Posts Tagged ‘traditional martial arts’

A Wonderful And Devastating Display Of Traditional Martial Arts At UFC Fight Night 82

        There was a wonderful display of traditional striking techniques shown by Stephan Thompson, a Kempo Karate expert and elite kickboxer at UFC Fight Night 82. Johnny Hendrick’s was on the receiving end up a few hard kicks and punches that knocked him out. A great article about this topic can be seen on Bleacher Report. You should give it a read.

From Bleacher Report:
“The traditional martial arts have long gotten short shrift in modern MMA. The Gracie family sponsored early UFCs as glorified infomercials for their Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighting style and quickly proved their point—that a fighter had to know how to grapple to succeed in real-world hand-to-hand combat situations.
Their early dominance briskly undid many previously long-held conventions about how to fight. Simply put, the Gracies made a lot of traditional, stand-up-oriented martial artists look like fools. Even as the legendary family faded from prominence in MMA, practitioners of no-frills western systems like wrestling and kickboxing largely went on to dominate the next two decades.
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press
Chuck Liddell throws his trademark overhand right.
Classic movie-house forms were summarily overshadowed. A lot of professional fighters may well have started in karate, taekwondo or kung fu as kids, but few of them fought like it once they arrived in the Octagon.
Former light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell—or at least his deltoid tattoo—claimed allegiance to kempo karate, but he fought like a brawling kickboxer when it mattered.
Welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre boasted a background in kyokushin, but he was known more for his dynamic wrestling during the heart of his UFC career.
Only light heavyweight titlist Lyoto Machida stood out for his classic karate fighting style—and his reign on top was so short it became a punch line. Machida’s elusiveness and counterstriking were always his calling card, but his patient, unorthodox methods sometimes seemed to work against him when judged according to MMA’s unified rules.
Andre Penner/Associated Press
Lyoto Machida is one of the few to find success through karate.
The Octagon forced fighting styles to evolve with unprecedented speed, and efficiency was at a premium. Techniques that were deemed outlandish or ineffective were quickly cast aside while less flashy but operational skills became the bedrock of modern MMA.
However, this latest—and arguably most unexpected—bend in the evolutionary road makes it seem as though some brands of traditional martial arts were dismissed too hastily. Without warning, our sport has perhaps crossed another generational threshold.
Suddenly, little by little, MMA appears to be headed back to the dojo. Methods that were once considered dead on arrival in the Octagon are experiencing a revival.”

What encouraging words from a standard MMA journalist. The prove is there again. Traditional martial art styles have always been valid. There was simply a point in history where Karate, Kung Fu, and Taekwondo styles were unable to keep combat effectiveness due to a lack of venues to fight in and a decrease in the acceptance of fighting for sport. Boxing and other mainstream concepts have always been acceptable to society through the last century, but more serious ideas such as kicking the legs and other parts has been looked down upon. Only in Asia did Muay Thai stay strong and other various kickboxing methods. In Brazil they have a history of Vale Tudo and the lack of understanding of grappling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu reign supreme for nearly 100 years in Brazil.

Karate and other styles not having to prove themselves in open combat made it easy for shysters and charlatans and other bad things such as mysticism and nonsense to invade the arts. Moves increased this concept with all of the wild Kung Fu and Ninja films in the 70’s and 80’s that allowed martial arts teachers to hide in the shadows of mysteriousness and what is foreign and unknown. Of course many true masters kept the true traditional arts alive and strong (People like Mas Oyama etc.), and traditional techniques always have worked. It is just so many did not know how to make them work and the early UFC battled int he Octagon are a poor example of martial arts masters. That is why BJJ always won as well as wrestling. Now with the knowledge of grappling and how to stuff takedowns the stand up fighters are continuously knocking people out with wrestling and boxing backgrounds. If you did not train your body to kick high and have good balance or understand elusive techniques then he has a serious chance of getting knocked out be experts in a traditional style. Fight Night 82 is an example. I believe to be a good fighter and martial artist you should specialize in something and master it. Gone are the days is just power lifting an learning to throw left hook combos and sprawl. You really have to know more and also try and master something. Jack of all trades will no longer be the champions.

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Jose Aldo Broken Rib From Back Kick And Out Of UFC 189 Is From Stupid Training Practices

        The terrible news of Jose Aldo, the current UFC featherweight champion, receiving a broken rib from his idiot training partner Alcides Nunes who used a back kick in practice sparring that cracked Aldo’s rib is aggravating for fight fans who were given tons of hype of his previously upcoming fight against Conor McGregor. Now Chad Mendes, a boring wrestler is going to take Aldo’s place (uuuugh! Lay and pray fest). The reason for this broken rib is because of the ignorant ways many MMA gyms practice. Their ignorant ideas of “super tough training” seems to always cause injuries all over the MMA world. Even Cane Velasquez the now former UFC heavy weight champion did not even fight for 2 long years because of injuries at his AKA gym.

        This fight was going to be Jose Aldo who is pretty much a puncher and grappler to fight Conor McGregor who is a pretty decent striker who uses boxing and kicks from Taekwondo. McGregor has an ITF Taekwondo background and uses back kicks often and other kicks with his boxing skills. This was going to be an interesting fight. But of course as is common in MMA hyped fights an injury keeps the fans from seeing what they were told they wanted to see from months and months of intense marketing and “bad blood” between the two.

“The biggest featherweight fight ever? NOT ANYMORE!!!!

Now it’s just a unimportant “interim championship” fight…

        The truth is Jose Aldo’s injury should never have happened (obvious) and the fact it did happen only points us to the fact they have idiots at his gym who have no clue how to carefully train with someone and work on techniques with a proper and safe sparring partner. Chael Sonnen recently commented about the situation of Aldo’s injury and his training partner,

You’ve got to have training partners you can trust. I could be sparring with a guy and he forgot his mouthpiece, it wouldn’t matter. I’m not going to loosen his tooth, ever. If he goes with me, he’s going to leave in the same condition that he showed up in. He can trust me. Those are the kind of guys that you want to be working out with.

