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Sport Taekwondo: Combining High Intensity Training with High Impact Competition

In 1988, WTF Style Taekwondo sparring was demonstrated at the olympics held in Seoul, South Korea. The display of agility, speed, and technique proved to be quite a spectacle as Taekwondo became an official olympic sport at the 2000 olympics. But before this acceptance into the olympics Taekwondo competitions were not unheard of nor lacking in number; The World Taekwondo Federation, the style performed in the olympics, has held competitions since its founding. At Traverse City's Seung-Ni Martial Arts Academy, students practice this style of Taekwondo and learn to appreciate what it is.

A WTF tournament can include a variety of events each focusing on different aspects of a martial artists. For example, board breaking focuses on precise technique and focusing ones mind and strength on a singular point. Forms, or poomsae, require a great deal of concentration, precision, and knowledge of the form. Forms are an event that any age group can compete in and seeing a child performing a form at a high level is impressive.

No Taekwondo tournament would be complete without sparring. This is the event in the olympics; two competitors are suited in pads to protect vital areas and enter a large ring. For the next minute or so they must attempt to land kicks on the other's chest protector or head-gear. However, sloppy techniques will show no points, so students must show both speed and proper form while both avoiding and countering their partner's. In addition to this, matches lasting as long as they do rarely allow a break in the action and multiple rounds demand a great deal of stamina lest a student surrender points because they lack energy to dodge, let alone throw, a kick.

If you or someone you know in the Northern Michigan area is interested in martial arts training feel free to contact Seung-Ni Traverse City at (231) 932-4300 or visit us at

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