Olympic TKD

_Simon_

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Off topic but related, does anyone know what the karate rule set and format is going to be for the Olympics?
Yeah WKF ruleset, and yeah it will look veeery different to TKD. Can't wait :) 5-7th August!
 

Steve

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Yeah as I said in the last poster thread, I love watching TKD tournaments. I finally got around to watching some in the Olympics, but yeah... it felt different to what I've seen prior. I actually was a bit puzzled :s. Did seem some quick foot-tapping just to register on the electronics...

They were never meant to be purely reflective of a "real fight", but a specific skillset, and real emphasis on speed, agility, footwork, timing, strategy etc, which is what I love about it. I'll watch a bit more if I can.. but I was a little underwhelmed with the small amount I saw..
Just to clarify, it's clear that the TKD athletes are highly skilled. I just don't find it all that fun to watch.
 

kmorrisonnyc

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Look it's not great but I was highly critical of the Olympic sparring in 2016. In comparison this is significantly better, a lot less hugging, a lot less falling over etc. Give me old school ITF Sparring any day, but at least they are trying to improve it.
 

Steve

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Look it's not great but I was highly critical of the Olympic sparring in 2016. In comparison this is significantly better, a lot less hugging, a lot less falling over etc. Give me old school ITF Sparring any day, but at least they are trying to improve it.
I suspect that for people who compete in the sport, it's probably more fun to watch.
 

Tez3

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Yeah as I said in the last poster thread, I love watching TKD tournaments. I finally got around to watching some in the Olympics, but yeah... it felt different to what I've seen prior. I actually was a bit puzzled :s. Did seem some quick foot-tapping just to register on the electronics...

They were never meant to be purely reflective of a "real fight", but a specific skillset, and real emphasis on speed, agility, footwork, timing, strategy etc, which is what I love about it. I'll watch a bit more if I can.. but I was a little underwhelmed with the small amount I saw..

Before the ref starts them off they have to show the electronic 'hands and feet' work so they test it by just touching each other, it's that little a touch to get points.
 

nigebj

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It seems TKD has made a deal with the devil (IOC) who have turned it into…’poopy-plop-plops’ but has it harmed their recruitment goals?
I would imagine nobody wants to train in a style which appears to only have two limbs, except for hugging!
The worst aspect, for me, was watching the cynical score protection at the end of the 3rd for some of those fights.
Integrity - spit!
 

nigebj

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Look it's not great but I was highly critical of the Olympic sparring in 2016. In comparison this is significantly better, a lot less hugging, a lot less falling over etc. Give me old school ITF Sparring any day, but at least they are trying to improve it.
Huh, I must have been lucky with the 2016 matches I watched - seemed like it had gotten worse, not better. The women's matches I watched seemed to be the better ones - but had given up by the time they were medalling.
 
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This is where the IOC got their vision for Olympic TKD!
 

Steve

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Huh, I must have been lucky with the 2016 matches I watched - seemed like it had gotten worse, not better. The women's matches I watched seemed to be the better ones - but had given up by the time they were medalling.
Was the opposite for me, though I will admit to watching no more than about 5 minutes total. The women's matches were all lead leg kicks and a lot of hopping on one foot. At least the men were throwing different kicks. Even saw one punch.
 

Steve

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This is where the IOC got their vision for Olympic TKD!
Ya know... I look at that and think, "Yeah, it's a little funny looking, but still probably more effective than self defense training." And they look like they're having fun. :D
 

nigebj

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Was the opposite for me, though I will admit to watching no more than about 5 minutes total. The women's matches were all lead leg kicks and a lot of hopping on one foot. At least the men were throwing different kicks. Even saw one punch.
Various trunk punch scores (well you can't punch the head, so I guess that's redundant). What I don't get is not using leg blocks (so my son says, he read the rules) - and yet much of the fight is spent with legs entangled. Frustrating mess to watch as someone who knows TKD, so goodness knows what it looks like to a non-martial artist. Seems Karate has been similarly watered down, which is bad news given the host nation!
 
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Ya know... I look at that and think, "Yeah, it's a little funny looking, but still probably more effective than self defense training." And they look like they're having fun. :D
A ‘little funny’ :D I wonder if these people compare their technique with real MA practitioners on‘ say, youtube? It’s the ultimate in delusion!
 

Flying Crane

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I watched a couple matches last night. I don’t think I’ve ever watched Olympic TKD before. I’ll just say that I am glad that is not the direction I have taken in my martial training.
 

MadMartigan

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While I'm sure no one that practices Olympic style tkd has any interest in chiming in here (and risking being the bottom of a verbal dog pile); I'd be very interested on their thoughts.

I remember WTF (as they were called at the time) guys used to kick like battering rams. Always going for the knockout and fast as hell.
What I saw here was lighter contact than point karate in a color belt division at an open regional tournament. It seemed they were just trying to get the minimum touch to be counted for points with no consideration given to real effectiveness.

How do Kukkiwon practitioners feel about how their art is being portrayed right now?
 

Steve

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While I'm sure no one that practices Olympic style tkd has any interest in chiming in here (and risking being the bottom of a verbal dog pile); I'd be very interested on their thoughts.

I remember WTF (as they were called at the time) guys used to kick like battering rams. Always going for the knockout and fast as hell.
What I saw here was lighter contact than point karate in a color belt division at an open regional tournament. It seemed they were just trying to get the minimum touch to be counted for points with no consideration given to real effectiveness.

How do Kukkiwon practitioners feel about how their art is being portrayed right now?
Totally. I'm open to the possibility that I just lack the context to understand what I'm seeing.

