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knifeboots

TKD Students - what's your school's affiliation?

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So around where I live, the tae kwon do schools have two main affiliiations: the American Taekwondo Association and the World Taekwondo Federation. My school is affiliated with the World Taekwondo Federation. My nephew took classes at an ATA school, and some of the differences are that they received a white belt when they started (I had to earn mine by testing), and they have different colored belts and different forms (or at least different names for their forms).

What affiliation is your current school? Have you trained at another school with a different affiliation? If so, did you notice any differences in the training style, forms taught, etc?

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I trained in Rhee Taekwondo (independent Australian school, rooted in International Taekwondo Federation style) and a few months of WTF (mostly to see what the differences were).

It brook down (and this may be entirely the schools I trained at) as sport focus versus self defence focus. Both are routed in the same technique but emphasis differently.

WTF was much faster and 'flickier' (striking quickly and re-striking) and taught to set a low guard, because that's what tournament rule sparring required.

Rhee (and a few free sessions I've done at an affiliated ITF gym) focused much more on powerful techniques and protecting yourself over striking also taught more grappling and throwing.

ITF and WTF also used entierly different sets of patterns, Rhee uses the same patterns as ITF but with very different movement emphasis.

In addition to that there are the different power generation methods (hip twist vs sine wave) but from what I've seen that is more dependent on where the master learnt than what the affiliation is.

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One of the place I train kickboxing has a very strong ITF TKD background, so whilst we don't do any of the patterns or Korean I've had some exposure to the style. WTF is the Olympic style and to be honest I just don't get it, pretty much no use of the hands (I think the rule is that to score a punch must knock someone back, so no one really uses them) which is why you see them spar with their hands by their sides. ITF does use the hands (and they score on clean strikes rather than pushing the opponent back) but they still minimise their usage. Most TKD guys I've fought with are useless with their hands and fall to pieces once you go inside on them, the ones that are good are usually the ones that have done something else, like boxing, as well as TKD.

Not so sure about the WTF and using the fast, flicking techniques but that is definitely what is emphasised where I train so it is more likely to do with the school (and the type of fight you are training for).

As far as self defense goes, with no disrespect meant, both styles of TKD are pretty useless, try throwing that really snazzing looking spinning hook kick in a street fight and you're gonna be in trouble

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I study ITF in the UK. We start with a white belt too, and have tags (stripes) that we must earn before proceeding to the next belt. One of the most apparent differences for me is the sparring gear - we only have pads on feet and hands (and a mouth guard ofc) whereas in WTF you need headgear too. Not sure if some of the sparring rules are also different.

We are required to learn the relavent Korean for each grading, and for some of the higher dans, part of your progression involves writing a thesis.

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ITF TKD. Trained the majority of the time in Germany, met Gen. Choi Hong Hi once in Denver, Colorado during a seminar, never been more intimidated by a man who said so very little (although he wasn't rude at all, he was just very calm and quiet). I have to agree with Centurion regarding hand technique. ITF teaches hand strikes, but the majority of the students freeze when inside of kicking range (well, I should say western students, i've never sparred with or watched anyone else). I cross trained in boxing & JKD style trapping and it made ALL the difference in the world.

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I study ITF in the UK. We start with a white belt too, and have tags (stripes) that we must earn before proceeding to the next belt. One of the most apparent differences for me is the sparring gear - we only have pads on feet and hands (and a mouth guard ofc) whereas in WTF you need headgear too. Not sure if some of the sparring rules are also different.

We are required to learn the relavent Korean for each grading, and for some of the higher dans, part of your progression involves writing a thesis.

True to my experience and instruction in ITF.

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