Taekwondo

is a Martial art originating in Korea. It combines Combat techniques, Self-Defense,Sport,, and in some cases Meditation and Philosophy. In 1989, taekwondo was the world’s most popular martial art in terms of number of practitioners. Gyeorugi (pronounced , a type of Sparing, has been an Olympic Event since 2000.

There are two main branches of taekwondo development, which are not necessarily mutually exclusive:

  • “Traditional taekwondo” typically refers to the martial art as it was established in the 1950s and 1960s in the South Korean Millitary, and in various civilian organisations, including schools and universities. In particular, the names and symbolism of the traditional patterns often refer to elements of Korean History, culture and religious philosophy. ‘Traditional Taekwon-Do’ may refer to ITF Taekwon-Do as created by the founder of ITF Taekwon-Do General Choi Hong Hi on April 11, 1955.
  • “Sport taekwondo” has developed in the decades since the 1950s and may have a somewhat different focus, especially in terms of its emphasis on speed and competition (as in Olympic sparring). Sport taekwondo is in turn subdivided into two main styles; one is practiced by WTF Taekwondo practitioners, and derives from Kukkiwon, the source of the sparring system sihap gyeorugi which is now an event at the summer Olympic Games and which is governed by the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF). Today, the Kukkiwon, or World Taekwondo Headquarters is the traditional center for WTF taekwondo; founded by Dr Kim Un Yong on May 25, 1973.. The other comes from the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF).

Although there are doctrinal and technical differences between sparring in the two main styles and among the various organizations, the art in general emphasizes kicks thrown from a mobile stance, employing the leg’s greater reach and power (compared to the arm). Taekwondo training generally includes a system of blocks, kicks, punches, and open-handed strikes and may also include various take-downs or sweeps, throws, and joint locks. Some taekwondo instructors also incorporate the use of pressure points, known as jiapsul, as well as grabbing self-defense techniques borrowed from other martial arts, such as hapkido and Judo.

International Taekwon-Do Federation

The International Taekwondo Federation sparring rules are similar to the WTF’s rules, but differ in several aspects.

  • Hand and foot attacks to the head are allowed.
  • The scoring system is:
    • 1 Point for: Any kick to the body.
    • 2 Points for: Any kicks to the body (torso), jumping or spinning.
    • 3 Points for: Any kick to the head.
  • The competition area may vary between 9×9 meters or 8×8 meters in international championships.

Competitors do not wear the hogu (although they are required to wear approved foot and hand protection equipment, as well as optional head guards). This scoring system varies between individual organisations within the ITF- for example, in the TAGB, punches to the head or body score 1, kicks to the body score 2 and kicks to the head score 3