Posts Tagged ‘mcdojo’

Want To Be An XMA Black Belt?

        Now days you can get your black belt in dance-gymnastics and playing with toy swords! It’s called earning your XMA black belt. It is so super badass and emotional!!

You get to bow even though XMA has nothing to do with Asian culture besides the crazy Asian dude who runs the headquarters! I thought I was cool when I earned by black belt, but now days this is the standard for black belt excellence.

 

 

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.

Tiger Rock’s Claim Of Accredited Instructors Is Meaningless

        A popular tactic of mcdojangs is to claim they have “accredited” instructors. Or that their instructors must study and take a test every year to make sure they have all the latest teaching methods and techniques in order to make sure their instructors stay skillful and up to date. This is just fluff and hype. It is utterly meaningless to claim your instructors are accredited if they are simply evaluated by their own group without outside critique. The American Taekwondo Association (ATA) and Tiger Rock Martial Arts (ITA) and various other mcdojang organizations do this. The ATA started it and everyone else copies it. Notice the Tiger Rock Martial Arts advertisement I received in the mail the other day:

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Wow! Accredited instructors! That must mean they have the best martial arts instructors in the entire world!!!!

In the words of Dwight Schrute:      “False!”

No, they do not. Accredited does not mean anything in this context since the only people who evaluated the instructors is Tiger Rock itself. It would be as if I affirm people, send them off to represent everything I teach and my company. Then those 5 stand with me and affirm another 6th person and 7th and 8th and so on and then claim we now have accredited instructors. It means nothing. It is an incestuous accreditation.

If one looks up accreditation on Wikipedia it explains that,

Accreditation is a process in which certification of competency, authority, or credibility is presented.

Organizations that issue credentials or certify third parties against official standards are themselves formally accredited by accreditation bodies (such as UKAS); hence they are sometimes known as “accredited certification bodies”. The accreditation process ensures that their certification practices are acceptable, typically meaning that they are competent to test and certify third parties, behave ethically and employ suitable quality assurance.

        Typically in the USA accreditation speaks of one body giving affirmation and certification to a third party individual or organization which means they follow certain standards and procedures and have the right resources, knowledge, and skills, that are proper and agreed upon. Within martial arts this could mean anything. For Taekwondo the world governing body for Taekwondo as a martial art is the Kukkiwon. The Kukkiwon is certified and accredited by the Korean government, and is also recognized by the World Taekwondo Federation, which is also recognized by the International Olympic Committee and also affirmed by the original Korean Taekwondo Association. So, various government and corporate bodies recognize the Kukkiwon as the proper ranking body for Taekwondo. In turn, Kukkiwon black belt certification and instructorship accredits individuals to teach Taekwondo. Also, the Kukkiwon itself consists of a board of members who vote on things and not any one leader who dictates what will be and what will not be. Members are voted in and out of positions. It does not exist specifically for profit either as a corporate entity. The Kukkiwon is affirmed by outside sources who are not a part of its structure which gives it realistic accreditation. The Kukkiwon is an official Korean government organization promoting culture and tourism through Taekwondo as well.

        Groups like Tiger Rock Martial Arts International on the other hand are a corporate entity that exists for profit to make as much money as possible, and is its own singular company run by its own founders. Tiger Rock used to be known as “Karate Taekwondo Plus Academies.” The International Taekwondo Alliance is their claim of affiliation. Later, the name Tiger Rock was implemented instead of TKD-plus (but apparently some gyms still use the TKD-plus sign on their buildings and are part of the ITA. According to http://www.tkd-plus.com,

ITA’s Grand Masters are Craig Kollars, Bert Kollars, and Art Monroe. Senior Masters are: James Bailey, Rick Hall, Joe Calhoun, Ron Allman, Don Anderson, Terry Newton, and Marv Conway. ITA’s Masters are: Mark Smith, Dan Cerminaro, Joel Neely, Kirke Woodall, Tim Leirer, Phearthur Moore, Richard Johnson, George LeBlanc, Chris Jackson, Carol Hall, Frank Michael, Brent Scoggins, Tom Mathews, Wayne Mathews, Dwayne Parker, Terence Parker, Victor Jordan, Charles Newton, Michael Cerminaro, Sandy Jordan, Roger Killen, Rick Pope, Elliott Slaughter, Danny Williams, Earl Scoggins and Brian Mitchelmore.

Notice that none of these people are Korean as there are absolutely no roots from Korean Taekwondo within this company, even though they claim so. Tiger Rock claims that their linage goes back to the “honorable Won Kuk lee and Chung Do Kwan” (one of the original 10 martial arts schools in Korea that predates Taekwondo). None of the Korean masters such as Lee Won Kuk or General Choi had anything to do with founding or caring about forming the ITA, Tiger Rock Martial Arts International, or TKD Plus Academies.  The truth is ITA/Tiger Rock was founded by ex American Taekwondo Association instructors who were disgruntled for whatever reasons and started their own offshoot from the ATA calling it the ITA. According to an article in the January 2010 edition of TaeKwonDo Times Magazine,

“…the three founders of the ITA, Craig Kollars, Bert Kollars, and Art Monroe, were junior instructors of the ATA. They created the International Taekwondo Alliance (ITA) which is just their own group specifically made for their brand’s franchise schools. None of these schools are independently run, but follow strict corporate standards created by Tiger Rock itself….by the end of 1980, those three people became independent from the ATA and formed a small independent association.” (p. 61)

        So, basically this organization was created by junior level instructors, not even master level instructors of ATA style Taekwondo. Accrediting their own instructors through their own party is simply just saying their instructors have paid a lot of money into the Tiger Rock system and are allowed a license to teach under their name. Such accreditation is really only worth the junior instructorship that ITA was founded on. It is not proper for someone who does not even have proper accreditation themselves to create their own style of martial arts and become masters of it.

