Is Olympic TKD Fun to Watch?

dancingalone

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Your thoughts? As a sport, it seems like anyone who follows the sport probably practices sport TKD themselves or has a family member who does. Why hasn't it caught on more in the United States? There's certainly hundreds of thousands of TKDists here.

My initial opinion as an outsider is that it's just simply too bizarre to watch, completely unlike what I practice myself as a martial artist and it's frankly boring to watch in my opinion. Too much hopping and bouncing and the typical television camera work is low budget with not enough variation. Compare this to my other entertainment choices and the chances that I'll watch even more than 15 minutes on TV a TKD match are very slim indeed.

What does TKD compete against for a following? MMA? Boxing? Well both sports have legions of fans who don't do MMA or box at all themselves. The truth may hurt, but I don't think TKD is even a contender at this point and the people who organize the sport need to take a long hard look at what they are offering and how they can make it more appealing to the casual fan.
 

ATC

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Depends on what you want to see and how well educated in the sport you are.

For example; yes some matches are boring to watch because you get two fighters that do not take the opportunities presented to them and they just stand there. Or you get two fighters that don't know what they are doing and hug or clash legs or miss each other all the time.

Remember most fighters don't have the skill set needed to make an interesting match.

You can also get a boring fight when two fighters are to evenly matched, so neither wants to make that critical mistake to give up the losing point. So they just faint at each other (new rules will change this).

But when you get that perfect match, where you see the artistry and skill needed to setup and pull off your attack or counters and the action is fast then it is like nothing I can describe.

Only boxing can have this type of artistry as well.

MMA is fun to watch because anything can happen and any moment but it is not pretty at all. Just 2 tough guys going at is about all. Yes there is technique but many times the toughest most willed person will win.

Now Box and TKD are a bit different. The most skilled will almost always win. Yes you have the lucky punch or kick from time to time but you will never have someone that just started the sport defeat someone on the top. I see this lot in MMA.

To me MMA is like fighting pit bulls. You teach them both to fight and may the toughest win. But after all is said and done even the winners don't last too long. How many 10+ years champion MMA fighters are there? Many boxer and TKD fighters stay on top for awhile from the skills. As soon as a stronger younger more willed MMA fighter comes along then that is it.

Boxing and TKD is hard to watch because you have to know what you are looking at.

MMA is easy to watch because everyone knows what they are seeing.

It is like playing Candy Land and Chess.

OK let the flaming begin.
 

Jphtkd

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ATC, I agree with some of the points you made, but have you seen Lyoto Machida fight? After I saw a couple of his matches my interest in MMA was renewed.

As far as Olympic style TKD goes, for a spectator it is boring, complicated, and arbitrary at times...
 

Omar B

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It looks silly and not at all like fighting. I'm no fan of watching fighting, but I would much prefer watching Olympic Boxing or Wrestling over TKD which looks like a cross between bad dancing and a chicken fight.
 

ATC

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ATC, I agree with some of the points you made, but have you seen Lyoto Machida fight? After I saw a couple of his matches my interest in MMA was renewed.

As far as Olympic style TKD goes, for a spectator it is boring, complicated, and arbitrary at times...
Yes and he is a true Martial Artist. He has fought K1 and was brought up under the Shotakan style. And with him you can clearly see the difference. Now once MMA gets more people in the ring like him then you have something. But he is of a type that is far and few in-between.
 

ATC

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It looks silly and not at all like fighting. I'm no fan of watching fighting
That is the thing. It is not fighting. It is a controlled match to determine how good a certain limited set of skills are.

Fighting is something altogether different.

Just like boxing is not fighting. It is a controlled sport trying to match and determine who has the better certain limited set of skills.

I challenge any MMA, Karate, Wu-Shu...or any so called style to compete against a TKD competitor with TKD competition rules. They will all lose and lose quick and bad, most likely by a knock out.

Now the same can be said for an Olympic TKD guy getting into any of the other styles rings also.

But I can tell you this much, it would not take a TKD practitioner long to train and adapt to those other styles. However the reverse could not be said about the other styles training and adapting to TKD. It would just take to long to master the skill set needed for Olympic style competition.

Remember that show the Human Weapon.? Two guys went all over the world learning different styles of fighting and then challenged someone from each style they were showcasing. Well the only sport where one got knocked out, and the other just flat out quit because he knew he would to, was TKD. They fought every style possible, almost, and never even came close to getting hurt or KO’d, they even beat some at their own game. But when they stepped into a TKD ring they got owned, both of them by one guy. The one TKD guy fought both and took out the big guy first, and made the guy of same size fake and injury and quit.

Olympic TKD is a highly specialized skill that takes years to master. The art is something else also that many don’t know about either.

Boring to watch for those who do not know what they are looking at yes.
 

KELLYG

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My bad I thought that you were talking about the sparing matches shown on TV during the Olympics.
 

Marginal

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I challenge any MMA, Karate, Wu-Shu...or any so called style to compete against a TKD competitor with TKD competition rules. They will all lose and lose quick and bad, most likely by a knock out.
That's meaningless. An Olympic TKD competitor won't cross over into another specialized rule set any better.

