My first art was TKD (Tae Kwon Do), I started learning in a military armory back in the 70′s – yes the 70′s. TKD was different back then from what is taught today. Much of the TKD, not all, but much of it has taken a sport track similar to Judo. Ok.
Taking a sport angle is a terrific way to get a person off their couch and onto the floor. The issue is how these versions of TKD are measured. To measure these versions of TKD by only content and not context results in an over-generalization and that is a bad thing.
I look at it this way. The sport version of Tae Kwon Do is excellent for what it does, fight tournaments and win points. The Tae Kwon Do that I was taught back in the dark ages, was different. These Sa Bom Nim (Master Teachers) had come out of oppression and a civil war, their lives and attitudes where not directed at sport, oh no my friend no in the least. The stories we heard as kids about the ROK soldiers (Republic of Korea Marine Corps) are still legend in the dark corners of my mind.
Look, sport is a fantastic thing, I don’t need to tell you that. Being involved in a battle for your country and your life…well that changes the context quite a bit.
Yeah, that Tae Kwon Do Sucks, if you are using a sport version for combat or a combat version for sport, yeah that leads to over-generalization and a loss of context.
Over-generalization is simply not a good thing, and I use the two worlds of Tae Kwon Do as an example of that, time, history, context all go in the mix when you talk about a martial art.
Oh yeah by the way my karate sucks; in a firefight. My Judo sucks; in a riot.
Context and a refusal to over-generalize, yeah good stuff.