Taekwondo – Object, Equipment and Rules


Taekwondo is a popular Olympic sport and a Korean martial art. It is a mix of Subak, Taekkyeon, Gwonbeop and Karate. A large part of the technique involves kicking and points can be scored by landing kicks on the right body parts.


The object of this technique is to land as many kicks and punches on scoring zones on the opponent’s body. The kicks and punches must be landed on the torso or the head and they must be accurate and powerfully delivered. All taekwondo practitioners follow 5 tenets for self-conduct – integrity, perseverance, courtesy, self-control and an indomitable spirit.

Modern-day taekwondo follows the eleven commandments of conduct:

  • Respecting your elders
  • Respecting your parents
  • Being loyal to your friends
  • Being loyal to your school
  • Never to take life in an unjust manner
  • Finishing what you began
  • Respecting your teachers
  • An indomitable spirit
  • Being loyal towards your country
  • Respecting your brothers and sisters
  • Being faithful to your spouse

Equipment and players

In a competition, players will fight with other players of the same sex. There are separate categories like age and weight to make players as evenly matched as possible. The Korean term for a taekwondo uniform is dobok. The uniform is usually white while a colored belt is tied at the waist. The belt color signifies the practitioner’s grade. It starts at yellow then goes on to green, blue, red and finally black. In a competition or a match, the participants will wear the following equipment:

  • Groin guard
  • Head guard
  • Chest protector
  • Hand protector
  • Forearm guard
  • Mouth guard
  • Shin guard

Scoring and Rules

Scoring in a taekwondo competition has the following considerations:

  • 1 point for a basic attack on an opponent’s torso
  • 2 points for a spinning attack on an opponent’s torso
  • 3 points for a kick to the head

The participant with the most points at the end of three, 2-minute rounds wins. The matches can be over faster in case of disqualification or a knockout.

The following rules are followed in a taekwondo competition or a match:

  • Matches to be contested by competitors in the same weight category and with the same sex.
  • The area of competition is an 8-meter square mattress.
  • The matches have three rounds of 2-minutes duration. There is a 1 minute rest period between the rounds.
  • Fighters attempt to knock out the opponents or get as many points as possible by landing kicks and punches in the designated body areas. Usually, head and torso are the designated areas and punches in the lower body parts are not permitted.
  • Penalties can result in loss of points and can be incurred by the following actions:
  • Punch to the face
  • Attack with the knee
  • Attack below waist
  • Step out of the ring with both feet
  • Turning back on the opponent
  • Holding, grabbing or pushing the opponent
  • Feign injury
  • The match can be won by means of points or by knocking out the opponent
  • In case of a draw, an additional golden point round is played for decision.

There are good training centers that offer training for taekwondo Portland. One can search for such centers in their local areas for further inquiry.


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