SPARRING RULES

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Outline/Rules For Olympic Taekwondo


Required Equipment:

Light Contact  (White/White Stripe Belts)

  • Hand Gloves 

  • Forearm Guards 

  • Shin/Instep Guards 

  • Mouth Piece 

  • Groin Cup** 

  • Chest Guard* 

  • Head Guard*

 

Olympic Style Sparring (Generally Gold/Green Belt and up)

  • Hand Gloves

  • Forearm Guards 

  • Shin/Instep Guards

  • Mouth Piece

  • Groin Cup**

  • Chest Guard

  • Head Guard

 

*Optional Items for light contact sparring
** Optional for male students (but strongly recommended) 

Students missing any piece of equipment may be asked to remove their pads and practice no contact sparring, do an exercise or hit a punching bag.

 

Rules/Etiquette (All Students)

Students bow to each other before and after each match.  When a student steps out of the designated ring area, the action stops, students return to the center and then bow again before any action resumes.  The same process occurs if one or both of the students falls or is knocked down.  Any time there is visible distress to either student, a break in action is to be taken to give time to recover.  Students build confidence through sparring because they can improve their skill with regards to striking, evading, blocking, timing, etc in a controlled/respectful environment.

 

Techniques not allowed under any Taekwondo sparring matches

  • Making contact below the belt level 

  • Punching anywhere above the chest

  • Using the elbow, knee, palm heel of the hand, or knife hand to make contact

  • Head butts, biting, eye gouging, or hair pulling

  • Grabbing, holding or pushing of limbs, head or torso

  • Sweeps and or throws

  • Any unnecessary falling or tumbling

 

No Contact Sparring(No Belts and those without complete set of protective equipment)

  • Students face one another and practice their kicks, punches and blocks in sparring combinations without making physical contact.  

  • Students are trying to score as many points as possible while trying to minimize the amount of points they allow their partner to score. 

  • Techniques are thrown to areas above the waist and below the neck, but not to the back side.  

  • Hands are to be kept up in the defense position so that a technique does not accidentally make contact with the torso or head.

 

Light Contact Sparring(Those with Fist, Forearm, Shin/Instep Guards, Mouthpiece and Groin Cup)

  • Students face one another and practice their kicks, punches and blocks in sparring combinations while making light contact with one another.  

  • Students are trying to score as many points as possible while trying to minimize the amount of points they allow their partner to score.  Kicks may be used to the front and side of the torso using the foot and lower leg to make contact.  

  • Straight closed fist punches may also be used to these same areas using the knuckles to make contact. 

  • Controlled kicking to the head guard is permitted only if both partners are wearing head guards.  

  • Bigger/Older/Higher belt students should use extra control when faced against a smaller/younger/lower belt partner.

 

Olympic Style Sparring (Those with all sparring gear listed above)

  • Students face one another and practice their kicks, punches and blocks in sparring combinations while making controlled contact with one another.  

  • Students are trying to score as many points as possible while trying to minimize the amount of points they allow their partner to score.  

  • Kicks may be used to the front and side of the torso extending to the kidney area where the chest guard covers using the foot (below the ankle) to make contact.  

  • Straight closed fist punches may also be used to these same areas using the knuckles to make contact. 

  • Controlled kicking is allowed to the head.  

  • Bigger/Older/Higher belt students should use extra control when faced against a smaller/younger/lower belt partner.