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World Taekwondo Federation

Not to be confused with International Taekwon-Do Federation.
For other uses, see [[WTF (disambiguation)#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.WTF]].
World Taekwondo Federation
File:World Taekwondo Federation Logo.png
Abbreviation WTF
Formation Template:If empty
Purpose Martial art and sport
Headquarters Samseong-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Region served
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Official language
Choue Chung-won[1]
Template:If empty
Formerly called
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File:Flags Kukkiwon Seoul.JPG
Flagpoles and flags of the World Taekwondo Foundation and of the Korean Taekwondo Association at the Kukkiwon in Seoul, South Korea

The World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) is the international federation governing the sport of taekwondo and is a member of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF).[2] The WTF was established on May 28, 1973 at its inaugural meeting held at the Kukkiwon with participation of 35 representatives from around the world. There are now 205 member nations. Since 2004, Choue Chung-won has been the president of the WTF, succeeding the first president, Kim Un-yong, after he retired. On July 17, 1980 the International Olympic Committee recognized the WTF at its 83rd Session in Moscow, Soviet Union. First, Taekwondo was adopted as a demonstration sport of the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea; later, on September 4, 1994 Taekwondo was adopted as an official Sport of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games at the 103rd IOC Session in Paris, France. According to the WTF, "Taekwondo is one of the most systematic and scientific Korean traditional martial arts, that teaches more than physical fighting skills. It is a discipline that shows ways of enhancing our spirit and life through training our body and mind. Today, it has become a global sport that has gained an international reputation, and stands among the official games in the Olympics."[3]

Organizational structure

The main constituents of the WTF are the following: The General Assembly (GA); the WTF Council; the President and the Secretariat. In addition to its main constituents the WTF also encompasses other organizations that have been duly authorized or recognized by the Council and the GA and that operate under the auspices of the WTF. WTF-recognized or authorized organizations include but are not limited to the Continental Unions. The General Assembly is the general meeting of the Council and representatives of MNAs of the WTF. The GA is the WTF’s supreme decision making organ. Its decisions are final, whereas the Council consists of the President, the Vice Presidents, the Secretary General, the Treasurer and the Council members. Responsibilities of the Council are for example planning and management of WTF organization and operations and the control over the financial budget and financial reports. The President is elected by the GA from among its members for a term of four years. The President must lead and represent the WTF; concurrently lead the GA and the Council as its chairman, and preside over meetings and other activities as well as designate official duties to Vice Presidents on an ad-hoc basis for the betterment of the development of the sport of taekwondo and the WTF operations. Furthermore, the President appoints the chairmen and members of the WTF Committees. Lastly, the Secretariat of the WTF is installed at the location of the WTF headquarters for the execution of the secretarial affairs and duties of the President and the Secretary General.[4][4]


The World Taekwondo Federation was established on May 28, 1973 at the inaugural meeting held at the Kukkiwon with participation of 35 representatives from the world. At that time Un Yong Kim was elected president for a four year term. One of the main Constituents of the WTF, the Secretariat was formed on June 3, 1973 and began operating. On October 8, 1974 the WTF was affiliated to the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), now SportAccord. Until the 1980s, the European (May, 1976), the Asian (October, 1976), the Pan American (September, 1978) and the African (April, 1979) Taekwondo Unions inaugural meetings were held, while Oceania’s Taekwondo Union was not recognized as the 5th Continental Union of the WTF until July 16, 2005. The recognition of the IOC towards the WTF at its 83rd session in Moscow on July 17, 1980 was the cornerstone for their Cooperation. Thereupon Taekwondo participated in the 24th Olympic Games at Changchung Gymnasium in Seoul, Korea as well as the 25th Olympic Games at the Palau Blaugrana in Barcelona, Spain as a demonstration sport. In recognition of his contribution to the Olympic Movement Un Yong Kim was awarded the Order of Commander by Prince Rainier of Monaco on September 21, 1993. Moreover Taekwondo was adopted as an official sport of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games at the 103rd IOC session in Paris, France on September 4, 1994. Half a year later, on February 15, 1995 the WTF was affiliated to the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) as a provisional member. After the first appearance of Taekwondo as an Olympic Sport in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, the IOC executive board confirms Taekwondo as an Olympic Sport for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games on December 11–13, 2000. Furthermore the inclusion of taekwondo in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games was confirmed on November 29, 2002 at the 114th IOC session held in Mexico City. On February 15, 2004 the Vice President (Italy) Sun Jae Park was elected as Acting President of the WTF due to the resignation of the founding President Un Yong Kim from the presidency of the WTF. Four month later Chung Won Choue was elected as new President of the WTF at the extraordinary General Assembly on June 11, 2004. Taekwondo was confirmed as program of the 2012 London Olympic Games on July 8, 2005.[5]

