In patterns competition, competitors perform their assigned patterns in front of judges who determine the place awards. Competitors usually compete in divisions arranged by age group, belt level, and gender. Two types of pattern competition are used: individual competition and team competition
Selection of Pattern
The pattern to be performed may be selected by individual competitors from those appropriate for his or her belt level. Alternatively, competition officials may specify a pattern appropriate for an individual or team. Some competitions allow competitors to perform a pattern of their own design; some allow music to be used.
Competitors are judged on the following aspects of performance:
- Technical precision of the individual techniques constituting the pattern, including correctness of each technique and its crisp execution.
- Applied power.
- Correct stances.
- Correct steps and movement.
- Correct breathing.
- Proper attitude, behavior, Taekwondo etiquette and comportment.
- Clean and neat uniform and appearance.
Scores are usually determined by a panel of three to five judges who each score the competitor based on the above aspects. Judges will award from zero to ten points in half point increments. The competitor's score is the sum of the points awarded by the panel of judges. To determine the winner, competitors are rank ordered in descending order of total points scored.
In breaking competition, competitors break objects and judges determine the place awards. Judging may be based upon the number of objects broken, the type of objects broken, the ways the objects are broken, or on the performance of the breaker. Breaking competitions may feature two types of events:
Competitors attempt to break 1/2 to 1 inch pine boards, bricks, or concrete blocks using punches or kicks. Successful attempts are scored according to the number and thickness of the boards, bricks, or blocks broken, and by the difficulty of the technique used.
Competitors attempt to break boards arranged at different heights and/or distances using a combination of correct and precise technique as well as sufficient power. Successful attempts are scored according to the degree of difficulty of the technique used, the height of the target above the competitor's head and/or the distance traveled in a jumping technique, and the number of boards broken.
Technical Skills Competition
This type of competition involves competitors preparing and performing a unique demonstration of their Taekwondo skills or in using Taekwondo in self-defense situations. Competitors may enter individually or in teams.
Competitors are judged in a fashion similar to pattern competition using many of the criteria used to judge patterns. Consideration is also given to the degree of difficulty of the techniques used and to the time taken to complete the demonstration. Scores are usually determined by a panel of three to five judges who score the competitor or team from zero to ten points in half point increments, with the competitor's score being the total of the points awarded by the judges. Competitors are rank ordered in descending order of points scored to determine the winner.
Sparring competition is when competitors spar each other in elimination matches to determine the place awards. There are many types of sparring and each organization or event may have its own unique sparring rules and methods of elimination.