Olympic TKD

andyjeffries

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So a question I'd like to post here, for those that feel Olympic Taekwondo is unexciting and pales to the "real thing", how do you feel having seen (hopefully) some Olympic Karate?

I watched about an hour yesterday and I have to say that I was really unimpressed. My wife said "you were always going to be, it's a combat sport that's not Taekwondo" but I disputed that. I like Olympic Judo, I like Olympic Boxing, I like Muay Thai, I like MMA, I like Karate Combat. So my feelings were:
  • There were MUCH longer periods of bouncing with no activity compared to Olympic Taekwondo (just thinking Tokyo 2020 as it's the latest showing of both). My wife and I noticed there was a 30 second period without any real attempt to attack (i.e. between attacks was 30 seconds).
  • Even aside from the periods of no activity, they seemed to bounce even more than Taekwondo and were really cagey (and I thought Taekwondo competition was often chastised for this)
  • The stop-start nature of it (did they score a point? No? OK, continue) was very boring and really stops fighters getting in a flow or really counter attacking.
  • A single round of 3 minutes really is too short - feels like the fight is over just as it gets started.
  • The takedown/sweep nature of it is interesting, but to an untrained observer it felt weird that a) one player was penalised because it appeared to be "more throw than takedown, Olympic Judo has already finished!" as one commentator said and b) they didn't really control their opponents after the takedown with groundwork but just jumped in for a punch or backfist. It therefore looked scrappy to me and not as exciting as I'd hoped.
  • In the Olympic Taekwondo, fighters that are down with just seconds to go chase for it (e.g. two British Taekwondo players lost in their finals, in the closing seconds), but in Olympic Karate we saw two fights (out of 3 or 4) where with 1 or 2 seconds left on the clock, being a couple of points down, the losing player just gave up and shook their opponents' hands.
How do others here feel? Would you prefer to see WKF Karate get the place for "kicking AND punch in the Olympics" over WT Taekwondo?
 
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Gyakuto

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So a question I'd like to post here, for those that feel Olympic Taekwondo is unexciting and pales to the "real thing", how do you feel having seen (hopefully) some Olympic Karate?

I watched about an hour yesterday and I have to say that I was really unimpressed. My wife said "you were always going to be, it's a combat sport that's not Taekwondo" but I disputed that. I like Olympic Judo, I like Olympic Boxing, I like Muay Thai, I like MMA, I like Karate Combat. So my feelings were:
  • There were MUCH longer periods of bouncing with no activity compared to Olympic Taekwondo (just thinking Tokyo 2020 as it's the latest showing of both). My wife and I noticed there was a 30 second period without any real attempt to attack (i.e. between attacks was 30 seconds).
  • Even aside from the periods of no activity, they seemed to bounce even more than Taekwondo and were really cagey (and I thought Taekwondo competition was often chastised for this)
  • The stop-start nature of it (did they score a point? No? OK, continue) was very boring and really stops fighters getting in a flow or really counter attacking.
  • A single round of 3 minutes really is too short - feels like the fight is over just as it gets started.
  • The takedown/sweep nature of it is interesting, but to an untrained observer it felt weird that a) one player was penalised because it appeared to be "more throw than takedown, Olympic Judo has already finished!" as one commentator said and b) they didn't really control their opponents after the takedown with groundwork but just jumped in for a punch or backfist. It therefore looked scrappy to me and not as exciting as I'd hoped.
  • In the Olympic Taekwondo, fighters that are down with just seconds to go chase for it (e.g. two British Taekwondo players lost in their finals, in the closing seconds), but in Olympic Karate we saw two fights (out of 3 or 4) where with 1 or 2 seconds left on the clock, being a couple of points down, the losing player just gave up and shook their opponents' hands.
How do others here feel? Would you prefer to see WKF Karate get the place for "kicking AND punch in the Olympics" over WT Taekwondo?
The issue I have with the Olympic TKD is the placing of the foot on the target. Theres little speed or focus to the kick. There were times when opponents were clutching each other, and one would lift a leg, delicately place their foot on the head of the other and score. A very flexible dancer would do well in O-TKD because there appears to be no requirement for decisive techniques coupled with kime and zanshin (sorry, Im unaware of the Korean terms). I just saw the 75kg mens quarters in Karate and it was OK宇oo much bouncing (why do they bounce? Waste of energy and you could be up in the air and thus unable to move when an opening [suki] appears in ones opponent) and caution in launching an attack, at least the attacks were obviously powerful, fast and appeared skilful.

