Tae Kwon Do

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by Catsi, May 22, 2012.

  1. Catsi

    Catsi New Member

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    It's 4.22 am here and I'm up very early trying to complete an assignment. And I'm in procrastination mode. Therefore, it is the perfect time to post a thread. :p

    Has or does anyone here participate in Tae Kwon Do? It's something I've always wanted to try, but I haven't yet because of time constraints due to my other commitments (work, uni, family, dogs, running etc). It's something I'd love to do further down the track when life is a little less crazy (that and taking up the piano again).

    But I'm curious about it, because I've never known anyone really well who does this.

    What the commitment and training like?

    How did it make you feel?

    Was it very hard to begin with? Did you always feel like you were challenging yourself?

    What was the best thing about it?

    What was the worst thing about it?

    Did you like the whole philosophy surrounding it?

    What would you recommend looking for in a good school?

    If you have experience with any other martial art, please post about that too!

    Sorry, these are not very specific questions, but I'm the type of person who likes to get an overall feel of something before getting my teeth into the nitty gritty.

    Thanks :)
     
  2. Locke

    Locke Active Member

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    I'm a student of Okinawan Karate, first degree black belt. Training has given me a lot of confidence and strength. I've been training for about 7 years, but I'm sadly ending my membership because I cannot make the commitment that is required to train at this level. One of the best things about karate is the variety of the training. You learn katas, weapons, self defence, sparring, blocks, punches, kicks, take downs, etc.

    Most martial arts are focused on your personal growth, and the rate at which you improve is based solely on how you push yourself, how often you train, etc. There are people of all ages and fitness levels at my dojo and it's pretty incredible to watch people who started out rather poorly really start to excel and master the skills as they continue training.

    I enjoy weapons katas (particularly Tonfa and Eku) the most, and I DESPISE sparring. I'm just not into trying to beat someone up/defend myself against someone beating me up. I understand it's important to practise skills in that setting, but I really don't like it.

    When searching for a school, look for awards of excellence, top placements at tournaments, experienced/high level teachers, involvement in international martial arts organizations, clean facility...I'm sure there's more. Also ask if you can watch a beginners class or pay for just one or two classes before getting a membership.

    Sorry I have nothing to say about tae kwon do! Hope you find a great school and enjoy the sport!
     
  3. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I don't know much about tae kwon do, but I took karate a long time ago. My daughter and I took it together when she was younger. It's been years but it made me feel very strong, energetic and confident. I was not afraid to meet up with a bad guy in some dark alley. The katas are interesting and really stretch your mind. So, the whole experience was great. I've never ever been in as good physical condition as I was then. And it's not just physical, but your whole body and mind working together in a unique way. I highly recommend taking some kind of thing...tae kwon do or karate.
     
  4. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    I took Tae Kwon Do when I was 7 or so for a few years, cause my parents wanted me to know something for self defense.

    I really don't remember anything about it :p
     
  5. yoko

    yoko New Member

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    I took it when I was little. My mom and dad enrolled my little brother and me. I don't remember too much but I do remember having a lot of fun and I remember the teens and adults learning a lot of self defense stuff.

    It's funny you brought it up my gma sent over a dvd she had made from an old family video tape and it's of my brother in tae kwon do. Whenever they punched or kicked everyone yelled together *you do everything in sync* but my brother instead of just yelling would yell 'I'M A NINJA!' every time he punched or kicked. So if you have time at least go watch the little kid group because it's hilarious.
     
  6. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    i am a grappler w/ a primary focus on freestyle wrestling but have also learned some jiu jitsu submissions. i was never taught & don't believe in the "spiritual" aspect of martial arts. i firmly believe serious competition (striving to beat & not get beaten) will teach more life skills & set you up for success in life than any of the spiritual stuff.
    if you have to face a bad guy unarmed, ANY technique is 1000X better than none. BUT you MUST train until everything is muscle memory. when your body knows what to do w/o your brain having to tell it, you can think more clearly & effectively during a fight.
     
  7. Izzy's Valkyrie

    Izzy's Valkyrie Very Food Agressive

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    Not a fan of Tae Kwon Do, it's sort of a McDojo martial art where it's overwrought and very generic with not much one on one interation. I'd try to find a dojo that teaches something less well known... Aikido, Jiu Jitsu, Ninjutsu, Judo, and Tang Soo Do are good arts to try out.
     
