Posts Tagged ‘MMA’

Why Training In MMA Shorts Is Important For Taekwondoin

        As a Taekwondo fighter and life long Taekwondoin I have often stressed that most training should be done in the dobok of course, but I always saw the need to train in regular athletic clothes and shorts. We learn to kick wearing dobok pants, but many do not kick in shorts and the feeling is very different.

Training in MMA shorts is great because they are very mobile and allow you to kick high and the material wicks away sweat. I would often do a heavy bag routine in full dobok attire and kick the bag hard with my dobok pants on. This is good to do of course. When you kick with pants on you tend to really work the instep kicks using round kick It conditions the top of your foot really well. wearing pants lacks the tendency for you to kick with your shin. You can do it but you won’t want to as much as your brain usually uses the exposed skin of the foot as the landing weapon. When you do use your shin to kick a bag with your foot your pants cover your skin.

What happens when you have material over your skin as you kick is that sweat stays wet on your skin. You will not get a good skin conditioning to develop your pain tolerance to accept high impacts on your leg. Your feet will get conditions on the skin so the slaps of the heavy bag do not hurt anymore, but your shin won’t. The dobok pants stay wet with sweat and your skin will not get dry in the air as much. This is why you should also train while wearing shorts.

 

 

A good pair of shorts I like to use are the Elite Sports Star Series MMA Shorts. They fit well and feel great. You really want to kick when wearing them. They also work well for grappling, but that is besides the point. When I wear these shorts I can kick the heavy bag pretty well and my skin over my shin will be less moist from sweat as the air will dry the skin. When I kick the bag with my shin my skin toughens up over time and you develop the much needed callouses over the shin bone.

Kicking in the air with shorts is also different. When we wear dobok pants we can do poomsae well as we hear the snap of the clothing over our legs telling us when to stop. In the real world if we get into a fight while wearing shorts it may feel weird and the novice might not understand when to snap his kick or how to pull it without the “dobok snap” sound. When i was a color belt I had this issue. I felt so weird kicking in shorts. I got used to it. Also using shorts allows for the “heavy rotation” kicks like the downward angled kick pulling through to smash the enemy’s thigh or body. The full 360 rotation kicks often seen in kickboxing.

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The reason  like the Elite Sports Star MMA shorts is because of their functionality and fit. The feeling that I am free to kick and move my legs as much as I want without any restraint. They are secure and stay on you well and the material so very comfortable and less plastic feeling as other brands of MMA shorts.

I am a huge advocate of cross training in martial arts as well as training in doors, out doors, in the official Taekwondo uniform and also in street clothes as well as MMA gear. For more to see about Elite Sports gear for combat sports check this video out:

 

 

 

Get the shorts: Elite Sports Star/Sublimation Series Fight Shorts

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The Most Comfortable Rash Guard I Have Ever Worn 

        Rash guards are basically surfing shirts used by surfers to protect from getting rashes from their boards. It is made out of spandex type material and usually thicker than regular spandex. These are like half suits for the torso. The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu martial artists in the 90’s made these things very popular for martial artists who want to do full contact fighting. The early days of the UFC allowed all kinds of uniforms to be worn in the cage and a lot of practitioners were grapplers. They stopped wearing the traditional Jiujitsu gi because the opponent could grab it and pull on it. So they started the whole “o-gi” Jiu Jitsu style or also sporting competition. This translated well for MMA and kickboxers who train in the gym because it is very functional clothing. You do not have loose clothing like a wet t-shirt, or gi or dobok that soaks up sweat. The rash guard material repels it and wicks it away from your body. They are also hygienic and protect your skin from a lot of skin diseases and bacteria that can be transferred with skin to skin contact and also from the sweat on the mat you may roll in.

With that being said, I am still a traditional martial artist and love to wear my dobok for Taekwondo, but I think that the Taekwondo practitioner needs to also practice in other kinds of clothes and do kickboxing and MMA training. So donning MMA shorts/kickboxing shorts and a rash guard is something you should do every week once or twice at least. I have trained with rash guards for many years doing my intense striking work and conditioning work. I also love to wear one when I roll and do grappling sometimes. I prefer the bJJ gi when I do my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training but I also believe to be an efficient and street ready fighter you need to train in both the gi and without the gi. So the rash guard is the best choice for attire when not rolling in the gi.

I have a few rash guards, but I will tell you the absolute best rash guard I have ever worn is the Elite Sports Star Rash Guard. Elite Sports is a maker of a lot of martial arts gear with an emphasis on MMA, but they also make Taekwondo uniforms too. The Elite Sports Star Short Sleeve Compression Rash Guard is extremely comfortable and feels great.

