Since Taekwondo's acceptance as an Olympic sport, research has been done into the anxiety feelings surrounding the sport side of Taekwondo. Some competitors feel extremely anxious prior to their performance, while others are not so concerned. Some research has shown that the level of anxiety does not affect sparring performance, while other research found that competitors with lower levels of pre-competition anxiety are more likely to win their matches. However, research has shown that males competing in Taekwondo have significantly higher anxiety prior to competing than males competing in other sports, with females having the same level of anxiety whether competing in Taekwondo or other sports.
Pre-sparring anxiety may be more anxiety provoking compared to other sports because the Taekwondo competitor must fight another person. Anticipation of combat heightens arousal. Since tournament sparring is an individual event, rather than a team sport, the anxiety of competing is not shared amongst numerous players. In addition, although a Taekwondo competitor has a coach on the sidelines, the interaction between the coach and the competitor is minimal compared to other sports. Even though the anxiety related to the sport side of Taekwondo has produced inconsistent findings, consistent long-term training has been found to reduce anxiety associated with everyday living. This may be because, as students become more confident in their abilities to defend themselves, they have less fear of bodily harm or being intimidated.
Despite being taught techniques which may seriously injure an opponent, research has shown that children, adolescents, and young adults who practice traditional Taekwondo regularly have a decrease in their aggression. Traditional Taekwondo training not only emphasizes fighting strategies, such as free-sparring and self-defense, but also emphasizes patterns, step sparring, meditation, relaxation, and basic skills that tend to decrease aggression. When the emphasis is mainly on the fighting aspects, students actually exhibit increases in aggression. With the growth of sport Taekwondo, research needs to be done to find if sport Taekwondo students are more aggressive than traditional Taekwondo students.