Taekwon-Do is a martial art that originates from Korea. It combines combat and self-defense techniques with sport and exercise. There are two main styles - one style is practiced by the World Taekwondo Federation and the other by the International Taekwon-Do Federation. 


Taekwondo (world taekwondo federation)

Gyeorugi, a type of Taekwondo sparring has been an Olympic event since 2000. Colored belts represents a student’s progress towards black belt, the highest attainable level in Taekwondo. Each belt represents a certain level of skills. 

Poetically, the white belt symbolizes innocence and is the first step on your taekwondo journey.
The next step, the yellow belt represents the earth in which the roots of your taekwondo skills will grow.
Further up, the green belt represents a plant growing from the earth as the student's taekwondo skills develop.
The blue belt represents the sky or heaven toward which the student's taekwondo skills stretch.
The red belt symbolizes danger. At this stage the student is considered to be very skilled in taekwondo.
The skills the student has developed could be dangerous should he not have also learned self-control. The highest level, the black belt represents maturity, a good level of skill in taekwondo, rejection of darkness and fear.

Fun-fact - There are 4 million black belters in the world


TAEKWONDO (wtf): scoring

In Taekwondo Sparing, one can punch (with a clenched fist) and kick with any part of your foot below your ankle at only two places. Your opponent’s chest and head. No other techniques are allowed. One point is awarded for a basic attack to your opponent’s chest protector. Two points are awarded for a kick to your opponent’s chest protector if the kick involves a spinning technique. Three points are awarded for a kick to your opponent’s head. To score a point, your punch or kick has to be accurate and powerful. At the end of 3 rounds, the winner is the player with the most points or the one who has knocked our your opponent. In the event of a draw, there is a golden point round. The first player to score a point in the golden point rounds wins.

Try out Taekwondo today!
Here are a few tips to get you started.

TAEKWONDO (WTF): what to wear

  • Comfortable sporty outfit. Once you’re sure that you want to take up Taekwondo, you will need a uniform


TAEKWONDO (WTF): additional items you may need

  • Head guard
  • Body guard
  • Forearm guard
  • Shin guard         
  • Groin guard


TAEKWON-DO (international taekwon-do federation)

Taekwon-Do is a modern Korean Martial Art.Translated literally “Tae” stands for jumping or flying kick, or to kick or smash with the foot. “Kwon” denotes punching or destroying with the hand or fist. “Do” means an art or way – the right way, built and paved by the saints and sages in the past. The sport combines mental toughness and the techniques of combat for self-defense and health. It involves the skilled application of punches, kicks, blocks and dodges with one’s bare hands and feet to combat the moving opponent(s). Regular training can improve one’s physical fitness flexibility, mental alertness and confidence.

ITF Taekwon-Do has many aspects to it: Patterns (or tuls as known in Korean), Sparring (Matsogi), Self-Defence (Hosin-sul), Power or Board breaking, etc, on top of the physical training and conditioning required. Above all, the martial art requires the practitioner to develop character of well-being, justice and humility. Competitions held worldwide commonly feature the events, including team events like team patterns and sparring.

Fun Fact - Singapore hosted the 1st ITF Seminar by the founder of the martial art, Grandmaster General Choi Hong Hi, on 4th December 1993.

Fun Fact - Singapore produced its first ITF Bronze Medalist, Jonathan Sun, in the 2004 International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) VII Junior and XIII Senior World Championship (Oct 14-19) in Daejeon, South Korea.


TAEKWON-DO (Itf): scoring

Competitors for patterns are divided into various categories by age, gender and belt ranking. Within each category, the competitors are drawn publicly by a lottery system for the order of the match, placed in a pyramid format. Competitors are required to perform 1 designated pattern by the jury and 1 optional pattern of his current rank (chosen by the competitor himself). Competitors will compete simultaneously; the jury will score both patterns performed and award the win to the higher scoring competitor of 2 to progress to the next round.

The format for sparring is similar to patterns competition except that they are divided by age, gender and weight (irrespectively of belt ranking for black belts). Each bout will be 2 rounds of 2 minutes with 1 minute rest in between. Scores are awarded for on 1, 2 and 3 point for each contact using hand and leg techniques under controlled and accurate execution to the correct target (semi-contact format). The winner will be based on the higher score of both, to progress to the next round.

There are other events such as power breaking, special techniques and team events.

Try out Taekwondo today!
Here are a few tips to get you started.

TAEKWON-DO (ITF): things you will need

Sparring gear

  • Gloves
  • Boots
  • Forearm guards
  • Shin guards
  • Mouth guard
  • Groin guard 


TAEKWON-DO (ITF): additional items you may need

  • Rubber daggers (for self-defense practice)