Posts Tagged ‘taekwondo sport’

Taekwondo Is Effective For A Self Defense Program:  Why Taekwondo Is More Effective Than A Reality Based Self Defense Course (part 4)

IV. Taekwondo is Proven Effective In Full Contact Fighting

            It is said that a true martial art that works must prove itself in fighting. Taekwondo has not only proven itself in war, but also in current modern combat sports such as Kickboxing and MMA.

 

Taekwondo is effectively used in Mixed Martial Arts fighting

Mixed Martial Arts competition is considered by the general public of fight fans and people who are aware of martial arts as the current proving ground for effective fighting. Various Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters use Taekwondo techniques, including elite MMA fighters who fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship such as Cung Le, Anthony Pettis, Edson Barboza, Benson Henderson and others, to win high level bouts with knockout power and Taekwondo tactics. The Taekwondo round kick, Taekwondo footwork, the back kick, and even the spin kick have all been used with total success in MMA by such fighters as Dennis Sever and Conor McGregor.

Taekwondo spin kick in the UFC

Spin kick knockouts are not uncommon now as well as devastating back kicks. These are typically “fancy” techniques seen in movies that have now been proven effective in combat. MMA is the closest people can get to an actual fight while still remaining in the bounds of what is legal by the law as well as remaining typically safe because a referee and corner men are present and there are rules in place; yet a lot of techniques are allowed. If a combat sport avenue such as MMA has  allowed Taekwondo to demonstrate itself as effective then Taekwondo seems like a decent striking system and can definitely be incorporated into a self defense program.

Same technique as in MMA

Sport does not negate street effectiveness

The claim that sport is never realistic or learning a sport is not good for self defense is not 100% true. While if a person only trains for a sport with rules and never for self defense outside of his combat sport format, then the fighter will not have the best combat sense on the streets. This is even true for MMA. No one who is logical would ever claim Boxing is not an effective martial art that would not work on the streets. Boxing has always worked on the streets and just because people train within the rules of boxing does not mean they cannot use their boxing effectively for self defense. Of course a boxer really should take another martial art that allows for more techniques, but boxing in itself works. Likewise MMA of course works. It is the mindset of the practitioner. If he simply focuses on winning rounds and tapping a person out he will not do well on the streets. But if the same fighter takes his knowledge of MMA with a self defense mindset he will destroy the average person!

Taekwondo also has a sport aspect to it. The kicks and footwork from Olympic Taekwondo competition can also work in self defense. There are a variety of combinations and footwork that allow for quick speed and powerful attacks. Not every fight happens in close quarters and there are times when a self defense situation will demand an exchange of strikes. Taekwondo is the first and only martial art to extensively work on special footwork with unique foot switching and fakes with fast kicking combinations. Training to do these techniques well takes an incredible amount of fitness ability and will only aid in a persons personal self defense. Reality combat expert Martin J. Dougherty (2010) states,

“[Sport fighting] does not make Taekwondo bad. Far from it – it is an excellent sport for building fighting spirit, developing balance and fitness, and learning some powerful kicks.” (p. 26)

Of course there is so much more to Taekwondo than Olympic sparring, but the fact elite athletes with incredible fitness train in Taekwondo for the Olympics should only reinforce that someone studying Taekwondo will get overall competent fitness. It was not allowed into the Olympics because it was simple or easy. It is a dangerous full contact combat sport. Physical fitness is a very important part of self defense and Taekwondo offers it immensely. And it is evident that a Taekwondo self defense program will not focus on Olympic sparring competition, but instead self defense with all of the techniques that are not allowed in the competition.

 

Go back to Part 3                                                                                               Go on to Part 5

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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.  

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Taekwondo Looking More Like UFC A Possibility…Or Not

        World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) President Choue Chung-won in 2013 explains in an article about the loss of popularity that Taekwondo Olympic sport fighting has taken over the years. He said it is due to things such as spin kicks being given dominance and more points which causes fighters to spend more time on jump spin kicks making the sport look like a badly choreographed ballet. Also, punches are barely ever scored and taking away the punch emphasis is bad for Taekwondo. He suggested making the shape of the ring in an octagon with mesh fencing around it.

