Over the weekend caught some olympic action from the Titan Games. I guess this is the like “pre-training” games for olympic hopefuls. It was my first time checking out some olympic Tae Kwon Do action. After seeing it, I was not impressed.
Back in the day, I used to train in TKD, but I was taught by a former military instructor and I felt we did some pretty practical things (backfists, hand techniques, kicks, etc), it was nothing like the TKD that I’ve been seeing today. Basically, I mainly see people hopping on their toes with their hands down by their sides. What kind of fighting stance is this? Not only that, it didn’t appear their kicks were very powerful as they easily fell and bounced off each other. Sure, they were fast, but not very strong, IMO.
I remember in college, I had decided to try TKD again and they trainined in the “olympic style”. It was fun practicing the kicks and such but when it came down to sparring, I reverted to my old sparring style. I got geared up and my opponent was bouncing around on his toes while I just held my own. He came in with a quick roundhouse kick, I blocked with my right hand and then shot in with an overhand backfist to the face. He was pretty much caught off guard and then kinda looked at me like no one has ever used a hand technique against his face before.
I then remember another incident where I received a low roundhouse kick and instead of blocking with my hands, I came in with a right-legged muay thai like shin block. This block was basically slamming my shins against his. Luckily for me, I used to do a lot of shin training, but unluckily for him, he did not. Another one of my favorite techniques is to block a kick and then drill into the body with xingyi-like quick punches. Most TKD people I’ve encountered don’t really know how to defend against the kind of attacks.
I do like TKD and I do like sparring, however I’m not a fan of point sparring b/c I don’t think it’s very practical nor realistic. There are too many rules and I prefer round-sparring instead of stopping the match after each and every point. I think these types of competitions can do a lot of harm to martial arts by imposing too many restrictions on them. I’m not a fan of “training for competition”, I’d rather train for my health, sanity, and self-defense However, I did get a chance to see some judo training and IMO, that was much more enjoyable to watch.