This is a very true statement that a lot of MMA gyms don’t seem to understand and allow too much ego and meatheaded jock behavior to injure may of their gym members. I know this for a fact from training at an MMA gym before. A friend of mine had his rib cracked from an moronic wrestler with an ego problem who went for a very hard takedown. People get injured all the time at these kinds of gyms. The problem is MMA has adopted the ignorant attitude that many boxing gyms have historically had that a person needs to fight really hard in sparring and get beat up to prove he is tough or man enough to be worthy to teach or given any attention. This nonsense philosophy loses so many potentially good fighters and martial artists that COULD be trained if given proper training. Not all people can just right away fight like a warrior, it has to be trained in them and taught often. People need to slow up and spar slow, work technique, not be hit so hard right away. Over time they can use harder contact. Not everyone is game to go hardcore in sparring and get hit hard. Beginners need to build confidence and bravery over time for that to happen. Then when someone is tough enough to handle it there is seriously no point in sparring all the way with full contact every night, especially if someone is a top athlete who needs to avoid getting hurt before a bout.

Traditional martial arts in my opinion is the best way to train a fighter or any kind of martial artist. There is a step-by-step process and concern for the student is given and they tale safe steps to get where they need to be. If MMA gyms stopped following the boxing theory of “proving your worth” a lot more martial artists could come out of their gyms who would be great fighters and would not want to quit. MMA is also more intense than boxing with kicks, elbows, knees, grappling and submissions. It is way more dangerous than boxing with a lot m,ore kinds of injuries. MMA training needs to be done safely.

Chael Sonnen also said,

Accidents happen. This could have been an accident. But it was a spinning kick to the midsection. That’s a very hard strike to control – it’s the same reason we don’t throw elbows in practice. They’re just too hard to control, and if one gets away, even a light one, it can cut your opponent and he’s going to need stitches. There are some things you just don’t do on a partner; you save it for the heavy bag. I’m very confused as to how this even happened 10 days before a title fight.

I will have to say while I understand his concerns about elbows, his is flat out wrong about the “spinning” back kick. Taekwondo practitioners have trained all kinds of kicks, especially the back kick without too many injuries. It totally possible to practice sparring with the back kick without getting injured. A back kick is not “hard to control” when done by an expert. Is Aldo’s training partner was an expert in Taekwondo he could have easily controlled the power of his back kick. Just because it is a turning kick does not mean its impossible to kick lightly. Anyone who believes it is too hard to control is ignorant about such martial arts techniques. They have no clue what they are talking about. Sure by the average MMA guy who just picked up the back kick from watching a youtube video, or who was a green belt before in Taekwondo as a child will suck at throwing back kicks. He will be awkward, unbalanced, and lack any sort of control. These types of people are simply white belt level at kicking and need to train more. There are a lot of MMA guys who think they are martial arts masters who actually suck and lack control. Jose Aldo should have simply been drilling the back kick and working counters to it. If he did sparring the back kick should be thrown so Aldo could work on maneuvers to either block it or avoid it and counter. Olympic Taekwondo sparring drills are the best for this.

Another important thing to remember is most of the time in Taekwondo they wear a chest protector called the hogu in Korean. Olympic Taekwondo is a full contact sport so their back kicks are the best in the world. ITF Taekwondo has the exact same technique and obviously can be thrown with extreme power too an that is Conor McGregor’s background. ITF may be light contact but they would even prove more that a back kick can be controlled without injuring an opponent. But McGregor is not going to throw it light contact. WTF Olympic sparring drills wold be best with a chest protector pad worn. One can throw with medium contact and also if Aldo would miss his technique and get hit the padded chest protector would save him from a broken rib. He should have been wearing one.

Taekwondo coaches, instructors and more should be sought out by MMA gyms to make sure their fighters are being protected and given great drills for working on various kicks that Taekwondo is the best at. MMA gyms need less out dated training methods, more safety, more martial arts experts that specialize in systems and not just some dude who wrestled in high school and took a few boxing lessons. The fact Taekwondo coaches are still shunned by most MMA gyms shows that while MMA in top level organizations are increasingly showing Taekwondo techniques as extremely dangerous, brutal, and fight enders with various fighters using them, the average MMA gym and average MMA culture are still in the “Taekwondo sucks” phase of the late 90’s and early 00’s that has been proven as an ignorant view. More traditional martial arts should be embraced, instructors given jobs, safer training methods with logical progression, and traditional martial arts values of losing your ego in the dojang and a moral code to go with your training should be accepted in the MMA world. Jose Aldo should not have been injured and his training partner should be kicked out of the gym for being an idiot or at least disciplined. All of this could have been avoided if the coaches and staff at Aldo’s gym weren’t clueless about Taekwondo.

A Round Kick Is A Fight Ender

        A round kick is a very basic technique and probably the kick one will most often use in a fight. It is used more than any kick. It can be a fight ender. The regular round kick from most martial arts systems use the lower shin area and instep, top of the foot for impact. Karate being the most popular art for decades last century has emphasized kick snapping kicks with the instep to targets on an opponents body. Taekwondo, coming from Shotokan then became the next world’s most popular martial art and held that title for a very long time. Taekwondo kicks much like Karate because Taekwondo basically is a kind of Karate since it has a strong historic link to Shotokan Karate. Shotokan round kicks and Taekwondo round kicks are basically performed the same.

        It is very hard for the average know-it-all MMA fanboy or Muay Thai guy to understand that you do not always have to hit with the shin, use a loose and wide swinging leg, and turn 360 degrees after every round kick you throw. You can simply kick the way Karate kicks and hurt someone badly.

        Last night on the UFC Fight Night Lyoto Machida used a basic Shotokan round kick and hit DB Dolloway on the body and crumbled him. Dolloway slowly began to fall as Machida went in for the kill with multiple punches until he was on the floor doing nothing about it as the referee stopped the fight declaring Machida the winner. All Machida did was use timing, brains, and focus. He saw a target available and threw a very hard round kick with his instep making impact. His leg was chambered like a Karate kick with the knee aiming at the target and BAM! it hit. It was a delayed reaction for a split second before Dolloway held his rib and tried to pretend he was not hurt but to no avail he had to react to the pain and misery of the kick and eventually fall.

        Round kicks are serious business. You do not have to use a Muay Thai style shin kick where you spin 360 degrees if you miss. Often times people who want to shadow box with kicks will make sure you damn well know they know real fighting by spinning around in a full circle after throwing a round kick. If someone does not go into a 360s degree spin after their round kick people will think they are simply “Karate dorks” or “Taekwondo idiots” who don’t know how to REALLY kickbox. It is pretty pretentious. The truth is, most often you can tell a beginner and low experienced level fighter by their intentional spins after throwing round kicks for absolutely NO reason but to look cool like they know the REAL way to Kickbox. Like they know Muay Thai.