Mission and objectives

The mission of the WTF is to provide effective international governance of Taekwondo as an Olympic sport and Paralympic sport. The envisioned objectives of the WTF are to promote, expand, and improve worldwide the practice of taekwondo in light of its educational, cultural, and sports values (the “Taekwondo movement”) and to promote fair play, youth development, and education as well as to encourage peace and cooperation though participation in sports. Moreover the WTF wants to promote or sanction international taekwondo competitions and relating to those the WTF resolves to constantly improve technical rules regulating taekwondo competitions and poomsae competitions sanctioned or promoted by the WTF, including the taekwondo event of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. Furthermore the WTF wants to take action in order to strengthen the unity and protect the interests of the WTF and the Taekwondo Movement as well as to engage in other activities in support of the above objectives. The WTF undertakes its missions and objectives in cooperation with independent affiliated organizations including the WTF Academy, WTF Taekwondo Peace Corps, WTF Demonstration Team, WTF Pro Taekwondo Foundation, Global Taekwondo Support Foundation and WTF International Foundation.[6]


As of 2013, the global membership of the WTF stands at 205 national member associations, spanning five continents.[7]

Continental Federations

  • The Pan American Taekwondo Union (PATU)
44 national member associations
  • The European Taekwondo Union (ETU)
50 national member associations
  • The African Taekwondo Union (AFTU)
50 national member associations
  • The Asian Taekwondo Union (ATU)
43 national member associations
  • Oceania Taekwondo Union (OTU)
19 member national associations

National Associations

Pan America [8]
23x15px Antigua and Barbuda (1998) 23x15px Argentina (1976) 23x15px Aruba (1992) 23x15px Bahamas (1997)
23x15px Barbados (1986) 23x15px Belize (1997) 23x15px Bermuda (1983) 23x15px Bolivia (1977)
23x15px Brazil (1975) 23x15px British Virgin Islands (1998) 23x15px Canada (1975) 23x15px Cayman Islands (1989)
23x15px Chile (1989) 23x15px Colombia (1976) 23x15px Costa Rica (1984) 23x15px Cuba (1993)
23x15px Curaçao (2012) 23x15px Dominica (1999) 23x15px Dominican Republic (1983) 23x15px Ecuador (1973)
23x15px El Salvador (1987) 23x15px Grenada (1995) 23x15px Guadeloupe (2011) 23x15px Guatemala (1991)
23x15px Guyana (1995) Template:Country data Haiti (1992) Template:Country data Honduras (1979) Template:Country data Jamaica (1977)
23x15px Martinique (2011) 23x15px Mexico (1973) 23x15px Nicaragua (1991) 23x15px Panama (1989)
23x15px Paraguay (1982) 23x15px Peru (1977) 23x15px Puerto Rico (1977) 23x15px Saint Lucia (1998)
23x15px Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (1992) 23x15px Saint Kitts and Nevis (1998) 23x15px Suriname (1977) 23x15px Trinidad and Tobago (1983)
23x15px Uruguay (1990) 23x15px USA USA Taekwondo (1975) 23x15px Venezuela (1976) 23x15px United States Virgin Islands (1981)