Also it's not accurate to say there's no skill other than toughness being displayed in a MMA context. They're operating under a specific rule set too, and calling it a dogfight pretty much is exactly the same thing as admitting you don't understand what you're seeing.

Human weapon, pretty much every other match they had in every style was a preconcluded draw. It didn't matter how badly they did, it was a draw. The TKD guy apparently wasn't interested in playing the save face game, but saying they held their own against the other styles is silly if you watch the actual fights. They got beaten down on every continent.
 

Jphtkd

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That's meaningless. An Olympic TKD competitor won't cross over into another specialized rule set any better.

Also it's not accurate to say there's no skill other than toughness being displayed in a MMA context. They're operating under a specific rule set too, and calling it a dogfight pretty much is exactly the same thing as admitting you don't understand what you're seeing.

MMA has very few rules and the average viewer can easily pick them up over the course of one PPV event. This is what makes it so viewer friendly. Taekwondo rules are complex and difficult to learn, even for some of the competitors. They also change on a pretty regular basis.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying TKD is better than MMA, but it is definately more of a challenge for non-participating viewers to get involved with the sport. That is why it is so difficult for TKD to get airtime on TV, even during the Olympics.
 

ATC

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That's meaningless. An Olympic TKD competitor won't cross over into another specialized rule set any better.
Not sure if you read all my comment or just this part. Please re-read.

Also it's not accurate to say there's no skill other than toughness being displayed in a MMA context. They're operating under a specific rule set too, and calling it a dogfight pretty much is exactly the same thing as admitting you don't understand what you're seeing.
Again you need to read all of what I said.

Human weapon, pretty much every other match they had in every style was a preconcluded draw. It didn't matter how badly they did, it was a draw. The TKD guy apparently wasn't interested in playing the save face game, but saying they held their own against the other styles is silly if you watch the actual fights. They got beaten down on every continent.
Not true. I watch Jason dominate a Judo guy. That should have destroyed him. And with the sport of TKD there is no save face game. You have to hit or be hit. That is it. And if you walk into a back spin kick (a pretty comon kick in that sport) It is lights out. Trying to do it soft or not.

Take the challange. Plenty of dojangs will let you. You can even train for a year if you want.

I have taken the challange the other way around and did not have to train for a year to be decent.

I have been around and done almost all of it.
 

Steve

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This last Olympics, I was really excited at the breadth of coverage available online. I had never really seen Olympic TKD before and was really let down.

As a lay spectator, it looked liked a bunch of hopping around and yelling as loudly as possible. From what I could tell, it was more about convincing the judges you had scored a hit than actually scoring a hit.

Thank god the Judo coverage was there.

Edit: I'm not saying anything one way or the other about TKD. I'm just answering the OP question: Is Olympic TKD fun to watch? For me, the answer is a resounding no. :)
 
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dancingalone

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So, ATC, I take it you are generally happy with the sport? You don't wish it was more popular with the accompanying increase in exposure and $$$? I don't necessarily disagree with your defense of the sport, but it's undeniable that THE PEOPLE have spoken and the people find Olympic TKD as a spectator sport to be be boring and uninteresting.

I say a huge shakeout is in order. Olympic TKD probably gets lower ratings than the rhythmic gymnastics do.
 

ATC

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So, ATC, I take it you are generally happy with the sport? You don't wish it was more popular with the accompanying increase in exposure and $$$? I don't necessarily disagree with your defense of the sport, but it's undeniable that THE PEOPLE have spoken and the people find Olympic TKD as a spectator sport to be be boring and uninteresting.

I say a huge shakeout is in order. Olympic TKD probably gets lower ratings than the rhythmic gymnastics do.
Oh I do see my share of boring with this sport as well. I am just pointing out why it can be boring for most and at times, all.

Changes are needed but not necessarily with the Olympic part of the sport. For a more mainstream type sport you have to add and take away form what you have in the Olympics. The Olympics should be pure to the most technical of every sport. Now what to add or take away though is the question?

Add the true art parts back in and you have Kickboxing and or MMA in a sense. I understand what the WTF or Kukkiwan is trying to do with what they are putting out as rules, to show case the kicking skills that they see sets them apart from the other arts, but maybe to much focus on just that as your showcase can be a bad thing. Yes it takes skill but when most cannot appreciate or understand the skill needed then what's the point unless you are a part of it.

The problem I see is that they are trying to hard to push something and they should have just let the art (the entire art) speak for itself.

What Kukkiwan and WTF did was to try and promote an art by creating a sport that showcased one of the arts most difficult technical aspects. Well, not everyone will understand that nor will everyone be able to focus on just that. That is why all arts have more than just one set of skills. But TKD seems to focus on just the one when showing the world what it is. That is the mistake I think they are making.

Other arts do focus on there primary skill as well but they do not make their only set of skills. They still show and use all that they have to offer. A BJJ guy will punch you in the face as well as kick you, but he prefers you on the ground. Well in TKD we should take the same approach. We want you at legs distance so we can kick you in the head and knock you out but if not then we can punch you in the face, elbow, and even grapple if need be. Not our preferred choice but we can if need be.

