Oh I found Lkfmdc's thread. I admire his determination in educating the general public of real kungfu. I gave up almost 100% on this endeavour along time ago. I realised I didnt have the necessary kungfu skills to accomplish this. I would turn "untraditional" and ask for a sparring match.
Which kf post by Lkfmdc is this? Anyway since we're all remembering our good old days with TKD, here's my story.
My first style was TKD. Actually it was Hwoarang TKD but I think it affiliated itself with one of the major TKD orgs so that its students can participate in TKD tourneys. Funny thing is the sparring in the TKD was quite physical. It wasnt until I was older and tried out other stuff that I realise TKD schools are in general crappy.
The Hwoarang TKD school I went to had full contact sparring without gloves like the full contact karate rules. Full power kicks anywhere allowed except to usual illegal areas, full power punches to body allowed, grabbing the legs and shoulder barging was also ok. You were expected to still do do Hwoarang TKD techniques and tactics though so things like contant body punching and full power leg kicks were frowned upon.
Eventhough I luv KF, MT is also the style I luv. There is a unique beauty in its deceptively simple and brutal techniques. First time I saw MT on tv, there was a 10 sec clip of two guys smashing each other with kicks, elbows and knees I was like "Oh yeahhh, dats wat I wana do!!!". Unfortunately I was only 11 years old and apparently my mom didnt agree with me. Dats how I started in TKD, haha.
Regarding forms, I totally agree. In my MT class, my instructor always taught us what we refer to as "The Twelve". I have discussed this before on this forum, the SuriyaSak 12-Step Combo.
I teach this combo to beginners. I have them practice that until they earn their first rank, the Yellow Paprachiat. Even though we occassionally return to that combo to "brush up", for the most part, it is abandoned after your first ranking in favor of real shadowboxing. The Twelve is merely a tool to teach someone flow, so that they will be able to shadow box and spar while alternating between techniques later on...
KK, i still snort snot picturing a little vicious thai guy holding pads singing "la cucaracha": )
there is a simple reason why many "traditional" martial artists cannot perform well in combat sports events like MMA or the street. one word: CONTACT! that is the essence of realistic training.
back in the 1920's and earlier, they had all the esoteric forms and movements that they have now, however, the forms and movements were the bare bones and not the end all, be all that it is today; the old day practitioners used them (techniques) FULL SPEED in street fights/ full contact challenges!! after the fights (if they survived of course) they then refined or went back to the drawing board based on their experiences.
Many modern practitioners of traditions arts try and teach people how to "defend" themselves without having tested out their methods previously in a heavy contact environment.
and re: olympic style TKD, when i was in uni, a TKD guy (i think he was on the canadian olympic team), wasn't afraid to mix it up in the training room with other stylists. he was also a bb in trad JJ. he would fight WT (wing tsun) guys, a karate guy and guy trained in a cambodian style resembling MT, except he (the cambodian stylist)ju st used low kicks, elbows and i think knees (never seen him use the knees).
he did pretty good. I heard from one of the WT guys that the cambodian trained guy ( i think he was indian), continuously banged a crowbar on his shin when he was bored. this is a long winded way of saying some TKD are more open minded and not afraid of contact. i never actually saw the TKD guy and the cambodian trained guy go at it, but i assume that they did.
Wow, I just read your post. Pull punches much? lol
This really got me thinking about why I do what I do. I share many of the same opinions regarding traditional arts (not just Kung Fu) that you do. However, I make a point to keep those opinions to myself in most circles. In my scenario, Muay Thai has gotten a bad enough rap as it is, and rather than add fuel to the fire, I try to diffuse as much of peoples bad attitude towards the art by being politically correct.
I started my Martial Arts training 12 or 13 years ago, when I was about 18 or 19. I began studying Tang Soo Do. I studied that for about a year and I thought I was pretty hot shit! Wow, Karate is da bomb! I would dabble in many other art forms and try to pick techniques up, such as Tai Chi or Aikido, but I was Joe Karate all the way. My ultimate goal was The Coveted Black Belt!
