I used to practice TKD under the UKTA and the TAGB and got to a reasonable standard.
I haven't trained for years now, moved to another area and I am now 44. I am however recently considering going back to martial arts to improve my fitness and flexibility as well as study the self defence aspect.
After some searching I have found that the nearest and only school near me is actually a WTF style school. I have spoken to the instructor and he says he is very keen on the martial side of his style.
2 questions really;
Does WTF style have the tools for self defence.
As WTF seems to have more kicks in its syllabus, am I too old to consider this style?
Well first let me start by saying that there is actually no such thing as WTF style. It is Kukkiwon style Taekwondo. The WTF is only a governing body for competitions and does not issue any ranks, certify any instructors, or create/alter any forms. Second, Kukkiwon style Taekwondo is very well equiped for self-defense and is the sole martial arts style taught to all men who are required to serve in the Korean military. I personally have assisted and continue to assist in the training of Korean ROTC students so I have first hand knowledge of their Taekwondo training. The techniques contained within Kukkiwon Taekwondo poomsae are similar and often even the same as those found in many Okinawan Karate katas which serve as some of the roots for Kukkiwon style Taekwondo. As for the kicks, Kukkiwon style Taekwondo does not include lots of kicks. Actually, only the front kick, jump front kick, side kick, roundhouse (only in 1 form), cresent kick (only in 1 form), and back kick (only in 1 form) are included in the forms. The Kukkiwon style poomsaes focus primarily on hand techniques and some forms have few or no kicks (ex: Geumgang does not have any kicks, only a few sweeps). All of the other kicks that you have likely seen are only used for demonstrations or competition sparring in WTF style competitions. Most of these kicks are not actually part of the system and are not requirements for testing. Only the hook kick, spinning hook kick, and ax kick are authorized kicks by the Kukkiwon that are not included in the poomsae. These kicks (except for the hook kick) are requirements for testing at the black belt level only (this is the Kukkiwon requirements in Korea and instructors elsewhere may have their own standards). Due to the popularity of WTF style competitions, it is unfortunate that many people today misunderstand Kukkiwon style Taekwondo. Many instructors only teach the sporting side of Taekwondo and some are not even capable of teaching the martial side because they were never properly instructed in the martial applications of Kukkiwon Taekwondo. If your instructor is well versed in the martial applications and theories behind Kukkiwon style Taekwondo, then by all means, train with him as the style itself is great for self defense. I hope this helps.
I will start by stating I have no experience in WTF style, but got back into MA at about the same age (42, ITF style)...and just passed 50. My opinion is that the real important factor is whether the instructor is good at what they are teaching, regardless of the style. If WTF was all that was available, I would likely participate, learn, and apply whatever I learn to what works for me.nothing ventured, nothing gained! All knowledge is a good thing...Good luck and keep practicing.