On Saturday June 15 at the “Plan Sexenal Sports Center” the final of the Mexican Taekwondo League (LMT by its acronym in Spanish) was held. This “Professional Taekwondo” is an innovative format.
The effervescence experienced for about three hours in the arena, is something that we have seldom witnessed, since the place was completely packed as it the “Mexican Wrestling” style.
The format used in this League, TK-5, is similar to the one used in the Team Championships Cup sanctioned by the WTF; however in Mexico it works in a different way and the audience is increasingly adopting it as an attraction for the whole family, where the usual Aztec passion, the lights, the announcers, and the fighters themselves make Taekwondo a real spectacular show that looks promising.
“Go Hawks! The Super Qrocks are mean and ugly” said innocently a kid who passionately shouted from the stands, while on the mat, with smoke and lights everywhere, two Olympic athletes, Erick Osorio and Diego Garcia, were facing each other.
Other renowned Azteca Taekwondo representatives were unable to participate with their squads due to the proximity of the World Taekwondo Championships, but were present accompanying their peers and being part of a show highly recommended.
The squad that took the Champions Belt was “Centauros” of Pachuca, which was formed by Idulio Islas, René Lizárraga, Eber Moreno, Hugo Palacios, Uriel Avigdor, Abraham Landa, Manuel Ramos, Gustavo Martínez, Luis Aguilar, Elías Obed González and Thomas Ruiz. The Pachuca squad is led by veteran Jose Luis Ramirez, who strategically managed the team´s relays to finally conquer the title of the LMT second season.
The TK-5 rules are much more flexible with regard to the penalties compared to traditional WTF Taekwondo, therefore, the flow of the match is not lost and the scores are high, resulting in the public euphoria and competitors giving extraordinary combats full of power and adrenaline, because fights themselves are not tactical oriented, but in each intervention athletes seek to leave everything they have to get as many points as possible.
No doubt we are facing a new and different way of looking at Taekwondo, neither better nor worse, but different and apparently audiences love it, media is interested and sponsors are curious. The creator of this revolutionary way of presenting Taekwondo, is Master Dai Won Moon (who introduced of Taekwondo in Mexico 44 years ago) who very wisely told us: “Everyone talks about making Taekwondo professional, but if we don´t make big changes we won´t succeed. Taekwondo is like water, if it is still, it becomes stagnant and gets rotten, but if it flows and moves, it will be fresh forever. Making events like the LMT does not mean all the Taekwondo must change, but the different modalities should follow his path and evolution. In the Olympics we were witness of how big our martial art is, but if we seek professionalism and interest of the media, we must do something totally different. “
In few parts of the world Taekwondo is experienced with much passion as in Mexico, large numbers of practitioners in all forms such as Combat, Poomsae, Exhibition, and fill almost weekly the different competitions that take place in this country. Undoubtedly, this is also a great place where, once and for all, professionalism in our sport is born, and apparently the Mexican Taekwondo League has already put down roots.
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Claudio Aranda, Exclusive masTaekwondo.com