|Formation||May 28, 1973|
|Purpose||Martial art and sport|
|Headquarters||Tongui-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul|
World Taekwondo, called the World Taekwondo Federation until June 2017, is the international federation governing the sport of taekwondo and is a member of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF). The body was renamed in June 2017 to avoid the "negative connotations" of the previously used initials WTF. World Taekwondo was established on May 28, 1973 at its inaugural meeting held at the Kukkiwon with participation of 35 representatives from around the world. There are now 208 member nations. Since 2004, Choue Chung-won has been the president of World Taekwondo, succeeding the first president, Kim Un-yong. On July 17, 1980 the International Olympic Committee recognized World Taekwondo at its 83rd Session in Moscow, Soviet Union. First, Taekwondo was adopted as a demonstration sport of the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea; later, on September 4, 1994 Taekwondo was adopted as an official Sport of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games at the 103rd IOC Session in Paris, France. According to World Taekwondo,
Taekwondo is one of the most systematic and scientific Korean traditional martial arts, that teaches more than physical fighting skills. It is a discipline that shows ways of enhancing our spirit and life through training our body and mind. Today, it has become a global sport that has gained an international reputation, and stands among the official games in the Olympics.
The main constituents of World Taekwondo are the following: The General Assembly (GA); the World Taekwondo Council; the President and the Secretariat. In addition to its main constituents World Taekwondo also encompasses other organizations that have been duly authorized or recognized by the Council and the GA and that operate under the auspices of World Taekwondo. World Taekwondo-recognized or authorized organizations include but are not limited to the Continental Unions. The General Assembly is the general meeting of the Council and representatives of MNAs of World Taekwondo. The GA is World Taekwondo’s supreme decision making organ. Its decisions are final, whereas the Council consists of the President, the Vice Presidents, the Secretary General, the Treasurer and the Council members. Responsibilities of the Council are for example planning and management of World Taekwondo organization and operations and the control over the financial budget and financial reports. The President is elected by the GA from among its members for a term of four years. The President must lead and represent World Taekwondo; concurrently lead the GA and the Council as its chairman, and preside over meetings and other activities as well as designate official duties to Vice Presidents on an ad-hoc basis for the betterment of the development of the sport of taekwondo and World Taekwondo operations. Furthermore, the President appoints the chairmen and members of World Taekwondo Committees. Lastly, the Secretariat of World Taekwondo is installed at the location of World Taekwondo headquarters for the execution of the secretarial affairs and duties of the President and the Secretary General.
World Taekwondo was established on May 28, 1973 at the inaugural meeting held at the Kukkiwon with participation of 35 representatives from the world after it separated from the International Taekwon-Do Federation because of political reasons. At that time, Un Yong Kim was elected president for a four-year term. One of the main Constituents of World Taekwondo, the Secretariat was formed on June 3, 1973 and began operating. On October 8, 1974 World Taekwondo was affiliated to the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), now SportAccord. Until the 1980s, the European (May, 1976), the Asian (October, 1976), the Pan American (September, 1978) and the African (April, 1979) Taekwondo Unions inaugural meetings were held, while Oceania’s Taekwondo Union was not recognized as the 5th Continental Union of World Taekwondo until July 16, 2005. The recognition of the IOC towards World Taekwondo at its 83rd session in Moscow on July 17, 1980 was the cornerstone for their Cooperation. Thereupon Taekwondo participated in the 24th Olympic Games at Changchung Gymnasium in Seoul, Korea as well as the 25th Olympic Games at the Palau Blaugrana in Barcelona, Spain as a demonstration sport. In recognition of his contribution to the Olympic Movement Un Yong Kim was awarded the Order of Commander by Prince Rainier of Monaco on September 21, 1993. Moreover, Taekwondo was adopted as an official sport of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games at the 103rd IOC session in Paris, France on September 4, 1994. Half a year later, on February 15, 1995 World Taekwondo was affiliated to the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) as a provisional member. After the first appearance of Taekwondo as an Olympic Sport in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, the IOC executive board confirms Taekwondo as an Olympic Sport for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games on December 11–13, 2000. Furthermore, the inclusion of taekwondo in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games was confirmed on November 29, 2002 at the 114th IOC session held in Mexico City. On February 15, 2004 the Vice President (Italy) Sun Jae Park was elected as Acting President of World Taekwondo due to the resignation of the founding President Un Yong Kim from the presidency of World Taekwondo. Four month later Chung Won Choue was elected as new President of World Taekwondo at the extraordinary General Assembly on June 11, 2004. Taekwondo was confirmed as program of the 2012 London Olympic Games on July 8, 2005.
Mission and objectives
The mission of World Taekwondo is to provide effective international governance of Taekwondo as an Olympic sport and Paralympic sport. The envisioned objectives of World Taekwondo are to promote, expand, and improve worldwide the practice of taekwondo in light of its educational, cultural, and sports values (the “Taekwondo movement”) and to promote fair play, youth development, and education as well as to encourage peace and cooperation though participation in sports. Moreover, World Taekwondo wants to promote or sanction international taekwondo competitions and relating to those World Taekwondo resolves to constantly improve technical rules regulating taekwondo competitions and poomsae competitions sanctioned or promoted by World Taekwondo, including the taekwondo event of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. Furthermore, World Taekwondo wants to take action in order to strengthen the unity and protect the interests of World Taekwondo and the Taekwondo Movement as well as to engage in other activities in support of the above objectives. World Taekwondo undertakes its missions and objectives in cooperation with independent affiliated organizations including World Taekwondo Academy, World Taekwondo Peace Corps, World Taekwondo Demonstration Team, Pro Taekwondo Federation, Global Taekwondo Support Federation and Taekwondo International Federation.
