I firmly believe that not winning a gold medal in Tokyo Olympics would hugely contribute on development of Taekwondo and stepping stone for development of Taekwondo as the birthplace of Taekwondo.
Let’s imagine what would have happen if Korean players won 4 gold models. The government and Taekwondo Association would have been pleased and satisfied with the reality.
The rules must be modified with experts and protective gears, head protector, and chest protector must be reviewed again to make Taekwondo matches more interesting. The World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) must be responsible for that.
- What makes Taekwondo match boring?
1) Match is less interesting because there are too many scoring types and unclear scoring
2) Scoring and outcome are determined by strange kicks instead of proper Taekwondo skills.
Front foot is ignored and called foot fencing and monkey kick.
3) Taekwondo players often get closer to each other and push, hold, and hug.
4) Referee is too close to players and there are too many breaks.
5) Players raise front feet, disturb opponent’s attack, and rub with front feet for scoring.
6) Scoring (10,20,30 points) is too easy and there is no tension during match.
7) It’s hard to understand when and how the player scored.
8)It lacks various tactics.
- Kicking trunk and face with hind leg.
- Switching leg and kicking.
- Stepping back and kicking, kicking while moving back.
- Kicking by making opponent to come closer.
- Giving opponent a chance and returning the attack.
- Using step and feint motion
Taekwondo match lacks tactics of blocking, trying skill, and avoiding. As a result, most people find Taekwondo match boring without feeling the true excitement of the match.
9) Because the match depends on the electric device’s sensors, spinning back kick that blew off the head gear and attacked precisely on the opponent was not scored. Meanwhile, 5 points were taken off from the player who lost balance and fell off got. As the player lost one point again after scoring 5 points, the player lost by losing total of 6 points. Such Taekwondo match must be improved and there have been controversies around the world. Scoring is one of the causes for damaging the status of Taekwondo.
There will not be a bright future of Taekwondo unless the match rules and head gear’s electric system are fully changed for more interesting Taekwondo match.
- Scoring needs to be simple and precise
1) 1 point for a valid punch to the trunk protector
2) 2 points for a valid kick to the trunk protector
3) 3 points for a valid kick to the head
- There needs to be three types of scoring as above
- Back kick, spinning back kick, wing kick, and whirl kick are used for scoring depending on techniques and tactics and there aren’t many cases where these kicks are used for high scoring.
- Expression of Scoring (Standard of Power)
1) A player scores when hitting the trunk protector with over certain power with punch or kick.
2) A player scores when hitting the head (head gear) with over certain power
- Degree of hitting power needs to be adjustable.
- Protective Gear, head gear, and electric device
Proposal 1. New protective gear and head gear (transparent head gear) need to be developed and referee needs to grade the score (wears general protective gear)
Proposal 2. Sensors needs to put only on hitting targets (protective gear and head gear) and player needs to hit with punch and kick.
Proposal 3. When Proposal 1 or Proposal 2 is unavailable, precise standard of power needs to be set and applied on the current system so that players cannot score by pushing with front leg, rubbing, and sliding by.
- There are often cases where players score as the leg on the shoulder hits the head gear as it comes down. By setting the precise standard of power, there won’t be complaints on scoring by rubbing.
10 years ago, I was in charge of Taekwondo skills at World Taekwondo Federation and I invited an engineer of Samsung Electronics to World Taekwondo Federation to discuss about the electric protective gear.
The engineer said that sensors can be attached to protective gear and head gear for scoring.
- Because it would be definitely possible to apply one scoring standard on protective gear and head gear, I suggested this opinion. The engineer said players can get different points for different parts (solar plexus : 3 points, flanks : 2 points, chest and stomach : 1 point)
WT and Taekwondo Taekwondo Promotion Foundation needs to have the government to special athletic found through Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Also, Taekwondo associations and Kukkiwon should work together on changing the Taekwondo rules by this year so that Taekwondo matches would be more interesting in Paris Olympics. That’s the sincere hope of millions of Taekwondo instructors and 100 millions of Taekwondo trainees around the world.
What if :
What if current system continues in the next Olympics without any improvements?
1) Taekwondo schools around the world and Taekwondo match as sports would be completely divided (they are already in crisis).
2) Status of Taekwondo will be severely damaged and cannot be recovered.
3) To keep its status around the world, Taekwondo matches and demonstrations need to feature all Taekwondo skills that Taekwondo trainees learn from general Taekwondo schools.
- Thanks to Taekwondo instructors who are trying their best in other countries and Kukkiwon and World Taekwondo Federation’s hard efforts on demonstration, Taekwondo has been trending around the world. However, electric protective gear involved errors and match rules made the Taekwondo match boring during Tokyo Olympics. In response, I am writing this with my devastated heart over the collapse of Taekwondo.
If Taekwondo matches cannot be developed for more interesting matches, the executives of World Taekwondo Federation must take the risk of resining from the posts.
It’s time to work together to overcome all the hardships and develop Taekwondo for the bright future.
Taekwondo G.M Eui-Min Ko
(Translation from Seokje Lee)