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The material is thicker spandex and slides well on the mat. The stitching is very strong. What I like about this rash guard compared to others is that the shirt fits my wider frame and does not feel tight in my armpits like other brands do. My shoulders and armpits are not restricted and I can freely move. I am a bigger guy around 220lbs and I wear an XL size. Another important thing about this shirt is that it does not at all choke my in anyway. Almost every rash guard I have worn in the past has given me a slight uncomfortable feeling on the front of my throat. The tight spandex usually gives slight discomfort but nothing that keeps me from working out, breathing, and giving it my all. This Elite Sports Star rash guard has a small v-neck shape that does not choke me at all!!! It feels amazing! I was so surprised.
Probably one of the coolest features of this rash guard is that the waist has a band that keeps the shirt conformed to my waist. It is form fitting and stays down. When I roll with other rash guards they usually would slide up and expose my belly. It was annoying as I want to be modest when I train as well as be hygenic and not have parts of my torso rubbing the mat or someone else’s skin. This rash guard by Elite Sports stays around my waist and does not hike up! I love it!!! It has this cool band sort of like a rubber band keeping it down. Nothing about this rash guard is too tight either. It just overall feels comfortable.

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The design of this rash guard is also really cool. This is a ranked rash guard and white symbolizes by BJJ white belt status. I am almost to blue and when I get blue belt I will get a blue rash guard like this as well. So I feel great and also look great with a very fashionable design!

So as a Taekwondo fighter I will practice my punches and kicks and also do my Jiujitsu in this as well. It also is a great overall active shirt for general fitness. Jogging, weights, jump rope, push ups and everything else. I recommend this rash guard. You can get it on Amazon for $24.99. The price is very nice!!!! Other rash guards cost 50 or more dollars! So Elite Sports is making high quality gear for a low price the average martial arts man can afford!

Check out their website as well as amazon.

Elite Sports Star Rash Guard

http://elitesports.com 

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#TeamElite #EliteSports #EliteSportsMMA

 

 

 

Does Running Away From A Knife Wielding Attacker Always Work?

        You hear an awful lot of people claim that learning to defend yourself against a knife in martial arts is useless and will never work. They have this belief that somehow the only viable method of self defense against a knife attacker is to run. Is this always true? I disagree.

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Learning to deal with weapons in martial arts is very important. That is why I train in and also teach Ensayo Kali which is a Filipino martial art that primarily focuses on bladed weapons. We also focus on sticks and empty hand techniques.

I do not believe that the only method of self defense against a knife is to run. I think that is for the weak minded and people who give up, as well as the arrogant people who love to discredit martial arts. I will list a few reasons why this view is for the ignorant people with no sense of self defense or fighting spirit. Many only do sport oriented martial arts or some urban soccer mom version of combatives. I think that if you are not learning to deal with a bladed weapon coming at you with intent to kill then you are doing yourself a disservice.

A very common weapon used by criminals to kill people is a knife. One of the most basic weapons used throughout the entire world’s history. Criminals use knives in armed robberies, rapes, muggings, random killing, planned murders, passionate crimes and more. If you have been in such a situation, or thin it is a possibility d you want your ONLY option to be to run away? How dumb!

Of course any good martial arts master will tell you to run. It is sound advice. I recommend that your first thought should be to back off and run if you know you can get away. If someone pulls out a knife and brandishes and shows you he has intention to fight you with it or attack you then you should run!!! How dumb it would be to walk up to him and try some Kung Fu move or something. You should run! But this is not the case of most criminal attacks! Most often you do not even see the weapon until it is too late. If you practice fast reactions and have drilled certain techniques and concepts thousands of times you have a much better chance at surviving and even ending the attackers life instead of your own. Most criminal who use knives are also not even trained in martial arts. It is obvious that a trained martial artist would have better skills than the attacker and have a better chance as winning a fight. A knife is a great equalizer, but not totally. I have seen video footage of lunatics and terrorists using bladed weapons to attack people on the streets and many times the people using the weapon are slow and predictable. The victims however have absolutely NO training in the combat arts and are utterly helpless. It is time the regular law abiding citizens stop being helpless! Learn a martial art that deals with blades like Kali!

A criminal usually pulls a knife out right before he stabs. You won’t be ready to run. You may not even know he will attack you. He might hide behind you and attack you. He might jump you from the side. He might be talking to you and then pull out a weapon and try to stab you immediately. How can you run away? You can’t! You must deflect!!!! An if possible disarm. You won’t be able to run until after he has stabbed you if you don’t have training. If you have training you have a high chance of making the situation be that yo deflected the knife and then were able to escape, or you deflected the knife and then disarmed him or used his own knife against him and killed him instead.
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Also, even if you do decide to square up to a knife attacker if he as brandishing he knife it does not automatically mean you will get stabbed and lose. You could win possibly, but the chances of you getting cut are very high. Nothing is impossible though. I recommend not doing this unless there is no choice.

When would there be no choice? When you are surrounded or walls are behind you and there is only 1 exit door and he is standing there. You may have to square up and fight. No situation is impossible.

The best method of learning to defend against a knife is to learn how to use a knife first! That is why Kali emphasizes students to learn how to use a knife as a weapon. Not only to defend but also to be the attacker and learn how to use it as a deadly weapon of war. Once you learn how to use a knife to attack and how it can kill then you will know how you can defend and protect life.

Martial arts were created as methods of warfare and self defense for citizens. Only in our modern times have they been given the focus of sports first, or completely neglect the self defense side of martial arts. We really need to get back to the primal reasons we do combat arts.