I vote for Karate NOT being included in the Olympics if Judo, TKD and synchronised swimming are examples of what the IOC do to true arts.
 

andyjeffries

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The issue I have with the Olympic TKD is the placing of the foot on the target. Theres little speed or focus to the kick. There were times when opponents were clutching each other, and one would lift a leg, delicately place their foot on the head of the other and score.

This is true. I heard (take with a pinch of salt because I cannot remember who told me let alone where they heard it from) that this was actually an IOC stipulation that the force required was set so low for the head to improve safety for participants (many hard headshots long term effects).

On this topic though, IOC stipulations are weird. Male boxers don't wear headguards in the Olympics this year because the data proves that wearing headguards reduces knockout events, but actually increases the time a fighter can spend taking many many headshots. It also reduces visibility meaning that more of those "double-padded" shots land compared to not wearing them. So it's safer for them to be knocked out once than take many more non-knockout shots.

That sounds sane (and the lack of a standing 8 count is the reason MMA is reportedly safer because it's the near-knockout/recovery/happening again that does the most damage) - but what is insane is that women still wear headguards! The reason given - "we don't have enough scientific data on female boxing to draw the same conclusion"!

Are female brains/skulls that different that this relatively clear scientific description no longer applies!?

The IOC force some strange changes to combat sports...

A very flexible dancer would do well in O-TKD because there appears to be no requirement for decisive techniques coupled with kime and zanshin (sorry, Im unaware of the Korean terms).

I'm now interested in what they are. Could you describe them in English or give the Kanji for them?

I just saw the 75kg mens quarters in Karate and it was OK宇oo much bouncing (why do they bounce? Waste of energy and you could be up in the air and thus unable to move when an opening [suki] appears in ones opponent) and caution in launching an attack, at least the attacks were obviously powerful, fast and appeared skilful.

They felt scrappy to me. I get that the Taekwondo to an untrained eye (or even a trained Taekwondo eye, but non-WT sparring practitioner) looks foot fencey and flicky but the Karate seemed to not have the clear single strike single kill that I have a vision of Karate doing.

I vote for Karate NOT being included in the Olympics if Judo, TKD and synchronised swimming are examples of what the IOC do to true arts.

I think that would be best for Karate, if you love Karate how it's normally done. I'm OK with the Olympic changes to Taekwondo, I understand the reasoning and I'm happy moving with the times - but there's no denying there are changes required to any combat sport wanting to stay...
 

Flying Crane

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So a question I'd like to post here, for those that feel Olympic Taekwondo is unexciting and pales to the "real thing", how do you feel having seen (hopefully) some Olympic Karate?

