Thoughts on Life Bar replacing Points in TKD Sparring

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by skribs, Jan 15, 2020 at 1:46 PM.

  1. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    One of the complaints a lot of people have regarding TKD sparring (specifically WT Olympic-style sparring) is that it has gone away from being a martial art, towards a foot-fencing game. It seems a common opinion that the game itself is fun, but there's a lot of room for improvement. There seems to be a call for the harder-hitting, more practical kicks to once again be the primary focus of the sparring.

    The first time I saw a solution to this, it was on Shark Tank of all places. I say "of all places", because it seems weird to me that the invention of the 20/20 chestguard and the life meter would need the approval of the WT authorities in Korea, and not the American sharks who have nothing to do with TKD. However, I liked the idea, for the reasons presented. Having a "life bar" like a video game allows you to give different strength kicks a different damaging value, which would correspond to a higher scoring technique. It also means you should theoretically have less ties go to sudden death, because once one player gets to 0, the match is over.



    This is a video I found posted to Reddit, r/Taekwondo, which features the same system being used experimentally.

    Personally, I love the idea of these. On the one hand, it makes the fights feel like a real life video game. But on the other, it makes it so strength matters towards your score more than simply a binary check of whether or not you kicked hard enough to score.

    What do you guys think of this type of system? Does it fix the problems with current WT sparring? Do you disagree there were problems with WT sparring? Does this system make it feel too much like a video game for your taste?
     
  2. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    It is definitely easier for a layman to understand who is winning and so therefore be emotionally involved.
     
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  3. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I think it's a cool idea. It would definitely help with those weak little kicks that do no damage whatsoever from being used. It would also make it more exciting, in the way that watching tellen or streetfighter is exciting. But there are a couple potential issues i could see with this.

    1. Having a life bar would let the media and naysayers even more say " it's a game, not real fighting", since people don't tend to think about these things too indepth.

    2. You might need more weight classes depending on how damage is calculated.

    3. (The biggest one to me) clubs that want to be serious would need to buy their own electronic gear (possibly multiple times depending on durability). It would be more important than getting gear with a point counter, since that you can use a judge for in dojo...but you can only guess the power level in the dojo without the electronics. And if you want to compete seriously you'd be at a disadvantage not experimenting with one already to know how much 'damage' you do, and how much is required to win.
     
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  4. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    1. I mean, right now people say that anyways. So we may just be trading one insult for another.
    2. Maybe. They are already calculated based on weight.
    3. This would be a big concern. However, if these become official, I certainly wouldn't mind donating to my dojang.

    I think the point system we have now isn't too hard to understand. I think it's a lot better than the point system in MMA (if a fight doesn't end in a KO or tap-out).
     
  5. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Like i said, 3 is the biggest issue for me. I know that by where I live, most dojos could adapt to that and be fine. But in certain areas where they can't afford it, it would just provide a bigger barrier to competition.
     
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  6. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    I think it's possibly a fun idea.

    But I can see it having the potential to cause yet another split.

    If it was to be adopted and mandatory for sanctioned events then it'd maybe end up with a "sub-kkw" series comprising those who can't compete financially sticking to using judges (or the older detection system) moving away from those who can.
     
  7. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    ha ha ha.. that would be the one thing that would get me out of my "sparring to learn" I watched that video and all I could think about was how fast could I make that bar disappear. Would it be with a lot of strikes, a couple of rib breakers. I like the idea but I can see myself caring more about that stupid bar than my opponent's ribs lol.
     
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  8. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Probably wouldn't be difficult. Donations, a couple of car washes and other fund raisers and a payment plan should get you there. Payment plan being that each student has an account that they can pay into. That way you can maybe have students pay 1/2 the cost and the donation pays the other.

    Lots of way to make it happen.
     
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  9. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    Ooh, an idea.

    Something to put a stop to the foot lifting used as a time waster that seems to dominate the few matches I've watched.

    A regenerative health bar.

    Could go even further too and have it so that blocking an attack increases resilience and/or regenerates health points.
     
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  10. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    I'd argue that equipment is partly what the normal class fees are for.