So no, you should not always run away from a knife, you cannot always run away from a knife, and you may have to square up against a knife attacker. This is the real world we live in and only the ignorant people who want to be in their sport safe spaces think otherwise. If you get the right martial arts program and the right instructor you will have confidence that if it is necessary you can defend against a knife attack successfully, and you can also use a knife against a criminal effectively. Ensayo Kali Tactical System is a martial art from the Philippines based on ancient and modern Filipino techniques. Such techniques used by warriors of old, soldiers, and very tough men of the Philippines in history. It is a true martial art. EKT was founded by Guro Gerald Pilapil fro Malabon City.

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A Great Gi For Jiujitsu! Elite Sports Navy Blue BJJ Gi

        I have been studying Jiujitsu for a long time off and on. I have spent time with grappling clubs as well as actual MMA/BJJ gyms. Last major training I did was in Korea where  I competed in 2 big tournaments. It was an exciting time. So back in USA years later I am trying to hone my BJJ skills and get the blue belt I deserve! With that said I want to tell you about a new gi I recieved recently. The Elite Sports Traditional BJJ Gi. I got the navy blue color and I am size A3.

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When I first opened the gi I could tell the exceptional quality. Before I had used an old basic Judo gi, then I got a BJJ gi in Korea. My first BJJ was a basic gi like this one but the quality of the fabric was not as good and when I washed it (without drying it in a dryer and only hang drying since in Korea that is how we dried clothes) it still shrank! So I had a gi that shrank and had sort arms. I was not allowed to compete in the gi as it went against IBJJF regulations. So when I did compete I had to borrow a gi from a very large Korean man who had a lot of money who could afford to buy those trendy Shoyroll gis. The gi’s he lent me did fit me for both tournaments and felt great but knowing how much money it costs to buy such a brand was ridiculous to me. Now come 2018 and I finally get my hands on a new fresh gi for practice in the USA! I open up the Elite Sports package in the mail and instantly I can feel the fabric was just as good as the expensive brand. The feeling against my skin in training is great! The arms actually fit me and the legs too! Right to my wrists! Each Elite Sports gi is IBJJF approved and ready for both competition and training in the gym.

I got this gi sweaty and it did not drag me down. So it works great with sweat and does not cling too your body and ruin your performance after hours training. I washed it and hang dried it. Each gi is pre shrunk to fit you. I am 5’11 and 225lbs and I got a size A3. It fit me great! I have a larger chest and the extra room feels good. If you are even bigger or larger such as a body builder I suggest a size up from me. If you are a regular dude this gi will offer you enough room as it is.

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This gi is a great choice for a first gi as well because the price is right!!! I swear so many gis are overpriced in the market. 80-200 dollars for a gi? Why? Elite Sports sells this gi for $59.99! Perfect price and awesome value! I definitely recommend choosing this brand.

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When I roll in this gi I do not even know it is there. I am busy focusing on techniques and getting awesome at grappling instead of adjusting my gi around. Even the white belt that came with it, yes it came with a white belt at no extra cost, is sturdy and strong unlike other gi white belts I owned. I like the belt so much I put 2 stripes on it instead of my old white belt that already had 2 stripes I earned from my teacher in Korea.

I feel like I can roll around on the mat doing shrimp drills like I am on ice! I slide fast and smooth! I think this gi is incredibly comfortable. I would wear it all day!

I really like the draw string for the pants. The chord is stretchy somewhat and feels soft. It is long enough to simply tie it and the bow I tie the knot is does not press against my stomach or bother me in anyway. I can easy tug the chord in the back of y pants to tighten them to me comfort level and then tie a knot in front and I am ready to go! Pants stay on secure!

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Rolling feels so comfortable!

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This gi also looks great and is fashionable. It does not look boring as the logos are placed in great spots and are not too big. You can still patch it up and personalize your gi if you are into that. At least for a gym logo. So it still looks classy. I really like the navy blue color as well, it brings out my eyes and just looks fresh. It is not the simple blue, but has his nice darkness that looks formal. Now they do make this same gi in various colors such as white, black, regular blue, and gray. I suggest going to their website to check them all out.

Elite Sports BJJ gis all colors

Elite Sports Traditional BJJ Gi Navy Blue

Elite Sports Website

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White Dragon Dojang Blog Ranked #13 On The Top 50 Taekwondo Blogs List

        There was a recent calculation on Feedspot that used search and social metrics to rank the top 50 Taekwondo blogs. This blog ranked #13 on the list as of January 4th 2018. I had no clue this was going on until someone informed me. I am very proud and encouraged that people read this blog and it makes me want to post more.

You can view the ranking here: Feedspot’s Top 50 Taekwondo Blogs List. I want to thank all of my readers for helping this blog produce content around the world for Taekwondoin to read, be encouraged, to get mad at and complain, develop their Taekowndo for fighting, talk trash about this blog, and more!

