world taekwondo federation...'the home of Olympic taekwondo'
It's probably easiest to think of taekwondo as having two halves.
One half is the world taekwondo federation or wtf.
And the other half is the international taekwondo federation or itf.
On this page we explain the function of the wtf and the differences between wtf and itf.
the world taekwondo federation is based in Korea
The world tkd federation is based in South Korea at the Kukkiwon tkd headquarters in South Korea.
Kukkiwon has been the home of wtf tkd since it was formed in 1973.
Officials at Kukkiwon look after wtf taekwondo.
They decide on things like the rules for sparring. And standards for wtf taekwondo patterns.
And they are responsible for getting this information out to the global taekwondo community.
wtf tkd is the Olympic arm of taekwondo
Wtf sparring is the Olympic arm of taekwondo. The sparring is full-contact and competitors wear protective gear including chest and head guards.
So if you think you might be a future taekwondo Olympic champion.
Then you'll need to train in wtf rather than itf taekwondo.
how do wtf tkd and itf tkd compare?
There are lots of arguments between wtf and itf about which is best.
We're not getting involved in that discussion. We think that both are good.
And both bring huge benefits to many, many people all over the world.
It's probably fair to say that wtf tkd concentrates on faster techniques. Using narrow stances. And linear kicking styles.
Itf tkd on the other hand focuses on more traditional techniques. With lots of power.
Stances are deeper. Hand strikes are emphasized more. And itf taekwondo practitioners generally do more breaking.
If you are new to taekwondo and don't know which style to choose here's what we think.
As we said above if you're aiming for Olympic glory. Then as things stand at the moment you'll need to choose a world taekwondo federation club.
However. If you are considering taekwondo more as a leisure pursuit. And a route to fitness and health.
Then the style you choose doesn't really matter. What's more important is that you choose a club with an instructor that you like.
A club with happy students.
And a training environment that's right for you.