Taekwondo to hold online competition

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    THE Philippine Taekwondo Association will begin online speed-kicking competitions starting tomorrow in an effort to help the national taekwondo jins in kyorugi (sparring) maintain their competitive fighting shape.

    “Since our national athletes in poomsae (forms) are able to train online, PTA vice president and chief executive officer Hong Sung Chon thought of a way of doing the same for our athletes in kyorugi. So this is what we came up,” PTA secretary general Rocky Samson said.

    He added the tournament, which will be a first for taekwondo worldwide, was conceptualized for the national team members, who are required to see action in the event, including Olympic hopefuls Samuel Morrison, Arven Alcantara, Pauline Louise Lopez, Kurt Ryan Barbosa and Rio Olympic veteran Kirstie Elaine Allora.

    Except for online fitness and conditioning exercises, these national athletes have been unable to do actual training since the country went on lockdown in mid-March to curb the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus.

    The competition will have two main criteria in judging, according to Samson, a former national standout who bagged a silver medal in the 1991 Asian championships in Taiwan.

    “One will be the actual overall performance and the other is the technical aspect of the competition: the execution of the kick, the power of the kick, the variations of the kick and punches,” he explained. “The performance will include how well the athletes can execute them combined with speed, balance and timing.

    “You must remember we have different kinds of kicks like body kicks, head kicks, turning kicks and jumping kicks.”

    Samson added that competitors are allowed to complete their routine in one minute and their performance will be evaluated by six PTA judges, who will also determine if the athletes are able to complete the required kicks and punches in the program they submitted before they actually perform.

    “Even for black belts performing their routine in one minute is a huge challenge. You can easily do that, pero kung papetik-petik ka lang mahirap ‘yun. Hindi ka mananalo. Dapat paramihan at pagandahan ng sipa,” he elaborated. “Kumbaga showtime. Ilabas mo ang galing mo.

    “You have to strategize how you can deliver your kicks and what kicks to execute, and how fast to execute them during the performance. Hindi ka basta-bastang sumasali.

    Makukulelat ka kung hindi ka handa.”

    He said the scoring system, combining both the technical and performance aspects of the individual contests, is patterned after poomsae.

    “Naka-set up na ‘yung scoring system in poomsae, so we adopted some of them for kyorugi,” Samson said, adding the virtual competition can be viewed beginning tomorrow by live-streaming on the association’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/philippinetkd.