TKD Olympics -Waste of Time?

Brad Dunne

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Here's a little info I picked up on last night. The new rules for participating in the Olympics, if you could actually get that far, are that there will only be two (2) people able to participate, regardless of weight class. So even if your one of the top TKD athletes and make it to the national team, you still may not get to go to the big show. Kind of really makes it a waste of time in the long run. Perhaps, just perhaps if enough of the everyday folks that want to take Olympic style TKD knew about this, then the promotional lure of "Become an Olympian", would actually loose it's attraction and TKD could then get back to it's real structure..............Thoughts!......
 

exile

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Here's a little info I picked up on last night. The new rules for participating in the Olympics, if you could actually get that far, are that there will only be two (2) people able to participate, regardless of weight class. So even if your one of the top TKD athletes and make it to the national team, you still may not get to go to the big show. Kind of really makes it a waste of time in the long run. Perhaps, just perhaps if enough of the everyday folks that want to take Olympic style TKD knew about this, then the promotional lure of "Become an Olympian", would actually loose it's attraction and TKD could then get back to it's real structure..............Thoughts!......

Whoa, that's pretty radical... Brad, do you have a link to any official information that could shed some light on the thinking here, or at least an official statement about it? Only two?? That seems crazy...
 

Daniel Sullivan

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Isn't there a good chance that next Olympics will be the last for TKD anyway? I seem to recall that being said last summer. If that is the case, the problem is solved either way.

Daniel
 

bluekey88

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If I recall correctly we only get 4 slots now...2, 4 not much of a difference. 99.99% of practitioners have a shot ot make that cut. Frankly, I never saw possible Olympic participation as a draw to the sport/art.
 

dancingalone

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If I recall correctly we only get 4 slots now...2, 4 not much of a difference. 99.99% of practitioners have a shot ot make that cut. Frankly, I never saw possible Olympic participation as a draw to the sport/art.

What is the draw then? I understand free sparring is fun and a good tool to train certain aspects like timing. What make Olympic rules any more of a drawn than regular continuous rules where hands to the head are allowed?
 

exile

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What is the draw then? I understand free sparring is fun and a good tool to train certain aspects like timing. What make Olympic rules any more of a drawn than regular continuous rules where hands to the head are allowed?

Yeah, that's the obvious question... what's the point of WTF-rules sparring, if it's lost what is by far the jewel in its international competition crown?

It's just like downhill skiing: a small number of skiiers follow the World Cup standings, but everyone watches the Olympic events, especially the downhill. There's just no comparison. Without that landmark, what kind of fan base will there be?

Of course it's true that there was an international competition scene and mass participation before TKD was an Olympic sport... but people were drawn into it, and along with it, by the momentum towards the Olympics. TKD pre-Olympics and TKD dropped from the Olympics are two totally different beasts.
 
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Brad Dunne

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Whoa, that's pretty radical... Brad, do you have a link to any official information that could shed some light on the thinking here, or at least an official statement about it? Only two?? That seems crazy...

I'll attempt to find something official. I received this info from another instructor, who is fairly heavy into the competition aspect of TKD and is a good friend. He said that 4 can qualify for the Olympic team, but their going to reduce the number to 2 as to who actually gets to participate. Either way, 4 or now 2, the odds are pretty slim to make the team anyway. I've heard some real horror stories of biased rulings and out right fraud when it came to folks attempting to try for the team.
 

zDom

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I hope Olympic TKD sparring dies out.

The ideas that spawned it were good, but it ended up being perverted into a silly game that for the most part excludes serious practitioners of the martial art.
 

exile

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exile said:
Whoa, that's pretty radical... Brad, do you have a link to any official information that could shed some light on the thinking here, or at least an official statement about it? Only two?? That seems crazy...

I'll attempt to find something official. I received this info from another instructor, who is fairly heavy into the competition aspect of TKD and is a good friend. He said that 4 can qualify for the Olympic team, but their going to reduce the number to 2 as to who actually gets to participate. Either way, 4 or now 2, the odds are pretty slim to make the team anyway. I've heard some real horror stories of biased rulings and out right fraud when it came to folks attempting to try for the team.

Hmmm... why am I not surprised? This seems to be a common experience for people involved in Olympic sports. :(

I hope Olympic TKD sparring dies out.

