Kyorugi - Olympic sparring

HTKD 0485-tytöt matsiTaekwondo is a combat sport. Thus, matches, kyorugi in Korean, is a fundamental part of training at Helsinki Taekwondo Club.

Taekwondo matches are fast and impressive to watch. Taekwondo can be distinguished from other martial arts especially due to the dynamic and refined footwork, which enables lightning-fast kicks from all distances to all heights. An advanced taekwondo trainee can combine up to three or four kicks into a combination while adding various spinning or turning movements to them, providing an element of surprise or increasing the force - or simply changing the distance or angle to the opponent. The footwork in taekwondo and the techniques behind the kicks are unique in martial arts and are completely like no other.

Helsinki Taekwondo Club teaches WTF taekwondo. Also followed in the Olympics, the basic rules of the matches are as follows:

  • Matches are full contact, but no head strikes are allowed
  • Full body armor, helmet and other protective gear should be used
  • Adult's matches last 3 x 2 minutes, children's matches 2 x 1,5 minutes
  • There are 8 weight groups for both men and women
  • Points are awarded for hits and kicks to the torso and for kicks to the head
    • 1 point: hit or kick to the torso
    • 2 points: spinning kick to the body
    • 3 points: kick to the head
    • 4 points: spinning kick to the head


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The rules can be found on the Finnish Taekwondo Federation website. The competitor is expected to have good physical health, a great tactical mind and a good spirit. Despite the contacts allowed, Taekwondo is a very safe sport. Taekwondo was the demonstration sport in the Olympics in Seoul in 1988 and received the official status for the Olympic games in 2000.