New Weapons, Extension of the Hand Disguised as Umbrella

I first learned about this in TKD Times Magazine's May 2012 issue, but that was just an ad, this is an actually piece on it. I have to get me one of theses.

I thoroughly enjoyed the article on it although it was really brief. Just think about it, if this was around in 1952 maybe, just maybe, Gene Kelly would have been fighting in the rain.


New Kick Boxing Organization to Keep an Eye On

Super excited about this! Here is the perfect stage for TKD fighters to take their skills to a whole new level. 

“In July 2012, GLORY acquired the iconic European organization 'It's Showtime' and absorbed its roster of fighters. The deal brought all the world's top-ranked kickboxers under one roof, making possible the kind of matches which fans could previously only dream of and ushering in a new golden age for the sport.”

Kick boxers a lot of times have diverse histories and in some you can find TKD and Karate, but more over this is a clearer view of what TKD teaches and what I believe the sport should look like. Check ‘em out!

Elbow Strike Debate

Here is a well put together article on the MMA's current fondness of the elbow strike. I believe the elbow should stay, I even think it should be allowed in ways it was banned. If you are going to be a mixed martial arts champion then you have to be able to use all your tools. I don't want to see the second best vs the second best. I want to see the best of the best, and if you're the best of them, then you have to know what might happen. That's the nature of the sport. TKD started outlawing the moves that made the art, and now we are left with loud yells and keyops, people fully padded and hugged up, and punches only allowed to the body. When Bruce Lee said,"Be like water", I don't think he was talking about the dilution of a sport.

Great Sparring Techniques

This is one for all my Spanish speakers out there! I came a cross this video a while ago and I loved it. These are some really good TKD moves to start training on. Check 'em out. I am working on some instructional material that hopefully will come out this year, they are sport related. So this stuff has been on my mind lately.

TKD No Longer an Olympic Sport?

Do you think of boxing as a martial art? I don’t know that I do. Now don’t miss-understand me here, I have studied boxing, I love boxing. My question here though is just, do you think of boxing as a martial art?

I see it more as a vessel. And no matter where you learned your punching skills, if you were to follow the rules, you can try your skills in the ring. Kickboxing is the same way and MMA too. I really ask this question because of the idea that TKD is potentially going about it the wrong way. 

Here in the USA , in order to get into the Olympics you have to play along with the AAU. The AAU only plays along with WTF stylists so karate and ITF, ATA and any other fighters have no chance. Well unless they conform. I don’t like conforming. With the question of TKD in the Olympics, or if it even should be, I would almost like to see it go.

All athletes must comply with the provisions of the Olympic Charter currently in force and only those athletes who have complied with the Olympic Charter may participate in the Olympic Games.
1. An athlete must be a Kukkiwon Dan certificate holder, and must be at least 15 years of age during the year of the 2012 Olympic Games.
2. All athletes who have not qualified through any of qualification tournaments must meet at least any of following requirements in order to compete at the London 2012 Olympic Games:
a. Medal winners (1st or 2nd or 3rd places) at any of the competitions enlisted on the WTF event calendar on between May 2010 and April 2012.
b. The athletes ranked within 20th place at least once in the WTF World Ranking on between May 2010 and April 2012
c. The athletes who advanced to round of 16 or higher at either WTF World Taekwondo Championships ( 2011) or World Taekwondo Qualification Tournament
d. The athletes who advanced to quarter-finals or higher at either Continental Taekwondo Championships held on between May 2010 and April 2012 or Continental Taekwondo Qualification Tournament
e. Winner of national taekwondo championships held on between May 2010 and April 2012

Sure it’s trying to make a dramatic last stance but think about it like this; I turn on the on demand channel on my Comcast. They have a sports section and in that sports section they have an Olympics trial section, but guess what sport is not on that list? All I want to do, as an American, is watch the TKD Olympic trials, except…oh yeah the AAU is still controlling it. So it’s not on there and I really think this is stupid. 

The truth is Olympic Boxing and TKD should go, and Olympic Kickboxing, with K-1 style rules, should surface. Just as boxing is just a vessel for punching skills kickboxing is just a vessel for the way of the hands and the feet. I would embrace knees and elbows too, as the hands and feet are merely extensions of the elbow and the knees. 