The ideas that spawned it were good, but it ended up being perverted into a silly game that for the most part excludes serious practitioners of the martial art.

Aye to that, zD!
 

granfire

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hmm, considering the relative cheap competition, I don't quiet get the 4 wo/man team thing, considering the weight class thing. Is weightlifting equally restricted?

The Olympics have lost their luster. Too many scandals, too much commerce and politics....

We did have people walk in the school asking about classes when the Olympics were on. Our style won't take you there, though you get the BB in under 2 years...

Olympic TKD has not a lot in common with the stuff I train in.

But in the end, 2 or 4, it does not make that big of a difference...
 

jarrod

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i would like to see either a massive restructuring of of how the olympics are conducted (not gonna happen) or martial arts just generally removed (also not going to happen). neither tkd nor judo has benefited from olympic inclusion, except in terms of popularity. every so often i'll speak with someone who wants to see karate added. why on earth would you want to do that?

it's also the reason i'm not excited to see pankration added. it will be drastically different from the original pankration, the rules will be manipulated until a match barely resembles real combat, the name will become a marketing tool, & the art will become highly politicized. no thank you.

/rant

jf
 

mozzandherb

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I agree, I like seeing TKD in the Olympics, but it needs some reconstructing. It should include patterns, not just sparring. There should also be some team sparring and patterns added, that along with many other changes. I mean it has only just begun as an Olympic sport, so to ablolish it so quickly I think doesn't seem like the right thing to do, I think it needs some time to develop and become a better Olympic event
 

Aefibird

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I think it needs some time to develop and become a better Olympic event


A big change in the rules for Olympic-style sparring would be the first place to start, to try and undo some of the damage that has made TKD a laughing stock in certain quarters.

That way serious TKD practitioners wouldn't be lumped in with a sport (for WTF rules sparring is a sport not an art IMO) that has been changed so dramatically from other ways of MA sparring into something that makes it unrecognisable from other areas of TKD.

Personally, I'd rather see TKD dropped altogether from the Olympics. People I know who are non-martial artists that I've spoken to about it have found Olympic TKD ridiculous to watch.

In the same way that those who don't know hockey think it is all about goons fighting on ice, people who don't know TKD think it is all about bouncing up and down with your arms by your sides trying to kick the other guy in the head.

I'd rather not have my TKD lumped in with that, thank you.
 

Miles

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No, TKD in the Olympics is not a waste of time. It can be tremendous good publicity for all martial arts when the traditions of the martial arts are observed. Who does not recall the inspiring story of Esther Kim and Kay Poe?

But, the game is only exciting when you know what is happening. It unfortunately, is not yet a sport where an uninformed spectator can just tune in and understand what is going on (that would be beach volleyball). So the challenge is how do we change the rules to make it more casual spectator-friendly?

The WTF is always thinking about changes to the rules.

Here is a link to a news story about proposed rule changes from December 2008 WTF meeting for the next World Championships:

http://www.mookas.us/media_view.asp?news_no=1492
 

TKDHermit

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Nice rules, so it measn that the full duration of each match is compulsory now eh?
 
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Brad Dunne

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I remember when TKD was not in the Olympics, but was presented at the Olympics as a demo sport for possible acceptance. If there was a way to look at some of those matches and compare them to the last offering, you would see something very different. Through the course of TKD's Olympic journey, it has become less and less enjoyable to watch, because the overall action has become more and more just a push and shove match. One dosen't have to be knowledgeable about the workings of TKD, to understand that what their watching is not exciting. The whole idea was to showcase TKD before the uninformed public and use it as a drawing card to promote interest in it. After watching the last Olympic offerings, I'd rather watch a heated chess match. At least they would hit the time clock with a little gusto.......:lol:
 

Daniel Sullivan

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Here's a little info I picked up on last night. The new rules for participating in the Olympics, if you could actually get that far, are that there will only be two (2) people able to participate, regardless of weight class. So even if your one of the top TKD athletes and make it to the national team, you still may not get to go to the big show. Kind of really makes it a waste of time in the long run. Perhaps, just perhaps if enough of the everyday folks that want to take Olympic style TKD knew about this, then the promotional lure of "Become an Olympian", would actually loose it's attraction and TKD could then get back to it's real structure..............Thoughts!......
One has a better chance of becoming a starter for the Celtics than of competing in taekwondo at the olympics. For 2008, there were four. Reducing that number to two doesn't really change anything: you have tens of thousands of practitioners worldwide with slots for the olympics in the single digits.

