Back in 2015 during the World Taekwondo Championships celebrated in Chelyabinsk, Russia a phenomenon was noticed by officials and referees alike, and that was the use of kicks that, even though were seen used before, it was here when they were used more frequently.
We are talking about the Monkey kick, the Scorpion kick, and the Spinning kick. This kind of kicks lacked technique, spectacularity and seemed more like mutations of well-known kicks.
The controversy began when an Iranian athlete not only reached the finals but ultimately won the gold using not just these techniques but an overall unorthodox technique. It is important to clarify that this particular athlete and his country (Iran) were not the first to use this technique but he indeed used it all over the tournament as we already mentioned.
This technique was dubbed the anti-taekwondo as they were mostly used to make best of the electronic sensors located both on the foot and the body on top of the taekwondo uniform which allowed for the fighter to just make contact to score a point while at the same time did not complete a correct taekwondo kick.
Let’s remember that back 2015 the use of electronic body protector and electronic foot protector were a must in any competition sanctioned by the WTF. This allowed for certain athletes to find use in this bizarre techniques to score points while forgetting the correct application of the taekwondo techniques.
The Monkey kick, for example, takes advantage of both the body and foot electronic sensors, so, with a circular movement going inwards, the athlete allows for his foot to touch the body of the opponent scoring a point but, as mentioned before, not completing correctly the taekwondo kick.
The constant use of this kind of kicks in the tournament and the complaints coming from members participating forced the WTF Technical commission to call for an urgent meeting where managers from all participating countries were told that athletes using this kind of techniques in excess were going to be penalized.
It is well known that the WTF is always thriving to provide a type of taekwondo that is attractive and marketable while at the same time gives the necessary respect to the old tradition that is taekwondo, but this does not mean that they are willing to the let competitive taekwondo morph into a bizarre variation of what it should be.
In a previous article, we talked about the communion of technology and taekwondo and the benefits it provides for judging matches during competitions as the speed in which things happen sometimes made it impossible for an official to see correctly, but this was never brought in to help athletes forget what the real foundation of taekwondo really is.
The use of techniques like the monkey, scorpion, and spinning kicks only serve to overshadow this discipline and give athletes a way to unfairly win matches and medals by only concentrating in the contact (light or not) with the sensors located on the protection over the taekwondo uniform. And that is precisely what the WTF is fighting against, especially knowing that their sport is the one representing martial arts in the Olympic Games.