My friend is a 2nd degree black belt in TKD and my other friends believe he is like the second coming of Jesus or something. They think my wrestling/shotokan karate/slight Muay Thai skills couldn't even touch him.
I publicly challenged him to a sparring match and never got an answer. If it were to ever happen though, I'm pretty sure I could win since I see TKD as only useful in TKD competition. The different variety of kicks look cool, but what effectiveness does that have on actual fights?
what you see in competition isn't necessarily what TKD practitioners do in the dojang. everybody knows a lot of judges like theater (like loud ass kihaps, nice looking but impractical kicks etc) and that's who they're trying to appeal to.