Rules of Taekwondo | How it is Played?

Japan, Korea and China are considered as the inventors of martial arts in the world, and the history of sports suggest that they have also dominated these sports for decades.

The game of Taekwondo is a similar game to Karate but incorporates different rules and point scoring methods. The combative sport of Taekwondo was developed during the 1940s and 1950s by Korean martial artists who had experience of playing Karate and other Chinese martial arts.

Rules of Taekwondo

The game of Taekwondo is known as a style that focuses particularly on kicking, various spectacular head height and jumping kicks.

Though the game remains disputed under various federations but it has made considerable progress in the last few decades – thanks to the interest of people in other martial arts like Karate and MMA that made them take interest in Taekwondo too.

Object of Playing Taekwondo

As said earlier, it is a similar game to Karate and MMA fights. The object is to land kicks and punches upon the scoring zone of your opponents. But you have to be sure that you are not violating the rules of the game – you can be penalised for this – and showing your martial arts skills rather than turning it into a casual fight.

At the end of the three rounds, the player with the most points is declared winner. Or, like we have in Karate, a winner can be declared in the middle of the match if one of the players is knocked out or declared unfit to continue fighting.

How to Play?

Taekwondo is played between two individuals who are supposed to punch and kick each other in the scoring zones of their bodies. It is played in multiple bouts and the more you strike on the scoring zones of your opponent’s body during this duration, the more points you get. But you can also be disqualified from the game if you strike in prohibited parts of your opponent’s body.

Taekwondo players go through extensive training to learn about the rules of the game and get themselves accustomed to them to fight smoothly. If you want to learn what these rules are, you can find them in the section below.

General Rules of Taekwondo

  • Taewkondo matches take place between players belonging to the same weight category and same gender.
  • To win points, you can kick your opponent’s torso or head. Punches are only allowed on the body, neither on head nor on torso. Hitting below the waist is not allowed.
  • Players and coaches have the right to protest if they feel a wrong decision has been made regarding the point or penalty.
  • A video replay then confirms if the challengers were right or not.
  • Everytime you make an infringement, you bear a penalty. Every penalty costs you a certain number of points.
  • You can be penalised for punching the face of your opponent, attacking with knee, attacking below waist, stepping out of the ring with both feet, turning your back on your opponent, pushing, holding or grabbing your opponent and feigning an injury.
  • A player can’t raise his leg for more than 3 seconds.
  • The match is won by the fighter who knocks their opponent out or who has the greater number of points at the end of the three rounds.
  • There are no draws. If the scores are equal at the end of the game, a golden point is fought in which the first player to score a point is declared winner.

Time Duration of Taekwondo

A taekwondo match consists of 3 rounds, each round of 2 minutes. Players get a 1-minute break at the end of each round.

Taekwondo Playing Field

The game of taekwondo takes place on an 8-meter squared mat.

Playing Equipment

In a game of taekwondo, receiving a few blows is a normal thing. Therefore, protection is necessary. Players are allowed to wear certain protective equipment:

  • Head guard
  • Chest (trunk) protector Groin guard
  • Forearm guards
  • Hand protectors
  • Shin guards
  • Mouth guard

Scoring in Taekwondo

Scoring methods are simple in this game. You get:

  • One point for a basic attack to the opponent’s torso,
  • Two points for a spinning kick to the opponent’s torso,
  • Three points for a kick to the head.

The scoring can vary from one weight category to another. Moreover, a panel of judges watch the game and evaluate the cleanliness of the strike to give a certain number of points to a player.

Referee and Judges

Referee’s role is to maintain order in the game while judges carry on giving marks.

Famous Taekwondo Tournaments

Taekwondo tournaments take place at national level and it is also part of the olympics. Numerous countries participate in the World Taekwondo Championship but it is yet to become as rich and popular as Karate and other martial art games are.

Governing Body

There are multiple governing bodies which take care of the game – most of them are limited to a particular region. Up till now, there is no single governing body which is accepted worldwide.