Under World Taekwondo Federation and Olympic rules, taekwondo competitors compete in an area measuring 8 metres square. Competitors wear protective equipment to protect the face, body, groin, arms and legs. Points are scored by striking the body protector, head contact is not allowed for children, but is permitted for teenage and adult competitors. The centre referee will award warnings and point deductions if competitors engage in illegal conduct such as grabbing/pushing, running out of bounds etc.
Typically there are 3 corner judges who will award points, a centre referee who will control the match, and a head judge who will oversee the match. Competitors will compete for 2 rounds with a rest in between, black belt competitors will compete for 3 rounds. If at the end of the match there is a tie, a ‘golden point’ rule will apply with an extra round given and the first person to score wins.
Although it would appear that Sport Taekwondo competitors have a substantial risk of injury, the sport is much safer than other contact sports. Mandatory protective equipment must be worn by competitors and these must be approved by the World Taekwondo Federation. In 2009, it was reported that on average 8% of competitors are injured per exposure to competition – age, gender and belt rank did not significantly affect the injury rate. The legs were the most common site of injury with bruising being the most common type of injury.
JAI Martial Arts has always had success in competition. Historically JAI students have represented Australia in International Competition, have represented in NSW in State Championships, and have been selected to be a part of the Olympic Athlete Program (OAP) for Taekwondo. Master Joe Ingrati has also been selected as Australian Coach at the US Taekwondo Open, State Coach for NSW, Commonwealth Games Coach for NSW, Trainer of the Olympic B Team, inducted into the Australasia Hall of Fame: Taekwondo Instructor of the Year (2001), and Best Coach in NSW (2001/2002).
Taekwondo Sparring is available at JAI Martial Arts for those wanting to represent the club in State and Local tournaments, or those who want to enhance their own training and participate in the sport. Sport Taekwondo is a great tool to further improve your child’s confidence in their martial art abilities and in themselves.