        Karate kicks and Taekwondo kicks are faster, more agile, and can be performed with pinpoint accuracy. Whereas a standard Muay Thai kick is heavier, often a harder impact (not always though), yet it’s impact covers a wider range on the opponents body with less pinpoint accuracy. Shins are devastating and it is important to understand how to kick with heavy rotation like Muay Thai, but it is not the only way to throw a round kick and knowing the fast and quick retracting kicks of Karate and Taekwondo are also important. They allow for traveling forward and covering distance and enable aperson to throw multiple kick combos using both legs. Most often a Muay Thai kick will be thrown once and very hard but not too many combos are available when overexerting. Know exactly how much force you need to use to defeat someone is a skill that only expert martial artists understand. Not the average MMA fan. So hopefully the amazing round kick of Lyoto Machida that landed last night will help get rid of the negative stigma that current low-brow pop-culture followers, who think they are fighters and MMA masters at Buffalo Wild Wings UFC night have against anyone who wears a uniform and colored belt when they train. It seems the only people allowed to wear a gi and colored belt are Brazilian Jiu Jitsu people, but anyone sporting a Karate gi or Taekwondo dobok is shunned.

        One time I was able to pull of such a devastating round kick. It was a left leg round kick just like Machida’s. It was at the University Fight Club I started at my university for MMA and all martial arts. A wrestler guy came in and wanted to strike with me. Of course such a fight always starts out with the agreement that its low to medium contact and eventually throughout the sparring session someone’s ego gets in the way and they start throwing full power blows. The wrestler of course did not like my kicks and began to throw hard punches hitting me in the face. I threw a leg kick or two and he punched me some again and then I had had it with his nonsense so I round kicked him in the ribs full power and he fell to the ground for about 2 minutes reeling in pain and out of breath. I kind of felt bad but then again he asked for me. I may have fractured his rib, but I am not sure. Quite possibly Lyoto last night broke Dolloway’s rib as well. What an inspiration!

        Thank you Lyoto Machida for being a great representative of a true martial artist and fighter and showing the world that Karate and other traditional martial arts have a real place in the fight world and are effective fighting systems that should be respected.

UFC Fighter Gets Owned At A Bar: MMA Training Does Not Automatically Make You Self Defense Capable

        UFC fighter Cody Gibson recently got pushed hard, sucker punched in the face, and punched some on the ground in a Las Vegas bar. The only words that can describe this situation is,

“Wow what an idiot. If he knew self defense he could have avoided this situation, and if not, could have easily defended that punch.”

Watch the video:

His ego got in the way and then he wanted to fight and stood there acting like he was baiting him in to fight with his fists up. All he should have done if he intended to fight was immediately kick him or punch him or attack. Also, takedowns might impress MMA judges (because they are idiots and think that matters in a fight), but takedowns don’t mean anything in a street fight unless you do something with it. Like punch the guy a lot by ground and pound or submit him. Obviously the drunk guy who beat him up did not even get hurt much except maybe a little rough landing from the initial takedown.

Many MMA guys who train at the local MMA gym think they have a social status above average people, especially anyone training in traditional martial arts. So much is said about how Taekwondo does not work on the streets. Well, why didn’t this guy’s MMA work on the streets?

Do not put your confidence in MMA or whatever trendy martial art is cool now, or any martial art for that matter. Put confidence in your ability to defend yourself. Don’t allow your ego to take over and cause you more trouble. Avoid street fights! If you can’t then take them out sooner than later. And don’t egg a drunk person on.

By the way I watch MMA and think it is cool and enjoy UFC Fight Nights on Fox Sports 1. I am not anti-MMA, just anti-MMA onlyist morons.

Taekwondo Is Effective For A Self Defense Program:  Why Taekwondo Is More Effective Than A Reality Based Self Defense Course (Part 5)

*This is the final part of the series 

 

V. A Taekwondo Self Defense Program Can Run Better than an RBSD Program

             Original Taekwondo is itself a reality based self defense system in its own right if it is taught properly with a self defense mindset. A Taekwondo program can be changed to fit any business model or self defense program for any company.

 

Uniforms or special clothing is not important

Taekwondo may wear a white uniform whereas most RBSD guys wear camouflage pants or athletic attire, or just stylish black clothes or a polo shirt. This is not important. With or without the dobok Taekwondo can still be trained effectively. Belts do not even have to be worn and the grades and degrees given (geup and dan) do not have to be literally visible things a student wears. It could just be a verbal or shown through a certificate that someone has attained a certain geup. Students simply would have to wear athletic type of clothing that is easy to move in and loose fitting and comfortable. It is not mandatory to run a Taekwondo self defense program with traditional uniforms.

Even so, if one wants to go full traditional style then of course wearing the dobok and wearing the physical belts is available. Uniforms serve a purpose such as uniformity in class, that all people including men and women both are equal in class, wearing a uniform makes someone feel important and focused, and most importantly the uniform is a very great training suit. It is durable and strong and no one will have to worry what clothes to wear to training each day.

 

The progressive structure of Taekwondo motivates students

With the progressive structure and ranks given Taekwondo motivates students and encourages them to train harder to get to the next level. With a written curriculum handed out to students for each level of training, students can know what they need to know at a given time. A Taekwondo instructor should hand out papers with new techniques and knowledge that the student has to know. Each rank they can keep a binder of syllabi as references they can go back to.

Formal testing is also a positive thing for students. It gives a good amount of stress which can simulate distressing circumstances a self defense situation would bring up. It also stresses importance of skill with each rank’s techniques. If one cannot perform movements properly they do not pass. The ability to fail a test is very important as it will encourage students to train harder and make sure they have learned what needs to be learned. Rank testing does not have to cost extra money either, or if you do charge it does not have to be expensive. The commercialization of Taekwondo has brought about many people who just want to make easy money. Charging for testing and then encouraging students to test gets people rich. Exchanging money for a test usually pushes the instructor to pass less than deserving students to the next level even if they should have actually failed. This is a problem. It is recommended that testing fees are very low with the possibility of student’s to fail, or cost nothing at all.

During a test students will display every technique they learned and show applications for movements as well as live sparring with mild contact. This will present realism and test if a student can actually apply his knowledge in a simulation representing a real threat. Testing should be done every 4 months or more.

