We have two questions, one about suicide, the other about mental illness which started as being about all possible martial arts. I left comments that the questions needed to be focused on one martial art as otherwise there clearly cannot be an authoritative answer. Both questions were re-focused (by the OP) on TKD. In my not so humble opinion makes them both really good questions.

However, all the current answers are about irrelevant martial arts (that is, not TKD) which does not answer the narrow question at all.

  • Do the questions need to be made more clear they are about one and only one martial art?
  • Do we allow a generic question covering all possible martial arts? This is a bad idea™.
  • Are those actually good answers and I am just too dumb to get it?

What next?

There appears to not be a strong agreement within the community as yet. I shall leave that to attract more answers/upvotes/downvotes for now.

5 Answers 5


One of the questions is specific to TKD, the other is about martial arts in general and is simply tagged as TKD. The tagging of that second question should be changed.

Is the scope of the second question too broad?

You have a case there, by asking about all arts it is very broad. Not only is it crossing arts, it is also crossing cultures. But in this case I think it would be totally impractical to restrict it to a specific art - you would also run the risk of segmentation, where people start asking the exact same question but for different arts (for example Who was the first female judoka? and Who were the first female aikidoka?).

So, is it quite broad? Yes.
Can we live with it? Also yes.
But we will need to keep an eye on it to ensure it doesn't become a talkfest, and ensure it doesn't end up with 40 different answers saying "this is how it is in my art...". If it does devolve then one option we have is to aggregate some of the individual answers into a single CW style answer.

  1. As written when answered, both of these questions were open to answers originating from other systems. So, yes, a question that wants style-restricted answers should state so, or at least not state that it is open to other systems.

    For How do General Choi and his peers consider mental illness, the asker explicitly states in the comments "And just to clarify: Yes, I am also interested in what other martial arts have to say on the subject ('and his peers')".

    The reason why the asker has narrowed the questions is because you have threatened to close them otherwise.

  2. We already allow questions that are not specific to any martial art:

My inclination would be to go through the voting to close process before insisting upon restricting questions to style.


The suicide one, at the least, was asking for ITF TKD if it existed, and other answers if not. Thus, my answer, which more or less boils down to "we really never discussed it in any of the styles I was in, but here are some general bits of philosophy that were common among the various arts". Honestly, this sort of question kind of hits that point of "Stack Exchange sites are meant to provide the correct answer, but most people for looking for a best answer" bit that makes "Too Broad" difficult.

I agree with you that the scope of "all martial arts" is too broad. Even limiting it to something like "Korean martial arts" or even "Eastern martial arts" would make it narrow enough. The latter would make both of the current answers on the suicide question valid, albeit one with more direct information (not mine) on their form of Karate, which is a martial art that TKD is related to.


My view is that the questions are basically about martial arts philosophy. I see this as fairly narrow. How many times do you discuss philosophy in a martial arts dojo? Aikido, Katori Shinto Ryu and Shorinji Kempo, Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai chi chuan and other 'cult' martial arts schools have some philosophy aspect that is considered important. But most styles that I have trained under don't.

The questions are more narrow than this already though because it is asking about a martial art's philosophy perspective on suicide and mental illness.

Some martial arts talk about suicide in their philosophy. Japanese ones particularly because suicide was very much a part of the culture at the time when martial arts were founded.

Practically none talk about mental illness. Mental illness is a new idea that no-one would really talk about before the 20th century and no-one would really talk about in a modern sense before the 60's or so. As for martial artists talking about it... Probably not until the present day!

In other words, although the question seems broad, in that we could get not just one answer but several it is actually quite narrow. We probably won't get more than 3 answers. Once these are amalgamated into a single answer we will get the required single answer to a single question that stack exchange requires.

This may sound different from what we want, but remember even in stack overflow this happens if there are several possible answers to a coding problem.


One consideration that I don't think that has been broached is that by narrowing the question, you have obviated some possible answers. While it is well known that Choi practiced martial arts for personal health/mental surety while a POW, I can't find specific interviews or articles where he discusses it.

What I did find, however, was a surprising number of clinical studies on the effects of martial arts in general on mental health, both in "normal" cohorts as well as violent youth, PTSD, etc.

If you restrict that kind of a study to a particular art, you may or may not get one or two, but martial arts in general will tend to be much better studied, as it is applicable over a wider range.

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