        Each Tiger Rock franchise location pays an annual fee, including the “special” instructor qualification tests each year. It is simply multi-level marketing in the sense that people bring others up into the Tiger Rock system, tell them to start new school locations, each year their students pay to train and the school itself pays a percentage fee of their revenue. Instructors also have to test every year which is simply an excuse for the company of Tiger Rock Martial Arts International to make money off of its own people ever year and get as rich as possible. There really is no reason to keep taking instructor tests each year except to charge their own franchisees extra money for each of their “accredited instructors” to stay accredited each year. A school could have 5 to 10 or so instructors all paying into this system.

        This accreditation is worthless outside of Tiger Rock. Unlike Tiger Rock, true Taekwondo certification of a black belt instructor is for life. A one time test of skill given by a panel of certified 4th degree or higher black belts evaluate students for black belt degree ranks. Each degree of black belt would be its own test. There is no mandatory instructor training with the Kukkiwon, there is that option as an extra novelty certification if you get to travel to Korea, but it is not mandatory. Any dan rank 4th degree or higher can test people for black belts and any lesser dan rank can go to a 4th dan or higher for their students to be tested. The instructor who ranks his student then submits an application to the Kukkiwon, and certification is signed by the Kukkiwon’s current president directly from Korea. The Kukkiwon is true Korean Taekwondo and the direction of where the true historic linage ended up today since Taekwondo’s founding in 1955.

        True Taekwondo allows for an independent structure. Each school is independently run by its own people. There is no corporation owning all Kukkiwon schools. Of course if someone with a capitalistic mindset (which I approve of) wanted to make a Taekwondo business with a franchise of gyms with Kukkiwon certified instructors that is fine. At least their company will be truly accredited by an outside source, and the proper one at that. Accreditation is only worth the body it was given by. If a governing body accredits its own people, and their skill is lacking, and not part of the true linage of Taekwondo and is itself an offshoot, the accreditation is only worth anything to their in group, and if their instructors lack in true martial arts skills and self defense knowledge than their accreditation is very weak. It is incestuous and silly.

        Mcdojangs, most notably Tiger Rock Martial Arts International, will claim they have direct linage to an original kwan (or school) of Taekwondo such as their claim they are from the Chung Do Kwan founded by Lee Wan Kuk in the early days before 1955. This is easy to do for anyone who wants to pretend they are part of true Taekwondo history. Anyone who had an instructor, who had an instructor, who had an instructor somewhere at sometime, who learned or became a master under whoever, can link back to whatever historical linage they want to claim. The problem is off shoot branches fall off the direct root of the tree. It is like following a train track where truth is the train track. Some people walk off the track and build another new track in another direction off of the main line. While the main train track had went one direction toward a goal, and accepted standard, or style and the newly built tracks go off in another direction away from this “track of truth.” This is such with groups like ATA and Tiger Rock. Tiger Rock founders may at some point have studied under a guy who trained with an early kwan, or trained under a guy who had an instructor from and early kwan at some point in time, but that does not mean anything. Also, the truth is that Tiger Rock can only link back to the Chung Do Kwan through the linage claims of the American Taekwondo Association’s founder H.U. Lee (who definitely went off the track of truth and made his own offshoot) since they originally trained under the ATA as junior instructors before making up their own Taekwondo group.

        On Tiger Rock’s website explaining their history it mentions that a delegation of Tiger Rock masters were honored to attend Won Kuk Lee’s last formal seminar in 2002, but this does not prove support by Won Kuk Lee or that he somehow was part of their formation. They simply attended a seminar. Anyone can do that from any organization from anywhere! Just pay the seminar fee!

        Other organizations or martial arts styles that can actually link historically to the Chung Do Kwan are groups like the International Taekwon-do Federation founded by General Choi Hong Hi (Choi was a direct second generation student of Won Kuk Lee and temporary Chung Do Kwan school master), and Tang Soo Do which is the actual name of the martial art the original Chung Do Kwan school taught created by Won Kuk Lee. However, the ITF became the very first Taekwondo offshoot organization that went in another direction away from the direction of where the Korean Taekwondo/Taesoodo Association was headed. The ITF is itself another style of martial arts with the name of “Taekwon-do,” which is spelled with a hyphen to differentiate it from Kukki-Taekwondo. The ITF was the organization that the founder of the American Taekwondo Association, HU Lee was a part of before creating his own style in the ATA. Tiger Rock comes from this.

