arts. Any martial arts Koreans practiced before Japanese occupation had been nearly forgotten or wiped out completely. Only a select few upper class Koreans were allowed to practice Japanese martial arts inside Korea, or were given the opportunity to travel to Japan to study at universities or travel to China. Koreans who went abroad were able to also study Japanese or Chinese martial arts. The Japanese government allowed some who went to Japan to run Japanese martial arts schools for privileged Koreans. In 1945 Korea was freed from Japanese occupation. Koreans who learned Japanese or Chinese martial arts were then able to freely start martial arts schools using their knowledge and skills gained abroad. There was a 10 year gap from this time until 1955 when five martial arts schools in Korea unified to birth the martial art of Taekwondo. Not much time later 5 more schools associated with the original five were annexed together to consist of 10 total schools combined to form Taekwondo.

The early martial arts styles that combined together to form the Korean art of Taekwondo was a mix of Karate, Jiu Jitsu, Judo, various Kung Fu styles, and Taekyeon. It was a mix of mostly Japanese and some Chinese martial arts, as well as their theoretical view of what indigenous Korean martial arts (mainly Taekyeon) they could remember from history and archeology, since before Japanese occupation. Korea has a history of fighting in war, especially since the last century. Within the 20th century Korea had been invaded and taken over by Japan and suffered through a brutal regime, after liberation from Japan post-WW2 Korea had to fight the Korean War with the United States help against the communist regime of the North supported by China, then later South Korea entered into the Vietnam War to help the United States against communists. Korean martial arts were birthed and continued to develop within a state of conflict that provided much opportunities to figure out effective unarmed combat techniques.

Taekwondo was born out of this mindset of serious fighting and state of alert. Only later has Taekwondo lost some of this mindset with the current generation of Koreans who did not have to suffer growing up, and always had enough wealth in their nation to feel secure. The combative attitude has subsided somewhat. Even so, Taekwondo still remains with its original techniques including further developed ideas for martial arts effectiveness. The official Taekwondo Textbook put out by the Kukkiwon (World Taekwondo Headquarters) lists various brutal techniques to use for self defense. One can pick up a copy through Amazon and see for themselves what specific techniques exist in the Taekwondo system. Taekwondo is a fighting system and true self defense is only learned through fighting.

Taekwondo Grandmaster Hee Il Cho (1988) explains that “physical confidence can only be gained by learning how to fight and knowing how to take care of yourself in a real situation” (p. 52). That is the goal is true Taekwondo.

 

Taekwondo is a full striking system

Taekwondo has a full range of striking techniques as well as blocks. Kicks, punches, elbows, knees, head butts, and various open handed strikes. Some techniques are brutal and can kill which was proven in the Vietnam War when the Korean Tiger Division fought Viet Cong in brutal hand to hand combat when the fighting became close quarters. They used deadly striking techniques to the throats, eyes, groin, various joints and breaking necks to kill the Viet Cong. Dougherty (2010) claims that a person may be better off striking an opponent than fiddling about with another technique (p. 183), and also that “[most attackers] will not roll about looking for joint locks or complex techniques” (p. 298) . Striking techniques are the basics for self defense, and Taekwondo has everything a person needs to know for a wide range of destructive striking options.

 

Taekwondo also has joint locks, throws and takedowns, and vital point attacks

Striking is not the only option in Taekwondo. Taekwondo also has joint locks, throws and takedowns, vital point, and pressure point attacks. It is a full range combat system for stand up fighting. All of these kinds of techniques are also listed in the Taekwondo Textbook put out by the Kukkiwon. The traditional forms, or patterns memorized by Taekwondo students, contain various self defense and close quarters combat techniques. There are a variety of options for each movement in Taekwondo.

RBSD claims their self defense ideas are better than traditional martial arts, but the same ideas and techniques are already in Taekwondo itself. Throat strikes, chokes, joint breaks, groin shots, eye pokes etc. All of that is within the Taekwondo system and any good instructor would teach them and explain Taekwondo movements and how they work in a fight.

 

Taekwondo’s methodical training will help a person retain knowledge and skills

Traditional martial arts are officially systemized curricula of collected techniques. They are taught with a progressive structure until a student has mastered each level of knowledge until they become experts. This is the way almost any kind of education is taught. People go to elementary school and pass grades in order to go to middle school, to high school and some will eventually head to college. Any teacher worth anything knows that proper structure is important for learning. You cannot just lay on a student a bunch of random facts or too much information at one time. Even if such information is somewhat simple it needs to be studied or practiced for a proper length of time before one can move on to the subject of any given topic.