 

The purpose is training effective fighting techniques first over everything else

Most RBSD programs encourage practitioners to pay into their system’s founder’s pockets by certification fees, seminar fees, annual membership fees, DVD purchases and t-shirts, special requirements, and other unimportant things. This is because most RBSD systems exist solely off of marketing gimmicks and seem to mostly exist for the sake of promotion of the system itself rather than training fighting techniques to students. Taekwondo should not be this way. Taekwondo should exist first for the training of fighting techniques for self defense, and everything else such as promoting Taekwondo as a wonderful art after the fact. The program should not exist just to market the program. Taekwondo does not exist just to market Taekwondo. First teach proper combat and promote self defense, then worry about members or a student brotherhood in the system. If the product is good then many people will follow.

 

Conclusion

            Taekwondo has everything RBSD has with methodical training practices. A self defense minded Taekwondo instructor will be able to teach anything an RBSD instructor teaches and instill dedication, masterful skills, and an aggressive mindset for self defense in his students. RBSD programs are unnecessary and they cause people to overlook the value of traditional martial arts styles such as Taekwondo. There is nothing truly new or innovative that RBSD teaches that is not already taught by legitimate traditional martial arts instructors. RBSD instructors spent a lot of time belittling the traditional martial arts, especially Taekwondo. This is because of mcdojangism’s influence on Taekwondo culture. Yet, this is not a good enough reason to discredit Taekwondo itself as a whole.

Taekwondo is a very good martial art style to use for a proper self defense program. It was birthed from the aftermath of a brutal Japanese regime in Korea and further developed within war. Taekwondo has been proven in war on the battlefield and used by the U.S. Military and government agencies. Taekwondo has lethal striking techniques which are the basis for very effective self defense. It is a complete stand up striking system that has combat effectiveness. The live sparring and training drills and focus on mastering techniques enables any Taekwondo practitioner to obtain and retain realistic self defense knowledge. The fighting spirit that Taekwondo offers and complete fitness can be trained with total aggression and a “will to win” attitude that will give people true confidence and not a false sense of security that most RBSD programs give. Taekwondo is an excellent self defense art.

 

Works Cited

        (2009). Training For Black Belt: Grandmaster Tae Hong Choi. Posted on March 17th, 2009 at http://trainingforblackbelt.wordpress.com/2009/03/17/grandmaster-tae-hung-choi/date accessed, September 24th, 2014.

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

CrossFit Defense. (2014). The Philosophy. Posted at http://crossfitdefense.com/overview/the-philosophy/, date accessed, September 24th, 2014.

Department of the Navy. (2011). Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP). MCRP 3-02B. Department of the Navy, Headquarters United States Marine Corps: Washington, D.C. Posted at http://www.marines.mil/Portals/59/Publications/MCRP%203-02B%20PT%201.pdf, date accessed September 24th, 2014.

Dougherty, M.J. (2010). Special Forces Unarmed Combat Guide: Hand-To-Hand Fighting Skills from the World’s Most Elite military Units. Metro Books: New York, NY.

Hamic, R. (2010). Press About: Press Release Distribution: Moni Aizik and Combat Survival are Sued in Multi-Million Dollar Class Action Lawsuit for Fraud and Misrepresentation. Posted by SARAVANAN2, on August 24th, 2010 at http://www.pressabout.com/moni-aizik-combat-survival-sued-100038/, date accessed September 26th, 2014.

Human Weapon. (2007). Season 1, Episode 8. Marine Corps Martial Arts. First aired September 27th,  2007 on The History Channel. Quote starts at 3:09 into the episode.

Integrated Combat Systems University. Krav Maga Principles. Posted at http://www.victorvillekravmaga.com/22.html, date accessed, September 24th, 2014.

Jung, H. (2009). The Oregonian: Portland-area tae kwon do grandmaster pioneered sport in U.S. Tae Hong Choi, who established schools and taught thousands of students, dies at 7. Posted March, 11th, 2009 at http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/1236745615165110.xml&coll=7, date accessed, September 24th, 2014.

Kim, S.H. (2009). Taekwondo Self Defense: Taekwondo Hoshinsool. Turtle Press: Sante Fe, NM.

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

Sylvester, M. (2012). Matthew Sylvester: Father, Author, Martial Artist: Tony Blauer: It’s not who’s right it’s who’s left. Posted May 7th, 2012 at http://matthewsylvester.com/2012/05/07/tony-blauer-its-not-whos-right-its-whos-left/, date accessed September 26th, 2014.

Swift, J.E. (1968). Black Belt Magazine: Budo Demolition: The Famed Tiger Division of the Korean Army in Action! Sine Pari, Kidokwan Martial Art International. Posted at http://www.kidokwan.org/historical/historical-articles-1960s/budo-demolition-the-famed-tiger-division-of-the-korean-army-in-action/, date accessed September 26th, 2014.

The Pentagon. (1980). Hand-To-Hand Fighting (Karate / Tae-Kwon-Do. ST 31-4. U.S. Government Printing Office: Fort Bragg, NC. Reprinted by Militaria Press.

Thomas, B. (1994). Bruce Lee: Fighting Spirit: A Biography. North Atlantic Books: Berkeley, CA.

Urban Protection Solutions/ Self Defense Classes. Posted at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/urban-protection-solutions-self-defense-classes-tickets-2779871671?aff=eorg, date accessed, September 24th, 2014.

 

Go back to Part 4                                                                        Go on to Part 1 (First Part)

__________________________________________________________________________________________

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. 

Taekwondo Is Effective For A Self Defense Program:  Why Taekwondo Is More Effective Than A Reality Based Self Defense Course (part 3)

 

III. Taekwondo is not inferior to modern RBSD programs

 

A punch is a punch, a kick is a kick, and a throw is a throw. There is no difference between a Taekwondo punch and a RBSD punch. It is the same. There is nothing new really being said in RBSD circles that has not been stressed within traditional martial arts circles already.

 

Taekwondo has every technique any RBSD program can offer

Taekwondo has every technique any RBSD program can offer, plus the focus on mastering technique and dedication to hard training makes a practitioner more able to defend themselves. It is often said Taekwondo is not effective for self defense and that the techniques are outdated and inefficient. The truth is that any technique an RBSD

program uses is already in Taekwondo. What RBSD programs do is claim all traditional martial arts are slow, ineffective, and would cause the student to be forced to learn 100’s of moves which is “too difficult, a waste of time, and out dated.” Hypocritically though, the founders of such RBSD systems will list their credentials for knowing how to teach self defense which most always consist of traditional martial arts styles. Take for example, “Urban Protective Solutions” founded by a husband who uses his wife to advertise that he,

 “…took his 25 years of martial arts, Commando krav maga (sic), ken po (sic), and brazilian jujitsu (sic), and simplified it to a woman’s needs” (evenbrite.com)                                                     

Also, she states, “This is not some complicated course where you have to learn hundreds of moves” (eventbrite.com).