Personally, I feel that the WTF style of sparring used in the Olympics has merit and is a wonderful vehicle for both developing kicks and showcasing the beautiful kicks that taekwondo has in its arsenal. Unfortunately, the kicking focus and the downplaying of hand techniques in the rules has only served to provide an out for many dojangs who are profit oriented and don't have the personel to teach taekwondo effectively as a martial art.

Add to that the corruption that is inherent in the olympics and taekwondo as a whole has suffered. The 2008 Olympics provided virtually no exposure for taekwondo. EDIT: Taekwondo in the olympics received ony negative exposure in the general media due to Mattos' temper tantrum. It was not a televised event and the only people who specifically sought it out on the web are already involved in taekwondo. The 2008 games have also served to fuel criticisms of taekwondo in the MA community.

So my thoughts are that by limiting it to only two people is probably a reflection of the lack of viewership and the lack of any prestige being generated by taekwondo as an olympic sport. Sponsors want viewership in return for dollars. If an event isn't even televised, why would any company waste their money getting involved in sponsoring it (tkd merchandise purveyors exluded)?

I do not feel that it is a waste of time for the athletes involved. To be able to even make the olympic team, whether or not you show, is a huge accomplishment. The work done to be good enough to even make the team makes the athlete a superior athlete and is by no means a waste of time. That said, it is certainly an emotional let down to make the team but not be able to compete.

Daniel
 
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Twin Fist

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want me to give a crap about Korean Olympic martial arts?

include a forms division that doesnt allow that gymnastic XMA crap.

change fighting so that punches to the face are allowed, and kicks scored while falling on your butt are not.

Everyone can compete in both kata and fighting.

highest combined score wins.(that way, no just fighter or just kata guy could win)

viola, now you have something that people would WATCH
 

BrandonLucas

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No, TKD in the Olympics is not a waste of time. It can be tremendous good publicity for all martial arts when the traditions of the martial arts are observed. Who does not recall the inspiring story of Esther Kim and Kay Poe?

But, the game is only exciting when you know what is happening. It unfortunately, is not yet a sport where an uninformed spectator can just tune in and understand what is going on (that would be beach volleyball). So the challenge is how do we change the rules to make it more casual spectator-friendly?

The WTF is always thinking about changes to the rules.

Here is a link to a news story about proposed rule changes from December 2008 WTF meeting for the next World Championships:

http://www.mookas.us/media_view.asp?news_no=1492


I actually have no idea who Esther Kim and Kay Poe are. I have never followed Olympic TKD, and never really cared to.

TKD is not a game. It is not a competition. It is a martial art.

That being said, I'm not against competing against others within a ruleset that accurately represents the art. But that's the problem: none of these competitions accurately represent anything other than a glorified game of tag.

I know that it's pretty hard to come up with an accurate ruleset, but I don't see anything wrong with the rulesets used in the tournements in the 60's, 70's, and 80's. Why can't we go back to that?

It all just feels like someone decided that watching a matchup of 2 guys fighting using all the techniques available wasn't as exciting as limiting the points to only be awarded for high kicks.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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IThat being said, I'm not against competing against others within a ruleset that accurately represents the art. But that's the problem: none of these competitions accurately represent anything other than a glorified game of tag.
I'm going to disagree with you on the game of tag comment. Anyone proficient in WTF sparring is not just tagging you. The kicks are the actual taekwondo kicks and if you're good in the dojang and can kick competently, then those kicks are not tag by any stretch.

Its the first comment that I quoted that is the biggest problem with WTF style: it doesn't accurately represent the art.

This problem is two fold: one, it presents a distorted and incomplete picture of taekwondo to those outside and two, it hurts the practitioner's development of their technique because it does not allow for one to spar using the full bredth of the art, but only foot techniques.

I suggested on another thread that the Kukkiwon develope a sparring set for the developmemt of practitioner's self defense and use of taekwondo outside of competition.

Daniel
 
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