Taekwondo Competition

Talium’s Mario Maltezos (red) at the ATU Nationals July 2nd, 2011

As you get better in taekwondo, you may want to get experience as a competitor. Taekwondo competition is safe and fun, but you’ll have to practice a lot to be ready. You’ll also have to know the rules of taek- wondo competition. There are two ways to compete: in forms and sparring. During forms competition, you do the form you know for your belt. You are judged by three judges, and whoever does the best job and gets the highest score wins. The judges will look at many things: The way you introduce yourself, you appearance, and the way you do your form are all important.

Many people find sparring competition to be the most exciting part of a tournament. To win in sparring, you have to score more points than your opponent. To make a point you have to kick your opponent hard enough for him to have been shaken up by it. It is possible to win a point for a punch, but most people get points for their kicks instead– as you know, kicking is much more powerful. During your match, you will see that there are four judges and a referee. The judges each sit in a corner, but the referee stays in the ring with you throughout the match to watch out for your safety and to enforce all the rules.

Before you begin sparring, you bow to your opponent and the jury. The jury is made up of at least one master. He makes sure that everyone is being fair. After the match he tells the referee who the winner is after reading what the judges have decided. Kicks to the face are allowed, but they must be made with light contact. If you break the rules by kicking your opponent in the face too hard or by doing something else that’s against the rules, you could lose a point or even be disqualified.  This means you lose automatically.

In the State Championships the top three winners can compete in the National Championships. This is a great honor, and any student who has come this far should feel very proud! Competition is a great way for you to get better in taekwondo, to boost your confidence and to make many new friends along the way!