There is nothing unique about this RBSD elbow strike compared to a Taekwondo elbow strike

So, someone who thinks martial arts are too hard to learn for average women and are a waste of time to focus on has hypocritically listed that it is important for us to know he did 25 years of traditional martial arts training prior. Now with all of the styles he listed it would be impossible within that time frame to master them all at the same time. So that shows it is apparent he is probably not an instructor or master of any of these styles and has thus, proclaimed he is now the instructor of his own made up system that is somehow better than his 25 years of training.

          

This Taekwondo elbow strike is the same technique as above

It leaves one to ask why he didn’t just quit all of the martial arts after he learned the very few, easy to memorize, techniques in his current system. It is also apparent that his wife, or he, cannot spell the names of such martial arts styles correctly such as “Kenpo,” “Commando Krav Maga,” and “Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.” If one was a master or advanced in a style it would seem obvious he would know how to spell the names of the styles he trained in correctly and not advertise with such errors. Besides this, Commando Krav Maga is a fraudulent organization and the founder, Moni Aizik, was sued in a multi-million dollar lawsuit by the true founders of legitimate Krav Maga (an Israeli RBSD system). Jamic (2014) claims,

“Moni Aizik and Commando Krava Maga AKA Combat Survival have finally been served with our large class action lawsuit for fraud, misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, fraudulent inducement, or tortious interference with business.” (pressabout.com)

This is a common problem with a lot of RBSD systems, many are founded on false concepts and groups who are fraudulent or embellish their credentials.

 

It is a myth that you do not have to learn a lot of techniques

No matter what style of martial arts you train in you are going to have to learn a lot of techniques to be effective at defending yourself. This is true even with RBSD styles. The claim you do not have to learn 100’s of moves is a lie. For example, boxing has about 4 or 5 punches, and maybe 8 or 10 blocks depending on what boxing coach you train under. Yet with such a small amount of techniques there seems to be an endless way to combine them together including footwork and torso movement. A boxer memorizes 100’s of techniques. Likewise, RBSD which claims to be simple and effective is going to have you learn most likely 100’s of movements with sweeps, trips, joint locks and strikes. Traditional martial arts already have all of that in their 100’s if not 1000’s of techniques. Along with many techniques and ways of movement and combining them together, much time needs to be spent on repetition over and over to make this instinctual. 8th dan Taekwondo master and qualified self defense expert Sang H. Kim (2009) explains in his book “Taekwondo Self-Defense,”

“Taekwondo training is an education of the mind and body. It is a process of learning and remembering things by which neurological networks in the muscles and brain are linked. Training requires a significant repetitive amount of practice and time to make those neurological wires function properly. This type of learning is an artificially acquired process whereas instinct is an innate behavioral mode.” (p. 18)

Knowing more techniques is always better than not knowing as many. This is common sense.

The basics of Taekwondo are simple to learn and easy to apply. They can also be trained with pressure and live sparring. Many self defense drills and scenario training can also be applied just like any RBSD program. Often times RBSD instructors do not have their students spar live. They instead just do slow motion based movements such has countering a punch and sweeping someone’s feet or locking an arm. The idea is that it is too deadly to spar with, and martial arts sports such as Olympic Taekwondo with their live sparring are not “street effective.” This is ridiculous as Taekwondo sparring instills fighting spirit and a free range striking sparring can be done safely and in order within Taekwondo techniques that do not comply with Olympic rules. Taekwondo can be sparred with or without rules under the safe guidance of a qualified instructor.

RBSD styles are actually founded on proper martial arts techniques themselves from various styles. This is because the founders of practically every RBSD system has a traditional martial arts background. The RBSD instructor Tony Blauer, who founded the SPEAR System (SPEARS) popular in RBSD circles, as well as the one who created the “Crossfit Defense” program for Crossfit actually started out in Taekwondo. In an interview by Matthew Sylvester (2014) he even claims he created his own home dojo and was teaching students (matthewsylvester.com). He developed his own way of training later that uses techniques already available in the Taekwondo he trained in. He just used certain marketing tactics to get himself known and continues to use sensational advertising. If Tony Blauer, an ex-Taekwondo instructor can teach self defense then any current Taekwondo instructor can.

Tony Bluaer demonstrating a technique already found in Taekwondo

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Sang H. Kim demonstrates a Taekwondo technique the same as Tony Blauer’s SPEAR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RBSD uses overly technical language to fluff up its image

Most RBSD systems use acronyms such as SPEARS which stands for “Spontaneous Protection Enabling Accelerated Response System.” Why couldn’t it just be called fast reaction fighting? Using overly technical sort of “politically correct” words to describe a fighting system is just a gimmick to sound extra smart. Like they have one over the traditional styles such “Way of smashing with the feet and hands” (Taekwondo) or “Way of empty hands” (Karate) that use common sense, straight to the point names for their martial systems. People like Tony Blauer claim they doing something innovative and unique such as his spontaneous protection ideas with their claim of accelerated response. It seems as if he just thought up a cool sounding acronym and forced in technical words that could be used to describe self defense. Possible, he thought SPEARS sounds so cool and had to force in his technical jargon. Really though, he is not providing a unique or new concept. Such technical jargon can be summed up by saying “train to react fast and effectively.” We don’t need a SPEAR to do it. Sang H. Kim (2009) simply expresses,

“There is no single way in self-defense. You can survive only through spontaneous responses that arise from the situation you are in. Avoid becoming attached to a particular formula of defensive maneuvers.” (p. 49)

All of this has already been known and taught within traditional martial arts. There are a number of other RBSD programs with their own founders who use various acronyms with overly technical language which will not be delved into. If someone wants to find out more about RBSD styles one simply has to use Google.

On the other hand, some RBSD systems that have good techniques are actual martial arts styles like Krav Maga which was founded by the Israeli Imi Lichtenfeld. Krav Maga literally means “Contact Combat” in Hebrew (a very simple name). The Israeli military developed his style further. It is an incorporation of traditional martial arts techniques from Karate, Kickboxing, Savate, Boxing, Jiu Jitsu and others. The fact is every technique that styles like Krav Maga have is also found in traditional martial arts styles like Taekwondo. Throat strikes, hammer fists, blocks, vital point strikes, knees, kicks etc., are all in Taekwondo and can also be trained with aggression. There really is nothing special, new, or unique about what they do. It is just the way they talk about techniques and training and their extreme claims of total effectiveness that impresses people. Good old fashioned martial arts are good enough. The only problem is finding a Taekwondo teacher who is skilled, qualified, and teaches for effective realistic self defense.

