Have done IFT and WTF sparring.
Speed, strength, avoidance, blocking, parring, countering, etc ... these are ALL prevelant of Kukki Sparring. What I find is that the person
utilizing the skills will determine how they will fight; personal preference. Than this person will teach and of course will teach their strengths so when attending their school it may be lacking it other areas. I got lucky, each of the skills were taught equally and then you used what worked for you. While I had speed I went more for strength. I wasn't as quick so blocked more and countered.
And we were NEVER trained to have our hands at our sides; who ever thinks this is wrong. In fact in our school if your hands dropped at any time in drills or sparring your whole group had to do burpies, jumping jacks, etc. It was drilled in at all time to keep your hands up. Again those dropping their hands while sparring is a personal preference not indictive to Kukki/WTF Sparring as I have seen and endless amount of video of ITF practitioners doing the exact same.
I guess it all comes down to what is your motivation to train. If it is pure sport (no SD) then kukki style TKD is probably for you.However, if you want to learn some self defense and still compete in sparring the Chan Hon is a better choice.
I took offense to this. You are assuming that WTF/Kukki only teach sport; WRONG. Lots of schools focus on self defense and do sparring however it is not sport sparring. If you want sport than you joined the fight team which was separate and in addition to the regular training. That would be like me comparing the classes of ITF I took and saying all schools were the same; poor training and conditioning. One school should NEVER be compared to another. Not all schools or Instructors are the same qualilty.