My other blog Traditional Taekwondo Techniques has been around for years, and I must say I’m fortunate to have only received one or two trolls. A closer inspection might tell me I’m not creating enough dissension or providing opportunities for lively debates. Or perhaps my belief that I have a highly regarded Traditional Taekwondo ‘information repository’ has been grossly inflated. Maybe most of the traffic I receive come in sympathy? Poor me. LOL.
Nonetheless, let me highlight one of the few trolls I received from the other blog. I received it from ‘Anonymous,’ who includes enough information that I can see he prides his own practical fighting prowess.
The words are caustic and were posted as a response to a drill we use for beginners to help them learn to block repeated straight line attacks using their elbows and forearms. To be fair to Anonymous, he includes criticism of the drill in no uncertain terms. Yes, the drill is contrived. No, no one will punch straight line repeatedly like that. Yes, our students are not expected to use this drill exactly the way we do it when faced with a threat.
This current rehash on the topic is not a defence of our training method, but a reflection of how our class unfolds our entire syllabus, and perhaps in lesser part about what makes it to the blog. In truth, the lot of a hard style traditional instructor is a difficult one. I have a ‘traditional’ pattern-based syllabus that is relied upon to teach skills in combat, sport-based sparring, self defence, pattern performance, and sometimes even a range of gimmicky techniques that will never see the light of day outside a martial art demo. Seriously.
I don’t blame him for criticizing the video. In itself it shows very little. In fact, from a rarefied perspective, the blog mostly talks about power generation of basic techniques, how we integrate some other skills to round out the striking fundamentals of Taekwondo, and instances where parts of the forms hint at grappling and takedown possibilities. The blog however doesn’t adequately mention our frequent cross-training jaunts with other multi-style schools, the great variety used in our sparring program, nor does it give an accurate ability of our students in comparison to other fighters. It’s not that kind of a blog.
And I am not that kind of instructor who needs to justify every little thing we do. We have a pattern set that we use as a framework for our training, but we constantly address training methodology – modifying it so our students become more competent. Yes, we use the word ‘tradition,’ but only to distinguish it from a sport-based or competition-driven practice, rather than to communicate an obsession with fixating ourselves with historical symbols, artifacts from a bygone era or past glory.
Has my Anonymous Weekend Warrior missed the point? I think so. Martial art brothers should come together and test ourselves in a safe and nurturing environment. There are threats out there, and our practice makes practitioners more difficult targets. We challenge ourselves so that when we face aggression, we may use what we have to protect our family and loved ones. I’m sure I mention that somewhere amongst my 500+ posts.