WTF President Choue Chung-won

Some traditionalists for Taekwondo WTF sport do not like this idea and claim it will make Taekwondo like the UFC, but President Chung-won says that is actually a good thing. The only bad idea I think he has is to change the uniform to look like a sports jersey. That would not help TKD but make it just like any average sport. The dobok is much like the gi in Judo. Changing the dobok would make most dojangs copy them only, and the self defense and grabbing techniques of Taekwondo could be lost since most schools would not worry about it by wearing basketball jersey type uniforms. Taekwondo is a martial art with wonderful traditions and it would be sad some of them got lost over a silly uniform change. Keeping a regular dobok would work fine. If they just allow the sleeves to be rolled up, or given shorter material on the arms it would solve the problem.

Imagine this shape with mesh fencing.

The changes the WTF president Chung-won is mentioning are actually good ideas, minus his uniform idea. But the whole wire mesh, octagon shape idea would be very hard for local tournament promoters to get since it would cost so much money. The electronic scoring itself is hard enough to come by and makes Taekwondo a sport for the rich. The problem with Olympic competitions and the USAT is they only allow the rich to compete in high profile tournaments with all of their money making schemes like buying a special uniform for that year, electronic scoring, and high tournament fees for example. I do wish the rules would change and allow face punches, leg kicks, and ever solid shot on certain areas should be only 1 point no matter what the technique. Making everything 1 point solves so many of the ugly and idiotic looking movements that WTF Taekwondo practitioners train for today, since all they worry about is how to work the point system in their favorite. So stupid technique that is not really something a martial artist would use in a fight is trained for in order to score points in tournaments. Making Taekwondo more combative and realistic will only make the entire world Taekwondo culture more martial in nature and Taekwondo can regain its focus on effective fighting techniques and self defense with a more combative sport on the side than the foot tag ballet they claim is full contact today. Hardly anyone is hitting full contact now since they don’t have to to score points. Just simply tag the censor and make the siren go off and that will help you win.

Taekwondo sport needs to be more combative with a larger range of target options with legs and face punching allowed. Even adding knees and elbows would be exciting but it is obvious that is pushing it. And to all of the people who claim “the real TKD is ITF sparring” you need to understand that ITF sparring is still point tag and officially it is not even full contact and ends up looking just as stupid as WTF competitions.

Finally, Taekwondo needs to have an option for post-amateur fighting. Where do Taekwondo fighters go after they win in the Olympics? Where do they go after they get through amateur competitions? Then what? There is no money in Taekwondo for professional competitions. if Taekwondo created a more serious and full contact fighting sport for paid professional fighters like they do for boxing then Taekwondo would stay more relevant. Boxing rules change a lot after amateur competitions with a lot more movements and punches allowed. Taekwondo needs to do the same thing only with kicks and knee strikes and more. Get rid of the silly scoring sensors and go to Taekwondo Kickboxing. MMA and Kickboxing as well as Boxing does not need electronic scoring to know who wins a fight. Turning Taekwondo into “Fencing” is one reason Taekwondo is boring. Watching Fencing is boring to me since it is not even like an actual sword fight. Taekwondo became that way when they made electronic scoring socks, gloves, head gear and chest gear mandatory.

With opinions such as WTF President Choue Chung-won it gives hope that some Koreans involved in Taekwondo are seeing the light and hopefully will stop commercializing Taekwondo as bad as it has been done the past couple of decades which made it nothing more than silly ballet foot tag and performance art and not a real combat system.  Hopefully more Grandmasters and officials involved in the organizations of Taekwondo will see the dominance of MMA as a reason to make Taekwondo more combative, which means more fun and more exciting, and more of a true Martial Art!