Fallen Angel: Beijing Olympic TKD Participant from Cuba Attacks Referee

Here's the video of a very uncontrolled Cuban Olympic Taekwondo disgrace...

Imagine my surprise this morning when I was told a taekwondo participant from Cuba Angel Valodia Matos kicked a swedish referee Chakir Chelbat for disqualifying him in a bronze medal event. Matos' coach was also similarly banned apparently because he also shoved the referree before Matos lashed out with a roundhouse kick.

The internet and martial art blogging community is alive with outrage over the incident. But an interesting development comes from none other than Fidel Casto, who backs the ban on the Matos.

Another thought: The Olympic referee was a motionless target for the cuban. The roundhouse kick only drew some blood. How is it that a free kick did not result in greater injury or knockout to the referee???

Check out these animated pictures to see Matos kicking the ref in slow mo. Might I say that that particular roundhouse kick was RUBBISH.

This is a highly embarassing development in sport taekwondo - much worse than the loss during the B-boyz dance off I showcased with a string of other videos!

Taekwondo v Kickboxing
Muay thai v taekwondo
Wrestling v Taekwondo
Karate v WTF
Kung Fu v Taekwondo

Which do you think is worse??? The Olympic embarassment for Taekwondo or referee Isao Nakamura Fushiki, 7th dan, taking a cheap shot at a participant from the back for disobeying him? Check out the following video and corresponding posts on martial views.

More posts on Fushiki incident at Martial Views.

More info:
Violence puts Sydney Olympic champion under life sanction
Olympics: Cuban fighter banned for life after attacking judge
Angel Valodia Matos Banned! For Life In Taekwondo
Cuban Taekwondo Champ Faces Ban for Kicking Olympic Ref in Head

Related blog posts:
Of Olympics, Controversy and Sportsmanship


The referee incident is worse, however both actions are inexcusable. The sport aspect of Taekwondo is just that, an aspect of the martial art. Actions like this are clearly in violation of the tenets of Taekwondo and should really result in withdrawal of belt certifications and expulsion from the respective governing body.
I've been at competitions and seen biased judging happen. When it does, the time has come to take the high moral ground. Bow to your opponent, and his coach. Once you lose control like these two individuals have done, you've missed the point of most of what Taekwondo is there to teach you.
I was very sad to see the Olympics marred by this event.
wmioch said…
I just saw the fottage on TiVo at my parents house. He didn't just get banned from the games, him AND HIS COACH have both been banned from all international competition.

Career - The End.
Colin Wee said…
Tomcat - that's a great way of saying it. I've always approached Taekwondo as a 'unified' brand name, even though I know various factions practice it way differently. But the sport aspect is indeed just an aspect of it. And hopefully this incident would be something the entire community can learn from.

Bill - I'm not sure how the coach ended up being banned given that I didn't see the footage. But he's going to have to wear this for the rest of his life - and he deserves it. I told my students yesterday ... never ever hit the referee (and if you do do it in private *wink*).

Colin Wee said…
I see from some of the articles that the coach hit the referee too! And that was when Matos hit out with what was supposedly an axe kick - even though it looks like a roundhouse kick from the photos. Colin
supergroup7 said…
I go and get busy, and all of this action happens!

So, please excuse my delayed response.

Colin, I also noticed that the roundhouse kick that the Cuban sent didn't have much of an effect on the referee. He wasn't even unbalanced much, despite the fact that he was a very unmoving target. The referee wasn't expecting an attack, therefore he was caught in surprise. This is a very loud lesson to all Black belts who are placed in the position of referee to be always aware of the potential of becoming the target of a contestant's aggression.

I believe that such negative behavior seen in the two videos that you have listed can happen when the sports aspect of Martial arts.. "Do what it takes to win the medal" is louder than the deeper philosophical meaning contained in the Martial Way. The more one respects the potential lethal damage that can occur, the more reluctant one would be of using the tool to express discontent, if they are trained properly. That is my opinion.
Colin Wee said…
I'm sure that's a good part of it. Another is the level of emotional investment for that sporting event. But this kicking of the ref is totally off-the-edge unexpected and freakin' crazy! I still can't believe it.

Another nail hammered into the Taekwondo brand name. Isn't it just great for all the rest of us who fall under the same name?

supergroup7 said…
Anytime you have a big group of people the chances get higher that someone in the group is going to become a bad example. As long as the rest of the group doesn't support the nasty behavior, things should settle smoothly.

For example, if an Australian went on a rampage in public, and everyone applauded that behavior, then the world's opinion would become "Oh Those Australians are violent, and crazy."

But what I've seen from the Taekwondo community was instant rejection of what this competitor did, and that just solidified to the world that this kind of behavior is shocking, wrong, and unheard of in Taekwondo.

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