Then, I met some guys at work who studied Ninjitsu from a private instructor. This guy didn't charge money, but would only teach people of his choosing. Well, they essentially brought be to class with them to have me knocked down a few pegs, because as I said, I thought I was pretty hot shit.
The instructor took me aside and was like, "Let's see what you got." I, of course, was like, "What do you want to see?" He just told me to put up my dukes.
He then proceeded to REALLY fuck me up!
And you want to know what the sad thing was? He punched me three times. That was the entire fight!
To this day, I can't recall bleeding as profusely as I did that night. Each time he punched me, I fell, and he would tell me to stand back up. The final time he punched me, I remember being on my hands and knees looking at this HUGE pool of blood directly under me growing larger, and larger, and larger. He stood over me and yelled, "GET UP!!!!" Then he saw what my face looked like and was like, "Alright, sit back down".
He actually invited me back to class after that, and I became a regular student. Mostly because I didn't quit after that. I came back the very next evening to train again. He saw that despite how bad I was, I really wanted to learn.
So, I studied with that guy for about a year. This was about 1991 or 1992. I had just started hearing about Muay Thai, and that ignorant movie "Kickboxer" had just come out. A friend and I happened across a school that claimed to teach it. We went there for the trial lessons, and that was when I first met Master K. The rest is history.
I even eventually went on to study some Western Boxing, Olympic style Judo (under Rhadie Ferguson) and Brazilian JuJitsu (under Lloyd Irvin).
So, now you're saying to yourself, "What's the point to this narrative?"
With each art, I progressively moved towards more and more realistic training. Granted, in each school I studied, I totally thought I was learning THE REAL DEAL. Then, I would happen across this other martial art and find myself going "WHOA! This shit's for real!"
I find myself sharing the same mind with lkfmdc on this subject. I have stuck with Muay Thai for 10 years now BECAUSE IT IS REAL!
OK, sure! I have learned to fight under a set of rules which doesn't exist outside of the ring. But, you know what? I can fucking fight! I may not have trained on how to deal with multiple attackers, or a sneak attack, or a weapon, but I know that if push came to shove, what I DO know WORKS!
I know how to kick hard as hell, how to place an elbow to do the most damage, how to perform a standing guillotine or rear-naked choke. I know how to throw someone.
Most importantly, because of all the fight training I've done, I know how the fuck to run! =) LOL
One of the things that keeps coming to mind from my old "traditional" training is when performing class exercises or sparring, if you managed to get one over on your training partner, you would inevitably get the response:
"Yeah, you got me. But if this had been for real..."
You know what? I haven't heard that phrase now for over 10 years. You know why? Because now, it IS for real!
This is one of the reasons I love Muay Thai so much. Sure, its a sport. I have no intentions of ever using it outside of a boxing ring, but it is SO for real!
Unlike traditional martial arts where you have so many practitioners that "think" they know something, but can't perform when push comes to shove (see my above experience in my first Ninjitsu class...), with Muay Thai, Boxing, and MMA its either put up or shut up. There is no room for you to say: "But if this were for real..." You know what, it WAS for real, and if you COULD do it, you WOULD have!
I now teach at an Olympic-style TKD gym on the weekends. I used to think TKD sucked ass! But then I saw how this class is run, how it is taught, and how good some of the students are. I now have respect for that style of TKD. Even though I will say that many of those TKD hotshots refused to spar with me ever again after taking one LIGHT leg kick. Oh well...
Even though I agree with what lkfmdc said, I find myself sitting on a fence regarding this subject, because I truly believe that there are many reasons to study the arts. Some people do study the arts for the workout, or just for the personal satisfaction, and they are into the cultural aspect.
