"Korean athletes, who are physically inferior to Western counterparts"

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by Markku P, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. Markku P

    Markku P Blue Belt

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  2. Jaeimseu

    Jaeimseu 2nd Black Belt

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    What the hell are they talking about? Inferiority? Seriously?
     
  3. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Master of Arts

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    I don't understand that at all. Inferior?

    I feel bad for the Korean athletes. The Korean media had indicated they may not receive an entirely positive welcome on their return to Korea if they didn't perform to expectations. I can only imagine that this choice of wording may be related in some way to that media twist.
     
  4. andyjeffries

    andyjeffries Master of Arts

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    I had heard interviews with Korean coaches many years ago that the time would come when western athletes were better at Taekwondo than Koreans because we are built genetically better. Something about higher muscle density or longer legs or something (as I said it was many years ago). Of course, when I heard it Korea was wiping the floor with everyone in every division so my response was something like "yeah, right".

    Maybe, they were actually right. I don't know enough about human biology to talk effectively on physical differences between races and how they would affect specifically WTF Taekwondo competition.

    I'm going to Korea in two weeks, maybe it'll be mentioned there or if it comes up I'll ask someone about it.
     
  5. andyjeffries

    andyjeffries Master of Arts

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    "Typical appearance of Koreans is characterized by small and sharp eyes, a bigger head, lots of flesh on face, bigger body, shorter hands and legs, and light skin. These characteristics are consistent with northern people's style that was evolved to survive in cold weather during glacial period."
    http://altaic-wiki.wikispaces.com/Korean+people

    Maybe this is the sort of thing they were referring to. If Koreans have shorter legs on average than non-Korean people then when the skill levels equalise maybe they are at a genetic disadvantage...
     
  6. Jaeimseu

    Jaeimseu 2nd Black Belt

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    I tend to disregard genetic advantages or disadvantages based on ethnicity. I live in Korea. The average Korean probably has a slighter build than an average whitey back in the US, but there are plenty of big guys these days. And I imagine the athlete pool for Taekwondo is still much deeper in Korea than any other country. The best player from each country may be on equal footing, but I like Korea's chances if we compare the top 20 or 50 athletes (in Taekwondo).
     
  7. ATC

    ATC Senior Master

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    I am not Korean and I disagree with this statement 1000%. The world is just catching up with Korean training methods and that put everyone on equal ground. Many of the counties at the Olympics had Korean coaches and now go through a Korean training program. Iran was one of the first countries to train with and like the Koreans and there program was first to come close to that of Korea. Now just about every country uses the same training and many go to Korea for training. The world has just caught up. Korea still had 1 gold and 1 silver. The US only had 2 bronze medals.
     
  8. Manny

    Manny Senior Master

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    Thank you very much for the link, in some how what it's wrote there is true, olimpic TKD was very boring and had to change in order to become more apealing, I am saying this from the espectaror side and as a tkd people. WTF had to change the score sistem, change some of the rules if not... mmmmm well..... been droped from the IOC and Olimpics.

    I think there is some improve still, the e-hogus must improve in some how, and I think an e-helmet is a must to be calibrated (like the e-hogus) and the 3 points score will given by the pc, so in a near future forget about the chair/corner judges and only a central judge/referi be inside the mat.

    Now about the korean fighters been nota as good as the other players, let me tell you I like the idea of no matter nationality if you are good you can win a medal, yes the koreans are the inventors of the TKD but as you may saw in the soccer final the Mexican Olimpic Soccer team won over the Brazilians, everithing is possible when impracility is inside the game.

    Manny
     
  9. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    Looking at the standings, they earned one gold and one silver. Is this lower than pre-Olympic expectations?
     
  10. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    That was really strange. TKD competition is organized by weight classes, so the writer can't have been just thinking that Koreans were smaller than western athletes. The article states, with no evidence, that Koreans have
    1) less endurance than athletes from other countries
    2) less power in their strikes
    3) more difficulty in kicking to the head (I guess this would indicate less flexibility or speed)
    4) more difficulty in landing spinning kicks (??? Is the writer just trying to say that Koreans are no good at TKD???)

    That is just bizarre.
     
  11. Markku P

    Markku P Blue Belt

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    Yes, I think they were looking for 3-4 gold medals.
     
  12. ATC

    ATC Senior Master

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    4 gold at the last olympics. TKD can only send 4 from each country, 2 men and 2 women. They use to dominate and sweep gold. This year only 1 gold, 1 silver and 2 no placings. For them it is a bad showing.
     
