1. As a student or Instructor, whom are you a member of?
It seems that of all the people who answered the opinion poll that a reasonable percentage were either directly under the ITF or WTF, closely followed by ITF Affiliated school students & students of the AIMAA & some independent schools of Taekwon-do & a few others (!). herefore a reasonable cross section for the poll.
2. How many students train at your Academy, School or Club?
21% of clubs catered for over 100 students, with 8% over 300 students. But all size schools are accounted for wih some schools having under 20 students.
3. Does your school teach the application of techniques contained within your patterns?
A good majority (69%) said that they are taught mulitple applcations, which of course is excellant. 19% said they were only taught applications occasionally & 2% said never, which is a little worrying. It is my opinion that you need to understand your patterns rather than just know where to step & place your arms. Patterns are the backbone of martial arts & also develop a good deal of worth towards self defense. See my article on patterns for further details.
4. Does your school teach break falling & throwing techniques?
36% said yes, which is good as throwing techniques are part of Taekwon-do, whatever you believe. Others said they were taught sometimes, which is to be expected. Some (a quite large 19%) said that they are never taught such techniques. Without the throws etc. there is an element of taekwon-do missing. Besides which it cuts out some basic self defence orientated situations that could best be dealt with by throws etc. Also, what if a Taekwon-do student were thrown, they need to know how to land properly & safely. Food for thought!
5. Does your school teach the application of pressure points?
It seems 40% are taught pressure point applications at sometime or other, others, a smaller percentage are taught these often, but a larger percentage are not taught any pressure point applications at all. Pressure points are often taught in two ways. Either solo or by way of pattern application, both are good & both should really be taught, even if to show a block is not just a block etc. Many instructors views on pressure points differ, are they or arn`t they effective on the street etc. but shouldn`t the student find his own way!
6. Is breaking still part of the grading requirements for your school?
Its good to see that in an over whelming majority it is & in the guise of the `3 break rule`, which to me is a quality containment issue. Breaking has always been a major part of Taekwon-do & should remain so for the benefits it gives. I know there are arguments against this but personally I feel the benefits outweight the disadvantages. Some schools seem to dis-favour breaking now-a-days, which is unfortunate. But just as bad (IMO) is allowing muliple attemps at breaking, whichs sets a bad precedent & an unfounded confience in techniques that should work first time.
7. Does your school teach joint locks?
Most do, as they should. Hopefully this extends further than simple wrist locks. I know they arn`t at the forefront of taekwon-do teachings, but they are there (especially within the patterns) & should be taught nether the less.
8. What is your opinion on the sine-wave?
Opinions were split on this subject, with 34% saying they prefered the old hip twist (as do I) & another 34% acknowledging they didn`t even know what it was. 15% said it was great, which is surprising as the sine-wave is heavly favoured by the ITF which (with associated schools) has 33% vote in this, meaning that those in the ITF are split down the middle. The reasons for the sine-wave will possibly always be subjective, but the core issue is really `Does it work better than a hip twist?". Thats for you to decide!
9. Whom, with the exception of General Choi, has done the most for TKD in the last 20 years ?
Grandmaster Hee Il Cho got the most votes here. Maybe because of the AIAMA members voting or possibly because he has done a hell of a lot for Taekwon-do over the years (He got my vote BTW). Next were other Grandmasters not listed. I would dearly like to know who they are so please email me if you voted here. Next came the Generals son Hwa Jung Choi, possibly for the direction he has taken the ITF with regards to opening it up a little & tournaments. Now they have split General Choi & his son, the future should be illuminating. Other masters & instructors got smaller votes but were credited nether the less.
10. What do you think the future hold for Taekwon-do ?
The majority considered that all Taekwon-do groups & associations will continue to grow. The next majority thought Taekwon-do will splinter even more, which is hardly surprising considering its past history & rife politics. A smaller group thought that Independent schools will flourish more, with the same majority feeling that the ITF & WTF will unify! No one thought one major association will grow while the other declines, which is good also.
So it seems that Taekwon-do is not in to much of a bad state. I figure this is mainly due to individual instructors teaching their ideals rather than big associations claiming credit. I feel that the Art of Taekwon-do may well out live either the ITF, the WTF or any other association. Lets hope so.
Poll Results Write Up
Poll Results Write Up
The Current State Of Taekwon-do