This is only, of course, if the Olympics want these kinds of contests to remain relevant. This may just be my opinion but the vision I have is so much bigger. I imagine a world competition where the kicking art leagues and boxing leagues come together and fight for the true world champion, and this is not a new idea.
ISAK, when it was the PKA thought this same thing, I wish they would have vied for the Olympics spot. 

TKD has pleanty of room in Olympic Kickboxing, Machida was TKD and Semmy Schilt is totally Karate. I think TKD camps and seeing TKD fighters grow would help the popularity of TKD as a whole.

These guys get it;

Read the history of ISKA, there are other options.

And quite frankly this was TKD’s hay-day.

Explore the videos on the side bar of YouTube here. They are great displays of what TKD really is, whereas the WTF style and the AAU are not. They are merely a vessel for one; I feel that is fear based.
Time to grow past the fear and embrace the indomitable sprit.


Anderson Silva's Masterful Knee Strike

Ok, so before this is just completely old news I think I need to touch this once more. Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen. Anderson Silva won, twice, end of story. I have had this debate now online, at work and with lots of friends. I really surprised me that many people wanted to see him loose. 

I wanted to see him win. Fist objection: that was an illegal knee strike. My foremost thought is that he used an knee strike, TDK has those, teach them. But then I get to my point, if the knee strike was intend for the face, and somehow wound up just being a lucky shot, then the video does not back that up.

If you will notice his left foot come off the mat after he moved in for the shot, he did not spring forward. Had he sprung forward then the end result would have been knee to face, the mere fact that he lifted his left foot with no added momentum tell me that he intended for gravity to take over. He saw his target move lower so he adjusted; he lifted his left foot and let his knee strike fall on the target, in this case the sternum. I think it was masterful.

Second objection: It was rigged and Sonnen threw the fight to set up fight three. Let me start by saying I don’t find Sonnen to be that type of fighter, next I would ask who in their right mind would want to throw a fight by getting the sternum crushed. The amount of damage that could potentially cause is not worth it, you could seriously mess someone up with that. He was fine, seemingly, after the fight but who would willingly submit themselves to that move from Anderson Silva?

The decanters are telling me, “well it’s not like Sonnen to throw the spinning back fist and when he hit the ground he waited for Anderson to do something.” They are finding this move out of character and still think the fight was staged. I say this, he added a new move to his repertoire, and people that are progressive do that all the time. Had he connected with that move it would have knocked the snot out of Silva. Also when he was on the ground I believe the hesitation was due to him either thinking Silva would begin the leg kicks and try to jump to a punch, or he was going to look for the safe chance to spring to his feet. Or he might have thought it was a safe spot to be, since he was kicking the crap out of Silva on the ground. 

As this writer points out the knee strike was not the only good shot Silva landed. 

And as fox sports alluded to, I hope they do not fight again. I don’t want to see it.

One more note: Have you ever been taught in TKD to attack the solar plexus? I bet you have, in sparring it’s common and in the forms it’s prevalent. Go teach the knee strike now, a lot.


TKD and Kick Boxing

This is what I enjoy. I really liked watching the Cung Le fight last night, if you missed it, it was Cung Le Vs. Patrick Cote, super awesome fight with so much TKD fighting (go look for it). This video I am posting I have been watching for the last week. I found out about this guy about half a year ago and have tried to find as much information on him as I can. Hassan lost to  Mike Zambidis, but who doesn't? He is bring TKD to the ring, and doing it quite well.

Hassan Kassrioui:

The announcers on UFC 148 were discussing the transition from Kickboxing to MMA and they believe Cung Le was able to do it because he has a wrestling style background also. I believe they are right and his take downs last night were what probably won him that fight.
Le kicking Silva in the head from his fight before Cote.

In order to find take downs in TKD you need to look to the ancient art that TaeKwonDo, the name, was derived from. We have to dig into our history and research Taekkyon. Taekkyon has take downs and throws. These are hard things to find instructional information on but youtube Taekkyon and watch some of the matches, see what take downs you can pick up and learn on your own.


