Posts Tagged ‘Taekwondo fighter’

Conor McGregor VS Dennis Sever Is Proof That Taekwondo Fighting Is Exciting

        At the last UFC Fight Night the headlining bout between Conor McGregor and Dennis Sever was action packed. Dennis Sever gained notoriety for his devastating spinning back kick knockouts. He is not specifically a Taekwondo fighter but his kicks are definitely borrowed from Taekwondo. Conor McGregor on the other hand is a Taekwondo fighter, but I must admit, he is an ITF Taekwondo fighter. He has trained much of his life in ITF Taekwondo. Of course this blog has negative opinions on the ITF as an organization, their propaganda, their politics, sine wave, Choi worship, and annoying arrogance, but that is not to say that ITF Taekwondo individuals cannot, and are not good fighters. After all they have basically the exact same techniques as regular Kukki-Taekwondo. McGregor uses them all!

        McGregor and Sever mixed it up with plenty of kicks, McGregor threw spin kicks but missed. He threw round kicks, front kicks and an axe kick. Sever through high kicks as well. Plenty of great punching exchanges occurred where McGregor blocked and parried most of them. McGregor was in total control and looked great. Sever got miserably defeated with a TKO with strikes. It was an awesome fight!

        McGregor and other traditional martial artists are paving the way to re-establish traditional styles as top notch, serious fighting systems that are deadly enough on their own. Conor McGregor shows that Taekwondo is exciting and we need more Taekwondo in MMA!

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A Teakwondo Axe Kick To The Nuts Is An Effective Technique

        Taekwondo is known for a very strong axe kick. The axe kick is one of the few kicks of Taekwondo that make it a unique martial art. Bring your heek up and smash it down on a target, usually the head and face of someone. As Taekwondoin we call this technique nareo-chagi or tokae-bal which are Korean language terms for what we English speakers simply call an axe (or ax) kick.

Olympic Taekwondo axe kick to the face

Demonstrating the Taekwondo axe kick

Even kickboxer’s adopted the axe kick

Here is an axe kick thrown to the face with a very hard impact in Korea between 2 Taekwondo fighters practicing in house sparring, it is the second kick to the face in the video which starts at 1:16:

Well that was a fight ender! What power!

The axe kick can be very powerful with a full forced pull down of the heel into a target. The lower to the ground a target is the more impact, and thus, more damage the heel or sole of the foot will cause. The axe kick is so effective that the U.S. Marines adopted it into their martial arts program.

The marines call the axe kick the “stomp kick.” It really is not so much of a downward stomp as it is an axe kick. This technique is meant to kill.

Before the Marine Core Martial Arts Program there was the Marines LINE Program. The linear infighting neural-override engagement program was the precursor to the MCMAP system of today. In the older U.S. Marines Close-Qaurters Combat Manual an axe kick (stomp kick) finishing technique is shown practically every time a takedown is committed:

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Now seeing as the axe kick is a powerful and deadly technique, especially to targets low or on the ground such as the neck, or head imagine what could happen if another area, say the groin was the target!

       Yes, a good ol’ Taekwondo axe kick to the nether regions to an opponent is an effective technique. The way it would work is if the attacker, or opponent is on his back on the ground in front of you. This would happen if someone who is fighting you fell backwards or was thrown down. They may not be able to get up right away due to the possibility of you kicking their face or punching them. Most often people who would purposely lay on their back would have some sort of grappling background such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or he trains MMA. The reason someone would lay there is to hope for you to get inside their guard so they could work a submission. Also, they would want to protect their body from kicks by positioning their legs out so you hit their shins instead.

        Here is the axe kick shown in action on a real opponent in an MMA fight and how effective it hurt the opponent:

Even though the axe kick is illegal in MMA, does not mean it does not work. Imagine that same axe kick on an attacker who fell on his back on the streets who is not wearing a cup at all. Imagine the damage and total pain he wold feel! End of fight possibly and demoralizing. Imagine the force of an axe kick with deadly intention such as the Marine’s “stomp” with the precision of a practiced and masterful Taekwondo fighter. Ouch!

Here is another example from MMA:

Now to effectively use the ax kick on someone’s ball or simply anyone’s (male or female) groin area it must be timed properly. The person fighting you has a few options to defend it. The use of legs to deflect your kick can work as well as using the feet to intercept and redirect your heel as it falls down. he can turn his shin over to block your foot, do an up kick to kick your leg or foot, or he can simply roll out of the way if he is fast enough (or you are too slow). He can also catch your foot and drag you on the ground such as this video:

Even though the downed fighter re-directed the axe kick it still hit his groin and it still had to have hurt him, but his sheer determination and pure adrenaline kept him fighting, which can often be the case with someone trying to kill you. Yes, if someone is trying to kill you and he falls backwards you could run, but what if he gets up and chases you? You will have to fight him again. If you are not a marathon runner just fight him there and aim for targets to hit in order to take away his will or functionality. To demoralize an attacker one must have a very accurate and powerful axe kick that will destroy the groin and stop the fight, and his determination to fight.

