View Full Version : How useful is TKD?

08-01-2004, 06:32 PM
I have NO h2h or MA training. I have anopportunity to take some TKD classes locally, but wanted to know how worthwhile it would be. The instructors are very competition oriented, all of their information pakets talk about going to nationals & junior nationals etc.

Is this worth my money?

08-01-2004, 06:51 PM
I have my 1st dan in TKD. It is not a very effective style for fighting forseveral reasons.

1) emphasis on high kicks
2) emphasis on fighting at a distance i.e. easy to "jam"TKD fighter
3)de-emphasis on hand techniques
4) no grappling etc...

If it is all you have access to, go for it but understand a good street fighter or one with several good street techniques down will put a hurtin on you

That being said it is a good base and will develope strength etc...

Remember, TKD is a sport not a combat technique

Al Lipscomb
08-01-2004, 07:26 PM
If the school is teaching the older, more useful techniqes then there is some value to what you are being shown. If, as soflasmg pointed out, they are only teaching a sport then you only get a good workout and not much else.

There were martial arts in Korea before TKD, many older Koreans learned them under Japanese occupation. Some of these older schools will teach you useful techniques. But they are rare.

08-01-2004, 07:39 PM
In a word, no. It's not that useful for SD and will even give you some bad habits. Find a Krav Maga, Haganah or other school that teaches reality-based self-defense. I like the WWII combatives that is taught by Carl Cestari and Kelly McCann. You can learn a lot by getting their videos and a BOB bag and wailing away on it.

Deaf Smith
08-01-2004, 08:04 PM
I'm 4th black TKD/TSD. Here is how I look at it.

If TKD is the only school near you, GO! Far better than sitting on your duff. Go ahead and learn to kick at ANY level. But do practice low levek kicking, and work out with you hands allot (I do.)

Since in any TKD school they do one step sparring and SD, there is where you can us knees, elbows, jabs, low kicks, and just about any method you want.

Only in the sparring will they restrict you to kicking above the belt. And you can use your hands in the sparring and there is no rule agains jamming.


Lou Costello
08-02-2004, 06:42 AM
In my neck of the woods Tai Kwon Do is called Take My Dough. Give a lot and get very little in return.

There are other, more functional and effective martial arts out there.

I personally don't like the system leaders. In NJ they are on the forefront to help pass legislation to license martial artists and black belts UNDER TKD auspices.

08-15-2004, 03:20 PM
like any martial art, a lot depends on your level of commitment, your practice regime, and on the professionalism of your instructor

i trained with a highly skilled and down-to-earth tkd master instructor who was thoroughly committed to the success of his students. he emphasized hard, realistic training and the practical application of proven techniques. his lessons have served me well for 22 years, including four years in the u.s. army in germany

there is no "magic" martial art, just as there is no "magic" bullet. dedication and mindset, coupled with challenging and realistic training, is the key

Charles Rives
08-15-2004, 08:05 PM
Deaf Smith has it right. Not only if TKD is the only thing available, but also weigh in the instructor's skill level as a teacher. (Don't sweat it if he's not high-ranked or his technique isn't as pretty.) Find someone you get along with and can learn from.

I'm not a fan of TKD but I certainly don't want to go down to the local Dojang and challenge the young buck 20-year-old blackbelts there to an unarmed streetfight.

Really good SD techniques don't take very long to pick up. You can learn a lot of those in quick weekend seminars and classes. I would take some ASAP from some WWII combatives folks, Isreali (military-based) martial arts, and padded assailant/scenario based training. But TKD is good for balance, quickness, agility, and conditioning.

I don't study TKD but did for a little while and know lots of people who do. Some smart ones tell me that before it's current commercial success, TKD consisted of mostly short, low kicks and simple hand techniques. I think you could probably adjust your own training to do retro-TKD and develop some good SD skills.

The sparring aspect gets you accustomed to hitting and avoiding being hit. Learn how to cheat in TKD sparring and consider those moves as your first line techniques for SD use.

- Chuck