Biased refereeing causes suicide in Korea

oftheherd1

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My wife, who watches Korean TV almost exclusively, tells me they report Korea has the highest suicide rate right now, even surpassing Japan. A while back, even a former president jumped off a cliff due to government pushing of an investigation into allegations of improper use of influence, by his wife as I recall.

Kind of incomprehensible to us.
 

Gnarlie

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I don't think the video is clear enough to say whether those were valid kyong go deductions or not as most of the incidents were out of frame. There could be more to this story than meets the eye.

Gnarlie
 

Steve

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Is the refereeing the cause or simply the catalyst? I mean, it seems to me that there is more going on culturally, socially or otherwise, if people are committing suicide in high numbers.

This is a perfect time to ask the five why's. Why did commit suicide? Because he was upset by the refereeing?

Why did the refereeing upset him so much? Answer this question, and three more, and I'd wager we would be close to the actual "cause" of the suicide.

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DennisBreene

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I suspect that in most suicides, the individual is depressed or otherwise severely stressed and that any number of triggers could be the precipitating event. The cause is still the mental status of the individual.
 

Rumy73

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You guys fail to understand the concept of face in Korean society. It is nearly incomprehensible to westerners. In a confucian society, how a person senses others view him weighs heavily.
 

Steve

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You guys fail to understand the concept of face in Korean society. It is nearly incomprehensible to westerners. In a confucian society, how a person senses others view him weighs heavily.
I said before that if we really want to know why this young person committed suicide, we have to ask the five whys.

1: Why did he commit suicide? Because he was upset by the refereeing.
2: Why did the refereeing upset him so much? Because he felt that he had lost "face" and losing face in Korea is very serious.
3: Why is that?
4: Why is that?
5: Why is that?

While somewhat simplistic, the five whys technique is a way to dig a little deeper to get to the real root of an issue. The tendency is to look for the simplest, most obvious reason that something happened, but often we stop there, describing only the symptom of an issue and no more.
 

granfire

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I suppose being pragmatic, the question 'he got cheated' does not translate into committing suicide to me.

There is a huge cultural difference between Korea and the West.

But still I am thinking there is more to the story. But it's certainly a big way to stick it to the ref.

Will he now have to commit Korean Hara Kiri? (seppiku?)
 

DennisBreene

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You guys fail to understand the concept of face in Korean society. It is nearly incomprehensible to westerners. In a confucian society, how a person senses others view him weighs heavily.

While "face" and any number of other cultural influences may change the threshold for suicide, I suspect that there is still an underlying psychiatric condition. I would gladly defer to a knowledgable psychiatrist on that point.
 

Carol

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While "face" and any number of other cultural influences may change the threshold for suicide, I suspect that there is still an underlying psychiatric condition. I would gladly defer to a knowledgable psychiatrist on that point.

Agreed. I personally feel that mental health would be regarded a bit differently if a suicide was viewed as a death due to mental illness rather than a mechanical act.
 

Rumy73

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While "face" and any number of other cultural influences may change the threshold for suicide, I suspect that there is still an underlying psychiatric condition. I would gladly defer to a knowledgable psychiatrist on that point.

Who knows if there was such a condition? You just cannot appreciate Korean culture. You and others keep using Western perspective. Face concerns how one is viewed by others. Failure to achieve hurts the face of the immediate person and those connected to him, such as family. Parental pressure is huge in Korea. It is something that Westerners can barely grasp. Letting down one's parents is a common reason for suicide. Shame is seen as something worse than death.
 

Rumy73

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Reading the father's letter is heartbreaking. He talks about the match being an important one for his son's future. He wrote after the defeat, he (the father) could not eat or sleep. The suicide was the only way to protest the harm done to his som.
 

Jaeimseu

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This is accurate. It's so depressing every year after the Korean SAT. There are always several young suicides.

The concept of 'face' is often overemphasized by westerners in my opinion, but I think it's quite true that Koreans tend to place a great deal of importance on what other people think of them.

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oftheherd1

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Reading the father's letter is heartbreaking. He talks about the match being an important one for his son's future. He wrote after the defeat, he (the father) could not eat or sleep. The suicide was the only way to protest the harm done to his som.

That is quite true. It doesn't sound like much, but education for instance, starts with elementary school. You want to get your children in the best elementary school possible. The better elementary school the child gets into, the better, middle school they can get into; then the better junior high, high school, and ultimately college. What was so important about that match? I don't know, but obviously the father felt it was so.

This is accurate. It's so depressing every year after the Korean SAT. There are always several young suicides.

The concept of 'face' is often overemphasized by westerners in my opinion, but I think it's quite true that Koreans tend to place a great deal of importance on what other people think of them.

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I think overemphasizing comes from lack of understanding. And I don't mean to sound like an expert. I am far from it. I think it is a dichotomy. It is powerful and shameful at the same time. It is understood that suicide is final, and yet that no other solution was sufficient, whatever the shame involved was. And that is where it gets its power, that the wrong was so great that nothing else would suffice. Can make us westerners dizzy after a bit of thought.
 

Master Dan

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You guys fail to understand the concept of face in Korean society. It is nearly incomprehensible to westerners. In a confucian society, how a person senses others view him weighs heavily.
Not just Koran society but in many Asian societies you have the Tiger Parent effect that can and has driven many young people over the edge including murder. Mental conditions can be effected by genetics, enviroment and of couse abuse.

I think while TKD sport has alot of problems at local state and national/international levels I blame the down turn in society in general at fault not the sport
 

t1BlackBelt

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What a poor example of a Father and a selfish parent.

Nice role model.


Suicide over a TKD match, unreal.
 

Napitenkah

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When people talk of why someone committed suicide or went on some killing spree, it is usually they are expressing their viewpoint on it, not being able to perceive why.

Some things are true, but still won't reveal why with the individual.

Culturally, some societies have a bigger overall importance on standing, but just as this Korean man could have killed himself from a sense of shame and failure, I have also heard of Americans doing likewise. Like a military general, after making a sexist joke at a military party, killed himself, after he was informed that the military would be deciding on whether he should be punished in some way for it.

Suicide, what may only be said, is in the awareness of the individual. Where they are, that is the only way they feel they can solve the problems of living in the world. A lot of people feel that, but they won't do it. That is the difference in awareness.
 

Gorilla

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I feel bad for the family that has to deal with this suicide...tragic... As for the judging...the calls did not go one players way....he ways trying to just hold on and win....avoiding the fight cost him the match...the center judge did not like what he was doing and the calls did not go his way...this is the way of TKD...Plus you have to know your judges!!!!

I did not see bias....this is sad for the center judge having to live with this...
 

DennisBreene

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While I agree that cultural differences and training do color the spectrum of responses to stressors. Such as the perceived need for extraordinary performance. The cultural bias that suicide is the only adequate response strikes me as simplistic. This is not a soldier running into certain death because his training mandates it. People with suicidal ideation often feel that their situation is hopeless and that they are helpless to change it. They also feel that they are no longer worthy of living. How is this deferent from the mental state of that unfortunate man? His loss of face is a loss of stature and worthiness. Whether through cultural indoctrination or his own distorted perception of what his culture required he concluded that he had no other alternatives. That "formula" is consistent with suicidal ideation in western culture and whole the specific stimuli are skewed to a more Asian perspective; I'm not convinced that the basic neuropsychiatric parameters are different.
 

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