Good to hear you are interested in the martial arts; they are fun to do, help keep you healthily, may be useful in self-defense situations, and you can train and compete in them at any age until any age. As to your questions:
- I have always trained in the ITF pattern Chang-hon set. Some patterns are difficult for some to master because of the number of complex movements in them, but anyone can learn and perform them. They do not have showy, useless acrobatic movements.
- TKD is practiced by people of ages and abilities. The goal of most TKD school is for students to perform at the best of their abilities. Other students may be better than you, but if you are always doing your best, then you will be rewarded for it.
- Both the ITF and WTF have and use hand techniques. However, when sparring or competing, WTF practitioners use mostly foot techniques. When it come to a self-defense situation when you have no time to think and must act on instinct and training, if you have not trained to use your hands, you will not use your hands effectively and it may result in your attacker hurting you. Hands should always be your primary defensive and offensive weapons.
- When it come to a self-defense situation, having any martial art training is better than having no training. While most schools teach some self-defense techniques, only a few specialize in self-defense training. Sparring is not the same as self-defense training.
Find a martial art think you will enjoy, find a good school and good instructor, train hard and do your best, and you will never regret it.
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