 

Mcdonangism is not a good enough reason to discredit Taekwondo

It might be somewhat harder to find an instructor who cares about real self defense applications and uses hard training to make his student’s good at fighting when looking at the majority of Taekwondo gyms around. This is the mcdojangism of many martial arts schools. Mcdojang means low quality, poor, silly, and gimmicky martial arts and quickly earned black belts, such as how fast food places like McDonald’s serves low quality food very fast. One ironic issue is that many RBSD people will mock Taekwondo or Karate for giving out black belts really fast to people who have no skill. At the same time these RBSD instructor’s claim their system can be learned very fast, through DVD’s, at seminars, within a couple of months for “total effectiveness.” Often times a certificate of completion is given to the student after attending a seminar. They are guilty of the very mcdojangism they claim is promoted by Taekwondo, they just do it in military fatigues instead of doboks. The problem with over commercialization of civilian martial arts schools is not specific to Taekwondo nor is it a good enough reason to claim that Taekwondo is not effective; or that is cannot be used to properly teach self defense. There are people who do know how to teach proper Taekwondo and understand the applications for movements and are qualified to create self defense programs using Taekwondo techniques. A person just has to look for them and make it a point to find them. While, it is less popular to be a combative and serious Taekwondo gym, there are good instructors out there and a fine quality self defense program can be created using Taekwondo.

RBSD instructors often use straw man arguments against traditional martial arts mocking the way they train techniques. They do not understand the logic or reason for training exercises or techniques like the chambered punch. They fallaciously argue that no one punches with their hands down. This is not true and a chambered punch is a technique for a specific purpose. Taekwondo also has punches from above like a boxer as well. Learning various ways to punch is better than ignorantly assuming a Taekwondo fighter will stand in a wide horse stand with his hands at his hip when attacked. This is a flat out lie. Much of why an RBSD program might stay in existence is through constant belittling of Taekwondo and other traditional styles. Instead of providing much new information or their own doctrine they waste time making fun of Taekwondo techniques and telling their students why every other style is wrong but theirs. This is the same kind of behavior many cults use on their followers.

 

Go back to Part 2                                                                                              Go on to Part 4 

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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.  

Taekwondo Is Effective For A Self Defense Program:  Why Taekwondo Is More Effective Than A Reality Based Self Defense Course (Part 1)

*There are multiple parts to this article and each will be posted over time on this blog. The sections come from a research paper I wrote about Taekwondo being effective for self defense and better than a reality based self defense course. All Works Cited will be listed at the end of the final part of this series. 

Abstract

            Taekwondo is a great martial art for any self defense program and is better than the average reality based self defense (RBSD) program. RBSD discredits Taekwondo and traditional martial arts by saying they are outdated and ineffective because they are not based on reality. This is not true and is just based on straw man arguments. They claim their techniques are easy to learn with “total effectiveness.” In reality, Taekwondo has every technique any RBSD program has to offer and in fact can be trained better with a properly structured program that allows for masterful combat skills. Most RBSD instructors have a traditional martial arts background to begin with and base their credentials on being able to teach self defense on their training history. If an RBSD instructor who started out teaching Taekwondo can then create his own program and teach self defense, then any Taekwondo instructor can teach self defense using Taekwondo itself. RBSD is unnecessary and nothing RBSD instructors present is truly innovative or new knowledge. Taekwondo has been proven in war, modern combat sports, and is a very effective fighting system and good enough to use for a proper self defense program.

 

 

Taekwondo is Effective for a Self Defense Program:
Why Taekwondo is More Effective than a Reality Based Self Defense Course

 

Outline

Introduction

I. Taekwondo is a fighting system

  1. Taekwondo is a full striking system
  2. Taekwondo also has joint locks, throws and takedowns, and vital point attacks
  3. Taekwondo’s methodical training will help a person retain knowledge and skills

II. Taekwondo is proven in war and used by U.S. Special Forces

  1. Taekwondo was proven battle effective in the Vietnam War
  2. The U.S. Military adopted Taekwondo techniques into their combatives programs
  3. The Military and CIA shows Taekwondo is good for civilian self defense

III. Taekwondo is Not Inferior to RBSD Systems

  1. Taekwondo has every technique any RBSD program can offer
  2. It is a myth that you do not have to learn a lot of techniques
  3. RBSD uses overly technical language to fluff up its image
  4. Mcdonangism is not a good enough reason to discredit Taekwondo

IV. Taekwondo is Proven Effective In Full Contact Fighting

  1. Taekwondo is effectively used in Mixed Martial Arts fighting
  2. Sport does not negate street effectiveness

 V. A Taekwondo Self Defense Program Can Run Better than an RBSD Program

  1. Uniforms or special clothing is not important
  2.  The progressive structure of Taekwondo motivates students
  3. The purpose is training effective fighting techniques first over everything else

Conclusion

—-

 

A properly taught Taekwondo program is effective for realistic self defense studies. With proper knowledge from a qualified instructor the techniques can be taught effectively, and are valid for today’s modern standards of self defense.

 

Introduction

Often times people claim that traditional martial arts are not good for learning effective self defense. Some critics claim that it takes too long to be able to use any of the techniques of traditional martial arts in a real self defense situation and that they are outdated and unrealistic; therefore the traditional martial arts are insufficient for learning real life self defense. Some claim learning Reality Based Self Defense (RBSD), from a number of various programs, is better and will actually work, and can be used within a very short time frame without many years of training. Such programs are very trendy and popular among many urban dwelling folks. It is the current trend to belittle traditional martial arts, especially Taekwondo, without much knowledge on the subject and follow any number of RBSD proponents with varying credentials (some of them not that great).

