Thursday, May 31, 2012

Olympic Team Skips over Aaron Cook


With the London 2012 Olympics starting in less than a month, Taekwondo selectors in Great Britain skipped over Aaron Cook, arguably one of the best Taekwondo athletes in the entire world, for the National Team.

Instead, Lutallo Muhammad, who ranks 50 places below Cook, was selected. In their most recent bout, Aaron Cook defeated Lutallo, but Lutallo was still selected instead, nevertheless.

The British Olympic Association has made an inquiry in as to why Cook was overlooked and legal action may take place on the eve of the 2012 Olympics.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Scoring without Power?


   In an effort to promote safety, the committee presiding over the Olympic games for  Taekwondo has ruled that any foot contact with the head, regardless of power will be awarded full points for a headkick.

  While some argue that this is, in fact, actually promoting safety and helping to popularize the sport, others feel that it takes away from Taekwondo, which is meant to be a powerful sport and that this new rule reduces Olympic competition to a possible "foot fencing" spectacle.

  Studies done on Olympic Taekwondo have come to the conclusion that concussion rates are, indeed, quite high in the upper competitive levels. However, this same study also observed that these head injuries were often attained in situations in which the kick could have very well been blocked physically, had the rules allowed it. Perhaps, instead of simply scoring every headkick, regardless of power, with full points, blocking can be introduced. With padded forearms, neither competitor risks much injury if the shin and forearm collides. The increased difficulty of kicking the head could also give headkicks more value, as well as encouraging competitors to seek out different methods of attacking and scoring.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Olympic Espionage

  With the 2012 London Olympics coming up, Taekwondo teams are trying to get every advantage they can get. The British team now has a fulltime staff member who records potential opponent's fights and then attempts to analyze his techniques and style. This is predicted to become a trend used to give a competitor an idea and forewarning as to what their opponent will be using in their next match.

 While some, such as Steve Lopez, are not worried about their fights being recorded, the British team is adamant that this will help them. By examining opponent's techniques, they intend to develop counters and stratagems that are specifically geared towards a certain opponent.

Already, the study has illustrated the radical differences in fighting styles between different countries and regions of the world, with Asians as a whole tending to attempt more headkicks and aerial maneuvers, while teams such as Iran's tend to stick to grounded body kicks for a higher chance of scoring consistently.