Taekwondo Poomsae Competition: A Bad Idea?

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by Markku P, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. Markku P

    Markku P Blue Belt

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    I have written about this before and it's a really difficult subject.
    What I like about Taekwondo Poomsae competitions is that the technical
    level of students who like to attend the competitions are higher.
    Poomsae competitions also offer something for those who don't like to
    do any sparring and just like to focus more on the "artistic" side of
    Taekwondo.

    The last time I visited my friend's Taekwondo school in Finland, I was
    really surprised with their high-level poomsae training. It was a
    huge difference from what I saw 10 years ago. Later, when I spoke to
    my friend, he gave all the credit to Poomsae competitions.

    I personally feel that it had helped make our training more systematic
    and less confusing. In the past, when I visited training camps, there
    were always conflicting information. For example, I had to learn the
    knife hand block 5 different ways because every master told me that
    other styles were incorrect!

    The negative side of poomsae competitions is that we might be focusing
    more on athletic performance and less on martial arts.

    Now, my contra argument: Is it even necessary to separate "Martial
    Arts Taekwondo" and "Sport Taekwondo"? I pretty much feel that we
    have just one Taekwondo and every teacher has their right to choose
    where they want to focus more.

    The other downside is for schools. If we have two teams competing,
    one in Poomsae and one in sparring, it will very expensive for the
    schools!

    My own solution is that right now I am focusing on only one area of
    Taekwondo--and it is 'sparring'. (Perhaps I might change my mind in the future.)

    Ok. My conclusion is that Poomsae competitions are good for Taekwondo
    but please stop changing the rules! And judging must be more fair and
    professional.


    Yours,

    Markku P.
     
  2. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    It might be useful for discussion's sake for someone to outline the criteria a poomsae judge is looking for when judging a competition.
     
  3. Manny

    Manny Senior Master

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    When I was a teen I really did not pay atention to my poomsae, thanx good my masters did (more on this latter) so my focus was on kicking ability, self defense and kyorugi as a part of the tkd class I wasn't a natural competitor o fighter so I only competed in maybe no more than 8-10 tournaments.The instrcutor who ttok me as a blue belt and launched me to shodan level was (is) a very flexible man, a man who could do all the extreme kicks with ease (at that time), he was a nice competitor too and in those days poomsae competition was soemthing does not exist. However my instructor was a fanatic of the technike so he always taught me to do the things right.

    I am not a very good poomsae guy however judging the standars of the dojang I go I can tell you my poomsae is niccer that the other guys.

    I think poomsae competition is a fair thing, there is for example a miss in my city she is not good at sparrinmg however she is world champion in poomsae and she is very very good on it her name Ollin Yolitzin Medina. Ollin has such a control of the tecnike thta really amazes me. Poomsae has taken Ollin to El Cairo for example, to Korean more than twice, and she's been traveling around the world for the last 3 years.

    Poomsae tournaments is something very good for people who are not natural fighters and want to be ahead in the TKD world.

    Manny
     
  4. StudentCarl

    StudentCarl 3rd Black Belt

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    I believe that competition events in general are good for Taekwondo because they provide an outcome to train for, and because they are a good place to build friendships and connections. Tournaments are the best common meeting ground we have, and they're an opportunity to celebrate our progress and hard work training. Poomsae competition is very good for Taekwondo because it balances the art--both are valid. Not everyone is into sparring; some people prefer to focus on precision technique and presentation rather than the timing/gaming aspects that make sparring so much fun for me. I'm growing to enjoy poomsae competition more and more as I grow as a student. Both are rich, deep areas of competition with much to offer the dedicated student. It's okay that it would not be practical to compete at a high level in both, but it's good for the art to have both available at a high level. Skilled poomsae competitors add quality to a school just as having skilled sparring competitors adds. They are signs of a vigorous, healthy school. I think we need more poomsae competition, but it's still in the early stages and needs to grow where I am. Masters need to appreciate poomsae competition and be willing to attend seminars to achieve coaching and judging consistency. Having to meet a competition standard may force masters to update their knowledge and possibly change how they teach forms, something not all will do until they see value in it. I hope it grows.
     
  5. taekwondodo

    taekwondodo Green Belt

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    Why is it more expensive than sparring? I think it would be LESS expensive because there isn't any gears or e-hogu involved. All we need is a really good Poomsae dobok.

    So what is the definition of Martial Arts in Poomsae? I thought I was doing poomsae correctly, ie.. each movement has its function and direction with power and speed = Martial arts.

    I thought Martial Arts involved flexibility, power, speed, rhythm, strength, and balance..hey..what am I describing...Poomsae.. :)

    What rules are they changing? Doesn't the WTF changing the sparring rules annually also? So what is the difference?
     
  6. Markku P

    Markku P Blue Belt

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    What I mean is that it will be more expensive, because now I need two teams and often different tournaments, so of course he have to spend more money.


    Yours,

    Markku P
     
  7. Markku P

    Markku P Blue Belt

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    or you are describing a dance, ballet, ice skating..:uhyeah:


    Yours,

    Markku P.
     
  8. msmitht

    msmitht 2nd Black Belt

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    I understand about the cost. @ the us open and other major events poomsae competition is usually held on a seperate day which means one mor night @hotel and another day off of work. Competitors need a different class for poomsae so it takes more time. I believe it is worth it. My students stand out more and their technique looks much more crisp. It is also good for those who want to compete but don't like sparring.
     
  9. mastercole

    mastercole Master Black Belt

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    I never think in terms of sport vs martial art. That is a propaganda ploy that infected Taekwondo sometime back, and I will give it no assistance.

    As far as Poomsae competition, under both the WTF, and the Kukkiwon, I think it is an excellent development and a natural one. Under the WTF and the Kukkiwon, the two being separate organizations, the guidelines put forth for Poomsae competitions actually has brought masses of Taekwondoin closer to the original form and intent of the creators of Poomsae. As Manny stated, it was confusing for him, having different masters show different versions, and that has been the way it was up until the Kukkiwon began educating foreign instructors on correct Poomsae, and WTF and Kukkiwon set their own Poomsae competition standards.

    Now many of us are practicing Poomsae correctly, like it was designed to be practiced around 40 years ago.
     
  10. MariaK

    MariaK Yellow Belt

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    While I'm relatively new to taekwondo, I can definetely see positive aspects in poomsae competitions. First, it allows adult students (who are not professional athletes and are too old for sparring competitions) to compete and enjoy the sport aspect of taekwondo. Thus, you involve adults in the sport (bringing additional resources), encourage them to get more physically fit and set the goals. We had recently a wtf poomsae competitions in my club - you should have seen how many both black and colored belt adults came to participate (including from other USA states). People were extremely enthusiastic about it, the general atmosphere was that "at last there is some competitions where you can participate and it's not only for teenagers and young adults".

    Then, I see that those athletes who finished their professinal careers in sparring can continue competing in poomsae. For example, my instructor (who is in his 40s and was a world class sparring champ (the captain of the USA national taekwondo team in sparring in 90s, medalist of pan-American games, games of Good Will etc.) now is on the USA national poomsae team competing regularly at both national and international levels (e.g. in World Poomsae Championship in Vladivostok, Russia this July). I see that there are former pro sparring atheltes coming to train to our club who want to continue competing in poomsae. They also bring a lot of knowledge about sparring training improving the general quality of teaching a lot. Maybe that's why people are coming a lot to join this club and are not leaving :).123
     

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