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#377866 - 03/15/08 03:28 PM Re: Taekwondo losing it's face/popularity [Re: von1]
Supremor Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/22/04
Posts: 2510
Loc: UK
Thanks for the answer.

Quote:


Hope I didn"t come across as know it all I can tell you are very competent in TKD by the information I learn from your postings, just want more people to understand another aspect of our art.




Ah, flattery! That's the kind of person I like to debate with.

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#377867 - 03/15/08 04:02 PM Re: Taekwondo losing it's face/popularity [Re: von1]
badachagi Offline
Member

Registered: 02/05/08
Posts: 62
Regarding sport TKD and the use of hands (or lack thereof):

I don't know what the "official" reason is as to why WTF rules prohibit punches to the head, but allow kicks, if there even is an "official" reason. It may be one of those things that will be lost in the annals of history. Over the years, I've heard many anecdotal reasons and personal theories. These are the ones that I know of that seem to be the most plausible.

1) Punches to the head were forbidden in order to encourage greater development of kicking technique.

2) Punches to the head were forbidden to differentiate the sport of TKD from boxing and karate.

3) Punches to the head were forbidden for safety reasons.

Someone mentioned earlier that they have witnessed ITF matches that turned into slugfests. While I'm sure that's not universally true in all ITF competition, I am surprised that it doesn't happen more often. If punches to the head and body are scored, and if punches are easier to throw, have a higher probability of connecting, and require less commitment than a kick, then from a tactical point of view, it makes perfect sense to throw lots of punches. So based on that rule set, it shouldn't be surprising to see people essentially boxing, with the occasional kick thrown.

Also with regards to safety, it may seem counterintuitive to allow kicks to the head (and KO's), but not punches. However, in practice, kicks to the head require much greater commitment, and have a much lower probability of connecting. So you're less likely to get hit by one. Additionaly, most head kicks thrown in competition end up hitting the sides (spin hook, high roundhouse), where there's padding to absorb shock. In the 20 years I've done TKD, I've seen my share of KOs, but believe it or not, I have seen very, very few instances of bruised faces, black eyes, bloody/broken noses, etc. This is because, whereas most head kick will hit the headgear covering the sides of the head, punches to the head are almost always aimed at the FACE -- eyes, nose, chin, cheeks, etc. So in any sport that allows punches to the face, you have to be prepared to have many more people get their faces messed up.

Now as for sport TKD fighters not holding their hands up. In a sport with as much kicking as sport TKD, and with the kinds of kicks thrown, it's actually advantageous to not hold your hands up by your face all the time. Watch a kickboxing or karate match and see what happens when someone throws a strong kick with full commitment (not push kicks, leg kick, or leg checks) -- their hands *drop* from their face. This is to aid balance, and help the body turn. Since TKD athletes kick ALL the time, it's more advantageous to their movement to leave their hands lowered.

Now having said this, in actual competitions you'll actually see a large degree of variation in how high/low people hold their hands, and other factors will come into play. For example, many shorter fighter will hold their hands up higher when fighting taller opponents because of the tendancy for taller guys to go "headhunting".

As for hands being up protecting against KOs, that makes sense in theory but in practice is not as beneficial as you may think. While hands up may prevent getting scored in the head (although it would be better to move and counter than block), it's not likely to protect against KO blows. TKD athletes rely on their footwork to move and evade. High section kicks off the offense are usually easy to evade because they are telegraphed and require lots of commitment. I can tell you that most of the KOs I've seen come off a single technique -- jump spin hook kick to the head off the opponents offensive motion. In that scenario, with the speed/power of the kick coupled with the opponent basically walking into it, I doubt having hands up will help, as the kicker will basically kick through your arms. The way to avoid getting hit with something like that is to fake/check, draw the attack, and evade, or stay out of range completely.


Edited by badachagi (03/15/08 04:09 PM)

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#377868 - 03/15/08 04:54 PM Re: Taekwondo losing it's face/popularity [Re: badachagi]
von1 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/04/08
Posts: 260
quote

1) Punches to the head were forbidden in order to encourage greater development of kicking technique.
I can tell you that most of the KOs I've seen come off a single technique -- jump spin hook kick to the head off the opponents offensive motion. In that scenario, with the speed/power of the kick coupled with the opponent basically walking into it, I doubt having hands up will help, as the kicker will basically kick through your arms. The way to avoid getting hit with something like that is to fake/check, draw the attack, and evade, or stay out of range completely
2) Punches to the head were forbidden to differentiate the sport of TKD from boxing and karate.

3) Punches to the head were forbidden for safety reasons.

end quote




Yes I have herd all of these. As far as not allowing punches to head for safety I personally think that the full contact aspect has helped to also discourage punches to head.

