New students can come into class being sensitive to contact. What students go through in class, under proper supervision, is a systematic desensitizing. Students start with very little or very light contact. In their own time time they progress to more moderate contact and eventually beyond that. One of the practical effects of this progressive contact is that students can distinguish between a perceived threat and a threat that needs to be responded to in kind. Students ability to control their behavior towards a perceived threat grows as they progress. This keeps tempers in check and keeps situations from escalating to unnecessary levels. An added benefit is that, if necessary, the contact from an unexpected attack can be absorbed by students and then be responded to accordingly. This makes their ability to defend themselves more effective.
Like so many other traditional martial arts, in Tang Soo Do we practice for perfection physically, mentally, and spiritually. We know full well that there is no such thing as perfection, but the philosophy in training is to try to achieve as close to perfection as we can. There are many reasons for trying to achieve perfection in technique through hard work and persistence. One such reason is that in the anxiety and adrenaline rush that comes with a confrontation we rely on our training to see us through safely. If we practice for perfection, in the heat of that moment we will be extraordinary. If we practice for very good, we may be good enough. If we practice for good enough, in the chaos of the moment of confrontation, we will be in trouble. So we strive for perfection knowing it is not attainable, but knowing it is what will carry us through in that moment of stress.
Dead fighting is another term synonymous with the Tang Soo Do one-step training system. Both terms imply that there is little movement from the attacker, that being in the form of taking one step forward with a face punch. This type of training is used to improve timing, distancing, and to ensure effective use of techniques. Once comfortable with the techniques from a one step, anyone can use the same techniques in a practical self protection application.
Tang Soo Do training promotes strengthening and flexibility along with a great aerobic workout. Like any other training system, what you put in is what you get out of it. People that put in the training time and effort, see great results. This aspect of training along with the street practical self defense application of martial arts techniques, make Tang Soo Do a favorite for many people, especially for adult men and women, who are looking for the benefits of karate classes.
I hate making mistakes, but they always make me better.
Tang Soo Do has many techniques that can be applied to self defense. These include, powerful striking techniques using kicks, knees, elbows, and hand strikes. Using Tang Soo Do based joint locks, arm bars, and chokes is also an effective way to stop an attacker. We also have a variety of take-downs, sweeps, and throws which can have a street thug on his back looking up and wondering what happened.
Three qualities necessary for training:
Schiller p 246
The old line of “Boards don’t fight back.” is very true. What that line does not consider is why we break boards, bricks, etc. One simple reason is to test the power of a technique. When a martial arts practitioner uses breaking as part of their training, it gives us a means of trying out the power of a technique. Practicing breaking a board, cement slab, etc. lets us know that we are generating enough power with that technique to cause damage to the human body when necessary, as in defending against a violent attacker. Another reason is, as seen in these videos, it’s very empowering to both newer students and more experienced students.
The leg techniques, hand techniques, sweeps, throws, joint locks, and chokes found in Tang Soo Do, make it an original mixed martial art. The emphasis in Tang Soo Do is found in its powerful striking techniques. But, practitioners learn many different ways of defending themselves as well as learning many different methods of subduing their opponent(s). Learning to defend against multiple attackers and against a variety of weapons is part of regular Tang Soo Do training as is found in many traditional karate styles.
As the video shows, Tang Soo Do uses many leg techniques that can be used while standing or sitting.