They do have an uphill battle.
 

Marginal

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Not sure if you read all my comment or just this part. Please re-read.


Again you need to read all of what I said.
I did. You said just that. You then tried to soften that, but then backtracked by saying that TKD folks could easily move between disciplines with little effort, but not the other way around.

You have a neat little double standard fueled only by your own anecdotal evidence.

Not true. I watch Jason dominate a Judo guy. That should have destroyed him.
I'm not sure what you're talking about. Jason didn't dominate him. He completely lost. 3-0. Every move he tried was stuffed, or was stalled til they were stood up again. He was thrown and pinned. By every measure of the competition rules he was operating under he failed with every attempt. He couldn't even secure his triangle. He got nowhere. He even said as much during the commentary.

Going by your definition of domination, the challenge you're extending is, "Spar an Olympic rules sparring match, and if you don't get knocked out you win." That's certainly doable, but I wouldn't really call that keeping pace with a guy if they clearly outpointed me despite me not getting KO'ed.

And with the sport of TKD there is no save face game. You have to hit or be hit. That is it. And if you walk into a back spin kick (a pretty comon kick in that sport) It is lights out. Trying to do it soft or not.
It never goes to points? Wow.

Take the challange. Plenty of dojangs will let you. You can even train for a year if you want.
It's still an empty challenge. Amazing that only a Olympic TKD guy can easily move between rule sets with little effort. This hasn't been demonstrated in top level (the olympic equavalent) MMA. Don't hear about may Olympic TKD guys also transitioning over to Boxing within 6 months to a year and winning tournaments etc either.
 
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Twin Fist

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I challenge any MMA, Karate, Wu-Shu...or any so called style to compete against a TKD competitor with TKD competition rules. They will all lose and lose quick and bad, most likely by a knock out.

Now the same can be said for an Olympic TKD guy getting into any of the other styles rings also.

But I can tell you this much, it would not take a TKD practitioner long to train and adapt to those other styles.

this is errant non-sense and ever more, it is needless "my stuff is the deadly" chest thumping

Arlene limas, a KUNG FU STYLIST spent a year, one year, training TKD and made the TKD Olympic team, and won her weight class in 1988. Olympic gold medalist. Look it up

so, we can just put that crap to bed.


as for the "it would not take a TKD practitioner long to train and adapt to those other styles." crap, well thats non-sense too

a lifetime of not having to keep your hands up will not be an easy habit to break

Olympic style TKD the fighters cant throw a decent punch, or a decent kick without falling over.

ever wonder why WTF style fighters dont go to open tournaments?
ever wonder why WTF style fighters dont do MMA?


Olympic style TKD is why i dont advertise myself as a TKD instructor. I dont know which is worse, WTF or ATA
 

ATC

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I did. You said just that. You then tried to soften that, but then backtracked by saying that TKD folks could easily move between disciplines with little effort, but not the other way around.

You have a neat little double standard fueled only by your own anecdotal evidence.


I'm not sure what you're talking about. Jason didn't dominate him. He completely lost. 3-0. Every move he tried was stuffed, or was stalled til they were stood up again. By every measure of the competition rules he was operating under he failed with every attempt. He couldn't even secure his triangle. He got nowhere. He even said as much during the commentary.

Going by your definition of domination, the challenge you're extending is, "Spar an Olympic rules sparring match, and if you don't get knocked out you win." That's certainly doable, but I wouldn't really call that keeping pace with a guy if they clearly outpointed me despite me not getting KO'ed.

It never goes to points? Wow.

It's still an empty challenge. Amazing that only a Olympic TKD guy can easily move between rule sets with little effort. This hasn't been demonstrated in top level (the olympic equavalent) MMA. Don't hear about may Olympic TKD guys also transitioning over to Boxing within 6 months to a year and winning tournaments etc either.
OK put you spin or take on what I said and have you own opinion on them. Matters not to me I know what I stated.
 

Marginal

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OK put you spin or take on what I said and have you own opinion on them. Matters not to me I know what I stated.
So do I. Apparently losing a judo match means you're a dominating Judo player.
 

ATC

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this is errant non-sense and ever more, it is needless "my stuff is the deadly" chest thumping
OK, if you say so.

][quote\Arlene limas, a KUNG FU STYLIST spent a year, one year, training TKD and made the TKD Olympic team, and won her weight class in 1988. Olympic gold medalist. Look it up

so, we can just put that crap to bed.[/quote]
The sport was in in infancy. Many have been there done that then. Do it now.


as for the "it would not take a TKD practitioner long to train and adapt to those other styles." crap, well thats non-sense too

a lifetime of not having to keep your hands up will not be an easy habit to break

Olympic style TKD the fighters cant throw a decent punch, or a decent kick without falling over.

ever wonder why WTF style fighters dont go to open tournaments?
ever wonder why WTF style fighters dont do MMA?


Olympic style TKD is why i dont advertise myself as a TKD instructor. I dont know which is worse, WTF or ATA
Your comparing the sport not the arts. People need to read what I post. Selective snips out of contect...man oh man.
 

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