Tech-wondo – Scoring Technology in Martial Arts

Martial arts is amazing in the sense that you get to see athletes that compete against one another, often causing and enduring lots of physical pain. Now, with that in mind, athletes often win or lose based on a decision of a judge or referee. The problem with that is that every referee has some bias, whether towards a certain athlete or their style of fighting or even a certain mindset which the athlete embodies.

Matches which end unfavorably hurt everyone, from the competitors, to the judges, and even the fans, especially those who love sports betting. Yes, sports betting and martial arts go hand in hand. There are plenty of martial arts you can bet on, on various online betting sites, like FUN88 and the like.

But, when betting gets to be ruined, like someone’s gold medal, due to human error, technology needs to step in and save the day. This is how scoring is done in taekwondo.

Scoring Prior to Technology

Scoring prior to the introduction of various technologies to help with precise and accurate point measurement was done by eye. This was proven to be extremely unreliable at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Given taekwondo’s recent entry into the Olympic Games, in 2000, scoring has always been one of the concerns, even during the 1988 demonstrations in Seoul, South Korea.

Taekwondo is a very fast form of fighting, or rather, martial arts, and it has really fast kicks, it is very difficult to measure by only using the naked eye. The World Taekwondo Federation was very keen on accepting and implementing new technology once it was ready. Luckily for everyone, we didn’t have to wait too long.

Wireless Sensors

The best way of notifying judges was through the use of wireless sensors which are planted in the chestguard, hand and footwraps and in the headguard. These sensors measure the force of impact and notify the referee whether a hit with sufficient force was made. This solves the hitting part, but not the type of hit. This other part is solved with high-speed cameras.

Video Assisted Referee – High-speed Cameras

This little jab at FIFA shows that some other sports embrace technology quicker. High-speed cameras capture footage of fights and during key decisions or disputes, referees can review the footage and determine whether a hit was scored and what kind of a hit.

Are All of These Technologies Good?

People will always argue whether implementing a certain technology is good for a sport and some will say yes, others no. Some argue that taekwondo is losing its roots due to the sport being turned completely into a point based game, drifting away from actually fighting, which was one of the highlights of taekwondo in the past. On the other hand, disputes can be settled with ease, should the need arise.

Taekwondo is embracing technology to help with the scoring system. They are doing what some other sports took quite longer to do. Whether this is for the better or worse, remains to be seen.