        Before Taekwondo, Koreans simply were most often training in Japanese Karate, but they called it Tang Soo Do. The Chung Do Kwan was called “Tang Soo Do Chung Do Kwan.” Later, Won Kuk Lee, which Tiger Rock reveres, had a 4th successor named Uhm Woon Kyu, who was given the position as leader of the Chung Do Kwan. Uhm Woon Kyu helped develop Taekwondo as an Olympic Sport, and played a huge role in forming the World Taekwondo Federation, Korean Taekwondo Association, and the Kukkiwon. Uhm was even president of the Kukkiwon after Dr. Un Yung Kim, but has since resigned in 2010. Chung Do Kwan thus is part of the true linage that points to the Kukkiwon which is the accepted organization for Taekwondo recognized by the Korean government. It does not point to a connection or support towards any other organizations for Taekwondo such as ATA or ITA. Tiger Rock is not historically aligned with the direction Chung Do Kwan headed along with all of the other kwans. All kwans now fully support the Kukkiwon and the WTF. If one was linked to a certain kwan and held it with reverence and honor it would seem they also too would align themselves with Kukkiwon standards and practices. But these groups do not.

        According to Uhm Woon Kyu, and vice president of the Chung Do Kwan Hae Man Park (retired), “Kukkiwon Taekwondo is Chung Do Kwan Taekwondo.” It, a long with the 8 other kwans, developed the system of Taekwondo together. Chung Do Kwan is simply now a social friendship club (as all kwans are now) that 100% endorses the Kukkiwon so that the Kukkiwon can retain power and and development over Taekwondo.  This is nowhere in line with groups like Tiger Rock.

        I could personally create my own martial art style with its own ideas and forms. I could then call it Taekwondo and create my own master instructor certifications for people to pay for. I could run my own exclusive tournaments and make money. I could go attend seminars held by old Korean masters from an early Kwan and act like they were my personal teachers and masters. I could then link my linage back to an early kwan easily by the same method groups like ATA and ITA/Tiger Rock used. But this would be dishonest and embellished. I actually would not be a part of the direction Taekwondo history headed with the proper Korean Taekwondo organization of the Kukkiwon. I would be teaching a totally different style of my own making. It really is that simple.

        The point is every original kwan formed together as one style of martial art called Taekwondo with one goal and every historic kwan (all 10 of them) agrees with, fully supports, and is 100% incorporated into the Kukkiwon and accepts the World Taekwondo Federation. Off shoots like Tiger Rock have nothing to do with the Kukkiwon except for the fact some of their instructors visited Korea, or attend a seminar taught by some Kukkiwon grandmasters. If these original ITA (Tiger Rock) founders received Kukkiwon rank somehow it still does not matter since they do not supply rank to their students or even teach the Kukki-Taekwondo system. They also do not participate in WTF tournaments. Also, the Kukkiwon supports independence and does not exclude people from other organizations from testing for their black belt certification. This is exactly the opposite of groups like Tiger Rock who in no way will recognize or care you have a Kukkiwon black belt. If you do join Tiger Rock you have to start all over again as a white belt and pay into their testing fees and certification fees and classes and pay for membership and more fees. No one is even allowed to participate in any ITA tournaments unless they are a Tiger Rock student and paid into whatever rank they wanted to compete at. They are a closed off and exclusive organization. This is most likely so they can claim “World Champions” etc. by not allowing threatening outsiders into tournaments who might beat their people in a match. The American Taekwondo Association is notorious for this as well.

        It has to be mentioned that not every offshoot organization of Taekwondo is necessarily wrong. There are various groups who still teach the Kukkiwon system, but are still their own affiliation with other instructors and schools. Mostly Kukkiwon rank is also given, but sometimes it is not given and only their affiliation rank for their offshoot organization is given. The difference is they are still teaching Taekwondo just without Kukkiwon certifications or affiliation. I personally believe it is not the best idea to be in an offshoot and ignore the Kukkiwon, but they are still true to the art in form. And some groups do have legitimate martial arts skills and teach valid self defense and do not use annoying marketing tactics to create a giant empire. They simply just exist to associate various schools together to teach and learn martial arts. I still personally think they should maintain ties to the Kukkiwon at least for ranking purposes anyway though.

        Unlike Tiger Rock or the ATA, the forms from the Kukkiwon/WTF are free for anyone to practice, perform, and teach. Tiger Rock and the ATA patents their forms to make it illegal for anyone to teach them without being “accredited” by their own group. So if one person earns a black belt in Tiger Rock or ATA and then one day moves or quits training there, they cannot teach the forms to anyone else if they decide to start a gym or affiliate with another group. This shows they want total control and not freedom in their martial arts style. This is another reason why the Kukkiwon is the truth for Taekwondo and allows independence and freedom for Taekwondo martial artists.

        Parents wanting their kids, themselves or anyone else who wants to sign up for Taekwondo lessons please be advised, and do not be fooled by the marketing gimmick of “accreditation.” It is meaningless, and if a corporation’s martial arts skills are lacking, their accreditation is lacking. You cannot truly claim accreditation if one body accredits itself! Affirming itself is a joke. True accreditation is going to be outside judges and panels who affirm something. A third party affirmation. Choose a Kukkiwon related gym for real Taekwondo that does not dictate commands to gym owners and allows them to be independent and truly certified and affirmed by peers. Even the International Taekwon-do Federation is independently run like the Kukkiwon for the most part.