I agree emphatically, however, that anyone who studies the arts to learn about fighting, should be exposed to the ring fighting aspects of their art, or the ring aspects of some art. Hell, if more martial artists were to study some boxing or kickboxing, you'd likely see a whole lot less attitude amongst practitioners, and a lot more realistic views on the arts as a whole.
Well, I'm starting to ramble now. Please, everyone, chime in with your own views and thoughts...
Khun Kao Charuad; SuriyaSak/SitSuriya Muay Thai
I was a former TKD guy myself. When I saw Muay Thai, I thought "Holy Shit TKD sucks ass" Now I come to realize all that training has made my kicks in Muay Thai so much better and harder. I see TKD as a stepping stone to more demanding MAs. There is a time where a person must move on. And that was what TKD to Muay Thai was like for me.
Most traditional MA's are like graduating without taking a test, or getting your driver's license without getting behind the wheel.
How can you learn how to fight, if you don't actually fight?
If only that were the only thing he did...
We all regularly have a good laugh over his antics, even though he's not here in VA with us anymore...
Its sad and reaffirming at the same time.
I have a great love for the chinese arts and I will always respect them, but the ignorance of some people in the community is amazing. Luckily we have the support of Masters who know the truth and continue to support sanshou.
I too started in TKD (the only school that was in the small town that I grew up in), and have since moved on to kickboxing, grappling, etc. However, I still use some of the techniques from TKD. Only now I have tailored them to my current personal style. Like Bruce Lee said: "Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own."
LOL! I'd share my stories too but I would just be
repeating what everyone else has been saying.
I will say I dont regret my HKD training and I still
enjoy practising those fancy kicks sometimes but
what Ive learned from MT has changed me and is more
a part of me than anything else Ive ever done.
I started Muay Thai when I entered college. I was a green belt in TKD at the time and one night at the college gym "red room" (wrestling room for those who want to stretch and hit the heavy bags etc) I ran into a guy wearing shorts doing these funny dances on the floor. He asked if anyone wanted to spar, there were about 5 or 6 TKD guys including me sparring about. Everyone seemed to blank out, except me...I raised my hand and said those fatefull words..."Lets go". Well that was that and I was hooked.
I trained with this guy, at the time for about 6 months and my TKD instructor from home wanted to see what I had learned. I said if we put the whole art, what I knew at the time, together it would be too much. So we settled on just kicking. My instructor was a 2nd dan at the time. I was so proud of myself when we were done because I timed my shots very well without struggling to get things in. He sat on the floor, looking into space when we were done, with the expression of "what have I been doing all this time?" My instructor was my friend too. When I started actually teaching, he became my student.
Then I ran into an old TKD guy that turned to American style kickboxing. He had about 30 fights and was a true gladiator. He was an ex-marine, bench press his weight ect. He acutally kicked me through the wall (sheet rock) of the school once. That was a laugh, I felt stupid and kind of tough at the same time. I was training at his gym during open gym one time because we had no training facility for the Thai at the time. We did some sparring. He was in much better shape then me. We sparred a round then rested a round. We actually sparred about 5 rounds. Though kicked me hard enough to lift me off the ground onto my back I actually knocked him down and out fought him for the most part. This was after my first year of training in Muay Thai.
I since had a couple of fights, waiting for more. I've been to Thailand ect. My point being, only after a little training I faired very well against people who trained much longer then I. I always thought that kinda cool.
That's another thing about Muay Thai that really appealed to me. Not only is the art itself effective, but the training is just as effective. All the training is tried and true. And its all designed for one thing: FIGHTING.
I remember getting back together with an old Karate training partner of mine from college. I had been taking Muay Thai for about 1 year. He used to chump me up pretty bad while studying Karate. This time, however, I had him just hold the Thai pads for me. He couldn't handle it. He was only able to take about 5 kicks before he had to stop. He was in total awe of how powerful my kicks had become! He didn't even consider sparring with me.
hell yeah kung fu sucks.I think it blows chucks,cause set moves and patterns are always going to get your ass busted