This paper argues that traditional martial arts are a better option for learning self defense, and specifically, Taekwondo is an effective martial art style for learning self defense and better than an RBSD program. It will also explain why some RBSD programs are typically not effective for training realistic self defense and suffer the exact same problems that critics of traditional martial arts claim. RBSD is a quick fix method that uses overly sensational advertising and overly technical words (usually stated in acronyms for the name of their style which becomes ridiculous) and often times gives a false sense of security to practitioners (which is the claim RBSD would make against Taekwondo but is actually the opposite if given a proper Taekwondo program as RBSD constantly uses straw man arguments against traditional martial arts). This paper will also briefly explain the issues of mcdojangism within the Taekwondo community and how such problems have clouded the judgment of people interesting in learning martial arts who would reject Taekwondo study. It will also express the fact that Taekwondo is proven in war, was used specifically by the military for training special forces (along with Karate as both Taekwondo and Karate were blended together), was trained to CIA operatives, has every technique any RBSD program uses, as well as the fact modern MMA fighters, including fighters in the UFC use Taekwondo to win fights or incorporate Taekwondo techniques into their martial arts arsenal. Also, the fact Taekwondo is an Olympic sport trained by elite athletes and is overall great for physical fitness which will aid a person in self defense success.

 

I. Taekwondo is an Effective Fighting System

For nearly 70 years Japan had occupied Korea from 1876-1945 destroying much of their culture and forcing Japanese culture onto Korea including the banning of the average person studying martial arts. Any martial arts Koreans practiced before Japanese occupation had been nearly forgotten or wiped out completely. Only a select few upper class Koreans were allowed to practice Japanese martial arts inside Korea, or were given the opportunity to travel to Japan to study at universities or travel to China. Koreans who went abroad were able to also study Japanese or Chinese martial arts. The Japanese government allowed some who went to Japan to run Japanese martial arts schools for privileged Koreans. In 1945 Korea was freed from Japanese occupation. Koreans who learned Japanese or Chinese martial arts were then able to freely start martial arts schools using their knowledge and skills gained abroad. There was a 10 year gap from this time until 1955 when five martial arts schools in Korea unified to birth the martial art of Taekwondo. Not much time later 5 more schools associated with the original five were annexed together to consist of 10 total schools combined to form Taekwondo.

The early martial arts styles that combined together to form the Korean art of Taekwondo was a mix of Karate, Jiu Jitsu, Judo, various Kung Fu styles, and Taekyeon. It was a mix of mostly Japanese and some Chinese martial arts, as well as their theoretical view of what indigenous Korean martial arts (mainly Taekyeon) they could remember from history and archeology, since before Japanese occupation. Korea has a history of fighting in war, especially since the last century. Within the 20th century Korea had been invaded and taken over by Japan and suffered through a brutal regime, after liberation from Japan post-WW2 Korea had to fight the Korean War with the United States help against the communist regime of the North supported by China, then later South Korea entered into the Vietnam War to help the United States against communists. Korean martial arts were birthed and continued to develop within a state of conflict that provided much opportunities to figure out effective unarmed combat techniques.

Taekwondo was born out of this mindset of serious fighting and state of alert. Only later has Taekwondo lost some of this mindset with the current generation of Koreans who did not have to suffer growing up, and always had enough wealth in their nation to feel secure. The combative attitude has subsided somewhat. Even so, Taekwondo still remains with its original techniques including further developed ideas for martial arts effectiveness. The official Taekwondo Textbook put out by the Kukkiwon (World Taekwondo Headquarters) lists various brutal techniques to use for self defense. One can pick up a copy through Amazon and see for themselves what specific techniques exist in the Taekwondo system. Taekwondo is a fighting system and true self defense is only learned through fighting.

Taekwondo Grandmaster Hee Il Cho (1988) 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 is the goal is true Taekwondo.

 

Taekwondo is a full striking system

Taekwondo has a full range of striking techniques as well as blocks. Kicks, punches, elbows, knees, head butts, and various open handed strikes. Some techniques are brutal and can kill which was proven in the Vietnam War when the Korean Tiger Division fought Viet Cong in brutal hand to hand combat when the fighting became close quarters. They used deadly striking techniques to the throats, eyes, groin, various joints and breaking necks to kill the Viet Cong. Dougherty (2010) claims that a person may be better off striking an opponent than fiddling about with another technique (p. 183), and also that “[most attackers] will not roll about looking for joint locks or complex techniques” (p. 298) . Striking techniques are the basics for self defense, and Taekwondo has everything a person needs to know for a wide range of destructive striking options.

 

Taekwondo also has joint locks, throws and takedowns, and vital point attacks

Striking is not the only option in Taekwondo. Taekwondo also has joint locks, throws and takedowns, vital point, and pressure point attacks. It is a full range combat system for stand up fighting. All of these kinds of techniques are also listed in the Taekwondo Textbook put out by the Kukkiwon. The traditional forms, or patterns memorized by Taekwondo students, contain various self defense and close quarters combat techniques. There are a variety of options for each movement in Taekwondo.

RBSD claims their self defense ideas are better than traditional martial arts, but the same ideas and techniques are already in Taekwondo itself. Throat strikes, chokes, joint breaks, groin shots, eye pokes etc. All of that is within the Taekwondo system and any good instructor would teach them and explain Taekwondo movements and how they work in a fight.

 

Taekwondo’s methodical training will help a person retain knowledge and skills

Traditional martial arts are officially systemized curricula of collected techniques. They are taught with a progressive structure until a student has mastered each level of knowledge until they become experts. This is the way almost any kind of education is taught. People go to elementary school and pass grades in order to go to middle school, to high school and some will eventually head to college. Any teacher worth anything knows that proper structure is important for learning. You cannot just lay on a student a bunch of random facts or too much information at one time. Even if such information is somewhat simple it needs to be studied or practiced for a proper length of time before one can move on to the subject of any given topic.

Taekwondo is taught with separate subjects within its system that allow a student to progress smoothly in self defense. There are basic strikes and kicks, blocks, escapes from holds and restraints, punch and kick defenses, combination striking, vital targeting, forms, and sparring tactics taught in this deadly art form. Taekwondo is taught within 10 grades which are called geup in Korean Hangul (Korean language). 10 grades are displayed on the student with belt colors. Different Taekwondo gyms use different belt colors, but typically in Korea the colors are white, yellow, green, blue, and red. Each belt color having 2 grades within itself. Other Taekwondo masters might use another color set such as: white, yellow, orange, green, purple, blue, brown, red, 2nd red, pre black belt. This is still 10 total geup ranks. The next color of belt after geup ranks is black. For black color ranks there are dan grades or “degrees” of black belt. The advanced student has opportunity to master Taekwondo after black belt rank by continuing his studies with the intricacies of Taekwondo movement and applications. Realistically, not every student will become a black belt nor needs to be in order to learn very effective, realistic self defense. Some will remain color belts and quit studying Taekwondo, and some will just never physically train enough to obtain high quality black belt ability for various reasons, but even that is enough to have a firm understanding of self defense and combat for those less serious about martial arts pursuits. Even so, there should still be decent amount of black belt students who stuck with training and ranked up if given a proper program with a good instructor.