  8. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    I gained my 1st degree black belt in tae kwon do and my parents own a studio. It took me about 7 years to reach that level and trained for my 2nd degree for a few years but never tested out of it.
     
  9. Izzy's Valkyrie

    Izzy's Valkyrie Very Food Agressive

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    Props to your parents! It sounds like they're running their school like a school instead of a black belt factory. All of the local schools here say its easy to get a black belt and most of their students get one in under 3 years.

    One of our students in Jiu Jitsu classes was just at TKD nationals, placed 1st and 2nd in her class (she's a 2nd degree) She can put her foot through a wall, I'm convinced! TKD isn't all bad but there are a lot of commercialized schools around here that leave a bad taste in my mouth.
     
  10. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    i'll also add, never bring a gee to a gunfight.
    when asked by senior Marines why i didn't try to get my 3 mile run time below 22 minutes, my reply was "Seargent major, i'm fifth award expert, i don't need to run."
    expert is the highest weapons qualification badge.
     
  11. Equinox

    Equinox Active Member

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    Took Tae Kwon Do from middle school through high school to a first degree black belt level before my interests wandered from sweaty work outs and hitting people to wearing high heels and working with dogs. Honestly, my assessment is similar to what Izzy's Valkyrie said. Commercialized, generic, family oriented.

    Fun, definitely, and a great way to stay in shape for me because I really went hard on the kicks and punches. The instructors were incredible, just absolutely amazing in their individual ability. But the general class, yes, took about 3 years to get a black belt and really no one ever failed. It was a nice environment, but I wouldn't have gone if I had been really interested in the more in depth and philosophical/spiritual aspects of martial arts.
     
  12. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    It looks like it could be a nice workout. I studied Tang Soo Do which is somewhat similar

    It depends on what you're looking for really. Are you trying to learn how to defend yourself? If so, I'd stay away from the commercialized sport martial arts. The ones geared toward tournaments don't teach true self defense. I mean, it'll improve your general fitness which helps, but the real effective (i.e. crippling) defense moves are banned in tournaments. No knee strikes, things like that. And if someone has their hands on you, I don't care how giant they are if you're both still standing you can take out his knee pretty easily and escape if you know what you're doing.

    Are you wanting to socialize with people and get in shape, and possibly compete in a sport where you spar? It could be perfect then. From my experience, the other folks at the dojo end up feeling kind of like family and that's awesome.

    One of the things I really loved about my teacher and fellow students was how humble they were. My teacher had been studying for decades, but he came into class every day saying he knew nothing. He sparred with all of us, and always said that he learned something new every time he sparred with a student no matter how inexperienced they were. He studied under a much older grandmaster. Once we had a couple of years under our belts he started bringing in "grandmasters" from the McDojos who were like, "Hey, I'm grandmaster Smith and I'm 29 years old and have a 9th degree black belt." They'd spar with his students and get their butts handed to them, which was fun.

    He taught self defense separately though. Most of it was for sport. Sparring was really fun. But the self defense moves, we practiced on those forever to ingrain them. And a lot of it was just practical good sense. Like, stay out of dark alleys and don't walk home alone at night. The rest was putting each other in various holds and rolling around on the floor for however long it took to break them. lol

    One of the female students did have to put it into practice one night and she was waaay more coolheaded that I could have been. A strange man grabbed her arms from behind, and instead of screaming and flailing like she wanted to, she remembered what we practiced.

    She forced herself to go limp and said in the sweetest voice she could muster, "hey babe, need anything?" Instantly the dude relaxed, and the second he did she ripped her arms free, stomped his knee out of the socket from the inside of his leg, and ran as fast as she could to get out of there. He couldn't follow with a busted knee, so she was safe. I totally would have screamed and flailed though. :p
     
  13. FG167

    FG167 New Member

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    This is super interesting. I've always been intrigued but was raised in a *very* small town with nothing much to offer in terms of martial arts. If someone wanted to learn how to defend themselves and get in shape but not necessarily get too in-depth with the spiritual stuff - what would you all recommend? I always feel like it would be awkward, I'm small so would I be stuck with young kids, a group of guys etc etc...(I'm female). I wrestled for one season in middle school and it was definitely made very awkward for the boys that I knew and the instructors. I don't want that atmosphere now as an adult.
     
