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  • Taekwondo hurt by Olympic rules & modern sensors?
    This Washington Post article discusses how Taekwondo is moving away from its traditional striking expertise. The article states "Instead of aggressive fights and flurries of kicks that were staples of taekwondo just a decade ago, taekwondo matches have become more defensive, with each person using their legs to protect the sensors that can go off with the slightest tap".

    Unfortunately, I agree and I don't think it helps Taekwondo in the long-term.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2016/08/20/new-high-tech-twists-on-taekwondo-are-rapidly-changing-an-ancient-sports-feel/

    Will
    Black Belt Wiki
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      Will - Black Belt Wiki I have been searching for a Taekwondo 2016 Olympics video to post but nothing available. I wanted to post a 2016 Taekwondo video versus an older 2008 Olympic video in order to contrast the changes in sparring techniques over the years (from more effective & aggressive sparring to more "gaming" the rules/sensors).

      I was only able to watch one 2016 Olympic Taekwondo final (so maybe the other matches were different/better) but I was amazed by the light blows that scored points. There were lots of weak hook kicks (not even spinning hook kicks) to the head in order to get more points. These kicks would be highly ineffective in the real world or any "regular" full contact sparring event.

      If the Olympics is going to use sensors, the sensors should only register very hard kicks. If there are extra points awarded for a head kick then the kick must knock the opponent to the ground or severely off balance (versus the current love tap system).

      I am afraid that Taekwondo might push itself out of the Olympics. It is making itself too artificial in its attempts to be more exciting. If Karate comes to the 2020 Olympics with full contact sparring, it might knock out Taekwondo. If Karate comes to the 2020 Olympics with no-contact sparring (as currently proposed), it will have to deal with issues like not seen as effective by public, judges making potentially poor decisions as no sensors or knockdowns, etc. If it is light contact sparring then Karate would run into the same problems as Taewondo.

      Of course, this ignores the impact of MMA matches (if eventually approved) on the future of Taekwondo & Karate at the Olympics.

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
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        PAUL (paldo) REYNOLDS Hi @ Will-BB Wiki: thanks for the Olympic 2008 videos ! Compared to the 2016 matches, the 2008 matches are much more better than the 2016 matches, however, as the critiqueist that I am, I find more hand movement is needed to score and block would be more complete than just feet movements. Where are the jumping techniques? I find the judges did real good work and there should not be any complaints about them...the matches were extremely easy to judge. I don't agree with sensors, but if the Karate Commitee insists, then I agree with your analogy to score hard contacts and not award points for baby contacts. The Olympics is becoming a "duel" instead of a disply of "combat".Should this display of Olympic karate continue, I believe most folks would junk the Olympics and tune into professional boxing,and MMA for they bring much more combative contact and entertainment ! I personally would like to see the old-style full contact karate return ! There is more pleasure judging or observing my dojo kumite matches than this years karate Olympics, sadly to say !
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        Will - Black Belt Wiki Here is a link to a couple of 2008 Taekwondo Olympic matches - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPQK_dUCc3g

        Very little use of leg blocks & more aggressive sparring (versus 2016 Olympic Taekwondo).

