IntroSome things to know before using TKDTutor.
Learn from a certified instructorTKDTutor only presents the educational aspects of martial arts training; any physical training should be conducted under the auspices of a certified martial arts instructor. Taekwondo techniques are best learned from a certified instructor. There are many books with photographs of techniques and many technique videos that may be purchased, but they should only be used as a reference after learning the proper way to perform a technique from a certified instructor. TKDTutor does not teach specific techniques, it is merely a tutor that assists you in learning techniques, helps you understand techniques, and helps you perfect techniques.
Your instructor has precedenceSince there are so many taekwondo organizations (each with numerous instructors who teach taekwondo in a slightly different manner), the ideas and information presented in TKDTutor may differ from those of your organization or instructor. When the information presented in TKDTutor differs from that presented by your instructor—you should follow the information presented by your instructor.
Be AwareThe martial arts is full of supposition, superstition, folklore, innuendo, speculation, egotism, machoism, authoritarianism, glorification, embellishment, a desire for power, control, and wealth, fraud, and outright lies. It is difficult to find the truth about the martial arts since there is such an abundance of untruths. So much of martial arts history is anecdotal and pasted from one instructor to the next as being the truth. When searching for the truth, you find so many sources that promulgated these untruths; but not necessarily to deceive. Sometimes they believe them to be true or they have not dug deep enough to find the truth.
TKDTutor tries to find the truth and present it, but sometimes some of these untruths slip by.
ValidityInformation presented in TKDTutor comes from many different sources. If the information is logical, reasonable, useful, and pertains to taekwondo, it is presented in TKDTutor. TKDTutor does not guarantee that all the information it presents is correct. As with information from any source, if you want to ensure the truthfulness of the information, you should compare it to data from numerous sources and draw your own conclusion as to the truthfulness of the information.
Traditional vs. sportAs explained in detail within TKDTutor, there are two main versions of being practiced in the world: traditional and sport. Although there are some minor differences between the two versions, such as the patterns used (hyung or tul), the way techniques are executed (high chamber on kicks vs. no chamber), or the way the body moves for power (hip snap vs. sine wave); the primary difference between the two versions is in the way each approaches free-sparring. Traditional taekwondo uses arm blocks, hand strikes, and kicks in sparring, while sport taekwondo has evolved into a mostly kicks sport where the arms and hands are usually not used. While most everything discussed in TKDTutor may be applied to either traditional or sport taekwondo, its major emphasis is on traditional taekwondo.
Traditional slantAlthough I try to present all aspects of taekwondo and the martial arts in general, I am partial to the traditional martial arts as opposed to the martial sports, such as Olympic style taekwondo, or to the other combat sports, such as boxing or cage style fighting.
AffiliationTKDTutor is not affiliated with or endorsed by any organization or commercial enterprise, although TKDTutor sometimes mentions taekwondo as taught by Taekwondo America (TA), to which I once belonged. Taekwondo America techniques and patterns are based upon those originally developed by the late "founder" of taekwondo, General Hong Hi Choi, and used by the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF). Other national/international organizations, such as the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), may use other patterns, but they are all based on original traditional taekwondo techniques.
I try to be impartial, but impartiality is in the eyes of the beholder. The information in TKDTutor is free; it has no sponsors, organizations, or instructors to please. I simply tell it as I see it. If you do not agree with what I say, you may think I am being partial to or discriminating against one martial art or another. If you agree with what I say, you may think I am completely impartial and non-discriminatory. I try to be impartial, but, as with most of you, I am human, so partiality may unconsciously slip in.
Maco vs. microA police officer intuitively hears gunshots in the distance or angry voices in a crowd of noisy people, but will not notice an out of place vase at a crime scene or inconsistency in a suspect’s statement. A police detective will notice a hair on a vase or a change in the demeanor of a suspect when asked a key question, but will not see a low hanging branch and hit his or her head while searching for minute evidence or he or she will not hear the footsteps of a person coming from behind when while examining a crime scene. This is a case of macro versus micro.
The police officer deals with the macro, the larger more obvious things that must be taken care of immediately. The police detective deals with the micro, the small things that may have caused the macro event to occur, things that must be dealt with precision and care over time.
This same macro/micro relationship may be used to explain the difference between what you hear from your martial arts instructor and what you read in TKDTutor. Martial art instructors deal with immediate macro things, such as the personalities, intelligence levels, educations, experiences, abilities, etc. of the students in their classes.
For school owners, a large influence on what they say or do is related to their need to pay the bills; they need the students to stay in the school and pay tuition. If they say things that may cause the students to drop out of school, then they cannot stay in business. They may not lie, but as politicians do, they may not tell you the whole truth and thus mislead you into accepting what they say is the truth. Some tell you what you want to hear or what is most beneficial to them to say, for, if they told you the whole truth, you may leave the school.
TKDTutor deals with the micro, things that cause or affect the macro things in a martial art. TKDTutor does not have to please anyone, so it presents all the facts and lets you decide whether or not you agree. TKDTutor may point out fraud and things that are inconsistent, illogical, unreasonable, and false without worrying about losing revenue. TKDTutor may say things that are in opposition to the propaganda put out by martial art instructors or martial art organizations without worrying about losing students.
DisagreeYou may disagree with what is written in TKDTutor; I may disagree with what is written in TKDTutor. I wrote some of it over ten years ago, so my views may now be totally different from what they were then. I only ask that you evaluate in your own mind (using verifiable facts, logic, and reason), what is written, and then you may either reject or accept it. Either way, I would appreciate your feedback. Through the use of convincing arguments, I have sometimes changed people's views and opinions, and likewise, they have caused me to change some of my views and opinions.
You never learn anything new from discussing a subject with people who agree with you, so if you disagree with something, let me know.
OpinionsOpinions are similar to belly buttons, everyone has one and each is each different. Facts are true, but facts may be interpreted differently. For example, look at poll results. The results are facts, but the meaning of the results varies according to who is interpreting the results. TKDTutor.com expresses the opinion of TKDTutor and his interpretation of the facts, other opinions or interpretations may differ. Do not accept any single opinion or interpretation of fact; research all opinions and facts on a particular subject and then form your own opinion based upon your interpretation of the facts.
ErrorsThere are over 1500 pages of content in TKDTutor, so there are sure to be errors. If you find errors or inaccuracies, please email me.
Be SkepticalIf something does not seem correct, then doubt it until you can verify its authenticity. This includes what your taekwondo instructor may tell you, and it certainly applies to what you may read in TKDTutor.com. Fools are seldom skeptical; skeptics are seldom fooled.
Just because an "expert" says something is true does not make it true. During the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates about 160 years ago, after a long speech by Stephen Douglas that was filled with inaccuracies, Lincoln asked the audience, "How many legs would a horse have if you called his tail a leg?" "Five" called out some of the onlookers"Four" replied Lincoln, "Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it true."