PARA SPORTS

Para
taekwondo

The main objective of Para Taekwondo is defeating your opponent in a 5-minute round with a 30-second break for each athlete.


Developed in 2006, Para taekwondo has exploded in popularity due to its practicality, minimal need for equipment, and spectacular spin kick techniques.

Sports classification

The athletes who can participate in Para Taekwondo at the 2023 Games in Santiago are those with an impairment or amputation of one arm below the elbow, men and women. This class is known as K44. Weight categories will also apply.

History

There are many versions about the origins of Taekwondo, but there is not a definitive answer yet. What is clear is that it combines traditional Korean martial arts, aspects of karate and the teachings in schools known as kwans, created by General Choi. This discipline has spread internationally and has become one of the most practiced martial arts in the world.

The evolution of Taekwondo has followed different paths, which has led to the creation of two main federations: the World Taekwondo Federation and the International Taekwon-Do Federation.

The first world championship was held in 2009 with 36 athletes from 16 countries.

Para Taekwondo became a part of the Parapan American games at Lima 2019, only a year before making its debut at the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.

The Brazilian and Mexican teams won 2 gold medals each at Lima.

How do you compete?

As Para Taekwondo was specifically developed by World Taekwondo, the rules are practically the same as for Olympic Taekwondo, just with minor changes made in terms of safety. Para taekwondoins (or taekwondo fighters) use the same padded mat (8m in diametre), round and time format, and the same scoring and penalties, with some minor adjustments.

Unlike taekwondo, kicks to the head are forbidden and punches to the body are not scored, given the different blocking capacities of the athletes. Instead, Para taekwondoins can score additional points for more difficult kicks – one more for a turn kick and two more for a spinning kick. This is spectacular for the audience especially in close matches.

If the score is tied after regulation time, a Golden Round begins in order to determine the winner.

The uniform taekwondoins wear is called a Dobok and all fighters are required to wear head, mouth, and chest protection. The chest protector is electronic and automatically registers points if a kick or punch lands with enough power and accuracy.

Quiz

What is the name of the uniform taekwondoins wear?

Check answer