Grandmaster Chun Tae Kwon Do historically hosted the All American Open Martial Arts
Above is the tournament committee for that first California tournament. Back row
(l-r) Casey Abano, Aaron Villa, Joyce Reyes, Nancy Schaible, Simon Lee, Dusko Pantovic,
Ryan Maynard, Jeff Desorbo, Morgan Hege. Font Row (l-r) Don Weeks, Allen Johnson,
Corkey Mizer, Grand Master Chun, Brian Pierce, Bill Tinsman
You must ask permission from your sabanim (coach) to participate in tournaments.
We participate in both open and Taekwondo only tournaments. Below are some of the
guidelines for official USTA Taekwondo tournaments. Keep in mind other systems may
have very different rules. It is important to be aware of the specific rules governing
competition before participating.
Traditionally, taekwondo competitions consist of 16 weight classes, eight for men
and eight for women. In the Olympics, there are only eight classes — four
for each gender — because the International Olympic Committee (IOC) limits
the total number of taekwondo entrants to 128 (64 men, 64 women). The weight divisions
in Beijing are broader than those used in other competitions and are therefore labeled
as Olympic classes.
Men's Weight Divisions
- Olympic Flyweight: Competitors must weigh no more than 58kg (128 lbs)
- Olympic Featherweight: Competitors must weigh no more than 68kg (150 lbs)
- Olympic Welterweight: Competitors must weigh no more than 80kg (176 lbs)
- Olympic Heavyweight: Competitors must weigh more than 80kg (176 lbs)
Women's Weight Divisions
- Olympic Flyweight: Competitors must weigh no more than 49kg (108 lbs)
- Olympic Featherweight: Competitors must weigh no more than 57kg (126 lbs)
- Olympic Welterweight: Competitors must weigh no more than 67kg (148 lbs)
- Olympic Heavyweight: Competitors must weigh more than 67kg (148 lbs)
To ensure that a competitor is eligible to compete in his or her weight class, weigh-ins
are held the day before the scheduled competition. Athletes wear underwear during
the weigh-in, but can choose to be weighed in the nude. To help eliminate disqualifications,
athletes are given access to replica scales so they can check their status in advance
of the official weigh-in.
The Olympic Taekwondo tournament for each weight class follows an elimination format,
with a random draw determining the main bracket. There will be roughly 15 entrants
per weight class, with byes used to fill out the bracket as needed. After each match
in the main bracket, the loser is eliminated from gold-medal contention, while the
winner advances. The last two undefeated athletes meet to determine the gold and
silver medallists. Beginning with the 2008 Games in Beijing, the number of bronze
medals awarded will be expanded from one to two. Since the 2000 Sydney Games, the
World Taekwondo Federation has conducted a single elimination tournament system
with double repechage to determine one third-placed winner.
A taekwondo match involves two competitors, "Chung" (blue) and "Hong" (red). Before
the match begins, the two competitors stand at attention and bow to each other on
the referee's Korean commands of "cha-ryeot" (attention) and "kyeong-rye" (bow).
The referee will then shout out "shi-jak" to start the match.
As inferred from the definition of taekwondo — "the way of the hand and the
foot" — each athlete tries to earn points by landing kicks to the opponent's
head and body, or punches to the body.
A men's match consists of three rounds of three minutes each with a one-minute rest
period between rounds. A women's match consists of three, two-minute rounds, with
one-minute rest periods between rounds.
Determining the winner
Most matches are won and lost on the scoreboard — the athlete who tallies
the most points (less deductions) is the winner. Other means of determining a winner
- Superiority (SUP). Other than in the final, if competitors are tied after three
rounds, victory goes to whichever athlete scored more points (penalties are ignored).
If the tie remains, the judges determine the winner based on initiative shown during
- Default (if the opponent earns four penalty points)
- Referee Stopped Contest (RSC)
- Knockout (KO) (uncommon)
- Disqualification (DQQ)
Tie-breaker system in the final
If a tie occurs in the gold-medal match, superiority is not initially used to determine
the winner. Instead, the two competitors will go into a fourth, sudden-death round,
with whoever scores the next point being declared the winner. If neither athlete
scores a point in the extra round, the referee will decide the winner based on who
was superior in the round.
A referee and three judges are present for a taekwondo contest at the Games. The
referee controls the match, declaring its start/end, winner/loser, plus suspensions
and resumptions during the course of competition. The referee also declares warnings,
penalties and deductions of points, but does not award points. All of the referee's
decisions are announced when the results are confirmed. The judges are responsible
for immediately tallying all of the valid points used to determine a match's winner.
In competition, a taekwondo athlete wears a white, v-neck uniform called a "dobok."
The style of the dobok is based on traditional Korean peasant garb. All contestants
compete barefoot. For protection, competitors must wear a red or blue chest protector,
headgear, shin and forearm guards and mouthpieces. Male athletes must also wear
a groin-area protector. The headgear is worn mostly to protect against injury to
an unconscious athlete falling to the mat, and the forearm and shin guards are to
prevent nerve damage to the designated areas.
Taekwondo contests take place on a 12-meter by 12-meter square mat (roughly 39-feet
by 39-feet) with a surface similar to that of a wrestling mat. There is a 1-meter
wide border marked at the edge of the mat and shaded a different color to alert
contestants that they're nearing the boundary line. If a contestant steps across
the boundary line, the referee stops the match. If a contestant unintentionally
crosses the boundary line, the referee will declare "joo-eui," or a verbal warning.
The second time this occurs, "kyong-go," or a half-point penalty, is declared.