I think it is possible that all of these reasons are responsible for the rules being are what they are.




quote


So based on that rule set, it shouldn't be surprising to see people essentially boxing, with the occasional kick thrown.


end quote



Yes I have also herd that the governing bodies did not want to see boxing matches.


quote

Now having said this, in actual competitions you'll actually see a large degree of variation in how high/low people hold their hands, and other factors will come into play. For example, many shorter fighter will hold their hands up higher when fighting taller opponents because of the tendency for taller guys to go "headhunting".


end quote



This would be what I would do if I was the shorter guy along with staying in close to them. Personally I hold them up from habit and it is always stressed in training for a number of reasons, some of what were previously stated in my last post. Most of the knock outs I have seen were to the side of head too.


quote

I can tell you that most of the KOs I've seen come off a single technique -- jump spin hook kick to the head off the opponents offensive motion. In that scenario, with the speed/power of the kick coupled with the opponent basically walking into it, I doubt having hands up will help, as the kicker will basically kick through your arms. The way to avoid getting hit with something like that is to fake/check, draw the attack, and evade, or stay out of range completely

end quote


Yes agree, and this countering can be a real advantage if one gets good at it. This accounts for much of the lull at the higher levels as you have stated in one of your other posts.


Edited by von1 (03/15/08 04:59 PM)

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#377869 - 03/15/08 05:15 PM Re: Taekwondo losing it's face/popularity [Re: badachagi]
Supremor Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/22/04
Posts: 2510
Loc: UK
Quote:


Someone mentioned earlier that they have witnessed ITF matches that turned into slugfests. While I'm sure that's not universally true in all ITF competition, I am surprised that it doesn't happen more often. If punches to the head and body are scored, and if punches are easier to throw, have a higher probability of connecting, and require less commitment than a kick, then from a tactical point of view, it makes perfect sense to throw lots of punches. So based on that rule set, it shouldn't be surprising to see people essentially boxing, with the occasional kick thrown.




Why? No fighter wants to put themselves in more danger than they have to be. Kicks are a useful way to control range and score points with less risk of being hit back. Anyway, if you want to box with your opponent, you have to get close enough, and many competitors are simply too good at keeping bullrushers back with straight kicks. I don't understand why you think a punch requires less commitment than a kick? Maybe it requires less energy, but I would think there is usually a much higher risk of getting hit back.

Quote:

I can tell you that most of the KOs I've seen come off a single technique -- jump spin hook kick to the head off the opponents offensive motion. In that scenario, with the speed/power of the kick coupled with the opponent basically walking into it, I doubt having hands up will help, as the kicker will basically kick through your arms




I have no doubt that this kick has the potential to knock someone out, even with their hands up, but I think it is much less likely. The guard remember, rarely protects the competitor from all the power of the kick, but it does make the attacking leg decelerate enough to protect the head from KOs. Look at it like a crumple zone on a car, it may not lesson the impact an awful lot, but it can still often mean the difference between life and death for the passangers.

I don't know if I'm in a minority here, but I have actually been hit full on by a flying reverse turning kick with the heel. It was not even during sparring, I was actually holding a pad for a student to kick, and they were far too close and ended up clobbering me smack in the forehead. Luckily I wasn't knocked out, I just had a dizzy fit. I was lucky that it hit me in the forehead and not at the side of the head or the nose.

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#377870 - 03/16/08 10:32 AM Re: Taekwondo losing it's face/popularity [Re: Supremor]
von1 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/04/08
Posts: 260
Just for conversation, and somthing else for all to think about, I didn"t say agree.


http://www.fightingarts.com/reading/article.php?id=576

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#377871 - 03/16/08 11:49 AM Re: Taekwondo losing it's face/popularity [Re: badachagi]
ITFunity Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/15/06
Posts: 2053
Quote:

I don't know what the "official" reason is as to why WTF rules prohibit punches to the head, but allow kicks, if there even is an "official" reason. It may be one of those things that will be lost in the annals of history. Over the years, I've heard many anecdotal reasons and personal theories. These are the ones that I know of that seem to be the most plausible.
1) Punches to the head were forbidden in order to encourage greater development of kicking technique.
2) Punches to the head were forbidden to differentiate the sport of TKD from boxing and karate.
3) Punches to the head were forbidden for safety reasons.





Now please understand these rules were not made by the WTF, but the Jido Kwan, led by their 2nd generation leaders who would eventually become major players in the Kukkiwon & WTF. This took place in the early 60s, much earlier than the Kukkiwon (72) & WTF (73) were even formed.

Reasons #1 & #3 were sort of by-products from the main reason #2.