Mudo Is Why I Train

        I got into martial arts in order to learn how to fight. I was bothered by a bully who came to my neighborhood and would call me out to fight and threaten to beat me up every time he came on my street. It terrified me. When I was 13 I started training in Taekwondo because I thought it was the most effective way since is focused on kicks as well as punches and not only punches, but some throwing and joint locks. I saw an advertisement explaining the differences between Taekwondo, Hapkido, and Judo. I thought the description of Taekwondo seemed to explain that it had everything Hapkido and Judo had plus kicking. Of course when I trained over the years I know it may have everything, but the focus is different. I thought the kicks would help me fight better and I saw many movies with awesome kicks in fight scenes and figured it was the way to go. Eventually I am where I am today an I still believe that Taekwondo has enough techniques and concepts for self defense, with it’s dynamic kicks that make it a deadly martial art. The real masters will train in everything and not leave any part out. This includes Mudo.

So many schools of Taekwondo leave out Mudo or Musul. Mudo is the Korean transliteration of Budo, which is the Japanese term for “Way of War, martial way, or way of the warrior.” Musul means “martial arts techniques.” Both of these terms focus on a warlike, military, and fighting aspect. Musul represents physical study of fighting techniques and how to defeat enemies. Mudo has to do with the internal struggle and war against one’s own ego. This helps a fighter become better focused and ready to fight and be a better person. It also has to do with martial arts morality and training for pure purposes and not evil.

There are so many gyms/school, or demo teams etc. in Taekwondo that use the term mudo in their name. They focus on musical forms, gymnastics, asthetic poomsae practice (not application: Bunhae), and sport sparring only for Olympics. Nothing they do has to do with war, or the art of actual fighting. It is very frustrating to me that Taekwondo has lost true mudo and instead has a superficial focus. If they do use self defense (hoshinsool: escaping from grabs and avoiding attacks and countering) it is a very, very shallow focus and weak. I really disagree with this. Taekwondo should be fun and be friendly, but there has to be a seriousness in it like any true martial art. When I see videos of Okinawan masters of Karate and Japanese Karate dojos, or even Kung Fu gyms in China I see their intensity, focus, and serious dedication to warrior skills. They have the intention to kill if necessary and perfect techniques to make them good at fighting. I really feel jealous of these gyms and look at how modern Taekwondo has become lost to these concepts.

Why is it that Taekwondo seminars or events have to do with guys in suits, classrooms with desks, Taekwondo-dance demonstrations, music and lights, and going over poomsae without application study? Why? We all know the answer is money, politics, and gaining popularity with masses of a politically correct culture that thinks “violence is never the answer.”

I may never be a world class fighter or athletes, but I can be the best I can be. That is mudo. To fight hard within yourself, accepting the limitations of your body but persevering anyway and pushing yourself. You don’t train to show off and impress, you train to defend your life. People have injuries and limitations that others do not. We are all on different levels. But we strive not to win medals, but to fight ourselves and remain confident regardless of personal issues and limitations. We want to perfect our art and train our bodies to perform it the best way we can. We are mediating on our martial art when we train. I really believe we need alone time and training alone. Going over poomsae with no one around, preferably outside in nature to take in the beauty God created. Dojang training is great but we also need to take the time to be alone as well, or in small groups and perfect self defense together.

When training for demonstrations or performance art such as dancing, the focus is lost. The ego is promoted because one is trained to impress an audience. The same for sport Taekwondo sparring. Winning medals is a great honor but to make it your entire Taekwondo focus is no mudo. One such as this is lacking in the internal and has only a superficial understanding of Taekwondo. Many win world championships at the expense of perfecting poomsae, hoshinsool, and real fighting. One could be a 5th dan master and still not know how to throw a proper jab, or hook punch and not know how to deal with a clinch or takedown as well. Or a realistic understanding of self defense.

My goal with White Dragon Dojang is to promote Taekwondo in it’s full martial art style and not neglecting anything. To promote it as a fighting art, to give warrior spirit to my students, and make sure they can fight. I want to fight my own ego as much as it comes up, and instill this thinking in my students to fight their own egos. I think the traditional approach has been lost so much. Also, modern combat adaptation is not being included either. I want Taekwondo to get with the times and promote the traditional hard ways of training other styles do as well as adapt to advances in hand to hand combat and even promote combat sports such as MMA along with Olympic Taekwondo sparring. So many Taekwondo masters, not just Koreans (though many), think they don’t need MMA, or MMA is immoral. Or teaching to fight for real is pointless. I don’t think the old masters of the 40’s and 50’s thought this way. It was life or death back then. MMA and combatives training is not just for the military or gangsters that many Koreans think. They used to think Taekwondo was for gangsters. Now it is accepted in society by being kid friendly etc. Taekwondo should include serious fighters and every black belt should have a basic understanding of how to defend themselves in a confrontation (or street fight). Taekwondo needs to be feared again.

I hope that what I do with my teaching and philosophy will keep martial arts morality and righteousness in training as well as not be afraid to train realistic combat with Taekwondo. I hope that what I do, my small part in the martial world, will gain respect to Taekwondo as a true martial art, a true fighting art. Keep mudo, and musul in Taekwondo!

