Taekwondo Sparring (Kyeorugi)

Sparring is a very well known aspect of Taekwondo training and WTF style sparring is an Olympic sport. Used during lessons, grading exams and competitions sparring places two people against each other with the goal of using Taekwondo techniques to score points. 
WTF sparring requires competitors to wear a head guard, trunk protector, shin pads, arm pads and gloves. One competitor is blue whilst the other is red and points are scored from successfully making contact with a legal kicking technique or punch.


In the Olympics

Taekwondo was a demonstration sport at the 1996 Olympic games and has been included in the summer Olympic games since the 2000 Sydney games. 

In the Olympics there is a single elimination tournament in each weight category with competitors progressing through to semi finals and then a final. The rules for sparring vary between different governing bodies however the Olympics allows only WTF style sparring. 


Sparring Match Layout

This is the layout most commonly used in WTF sparring competitions. Each competitor will have a coach sitting at their side of the ring and there will normally be four corner judges who award points when they see a technique make contact. Table officials will add additional points for head kicks that make contact and the referee will start and stop the match in addition to giving penalty points when necessary.


Most Taekwondo sparring matches will follow this format in competitions however there may be slight variations:
  • 3 Rounds (2 for juniors)
  • Each round is usually two minutes for adults but may be a minute and alf for juniors
  • 30 second break between rounds
  • Golden point match if scores are tied after all rounds are completed. The first to score will then win.


Point Scoring 

Different competitions may use slightly different scoring systems however in most tournaments points are scored by three of four judges scoring the shot within a certain time frame. Judges will add on the extra points for spinning and head shots. 



Any of these acts can result in a kyong-go (warning) being given. Every two kyong-gos awards a point to the opponent. A Gam-jeom can also be given for more serious penalties which also awards a point to the opponent.


This is all the equipment that is normally required for Taekwondo sparring in addition to your dobok (training suit) and belt!