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Para taekwondo

A competitor in red kicks a competitor in blue

What is Para taekwondo?

Para taekwondo is an adaptation of taekwondo for disabled athletes with upper limb deficiencies or amputations.

History of Para taekwondo

World Taekwondo (WT), the sport’s governing body, began developing the Kyorugi (sparring) discipline for Para athletes in 2005. It became as a full member of the International Paralympic Committee in 2015. Since 2013, Poomsae (martial art forms) is being developed as a competition format for athletes of all impairments.

Para taekwondo Kyorugi was contested at the Paralympics for the first time at Tokyo 2020.

How do you compete in Para taekwondo?

In Para taekwondo, athletes score points based on landing kicks to the body with sufficient power and accuracy.

Unlike taekwondo, kicks to the head are forbidden and punches to the body are not scored. Para taekwondoins score additional points for more difficult kicks like a turn kick or a spinning kick.

Penalties, given for things like falling down, grabbing or pushing, result in a point for the opponent.

A competitor can win a fight by building a 20-point lead, being the first to score 40 points or having the most points at the end of 6 minutes.

Who can compete in Para taekwondo?

At the Paralympic Games, Para athletes compete in the Kyorugi discipline, which is open to participants with upper limb deficiencies or amputations.

Para athletes are divided into weight categories.

There are 4 sport classes in Para taekwondo Kyorugi, 2 of which have had events at the Paralympic Games: K44 and K43. 

  • K44: For athletes with an impairment or amputation of one arm below the elbow.
  • K43: For athletes with an impairment or amputation of both arms below the elbow.
  • K42: For athletes with an impairment or amputation of one arm above the elbow.
  • K41: For athletes with an impairment or amputation of both arms above the elbow.

Equipment in Para taekwondo

A Dobok is the uniform of a taekwondoin. All fighters wear head, mouth, and chest protection. The chest protector is electronic, registering if a blow lands with enough power and accuracy.

Para taekwondo in New Zealand

Para taekwondo is not currently delivered widely in New Zealand, but register your interest now and we will help you to find a Para sport for you in your local area!

For more information on Para taekwondo visit the World Taekwondo Federation.

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