I for one fully support the use of the Taekwondo axe kick on the balls. This technique has a high degree of chance working on the typical Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighter who is trying to bait you into his open guard. Well his “open” guard is simply asking for a swift axe kick to his groin as hard as possible. Who needs to worry about grappling him when you could axe kick his nuts! but beware, if you miss he will probably catch your foot and leg and go for a seriously brutal submission such as the heel hook or knee bar. So make sure you train for this and aim correctly and time it just right so he does not intercept it. So in a Taekwondo VS Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fight the Taekwondo fighter should try to capitalize on the axe kick to the groin if he can do it. If you are taken down and escape immediately stand up and move away then re-engage him with an axe kick if he has open guard. If you have boots on this technique will hurt even more.

Practice your axe kicks to a downed oponent! Especially to vital targets such as the head, neck, and……GROIN! Tae Kwon Do!

Here is how to train in order to axe kick somebody in the balls:

Laying down an attacker for 5 or so minutes with a brutal axe kick to the groin is sufficient amount of time for you to get away or consider yourself as the victor of the fight.

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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. 

Fighting Is Imperative To Taekwondo Training

       *Authored by White Dragon. 

        If you claim to be a Martial Artist and you don’t fight then you really know nothing of the Martial Arts. This holds true for Taekwondo. You will know nothing of Taekwondo unless you fight. Regardless of physical ability (possibly handicaps, injuries, mental challenges etc.) a student must train to fight the best he can. By fighting, it does not mean you must fight in a tournament, or in a cage fight, or some kickboxing event only. No, by fighting, it simply means at least sparring in your dojang and sometimes going hard on one another. Another way to fight is outside of the dojang. If someone attacks you then you fight them. If no one attacks you then you could provoke them into fighting you so you can try out your techniques, but that really is not a good goal to have, for the essence of self-defense is to only fight back when attacked. Going out looking for a fight is immoral and against the principles of Taekwondo’s martial philosophy. Nonetheless, a Taekwondoin must fight if he wants to prove he knows anything about Taekwondo. This can easily be done in a gym environment supervised by a qualified instructor.

        It is a myth that for one to prove he is black belt quality he has to fight in an MMA cage, or Kickboxing ring for sport fighting. You can still be a decent fighter without competing. An example of this reality is when author Sam Sheridan (2o10) paid a visit to Renzo Gracie’s (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu master) gym in New York and met John Danaher “New Zealand John.”  Danaher is Renzo Gracie’s top Professor (Instructor) and a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu genius (Sheridan, p. 235). He has never competed! He had a childhood surgery go wrong on his knee so he does not compete but is excellent in knowledge and physical abilities in the gym (Sheridan, p. 236). He is so respected that even Georges St. Pierre took private lessons from him and many other top names in MMA. The point being, even though he does not train to fight in competitions he is still a good fighter. You can be a fighter even if you do not compete.

        The meaning of being a fighter does not necessarily mean you practice combat sports and are a paid professional fighter. The word fighter simply means “a person with the will and disposition to fight, struggle, and resist.” A Taekwondo fighter is simply that same kind of person with such a will and disposition who trains in Taekwondo. It should be acknowledged that any true Taekwondo black belt should, thus, be a Taekwondo fighter whether or not they participate in combat sports. Also whether or not they are soldiers in the military. Sport fighters and soldiers are fighters, but not all fighters are sport competitors or in the military. All true Martial Artists train to be ready in case there is a need to fight; whether or not they plan to fight in the ring or in honorable duty calls to defend one’s family, friends, and personal interests. Hopefully, all Taekwondo fighters embrace the 5 tenets of Taekwondo and will fight for what is good and not selfish ambition.

        There is no excuse not to spar in your school. At first sparring can seem scary, but over time confidence can be built through contact training drills that build up over time to harder connecting techniques. This can be from defensive drills where you allow yourself to get hit either on your body or padded gear; and also within sparring you can start out light contact with realistic techniques and over time develop into a fearless full contact fighter. Every Taekwondo fighter should experience full contact sparring at some point in their training history, at least in a controlled environment in the dojang under the safety of instructors watching. Hopefully the Taekwondo fighter makes this a reoccurring practice throughout his training life in order to keep skills up. Gradually, the Taekwondoin soon enough will develop self confidence and be able to control his fear.

