Spectator’s Guide

A beginner’s handbook for understanding & appreciating Taekwondo.

Competition | Valid Scores | Superiority | Warnings & Deductions | Scoring Video

Competition

Competition is conducted in 3 rounds of 3 minutes each with 1 minute recess between rounds. The games are played within an 8 meter x 8 meter contest area enclosed by a 12 meter x 12 meter competition area line. The winner is determined by superior point totals of successful hits (solid contact) using hands and feet.

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Valid Scores

The following score 1 point (“Deuk-Jum”):

  • A punch successfully delivered with the fist on the middle part of the body.
  • A kick successfully given by the foot on the face or middle part of the body.
  • An attack successfully made either by the foot or fist on any part of the body above the navel except for foul parts which causes the opponent to fall.
  • Additional point for a spinning kick.
  • 3 points for a head kick.

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Superiority

In the event of a tie score, determination of the winner is made by sudden death in which the first point wins. If at the end of the round the score is still tied, the rules of superiority on the judges’ cards will be used to determine the winner.

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Warnings & Deductions

Penalties on any prohibited acts are declared by the referee. In the case of multiple penalties being committed simultaneously, the heavier penalty is declared. Penalties are divided into Kyong-go (warning penalty) and Gamjeom (deduction penalty). Two Kyong-go are counted as one (+1) point. However, the last odd Kyong-go is not counted in the grand total. A Gamjeom is counted as one (+1) point. All Gamjeom are counted in the grand total.

Kyong-go Penalty (warning)

  • Holding the opponent
  • Escaping from fighting by showing his back to his opponent
  • Moving out of the 8×8 boundary line on purpose
  • Attacking with knees
  • Pretending injury
  • Grabbing the opponent
  • Attacking the private parts
  • Pushing the opponent with his shoulder or body or pushing the opponent by his hand
  • Falling down on purpose
  • Attacking the opponent’s face with a fist
  • Uttering undesirable remarks and misconduct on the part of the contestant or the coach
  • Intentionally stomping or kicking any part of the leg or foot
  • Gesturing to indicate scoring or deduction by raising hand, etc. (self cheering)

Gamjeom Penalty (deduction)

  • Attacking the fallen opponent
  • Injuring opponent’s face by a fist attack
  • Butting
  • Intentional attack after the referee’s declaration of Kalyeo (break) order
  • Uttering of violent and undesirable remarks or misconduct on the part of the contestant or the coach
  • When the contestant moves out of the 12×12 competition area line
  • Throwing the opponent
  • Attacking the back and the back of the head intentionally

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Scoring Video

Need a demonstration? Check out this 1-minute video explaining how to score in Taekwondo!


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