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What is Taekwondo?

Taekwondo (or Tae Kwon Do) is one of the oldest forms of self-defense that originated in Korea, reaching back over 2,000 years ago. Derived from the Korean word “Tae” meaning foot, “Kwon” meaning fist and “Do” meaning way of, taekwondo translates to “the way of the foot and fist.”


Taekwondo challenges both the mental and physical capabilities of students, which provides a future setting for emotional well-being, coping with everyday stress and fear, and the ability to protect themselves through self-defense skills.


There are two branches of Taekwondo:


WT is currently a sport recognized in the Olympics, however, only sparring is performed. There are local tournaments and other world-sanctioned events including patterns (poomsae).


WT sparring competitions are a full-contact sport where competitors are required to wear: a chest protector (hogu), arm and shin guards, a groin protector, a helmet, and mouth guard. Points are awarded for kicks delivered to the legal scorings areas (chest protector and helmet) and the amount of points depends on the techniques performed. A knockout would be an automatic win for the competitor throwing the kick.


ITF sparring has similar rules to WT but differ in several aspects. ITF competitions are NOT full contact and competitors do NOT wear chest protectors (hogu). They are allowed to attack the head with punches (whereas in WT rules, attacking the head results in a penalty) and knockout kicks result in a disqualification to the person who performed the kick. Points are still awarded for kicks and punches delivered to the legal scoring areas.

Taekwondo competitions usually involve sparring (keurogi), board breaking, and patterns (poomsae).

At Ignite, we offer a curriculum that allows our students to compete at WT sanctioned events. We offer a program using a combination of traditional and modern teaching techniques to stay up to date with the changing WT sparring rules.

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