I watched about an hour yesterday and I have to say that I was really unimpressed. My wife said "you were always going to be, it's a combat sport that's not Taekwondo" but I disputed that. I like Olympic Judo, I like Olympic Boxing, I like Muay Thai, I like MMA, I like Karate Combat. So my feelings were:
  • There were MUCH longer periods of bouncing with no activity compared to Olympic Taekwondo (just thinking Tokyo 2020 as it's the latest showing of both). My wife and I noticed there was a 30 second period without any real attempt to attack (i.e. between attacks was 30 seconds).
  • Even aside from the periods of no activity, they seemed to bounce even more than Taekwondo and were really cagey (and I thought Taekwondo competition was often chastised for this)
  • The stop-start nature of it (did they score a point? No? OK, continue) was very boring and really stops fighters getting in a flow or really counter attacking.
  • A single round of 3 minutes really is too short - feels like the fight is over just as it gets started.
  • The takedown/sweep nature of it is interesting, but to an untrained observer it felt weird that a) one player was penalised because it appeared to be "more throw than takedown, Olympic Judo has already finished!" as one commentator said and b) they didn't really control their opponents after the takedown with groundwork but just jumped in for a punch or backfist. It therefore looked scrappy to me and not as exciting as I'd hoped.
  • In the Olympic Taekwondo, fighters that are down with just seconds to go chase for it (e.g. two British Taekwondo players lost in their finals, in the closing seconds), but in Olympic Karate we saw two fights (out of 3 or 4) where with 1 or 2 seconds left on the clock, being a couple of points down, the losing player just gave up and shook their opponents' hands.
How do others here feel? Would you prefer to see WKF Karate get the place for "kicking AND punch in the Olympics" over WT Taekwondo?
I watched some matches yesterday and was likewise unimpressed and found it uninteresting. Full disclosure: I dont care for combative sports as a whole, and dont watch things like MMA or boxing, or even American football for that matter.

As to your points, I agree, the bouncing bouncing, bouncing, bouncing is weird. I also find it obnoxious when they give the long, drawn out kiai every time they think they scored, in an attempt to influence the judging.

I watched kata as well, and again was unimpressed. I again hate the long drawn out kiai that everyone does in their competition kata. Kiai is not screaming and hooting like a howler monkey. I hate that crap.

I found the kata itself unimpressive, which is different from the athleticism. They were quick and sharp, but were mostly muscling it. Of what I watched, I didnt see a single one who I felt had actual connection with their stance and root. All the techniques were powered from the upper carriage, meaning the arms and shoulders; not one had power connected to the stance. The kata was all about showmanship, it was kata as performance art, not kata meant to develop karate. This is the kind of thing that warps kata into something it was never meant to be, and makes it useless as a training tool. When the kata haters go on about the uselessness of kata, I have to agree in this case. This kind of kata IS useless.

I think Olympic karate is a sad thing.

I watched some judo matches as well, and was bored out of my mind. Granted, when you put two people into a match who are generally of the same skill level, then they know what to expect and they know how to counter every technique that their opponent it likely to try on them. So they end up just pushing and shoving and pulling and then falling together into a heap on the ground. I suppose if one competitor was significantly better than the other it might be more interesting to watch, but then of course it would be over instantly. Again, pretty boring after about five minutes. This isnt to negate the value of judo as a martial method. But the competition of it is just dreary. Many years ago I watched a BJJ tournament, and two fellows clinched on the ground and then barely moved for about a half hour. Oh my gawd, what a waste of time. As a spectator, I cannot imagine something less interesting.

I think inclusion in the Olympics is a bad thing, for these kinds of disciplines.
 

Steve

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Oh brother.

I watched some judo matches as well, and was bored out of my mind. Granted, when you put two people into a match who are generally of the same skill level, then they know what to expect and they know how to counter every technique that their opponent it likely to try on them. So they end up just pushing and shoving and pulling and then falling together into a heap on the ground. I suppose if one competitor was significantly better than the other it might be more interesting to watch, but then of course it would be over instantly. Again, pretty boring after about five minutes. This isnt to negate the value of judo as a martial method. But the competition of it is just dreary.
Whether you're bored or not is one thing. Watching any sport is boring if you don't know what you're looking at, and that's at least an honest emotional response.

But your description of a judo match is as divorced from reality as my description in another thread is of kata. I think the difference is that I know I'm being making a joke, and can appreciate the artistry and skill even if it's not for me.

I watched almost all of the judo, and the matches were, by and large, full of action. Real world application of technique is messy, but I much prefer that to the alternative.

