I went recently to see a TKD tournament, a family member of mine started practicing WTF TKD a few weeks ago, and he's really enjoying it, he goes everyday to train, he has lost weight, looks healthier and more confident.
I couldn't help but notice the huge amount of people that were black belts. The sad part, is that only three of them, were actually skilled enough to wear those black belts, they impressed with flexibility, footwork, kicking techniques an combinations.
There were lots of untrained kids wearing blue belts or above, I can see why people criticize WTF TKD so much. they are literally giving out rank promotions to make money, the tests to get a belt promotion get more expensive the further you "advance" in your training.
A lot of people critizice WTF TKD sparring. For using only mid to high kicks, no knees, no elbows, no locks or throws. It is still full contact.
So many TKD dojangs have become sport only dojangs. And have stopped teaching the full range of TKD techniques.
ITF TKD, is a semi contact sport, bans knees, elbows, knees, being a semi cotnact sport KO's are rare, you cant throw a variety of punch combos.
People talk about how TKD needs more violent style of competitions, to be able to use a wider range of TKD techniques.
To me, what TKD really needs is to stop competition, and go back to the roots. To the true essence of korean martial arts.
It was adopted by the military, it was influenced by chinese martial arts, Okinawan karate and korean martial arts.
I think TKD is beautiful, I still enjoy a lot of it, I have met great TKD practitioners, who have gotten away from competition, to focus on the more traditional aspects, and I think it's great, I have also learned a lot of the competition techniques that have been developed by the scientific study of the TKD techniques.
And now, I have gotten away from the dojangs, they were too focused on belts and competition, and I have started to look into different aspects of TKD, I have added weapon training to my routines, and have began to search for a more balanced way of expressions. But Taekwondo will always have a place in my heart
I am in no way an expert in martial arts, or TKD, or combative techniques, or fitness or anything really.
But I'm looking to improve, be more confident, and have a life worth living doing things I really enjoy and love.