    What happens if a particular student doesn't have the disposable income to donate over and above what they pay for class already? Would they be excluded from using it or looked down on by the rest for not contributing? Maybe kicked out for not prioritising the club over such frivolous niceties as food and housing?

    Some might also be working more than full time to make ends meet when they're not in class, so also wouldn't have the free time to participate in external fund raising.

    Or if a student has no interest in competition so aren't going to get use out of the kit? Would they still be compelled to 'donate' extra money?

    If I was to join a gym and pay my monthly fee, I certainly wouldn't be happy to be told I'm also expected to 'donate' toward them replacing or adding equipment - why is it acceptable for an MA school that's being run as a business to do that?


    The MA money grabbing reputation is bad enough already what with things like minimum term contracts, special team uniforms, black belt clubs, inflated test and certificate fees and all the rest without holding out a hand and expecting even more cash for something that is essentially a tax deductible consumable.
     
  11. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I think that would depend on it's cost/durability. If the equipment is something that breaks often (which I can imagine for electronics being kicked a lot), it would need to be replaced/fixed often which could add up. If not, then a one-time price could probably be afforded by some car washes like you suggested.
     
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  12. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    I think that there's a rule if you're too passive you take more damage.

    Regarding using tuition fees, it depends on how in the black the school is.
     
  13. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I like the regenerative health bar idea. Even if there is a rule about passivity, it would make it more concrete, rather than relying on a judge to determine.

    It would also change strategy, as someone who has more 'health' left would need to be more aggressive to prevent the other guys health from regenerating, while that guy would want to defend/avoid damage or trades/clashes until the health regens a bit.
     
  14. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Like skribs said, this depends on the school. Most schools don't do well in general. If they are now forced to raise tuition, that could result in losing or not gaining new students. Althoigh like i said earlier, all of this is heavily dependent on how much it would cost to buy/maintain this equipment. It might be a nonissue.
     
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  15. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    What's that old line? If you want to make a small fortune in martial arts, start with a large fortune and open your own school.
     
  16. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    But having a "student donation account" is likely to be much more alienating than a 5-10% tuition fee increase.

    Likewise being told that an existing or prospective student would be expected to participate in fundraising activities outside class.

    Maybe it's the normal sort of thing over there, but it's really not here.

    This is based on the sort of club that I see described often - the for profit business. If they haven't accounted for advancements and maintenance of equipment then they don't have a sustainable business model and don't deserve to be propped up by pressuring paying students into bolstering their bank balance.

    It might be a different situation if it's a non profit type of deal where the tuition barely covers the rental of a sports hall in a rec club a few nights a week.
     
  17. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Then the school helps that student out.

    All of these are possible, But I'm sure that this is probably more of a Personal thing about the teacher. Establish your business as a not-for-profit organization and you'll be able to apply for grants that are specifically look for organizations that help or serve the children. Depending on the type of school you run, uniforms come cheap. For the school I was in, the uniform was a school t-shirt black light weight pants or shorts. To be hones it was really just the t-shirt. Bottom wear was the student's choice so long as it was appropriate.

    Create a volunteer program for your school where the school gets out and volunteers for things in the community. Be a visual contributor to the community and people will be more than happy to support your needs.

    My point is there are people who are out there that are more than happy to support organizations. I found a building to train in with no money, and was able to name my own price for how much I was able to pay a month without killing the school. I had students, a good reputation, and looked like a person the owner could trust.

    The thing that I try to do in my is collect options no matter how slim. Then I try not to kill those options before I actually try it. Sometimes we assume too much about a challenges that we see before use. For example, None of us have this product and we have already made assumptions about things about something that doesn't exist (commercially) yet.
     
  18. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    Going by the prices I found for the most basic set of the current electronic scoring system, I think it's very safe to assume the cost of a more advanced system is going to fall somewhere between "really not cheap at all" and "how bloody much???"
     
  19. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    If I were to implement either of those options, then donations would be optional, and fundraising would be voluntary and only even asked of already vested students.
     
  20. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    Donation may be optional, but I'd be willing to bet it would lead to friction between those who opt to donate and those who do not (or their families if more relevant). Whether that would be observed by the people running the school is a different matter.
     

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