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GFORCE Guide To.... Taekwondo

Added 02 Aug 2018 by GFORCE

The GFORCE Guide to... Taekwondo

As the World Championships kick off in Buenos Aires, Argentina this week, we're taking a look at taekwondo!

Born in Korea in the 1940s, drawing on experience of sports like karate and other martial arts, taekwondo pits fighters together in an athletic and disciplined competition.

An impressive sight, taekwondo involves kicking and punching your opponent to score points. There are strict styles of attack and places to hit, with points rising along with the difficulty of each move.

Most points are given for performing a spinning or turning kick to the head in the Olympics, or for a jumping kick to the head in the World Championships.

Contenders usually wear a hogu, or body protection, and a helmet to keep them safe, as well as a dobok which is the white kit similar to that worn in karate.

In the World Championships though, competitors don't wear a hogu but do wear hand and foot protection to shield the impact of strikes instead.

While it has been a successful Olympic sport since 2000, it is also very popular at grassroots level across the world. There are different coloured belts which can be earned and these are split into junior and senior categories.

There is a huge number of variations in taekwondo styles, but international competitions such as the World Championships use the sparring form of the sport.

Two athletes face up to each other in a eight metre wide square arena and have three rounds lasting two minutes to score as many points as possible.

The winner is simply the person who has scored the most at the end of the time, unless one person has been unable to carry on and a knockout has been called.

Tactically, the philosophy of the sport focuses on speed and agility more than strength. The power of a hit makes no difference to the scores, whereas having the speed to perform the highest scoring moves can get you up to five times the amount of points in one go.

The sport was developed during the 1940s and 1950s in the aftermath of World War II in Korea, with several variations first being created before the President of the country urged them to be unified in 1952.

While Korea is still the most successful nation at the sport, Great Britain has been making gains and took home a gold, silver and bronze medal from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Maybe you want to build on this momentum, or maybe you just want to try spinning kicks, either way you should give taekwondo a go!

To find out more, visit here >> ITF World Championships

 

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