Taekwondo is taught with separate subjects within its system that allow a student to progress smoothly in self defense. There are basic strikes and kicks, blocks, escapes from holds and restraints, punch and kick defenses, combination striking, vital targeting, forms, and sparring tactics taught in this deadly art form. Taekwondo is taught within 10 grades which are called geup in Korean Hangul (Korean language). 10 grades are displayed on the student with belt colors. Different Taekwondo gyms use different belt colors, but typically in Korea the colors are white, yellow, green, blue, and red. Each belt color having 2 grades within itself. Other Taekwondo masters might use another color set such as: white, yellow, orange, green, purple, blue, brown, red, 2nd red, pre black belt. This is still 10 total geup ranks. The next color of belt after geup ranks is black. For black color ranks there are dan grades or “degrees” of black belt. The advanced student has opportunity to master Taekwondo after black belt rank by continuing his studies with the intricacies of Taekwondo movement and applications. Realistically, not every student will become a black belt nor needs to be in order to learn very effective, realistic self defense. Some will remain color belts and quit studying Taekwondo, and some will just never physically train enough to obtain high quality black belt ability for various reasons, but even that is enough to have a firm understanding of self defense and combat for those less serious about martial arts pursuits. Even so, there should still be decent amount of black belt students who stuck with training and ranked up if given a proper program with a good instructor.

Contrary to how it plays out in some commercial schools, not every student in Taekwondo or any other traditional martial art deserves to earn a black belt or even will get good enough to earn it. Some people might train for awhile and learn the basics, yet effective, for self defense. The serious student will master the basics, earn a black belt, and apply very advanced techniques far beyond even a military combatives course. Martial arts focus on mastery of skills which is better than taking a seminar from an RBSD instructor that lasts only 3 hours (or even a 2 week course or what have you). Real self defense success takes a large amount of time to earn through methodical learning.

Unlike Taekwondo and other traditional martial arts, RBSD programs do not usually provide a clear structure, and teach movements at a very fast pace. They also seem to spend a lot of time quoting crime statistics and other trivial knowledge. The structure of RBSD most often will throw out various techniques, and quiz people on crime statistics in a seminar format or DVD program for home study. Sometimes RBSD is incorporated into a program for a company such as “CrossFit Defense” created by Tony Blauer for CrossFit, an internationally recognized fitness company with gym locations all around the world. CrossFit Defense’s website states the claim:

“Coach Tony Blauer created a physiologic and instinct-based system that is the seamless interface between the high-intensity CrossFit protocol and the human in-grained self-defense system. Coach Blauer’s S.P.E.A.R. System is the only personal-defense system in the world based on the bodys (sic) physiological response to danger what the body wants to do prior to any training. This makes the S.P.E.A.R. System easy to learn.” (crossfitdefense.com)

The website then makes the claim, “Participants will leave with skills to put into practice immediately” (crossfitdefense.com). This is not true. No one can learn a self defense concept in a 1 hour class and then expect to immediately be able to use it effectively without repetitive practice. Such a claim communicates the idea that a person instantly should never be afraid of an attacker, and should expect to win a fight.

The language used to explain CrossFit Defense (SPEAR System) sounds really technical and smart, like some academic scientific claim, but it is really fluff. All that description is saying is that a person will learn to use natural reactions to attacks. This concept is not new, and therefore the statement that SPEARS is “the only personal-defense system based on the body’s physiological response to danger” is not true. Bruce Lee actually made this idea popular with his Jeet Kun Do philosophy he developed in 1967. Bruce Lee also taught that natural instincts are good to use when fighting. Thomas (1994) quotes Lee as saying, “when the opponent expands, I contract and when he contracts, I expand. And when there is an opportunity I do not hit—‘it’ hits by itself” (p. 188). Thomas also claims that after the Hollywood columnist Joe Hyams asked Bruce Lee what he would do in a serious attack where someone wanted to kill him that Bruce Lee explained,

I throw a ball and you catch it. You walk into a dark room and without conscious thought you turn on the light switch. A child runs in front of yours car and you jam on the breaks. You don’t think about these things, ‘It’ just happens. If someone tried to hit me I wouldn’t think about it, ‘it’ would happen. I would do whatever was called upon to be done without conscious thought” (p. 188).