  13. Markku P

    Markku P Blue Belt

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    I think many countries are creating their own training methods and systems (as example Spain, Turkey and Iran ) and perhaps new rules has been harder to adapt for Koreans?
     
  14. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    well, I wouldn't know if it's true, but not all men are created equal, that's why you don't see pale faces in the 100m dash anymore....
     
  15. Markku P

    Markku P Blue Belt

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    They sent one fighter for men's -58kr and Joel Gonzalez Bonilla (Spain) is two times world champion. I wonder if they select wrong weight division.
     
  16. Grenadier

    Grenadier Administrator Staff Member

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    I may be able to offer some insight here, since I'm an American-born Korean (and damned proud of it).

    Koreans living in Korea don't eat nearly as much animal protein as Westerners do, nor do they have nearly as much dairy intake. They're not going to be quite as big or tall on the average. There's a good reason why those husky fellows in Nebraska who were raised on lots of corn-fed beef, end up with more muscle tissue...

    Also, if you compare Koreans who live in America to those who have lived their lives in Korea, it's not surprising that those of us who have dined on the Western diet (more meat and dairy) are going to have more muscle tissue, and will be a bit taller. My cousins in Korea have a similar type of frame as I do, yet they're 3-4" shorter than I am, and don't have the same level of muscle tissue, even though some of them have done weight lifting in an effort to gain muscle tissue. Keep in mind that their folks were all of similar height / weight as my folks were, so I can probably say with some certainty that we are comparing apples to apples.

    In addition to this, Koreans have lower bone densities and slighter frames. We're not built in the same way as y'all (referring to the generic Westerner) are.

    While it's true that there will be an occasional standout Korean with excellent bone density and a large body frame, it's not the norm, and such individuals are going to be awfully scarce, even those who were born in a Western culture, and has had plenty of animal protein.

    Think of it this way... How many folks of "pure" Korean blood are playing American football at the college level?


    Anyways, I hope that this can offer some insight. Again, this is simply my own observations, and if there are valid statistics that refute my conclusions, then I will be most happy to admit being wrong.

    Now you've gone and done it... I'm going to have to grab some Porterhouse steaks for dinner tonight, to be grilled to medium rare perfection, coated with my seasoning mixture (raw horseradish, crushed garlic, cracked peppercorns, seasoned salt, and olive oil).
     
  17. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the insight, Grenadier. However since TKD competition is based on weight classes, I'm not sure what difference it would make if Koreans tend to be smaller on average. Any given competitor should be roughly the same size as their opponent.

    Also, the article indicated that Koreans would have inferior endurance and inferior ability to throw head kicks and spinning kicks. I'm not sure what justification there is for supposing any of those ideas.
     
  18. SPX

    SPX Black Belt

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    I have suspected that there is something to this.

    MMA is my beat and, when fighting in America at least, Asian fighters have just not done well for the most part. This is the case whether from Japan, China or Korea.

    There have been plenty of Japanese fighters, for instance, who ran up great records in Japan and then came to the UFC or Strikeforce and got crushed.

    Japan does have one very good MMA fighter, though: Yushin Okami, a top 5 middleweight. And Dong Hyun Kim is the standard bearer for Korea.

    (Perhaps I should point out that I say this matter-of-factly. I actually cheer on most Asian fighters when they fight in the states.)
     
  19. SPX

    SPX Black Belt

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    So just out of curiosity--because I always wonder this when I run into ethnic Asians who were born in the States--do you consider yourself American or Korean?

    You say you're an "American-born Korean" so it sounds like you identify more as Korean.
     
  20. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    I came here to the US when I was 2 with my family as refugees from the Vietnam war. I'm of Asian heritage, but I'm pretty much all-American culturally though I can speak my native tongue to a degree. I've visited Vietnam as an adult on vacation and I was struck by how different I am from people from the land of my birth. It's hard to explain, but they just think differently... Have different reactions to basic events... They're much more accepting of authority and governmental action than I am, raised in the southwest US.

    I grew up on a blend of traditional Asian food with plenty of burgers and milkshakes mixed in and I have the size to show for it like Grenadier. I am 6' 2'', which is uncommon for Vietnamese people... But it's not so rare now. When you're near areas with a high Viet concentration and you see the teenagers, you'll definitely notice they are also larger, thanks to the western diet. And they all speak unaccented English like I do (well, maybe I have a slight Texas twang :) ).123
     

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