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What is Old School Perspectives?

Old School Perspectives on Taekwondo-Do was created by me Ciaran McDonald because I love TKD.  


It is my mission to bring to the Taekwondo-do world the lost practices and the hidden applications of the Tae Kwon Do patterns.  


I believe that by rediscovering the 'Old School' methods we can make Taekwondo relevant for the self defence needs of the 21st century. 

Who am I and why should you care?

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My Name is Ciaran McDonald M.A., M.Ed.  I am an academic, celebrated author and martial arts nut.


I started Martial arts in the 1980's when I studied karate.   But my true love is TKD and I have been involved with it for the last 20 years.  As a young man I competed regularly and spent huge amounts of time perfecting my side kick. I loved the sparring and the patterns but I always felt there was something missing.  


As a child and a young man I had numereous violent encounters and though I never felt comfortable with violence I grew to recognise and prepare for the chaotic and frenetic nature of it.  


However, it always perplexed me why my TKD training, which consisted predominantly of the heavily ritualised 3 step sparring or the rule bound arena of free sparring, never looked anything like my encounters of ‘real world’ violence.  

I felt unprepared and VERY vulnerable...  


The more I trained the more worried I was that I would not be able to defend myself if I was attacked.  I suspected that the patterns had some great self defence but no one I met could confirm it.  So I went on a journey a discovery to confirm what I always suspected. 

The patterns were the answer I was looking for  


My journey took me round the world and I trained in many grappling systems and striking arts.  Many of these arts seemed to have some of the answers but none had all of what I was looking for until I met Patrick McCarthy 9th Dan in Koryo Uchinadi.  Through him I learnt an old form of application based karate which dealt with all manner of violent encounters in a systematised and hands on way.  I learnt:


  • Pressure point striking  

  • Throwing

  • Ground fighting

  • Strangulation

  • Joint manipulation

  • Clinch work

  • And kata applications



All the bits that were missing from TKD.  I suddenly felt I was not vulnerable and had no gaps in my defences.  Not only that but the Old School Karate was so similar to the TKD patterns that I began to learn 


The 'REAL' and secret self-defence applications from the TKD patterns


 I began to see that hidden within plane sight, within the patterns of TKD, were all the self defence techniques I would ever need to defend myself.  

Though I was already a 3rd degree and Instructor in Taekwon-do I decided to gain my blackbelt and teaching qualification from Hanshi Patrick McCarthy 9th Dan and in 2012 I opened my own school teaching Koryu Uchinadi (KU).  I was now an instructor in both TKD and Old School Karate. 


But TKD was my first love and I wanted to share my findings with the world of `TKD'

Thats why I founded 'Old School Perspectives on Taekwon-do'  

Inspired by this need  I wrote and published a critically acclaimed book: "Old School Perspectives on Taekwon-do"  designed to help the TKD world find the most effective self-defence in the TKD patterns and make it ready for self-defence in the ‘real world’.   


This book got 10 out of 10 from six Grand Masters and countless masters.


I used this knowledge to design online courses to bring the secrets to the Taekwondo-do world and help people find the ‘real’ self-defence in the beautiful patterns of TKD.  

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How to use this site



Feel free to look around and see what interests you but if I were you I would do one of three things:

1) Download a copy of my FREE eBook on essential self defence applications for the pressing block.

2) Get a FREE preview of one of my online applications courses

3) Check out my blog for FREE techniques, drills and articles on TKD applications and self defence techniques

FREE eBook
FREE Video Preview
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