Maybe Bruce Lee never mentioned the words “physiological” and “fear” in those sentences but the concept is still the same. Fear is an emotional response. The military combatives system of Krav Maga also makes a similar claim as what CrossFit Defense claims SPEAR is based on. One Krav Maga school on their website states that one of Krav Maga’s principles is “based on the body’s natural reaction.” It states,

Krav Maga is different from other martial arts since most other systems attempt to reprogram your natural reactions so that you can perform the techniques under the stress of an attack. This is why it takes so long to become combat proficient at other systems, since you have to relearn everything – walking, blocking, striking, etc… In Krav Maga we begin with the body’s natural reactions to stress then build techniques and combinations from those reactions. The result is Krav Maga feels more natural and students are able to learn the movements faster.” (victorvillekravmaga.com)

That sounds very similar to the claim Tony Blauer makes for CrossFit Defense and his SPEARS program. The idea of being “able to perform techniques under the stress of an attack” is the same as “physiological responses to fear.” The idea of it taking so long to become proficient in other martial arts systems and learning their style helps them learn self defense faster is also apparent. Imi Lichtenfeld developed Krava Maga was after World War 2 during the 1940’s. SPEAR System was developed by Tony Blauer in the 1980’s. This shows that the SPEAR System really is not an original self defense concept and the claims on CrossFit Defense’s website are false. In fact, the SPEAR idea that one should focus on fearful reactions of the body which are untrained techniques is very bad. Training is always better than not training. Developing skill through repetition, study and practice is the only way a person can become great at something. If someone wants to become great at self defense they must practice technique and train hard learning movements; because a fight really is just movement between two parties and one needs to learn to move effectively. Also, the claim that SPEARS uses untrained techniques of the body’s natural physiological reactions is silly since taking a SPEARS course itself is training. Watch any video of Blauer and you see him teaching students who are training a technique and practicing. It is a false statement and a contradiction to say that someone can learn untrained things. Or more simply train to develop untrained movements. That is illogical.

The results for these types of programs are to give someone a mediocre understanding of self defense knowledge and skills gained at a fast rate, and not true mastery. Taekwondo and other traditional martial arts provide an opportunity of self defense mastery because the way they are trained is structured with more intense focus emphasized. The fact is true self defense skills take dedication and time. It will not happen over night, and it won’t happen in a few seminars or DVD programs and it definitely will not happen “immediately.”

 

Go back to Part 5 (last part)                                                                          Go on to Part 2

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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. 

 

Trickers Suck At Real Martial Arts 

        A very popular type of martial arts video all over youtube is the typical “Tricking” videos where kids just do flips and breakdancing and throw weak kicks and hardly any punches and call it martial arts. Most popular of all are the “inspirational” videos where rich kids who’s parents bought them iphones and HD digital cameras film clips of various movements and edit them together to music. The best way to get views on YouTube is use sexy girls in short shorts who kick super high. Here is an example:

Seriously, the only reason it has alot of views is the thumbnail of the tan Asian chick with her leg up in the air and the other chicks in the videos with way too short shorts. Who wears short short?! They wear short shorts! 😉

But ever notice that your average “tricker” totally sucks at real martial arts movements? Weak kicks, no serious impact ability, horrible punches, all they are good at is posing. They do gymnastics and mix it with breakdancing moves then call it “Capoeira” when it isn’t even that! It is just tumbling and cartwheels and flips with wannabe breakdancing. It is posing, it is performance and drama, it is not martial arts or anything real. And no nothing in this video makes any of these people good fighters or experts at self defense. It is just show and more nonsense. Do you train to show off and act sexy for the internet? Or do you train for real fighting and self defense? That is what matters. Tricking is poser martial arts for people who suck at fighting and are too afraid to take a hit in sparring. It comes from mcdojangism and the “Xtreme Martial Arts” crowd. People who train in this lack fundamentals of movement for real self defense and fighting. They are not good for proper form and technique for true martial arts. Yet they get all the accolades because ignorant people enjoy superficial things and trendy things. And such people would be given martial arts instructor positions at an average mcdojo, but it is upsetting that what they teach will be called self defense, and less than qualified self defense instructors will be teaching people who do not know much to understand the difference.

I am not sure how long this trend will last. Let’s hope not very long, but it seems it probably won’t go away soon. Even so, the real martial artists need to just keep busy at perfecting fighting skills and the fundamentals of martial arts techniques.

