Woolston Taekwondo

Taekwondo training classes in Warrington, Cheshire

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Sparring, also known as Kyeorugi, is a staple of any Taekwondo class and a regular event at Taekwondo competitions. Two practitioners engage and attempt to best each other in a controlled form of mock combat. It is not considered honourable to unleash the full power of Taekwondo strikes in a sparring scenario, as this can cause serious injury and doing so is not only detrimental to the health of one sparring partner, it carries penalties for the offender in competition.

Olympic Taekwondo is restricted to sparring only. Taekwondo patterns, breaking and defence against multiple opponents, while a major factor in grading exams and traditional competitions, are not part of the Olympic medal event. Therefore, Olympic Taekwondo can be said to be kyeorugi only and is not indicative of the complete martial art. There are two major worldwide Taekwondo organisations, both with slightly different sparring rules:

  • The World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) which is recognised and operates under the same rules as the Olympic committee.
  • The International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) which has different rules allowing a greater variety of more dangerous techniques to be used in sparring.
  • WTKD (Woolston Tae Kwon Do) is a member of the WTF.

Olympic and WTF Taekwondo Rules

Sparring competitions are fought between two competitors in a square shaped, matted area measuring 10 metres squared. Every competitor must wear a standardised head guard, trunk-protector (hogu), shin guards and wrist guards.

For coloured belts (below black belt), each match comprises of three rounds and each round lasts one minute with a 30 second interval between them. Black belt rounds last two minutes with a one minute interval in between. During a round, the action is non-stop and the judges score points according to the strength of the technique, its style and the point of contact. Punches to the head are banned, as are many types of jumping spinning kicks. Attacking below the waist or while a competitor is on the ground is not permitted. Illegal moves result in the perpetrators scores being annulled and can lead to disqualification. Points are award as follows:

  • Kick to the trunk (hogu): One point.
  • Kick to the face: Two Points.
  • Knock-down with scored technique: Additional one point is added.
  • Soft contact to the head or body: Zero points

The score is calculated from all three rounds. If any one competitor achieves a lead of seven points then the match is stopped and he is declared a winner. Likewise, if one Taekwondo competitor reaches twelve points, he is declared the winner. In the event of a three round 'tie', a fourth 'sudden death' round is fought, after a one minute rest.