  14. Izzy's Valkyrie

    Izzy's Valkyrie Very Food Agressive

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    Awesome!

    One of the students at the dojo I work at (Toshindo Ninjutsu) had a would-be rapist come up behind her on the local university campus. She broke his leg and ended up having to call an ambulance for him. Serves him right!

    I agree, TKD is a mostly sport martial art (using the term loosely), there are others that are for self defense instead of show. You need to know what it is you are looking for when you look for dojos so you can pick your school, teachers, and art accordingly.

    Pops is right too. You'll never use what you know if it doesn't become second nature. There aren't many schools that train huge numbers of students that can accomplish instilling defensive reflexes. If you're looking to be safer walking down the street, look for a small class size so you get one on one attention and lots of drilling in realistic situations (Randori is used in some martial arts. That is when one person is attacked by multiple people at once so you get a feel for how you react under pressure)
     
  15. Izzy's Valkyrie

    Izzy's Valkyrie Very Food Agressive

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    Small female here! Only 5ft and 110lb soaking wet. I can drop a nearly 300lb man in the dojo :D Look for martial arts that work on leverage instead of muscle. Two that I took/take and was very good at because I had better leverage on the bigger guys were Shodokan Aikido and (taking) Toshindo Ninjutsu. The moves in those arts work because the skeleton can only move in certain ways without breaking.
     
  16. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    I took Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for about a year, and my husband still takes it. I enjoyed it a lot, and he loves it. It does require a lot of dedication to get to a level of competence though.
     
  17. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    There's a guy around here that teaches a style he created called Gun Fu. He's actually my old teacher's teacher, and is a super gnarly old half chinese half mexican guy. I mean, this guy's hands have callouses on his callouses and he's built like a brick wall. My brother used to play baseball with his son and he used to let them break baseball bats on his stomach after practice. :rofl1:

    Anyway, his style is all real fighting. He doesn't train people for competition. He told me once that if one of his students gets in a fight, someone is going to the hospital or the morgue but that he couldn't guarantee who it would be.

    The moves they teach are lethal. It's involves a lot of grappling. The first move is intended to get the other person on the ground and expose vulnerable targets, the second and third are killing/crippling moves. There's no long drawn out matches. No sparring really. Just someone getting pwned in a couple of seconds and it's over.

    Someone made a video of him demonstrating. It's not very flashy. He shows the take down and then slow motion points out what his next couple of targets would be (like stomping someone's head/neck). Most of those combinations would end a fight right there.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iQpp4P5Fqk
     
  18. Catsi

    Catsi New Member

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    Oh wow, lots of great info here! I'm running out the door to work, but I'll have a look through this tonight. It seems I'll have a lot of research to do about the different martial arts! I love how it's a whole philosophy with lots of different elements. I think it would be great for my discipline and for me mentally as well as physically. But I'll get back to this thread tonight!
     
  19. Snark

    Snark Mutts to you

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    Late to the party but I haven't had internet for a week... Earned a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do before turning to fencing full time. I liked the school we (brother and sister attended, too) went to, the instructor not only had a black belt in TKD, he had black belts in judo and hapkido, and taught those styles as well. All of his students learned the basics in judo (falling safely, basic throws, holds) and hapkido for self-defense. He also stressed the first rule in self-defense was to avoid the encounter if at all possible and always be aware of your surroundings. One of his instructors also liked to invite black belts from other disciplines (aikido, cali, etc.) so we could see the difference in styles and try some basic moves. It was always interesting and a lot of fun.

    I would look for a school that focuses on traditional teaching methods (as opposed to competition only). Sis and I did look into getting back into TKD a few years ago but the closest school focused only on competition sparring, not technique or control - we were not impressed. Also, if the school tries to get you to sign a year-long contract or guarantees you a black belt in 2 years, run the other way!
     
  20. yoko

    yoko New Member

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    I wanted to 2nd what Izzy has said here. I'm about 5-5'1 but weigh more. I have a knee that keeps me from running long distances. It was from an injury that I had back in middle school. I went to a few self defense classes and feel comfortable about getting away from someone trying to grab me and drag me off or trying to rape me. What I learned almost anyone can do if they can remain cool enough and none of it relied on being a larger/stronger person.
     

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