        Will
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        Ray The way that I see it. The Olympics made MA look bad. And ping pong look great. I honestly believe that when you so what the ufc and olympics does to any combat sport it becomes a show. It then looses it's core value.
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          Ray Of course wrestling being an original olympic sport that still rocks.
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      Martin Alcala I was surprised to see the type of fighting at the Olympics in that there was no excitement of strikes to the head as we have seen in the past. It did look like everyone was too careful with their blows and not wanting to engage. I would like the Olympics to open the competition to all styles and have strikes to the head with hand strikes besides the foot strikes. When you have different styles competing you have a real sense of what martial arts is really about, sharing ideas in the fellowship of the arts. I know from a product point of view with TDK, the Olympics is a great showcase for their system but they are not the only martial art in the world and the Olympics is about world competition and the individuals who make it great.
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        PAUL (paldo) REYNOLDS Agree with your perspectives @ Martin Alcala. I'm disappointed in the degrading of quality kumite in the Olympics, whether its politics or any other excuse. I enjoyed obsrving the referees more than the kumite participants.
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      DW Duke Another thought is that Tae Kwon Do doesn't have to change There is Olympic style and the traditional style. Ultimately, we get to decide how we score in non Olympic competitions. The art has always evolved. I recall back in the 70's and 80's the round house was a very wide broad kick. It was considered improper to execute a front kick and convert it at the last nano-second, for lack of a better term. Yet today, the broad swinging roundhouse is considered a poor execution. The discipline will always evolve. Somewhere between the Olympic scoring methods, and the traditional scoring methods, there is likely a middle ground that will serve most forums.
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        PAUL (paldo) REYNOLDS Hi @ DW Duke: good point ! some may have had that thought, but it needed to be said to keep an open view on Taekwondo. I believe the traditional scoring of all karate schools will proceed, its the Olympics that needs to change for the worldwide critique of this year's display was horrible, but that doesn't change my outlook upon karate scoring in general. Have fun as a Referee !
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          DW Duke I have to admit, the Olympic Games had a bazaar appearance. :)
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            PAUL (paldo) REYNOLDS tactfully put ! We hope a revival will be the outcome with some good ole contact kumite ! Regards @ DW.
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      DW Duke Yes, and no. Manual scoring was extremely difficult. Often a person would win a match and we would look at a video after the conclusion and realize that the wrong person won. The flurry of kicks were extremely difficult to score. I am not sure that I agree that competitors have become more defensive; I would say that that they are more cautious in the execution of kicks and punches.
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        PAUL (paldo) REYNOLDS Hi @ DW Duke: just a shout-out to say hello. I've said enough about the present Olympics...shameful demonstration ! I agree w/ @ Will-BB wiki on patty-cake scoring. Is it coming down to actually killing to win because the electronic system is based on tapping instead of calculation of the strength of the blow. Electronic scoring is Not for me at all. Referees are suppose to have "keen eyes" and I would still rely on them. Take care.
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        Will - Black Belt Wiki Good point about the difficulty of judging & thus the need for electronic scoring. However, I wish the electronic sensors were less sensitive - too many love taps seem to score points.

        Was a sensor or judges used for head kicks in the Olympics?

        Will
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      tommy roberts I tried to watch the taekwondo matches on tv this olympics but couldn't see when the matches were on but my over all feeling is that since taekwondo has been an olympic sport it's none nothing but hurt it .
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        Will - Black Belt Wiki Hi [226572,tommy roberts]

        Welcome to the wiki community! Unfortunately, the hunt for Olympic "popularity" has definitely changed Taekwondo sparring over the years... and not for the good.

        I wonder if TKD organizers will step away from trying to make TKD more exciting (their goal for the 2016 Olympics) and shift back towards more traditional sparring for the 2020 Olympics (when they will face the "competition" of Karate also being at the Olympics),

