TaeKwonDo has been an international martial art since the 1970’s and boasts thousands of schools teaching various styles of TKD across the globe. As a testament to its’ popularity, TaeKwonDo became an official sport in the Olympic Games in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Of all the traditional Asian martial arts, Judo and TaeKwonDo are the only to that hold such an honour. 103 TaeKwonDo fighters from 51 countries participated in the Sydney Games, with South Korea winning the most total medals with three gold and one silver.
This year is the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. There will be a total of 128 TKD athletes at this years’ games competing in eight weight classes( four male and four female). Spain and China were tied for most overall medals in TaeKwonDo at the 2012 London Olympics, with South Korea and Turkey close behind. As the Summer Games get closer, let’s take a closer look at the rules of engagement of Olympic TaeKwonDo.
The standard equipment for Olympic TKD consists of:
Forearm and Shin Guards
Dobok or the standard TKD uniform
The contest takes place on a ten by ten meter square, with an additional boundary line set around this square to denote “out of bounds” Each match consists of three 3 minute rounds with two 60 second breaks. There are 3 corner judges to score the bout, and one referee to enforce regulations and to start and stop the match. In the event of a tie there will be a sudden death round with the first to score as the winner. If there is no score in overtime, the referee will declare a winner.
Ways to Win
Rendering the opponent unconscious or unable to continue.
The referee intervenes for the safety of the athletes
- Win by withdrawl
One athlete withdraws from competition
One athlete is disqualified for fouls or other means
- Referee decision
Int the event of a tie, the referee shall decide
(If a competitor has 12 points more than his or her opponent in either the second or third round they will be declared the winner)
Ways to Score
Hand or foot strikes to the Hogu or chest protector worn by competitors
Kicks only are allowed to the head and face, no punches.
Power, accuracy, and technique are the main factors when determining points.
Ways to be Penalized
Going out of bounds, stalling, crouching, turning back to opponent in defense
Headbutts, groin attacks
Hand strikes to opponents head, punching opponents face
Stomping or kicking the opponent’s legs or feet (no leg kicks), grabbing opponents legs
Grabbing, holding, throwing, or otherwise grappling with opponent
Attacking a downed opponent, faking injury, unsportsmanlike conduct
Olympic TaeKwonDo is a study in timing, precision, and agility. It should be noted that Olympic TKD is not a fight, it is a competitive sport with rules. Hopefully with the help of this brief overview, you can enjoy TaeKwonDo Olympics a little more.
The 2016 Rio Games begin August 5