Rules of Taekwondo

Rules of Taekwondo


Born out of World War 2 liberation, taekwondo traces its roots back to Korea and was much more of a self defense fighting style for soldiers than a sport. Now, taekwondo is practiced by 70 million people worldwide, and has been a Summer Olympic event since 1988. The World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) is the governing body that oversees all of the sport’s major tournaments.


How to fight Taekwondo


The art of taekwondo requires not just physical ability, but mental acumen as well. In taekwondo, fighters are taught that self awareness and self control can be far more effective than relying on physicality when preparing for a match.


The sport focuses mainly on kicking techniques, and taekwondo’s top fighters are able to land powerful kicks at lightning fast speeds. For equipment, fighters are required to wear torso padding, head padding, groin padding, fighting gloves (or wraps), shin guards, a mouthguard, and their gi.


Rules of Taekwondo


  • Taekwondo is a one versus one matchup, however, fighters must face other fighters within their weight class. The four weight classes are: Flyweight (127 lb for men, 108 for women), Featherweight (150 lb for men, 125 lb for women), Welterweight (176 lb for men, 147 lb for women), and Heavyweight -- which is essentially any weight over Welterweight.
  • Each match consists of three, two minute rounds. The match will take place on a padded octagonal canvas with 8 meters of competition space.
  • Although taekwondo is an art of kicks, fighters are able to land punches to the torso. Kicks can land to both the torso and the head.
  • Penalties can be assessed if a fighter steps out of the competition area, strikes below the waist, punches their opponent’s face, grabs their opponent’s gi, or shoves their opponent.
  • There are two ways to win a match: By landing the most strikes or by knocking out your opponent.
  • In the rare event of a draw, a sudden death round will be added on. The first fighter to land any strike will be declared the winner.


Only five percent of all taekwondo competitors in the world are black belts. Furthermore, there are many different degrees of black belts in taekwondo -- these are called “dans.” Depending on the dan level, a written exam, a thesis, and a trip to South Korea may be required. The final 9th dan, also referred to Grandmaster, is currently the highest honor one can achieve in taekwondo.







Written by: Devin Pickell

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