Rise of MMA Prompts TKD Schools to Start Teaching Better Classes

From my experience, and from my observations of others, the tendency in TKD has always been to water it down. Now I don’t think this is any one side that can be blamed or any school in particular even, however instead I believe it to be a collective phenomenon.
The problem did not start with the organizations: I can’t imagine a conversation in the board room at WTF headquarters where they were like, “I think we are getting too rough. Time to tone it down boys.” And if you have had the opportunity to spar against good WTF guys, they are kicking hard. And vies-versa, I don’t see a conversation of all the ITF schools going like this, “We can’t be teaching kids to hurt other kids with the moves from the Poomse, we should focus on just the sport.”
By the collective what I am identifying is that over time, everyone, students and parents of students included, moved away from the forms and focused on the sport. The argument seemed to become “who had the better sport style, ITF vs. WTF”.
Many years, or perhaps 4 decades of the conversation go by and here we are with a borderline unless sport. I played that sport for many years and where did it get me? That question is rhetorical, it got me nowhere. There was no money in it and the only way to make money in it was either to conform to the Olympic style or go to kick boxing. Kick boxing does not make you that much, unless your just the exception, and then what? Well if you were marketable for the Olympics then you could probably get some sponsorships and after it’s said and done funnel your clout to your school. Which leaves us with the only real way to make money in TKD, being the owner of a school. Now keep in mind I understand Billy Blanks and other exceptions have found money in TKD other ways but they are a very select few.

I bring this up because this is what we are up against now. The rise of MMA. If you fail to realize this or its significance then you are sadly going to wake up one day and wonder, “where did all my students go?”

American culture has become more and more desensitized to the idea of a violent sport and with that shifting of the pendulum I feel we need to hone back into what TKD is all about. It’s about the forms. I learned the Tuls, but have also studied the TaeGeuk, and PalGwe and I can tell you right now, TKD has some real good stuff to be teaching.

I read somewhere once, and I don’t know where, but if I find it I will post it for sure, that when asked, General Choi said that the moves were not to be limited to the instruction of the forms but instead by one’s own imagination. Now that’s me paraphrasing what I read, it was years ago, but the point I make is this; TKD forms, on both sides of the fence, have very good moves and are very diverse. If instructors start influencing the forms for their defensive purposes instead of how to win a trophy in a forms tournament, then maybe the rise of MMA will work to our advantage. 

I have taught many types of classes and each one had specific goals. Some were geared towards fitness, some self-defense, some sparing, some correction of forms, but the main thing was everything I taught I was able to pull from a form. 

There once was a preacher who bought a dumpy warehouse. He then took a bandit sign and wrote “church Sunday 11:00am, bring your own chair”, on it and nailed it in the median across the street. That Sunday 6 people showed up. He kept the sign out there and told everyone that if they like the church then tell at least one person to come next week.

The next week came and sure enough the 6 from the previous week brought 6 more and the sign drew in 6 more. After that Sunday every weekend his congregation grew double in size for a whole year. Eventually the fire marshal came and kicked everyone out and shut the place down because he had too many people and no permit. (Although my number a probably wrong, this is based on a true story)
The local news caught wind of this and when they asked him how he got so many people to come, he laughed and answered, “I don’t know, for the whole year I preached every sermon out of the book of Deuteronomy.”

If you have never familiarized yourself with that book, it’s kind of boring to most people.  But he was able to take the truth out of it and apply it in so many ways that he managed to captivate everyone’s attention.  That man was Rob Bell.

The reason I say this is simply put, you can take tuls like Dan-Gun or Do-san and create classes out of them that are capable of spanning a year at least. Not only is this the best way to teach what TKD is about but, it’s also pretty easy. All it takes is a little forethought and a pinch of imagination. 

I taught many classes like this, where I would take a move that is found I a form and break that move down as many ways as possible. This method I found would not be accomplish-able in one hour, so I would have to move it over to the next class, and like rollover minutes, the classes kept including move break downs from the Tul.

I hope you can catch my drift, and that although I enjoy tournament style sparing, I firmly believe TKD schools need to step up their game quickly. The instruction in TKD schools should be at a point now where the public can again find it revolutionary. The time is now and MMA students will start coming to you. 


TKD Block 52

What is Block 52?

Block 52 in MMA

I don’t know that I fully understand what they are explaining, but I find it all very interesting. The supplemental defensive strategies to it, while are typically applied to boxing, derived from martial arts. Intriguing system that I hope more DVDs come out on. This would be a great tool in the pocket of any TKD instructor. I typically don’t like supplementing things to TKD, as I feel there is a pure form of TKD that is viscous enough, but knowing that it derives from some traditional arts changes things. Makes me think that with traditional TKD sparing matches looking like kick boxing, this would be worth looking over. 

