Possibily starting WTF TKD

Discussion in 'Tae Kwon Do' started by Pointy, Oct 7, 2016.

  1. Pointy

    Pointy Valued Member

    I have been practicing Iaido for about a year now, and still enjoy it, however I miss the sparring I used to do in the previous arts I used to practice (BJJ, Judo, TKD).

    I recently learned of a WTF school that is close to where I live and the training times match with my work schedule, so I have decided to go have a look.

    The majority of my background is in TKD, AIMAA and ITF respectively, but I have little to no idea how WTF operates. What defines a good school in this organisation? What is the normal ratio of sparring to patterns? Are there any secret handshakes or code words necessary?* What should I expect from a normal class? Is there anything in praticular to WTF to be careful of? Any advice would be appreciated.

    Lastly, due to my work I cannot (sadly) turn up with obvious injuries (to the face for example) and so on. This would be the first time, if all goes well with the school. that I have practiced an art which competes under full-contact rules. I feel in my current situation that semi-contact would be the most appropriate, but I would be interested to hear the opinion of any of the members here are or have practiced WTF TKD.

    (*This is a joke.)
  2. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    You cannot join the WTF directly. Rather, you will join a national governing body that is affiliated to the WTF. Therefore standard benchmarks of quality will include authentic black belt and instructor certificates issued by the Kukkiwon, a first aid qualification, and a police background check, for each instructor. These should be able to be produced on demand without hesitation.

    It is difficult to quantify a 'good school' because the phrase describes subjective taste defined by an individual's personal goals. At the very least, a WTF-affiliated school should be able to get you to black belt under the Kukkiwon syllabus. If you want to be a champion, there will be a track record of competitive success. If you want to learn to be a successful martial arts business owner, there will be maxed-out classes across multiple locations. You need to first define what it is you are looking for in a school, and then judge it by that criteria.

    Again, it depends on the school. Some are 90:10 sparring to patterns, some are the opposite, and still others are 50:50.

    Expect a similar format to your experience with ITF TKD: warm up, line drills, pad work, sparring, patterns, and cool down.

    Avoid instructors who teach stupid things or who cannot do well what they teach.

    You will not spar full contact in class most (if not all) of the time. That is reserved for competition fighting. And even then, the recent rule changes that score 'touch contact' kicks to the head and face will possibly make the need for full contact strikes redundant. Besides, you can always wear a helmet with a face shield. I do.

    By the way, full contact sparring in every class is one of the stupid things I was referring to earlier.
  3. Pointy

    Pointy Valued Member

    Thank you Van Zandt, I was hoping to get your opinion on this.

    Are the first aid qualifications and background check required for a instructor certificate to be issued by the Kukkiwon?

    I want to return to a striking art which has resistance built into its training. I really like the approach taken in Judo or BBJ; introduction to a technique, controlled practice (drills), followed by free sparring. If I had the opportunity, I would prefer to try Sambo, Muai Thai or Kickboxing, but I do not have these options available to me.

    Alright, that is not too different, thanks.

    I assumed that in regards to sparring during class time, however it is good to get confirmation from you. Good to know about the face shield. When were these introduced into WTF? Face shields not something I have ever trained with, so I am curious how it will be using one (but perhaps this is best for another thread).
  4. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Valued Member

    Here is my standard advice. Schools vary widely and making a choice based upon general ideas about an org can be misleading.

    Go watch 3 classes to see if what they do is what you want. I say 3 because on any given night there may be a particular focus. (Sparring, patterns, getting ready for a test, Ho Sin Sul.) If you watch only one class you may get the wrong impression that this is what happenss in 99% of the classes.
  5. Pointy

    Pointy Valued Member

    Thank you for your advice, Earl Weiss.

    Will post when I get out to training.
  6. Pointy

    Pointy Valued Member

    I was able to visit the club over the last week, nothing mad just TKD which is fine. I am looking forward to start again. =)

    One thing I would like to check with you all here. According to the school, students are not official members of the WTF until they receive their first degree black belt. Prior to this, students are not members of the WTF association, just the school, and there is no WFT-certified proof of their knowledge of the syllabus. This is quite different to my own experience in TKD, Judo and Iaido. This strikes me as a little odd.

    What are your opinions?
  7. Pointy

    Pointy Valued Member

    Unfortunately I will not be able to begin WTF TKD as planned, due to a change in my work schedule.

    Thank you all for your input and advice, it was appreciated.
  8. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    The WTF has its own organization to handle its (black belt) gradings: the Kukkiwon. To earn your first dan (and up), you are tested on the (minimum) components of the WTF curriculum and then issued the dan rank.

    There is no 'official' Kukkiwon color belt rank... you are merely working towards 1st dan.

    The WTF encompasses a huge number of member schools, many of whom do their "own thing" on top of preparing for the minimum test requirements for the (Kukkiwon) test.
  9. Pointy

    Pointy Valued Member

    Thank you for your reply Thomas. That's a pretty interesting system, essentially one could remain as a 'white belt' until their 1st degree grading. Personally I'd prefer a system like that rather than having a grading every 3-6 months.
  10. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Theoretically, yes. I think most schools prefer to do a series of testing (formative assessment) to keep students on track for the dan test. I've always looked at color belts as "book marks" in the curriculum.

    That said, I went to Korea as a 1st geup student (level right before 1st dan)... a 'rank' I had earned through my local school... one that came from Oh Do Kwan roots and had transferred into the WTF system (so we did old style ITF patterns, old style WTF patterns, and the newer style WTF patterns).

    When I went to a Taekwondo school in Korea, they accepted my word that I was a 'red belt' (1st geup) without asking for any sort of paperwork and then after a year of training, I tested for 1st dan. I seem to recall that color belts were pretty infrequent and often students would skip a color belt here and there after a testing and move up two levels. The color belt ranks really were more for the school owners to keep track of

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