        Mcdojangs simply use marketing gimmicks and silly tactics and embellished histories to get you to pay them a lot of money so they can stay rich.

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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.

*Since the original submission of this article he has no earned his 4th dan black belt and master certification in Korea from the Kukkiwon and has so far trained for over 21 years.  

A Good Model For Martial Arts Demonstrations

        A martial arts demonstration can be a very informative event for the public, or it can be something that people find entertaining, but also, and I warn you, something people will find silly or cheesy and make fun of you for it by heckling you (but then it can also be taken as a silly thing while uninformed people cheer like mad for it, but the true martial arts world will still mock you for it). Unfortunately, Taekwondo always seems to have the latter effect.

        In a demo a school owner or instructor should want to communicate a few things such as: (1) what is their martial art style and where it comes from and its culture, (2) why it is an effective fighting and self defense system, and (3) the specialized movements and techniques. These are the most important things above anything else an instructor wants to communicate in order to leave the audience slightly more informed than they were yesterday about their martial art.

        Of course a demo should be entertaining, but it needs to be educational and deep. An instructor can do simple demos that explain a lot in a short amount of time easily.

Here is an example of a simple demo using MMA:

This demo was done around 2008 and is simple, straight to the point, informative about the martial arts and their local gym, and it was also entertaining. I could criticize the instructors boxing skills, but that is besides the point. Overall he did a very good job and it looked fun. The audience gave a positive reaction. People who would take an interest in martial arts want to see effective combat on display and not a display of nonsense. The demo showed various techniques and why they would work and why their style is fun to train in.

A martial arts demo can also be more elaborate and large, especially if chosen to perform for a large event such as a tournament or any festival. In this case, sometimes music is appropriate or special lighting, but the simple basics and strong techniques and power displays should still be evident. It is not a TV show or party, it is martial arts.

Here is an example of an elaborate demo using Kyokushin Karate:

This demo was large and elaborate yet it showed the simple basics of their style and its combat effectiveness. It was very informative and the bricks and boards they broke were actually the proper sizes. No balsa wood! No ridiculous over the top screaming and silly theatrics. It had a strong and serious attitude showing warrior mindset. The Japanese master is promoting his country’s martial arts and culture in a very honorable and respectful way.

Another example using Seidokaikan Karate:

This is an epic demonstration of martial arts. This Karate master shows off his martial art doing the whole 9 yards. Kata, breaking, pad work, self defense, sparring. I love it. The music is simply background music and not action music or dance music to move to in sync. He does it representing his martial art as sophisticated with a true Budo attitude. And he represents Japanese culture well with honor and not silliness. He shows how hardcore and serious his combat art is. This master shows techniques and why they work, even breaking them down to inform the public. This is something Taekwondo should get a clue about and how to run a proper and serious demo of martial arts display.

Anyone interested in learning how to fight and taking up self defense instruction is going to take such demos seriously and be impressed. Anyone not interested in combative training will instead be impressed with a hip hop dance routine or gymnastics flips. That is basically what Taekwondo demos keep looking like. Taekwondo culture has absolutely no concern to be taken as a serious martial art when it keeps producing idiotic demos that do not teach children or adults to take martial arts as a serious thing, but just a fun and silly thing to do sometimes, like this:

Apparently, in the comments section of that video people are more concerned about the “awesome music” and the names of the songs than anything related to Taekwondo. What a joke. Is this the culture Korea really wants to portray to the world? Thank you kpop for your utter stupidity upon Korean culture! There seems to be no hope when even the Kukkiwon allows this trash and even promotes it. In the USA I expect martial arts masters to keep MTV out of their martial arts! But in Korea it seems the kpop (or MTV Korea) culture goes hand in hand with Taekwondo. It is beyond logic why this is so…it seems at one point some sabunim decided “Gangnam Style” is cool and it should be a black belt requirement to learn this dance if one wants to be on their demo team. Then all Korea Taekwondo went with it.

Who can save Taekwondo?

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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. 

Self Defense Seminars Will Not Save Your Life

        When people are thinking about self defense many will hear about “self defense seminars” being advertised by various groups who claim to teach people how to defend themselves. Most often women more so than men are looking for a way to learn self defense because they realize the world is a bit dangerous and want to feel secure when going out. These kinds of courses and seminars are usually called reality based self defense (RBSD) and include various systems with very silly overly technical and politically correct names.

        Often times women, as well as some men, believe they want a no nonsense lesson or two in self defense that gets straight to the point of self defense. Many people cater to this desire and claim that someone could go to their seminar or take their short course and learn all of the tools one needs to feel confident and defend themselves. Most of these seminar and course holder’s claims are that no one needs to learn 100’s of moves and memorize them and waste their time because you can learn to defend yourself with a few very easy and short steps.

        I found in a YMCA magazine for the local YMCA’s in this area an advertisement for a self defense course held at a YMCA by some local person who created a system called “Urban Protection Solutions” or something close to that. Urban Protection Solutions claims:

We have developed a simple, very effective self-defense/survival program geared toward you. This is not some complicted course where you have to learns hundreds of moves. THis (sic) program is designed for you to be able to incapacitate an assailant and escape.