Taekwondo attitude was much different back then

I Angered General Choi’s Grand Daughter And A Bunch of ITFer’s

        Just a couple of days ago my blog got a lot of traffic from ITF people who are upset at my article about General Choi’s Juche communist sympathies. Jasmine Choi, the late grandmaster general Choi’s granddaughter also posted a comment in sheer anger with many insults about my character. Her and several ITF masters posted a lot of comments and are still doing it if you want to check that post out and read the fun.

This is what Jasmine Choi posted on my article in the comments section:

Wow. Just wow. I cannot believe the garbage I’m reading. You are extremely uneducated about ITF and about General Choi. Imbeciles like you should need to concentrate on whatever “art” you are doing and stop obsessing about someone that is deceased. And you stating General Choi holding hands with Kim Jung Il is ABSURD!!!!!!!! Maybe you need your eyes checked or you’re really that delusional clearly they are not holding hands. Get a life and continue training whatever art you practice I saw the photo of you,you look like I would be able to beat you in sparring. Not sure if you were bullied in highschool but you definitely have small man syndrome. In the martial art as a whole we address other Grandmasters and Masters either by Grandmaster,Master,etc.. or at LEAST Mr whether they are your enemy or not. It’s standard protocol. You have no respect and are spreading this nonsense to guilable readers. Such a lengthy garbage article you must have a lot of time on your hands. Who are you anyway??? Who gives you the right to write this slandering article?! Also,if someone has a photo standing beside someone means they are best friends?!? Politicians that are enemies take photos together so what?! You are extremely juvenile and I’m convinced you are a pink belt of whatever martial art you are taking up. Let my grandfather rest in piece you disrespectful little keyboard warrior. (sic)

With this happening I feel the need to further clarify my personal stance on Choi Hong Hi and the International Taekwon-Do Federation. I do not recant anything I said in previous posts, but I will further clarify my beliefs briefly. I think that if I make statements about what I believe to be historical facts and truth people who do not agree need to address them civilly with me instead of insults. All the ITF and Jasmine Choi did was insult me with name calling and straw man arguments. They did not once address the claims I made. Also they deny that in one photo General Choi is holding hands with Kim Jung Il. I personally see them holding hands in the photo. Either that or they are standing extra close! Either way it is obvious General Choi supported North Korea and did not have a problem with Kim Jung Il.

The reason I started this blog was because I dedicated my life to Taekwondo training and worked so hard to get where I am today. I love Taekwondo and I am tired of seeing it become weak and I also hate seeing it insulted by ignorant masses. Taekwondo is the butt of almost every martial art joke by so many styles of martial arts. Within Taekwondo there is a war with ITF and people who train in WTF/Kukkiwon style. Yes, maybe the heads f ITF and Kukkiwon have diplomatic meetings but the culture inside ITF and its practitioners so extremely harsh to the Kukkiwon, WTF, South Korea and practitioners of Kukki-Taekwondo. This is annoying and for decades ITF people have constantly bad mouthed South Korea, WTF and Kukkiwon and claim people who train in our style are not true fighters or real martial artists. That all we do is a sport. ITF has spouted so many logical fallacies and insults about our martial art it is time someone like me defends it and fights back not pulling any punches. The ITF can disrespect so much about Taekwondo people while claiming their Taekwon-Do is the only truth, yet they cannot receive equal and just criticism. They can dish it out but cannot take it. They are overly sensitive. WTF and Kukki stylists have taken so much trash we have only developed way thicker skin. This is something people like Jasmine Choi and ITF followers need as well. She and her followers will insult me and claim I am not respectful enough to be a master yet she herself is insulting and being respectful on my blog. She has posted a bunch of name calling insults to me and wrongful judgments about my character. Yet she is the daughter of a master and acts this way and claims I should not be a master? This is hypocritical.

I assumed she must have been an ITF master ranked practitioner but according to her Facebook page on various comments on some of her photos it is stated that she does not actually train in Taekwon-Do and has not for over 20 years. She does aerobics or something. So she is not at all a master of martial arts yet she wants to lecture people about being a master. According to ITF you are only a master at 6th or 7th dan I believe and that takes a long time. She is only 35 years old and has not trained for 20 years. That means she had to have quit training as a teenager. No way she is a master of Taekwon-Do or any martial art. Her sole authority lays on her being a member of the Choi family. That is not impressive.

The ITF has always vehemently opposed the Kukkiwon yet time and time again the KTA and Kukkiwon give them a voice and want to meet and create some kind of diplomacy. It never works out. Nothing seems to appease ITF. We don’t need ecumenical attitudes anymore. Just be separate and do our own thing.