I will be reading up more on it and as I come across drills I will be posting them.


Joe Rogan BJJ black belt

For those that don’t know I am a big Joe Rogan fan. I like his comedy and I think he makes a great fit for the UFC. Moreover the news of him receiving his BJJ black belt is exciting. 

I remember reading this article, in black belt magazine when it came out, it was great. I had the opportunity to meet him at a BJJ tournament in Houston once; he was super cool and very humble. I loved watching him show GSP how to make his back kicks faster, and I will never forget his stint on the Chappelle show. I listen to the Joe Rogan Pod Cast and just all around believe he is a true martial artist. 

That is huge for you man and if you stumble upon this site, congratulations Joe.

And Captain America is...

And Captain America is....Veteran trainer Frank Couzo, from Best of the Best.

Just kidding! it is Woo Sup Kim out of Winston-Salem. 

He hails from South Korea and was on the Korean Tigers Demonstration Team. They have some pretty cool stuff, if you don't know them, check them out. I searched for picture of Woo Sup Kim, other than the one on the article, but came up short. I’m sure there out there, if you find one post it, he is bound to have beautiful flying kicks.


But what there's more!

After posting this news, I was informed by an anonymous comment that this was not an appointment to position. Instead he apparently purchased this spot on the team, either way I'm not too invested in this story and don't by any means wish to discredit Woo Sup Kim, as I don't know him, and find it hard to locate any picture of him doing cool flying kicks. I suppose it's more of an Honorary title/ fundraiser. Below is a quote from the article I sourced.

"Woo Sup Kim, the owner of Tiger Kim's World Class Tae Kwon Do, based in Winston-Salem, said in a news release today that he has been named captain of the U.S. Olympics Taekwondo team."

here is a PDF link that the Anonymous commnter posted.

Informal, yet I saw no direct reference to Woo Sup Kim, maybe that was the point.

For anyone that wants to clarify what they believe might be a dis-truth on this blog, I thank you for reading and partaking, and actually adding to the conversation.

Now with all that being said, when I speak of the "truth" in TKD I am not referencing the many forms of politicism in TKD as a modern sport. I have a general interest in the sport, as I sparred ITF, and WTF styles for years. I like to keep up with what is gong on, if I come a cross an article I find interesting I will post it. To set the record straight though, the "Truth" is the Patterns, the Tuls, the Pawlge of Taeguks, Hyungs or what ever you want to call them. I lean towards the belief that forms must be broken down and understood on the highest level atainable for each practioner. The art is in the forms and I speak of implamenting the moves from the forms into the structor of class work.
That is my main focus in TKD.

Thanks to all my readers.


TaeKwonDo or Karate Low Block

I had a dream. One that re-occurred a couple of times in different situations, but the outcome was the same. I was in a sword fight, a real sword fight. If you have ever studied lucid dreaming, it will benefit you to know I was in and out of sleep that night. For those who have never read into the subject, the more complete REM cycles that you interrupt the more lucid the next dream will be. They become more realistic and more manipulated by your consciousness. Any ways they were vivid to say the least. In all three dreams I was attacked unexpectedly by an assailant with a sword and I also had a sword handy, and would fight someone to the death. 

In these dreams I learned some things; one, sword fights are extremely scary and your adrenalin goes through the roof. Two that sword fights are not very long, someone dies pretty quick, unlike in the movies. And three, I never want to be in a real, fight to the death sword fight, because I did not know how to sword fight. These dreams lead me to join fencing and now I am much more prepared. On a quick tangent, before I turn back to my topic I will say this; if you, or you know someone that is good with a sword, they might actually not know the first thing about sword fighting. I was really good at “sword play” but learned quickly in fencing that I was nothing but novice. 

Anyways, so I guess all the “sword play” I did during that time made my subconscious question my ability in a real sword fight and those thoughts manifested themselves in my dream. Last night I had a similar dream.  This time it was about the low block. I guess the teachings I see don’t convince me. I question what I have been taught on its application. I feel as though it’s an extremely effective move.
This was how I was taught it: Below is a video of me using it in a tournament. It was used to block the round house kick, or diagonal kick, but that was merely a TKD sport application. (I edited this quickly, don’t be too critical) This was only used in taekwondo sparring. 