- The Pan American Taekwondo Union (PATU)
- 45 national member associations
- The European Taekwondo Union (ETU)
- 50 national member associations
- The African Taekwondo Union (AFTU)
- 51 national member associations
- The Asian Taekwondo Union (ATU)
- 43 national member associations
- Oceania Taekwondo Union (OTU)
- 19 member national associations
Under World Taekwondo and Olympic rules, sparring is a full-contact event and takes place between two competitors on a matted 8 meter octagon. At the end of three rounds, the athlete with the most points is declared the winner. A tie, however, results in an additional round, known as "Golden Point". If no point is scored during the Golden Point, the player with the most registers on the PSS is declared the winner.
Points are awarded for permitted, accurate, and powerful techniques to the legal scoring areas; light contact does not score any points. Points are awarded as follows:
- 1 point for a strike to the chest or when "Gam-jeom" is given to the opponent
- 2 points for a standard kick to the chest
- 3 points for a standard kick to the head
- 4 points for a turning kick to the chest
- 5 points for a turning kick to the head
The competition sparring rules were updated by World Taekwondo General Assembly in November 2016 in order to upgrade the sport so that it "dazzles and excites." Changes include encouraging more offensive actions with modifications to some of the point scoring and by disallowing certain leg blocks, elimination of mid-game interruptions, and improvements that simplify penalty assessment and foster better officiating. These new rules took effect in January 2017.
Beginning in 2009, a kick or punch that makes contact with the opponent's hogu (the body guard that functions as a scoring target) scores one point; if a kick to the hogu involved a technique that includes fully turning the attacking competitor's body, so that the back is fully exposed to the targeted competitor during execution of the technique (spinning kick), an additional point is awarded; a kick to the head scores three points; as of October 2010 an additional point is awarded if a turning kick was used to execute this attack. Punches to the head are not allowed. As of March 2010, no additional points are awarded for knocking down an opponent (beyond the normal points awarded for legal strikes).
The referee can give penalties (called "gam-jeom") at any time for rule-breaking, such as hitting an area not recognized as a target, falling, or stalling the match.
Until 2008, if one competitor gained a 7-point lead over the other, or if one competitor reached a total of 12 points, then that competitor was immediately declared the winner and the match ended. These rules were abolished by World Taekwondo at the start of 2009. In October 2010 World Taekwondo reintroduced a point gap rule. Under the new rule if a competitor has a 12-point lead at the end of the second round or achieves a 12-point lead at any point in the third round then the match is over and the athlete in the lead is declared the winner.
World Taekwondo-sanctioned events allow any person, regardless of school affiliation or martial arts style, to compete in World Taekwondo events as long as he or she is a member of World Taekwondo Member National Association in his or her nation. These National Associations are open for anyone to join.
Poomsae competition has skyrocked in participation since the 1st World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships in 2006.
Athletes wear the y-neck World Taekwondo poomsae uniform, as opposed to the traditional World Taekwondo v-neck.
Competitors are assigned compulsory poomsae depending on their age division. The compulsory poomsae are as follows:
- Cadet (12-14): Taeguk 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Koryo, Keumgang
- Junior (15-17): Taeguk 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Koryo, Keumgang, Taebek
- Senior 1 (Under 30) & Senior 2 (Under 40): Taeguk 6, 7, 8, Koryo, Keumgang, Taebek, Pyongwon, Sipjin
- Master 1 (Under 50): Taegeuk 8, Koryo, Keumgang, Taebaek, Pyongwon, Shipjin, Jitae, Chonkwon
- Master 2 (Under 60), Master 3 (Under 65), Master 4 (Over 65): Koryo, Keumgang, Taebaek, Pyongwon, Shipjin, Jitae, Chonkwon, Hansu
Pair and Team
- Cadet (12-14): Taeguk 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Koryo, Keumgang
- Junior (15-17): Taeguk 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Koryo, Keumgang, Taebek
- Under 30: Taeguk 6, 7, 8, Koryo, Keumgang, Taebek, Pyongwon, Sipjin
- Over 30: Taegeuk 8, Koryo, Keumgang, Taebaek, Pyongwon, Shipjin, Jitae, Chonkwon
World Taekwondo approves three systems of competition: cut-off, round robin, and single elimination.
Competitors are given a score out of 10.00 using an electronic scoring system or by hand. The score is composed of accuracy (4.00 points) and presentation (6.00 points). Competitions are judged by 3, 5, or 7 judges. If using a 5 or 7 judge format, the highest and lowest presentation and accuracy scores are dropped.
In May 2016, World Taekwondo introduced world poomsae rankings. Poomsae competitors are awarded points at G ranked tournaments. These rankings determine and athlete's seed at the World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships.
Freestyle performance is based on taekwondo techniques, with the addition of music and choreography.
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