Olympic Tae Kwon Do Sparring Competitions

Watch the video. The athleticism is brilliant. The flexibility and quickness of the feet and legs are amazing. This is sport martial art. Very few of those kicks would save a person in a self defense situation. The kicks are quick, yet lack true power. Another flaw in regards to self defense application is the hands are down, and not used offensively in any manner. So, then do we discount this as nothing more than sport? Again the athleticism is amazing. Basically, the tae kwon do think tank, in order to get tae kwon do into the Olympics took out punches, elbows, and all hand techniques because in their minds kicking is more dynamic, requires a greater skill level, and is more appealing to watch. This is why Tae Kwon Do became an Olympic sport. So, as long as we don’t confuse the sport aspect of martial art with the self defense and life approach of martial art, we can accept it as just sport. One of the unfortunate side effects of Olympic Style Tae Kwon Do, is that many schools have taught this type of fighting as self defense to people whom would never aspire nor achieve Olympiad status. So, this is where the line gets blurry. Normal everyday people training in Olympic style Tae Kwon Do as a practical self defense system. In my experience, in a controlled match a balanced fighter will defeat a person trained in Olympic Style TKD. Because the TKD folks have no concept of how to use their hands for defense or offense. The point of this blog entry is to respect the sport and athletes of Olympic Style TKD, as they are quite simply amazing. But, to also understand there is a very clear difference between sport and the true martial way. The roots of all martial arts was to make the weak more capable of battling a stronger opponent. To learn how to survive in combat. To turn the weak into the strong. However, as we evolve our martial arts have changed, as the times have changed. With martial sport it’s important to sell it as such, and not sell it as self defense.