Contrary to how it plays out in some commercial schools, not every student in Taekwondo or any other traditional martial art deserves to earn a black belt or even will get good enough to earn it. Some people might train for awhile and learn the basics, yet effective, for self defense. The serious student will master the basics, earn a black belt, and apply very advanced techniques far beyond even a military combatives course. Martial arts focus on mastery of skills which is better than taking a seminar from an RBSD instructor that lasts only 3 hours (or even a 2 week course or what have you). Real self defense success takes a large amount of time to earn through methodical learning.

Unlike Taekwondo and other traditional martial arts, RBSD programs do not usually provide a clear structure, and teach movements at a very fast pace. They also seem to spend a lot of time quoting crime statistics and other trivial knowledge. The structure of RBSD most often will throw out various techniques, and quiz people on crime statistics in a seminar format or DVD program for home study. Sometimes RBSD is incorporated into a program for a company such as “CrossFit Defense” created by Tony Blauer for CrossFit, an internationally recognized fitness company with gym locations all around the world. CrossFit Defense’s website states the claim:

“Coach Tony Blauer created a physiologic and instinct-based system that is the seamless interface between the high-intensity CrossFit protocol and the human in-grained self-defense system. Coach Blauer’s S.P.E.A.R. System is the only personal-defense system in the world based on the bodys (sic) physiological response to danger what the body wants to do prior to any training. This makes the S.P.E.A.R. System easy to learn.” (crossfitdefense.com)

The website then makes the claim, “Participants will leave with skills to put into practice immediately” (crossfitdefense.com). This is not true. No one can learn a self defense concept in a 1 hour class and then expect to immediately be able to use it effectively without repetitive practice. Such a claim communicates the idea that a person instantly should never be afraid of an attacker, and should expect to win a fight.

The language used to explain CrossFit Defense (SPEAR System) sounds really technical and smart, like some academic scientific claim, but it is really fluff. All that description is saying is that a person will learn to use natural reactions to attacks. This concept is not new, and therefore the statement that SPEARS is “the only personal-defense system based on the body’s physiological response to danger” is not true. Bruce Lee actually made this idea popular with his Jeet Kun Do philosophy he developed in 1967. Bruce Lee also taught that natural instincts are good to use when fighting. Thomas (1994) quotes Lee as saying, “when the opponent expands, I contract and when he contracts, I expand. And when there is an opportunity I do not hit—‘it’ hits by itself” (p. 188). Thomas also claims that after the Hollywood columnist Joe Hyams asked Bruce Lee what he would do in a serious attack where someone wanted to kill him that Bruce Lee explained,

I throw a ball and you catch it. You walk into a dark room and without conscious thought you turn on the light switch. A child runs in front of yours car and you jam on the breaks. You don’t think about these things, ‘It’ just happens. If someone tried to hit me I wouldn’t think about it, ‘it’ would happen. I would do whatever was called upon to be done without conscious thought” (p. 188).

Maybe Bruce Lee never mentioned the words “physiological” and “fear” in those sentences but the concept is still the same. Fear is an emotional response. The military combatives system of Krav Maga also makes a similar claim as what CrossFit Defense claims SPEAR is based on. One Krav Maga school on their website states that one of Krav Maga’s principles is “based on the body’s natural reaction.” It states,

Krav Maga is different from other martial arts since most other systems attempt to reprogram your natural reactions so that you can perform the techniques under the stress of an attack. This is why it takes so long to become combat proficient at other systems, since you have to relearn everything – walking, blocking, striking, etc… In Krav Maga we begin with the body’s natural reactions to stress then build techniques and combinations from those reactions. The result is Krav Maga feels more natural and students are able to learn the movements faster.” (victorvillekravmaga.com)

That sounds very similar to the claim Tony Blauer makes for CrossFit Defense and his SPEARS program. The idea of being “able to perform techniques under the stress of an attack” is the same as “physiological responses to fear.” The idea of it taking so long to become proficient in other martial arts systems and learning their style helps them learn self defense faster is also apparent. Imi Lichtenfeld developed Krava Maga was after World War 2 during the 1940’s. SPEAR System was developed by Tony Blauer in the 1980’s. This shows that the SPEAR System really is not an original self defense concept and the claims on CrossFit Defense’s website are false. In fact, the SPEAR idea that one should focus on fearful reactions of the body which are untrained techniques is very bad. Training is always better than not training. Developing skill through repetition, study and practice is the only way a person can become great at something. If someone wants to become great at self defense they must practice technique and train hard learning movements; because a fight really is just movement between two parties and one needs to learn to move effectively. Also, the claim that SPEARS uses untrained techniques of the body’s natural physiological reactions is silly since taking a SPEARS course itself is training. Watch any video of Blauer and you see him teaching students who are training a technique and practicing. It is a false statement and a contradiction to say that someone can learn untrained things. Or more simply train to develop untrained movements. That is illogical.

The results for these types of programs are to give someone a mediocre understanding of self defense knowledge and skills gained at a fast rate, and not true mastery. Taekwondo and other traditional martial arts provide an opportunity of self defense mastery because the way they are trained is structured with more intense focus emphasized. The fact is true self defense skills take dedication and time. It will not happen over night, and it won’t happen in a few seminars or DVD programs and it definitely will not happen “immediately.”

 

Go back to Part 5 (last part)                                                                          Go on to Part 2

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White Dragon is a 3rd dan Taekwondo Black Belt with over 19 years experience in the Martial Arts and head instructor of the White Dragon Dojang Martial Arts Training Program. 

 

Self Defense Seminars Will Not Save Your Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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White Dragon is a 3rd dan Taekwondo Black Belt with over 19 years experience in the Martial Arts and head instructor of the White Dragon Dojang Martial Arts Training Program. 

Benson Henderson In Korea Doing Taekwondo

        Here is a video a couple of years old of Benson Henderson in Korea re-connecting with Taekwondo. It is always fun to see MMA champions doing tours in other countries and participating in their traditional martial arts from their older days. It is especially cool when an MMA champion has a Taekwondo background and goes to Korea and participates in traditional Taekwondo.

Nice crisp uniform! And those kids are so cute!