Posts Tagged ‘Mudo’

The ATA Claims Taekwondo Is Non-Aggressive And Ethical

        I was randomly searching Taekwondo terms on google today and the first site that shows is a page from the ATA website that says,

“Like any martial art properly taught and properly practiced, Taekwondo is a non-agressive (sic) and ethical system of self-defense.”

I just thought this was kind of funny in the light of how the Kukkiwon’s president was arrested for corruption and the fact that it is the ATA!!!! claiming to be ethical. HAHA! Yes, like ANY martial art. You here that? ANY martial art…especially when it is properly practiced…you know the RIGHT way to practice ANY martial art in the entire world….Taekwondo is ethical and non-violent. That means the back kicks to the solar plexus, knife hands to the carotid artery, and side kicks to the knee are not violent. Make sure your instructor properly teaches you Taekwondo the right way which is to make sure you are not being violent…

Anyway, the brings me to another issue I have about people who claim to promote Taekwondo. The idiots who say that Taekwondo is non-aggressive or non-violent. I am sorry but I want my Taekwondo to be both violent and aggressive!!! What’s the point in learning a fighting style if it is non-aggressive or non-violent?

In the book A Killing Art by Alex Gillis we get a different picture of the founding of Taekwondo in all of its corruption and violence!!! I may not like some of the founders of Taekwondo as people, or some of the current leaders in Taekwondo who are corrupt, but I dang sure as heck want my Taekwondo to be a violent art! I didn’t sign up for yoga or Tai Chi as a kid.

We have got to stop the silly PC pandering of Taekwondo and simply teach a real fighting art. Obviously, with this fighting art we SHOULD teach ethics, morality, and that you are not supposed to use Taekwondo for evil. We should be protectors of the weak and people who fight for our nations when called to with our martial arts abilities. But how can you do it effectively if you are being weak? Fighting is violence!!!!

Taekwondo is violent. The sport is violent (not as much anymore with idiotic scorpion twisty tap kicks) but that’s why people love it! The poomsae may be artistic but the actual movements are totally violent! The groin ripping and knee busting in Koryo, the face smashing elbow strikes in Tae Geuk O Jang and more! Taekwondo is a martial art.

Martial Arts are combat traditions and inherently violent. Violence is not somehow immoral in itself. It is WHY you are violent and who you are violent to that matters. Self defense is violent. You cannot effectively save yourself or loved ones from evil people who wish violence on you unless you are violent to them more effectively than they are to you. Maybe we don’t fight fire with fire, but we do fight violence people with violence.

That is enough comedy for today from the mcdojang ATA, and the end of my rant today. See ya later!

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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 Am Now Training MMA And BJJ In Korea, Kyeoktuki

        Recently a new gym opened up in my neighborhood here in Bucheon, Korea. It is literally about 500 feet away from the outside of my building. There is no reason not to check it out, so I did. I ended up feeling the place out and I signed up. The instructor was cool and all the students were very nice. It is a place that lacks the big stink of ego that seemed to plague every American MMA gym. Koreans have a more respectful attitude in their culture when involved in activities or within an institution. Places such as jobs, schools, your church, your group of friends, or your martial arts gym are full of a lot of respect and calmness. This is not to say that every part of Korea is respectful, because any other international resident living here will tell you that Korea has some of the biggest aholes in the world and people who exude some of the most backward, irrational behavior in all of Asia. Nevertheless, this does not take away the fact that Korea generally has a more respectful and honorable attitude than other places. Especially within the martial arts. It feels as a little of the Taekwondo spirit is left inside MMA here. The Korean Mudo spirit. You can feel it even if there is no Taekwondo in these gyms, unless someone trained in it before; but it is not taught.

        So I felt safe here and had a positive experience. I have trained for a week. I go 2 nights a week for about 5 hour worth of training. It is very good training and even includes 5 rounds of circuit training for body conditioning. I tell you, I am so sore.

        Studying Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is my main goal. To learn fundamentals, obtain a strong ground fighting structure for self defense, and hopefully earn my blue belt at least. The other things I learn at this gym is Muay Thai and MMA, which combined it all together. I am learning some wrestling stuff with the Muay Thai that is going to help me be a better fighter. It has been some very fun training.

        The training is safe so far, no one is hitting full contact and our classes are working strictly for the purpose of getting techniques down. The Korean students, even the big boys, those few giants of Korea you see, are some of the nicest guys and fun to spar with. I even noticed that there is 1 girl training to who is a white belt beginner. It is a safe place.

Here is the link to the gym. It is called Fight Gallery.

