Taekwondo Basics

Taekwondo Basics

Taekwondo is a martial art that originated in Korea sometime around 0 AD. Taekwondo involves two competitors, fighting against each other using their hands and feet. Unlike other popular martial arts, taekwondo places heavy emphasis on kicking, especially kicks that feature jumping or spinning of some sort. Fighters receive points for every blow they land to their opponent’s body, with ratings based on where they hit and how they hit. At the end of three rounds, the fighter with the most points wins the match. Taekwondo requires mental focus in tandem with physical agility and ability. The sport is participated in by all ages and competitions exist around the world and has been part of the Olympic Games since 2000.

Most Important Things

Because there is so much history behind taekwondo, there are many different facets of the martial art that may be important for you to know. Let’s get into some of them:

  1. Taekwondo competitors receive points for hits against their opponents. They receive 1 point for a basic hit on their torso, 2 points for a spinning kick on their torso, and 3 points for a kick to the head.
  2. ‘Taekwondo’ translates to ‘The Art of Kicking and Punching,’ telling competitors they need skills in both areas to succeed.
  3. Taekwondo is a very physical activity, so participants must wear protective gear to prevent severe injury. Check out our Taekwondo Equipment List for more information on this.
  4. Taekwondo takes mental strength, as well as physical strength. Taekwondo competitors typically must take time to sync their body and their mind together so that they can be fully focused while fighting.
  5. Taekwondo matches will last three rounds and be scored by judges or through electronic equipment, with the winner being named at the end.

Basic Rules

Like other sports and martial arts, taekwondo has rules that must be followed during competitions. Here are some of the most basic ones:

  • If both competitors are tied at the end of three rounds, an ‘overtime’ period will occur. The competitor to land the first hit on their opponent’s body wins.
  • Competitors can be penalized for certain actions like: punches to the face, hits with the knee, stepping with both feet out of the ring, or faking an injury to stop play.
  • If a competitor is knocked out, their opponent wins the fight automatically. 
  • Competitors must be the same gender and weight group.


As you’ve learned by now, taekwondo is an extremely popular martial art that originated in Korea. A taekwondo match lasts 3 rounds and competitors must try to successfully hit and kick their opponent as much as possible, since they earn points for landing a hit. There are certain areas competitors cannot attack their opponent in and specified points for each valid hit they get on their opponent. Taekwondo is both physical and mental, so competitors need to unite the two so that they can release their full potential in the martial art.