IMAGINE if we had this during the SEA Games.
At a demonstration last month at the KTA Power Taekwondo Premium League, the Korea Taekwondo Association (KTA) rolled out some new tech that judged a match by "life bars". Anyone who's ever played Tekken or Street Fighter (or most other video games, really) knows the concept: Get an opponent's life bar down to zero, and you win.
Check out the video of the demo matches below:
Competitive taekwondo is usually scored additively — you score points for every successful kick to the body or the head, with extra points awarded for technique like spinning attacks.
For this system, it seems, the rules were tweaked. Competitors were scored based on "effective impact," according to an article from the Yonhap News Agency, or how hard your strikes land. Each competitor starts with a life gauge of 100, and a "[competitor]'s power gauge would decrease as much as the attacker's effective impact." (All translations via Google.)
Successful spinning attacks to the head, claimed the article, would decrease your opponent's life by 40.
In true video game style, you can also earn damage multipliers. If your opponent earns a penalty, your effective impact is multiplied by two for 10 seconds.
The "effective impact" was calibrated on the electronic sensors based on weight class.
The new scoring system (and its video game-style display) seemed to be a success. "I think taekwondo will be more colorful and dynamic," competitor Chung Chan-ho told the Yonhap News Agency. The article, however, says that the KTA is still ironing out problems encountered during the test, as well as discussing "the expectation that taekwondo could be restored to its original form."
The KTA tested the system on 18 athletes over two days, divided into two weight divisions: 75-85kg and 65-75kg. Ten referees oversaw the matches.