Europe [9]
23x15px Albania (1995) 23x15px Andorra (1987) 23x15px Armenia (1996) 23x15px Austria (1973)
23x15px Azerbaijan (1995) 23x15px Belgium (1975) 23x15px Bosnia & Herzegovina (1993) 23x15px Bulgaria (1990)
23x15px Croatia (1992) 23x15px Cyprus (1982) 23x15px Czech Republic (1995) 23x15px Denmark (1975)
23x15px Estonia (1998) 23x15px Finland (1979) 23x15px Republic of Macedonia (2001) 23x15px France (1975)
23x15px Georgia (1995) 23x15px Germany (1973) 23x15px Greece (1985) 23x15px Hungary (1989)
Template:Country data Iceland (1991) 23x15px Ireland (1983) 23x15px Isle of Man (2006) Template:Country data Israel (1981)
23x15px Italy (1977) 23x15px Kosovo (2013) 23x15px Latvia (1992) 23x15px Lithuania (1992)
23x15px Luxembourg (1993) 23x15px Malta (1995) 23x15px Monaco (1996) 23x15px Montenegro (2007)
23x15px Netherlands (1976) 23x15px Norway (1977) 23x15px Poland (1979) 23x15px Portugal (1976)
23x15px Republic of Belarus (1992) 23x15px Moldova (1995) 23x15px Romania (1991) 23x15px Russia (1991)
23x15px San Marino (1994) 23x15px Serbia (1975) 23x15px Slovakia (1994) 23x15px Slovenia (1993)
23x15px Spain (1975) 23x15px Sweden (1977) 23x16px  Switzerland (1977) 23x15px Turkey (1975)
23x15px Ukraine (1993) 23x15px United Kingdom (1977)
Africa [10]
23x15px Algeria (2004) 23x15px Angola (2001) 23x15px Benin (1978) 23x15px Botswana (2012)
23x15px Burkina Faso (1981) 23x15px Burundi (2010) 23x15px Cameroon (2002) 23x15px Cape Verde (2000)
23x15px Chad (2000) 23x15px Comoros (2003) 23x15px Congo (1993) 23x15px Côte d'Ivoire (1975)
23x15px DR Congo (2005) 23x15px Egypt (1979) 23x15px Equatorial Guinea (1997) 23x15px Ethiopia (2003)
23x15px Gabon (1978) 23x15px Gambia (2007) 23x15px Ghana (1981) Template:Country data Kenya (1990)
23x15px Lesotho (1990) 23x15px Liberia (2001) 23x15px Libya (1979) 23x15px Madagascar (1993)
(1993)23x15px Malawi (2007) 23x15px Mali (2000) 23x15px Mauritania (2014) 23x15px Mauritius (1978)
23x15px Morocco (1981) 23x15px Mozambique (2005) 23x15px Niger (1999) 23x15px Nigeria (1988)
23x15px Central African Republic (1999) 23x15px Guinea (2001) 23x15px Rwanda (2011) 23x15px São Tomé and Príncipe (2004)
23x15px Senegal (1995) 23x15px Seychelles (2012) 23x15px Sierra Leone (2012) 23x15px Somalia (1997)
23x15px South Africa (1991) 23x15px South Sudan (2012) 23x15px Sudan (2003) 23x15px Swaziland (1985)
23x15px Tanzania (2003) 23x15px Togo (1996) 23x15px Tunisia (1978) 23x15px Uganda (2007)
23x15px Zambia (2006) 23x15px Zimbabwe (1997)
Asia [11]
23x15px Afghanistan (1993) 23x15px Bahrain (1977) 23x15px Bangladesh (1999) 23x15px Bhutan (1985)
23x15px Brunei Darussalam(1973) 23x15px Cambodia (1995) 23x15px China (1995) 23x15px Chinese Taipei (1974)
23x15px East Timor (2009) Template:Country data Hong Kong (1978) Template:Country data India (1979) Template:Country data Indonesia (1975)
Template:Country data Iran (1975) Template:Country data Iraq (1984) Template:Country data Japan (1981) Template:Country data Jordan (1979)
Template:Country data Kazakhstan (1993) Template:Country data South Korea (1973) Template:Country data Kuwait (1977) Template:Country data Kyrgyzstan (1993)
23x15px Laos (1996) 23x15px Lebanon (1978) 23x15px Macau (2002) 23x15px Malaysia (1975)
23x15px Mongolia (1991) 23x15px Myanmar (1990) File:Flag of Nepal.svg   Nepal (1983) 23x15px Oman (2010)
23x15px Pakistan (1977) 23x15px Palestine (1989) 23x15px Philippines (1973) 23x15px Qatar (1977)
23x15px Saudi Arabia (1977) 23x15px Singapore (1975) 23x15px Sri Lanka (1983) 23x15px Syria (2000)
23x15px Tajikistan (1995) 23x15px Thailand (1975) 23x15px Turkmenistan (2000) 23x15px United Arab Emirates (1994)
23x15px Uzbekistan (1992) 23x15px Vietnam (1989) 23x15px Yemen (1988)
Oceania [12]
23x15px American Samoa (2007) 23x15px Australia (1975) 23x15px Cook Islands (2011) 23x15px Fiji (1983)
23x15px French Polynesia (1975) 23x15px Guam (1986) Template:Country data Kiribati (2006) 23x15px Marshall Islands (2007)
23x15px Micronesia (2011) 23x15px Nauru (2011) 23x15px New Caledonia (2010) 23x15px New Zealand (1975)
23x15px Palau (2011) 23x15px Papua New Guinea (2003) 23x15px Samoa (1997) 23x15px Solomon Islands (1999)
23x15px Tonga (2001) 23x15px Tuvalu (2011) 23x15px Vanuatu (2004)