Quote:

.......I am surprised that it doesn't happen more often. If punches to the head and body are scored, and if punches are easier to throw, have a higher probability of connecting, and require less commitment than a kick, then from a tactical point of view, it makes perfect sense to throw lots of punches. So based on that rule set, it shouldn't be surprising to see people essentially boxing, with the occasional kick thrown.





Very true & is often the case. It is up to the center ref to control the match & emphasize that hand techniques, note not only punches, as all hand techniques are allowed, do not get out of hand. Remember attacks in order to score must be focused, controled & delivered correctly.
In addition, 3 pts are given for kicks to the head. 2 pts for kicks to the body & 1 pt for hands (ITF-V). In the past the ITF rules had & still do award points for techniques with a greater degree of difficulty, ie jump kick to head 3pts, jump kick to body 2pts, standing kick to head 2 pts. The ITF-NK in an apparent attempt to further jazz up the scoring & techniques used have added 5 pt 360 degree kicks to head, 4 pt 180 kicks etc. They have also placed limits on the amount of consecutive punches without a kick in between to 3.

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#377872 - 03/16/08 11:53 AM Re: Taekwondo losing it's face/popularity [Re: Supremor]
ITFunity Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/15/06
Posts: 2053
Hands down in WTF type sparring is often the tactic to lure an opponent in. I think it has less downside to other sport sparring rules as hands are against the rules. IMHO whether that bleeds over into real fighting as a flaw, depends on the person, the rest of the training & how much focus is put on the sport fighting. No different from any other sport rules vs SD debate.

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#377873 - 03/16/08 12:15 PM Re: Taekwondo losing it's face/popularity [Re: ITFunity]
Supremor Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/22/04
Posts: 2510
Loc: UK
Quote:

It is up to the center ref to control the match & emphasize that hand techniques, note not only punches, as all hand techniques are allowed, do not get out of hand.




Although all hand techniques may be allowed, I think I have only ever seen forefist and backfist attacks used in competition. The use of the glove makes it impossible to determine a knifehand strike. As for refs emphasising "hand techniques do not get out of hand," I don't think it is up to the ref, it is up to the other competitor to neutralise the use of the hands.

I have seen tournaments where a competitor has literally tried to box his way through. I have to say they are not often successful, because sooner or later they face an opponent who is able to control the range effectively and make it difficult for the puncher to set himself. I remember one Polish guy a few years ago at the European Championships who punched like a brick wall and had his first opponent completely overwhelmed. But the next guy he fought was able to use his sidekick effectively to stop him from being able to use his hands.

Quote:

In addition, 3 pts are given for kicks to the head. 2 pts for kicks to the body & 1 pt for hands (ITF-V).




I really like the new rules adopted by ITF-V (my association actually). I hated how extra points were given for techniques simply because they were done jumping. Recognising that it is not "which" technique that is important, but its power and target, has been a big step forward IMO. It also I think addresses one of the weaknesses many people ascribe to TKD, that it is more for entertainment than fighting. Making sure that simple techniques are given equal weight to complicated ones shows a commitment to effectiveness over show.

The ITF-NK rules frankly sound stupid. I can understand the 3 consecutive punch rule, but honestly I don't think it's necessary. If you have ever officiated at an ITF tournament, you will probably notice, that we tend not to score many points when competitors stand and hurl punches at each other, because it is too difficult to see who has won the exchange. The times I do score these flurries, is when one of the competitors clearly has the advantage in the exchange, and even then he may only get 1-2 points for his trouble. The bottom line is that generally controlled punches woo the judges in competition, but messy scraps are rarely decisive in a contest. As for 180 and 360 degree bonus points, well see above.

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#377874 - 03/16/08 06:04 PM Re: Taekwondo losing it's face/popularity [Re: Supremor]
ITFunity Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/15/06
Posts: 2053
Quote:

Although all hand techniques may be allowed, I think I have only ever seen forefist and backfist attacks used in competition. The use of the glove makes it impossible to determine a knifehand strike. As for refs emphasising "hand techniques do not get out of hand," I don't think it is up to the ref, it is up to the other competitor to neutralise the use of the hands.




I would venture a guess it is another reason for holding free sparring to blue belt, so they have more of an arsenal to draw from. The ref is the 1 who must insure it doesn't turn into wildly swinging & the the hand techniques are focused, etc.

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#377875 - 03/16/08 06:07 PM Re: Taekwondo losing it's face/popularity [Re: Supremor]
ITFunity Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/15/06
Posts: 2053
Quote:

It also I think addresses one of the weaknesses many people ascribe to TKD, that it is more for entertainment than fighting. Making sure that simple techniques are given equal weight to complicated ones shows a commitment to effectiveness over show. The ITF-NK rules frankly sound stupid.




I think these rules are to jazz up the competition for show, as an attempt or in the process of working towards Olympic status.

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