What's with all the Tae Kwon Do hating?!?!?
Quite frankly, the criticisms I have heard about "McDojos" do not apply to my TKD school. We do full-contact sparring, we focus on the more basic kicks that DO work, and we devote a fair amount of our lesson time to punching as well. In addition, my school also offers Hapkido and Beksudo courses. We've learned a few throws as well.
Also, the feared Korean Marines trained in TKD, and it's been around for several centuries. If TKD was useless, why did the Koreans stick with it for so long?
I know TKD has its limitations, especially in ground fighting- I think that's why my school also offers Hapkido and Beksudo. And doubtless there are many "McDojos" out there because it's an Olympic sport and it's so popular. But why condemn all of TKD if you went to ONE lousy school or watched a TKD tournament (where they had rules, like they do ...
Also, why take martial arts classes SOLELY for self-defense and fighting? I keep hearing references to “the street” and to fighting and UFC and whatever. Come on, people, there’s more to martial arts than just combat. I mean, there are so many more benefits. Many, many people in TKD (and other martial arts as well) report that they are more fit, they feel better about themselves, they learn more about respect, discipline, self-control, etc.
I have also heard success stories from people who dropped opponents much bigger and stronger than themselves using punches and roundhouse kicks. (techniques that my school emphasizes.)
So come on, lay off TKD, will ya? ESPECIALLY if you know next to nothing about TKD.
Also, 99% is way too much of a generalization. If you've checked out every single TKD school in America and you can personally attest that 99% of schools do not use full-contact sparring even once, then I'll believe you.
And believe me, if I was ever in a real fight, I would NOT limit myself to rules or "sports" TKD. I'd just punch and kick in one of my opponent's vulnerable points and once the other guy was down, I'd just get out of there.
Foofoo: Yes, I am very happy with my school. We’re not as extreme as Smootoyou’s school, (most of our students just do not have the time nor the resources to come to class and spar for FIVE days a week) but I think we’re pretty darn good.
Dogpreacher and Hood: THANK YOU! Somebody had the sense and thankfully, the experience, to point out that jj and bjj are not the greatest martial arts ever invented, and they do NOT make you invincible. And Hood, you gave me especially good info about WTF and ITA. Thanks.
Saint G: Even though you’re not into TKD, I appreciate that you didn’t badmouth the style. To each his own. And I guess you’re right, I should just ignore this stuff. But it gets frustrating sometimes though, hearing all this negative stuff about TKD from people who have very little knowledge about it. :(
Mehereintheeast: You made a VERY good point that I neglected to mention: a martial arts school, no matter what style, has to make money. It’s good business sense. And unfortunately, since TKD is so popular, it has also become so easy to commercialize. Hence, the McDojos/McDojangs.
Thanks to everyone else for answering; I didn’t get as many negative answers as I had expected (OK, was afraid of)- only two people so far said outright that TKD sucked. It seems that the ones who criticize all of TKD are just loudmouthed egoists who never took the incentive to try out a decent school or spar a real master.