Yeah sure…What RBSD people do is try to find a corporate sounding, politically correct, or technical term to name their style. Basically saying “How to beat people up so they don’t beat you up” is not very cool. Or even “The kicking and punching method” is not cool either. So names like Taekwondo “Way of smashing with feet and hands” or Karate “way of empty hands” is not cool or professional sounding. So they name them silly names like Urban Protective Solutions. I know of another guy here who claims to have various black belts in a lot of martial arts, and I mean a lot, who calls his style “Creative Combat System.”

        Honestly, the confidence many seminar people give to their customers is false. There is no possible way someone could take 1 seminar, maybe 3 hours or so long, or even a short week long course and assume they can effectively defend themselves realistically in that amount of time. The average person just cannot do it. It is nearly impossible unless you are somehow athletically gifted with extreme natural coordination. The claim no one needs to learn 100’s of movements is incredibly ignorant and dishonest. In realistic martial arts training you may or may not need to know 100 separate moves. It depends on the martial arts system you are training under. If not so many moves you will still learn 100’s of combinations, angles and other ways to do a set of a few different movements. Boxing for instance has about 8 punches and about 10 blocks give or take depending on what your coach classifies as a separate punch or block. You will learn 100’s of ways to throw many combos, many subtle steps and footwork etc. over a long period of time with proper training. The fact is a person needs to take many hours, days, weeks, months, and years to actually defend themselves properly. Sure you can always run, but if you are attacked with no prior martial arts experience, and you only took a 3 hour seminar there is a very, very, very slim chance one would come out okay. And to think taking a “rape prevention course,” even a typical college P.E. credited course such as RADS (Rape Aggression Defense System) for an entire semester is going to save you from getting raped well, you are wrong. You are STILL going to get raped. You need to realize this.

        A real problem with so many seminars/courses are that their techniques are not really that effective and often times are silly or very dangerous to assume it is a smart way to move. While I was attending my university as an undergraduate they had RADS as a P.E. course for females only. Everything they did in that class was secret and men were not allowed to know what they learned because it could help would be rapists know their secrets so they could better rape women or something like that…stupid I know…well one day I was sitting on a patio table on campus and found that a female had forgotten to take her RADS booklet back to her dorm and it was left open. I decided to look at this “secret knowledge” and found that one of the movements to defend against rape was to literally turn around on your stomach as the guy is on top of you and do some maneuver to get him off of you. Being a martial artist during my time studying at this university I ran the official MMA club and was founder and president. Knowing some BJJ I realized that it would be so easy to choke a woman out and then rape her anyway in that position. RADS is basically the type of course where women yell “STOP!” a lot and kick and punch a guy with a gigantic padded suit on. It gives false security to women since realistically a lot of untrained females do not have power to really damage a man nor the technical skill to choke him out or lock his joints up etc.

        During my university days I also took all of the martial arts courses for P.E. credits: Taekwondo, Total Self Defense (was actually a very very well run self defense course focusing on combatives), Karate (which was actually Tang Soo Do) and TFT (Target Focus Training). All of the classes were run very well and taught basic skills for fighting effectively, all except for TFT. TFT is the kind of system where the instructor will just give you statistics about crime and violence and talk “extra serious!!!!” and even cuss sometimes to emphasize how extra serious the techniques are. I took a full semester of TFT and I was told never to block or even try it or I could be killed. There is no ready position to hold hands up for defenses either, you have to keep your hands down casually. You only learn a couple of strikes which are a punch, palm strike, and ways to hit the throat. Most of the strikes are arching motions and not straight. There are hardly any kicks, more like steps or walking forward and pushing with the foot. You are told that if you are faced with an attack you should only attack back and hit the special “vital points” they tell you and also step around and dodge things. They assume any strike you do is enough to incapacitate a person and even “crush their throat with your hand hitting it, crunch or break their ankle simply by stepping on it and other nonsense. They also assume if you are hit in the groin every attacker will always bend over (not true). Every technique you learn is in slow motion and you are never trained to hit fast or full force, they just assume you will. They even teach you that if someone has a knife or a gun you should just hit the guy and go forward. You are not allowed to train it fast either, and if you even so much as motion that you are about to grab the gun you will get yelled at. I was told that martial arts techniques I know would not work and not to try them. They even have a silly stepping form with the feet called “leg dynamics” and it is only stepping and reminds me of very poorly copied Kung Fu walking.

Here is an example of the bullcrap training that TFT emphasizes. Its is like the Bujinkan of RSBD with slow motion nonsense:

        So many seminars and short courses claim to be from “reality based self defense” experts who claim their self defense system is based on realism and truth while the martial arts, what they clump together as all styles and systems of tradition, waste your time and focus on unrealistic and false techniques that will not save your life. There have even been online arguments on various martial arts forums about how the “Karate punch” is inferior to their “reality based self defense punches.” The truth is, a punch is a punch! You need to learn to actually fight and use techniques at full speed and they need to be pressure tested with resisting opponents. Traditional martial arts allow for this and any good traditional martial art teacher will also train you properly. Just because many mcdojos and mcdojangs exist does not make a style of martial arts worthless.