        Many dojangs today over emphasize self confidence for emotional security and self esteem while spending hardly any time on physical self confidence. If people are built up to believe in themselves without proving it physically they are going to be in a lot of trouble as they will have a false sense of security. Overconfidence destroys Martial Artists. Grandmaster Hee Il Cho explains that “physical confidence can only be gained by learning how to fight and knowing how to take care of yourself in a real situation” (p. 52). That means not simply doing sport sparring for a tournament rules format, but free sparring with a wide variety of target areas and self defense techniques. Cho also expresses, “Fighting is imperative in the martial arts. Without fighting, you’re not understanding total and complete martial arts, because until you get physically hit by someone, you won’t know if something works” (p. 52). In the Martial Arts it is expected you will get bumped and bruised and even bloodied. This is just a fact and it is something to expect and fight through. Your instructor should help you with mental strength and pain tolerance. This is not to say it’s okay to be injured, it is not. A real Taekwondo instructor watches for the safety of his students and helps them avoid real injuries. Safety gear is important to start off with and can gradually thin out over time, and if one chooses to spar without gear that is up to them with a partner of mutual understanding and common sense. But bumps and bruises and even blood should be expected! Students must learn to get over it and realize it only makes them stronger when they heal up.

        Training for tournament fighting is a good start for any Taekwondo student wanting a fight experience with some benefits of extra safety. But it should not be the main goal of the overall fighting technique that student will know in his Taekwondo life. Becoming a tournament champion and earning trophies and medals in a point fight system can bread unnecessary arrogance and embellished claims of skill if one is not careful, nor has an instructor there to make him check himself. The development of the W.T.F.  has been a blessing and a curse for the art of Taekwondo. On one hand it brought world-wide awareness of Taekwondo and has received acknowledgment in many countries and governments and within international organizations such as the IOC. This has been great for the spread of Taekwondo, but the curse in all of this is that the W.T.F. explicitly only represents sport sparring and sport poomsae competition. They exist solely to promote the tournament sport with all of its rules and regulations and all of its limitations for real world combat. They do not care about anything else. This has caused so many Taekwondo masters to only care about their students winning sport fighting, point tournaments and poomsae competitions. They have a total lack of focus for open rules competitions such as Kickboxing and MMA, as well as an unconcern for real world self defense.

        If Taekwondo is realistically going to keep up with the times and develop further in the Martial Arts world this overemphasis on sport has got to stop. Sport is great, but not an overemphasis on it. If the Kukkiwon is going to be the leader in Taekwondo development and advancement then they should start developing fighters for other modes of combat sports such as Kickboxing, Knockdown style, and MMA. Why not create a Kukkiwon Fight Team and train them for such events? Taekwondo is, first and foremost, a fighting art. Such competitions will only allow Taekwondo to prove itself in more combative avenues which will increase its credibility. This will only cause people to notice effective techniques that could transfer over to self defense.

        Taekwondo also is in general, a fighting art for self defense. The republic of Korea teaches it’s soldiers Taekwondo, and the Martial Art has been used in the Vietnam War to kill the enemies by ROK Marines. Morgan (1992) concurs,

“As anyone who has faced the army of the Republic of Korea can testify, Taekwondo can be a devastating method of unarmed fighting. But to learn true combat, students must practice without the constraints of tournament rules.” (p. 53)

        To understand fully the art of Taekwondo, the practitioner must spend quality time in sparring; not just for tournaments but also for real life situations targeting all over the body from leg kicks, face punches, knees, and elbows. This can be done in a safe environment and there is no excuse not to spend significant time training in such a way to help the Taekwondo fighter become adequate with the full range of Taekwondo techniques. You cannot simply practice for spin kick tricks, poomsae competitions and demonstrations, or board breaking. One especially should avoid wasting time on “Taekwondo-dance” and all of the other silly antics that people have created to impress ignorant masses of pop-culture followers who have no concern for the warrior way or self defense, and just enjoy showing off and dancing. The Taekwondo student must  practice using Taekwondo for what it was originally intended for, which is fighting.

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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. 

Works Cited

        Cho, H.I. (1988). The Complete Black Belt Hyung W.T.F. Hee Il Cho: Los Angeles, CA.

        Morgan, F.E. (1992). Living The Martial Way. Barricade Books, Inc.: Fort Lee, NJ.

        Sheridan, S. (2010). A Fighter’s Mind. Atlantic Monthly Press: New York, NY.