Introduction to Taekwondo

National Federation
Irish Taekwondo Union,
23 Kellys Bay Beach
Co. Dublin


Contestants wear different coloured ‘dobock’ or uniforms – ch’ong (blue) and hong (red) – combat each other using punching and kicking techniques. All vulnerable parts of the body are covered by protective equipment, including headgear, trunk protector, forearm and shin guards and a groin guard. Hits below the abdomen are forbidden.

Olympic History
1980 was an important year for the sport, since the International Olympic Committee (IOC) acknowledged Taekwondo as an Olympic sport. It was included as a display event in two successive Olympic Games: in Seoul (1988) and Barcelona (1992). Taekwondo was included on the Olympic Games competition schedule for the first time at the Sydney Games in 2000.

Technical Details
Taekwondo is a defensive martial art that combines philosophy, mental discipline, physical exercise, and physical ability. It promotes a wide range of principles:
· Self-defence (i.e. the apprentice’s ability to defend oneself against any form of violence;
· Good physical condition;
· Self-confidence, respect, and justice;
· Good health, regardless of age, gender or physique;
· Olympic-level competition Taekwondo today is considered one of the finest self-defence martial arts, and is practised at championship level in more than 150 countries.

In Taekwondo, the competitor tries to score the most points. If a competitor incurs three penalties then his or her opponent wins the match.

Competition Area - Field of Play
The Competition Area comprises of a Contest Area measuring 12m x 12m, having a flat surface without any obstructing projections. The Contest Area, a 10 x 10 m surface, is covered with an elastic mat.
The competition area will be raised onto a podium 50-60 cm from the base. The outer part of the boundary line must be over 2m wide, with an inclination of less than 30 degrees, for the safety of the contestants.

The Olympic competition format currently includes four weight classes each for men and women, half the number used in World Championships. It involves a single-elimination tournament to decide the gold and silver medals.

All competitors defeated by the two finalists get another chance in a second bracket to compete for the bronze. The two losing semi-finalists move directly into the semi-finals of that second bracket. All others who lost to the two finalists compete in single elimination within their original pools, and two winners emerge to fill the remaining semi-final spots. Each pool's winner then faces the losing semi-finalist from the opposite pool, and the two winners compete for the bronze.

Contests are scored by awarding a point for each legitimate blow and deducting a point for each penalty. Five to seven points with one deduction is typical.





© 2021 Olympic Federation of Ireland.
Registered in Dublin No. 82262.
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