Problems With The Taekwondo Male Body Image: Skinny Legs And 6 Pack Abs Don’t Win Fights

        For the longest time in Taekwondo culture the Taekwondo approved male body image has usually been a tall and thin male. Most often it is the standard long legged, skinny Asian body of the Korean male. I believe the current standards for a serious Taekwondo fighter’s body is very biased for a certain caliber of people and usually only focuses on poomsae and Olympic sparring sport competitors. When a body type for western specific men is presented for Taekwondo in general, whether they be white, black, hispanic etc., the models closely resemble the ideal tall Korean body in shape. I find this to be an unrealistic standard and unfair. Also, many Korean men are not even tall but there are a lot who are. It isolates other effective body types for martial arts and fighting by presenting only one standard as the ideal Taekwondo body type for males: the tall and lanky sport competitor.

        I know there is also a Taekwondo body image for females. For women it is the petite and shorter, yet still skinny Asian bodied, Korean female. You see this all the time in martial arts catalogs. And Mexico has recently tried to introduce a new “female dobok” specifically for sex appeal and also making the claim that spandex material is better for sparring (which it is not). Even so, this article will focus on the male body image and leave the female body image for another discussion.

        Taekwondo models do not necessarily look unhealthy usually. They look athletic and attractive. Once in awhile I do sense that possibly the models have a bit skinny legs that are ineffective for serious kicking, which won’t cause any serious impact on a person. For western models in Taekwondo culture, the influence of the Korean standards for a proper body carries over into any ethnicity almost, whether it be European, African, Latino or other. I do believe that the standards for a Taekwondo fighter’s body in most of Taekwondo pop-culture are unrealistic and also wrong for many people to have. The k-pop music influence of Korean pop-culture has heavily influenced Taekwondo worldwide. The idea of the proper shape of a body for a serious martial artist is shown to be somewhat effeminate for the males and also very thin, and most often tall. I do not find this to be accurate of what many true Taekwondo masters look like. Many of the old masters over 60 years old have shorter legs, even some stubby compared to western legs, and many of these Korean grandmasters have thicker thigh muscles and shoulder muscles from decades of hardcore training. A few have bulky muscles and look built. Of course most often these masters are naturally wiry or thin, but they are still very masculine and tough. Of course some masters are more bulky and shaped like a barrel and do not even have 6 pack abs. This is because they have functional muscles for actual use, not for show.

        Here are some examples of the male body image portrayed in current Taekwondo culture as ideal for martial arts in magazines advertisements, and catalogs for uniforms:

To find these images I typed “Taekwondo male dobok” into Google.

Here are some examples of Taekwondo athletic body types for WTF sports:

For those images I typed in “Olympic Taekwondo athlete” into Google. Almost every image has this similar look for body type. It is still the thin and long legged body type.

        Now this is not necessarily wrong or a bad body to have. Many people obviously naturally are tall and lanky. This body type works very well within Olympic sport Taekwondo where kicking from distances to score points works best with long and thin legs. They can reach farther, often times faster moving, and are harder to see than a larger mass. This kind of body works best for Olympic sports and is probably why most of the heavier bodies of male athletes are not seen in this sport often. At least they are not showcased as much. But Olympic sport Taekwondo is only a part of Taekwondo and not the whole. Taekwondo is a self defense art.

        Believe it or not ITF Taekwondo is not immune to this. Here are a couple examples:


Hands down sparring exactly like WTF with lanky bodies

This ITF Demo team is much like any WTF body type

        The most desires or acceptable body for a Taekwondo fighter can be summed up in the poster boy for Taekwondo pop-culture, Olympic gold medalist Steven Lopez:

In my opinion he looks somewhat anorexic. Yes he has very defined muscles, but he is incredibly skinny. Yes he is trying to be sexy by showing his Fruit of the Loom’s in the front. But realistically that does not matter, his muscles and body type are not well for any serious combat without rules, let alone MMA. He needs to bulk up. He has the tall and lanky, long legged, tiny armed body that is popular. He does not need arms as much as legs for his sport.

