Taekwondo has grown execptionally since its inclusion in the Olympics. In my own country Taekwondo was really obscure and few people knew anything about it. The few who did used to say it was Korean Karate. Even when I started practising Taekwondo 13 years ago it was just starting to overcome that mental image and this was not that long ago:-) Today however the sport Taekwondo is a household name even in Norway:-) And you will be hard pressed to find people who has not heard about it and many can even say that it is in the Olympics, it is originally from Korea and it is mainly kicking techniques. So from being an obscure form of Karate it is now a recognized sport and a household name, in large thanks to the Olympics.
With the increased media coverage (from non existant to a fair share when compared to other sports) there was a great increase in the number of students. The increased media coverage came largely from it being an Olympic sport but the increase in the number of students did not only come to the sports clubs but also to the traditional dojang (both Kukkiwon affiliated and the ITF afilliated) ones. So these days more people know about Taekwondo, it is more in the media than before and there are more people practising it (in all its kinds).
Practical mindset when looking at our art; the focus on "sport Taekwondo" has made Taekwondoin more practical than the older Taekwondo (as seen in older writings). We spar a lot more than older incarnations of Taekwondo (not counting Ji Do Kwan), we spar earlier in our training than before (traditionally only the last ranks before black belt was allowed to spar), we spar continually rounds with brakes only between rounds and not after each "point" and we sometimes spar full contact (depending on your school and organisation). Again this has lead to a search for better training methods etc as well as a good testing of our techniques against a resisting opponent. Yes we did loose a lot too but thats for others to say, this is a post on the good things;)
So quick recap:
- Recognition of Taekwondo
- More media coverage
- More students practising
- Better training methods
- Scientific approach to training and teaching
- Practical mindset towards training