Monthly Archives: March 2009

Fighting the Chinese genes

As you may already know form my previous blog posts, I have been trying to bulk up and “get big”… I was told again today that I’m not as big as my (white English) friend, Ben, who is also on this “getting big” programme. It’s annoying! And I blame it on my genes! The Chinese aren’t built to be big. We don’t play rugby; we stick to table tennis and badminton where our small frames and nimbleness works to our advantage. I’m green with envy off Ben… we have been lifting pretty much the same in the gym, yet he is the one bulking up. I argue the Chinese simply aren’t built for this!!

On the other hand, another friend said to me today, “It’s not all about size.” And I have to agree with this. I believe I am getting stronger, which will help my Martial Arts, and I won’t need to buy a new wardrobe because I’ve got too big for my clothes (unlike Ben)!!

Reasons why ITF is better than WTF

As I have previously said, there are two main types of Tae kwon-do (TKD) practised in the world: ITF and WTF. The main differences between the two are:

Personally, I don’t see why WTF is an Olympic sport. It gives TKD a bad name and when my friends ask what I do, I specifically say not Olympic TKD. They spend most of their time bouncing on the spot, waiting to use a counter-attack knock-out turning kick. It just seems like a lot of pointless noise and not much action. ITF has a greater variation of techniques, and thus is better to watch.

Something not mentioned in the above table is that WTF predominately focuses on kicks, whereas ITF uses hands as well. I would say ITF is a more traditional Martial Art, whereas WTF has developed into a sport due to its Olympic participation.

However, a good point about WTF is its full-contact nature. I wish ITF did more full-contact and according to TKD Times magazine, a merger between the WTF and ITF will happen in the next few years. As a style, TKD has been taking a beating from other martial arts who have been trying to discredit it as a legitimate form of self defence or fighting. I think unification would help strengthen the style and help fight back against this bad publicity. My other future hopes for TKD, is to see a stronger ITF or kickboxing influence in the Olympics and less politics within the two major organisations.