      I have in the past been called obese or fat by a Korean master because my body type is more bulky and tank like. No I am not fat, I just do not have a perfect 6 pack of abs and I have thicker muscles and big arms and a big chest. I lift weights and work out to keep my fitness up so I can be a better fighter. There are a lot of typical athletic males like me out there who do various sports, including various styles of martial arts who are thick framed and bulky. In the past it has seemed that it was understood that to be a better fighter you should be stronger, bigger, tougher, thicker and faster. This is not talking about storing up body fat like a sumo wrestler, this is talking about working out. Lifting weights, doing pushups and eating protein etc. I believe it is self evident that someone who is larger and stronger will defeat someone with the same skill level who is smaller and thinner. Of course someone who is smaller and thinner with more advance skill than a larger opponent will win in a fight, but if that larger opponent ended up being just as skilled as the smaller guy it is obvious the larger guy has a better chance of winning. This is why world championship fight leagues have weight classes. Every combat sport has weight classes including Taekwondo. But take sport out of the picture and put the emphasis on fighting in general and self defense where there is no rules and it is better to be larger.

        This mentality in Taekwondo culture also affects the way companies produce doboks (uniforms). Companies now make doboks tighter and longer. So the uniform becomes stitched for someone with a thin frame and who is very tall. Most companies sell the uniform’s sizes by the weight of the person, not actual measurements. So, someone who is muscular and 200lbs. or so will buy a size 6 dobok and when he gets it in the mail he tries it on only to find out that the uniform top is tight around the midsection and the sleeves go past his wrists over his hands. The pants crotch hangs way too low and restricts kicking so he has to roll down the top of the pants a couple of times, and the pants go over his feet and touch the floor so he has to roll them up a few times.

        So, buying a properly fitting dobok  for average athletic males who do not fit the stereotype body find it nearly impossible to find a well made uniform that is WTF approved and fits properly. This exact thing happened to me when I bought a Mooto Basic uniform. When I ordered over the phone they told me if I got a size 5 it would be too tight so I need to get a larger uniform. When I said the sleeves or legs might be too long they said just alter it. So basically now I have to pay someone to alter a uniform and when they alter it they never alter it to be the same stitching as the original. It is very annoying. So, I just roll my pant legs up, pant waist band down, and arm sleeves of the top up. The is the only way to wear the uniform functionably for me. Even so, the quality of the Mooto basic uniform is very top of the line and I am satisfied. But it would be nice if they made them fit better. This is what many guys have to deal with when buying doboks now. The only decently fitting uniform I had in the past was when I was 16 and bought and Addidas uniform. A Taekwondo uniform is supposed to be a practical training suit that allows for total mobility in every direction. It should not be tight or have a low crotch that restricts kicking and it should not flop over the hands and feet.

        Within sport fighting events such as the UFC and GLORY Kickboxing the most respected fighters, the ones seen as the most dangerous, often times are very large men with large muscle mass. They have a lot of mass, but are not necessarily thing or perfectly toned. Most of the top fighters in mixed martial arts do not even have 6 pack abs and store a thick layer of body fat over their strong bodies. Examples of top fighters body types are bellow:

Cain Valasquez the current heavy weight UFC champion

Feder Emelianenko the Legend “Last Emperor”

Daniel Cormier 


UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell and his famous pot belly

Now here are some images of random Taekwondo masters or grandmasters:

The late Tiger Sang Soo Kim, 9th dan black belt from the 1970s. He has a very muscular body and is very bulky and large framed. He is not lanky and thin and tall. He has thick muscles.

Grandmaster Hee Il Cho, 9th dan of AIMAA. He has thicker muscles than a typical Taekwondo guy today, yet he is naturally thinner as a Korean. But he is one of the most serious fighting masters alive in Taekwondo today.

Master Sang H. Kim, 8th dan Kukkiwon who has authored various Taekwondo books including Taekwondo self defense and combat. He also has made various DVD’s on Taekwondo and self defense. His body type is the shorter with stubbier legs that is common among many Asian men. Not all Koreans are lanky and tall, I believe more are shorter especially from the older days (born before the 70’s possibly due to nutrition) as Korea progressed with wealth after the war.

9th dan grandmaster Lee Kyu Hyun of Kukkiwon with another 7th dan master. Shorter and thicker bodies than the typical thin models of Taekwondo magazines.

The late grandmaster Tae Hong Choi of Oregon. This man signed my 1st dan black belt certificate as well as applied my rank into the Kukkiwon. He looks like a standard Karateka yet he is a Taekwondoin from the oldschool days. This is what a Taekwondo master looked like as it was about mastering the fighting art and not simply doing poomsae and Olympic sport tournaments. When I tested under this man asked me specifically what Taekwondo was and he wanted to make sure I knew it was a fighting art first and only a sport after that. This grandmaster taught U.S. Special Forces and the South Vietnamese Army Taekwondo techniques. He also taught Taekwondo techniques to CIA operatives. This was a man who understood real combat and self defense, and the fact Taekwondo is a combat art. He was a highly respectable Kukkiwon grandmaster and even heavily promoted WTF tournaments, and served as a USTU Vice President. Yet, he would never be chosen as an ideal male body type for current standards of WTF/Kukkiwon Taekwondo culture.

