Why do we have competition?
ITF Taekwon-Do is a Martial Arts with four distinct facets, as a sport, a martial art, a tool for social development and as a way of life. Competition highlights the Sport facet of ITF Taekwon-Do.
It is an important facet that allows ITF Taekwon-Do practitioners to pit their skills against others from across the world; it allows you to evaluate and increase your abilities, set goals to achieve a higher level of training and accomplishment and to achieve success at local, regional, national and international level.
Of course the Sport aspect of ITF Taekwon-Do is not just about competing either, it is an excellent way to increase your social circle and make new connections.
As well as the competitive pathway, the Sport aspect of ITF Taekwon-Do gives the opportunity, to those who wish to become umpires and officials, to refine and sharpen their skills through partaking in IUCs, IICs and actively officiating in tournaments.
The Official Championships organised by the ITF are the ITF World Championships and ITF World Cups. However, other approved championships take place across the world such as Continental Championships and approved ITF Open Championships.
Why do we have ITF-sanctioned tournaments?
- to determine the winner of each championship title
- to encourage the development of lasting friendships among Taekwon-Do practitioners
- to promote technical improvement
The Junior and Senior World Championships are held every two years in the odd-numbered years.
To compete in World Championships, participants must hold an ITF Black Belt degree certificate. They must be national champions in their own countries or be chosen by trial. Each member country National Association names a delegation of competitors and others who will represent that country at the championship tournament.
The World Cup, an open competition, is held every two years in the even-numbered years.
The World Cup competition is open to blue, red and black belts.
ITF Taekwon-Do Championships include the following disciplines:
Individual & Team Patterns, Individual & Team Sparring, Individual & Team Special Technique, Individual & Team Power Breaking as well as Pre-Arranged Team Sparring. All disciplines include competition for male and females. Male and female compete separately with the exception of pre-arranged sparring where male and female may compete together.
Any school, club and/or individual who is not part of the ITF must have permission from the National Association to take part in the World Cup.
Any club, school, individual or country may participate with as many individual and/or team members in the same division and or category.
The choice of location and dates of each World Championship and World Cup competition is made by the ITF Congress meeting from the list of qualified candidates submitted by the Tournament & Umpire Committee, which coordinates the calendar of events to avoid scheduling conflicts.
Continental Federations choose the dates and location of continental and regional competitions, which also must receive ITF sanction.
ITF Tournament and Umpire rules are applied in all competitions.
The ITF strives to provide top quality competition and organization at all its tournaments. Safety is a priority, as is efficient and fair umpiring.
Participants are expected to demonstrate sportsmanship and reflect the true spirit of ITF Taekwon-Do at all times.