Now we have MMA onlyists who think all traditional martial arts sucks especially Taekwondo bad mouthing our martial art. I try my best to defend Taekwondo as a true fighting art that is not only good for self defense, but capable in MMA competition. But to do it honestly I have to also criticize all mcdojang groups and even the wrong things I see the Kukkiwon do from time to time. This blog does not only attack the ITF. In fact ITF posts are not the majority of what I post on my blog. I spend more time criticizing other mcdojang organizations. I also openly criticize the Kukkiwon when it does things I think are ridicuous. Especially Taekwondo dancing and other nonsense. I have always wanted to promote Taekwondo as a martial art, a real fighting system that we can be proud of training in without feeling embarrassed to admit it. Mcdojangism needs to stop. I did not spend over 20 years of my life wasting my time in a dance style or something that cannot save my life if it is threatened. I trained hard in Taekwondo fighting to stand up against bullies and other types of threats. Kukki-Taekwondo has only made me strong both physically and mentally. It works! It is a true martial art. A true fighting art.

With that being said, this is what I believe about General Choi. Take it or leave it!

General Choi was one of the founders of Taekwondo. He was very influential in the early stages especially on the name of Taekwondo. It is debatable if he came up with the name by himself or he simply used a suggested name by one of his associates who brought it up. No matter, he is the one who promoted the name Taekwondo and if it was not for this we would not be training in a martial art with this name. The KTA changed the name from Taekwondo to Tae Soo Do and General Choi influenced them to change it back. I thank him for this as Taekwondo is the best name for our martial art. On the other hand Choi later emphasized the name has to be spelled in English as “Taekwon-Do” which has no grammatical purpose and has nothing to do with original Korean language. Hangul has no hyphens and it is not necessary to translate into English. He changed the spelling to simply differentiate his style as something other than what the KTA and Kukkiwon were doing.

General Choi deserves credit where it is due and he deserves acknowledgement as a historic Taekwondo figure. He heavily promoted kwan unification with other founders and wanted to promote a truly Korean martial art. That is the only respect I can give him.

General Choi had the intention of what the Kukkiwon says is “a power man.” He wanted full control with no question of the KTA. This is why the KTA masters asked him to resign and forced him to step down. He had the attitude of a dictator within the KTA and had a huge ego. The other kwan leaders did not like this nor should they have.

General Choi did sympathize with Juche philosophy (which is North Korean communism) as he named a form with that name. He moved to North Korea and died there. He is buried there and given high honor by North Korea. I think this is wrong and the ITF should openly declare what Kim Jung Eun is doing is wrong. Because of the Kim dynasty millions of North Koreans starved to death and many South Koreans were murdered and many soldiers both South Korean and Americans died fighting this evil. Now we have constant nuclear threats by a crazed lunatic in North Korea, and the ITF simply wants to be diplomatic and kind to them and allow North Korean ITF to come to various countries (including USA) to do demonstrations. Screw that! How can ITF justify Choi going to North Korea to teach them martial arts, essentially teaching their soldiers how to fight better which will in turn be used to kill defectors in North Korea, and South Korean and US soldiers if there is another fight. How is this okay? Explain it Jasmine Choi and explain it ITF! Was it really to unify both Korea’s in peace by teaching them killing techniques? How so? How is this a peace mission and not a slight at South Korea?

General Choi was a 2 star general when he was president of KTA but he was not a martial arts master. There is no evidence to support he had a master rank in Japanese Karate under Funikoshi. The only rank people can argue for is up to 2nd dan, yet there is not sufficient evidence to support he has a black belt when he was trying to run the KTA. The official Kukkiwon stance that I learned while in Korea taking their course is that Choi was in fact not actually a black belt and instead self trained without a dojo. He was given an honorary 4th dan black belt by Duk Sung Son of the Chungdokwan. That means he was given an honorary rank and not a skilled and tested rank through an actual promotion test. Duk Sung Son later recanted that and openly wrote in a news paper that he revoked Choi’s 4th dan because he was upset at Choi’s attitude and Choi literally demanded he be given a 5th dan rank. So Choi was not happy with honorary 4th dan and demanded even more rank. That is ego. So as he started the ITF he had no real rank by a legitimate grandmaster to fall back on such as Funikoshi like other founders of Taekwondo. Most of the other founders of Taekwondo who are usually ignored by ITF members when giving credit to people actually were legitimate martial arts masters and had 4th and 5th degree black belts. Some also studied for may years Chinese martial arts and were masters of Kung Fu styles. Choi did not have such skills or any ranks. Choi came up with a name, but skill and technique-wise he did not create Taekwondo.

ITF is not the only true organization of Taekwondo. It is simply an organization of another style of martial arts apart from Korea. The Korean government recognizes Kukki-Taekwondo as their national martial art much like Japan’s government officially recognized Japanese Karate such as Shotokan and others as official Japanese martial arts. Black belts have always been recognized and affirmed by the government of the country the martial arts were founded in. Going back to Japanese Karate all the way to Korean Taekwondo, the black belt certifications have always been government recognized. It is a very important thing and the KTA was (and Kukkiwon now is) officially recognized by the Korean government. ITF is not. ITF is recognized by Canada’s government making it a Canadian organization. Later North Korea recognizes it.

