2012 European Taekwondo Championships

andyjeffries

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My 9 year old son and I went to the Euros in Manchester this past weekend and I thought I'd share my thoughts on the new scoring systems (Daedo and touch-to-the-head). We also met up with RobinTKD late on the Saturday and for the Sunday morning and it was great to see him again (I met him a week or two before).


We sat with a real mixture of people - on the first day we had Aaron Cook's family and some of the GB fighters on the row directly behind us and Pascal Gentil from France on the chair in front of my son. On the second day we had people who were really new to the sport behind us and other team members around us.


I would say that the Daedo electronic protectors worked really well. I think it was generally fairly obvious when people hit hard enough to score and the values were set at a level where it really has to be a hard hit (which is good) not a glancing blow. Generally if you heard it in the seats it was scored. I think Daedo really could do with some work on their displays though. They look like a User Interface done by a programmer in the 80s, rather than a modern display like the TV sports networks use.


For example, I explained to the people behind me that the numbers in the top left of the display was the power value required to score a body point and the numbers in the bottom corners were the power achieved by the competitors on their last strike. I think having this as a horizontal bar graph style (even without the numbers) that fills up straight after an impact and flashes if it goes over the mark (and their score flashes at the same time) would make it more obvious to spectators that don't know this.


I was concerned about the touch to the head scoring rule before the event. I thought that it potentially would make WTF Taekwondo more like ITF Taekwondo - but I have to admit in this competition it was actually a really positive change. The audience often went crazy when a head kick landed, whereas in the old days it wouldn't happen as you could never be sure if it scored. Only once did I see a more ITF style "stand on one leg and repeatedly flick out your leg" used - and unfortunately it was by a Hungarian player and Jade Jones from GB had no answer to it. Overall though it encouraged a lot more audience participation and enthusiasm so I think it's a good thing.


I also think that the video replay system worked well (the last competition I was at didn't have it). Generally the audience agreed with the usage of the cards and the resulting overturning or rejection of the card. I think the WTF IRs were getting a bit fed up with them (from their body language) at the end, but that's their problem ;-)

One thing that would be nice in the old days referees would indicate what was wrong with a hand signal. I remember it being a pain is the *** to learn (as a newbie referee - remembering the 13 kyong-go and 8 gam-jeum was hard enough, but with each having a hand signal), but I'm sure IRs were fine with it.


At the Euros one of the things I heard regularly from members of the audience was "what was that for?". I can't think of a time where I didn't know what it was for (or at least it seemed obvious to me), but I think this would help the general audience/public understand. As the official language of WTF IRs (from what I read on the WTF site) is English, having the reason displayed on the Daedo screens would also help in audience understanding and therefore participation.


"WARNING - Blue left the boundary" flashing up at the bottom would help people understand what's going on. If we want our sport to grow and stay in the Olympics, then surely we have to make it more accessible for the general public to enjoy.


Overall an incredible couple of days. My son took his belt along (he's a yellow belt-green tag and is due to test again in a month, so I didn't mind it being "defaced" in this way) and got loads of signatures. He also had his picture taken with a few fighters - Servet Tazeful who is his favourite, Pascal Gentil, the Hungarian who beat Jade Jones and Jemma Johnson of GB (who I think he's a little in love with). I only really got a couple of pictures I was happy with - my lens wasn't that great so I had a choice of light pictures that were blurry or dark/grainy pictures that weren't. For what it's worth they're here - http://www.flickr.com/photos/andyjeffries/sets/72157629981244823/


Roll on London 2012 now! So excited!
 

SahBumNimRush

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Thanks for the run down Andy! On a side note I always assumed RobinTKD was a lady.. . Funny how you make assumptions on here, **Apologies Robin** :uhyeah:
 

StudentCarl

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Thanks for sharing that, Andy. Sounds like you guys had fun, and the pictures look good. Your son looks like he had a great time too, and what's not to like about Taekwondo girls!

Carl
 
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andyjeffries

andyjeffries

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Thanks for the run down Andy!

Cool, no worries.

On a side note I always assumed RobinTKD was a lady.. . Funny how you make assumptions on here, **Apologies Robin** :uhyeah:

Ha ha ha. Before we spoke over email/met, I always assumed that he was a man, but now I can see that it does work both ways. I think the use of Robin for ladies is more American, I guess. When I think "Robin" I go to "Batman and Robin" - a dude; I guess in the US a more common mental image would be "Robin Givens" or something similar?
 

Tenchi

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Sounds like it was a nice Championship. I still have some reservations about the way kicks to the head now score. Too easily, if you ask me. But I guess the crowd loves it. Thank you for sharing your experience, Andy. :)
 

RobinTKD

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Thanks for the run down Andy! On a side note I always assumed RobinTKD was a lady.. . Funny how you make assumptions on here, **Apologies Robin** :uhyeah:

Hahahahahaha, I can honestly say that's the first time I've heard that!

It was a good competition, I booked some holiday and got down there for the full 4 days. It was my first 'live' experience of WTF style sparring, and I enjoyed it. Yes some (about 2-3%) of the fights were scrappy where both fighters didn't look like they had the basics nailed, but no more so than I've seen at ITF competitions, or even Judo and Knockdown Tournaments. What I loved was that all the teams just mixed in with the crowd, so on Thursday I spent the afternoon sitting with the British team, and the evening with the French team as they cheered on their eventual gold medallist (I can't remember her name now, Hannois?).

And much like Andy's son, I think I've developed a little crush on Bianca Walkden, though I hear she's got a boyfriend...
 

Gorilla

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Her boyfriend is Aaron Cook!



Hahahahahaha, I can honestly say that's the first time I've heard that!

It was a good competition, I booked some holiday and got down there for the full 4 days. It was my first 'live' experience of WTF style sparring, and I enjoyed it. Yes some (about 2-3%) of the fights were scrappy where both fighters didn't look like they had the basics nailed, but no more so than I've seen at ITF competitions, or even Judo and Knockdown Tournaments. What I loved was that all the teams just mixed in with the crowd, so on Thursday I spent the afternoon sitting with the British team, and the evening with the French team as they cheered on their eventual gold medallist (I can't remember her name now, Hannois?).

And much like Andy's son, I think I've developed a little crush on Bianca Walkden, though I hear she's got a boyfriend...
 
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