Olympic vs. Art Tae Kwon Do

IcemanSK

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Having recently gotten a cable modem, I've discovered youtube & their many clips of TKD of all kinds. I've been watching a lot of the Olympic matches from 2004.

I started TKD before the use of head gear & hogus weren't used in sparring. I trained in suburban Chicago & 2 time Olympic silver medalist Juan Moreno was "that good young fighter" but no one special. One of the BB's at my dojang was 2nd in the World Championships in 1981. My 1st instructor was "old school" & the Olympic style wasn't his idea of TKD. "Olympic style" wasn't part of my training. Although I did get a front row seat for the '88 Korean Olympic team's tour of the US when they stopped in Illinois. (Their "lucky" American opponents musta thought they were hit by a truck! Think the Harlem Globetrotters using their feet!)

I like the Art, SD, & 5 tenents part of TKD. But, I must say these folks are really great atheletes! The arguement over what style is "best" is silly. The only thing I'd say we should add to Olympic TKD is for them to do Poomsae, also. (Like compulsary (sp?) figures in ice skating) That would make it a more well-rounded event for me.

I don't want to make this a this vs. that arguement thread. But just to get ideas from folks about the positive parts of Olympic style & connections with the other parts of TKD.
 

bluemtn

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Oh nuts! I wanted to add to your reputation, but it's too soon. I think it's a great thread, BTW.

I like both ways of doing TKD, having had a taste of both- WTF in my much younger years... I like watching the sparring in Olympic, and the forms I've seen is cool too. I think that, like you Iceman, that they should include forms with tournaments. It might draw more people to it.
 

Kacey

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I would like to ask a question that may sound obvious to you, but isn't to me. Would someone please explain the different between "olympic" and "WTF"? Until I started hanging out here, I didn't know there was a difference between the two.

Coming from an ITF/Ch'ang H'on background, I've never used a hogu, and had never seen one until the first time I saw TKD in the Olympics - we don't use them; we require hand and foot pads, mouthguards, cups for men, and headgear for any rank allowed to sweep (red and up), and recommend headgear for other ranks. Soft shin and forearm pads are allowed, as are chest protectors, but they are rarely used except by people with injuries they want to protect. Our target zone is the front of the torso from the belt to the base of the throat, and anywhere on the head; there are no targets on the neck, the back, or below the belt; you can hit people in the arms without penalty, but will receive no points for it. Any information anyone can give me about the differences between what we do, what the WTF does, and Olympic requirements would help me immensely, and be greatly appreciated.
 
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IcemanSK

IcemanSK

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I would like to ask a question that may sound obvious to you, but isn't to me. Would someone please explain the different between "olympic" and "WTF"? Until I started hanging out here, I didn't know there was a difference between the two.

Coming from an ITF/Ch'ang H'on background, I've never used a hogu, and had never seen one until the first time I saw TKD in the Olympics - we don't use them; we require hand and foot pads, mouthguards, cups for men, and headgear for any rank allowed to sweep (red and up), and recommend headgear for other ranks. Soft shin and forearm pads are allowed, as are chest protectors, but they are rarely used except by people with injuries they want to protect. Our target zone is the front of the torso from the belt to the base of the throat, and anywhere on the head; there are no targets on the neck, the back, or below the belt; you can hit people in the arms without penalty, but will receive no points for it. Any information anyone can give me about the differences between what we do, what the WTF does, and Olympic requirements would help me immensely, and be greatly appreciated.


Kacey, I didn't intentionally leave out my ITF brethern in this thread. I've also trained in ITF-style, & had many great experiences there.

To answer your question, briefly. Think of the WTF as a high school who's known for their basketball team, but has other sports as well. Olympic-style is PART of the WTF, but it isn't the only part. The trend to make the other parts of the WTF distinctive from Olympic style is to say "we align ourselves with the Kukkiwon". (As you know, the KKW is the part of the WTF that gives BB rank. They are together, yet seperate) To be on an Olympic team from an country, you need a KKW certificate, that's why it often gets confused & melded together as one. (If I'm inaccurate on this, please correct me, Miles, Terry, LF, etc.)

In the organization I belong to, we don't fight Olympic-style as a rule (although, some do.) We have punches to the face during sparring at the BB level. Hogus are not used, either. We say we are aligned with the KKW, rather than WTF.


I hope that helps.
 

Kacey

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Kacey, I didn't intentionally leave out my ITF brethern in this thread. I've also trained in ITF-style, & had many great experiences there.
I didn't really think you did - given the nature of the question, ITF-style was not particularly relevant.

