Taekwondo first appeared in the Olympics as a demonstration sport at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.
It made its debut as an official Olympic sport at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and Since then it has also featured in Athens, Beijing, London and The Rio Olympic Games. It has already secured its place in Tokyo and Paris. Since tokyo has also become a para- olympic sport.
The Match, The Rules
Taekwondo is characterised by the use of powerful kicks. Using the legs allows athletes to have a greater reach and power to disable the opponent from a distance. In sparring, turning, front, back kicks are most often used.
The competition is fought on an octagonal ring which measures 8m x 8m.
The contestants wear a red or blue electronic trunk protector (hogu) and electronic head protector, a groin guard, forearm guards, shin guards, hand protectors, and a mouthpiece. The players wear electronic socks but not electronic gloves.
The duration of the contest is non-stop three rounds of two minutes each, with a one-minute rest period between rounds. In case of a draw after the completion of the 3rd round, a 4th round of two minutes will be conducted as the sudden death overtime round.
In the event of a tied score after the sudden death round, the judging officials decide the match based on the initiative shown during the final round.
Foot techniques are only allowed by using the parts of the foot below the ankle bone, no shin or knee techniques are permitted.
Contestants are only allowed to strike with a closed hand, and only with the leading part of the hand.
Full force attack by fist and foot techniques is permitted on the areas covered by the trunk protector.
Attacks to the head are only allowed by foot techniques. Attacking the back of the head is prohibited, as are all hand techniques to the head.
Points are awarded when permitted techniques deliver full force (Doesn't have to be full force. Accurate and powerful, yes, but a balance of the two). Points may be awarded by judges for a successful technique as follows:
· One point for a fist attack that strikes the trunk protector.
· Two points for a foot attack that strikes the trunk Protector.
· Three points for a foot technique that strikes the head guard.
· An additional two points for any turning techniques using the foot to the hogu or head.
Declared winner if the opponent is knocked out or counted out.
An athlete may be penalised for a prohibited act, a "geom-jum" (deduction penalty) awards the opponant one full point.
penalties include: evading by turning the back to the opponent; falling down; avoiding/stalling the match; grabbing, holding, or pushing; attacking below the waist; pretending injury; butting or attacking with knee; hitting the opponent’s face with the hand;
attacking the opponent when the round has stopped; attacking a fallen opponent.
Although only sparring is contested in the Olympics, breaking, poomsae and self-defense are also key parts of the martial art of taekwondo and contested frequently in other competitions.