The Korea ’s national sport, Taekwondo, has long been considered as the most popular and most practiced martial arts in the world. It has evolved over time from a Korean martial art to an Olympic sporting event, and its popularity is said to have resulted from its being a unique combination of combat technique, self-defense, exercise, sport, entertainment, and philosophy.
There is one well-known variant of taekwondo – the taekwondo sparring. Well, it is important to note that just as there are different martial arts, the taekwondo sparring can generally be analyzed and understood according to its general criteria, the range of techniques permitted and its limits, as well as the level of permissible contact. Some experts, however, include the type of equipment used during the match as another factor that can be used to identify taekwondo sparring apart from the other martial arts available.
Let’s a take a look at these factors one by one.
The Basic Criteria
Taekwondo sparring is basically consists of three rounds, each of which is three minutes, but with a one minute rest period between rounds. In a taekwondo sparring competition, it is usual for the matches to be performed in an 8x8 meter contest area in the center of a 12x12 meter competition area. In addition, you will notice a referee who controls the match and enforces compliance with the rules. In addition, the referee has the right to impose penalties for the competitors’ violations of the taekwondo sparring rules.
In terms of judging, a taekwondo sparring event is often judged by four corner judges who award the scores. However, to make the flow of the game fair and enjoyable for both parties involved, a head of court is often considered. It is he or she who supervises the referee and the corner judges, and it is he or she who makes the final decision on the point scores.
Allowable Techniques and Areas of Contact
The taekwondo sparring techniques can be classified into two: fist techniques and foot techniques. In the fist techniques, the taekwondo sparrer is allowed to deliver his or her techniques by using the front parts of the forefinger and middle finger of the tightly clenched fist. On the other hand, in foot techniques, the competitors may deliver the fighting tactics by using the parts of the foot below the anklebone.
When it comes to the permitted area of contact, it is strongly maintained by the rules of taekwondo sparring that there are only two main portions of the body that can be attacked by the competitors: the trunk and the face. However, it is important to note that when attacking the trunk during a taekwondo sparring match, one should not attack the part of the back not covered by the trunk protector. This is also true with the face.
Taekwondo sparring can be deadly if truly used. As such, competitors are required to wear protective gears over the designated body target areas. It is so typical in taekwondo sparring that the participants wear a chest protector to cover the front and sides of the trunk, as well as a headgear to protect the head.