What is Sport Taekwondo?

Olympic Sport Taekwondo is a competitive sport in which athletes apply skills culled from the martial art of Taekwondo to score points to win a match against their opponent. Olympic Taekwondo is a stand up fighting sport in which competitors spar in a matted ring flanked by three or four judges. Sparring matches consist of a continuous free-flowing exchange of techniques between competitors in rounds lasting two minutes with breaks in between. Matches are managed by a single referee as two opposing athletes, with the vocal motivation of their coaches at ring-side, use footwork, speed, and strategy to score points with their hands or feet. Due to the full contact nature of an Olympic sparring match, all competitors are required to wear protective equipment including coverings for the shin, instep, chest, forearms, and head. Kicking is the primary method of scoring, and punches are allowed to the torso only. By making effective contact to the head or torso, matches are won mainly through point majority, knock-out, judge’s decision, or disqualification.

Olympic Sport Taekwondo events are conducted as tournaments with competitors, often called fighters, divided into groups according to gender, age, and weight. As Taekwondo athletes are martial artists, they are also grouped by their belt rank before being assigned to matches. Depending on the number of competitors in a division, a fighter may have to prevail in many matches in order to win their division. Medals are usually awarded to first, second, and third place fighters in each group.

Olympic Taekwondo tournament participants are expected to adhere to etiquette much of which is derived from traditional martial arts practice. Indeed, from the moment the barefooted athletes enter the ring wearing their complete Taekwondo uniforms and belts, the influence of Taekwondo tradition is evident from the terminology and referee instructions, which are in the Korean language, to the demonstration of respect to opponents, coaches, and officials. The athletes bow to each other at the outset and conclusion of each match, and bowing to referees and judges is also common.

Sport Poomsae or Forms/Patterns are a set sequence of movements that consists of the various fundamental stances, blocks, punches and kicks logically arranged in a meaningful order in response to attacks from multiple imaginary assailants. Each Poomsae consists of an established sequence of movements which has a philosophical meaning, each Poomsae has its own character and distinct quality. Poomsae teaches a student balance, technique, coordination and self-discipline. There are Poomsae competitions nationally and internationally at which patterns are displayed and judged.

We offer Olympic Sport and Sport Poomsae training Monday through Saturday. Please see our schedule for exact times.