WTF Promoted Championships

  • WTF (Men’s and Women’s) World Taekwondo Championships;
  • WTF World Junior Championships;
  • WTF World Cup Taekwondo Team Championships;
  • WTF World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships;
  • WTF World Para- Taekwondo Championships;
  • WTF World Taekwondo Tour;
  • WTF World Qualification Tournament for Olympic Games;
  • WTF Qualification Tournament for Youth Olympic Games;
  • WTF World Cadet Taekwondo Championships;
  • WTF World Taekwondo Grand Prix Series [13]

Rules and regulations

The World Taekwondo Federation established the “Statutes” to fairly and smoothly manage all matters pertaining the organization at all levels and its Continental Unions and member National Associations, ensuring the application of standardized rules. The WTF Statutes state very accurately every detail that has to be considered to successfully govern the organization. It includes the duties of the governing bodies as well as the officials; the organizations’ mission and objectives; rules regarding membership; it presents the WTF promoted championships etc.

World Taekwondo Federation Statutes Table of contents:[14]

  1. WORLD TAEKWONDO FEDERATION Presenting the Organization, their Mission and Objectives
  2. ORGANIZATION Mainly stating the duties of each of the governing bodies as well as those of the officials
  3. MEMBERSHIP Explains how to become a member as well as their rights and responsibilities
  4. CONTINENTIAL UNIONS Recognition and Requirements
  5. ACTIVITIES AND RESOURCES Mainly presenting WTF promoted Championships and financial agreements
  6. COMMITTEES A list of all the existing committees
  7. SANCTIONS Discussing sanctions and dispute resolutions
  8. GENERAL PROVISIONS Most importantly declaring the way of modifications as well as Abbreviations and Definitions


Official WTF trunk protector (hogu), forearm guards and shin guards

Under World Taekwondo Federation and Olympic rules, sparring is a full-contact event and takes place between two competitors in an area measuring 8 meters square.[15] A win can occur by points, or if one competitor is unable to continue (knockout) the other competitor wins.[16] Each match consists of two semi-continuous rounds of contact, with 30 second rest between rounds. There are two age categories: 14–17 years and 18 years and older.