        Realistic, martial artists’s body types are featured often in other martial arts styles. They are seen as badass and tough. The body that matters for fighting, not for show. One of the most serious, fierce, and hardcore fighters of the last century was Grandmaster Masutatsu Oyama or Kyokushin Kai Karate fame:

No real martial artist who knows anything about this man would dare call him fat or think he was not a true master. he is barrel shaped, much like a ball or tank. He is thick muscles but has an obvious layer of fat, yet he was a true fighter and beat hundreds of opponents. Even in his younger days he never seemed to have a 6 pack of abs, yet he did have more muscle tone. Most Kyokushin fighters are built like a tank. Their aim is to train for throwing the hardest kicks and hardest punches in order to win fights. That is their goal, to show they have the “strongest Karate.” Taekwondo could really benefit fromt his mindset. Not that Taekwondo fighters need more body fat, but that the focus should be on practical bodies with functional muscles and health. Not to look long and tall only.

Fumio Demura is one of the greatest Karate Legends of our time:

Grandmaster Demura is a 9th dan of Shito-Ryu Karate and one of the most famous and skilled Karate masters from older times still alive. His body type is more round. Yet no martial artist who knows anything would argue against his legitimacy as a master simply because he does not have a lanky tall body with 6 pack abs.

Gichin Funakoshi was one of the most influential martial arts masters of our time especially for Taekwondo:

Taekwondo itself is heavily based on this man’s created Karate style. If it was not for Grandmaster Funakoshi, Taekwondo would not be what it is today and might not even exist. Several of the founding kwan masters were high ranking dan grades under Funakoshi. Look at Funakoshi’s body type. He is very small, short, does not have extremely hard and defined muscles and has absolutely no 6 pack abs. People today would say he was even chubby and would not respect him because he does not have an “elite fitness” body. Yet, he was considered very dangerous. He himself claimed that Karate was like a gun, a deadly weapon that is very dangerous and should only be used in (or taught to) the right hands. Funakoshi was about fighting for self defense. Only later did Shotokan start a sport specific focus, but even so most serious Shotokan practitioners train for self defense and not simply to win tournaments.

These are just some examples.

        A martial artist’s body needs to be efficient and practical. It needs to be healthy yet it needs to have functional ability not aesthetics. Also, beauty is in the eye of the beholder often times. Martial arts is not a beauty pageant and martial artist’s bodies should not be trained simply for display, but for actual use. In a self defense situation or any fight the body that wins matters. Not how good it looked before the fight. Through hard training, though, you can and do get a better looking body because you become more healthy but this is not the goal. The goal is health and ability: cardio, strength, speed, power etc. not looking sexy.

        Taekwondo, if it wants to be considered as a fighting art and about what matters, the Taekwondo consensus on what is a proper body for males needs to change. A focus on men who can fight and have good skills much like the masters of 60 years ago. The Tae Hong Choi’s are the past norm. Only when Taekwondo got overly commercialized and watered down and superficial did the desire for one body type, the lanky and tall with long legs male become what is desired in a male Taekwondo practitioner.

        To be sure, in no way am I promoting obesity or laziness.  I am not saying people should be fat or no one should try to lose weight or be fit. There are plenty of really fat and out of shape fake masters out there. The point I am making is there are fit bodies of various shapes and sizes and for each individual master of martial arts they won’t always have the same body type. Some are thicker, some have layers of body fat yet are strong as an ox and can kill you, some are shorter legged, and not everyone of them has 6 pack abs. Taekwondo needs to focus on the badass, hardcore body image of a fighter and not simply a model type Olympic only sport competitor who is tall and lanky with no chest or shoulder muscles (because they barely punch). Koreans need to also understand that other ethnicities have different body shapes and not everyone can look like a Korean man and be thin or wiry. Besides there are large Korean men who are thick like wrestlers.

        Taekwondo practitioners who have dealt with such prejudice against larger bodies for males need to keep training with confidence and not worry if someone thinks you are fat. If you can stronger and tougher that is what matters. Do not listen to the ignorance of certain people. I would rather be tough like Mas Oyama and be big, than skinny and lanky and only be good at sport competition and male modeling.

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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.