Judo (and Sumo) are very fun to watch for me, because I can see the grip fighting and positional battles that are going on. But I could totally understand that to someone who isn't familiar with grappling, it looks like two people dancing around. Maybe TKD is like that.
 

Steve

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I watched a couple matches last night. I don’t think I’ve ever watched Olympic TKD before. I’ll just say that I am glad that is not the direction I have taken in my martial training.
There's really only three trajectories for a martial art: function, health, or fantasy. If it's a fighting art and you aren't fighting (i.e., you aren't using it on the job or in a competition), then you're training either for health (e.g., Tai Chi) or for fantasy/fun (e.g., ninjutsu).

I think it's healthy to be realistic about what you're learning... and teaching.

To be honest, I regret being critical of the Olympic TKD. While it's not a sport I find all that fun to watch, at least they are applying skill. I would expect that these athletes would transition faster to full contact fighting than anyone who doesn't regularly apply what they're learning.
 

Steve

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A ‘little funny’ :D I wonder if these people compare their technique with real MA practitioners on‘ say, youtube? It’s the ultimate in delusion!
Depends on what you think of when you say "real MA practitioners." I'm inclined to believe that "real MA practitioners" are more likely to be delusional than a combat sport athlete in any style. These guys train to perform in a particular context and are performing at an elite level in that context.
 

Flying Crane

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While I'm sure no one that practices Olympic style tkd has any interest in chiming in here (and risking being the bottom of a verbal dog pile); I'd be very interested on their thoughts.

I remember WTF (as they were called at the time) guys used to kick like battering rams. Always going for the knockout and fast as hell.
What I saw here was lighter contact than point karate in a color belt division at an open regional tournament. It seemed they were just trying to get the minimum touch to be counted for points with no consideration given to real effectiveness.

How do Kukkiwon practitioners feel about how their art is being portrayed right now?
When I was in college in the early 1990s, we had a student on campus from Mexico. He was a first Dan and his goal was to get on the Mexican Olympic team. I worked out with him. He was really fast and powerful and precise with clean technique and quite honestly, was head-and-shoulders better than me. He was nailing me with hard kicks and punches, sweeping me down, etc. My memory of what he could do, is so different from the matches I watched on TV last night. I don’t know how it changed.
 

andyjeffries

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While I'm sure no one that practices Olympic style tkd has any interest in chiming in here (and risking being the bottom of a verbal dog pile); I'd be very interested on their thoughts.

I remember WTF (as they were called at the time) guys used to kick like battering rams. Always going for the knockout and fast as hell.
What I saw here was lighter contact than point karate in a color belt division at an open regional tournament. It seemed they were just trying to get the minimum touch to be counted for points with no consideration given to real effectiveness.

How do Kukkiwon practitioners feel about how their art is being portrayed right now?

OK, as you say there's very little Kukkiwon stylists here chiming in, so I'll be the proverbial offering put forward. (asbestos suit on...)

So I would make a few points:
  1. I think there's often a view that the modern game is boring to watch, but in reality there was LOTS of bouncing and often very little action in old school games too. For example, here's a final from the 1989 world championship -
    - under the current rules inactivity is penalised really quickly.
  2. The old school kickers looked powerful, but I would argue that the modern game is equally powerful. For example, having had Bianca Walkden (Team GB female heavyweight and Tokyo 2020 Bronze medalist) at my dojang for a seminar, there's no denying how hard she kicks! The problem is people see cut kicks as just like a jab, but it's more like a real gut punch if you get caught by one and aren't used to it. The thresholds for scoring are set at a decent level and when these guys are training full time (which very few people got to do when it was the "old school glory days") they develop serious power in techniques that don't look like they have it.
  3. I would say though I prefer the old school philosophy, I have maybe rose-tinted history glasses about that, however there's no denying that changes had to be made. The electronic PSS is much much fairer. The amount of times points would be scored in old school that landed on a forearm guard (but made a loud noise) or actually landed on a hip was crazy. Also the subjectiveness of "was that really hard enough to score". Not to mention Sarah Stevenson losing in 2008 when her headshot on her opponent wasn't scored even though it split her lip.
  4. A lot of this is out of WT's hands. We're a relatively new sport to the Olympics with a lot of competition for replacement - so when the IOC says "hey, you need to make scoring fairer, these mis-counted/mis-scored shots need to be scored by a system not a fallible or potentially biased judge - or you're out" we have to do it.
  5. People are saying "I think Karate will be better" and I agree, this year it may be more exciting, but if they were to remain past this year - let's see what IOC has to say about new changes that must be made... Although based on YouTube I just searched for "World championship Karate final" and got
    - maybe it won't be, lots of bouncing lots of running off celebrating after a touch.
So I get people's point. However, I have spoken to quite a few non-martial artists recently about it and framed the question as "ignore that I do Taekwondo, I get it's a niche sport that I may like more than others and that's fine - what did you think of it" and the responses are generally "wow, they're athletic and incredible with their feet" and "it's exciting to watch, so many points can change in the final seconds of a fight".

It's a small sample, but that's been my experience. In the old school days everything was one point. Now with spinning headshots worth 5 and body shots worth 2 (and you can score a couple of them electronically in quick succession) - a one point lead with seconds to spare is far from safe.

Side note: I have heard that the Karate heads have already been told effectively "it's in Tokyo, so you can have the two Karate events as sports this year, but Karate won't be staying past this event - Taekwondo has already made the needed changes, is more unified in ruleset and has more practitioners". Whether that's true or not, I couldn't say, but I've heard they've been told.
 
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