Many years ago I watched a BJJ tournament, and two fellows clinched on the ground and then barely moved for about a half hour. Oh my gawd, what a waste of time. As a spectator, I cannot imagine something less interesting.

I think inclusion in the Olympics is a bad thing, for these kinds of disciplines.

I get the impression you've made up your mind and no amount of reality will influence you, but your posts border on style bashing, and your elitism makes me wonder how you can breath with your nose so high in the air. I'll be at a BJJ tournament in just a few weeks, and if you like, I can try to get some videos of what I am sure will be a lot of dynamic, exciting matches.

Don't get me wrong. Your opinion about watching the sport is perfectly fine. It's one thing to say you don't like it. But your fictional descriptions are ridiculous. I mentioned earlier that I don't enjoy watching TKD matches. But at least I'm self aware enough to acknowledge that I lack the expertise to understand what is actually happening.
 

WaterGal

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So a question I'd like to post here, for those that feel Olympic Taekwondo is unexciting and pales to the "real thing", how do you feel having seen (hopefully) some Olympic Karate?

I watched about an hour yesterday and I have to say that I was really unimpressed. My wife said "you were always going to be, it's a combat sport that's not Taekwondo" but I disputed that. I like Olympic Judo, I like Olympic Boxing, I like Muay Thai, I like MMA, I like Karate Combat. So my feelings were:
  • There were MUCH longer periods of bouncing with no activity compared to Olympic Taekwondo (just thinking Tokyo 2020 as it's the latest showing of both). My wife and I noticed there was a 30 second period without any real attempt to attack (i.e. between attacks was 30 seconds).
  • Even aside from the periods of no activity, they seemed to bounce even more than Taekwondo and were really cagey (and I thought Taekwondo competition was often chastised for this)
  • The stop-start nature of it (did they score a point? No? OK, continue) was very boring and really stops fighters getting in a flow or really counter attacking.
  • A single round of 3 minutes really is too short - feels like the fight is over just as it gets started.
  • The takedown/sweep nature of it is interesting, but to an untrained observer it felt weird that a) one player was penalised because it appeared to be "more throw than takedown, Olympic Judo has already finished!" as one commentator said and b) they didn't really control their opponents after the takedown with groundwork but just jumped in for a punch or backfist. It therefore looked scrappy to me and not as exciting as I'd hoped.
  • In the Olympic Taekwondo, fighters that are down with just seconds to go chase for it (e.g. two British Taekwondo players lost in their finals, in the closing seconds), but in Olympic Karate we saw two fights (out of 3 or 4) where with 1 or 2 seconds left on the clock, being a couple of points down, the losing player just gave up and shook their opponents' hands.
How do others here feel? Would you prefer to see WKF Karate get the place for "kicking AND punch in the Olympics" over WT Taekwondo?

I'm not someone that gripes overly much about Olympic TKD, but this was pretty much my feeling about the couple of karate matches I watched as well. It felt like it had all the same things that people criticize Olympic TKD for, just with different gear and some light grabbing/standing grapple. I think the grappling/grabbing angle added an interesting element, but I wasn't clear on the rules for it.

I think, personally, when you have a fairly restrictive set of techniques that both partners are very experienced in, you're just naturally going to get a lot of nothing happening, because both partners are being very cagey and watchful in looking for opportunity and reaction. Plus, when the rules are restrictive and not, well, "realistic fighting", people will do unrealistic techniques for some advantage. You see the same thing with some sport BJJ, where people do things that would totally get them punched in the mouth if that were allowed, or they sit in a position and do nothing and it's boring.

I think that's why UFC/MMA is so much more exciting - because 1) a large variety of techniques are allowed, and 2) the fighters may be used to fighting with totally different sets of skills and rules, so there's more unpredictability and surprises. I don't know how TKD can recreate that.
 

MadMartigan

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Sorry. I couldn't resist.

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