What is interesting is that this gym is called “Kyuktooki Garrarri,” if you sound out the Hangul when reading it. So it says, “Fight Gallery.” MMA and Kickboxing here is often referred to either as K1 (As in K-1, the Japanese Kickboxing promotion) by the average Korean, or Kyeoktuki. There was a DVD released a decade ago by Turtle Press called Kyuktooki: Korean Kickboxing and I bought it a few years ago. Many westerners wanted to understand what it meant and if Kyuktooki is a real Korean style of martial arts. Finally, I know the real answer. Kyuktooki, or Kyeoktuki, is not actually a martial arts style, but more of a kind of martial art, or type of martial arts. It basically speaks of free fighting. What Kyeoktuki actually means when literally translated into English is “hit fighting.” Or “striking fighting.” It basically is the term for real Kickboxing as well as used to describe MMA (even though MMA has grappling too). Kyeoktuki is a style of martial arts much the same as MMA is a style of martial arts. However, there are organizations in Korea that claim they teach Kyeoktuki and they have made it their ow style with their own black belt ranks. So there are certain organizational styles of Kyeoktuki, but overally it is not actually a special ancient Korean kicboxing style. Much like the Turtle Press DVD actually says, Kyeoktuki is a mixed style of free fighting that can include anything from Taekwondo, Karate, Muay Thai, Judo, Wrestling etc. All of the rage from Thailand about how Korea is “stealing” their martial art or lying about something are nonsense. Korea is not stealing or claiming to have created anyting. Many Kyeoktuki fighters are Muay Thai stylists. Most are actually. There are also a ton of Taekwondo Kyeoktuki fighters. Kyeoktuki is a general term for a more serious fighting sport, that does not include Olympic Taekwondo since it has such limiting rules and tons of padding.

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Starting over as a white belt is good for any martial artist to learn humility. This is me in my new gi (dobok) and with my new instructor.

        So now I can actually say, “Hey I am training Kyeoktuki in Korea” which is kind of cool, even if it is just MMA. Now when I describe my Taekwondo training and studies in Korea to people here I can just say, “I train in Taekwondo for Kyeoktuki and want to teach Taekwondo for Kyeoktuki and not the Olympics. The average Korean instantly understands what I mean. They are also fascinated to know their native martial art is actually a self defense system when I explain to them that my “boxing” is actually just Taekwondo. They are confused when I throw straight jabs and rights from up above and not from the hip. The average Korean has seriously lost all sense of what Taekwondo started out as because of the Olympics and stupid cornball, Taekwondo dancers everywhere. Also, they see poomsae a lot, but really do not understand the point. Along with the term Kyeoktuki, I mentioned Mudo which is the Korean transliteration of the Japanese term of Budo which is the way of the warrior. Taekwondo is Mudo, and it is Kyeoktuki when taken out of the Olympics context.

        Now about my training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, it is humbling to start over at a new gym as a white belt. Oh, yes I have done this before in Judo, Boxing, and MMA in America, but yes I am doing it again and it is only going to benefit my martial arts spirit. My goal right now is to gain competent ground skills for real self defense and be able to hold my own if I get taken down in a fight. The other goal I have is to earn my blue belt. After that I will see if I will one day earn a purple belt. Who knows. My instructor is a professional MMA fighter and he is a cool guy. He is a 4 stripe purple belt and he is very calm and kind. He also has a decade of Wrestling/Judo/Muay Thai/Boxing training. He speaks English (Thank God) and he has a warm heart for foreigners. Fight Gallery is a great place for non-Koreans who speak English and it is a welcoming environment. I will give more details of my training in future posts. Stick around and check back from time to time.

        So now I am doing Taekwondo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with Muay Thai and MMA on the side. I hope this helps me be a true martial arts master. When I earn my Taekwondo 4th dan this year at the Kukkiwon I want to know that I deserve to be a teacher of the fighting arts.

Korean MMA And Taekwondo

        MMA is popular all over the world and in basically every country. So it is only obvious that Korea, where I live, work, and train currently is one of the main countries where MMA is booming. MMA is practiced by a lot of people; more adults do MMA related things than train in Taekwondo here. MMA also has a large fan base of younger generation Koreans. Since I plan to begin training MMA for the sparring practice and BJJ skills I decided to make a post about the current MMA climate here. I am a Taekwondo man, and I always will be a Taekwondo man. I cannot deny the huge impact Taekwondo has had on my life and I cannot unlearn it and deny it as my background. I am proud of it, but I acknowledge the problems within Taekwondo politics and the culture that need the change and inhibit my progression in martial arts. Where it lacks I will pick it up in MMA and other martial arts styles. I am not only a Taekwondoin, I am a martial artist. I train through Mudo. And as a Taekwondo fighter I will promote Mudo my way and walk my own path as a martial aritist. This does not mean I will create my own style as so many frauds do, or buy ranks from random diploma mills to quickly become a “master rank.” I will still do the proper procedures, but I will promote Taekwondo and combat through my own beliefs about martial arts.

        Road FC is probably the biggest MMA promotion in Korea and they have a few cool Taekwondo fighters.

        Since practically every Korean male has trained in Taekwondo once in his life, and almost all females as well (most people trained when they were kids at one time or another), there are a lot of MMA fighters with a Taekwondo background. Some may give credence to Taekwondo, but many do not and do not acknowledge it as an influence. They ignore it or pretend it never helped them. Instead they promote Muay Thai and a variety of foreign martial arts: the meat and potatoes of MMA, the Muay Thai, BJJ and whatever the consensus is of “acceptable styles.” Even so, the few who are proud of Taekwondo sometimes do a decent job fighting. Some do very well, and others win but still need to work on their hands and grappling. Here are a couple of videos I found showcasing some of these kinds of Taekwondo fighters.  I do not know anything else about any of these fighters except for what I saw in the videos. If you know more please comment below about them.

Hong Young Ki

Taekwond VS Boxing

Jae-Hoon Moon VS Min-Woo Kim

I find it great a few Koreans are willing to prove Taekwondo as a strong martial art in a more serious combat format. This will only give Taekwondo ore respect and hopefully influence some future Taekwondo kids to have this mindset as well. The Olympic champions just are not going to cut it, we need more real fighters who actually fight.