        The fact is people need to take up a martial art style or go to a martial arts school, plan to train for the long haul and make such exercises a part of their life. True self defense skills will be learned over time and kept by continuous practice. Not a 3 hour seminar, not a 1 week long course, not a summer camp, and not by taking a college semester of RSBD nonsense. RBSD in most cases are bullshido and the mcdojo of the DVD and seminar world.

        RBSD is not the only offender of such seminars. Filipino Martial Arts is notorious for this. The worst part is most FMA systems are very legitimate and good. For some reason most FMA masters do not open gyms or academies around the world and many just travel doing seminars. Kali or Eskrima has become an “add on art” instead of a full system. Often times the same fake training, learning nonsense drills, accompanies the FMA seminar. People go just to get ranks or certificates saying they did something to get a rank. FCS Kali is one of the most notorious for doing this. The FMA issue could be a whole different article so I will stop mentioning it now.

        There are possibly some RBSD styles that are good, Krav Maga comes close but everything they do is basically from Karate and could be learned in a Karate class with masterful skills emphasized instead of quick learning and sloppy brawling drills which happens in most Krav Maga classes. I personally think that most RBSD makes rdiculous and unfounded claims as well as do not save anyone’s life if all they do is train in their system. True self defense has to be learned with 100’s of moves memorized, hard and long training, various pressure testing and perfection of movements. Regular martial arts classes are going to give that to someone. Just because mcdojoism has left an ugly scare on some styles of martial arts does not mean that the art is a waste of time and silly. Find a decent traditional martial art school and train. Make martial arts a lifestyle as part of whatever you do in your life. RBSD just makes “learn quick deadly techniques fast” claims which are not true and most likely going to give a person false security and end up causing them real problems when a real self defense situation occurs. RBSD like the mcdojo simply exists to make money and they use extreme marketing techniques like any mcdojo in town. Even Crossfit made a RBSD program called “Crossfit Defense” with people associated with the TFT people. Beware.

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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. 

MMA Gym Fail Superman Punch

        Be careful not to waste your money at the average MMA gym.

There is so much wrong with that video. Not just the hilarious background occurrence, but the instruction itself is horribly wrong. What kind of superman punch is he teaching?! I am pretty sure Superman could fly. And those leg kicks…ugh.

Again, the words MMA in your gym or martial arts school does not make it legit. LOL!

MMA Gyms Are The New McDojo’s

        Popular martial arts culture is in a post-karate, and post-taekwondo phase. Of course, the most popular mcdojo/mcdojangs are still Taekwondo and Karate gyms but they are definitely being seen today for what they are, glorified daycare centers. The reason is that the UFC popularized the sport of MMA, the most free range combat sport we have today. The sport that allows for the most realistic fighting possible while still being safe, and still mimicking a street fight by about 95% (my own opinion). This has opened the eyes of so many people to see that many of the Karate, Taekwondo, and Kung Fu gyms people have often thought of as places to learn deadly fighting techniques actually are fake and untested with really awful techniques that just don’t actually work. This is not to say the true martial arts of those 3 umbrella styles are fake or do not work. It just so happens so many of the gyms were over time have been established by people who have no clue about real fighting and exist just to make money. The fact many Taekwondo, Karate, and Kung Fu gyms actually do have top quality self defense instruction and promote their true martial arts for the sake of actual combative self defense is besides the point of this article.

        With the new focus on realistic fighting and practicality and the popular sport of Mixed Martial Arts widely broadcast on TV many other fraudulent and embellished instructors have thought to cash in on this MMA craze. The new mcdojo is the MMA gym! MMA is the new “karate.” Instead of people saying “I do Karate!” like they did in the 60’s-90’s they now say they do MMA, or even worse, “train UFC.” Have you ever met a guy or gal who just HAS to let you know that he trains in MMA and wants to correct your kicks or tell you how you need to re-learn how to punch properly? Seriously, not just men act this way but women too who think they are badass grapplers and can take you out. One time I was training at a Gracie Garage program downtown and some girl from one of the local MMA gyms showed up and did not even introduce herself and says, “Hey wanna roll?” She acted macho just the same as a guy. I got a kick out of it and I was wearing a gi and white belt, she had on a rash guard and MMA shorts. I ended up owning her hardcore and making her quit. She just got up and walked off the mat like an idiot without telling me anything or even that our sparring session was over. So during our roll she just randomly rolls away and stops, then walks away and does not say “hey hold on I need a break or thanks for the roll.” Nothing! Then later she proceeded to tell me how to correctly kick the heavy bag and throw elbows. I just pretended she was good and better than me and laughed inside my head. Some of the best ways to ignore egotistical idiots is to let them think they are better than you, ask them about techniques they learned from their teachers. You may or may not learn a new idea (even if they can’t do it well themselves they might have someone who taught a theory or idea you might benefit from) then you will know their weaknesses and end up owning them if you spar.