Points are awarded for permitted, accurate, and powerful techniques to the legal scoring areas; light contact does not score any points. The only techniques allowed are kicks (delivering a strike using an area of the foot below the ankle) and punches (delivering a strike using the closed fist).[17] In most competitions, points are awarded by three corner judges using electronic scoring tallies. Several A-Class tournaments, however, are now trialing electronic scoring equipment contained within competitors' body protectors. This limits corner judges to scoring only attacks to the head. Some believe that the new electronic scoring system will help to reduce controversy concerning judging decisions,[18] but this technology is still not universally accepted.[19]

Beginning in 2009, a kick or punch that makes contact with the opponent's hogu (the body guard that functions as a scoring target) scores one point; if a kick to the hogu involved a technique that includes fully turning the attacking competitor's body, so that the back is fully exposed to the targeted competitor during execution of the technique (spinning kick), an additional point is awarded; a kick to the head scores three points; as of October 2010 an additional point is awarded if a turning kick was used to execute this attack.[20] Punches to the head are not allowed. As of March 2010, no additional points are awarded for knocking down an opponent (beyond the normal points awarded for legal strikes).

The referee can give penalties at any time for rule-breaking, such as hitting an area not recognized as a target, usually the legs or neck. Penalties are divided into “Kyong-go (warning penalty)” and “Gam-jeom (deduction penalty)”. Two “Kyong-go” shall be counted as an addition of one (1) point for the opposing contestant. However, the final odd-numbered “Kyong-go” shall not be counted in the grand total.[21]

At the end of two rounds, the competitor with more points wins the match. In the event of a tie at the end of two rounds, a third "sudden death" overtime round, sometimes called "Golden Point", will be held to determine the winner after a one-minute rest period. In this round the first competitor to score a point wins the match. If there is no score in the additional round the winner shall be decided by superiority as determined by the refereeing officials.[20]

Until 2008, if one competitor gained a 7-point lead over the other, or if one competitor reached a total of 12 points, then that competitor was immediately declared the winner and the match ended. These rules were abolished by the WTF at the start of 2009. In October 2010 the WTF reintroduced a point gap rule. Under the new rule if a competitor has a 12-point lead at the end of the second round or achieves a 12-point lead at any point in the 3rd round then the match is over and the athlete in the lead is declared the winner.[20]

Depending on the type of tournament and club, competitors may also use fist protectors, foot protectors, instep guards, helmets and mouth guards.

The WTF-sanctioned events allow any person, regardless of school affiliation or martial arts style, to compete in WTF events as long as he or she is a member of the WTF Member National Association in his or her nation. These National Associations are open for anyone to join.

See also

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  1. ^ "Choue re-elected as head of taekwondo federation". USA Today. 2009-10-13. Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  2. ^ "Breakthrough deal to allow N. Koreans to compete in Olympic taekwondo competitions". Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "introduction". World Taekwondo Federation. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Organizational structure". Farrell’s US Martial Arts and Fitness. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "History". World Taekwondo Federation. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "Mission and Objectives (Article 2)" (PDF). World Taekwondo Federation. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  7. ^ "Membership". World Taekwondo Federation. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  8. ^ "PATU". World Taekwondo Federation. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  9. ^ "ETU". World Taekwondo Federation. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "AFTU". World Taekwondo Federation. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "ATU". World Taekwondo Federation. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  12. ^ "OTU". World Taekwondo Federation. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  13. ^ "Championships (Article 22)" (PDF). World Taekwondo Federation. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  14. ^ "The statutes" (PDF). World Taekwondo Federation. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  15. ^ "Competition rules & interpretation" (PDF). World Taekwondo Federation (2010). 2 March 2010. p. 5. Retrieved 31 May 2010. 
  16. ^ "Article 18" (PDF). Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  17. ^ "Article 11" (PDF). p. 26. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  18. ^ Gomez, Brian (August 23, 2009). "New taekwondo scoring system reduces controversy". The Gazette. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  19. ^ [1][dead link]
  20. ^ a b c World Taekwondo Federation (Oct 7, 2010): Competition rules & interpretation (7 October 2010, pp. 31–32). Retrieved on 27 November 2010.
  21. ^ "WTF World Taekwondo Federation". Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
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