In the organization I belong to, we don't fight Olympic-style as a rule (although, some do.) We have punches to the face during sparring at the BB level. Hogus are not used, either. We say we are aligned with the KKW, rather than WTF.
We allow all legal techniques to all legal targets. That's any hand or foot technique the student knows, as long as it can be delivered with balance, focus, and control. Sweeps are allowed at red belt and above. There are things we teach in addition to the ITF curriculum, such as releases, controls, joint locks, throws, joint attacks, etc. which are practiced in class but are not allowed in sparring competition - they are, generally, included under the umbrella term of hol-sin-sul, which is a testing requirement and is often included as an event for tournament competition.

I hope that helps.

It does, thanks!
 

wayofhandandfoot

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I would say that olympic sparring is good for finding out what techniques are good for you in a full contact fight. It also teaches you timing and being such a high energy sport it keeps your body in shape. But i still treat Olympic Sparring as a game. When it comes to self defense that's where you take the poomse and internalize the art for yourself. The game part of it is obviously not meant for the street because the list of rules are longer than any other combat sport other than maybe boxing.
 

exile

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When it comes to self defense that's where you take the poomse and internalize the art for yourself.

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Right on the money, WoH&F.
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The analysis of the techs concealed within the poomsae, their realistic application, and training for that applicationthe exact analogue of bunkai and oyo in reality-based approaches to karate trainingare the whole close-quarters SD story with TKD. Not taking away anything from the sport side, as a sport... but it's a very different side of TKD from the SD side....
 

matt.m

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Iceman,

I gave you another 118pts. so now you have 10 blocks of rep.......almost your star. So who will give him a bit more rep so he can have his star?

Anyway, to answer the question of what could be added? Well I think that doing poomsea would be a great idea. I don't care if it is ITF or WTF poomsea either. OJang or Yul-Gok, doesn't matter to me.

The one and only complaint I have about olympic style sparring and it is a minor deal, how about scoring hands to the hogu. Beyond that I would think and agree that doing poomsea and breaking in compulsories followed by the sparring would be fabulous.
 

Laurentkd

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Great post Iceman!
I agree, forms should be a compolsory (sp?) part of competing in my opinion (in fact my instructor demands it). I hate going to tournaments where no one shows up for forms and then you have 50 new guys there ready to spar. I respect them for their ability in sparring, but if someone is excellent in both- that is truly impressive. It would be great if the gold, silver, and bronze were somehow given in a way that added your score from poomse with sparring for an overall winner for the division (don't know exactly how that would work out, but I think I would like it). Sparring is only the sport aspect of TKD, and I try to explain to outsiders that while this is the only thing they see, there is much more to the study. If forms played a larger role in the larger tournaments those watching would have at least a closer idea of what TKD is. And the WTF is trying to do this with their recent Poomse tournament, hopefully it is something that will continue to grow.

Another note, I have a question about ITF not sparring with chest protectors, but everything else. At my school Black Belts will sometimes spar without gear. We go full out and MAN are you hurting afterwards! I went to an ITF tournament once and sparred against a girl with no hogu (I wore one out of habit). By the end she was crying and the judges were penelizing me for excessive contact. At the time I was probably 15 or 16 and it was a Black Belt division. This happened to several of our competitiors, and we have not been to an ITF tournament since. I am in no way trying to critisize ITF style sparring from this one tournament, and as we said sparring is only the sport aspect. But I am curious if the sport is always played with light to medium contact and if that is why hogus aren't used in ITF sparring. I am sure most schools do more contact when trying SD, but is this the general rule for sparring? Maybe we'll go back to ITF tournaments if this is not the case.
 

exile

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Iceman,

I gave you another 118pts. so now you have 10 blocks of rep.......almost your star. So who will give him a bit more rep so he can have his star?

Have done so. He's now a very good chunk of the way down the last of the home stretch!

Anyway, to answer the question of what could be added? Well I think that doing poomsea would be a great idea. I don't care if it is ITF or WTF poomsea either. OJang or Yul-Gok, doesn't matter to me.

The one and only complaint I have about olympic style sparring and it is a minor deal, how about scoring hands to the hogu. Beyond that I would think and agree that doing poomsea and breaking in compulsories followed by the sparring would be fabulous.

I'd love to see an applications componentserious bunkai/oyo for the hyungs (don't know what the best Korean analogues are)as part of the competition. Not sure how it would be done, but...
 

matt.m

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Well, the deal is this.....for Black belts that compete in MSK tournaments there is a breaking competition, a poomsea competition and sparring. All three are tallied so there is a grand champion in the dan division.

I don't see why it isn't like that in the olympics as well. I think as does Iceman, if I read his post correctly, this would be good for Tae Kwon Do.

I also know that all gup rank TKD and HKD participate in hapkido form/TKD poomsea.....all competitors also compete in sparring. I am one of the great exceptions. I only participate in poomsea.
 
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