Taekwondo sparring

sparring in competition

Taekwondo sparring is a full contact Olympic sport, although clubs often use a semi contact or no contact version in training. When sparring in competition there are a number of rules that must be followed and the appropriate equipment must be worn. Competitive sparring is based on scoring points against your opponent, which can be scored in a number of different ways. Further details of Taekwondo sparring are outlined below.

sparring equipment

This equipment is usually required for any full contact sparring to prevent injuries. When sparring in training some or all of this equipment may be used depending on how much contact is expected.

point scoring

To score any points in Taekwondo all techniques must strike the correct target areas and be legal to use in competition. Points can be scored by the following:

1 Point = Valid punch to the chest protector

2 Points = Valid kick to the chest protector

4 Points = Spinning or back kick that strikes the body

3 Points = Kick to the head

5 Points = Spinning kick to the head

ring layout

The layout of the sparring area in competitions may vary slightly however the image below shows the most common set up. Corner judges will score points in the first instance and table officials may also award the additional points for head shots. In major competitions electronic scoring may be used which uses sensors in the protective equipment to award points.

sparring rules

A deduction point (gam-jeom) is awarded to the opponent for any of the following prohibited acts:

- Crossing boundry line

- Falling down

- Avoiding/delaying the match

- Grabbing or pushing opponent

- Using leg to block or striking opponents leg

- Attacking after referee halts match

- Kicking below the waist

- Striking opponents head with hand or fist

- Attacking fallen opponent

- Butting or attacking with the knee

- Not complying with the referees decision or protesting