Outside of the sport it never was, expanded on other than blocking something coming at your mid-section or your groin. 

My problem with this is that I have found many uses for it, and in my dream last night; I was fighting an Asian guy in a basement of a parking garage. We were by the elevator and the stairs, which I was coming around, there he was. Dimly lit by the endless rows of florescent lights that hanged, suspended from the ceiling, his face shined a strange familiarity. He was casually walking from around a car, as though he just parked. The stairwell was adjacent to the elevator and was kept in a glass enclosure with an electronic sliding door. From 40 yards I could see him approaching, but I was not threatened at this point. He then brushed passed me, moving quickly, and quite closely might I add, never minding the open space that surrounded us. 

When people pass me like this red flags go off in my mind, “why” I asked myself, why did he pass so close when it was not necessary?  I turned to look back, expecting him to be at the stairwell by now, but instead he was right there, 3-4 feet from me and ready to attack. He only threw punches, and many kinds, and I only threw low blocks and outer forearm blocks. I have no idea why I thought this was the best form of defense but everything he threw I blocked. Punches to the mid-section I blocked with low mid-section outer forearm blocks and punches to the face and chest I blocked using the exact motion but at a different level. The first block was the most vivid in the dream because I barley blocked the stomach punch. It was fast and caught me off guard.
Then as I realized how easy his punches were to block I started blocking as though I was punching. The impact of my outer forearm slamming against his inner arms was taking their toll on him. Finally we battled back to the stair well where he delivered his last blow…ever. It was a wide right, hook punch, the kind you throw as a knockout punch. The hay-maker was intercepted by a vicious left rising block, chopping into his bicep then using the leverage I had I slammed him into the wall of the stairwell. I used my right outer forearm as a block, blocking his rebounding motion, to catch his neck and slam him against the concrete wall. It was a crushing blow that left him for dead, and also one I hope I never have to throw in real life. 

I killed him with a block? Yeah I guess I did. Although I don’t like having violent dreams, as they are a sign of outward environmental struggles mixed with subconscious internal, pulling thoughts, it sure was helpful in me understanding the low block. 

I have also questioned the sport teachings based on the fact that TKD was assembled during foreign occupations, to some degree, and surrounded by war. If they were at war, then first I would look to what era it was. The 50’s, so yes they had guns. On the battle field they more than likely applied some of these techniques to rifle use.
Again, I dwell on ground fighting and have noticed the outer forearm block is really handy there too. So I would not listen to just one instruction on this move, I would not instruct someone to limit the low block to simply the hand full of scenarios that exist in the forms. Instead you should take the technique from the form, extract it from the application, and apply it to as much as you can. You will find that if you practice the forms as such they become much more reviling as a teaching and training tool.


Who is Tim Larkin?

Tim Larkin is pretty much one of the baddest men on the planet right now, in the martial arts world at least. If you have not been following this story I will give you a short back story. Tim was with SCARS an acronym for Special Combat Aggressive Reaction System. A system run by Jerry Peterson that was originally presented to military officials and law enforcement training programs. I can’t speak to how far they have gotten in with the government or other governments for that matter, but I can say that, like TKD is to Korea SCARS wanted to be for the USA.
Tim defected for whatever reason and went on the road teaching what he thought was a more direct way to defend yourself. There is some debated about Peterson and Larkin having a falling out but who knows. All I know as an internet bystander is now Tim has quite the story going on right now. 

It all started here;
What he wanted to do:

Then he got banned from entering the UK:

Tim Larkin’s response to the UK:

If you  don’t know the UK has been on a banning streak these last few years, as to who can inter their country, but with Tim on has to ask a question. What are you afraid of? Why is he a threat to your country? If he was going there to train your military, wouldn’t you want your military to know how to kill someone in 4 moves? And if it’s not being taught to the military, for whatever reason, and it was just seminars then why are you afraid of the public having this kind of knowledge. I’m sure the UK has civilians that already know and teach stuff like this, why make it sensational? With a statehood you always will be left wondering, what they were thinking, but I’m sure they had a reason. With that answer being unbenounced to the public we have no choice but to wonder.
I have followed this story on since they started to talk about it and thought it would be interesting to pass along.

Thanks for reading.