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Old March 30, 2001, 08:12 AM   #10
Matt Wallis
Senior Member
Join Date: January 30, 2001
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 176
Hey Everybody,

I started my first serious martial training in... (surprise, surprise!) TKD. It was a slightly more traditional form of it, being in the ITF. No tournaments and no competition sparring. I finally achieved a 1st Dan and since then have had to quit due to moving and a lack of funds for monthly payments.

My critique of it now looking back is that they taught me how to punch and kick really hard. Those are good skills to have IMHO. However, I didn't learn much else. Though the schools I was at avoided the "sport" aspects of olympic TKD, they swung too far in the other direction with almost no sparring at all! I find this to be a tremendous hole in my training and readiness, especially since (and I hang my head in shame) I've never been able to do any full contact training. Also there was a distinct lack of emphasis on moving and footwork. Like I said, I basically learned to punch and kick hard.

Lately I've been a part of the growing movement to resurrect and practice Medieval/Renaissance arts as a martial art (NOT a re-enactment group and NO roleplaying!). I've been focusing on medieval longsword (hand and a half) and am just starting (as of this week!) to toy with some Medieval grappling techniques. The best thing I've learned from these arts is some fighting strategy (which I was never taught in TKD), footwork and some cool training principles (such as sparring in a variety of manners and cross training with people of different styles).

In the future? I'll be staying with the longsword study group I have and looking for a martial arts school where I can do some full contact fighting. Hopefully I can even find a place that teaches something from the western tradition.

Best Regards,
Matt Wallis
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