Thursday, 21 May 2015

The Kick That Changed Our Game

Recently it was announced that Manny Pacquiao would be sued for many reasons and also because “The fight was not great, not entertaining, not electrifying. It was boring, slow and lackluster,” according to a lawsuit filed in Texas alleging racketeering, a claim usually reserved for organized crime.  If lacklustre fights and dull events were the case, then everyone should be suing Taekwondo because that's what it has come to.

It seems ever since the introduction of Electronic Chest Protectors the games has dramatically changed for the worse.  It is definitely not entertaining, electrifying and sure is slow and boring.  Why?  Simply because a cut kick (strong, yet unappealing) is used for offence and defence.  It also debilitates opponent and therefore reduces exchange and slows down the pace of the game.  If cut kick is used constantly throughout the match, it creates a bland action-less match.

While it was said that back kick is the strongest kick in Taekwondo, I'd say that cut kick is probably a close second and also can be thrown much more frequently.

Majority of the male gold medalist from the last world championships, were quite effective with cut kick (Tazegul being an exception).

Notice the men's division was dominated by Iran with three gold medals.  Although, Iran has always been a dominant force in Taekwondo, their top 3 fighters were cut kick pros. 

Hajizavereh - Gold -74 Kg

The Tsunami - Gold -58 Kg

Mahdi Khodabakhshi won his final match with 12point gap

At the same time, one of Taekwondo's greatest athletes won most of his world and Olympic titles by being famous for cut kick.  Steven Lopez was using cut kick long before front leg was popular because back leg delivered much more power.  Although most his matches were not the most exciting, nevertheless he was a strong and effective fighter who knew how to set up his points and defend with the cut kick.  

Steven Lopez - 5 time world Champion and 2 time Olympic Gold

So now the secret is out that the cut kick is an effective kick that can hurt/disable opponents while becoming more popular amongst world class athletes.  Many schools are now teaching the foundations of cut kicks to their beginner students.   This means that the future of our sport will continue to see the rise of cut kicks despite the removal of bottom sensors from the e-socks.

I agree that the removal of the bottom sensor may reduce scoring by cut kick, however, I also believe that changing the rules by reducing "Kyongo's" such as grabbing, pushing or moving to avoid a cut should be allowed and could potentially create much needed excitement for our sport.


Akmal Farah is former Canadian national team member, current coach and owner of Authentic Taekwondo in Markham.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

A message from the President

Our people is our business.  When we see our students develop into fit, healthy and confident individuals, that is confirmation that we are on the right track. However, if the lessons are to be ingrained, we need time.

Our students progress because of the fundamental life lessons Taekwondo offers. Many life skills such as discipline, confidence and perseverance are taught on a daily basis.  When these lessons are used daily, we see the incremental progress. Coupled with results from school, competition and social settings, we can see the seeds we plant blossoming into beautiful gardens with all types of flowers.

Authentic is more than just a place of learning martial arts and fitness. We are a family, where each member takes care of the other much like their own.  Whether we are in children’s class or high level competition travelling abroad, our members stick together and help each child/athlete as though they are their own.  

Children are very impressionable.  Watching our adults behave in that caring manner, they learn and follow the examples with their classmates and teammates.

The future of Authentic Taekwondo looks bright because of the amazing people we have among us.  We continue to strive for greatness in all aspects of our life and encourage our members to seize the moment and aim high.

I would like to take this moment to congratulate all our black belt candidates and thank them for their dedication to our art and family.