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.