I turned on the Olympics last night and found yet again Taekwondo was not recorded for some reason. I found the application from my cable provider that I could playback events! I was going to treat my wife with some pseudo karate (you know Taekwondo says they are NOT karate).
Boy let me tell you this was a mistake. We played back a gold medal match between Turkey and Iran and was waiting for the point match to begin. Then they grabbed each other and tried to kick each other! Never mind that either one of them was in range for a punch – they did not punch!
In this post I will talk about how embarrassed I was showing what I thought would be point karate/taekwondo (you know where they did not try for the knock out) but it turned out to be worse than watching a Batman and Robin show of my youth. Everything they did including the kicks – were totally ineffective! While I am not hoping to convince any Taekwondo practitioners – they are already drinking the kool aid – I would have rather seen a couple of karate aerobic instructors from the local gym go at it… at least they would have punched if they were in close quarters.
Ok – now that I have endeared myself to some of the Taekwondo crowd – let me go over a some things. In open-karate point karate matches of my youth – one could score a point for a kick or punch… nothing extra for a spinning move or head kick. You see this is as it was in a real fight (I’ve been in pleanty) – it does not matter how you take out your opponent – just that you do.
I think the point matches of my youth have changed a lot as now more points are awarded for kicks and spinning moves – that to is total BS. But at least point karate still has punches in it and one could transition to a real fight (still have the needed skills).
When I was a brown belt a couple of Tang So Do or Taekwondo fighters came into the studio. My instructor asked me to spar with them. While I was fighting them they were getting mad at me. You see I had no form according to them and when they launched their kicks at me – I just side stepped or took a half step back and punched their kidneys after their kicks missed. They did not ever even connect because at the time I was winning all of the local point karate tourneys and have really great critical distance and initial movement.
I was once interviewing for a job with the Carlsbad Police force and did not have the education to get the job but they interviewers were interested in how I knocked people out… what was my favorite move. I said a kick or punch – either hand or foot. It depended on what the opponent was open for. You see fighting is simple if you have the skill sets.
Getting back to the Olympic Taekwondo – My wife was laughing – you see she grew up watching boxing, mma, even saw some of my point karate match videos. She liked karate movies and always got upset when I told here Bruce Lee could not really jump 8 foot in the air.
But I did have to explain to here what Taekwondo was all about. I said they thought kicks were worth so much more than punches – they don’t really use punches. The problem with this approach is if they got into a real fight against any trained fighter and did not get a lucky kick on the way in – they would lose the fight.
I will never watch Olympic Taekwondo again but to be fair I had to explain Judo to my wife also. While Judo is fighting – it deals with predominantly transitions from standing up to ground work. Not so much kicks and punches. So watching Judo one can see how if you needed to take a fight to the ground (say the other guy was a better striker and you knew no one was going to join in once you hit the ground) – Judo is the best at getting someone to the ground. Judo also has chokes and some grappling.
Wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu are good grappling but they are again – not striking with the hands and feet.
So I think Karate, Muy Thai, MMA, Judo, Wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu, and even boxing are real and worth watching if you like the sport – I would not waste my time on watching Olympic Taekwondo.
I do not want to say all Taekwondo is ineffective – I understand non-Olympic Taekwondo does use punches. So please do not take this post to be a rail against Taekwondo – just Olympic Taekwondo!
Thanks for viewing my opinion.