        Just because you train at an MMA gym does not make you an automatic badass or even a good fighter. It does not mean you are learning anything realistic that you can actually use. Many Karate mcdojos and Taekwondo mcdojangs have converted into MMA mcdojos by adding in craptastic programs such as “grappling class” or a “Muay Thai program.” This is obvious and is especially true of large chain martial arts franchises, but even more deceptive are the independent MMA gyms owned by high school wrestler jocks or other big looking people who really have no martial arts mastery. In the Southerm United States where I currently live there are plenty of redneck MMA gyms or hick/hill billy MMA gyms opened by average “billy bob’s” who maybe wrestled in high school and bought a heavy bag to hang in their garage. These people have absolutely no true martial arts instructor certification and are usually ex-high school wrestlers, and sometimes ex-Karate point fighters or Taekwondo guys (usually from a low grade no-name TKD organization no one knows about except 10 people). These people then claim to teach Muay Thai because they kick and punch and watched some YouTube videos. Some of them even go to random seminars by other frauds who claim to certify people in Muay Thai or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or even yet, claim to give out “Sambo black belts.” There was one MMA gym in a small town I knew of that claimed to teach Sambo. The owner claimed he was a Sambo black belt. It turns out he really just got some random MMA fighter guy who held a seminar claiming to teach Sambo and sold him a black belt. The owner of this MMA gym also claimed to teach Judo, MMA, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, as well as Sambo. The kid maybe had 2 fights he claimed were pro. Pro meaning he went to a low level promoter and got paid to fight twice while still sucking and thinking he is a badass. His gym lasted less than a year and closed. It was a fly-by-night operation. All of the Sambo and MMA belt certifications the local town people tested for, if they meant nothing before they gym closed, even more so, mean absolutely nothing now that the gym is non-existent. They paid fee’s to test!

        Still yet there are MMA mcdojo’s that have a lot of success because they started off from a rich guy who had money to buy a location and build a cage or set up a ring. These types of owners find people to teach classes. Most likely will hire a blue belt, or a fresh new purple belt in BJJ and then the owner might claim to teach striking for MMA because he had a Taekwondo black belt from a random organization and he wrestled in high school. These groups become popular and get people to fight in local promotions featuring low level talent and then claim they are a real gym for real fighting. Fact is most MMA promotions allow really low skilled “jobbers” to fight each other. Big fat guys or craptastically skilled football jocks who rely solely on athleticism. You can in fact usually call a phone number if you want to fight in an event and they will sign you on the card to fight another random guy who thinks he is tough. It is very easy to get liscenced to fight by the state athletic commission if you simply pay a fee and pass a physical. It has nothing to do with years training or ranks in a martial arts style at very low level MMA events.

        There are even chain MMA gyms that are nothing but glorified yoga and cardio kickboxing studios. For example there are even MMA gyms in Walmart now:

You wanna train there while people at the checkout watch you hit the heavy bag and look cool? You could also buy an MMA Elite t-shirt at Walmart (I actually have some MMA Elite shirts (hey they look cool ok? shut up! Seriously, some look badass with samurai guys and stuff on them!)

Often times, it is actually better, smarter, and more economical to train at a traditional martial arts gym such as Karate, Taekwondo or Kung Fu where you learn a systematized combat art with levels of progression that work on skill perfection instead of brawling. In reality, it takes a lot of time to perfect a skill and it is smart to train in a specialized style instead of a place that is average in everything. A skillful person usually beats an average joe who has slopped through an MMA stew instead of specific skill instruction in one area.

Now I want to make sure people know that is it obvious there are actually legitimate MMA gyms with dangerous fighters, but they are more rare than people think. More often than not your average MMA gym is a terrible place to train with a negative macho man environment where everyone is trying to prove something and people get injured. Just go train at a boxing gym instead, or a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu  Dojo! Or just take Taekwondo or Judo! You can mix and match later once you actually get good at something. Beware of the current popular trend of MMA McDojos!

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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. 

Indomitable Spirit Dude! 

        The owner of this blog has recently become a master instructor of the ATA and worked tirelessly for 3 months learning the Song Ahm forms becuase they are far superior to WTF Taekwondo which doesn’t even let ya’ punch to tha’ face!!! All he had to do was pay into the ATA with thousands of dollars and he was given the title and is now the owner of an ATA franchise he purchased from a previous instructor. He is now:

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INDOMITABLE SPIRIT DUDE!!!

APRIL FOOL’S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy April Fool’s Day macodjang dorks!!!! 

The Korean Tigers Are Determined To Destroy Taekwondo

*Authored by White Dragon

If you have been involved in Taekwondo for awhile you have probably heard the name Korean Tigers. The Korean Tigers are a demonstration team that travels all around the world in many groups to promote Taekwondo, but only their version of it. They are all Korean nationals who hold high black belts ranks.