I do not think Choi completely sucked at martial arts. Sure he had skills but he was not good enough to found a martial art style when he did. The ITF does have some legitimate martial arts techniques such as basic kicks and punches etc. but I do not think their forms were put together well and Choi creating the sine-wave shows he really did not understand proper physics or actual combat very well. The other masters of various kwans actually were real fighters and knew combat. Even so I personally do practice some ITF forms such as Hwa Rang and a few others I like. I also understand that the KTA in early promotion tests accepted a couple of Choi’s tul as testable material for rank. Historic Taekwondo forms are always something I am interested in learning.

ITF does have some good fighters. For instace Coner McGregor has an ITF background and is a black belt and uses ITF style Taekwon-Do techniques in the UFC. Many of the techniques are also similar to Kukki-Taekwondo techniques. So I may not personally like the ITF but I do not deny some of their people are good at fighting or that some of their techniques can work. I have always maintained this position ever since I started this blog. Yet, Kukki/WTF has had people like Anderson Silva (one of the best fighters of all time in MMA) with training history and black belt ranks.

I do not think Taekwondo needs to be ecumenical and support all of the organizations. I think separation is best. ITF can do its own thing and stay out of our business and we can do the same to them. But they should stop acting like they are the sole truth of Taekwondo and should only claim they are their own style.

I will not support ITF because of its historic ties to North Korea and Juche communism. My article has all the information on that and anyone can read it.

If the ITF and people like Jasmine Choi can only name call, ridicule, straw man, and use various other logical fallacies to argue their case then that is pathetic and only shows ITF acts like a cult and needs to chill out. If it wasn’t for her being related to General Choi she would be just another woman who used to train as a teenager. There are many people like that. Her being related to General Choi does not prove her correct or true. She needs to argue logically and politely with me if she wants to debate something. That goes for all ITF people who disagree with me. Don’t be a hypocrite and say I am disrespectful therefore I am not a true Taekwondo master yet do the same thing to me while claiming to be an important Taekwondo figure.

My blog may be extremely critical about the ITF (something I never hide), but it is also very critical of things that the Kukkiwon does and WTF and other groups as well. I do not refrain from expressing my opinion about Taekwondo and martial arts no matter my allegiance. I am Kukki-Taekwondo and ranked as a master and proud of it. I fully believe Kukkiwon is the true Korean Taekwondo organization, but yet I will not refrain from often criticizing them for things I don’t agree with that they do (and there are plenty!).

The ITF has yet to prove me wrong about my claims on General Choi’s communist sympathy.

Again, I will declare General Choi Hong Hi, 2 star general, first president of the KTA and “namer” of the martial art of Taekwondo, deserves credit as one of the founders of Taekwondo and promotion of Korean martial arts. But that is all. Nothing else he did benefited our martial art but instead himself and the ITF.

 

Is Taekwondo A Respected Martial Art In Korea?

        We all know Taekwondo does not get much respected around the world, but what about inside Korea? Do Koreans themselves respect their country’s #1 martial art style? I just want to give some quick thoughts during my time in Korea and to update a bit on what I have been doing.

        The truth is Taekwondo is not really respected in Korea and 90% of Koreans do not take it seriously or think it i an effective fighting system. I have talked to many adult Koreans about this and they all think Taekwondo is pointless or unimportant. When Korea itself has a lack of love for their nations national fighting art we know Taekwondo is in bad shape. Most adults will take up boxing or Jiujitsu instead of Taekwondo. Heck, hardly any even do Hapkido either. Taekwondo is seen as a child’s exercise. It is something for the moms to drop their kids off after school between going to hagwons (private academies for extra studying). A large amount of Korean kids are pushed to study school subjects all day even to late hours in the night. This gives kids an hour or less basically to do some physical activity. Most Taekwondo classes consist of kids jumping rope to kpop, techno, and hip hop music for at least 15 minutes. This gives the sabum much time to waste in his or her office where he gets paid to not teach anything. After they waste time jumping rope they may go over some punches or blocks and a few kicks. After that they may play a game with a ball or sit around and waste time. Even the people who claim to be real true martial arts masters of the Kukkiwon seem to do this. They literally teach the children for about 20 minutes total each class. The rest is spent jumping rope, sitting around for a “break” (oh they must be soooooo tired after all that lazy rope skipping in the mirror and talking they just did) and playing games like soccer or something. It seems like a necessity for every Taekwondo master to own a bouncy castle which they set up from time to time on occasions. I saw this with my own eyes.

        There are hardly any adults who actually train in Taekwondo seriously. The rest just casually do it for working out and never want to make any kind of body contact. They do not want to one step spar, practice hoshinsool or do any kyureugi. The serious adults who like martial arts will end up training in something real like MMA. The most popular martial art in Korea by far right now is not Taekwondo. It is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. After that comes MMA or boxing.

        There are teenagers and young adults who do Taekwondo as a demonstration for theatrical performance art. These black belts and masters specialize in acrobatics and dancing. They are not strong. There is an extreme lack of strong people in Taekwondo. People who have power and abilities for fighting. I talked to a Korean who practiced Kyokushin Karate and was a 2nd dan and he expressed a lot of anger about Taekwondo. There is a bitterness and frustration to many Koreans who like true martial arts about Taekwondo. He told me that the old masters of Taekwondo are very concerned that there are no longer any strong black belts in Taekwondo and they are all weak.