        Will
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      Hermit It's a tough call on this one. On one hand I can respect that these guys are at the olymics and want to do whatever they have to, to take home a gold, and that means playing by the game that their descipline of TKD does. (I can appreachiate I probably wouldn't want to go againt them in a match), but the use of the electronics is causing them to learn to "work" the equipment instead of it truly being between 2 marital artists. And that "working" of the sensors and how to efficiently score points, or defend against having the points scored, is truly having a bad effect I think.
      Also It drives me up the wall how those WTF guys spar, keep your damn hands up!! The dropped hands looks so sloppy IMO, but ya I can appreate the skill of their kicks.
      unfortunitly this gives all of TKD a bit of a bad rep, most people don't realize that WTF is just one discipline of TDK, and it's an offshoot that is a little farther away from the original form then some of the others. Got a bit of a kick that in the article it said that according to olymic website (I didn't follow that link) that TKD has been around since like 50ad or something like that...... ummm TKD only been around since the 1950's (1955 it became an official marital art), but it does have influences from older styles and other disciplines.
      Anyone that has been on the wrong side of a questional call from a ref can agree that at an Olympic level you want to try to have it as fair as possible, but that seems to be causing a martial art to turn into more of a sport (foot fencing lol) than it's original design of being a good method of self defence.
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        Andy [200995,Hermit]. Excellent point! I completely agree, it is very similar to how kendo has evolved into a sport that now has techniques that are barely recognisable as the kenjutsu techniques from which they were derived as the focus is now on 'tapping' a target area on an opponents armour to score points as opposed to demonstrating an effective killing technique. This is a great example of what I have said on many posts here on the community that the do or sport forms of MA can be harmful or at least counter productive to the self defence/combat aspects of MA. I too can appreciate the skill level of martial athletes and realise that the sport side of martial arts is a separate side of the MA coin, the problem comes from the multitude of 'keyboard warriors' who have never practiced ANY aspect of martial arts yet will take to the Internet in their droves to inform anyone stupid enough to listen to them that TKD is ineffective and that only Krav Maga or BJJ really work! :)
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          PAUL (paldo) REYNOLDS good points @ hermit and @ Andy-sama. I disagree with the electronic devices used for the Olympics as I have defended previously. Internet "keyboard warriors" are bad publicity and do not reflect the correct image to the public. Karate is misrepresented in the public eye, its not all a competition game, it practices self-defence techniques and death tactics. If Internet keyboarders knew that knowledge they wouldn't preach kickboxing dominance. They would respect karate by withholding comparisons of styles !
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      Ray I actually showed my kids sparring class a few moments of the matches. As an example of what not to do. Then I showed a few of good karate and tkd sparring. Even then 6 year said they olympic sparring was trash.
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      Andy [172230,Superamazingbadgerman] and @Al W, I'm not sure, but I sort of get the feeling from your respective posts on this thread that you feel there may be a little room for improvement in Olympic Taekwondo sparing!
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      Superamazingbadgerman I could probably take home Olympic gold if I went to tournament.

      That's not even showing off an over-inflated ego. I've seen what those people train to do, and good Taekwondo training beats it.
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      PAUL (paldo) REYNOLDS Hi @ Will-BB Wiki: I agree with you that Taekwondo and all other karate styles will become hurt in the long term. In that, karate is becoming soft, however, I do agree with the questionable referee integrity of there judgement calls. I do agree with protection devices for children only. I do not like parents interference of anykind concerning children, but on adults as where I personally come from (karate integrity) standards, development, and devotion is my concern. On Sensors> I don't approve for two reasons, 1. potential electrical surges to the heart, 2. lack of pure freedom of kumite. I pesonally do not like tight objects to my body, its bothered me since childhood and I'm extremely uncomfortable in that capacity. Example; I don't wear a wedding ring or any jewelry etc. I also agree with the washington post news article attached. My version headlines read like this: " Electronic Devices Impeeds Karate Integrity ". Personally I come from the "old school" of traditional karate teachings and I'm thinking that the unsatisfactory critiques of modern karate is now swinging the pendulum back to the old school karate ways of teaching methods. Let ancient karate history prevail ! Modern competition karate can Not save you in a death situation, old-school techniques can and will, if applied correctly ! If those who want to fool around with competitions,it is all well in good, but to the more devoted towards excellence in skills, styles integration, and karate maturity, a more welcome to you !
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      Al W This year TKD at the olympics was just painful to watch. It was like watching a couple of McDojo sissies trying to play tag
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        PAUL (paldo) REYNOLDS You got it right @ Al W, Horrible Mcdojo-like kumite displayed at the Olympics ! I won't expand on that, you all know my feelings on Mc Dojos. However, I do expect that the Japanese Olympic Committee in 2020 will bring back karate matches to how it should be displayed with old-style techniques, but I'm watching the judges carefully on there decisions. I'm always skeptic of favortism on very close calls! I perceive that there will be good kumite matches. ..The Olympics is on trial in my view !
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          Al W Hai Paul-Sama [199522,PAUL (paldo) REYNOLDS]
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