When I first heard the name Korean Tigers I thought they were a Taekwondo fight team from Korea. Back in the day I immediately assumed they were total badass fighters much like the Korean fight team in the movie “Best of the Best.” I assumed they were notorious and deadly and would win every tournament they entered. Over the years I realized they are nothing but a bunch of effeminate looking Korean guys and some cute Korean girls who do performance art. They are more dancer than martial artist. They do more gymnastics and dance movements than actual Taekwondo. Oh, but they are very good at basic techniques and have very solid and crisp movements; but unfortunately for the rest of the Taekwondo world the entire point of their existence is to look pretty, impress people with acrobatics, make up ridiculous fantasy type of fight scenes with music backing them up and break very thin boards made out of balsa wood. They even dress like hip hop b-boyz and b-gurlz and do dance numbers. Sometimes they have the girls do sensual dance movements while wearing their dobok and black belt. Remember the 6 tenets of Taekwondo are 1. Courtesy 2. Integrity 3. Perseverance 4. Self Control 5. Indomitable Spirit and 6. Sexuality! Wait doesn’t 6 cancel out 4? Does any of this make sense to do for Taekwondo?

For the rest of the Taekwondo community that promotes Taekwondo as a fighting art they are a thorn in our side. Often times I feel other nationalities who know about combat (with the world-wide popularity of MMA and the understanding of the need for practical self defense), who train in Taekwondo, need to take Taekwondo away from the Koreans until they know how to treat it properly. Because all the Koreans are doing is ruining their nation’s Martial Art by making it nothing but a silly, sissy, and extremely corny performance art. This is much how the “shaolin monks” from China promote their version of performance Kung Fu.

The Korean Tiger’s are only one problem as there are other demo teams out there, even the Kukkiwon Demo Team, who promote the stupidest and most pointless shows for Taekwondo. Yet, the Korean Tiger’s are probably the most noticeable and problematic group and they have been for decades. They make Taekwondo look like a joke and it seems they are determined to destroy Taekwondo and completely reform it without anything to do with effective self-defense and fighting techniques; and they don’t care.

Here is a video showing the ridiculous way the Korean Tigers view Taekwondo and also promote it. Taekwondo is not a fighting system to them, but a performance art with theater, dance, and music. They are master black belts in song and dance, and do gymnastic moves with a few Taekwondo techniques thrown in. Their performers are known as “K-Tiger’s actors.” That tells you something. Watch the following video:

Wow! That was soooo emotional! So powerful! So riveting!…After viewing this video it reminded me how when I first joined Taekwondo I really wanted to fly! I wanted to dance while a curvy Korean girl in a pretty dress and Korean accent sang a song, and we could all dance and hold hands to it and do back flips. That is the true meaning of a black belt!

Yes that was all sarcasm…Actually when I joined Taekwondo I joined it in the hopes of learning to fight in order to protect myself from neighborhood bullies. I heard it was an extremely effective fighting art. But now days all we get is this nonsense.

The transcript of the video reads as:

“We have decided to participate in this monumental task in transforming traditional Taekwondo. The task is to convert Taekwondo’s fundamental and technical form into innovative art. We attempt to raise the awareness of Taekwondo, not just as martial arts, but as art.”

“I was impressed with show Taekwon, in that Taekwondo is not just martial arts, but can be transformed into a work of art. My dream is to let the World know Taekwondo as a performing art.”

“Show Taekwon, of K-TIGERS is not only Taekwondo as martial arts, but as performing arts that express artistic works. In expressing Taekwondo as art, our intent is to make it and raise the awareness of the popular Korean culture.”

“We are trying to stop the stereotype of Taekwondo. We created a new performance of Taekwondo with comical actions and precision movements from the traditional martial arts.”

Yes, Taekwondo needs more comedy! And that darn stereotype that Taekwondo is a martial art and a deadly killing system and usable in self defense is just too popular! We must stop it! We must show the world that Taekwondo was meant to express artistic works and is about showing off doing flips, and spinning flying kicks that have absolutely ZERO combat application and in no way are effective to use, as none of the kicks would even hurt by the time they hit you because the moment is so weak at those crazy angles. That darn stereotype that Taekwondo is good for fighting must go! We need to work hard to stop it and be more emotional and expressive!

Could you imagine oif Judo did this, or Muay Thai? Would you ever see boxers doing a performance type of boxing? What about art-Karate to express emotions? Yes, the XMA exists but that is a whole different monster that needs to be slain, but this phenomena seems to mainly happen with Taekwondo and something to do with South Korea’s bizarre pop culture. Taekwondo is the main offender of this stupid behavior and philosophy more so than any other Martial Art today.

Actually, everything they said in the video about stopping the “stereotype” of Taekwondo (yes as if it was a stereotype and not a fact that Taekwondo is a combat system) actually promotes the negative stereotype that Taekwondo is for chicks only (yes both effeminate Korean dudes with dumb hair cuts and hot Korean girls) and a total joke. They claim to fight a stereotype (which actually would be positive and promote the art well as something that is worth a lot) while promoting a multi-decade-long stereo type that Taekwondo is simply a joke. They also seem to have a Korean ethnocentric agenda to promote “Korean popular culture.” Yes, because kpop is just so important for the world and we do not have enough Gangnam style! We need more! More Gangam style! More emotions! More expression! More sexy dancing black belt chicks!

Yes, the Korean Tiger’s are determined to destroy Taekwondo and make it an absolute joke with no martial application. It is just a show art for them and they want the future of Taekwondo to be this way. Someone needs to take Taekwondo away from South Korea for awhile until they behave and stop the madness!!!!!

I rish dat I culd fry, touch da sky.”

 

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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.