        Many older people I talked to about martial arts in my English classes were confused as to why I came to Korea to learn “real Taekwondo.” I now understand why as even I have become confused as to why I made this journey. Well I am not actually confused, I am just disappointed. Anything I came here to learn about “actual fighting” has never came about. I had to join MMA to actually learn combat. Anything I learned in Korea could have been learned in the United States. I could have found a Kukkiwon master who knows the current KTA standards in the USA instead of coming all the way to Korea. In Korea all that seems to be taught is poomsae half assed, and many repititions of moves in a mirror which I could have done by myself at home and not paid money for.

        Koreans know the truth. Taekwondo is not being taught for realistic fighting. The few masters who care about this have no power to change anything or simply do not care. The leaders of Taekwondo have no vision and are more concerned with money and spreading Korean culture worldwide and making Taekwondo into some corporate club for Korean nationalism that has nothing to do with fighting. In fact the culture of Korea you learn in Taekwondo or through dojangs and memberships or tournaments is not actual Korean culture. To really learn Korean culture you must live here for awhile and understand Korea is a cold and bitter place more often than not. If you want to learn Korean culture then learn Korean culture. If you want to learn martial arts you must study fighting. Taekwondo does not have enough fighting study in the dojangs around the world, especially in Korea. It is simply a way to make money for young masters who have dreams of running large Korean daycare centers that teach kids to kick things sometimes. This is really a shame.

        One that I feel sad about is the lack of Kukkiwon fighters. Where are our fighting champions who will prove this art is real? All we have are the latest Olympic champions of WTF sparring that absolutely nobody cares about outside of WTF Taekwondo. Ask people who Steven Lopez is. Nobody knows or gives a crap. And most certainly the average Korean has no clue who he is either. Korean kids and teenagers know who soccer players and baseball players are. Not who is a Taekwondo master who has accomplished anything.

        I have since walked away from my dojang in Korea and dedicated the rest of my Korean training in MMA from my Korean MMA and Jijitsu instructor who actually teaches me how to fight. The rest of my Taekwondo time in Korea will be spent studying and learning in the Kukkiwon Foreign Instructor Course and watching the World Hanmadang. I could not compete in the Hanmadang because the website was too dang confusing and by the time I tried to sign up it was past the registration date. Oh well.

        Taekwondo is respected in Korea only as some cultural heritage Koreans do as kids, or to show off demonstrations and eventually become kpop dance stars. Other than that nobody cares. The martial arts enthusiasts here simply do not care about Taekwondo very much. The few who do, the fighters who do MMA, the old masters, simply do not have enough power or influence to change this or they are simply keeping their mouths shut and allowing all of this nonsense to happen because of some cultural reason westerners do not understand. Why would old masters not talk about the problems of Taekwondo today and why do they all all of the stupid things such as Taekwon-dancing, and Olympic leg fencing to go on? Do they not realize the loss of popularity Taekwondo has suffered and the authoritative influence of the Kukkiwon is waning in foreign lands? Even with these problems I still fully 100% support the Kukkiwon as the authoritative organization of Taekwondo, to give rank and the historic linage of Taekwondo unifying through it. It seems it may take foreigners like me to openly talk about this and try to influence Koreans to start making Taekwondo a respected self defense system that actually works, and a fighting system. I hope more people start talking which will influence Koreans to openly talk and make a change. There are far too many lazy instructors who don’t care and half ass teach their students, and many corporate white collar types trying to make money. They need new leadership.

I Was Able To Train With And Spar Lee Dong Hee

        This month I was able to train with Lee Dong Hee and spar him. If you do not know he is sort of a Taekwondo YouTube celebrity in his own right. He always uploads interesting videos showing a serious combative nature of martial arts. He is a 5th dan black belt and a former Korean Tiger demo team member. So his days of Taekwon-dancing with sexy Taekwondo girls is far behind him and now his goal is real self defense and combat.

        Here are some videos of our day training. The first video is showing an immovable stance to develop proper tensing of muscles, and proper relaxing of muscles in order to keep your center balanced and learn to use your leg and arms for more powerful strikes.

The second video are clips from our sparring session. I had a great time and Master Lee is a great fighter! He is the type of Taekwondo master to enjoy training with. He has a very down to earth attitude and is easy going. You can simply talk to him and enjoy your time.

Of course we did not to no contact and were play fighting. It was just to go through motions and have fun and work on stuff. This is good training to keep you healthy.

Popular Machado BJJ Black Belt Gives Respect To Taekwondo

        I thought this was pretty interesting. Jean Machado who runs TheMachLife YouTube channel that makes many comedy videos about BJJ, the martial arts, and other topics did one on Taekwondo. I thought it was going to be a video making fun of Taekwondo, but instead I was delighted to find out he instead was showing how amazing Taekwondo is and how it deserves respect. That is very encouraging to me and it is great more BJJ guys are becoming open minded about martial arts. I guess he was really a brown belt when he made this video, but he is now a black belt. Watch the video: