Quick interesting notes on why us and common misconceptions.
To be a Magua Taekwon-Do club, instructors train directly with the Magua Brothers. They are held to a higher standard which is strictly guarded. Our instructors are not merely coaches. They are practicing students of the art and good examples in technique and positive example.
Before going into explaining our authenticity in the Taekwon-Do community, we would like to go more broadly by also explaining our authenticity as a martial art. You see, there are many fighting styles and especially combat sports which are under the banner of martial arts. This is however incorrect terminology. Many styles are infact spectator sports and should not actually be classified as martial arts. We have nothing against these styles and believe they have their place, but in terms of classifying them as martial arts, the difference should be known.
For instance just because a style kicks does not mean it is a martial art, even if a style has a Gi (traditional Kimono uliform) and belts does not necessarily mean it is a martial art. What needs to be looked at is if the main focus is sport or traditional. Many even traditional martial arts have over the years become overly focused on the sport side of their style to the point that it is no longer a martial art but a sport, even another particular style of Taekwon-Do has taken that route.
In the case of Mma (mixed martial arts), the name is actually misleading. There are various techniques taken from some styles. Infact it is a combat sport which is dictated by the sporting rules. There is also a perception that the grappling side is the ultimate self defence for the street. This is also a huge misconception. While it can be very effective within the rules of Mma, for street application it ignores many facts about a real street fight. We agree that we need to know various defences against common grappling and takedowns and focus on this in our self defence syllabus. The rules of Mma don’t allow for the most logical and relatively basic defences against grappling, which one would not be bound by in an actual all out confrontation. For instance small joint (such as fingers) manipulation is not allowed in Mma, clawing, ripping, biting, gouging & vital strikes to illegal areas in sports, such as groin, base of head , etc, etc. One also has to consider tying oneself up, multiple opponents & going to the ground as a first resort as well as bladed weapons. Grappling all leaves one very vulnerable to the many variables of a real confrontation. Having said that we do enjoy the various aspect of grappling and there are many positive aspects to it. The perception just need a little correcting though.
We do believe we are an all round traditional martial art which also includes a sporting side within the style. We strive to maintain the balance and not completely become only a sport style like most have become,
The two main governing bodies of Taekwon-Do internationally are I.T.F (International Taekwon-Do Federation) and W.T.F (World Taekwon-Do Federation). I.T.F. Being the original also known as Military Taekwon-Do. There are also many other smaller styles also named Taekwon-Do. The founder (General Choi Hong Hi) only ever acknowledged his style which became I.T.F.
The I.T.F (Traditional) and W.T.F (Olympic rules) are very different to each other. I.T.F known for its traditional military roots, steeped in among other aspects, practical effective self defence. The W.T.F is known as a martial sport and the fact that it is an Olympic sport, makes the competition side its main focus hence it has been criticised for not being as practical.
The I.T.F also has a major competitive side with different rules to that of the W.T.F Olympic rules.
Within the competitive sparring (fighting)of the two WTF does not strike the face with punches and can only score on a chest protector for the body, it is also stopped after each point. I.T.F. On the other hand allows punches to the face from a certain age and adults don’t use chest protectors (bar an existing injury that requires extra protection), the fighting is also continuous, only stopping for infringements. This makes the two sparring contests look very different from each other, I.T.F considered more hard core and the more exiting to watch in our humble opinions.
However both of these organisations hold the most status in terms of medals in International competition & world championships. Some of the smaller organisations also hold world championships, but the two main organisation’s medals hold the most status in competition.
The fact of the matter is that Taekwon-Do branched off, splintered and was imitated to a degree over the years to become the most widely practiced martial art group in the world today. General Choi Hong Hi, the founder never acknowledged any of the other styles,having said that imitation is the ultimate compliment, but not in the case of Taekwon-Do. He could not control the wild fire effect Taekwon-Do had on the world. Therefor there are many styles under the Taekwon-Do name.
Generally if there is a club or organisation in SA with bucket fulls of international medallist's /world champions, they are either affiliated to a smaller organisation or were at some stage affiliated to a smaller organisation. Some however are definitely more credible than others though. Unfortunately all Taekwon-Do’s are not equal so be aware, why do a photo copied or watered down version of the real thing?
International medals from high profile senior(black belt) I.T.F. and W.T.F. tournaments are much more rare, and would belong to an elite athlete, more so than to a recreational practitioner.
There are three main governing bodies for I.T.F Taekwon-Do in the world, each in their own right being some of the largest martial art organisations in the world. We followed the one we believe to be closest to the source and true successor by the original ITF’s constitution. Our club is a proud member of I.T.F. under Grand Master Choi Jung Hwa, the son of the late founder of Taekwon-Do, General Choi Hong Hi. Another reason for this choice was to be part of a truly international organisation .There are also many splinter groups using the name I.T.F in their names as to ride on the coat tails. Please be sure you are following the authentic I.T.F group and not photo copies.
We are the second youngest I.T.F. group in South Africa, having started in 2004. We are also the fastest growing. The Magua Taekwon-Do club, is the largest Taekwon-Do club in SA , having said that our TSA (Taekwon-Do South Africa) is now one of the largest Taekwon-D organisations in SA and keeps our profile up to date.
Our clubs focus on all aspects of this art. The style balances members out with the practical, controlled aggression on one side and the artistic on the other. In order not to breed possible undesirable character traits. This is what separates a true (traditional martial art) from many ring sports. Focusing only on the aggressive side of a style leaves a practitioner compromised to possibly, being unbalanced in terms of controlling aggression etc. One of the main reasons martial arts have been a very popular activity for young and old over the centuries was not only the fighting side, but the positive effects it had on peoples lives, through all of the aspects. Giving people respect, even in applying for new jobs etc, because of the fact that people recognise the practitioner would be well controlled, disciplined and focused.
The fact now that so many fighting styles/sports are perceived under the martial arts banner can sometimes show a less respectable side to the public, unfortunately. The true traditional arts still emphasise the other values.Our club does this without sacrificing the effective self defence aspect which also includes our Magua Hosin Sul (Urban Self Defence syllabus) unique to our clubs.
We hope you take that first step and try one our classes.