I’ll level with you. I don’t know a thing about Taekwondo and I know only slightly more things about fighting games. But I do know how health bars work in video games which is exactly what this particular martial arts match looks like. Even someone like me with no prior knowledge can track when to cheer, which is pretty neat.
According to Twitter user AMurderOfBears, this match shared by TKD News is using equipment that awards points not just for scoring hits on particular body parts, but also for the amount of force applied to those body parts. The score bars above each player look a lot like they came straight out of Tekken 7, lightning effects and all.
It sounds like there are also fake punching sound effects that go off for each hit, which is hilarious given that there should be actual punching and kicking noises to hear, you know, in real time. Don’t miss the dramatic slow-mo either.
Another Twitter user points out in the replies that these electronic systems have been around before, citing 20/20 Armor as one example, though they don’t appear to be the sets used here. Aside from just looking like a game and making a match easier to follow, both 20/20 Armor’s website and some of the comments on TKD News’ video mention that the wearable scoring devices also reduce the amount of work being done by a judge to score the match.
I know enough about fighting games not to make a “Finish him!” joke here, but not enough to write a better one, so you’ll just need to get a chuckle out of the live footage above instead.