Taekwondo Terms Explained

Feeling confused by some of the terms used in Taekwondo? We've got you covered so that you know your 'Deuk-jeom' from your 'Gam-jeom'.

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With its foundations in Korea, many although not all of the terms used in taekwondo are Korean in origin. Here is a quick guide to some of the key taekwondo terms you can expect to hear when getting started in the sport.

Boundary line: the marginal line around the outside of the contest area. This defines the outer edge of the taekwondo mat.

Chest protector: protects the torso and marks out the scoring areas on the body during taekwondo.

Chung: the taekwondo contestant wearing blue.

Contest area: a 10m (32 ft) square in the centre of the mat where a taekwondo contest is conducted.

Deuk-jeom: a point in taekwondo.

Dobok: the clothing worn by a taekwondo practitioner.

Dojang: the area in which taekwondo is practiced.

Gam-jeom: a penalty that automatically costs a contestant a point in taekwondo.

Head guard: worn by a taekwondo competitor to protect the head. These will be coloured either blue or red.

Hong: the taekwondo contestant wearing red.

Knockdown: a ruling when a contestant is knocked to the floor. This is followed by a mandatory count of eight by the referee.

Knockout: a ruling where the referee stops the contest and declares a winner if the opponent is unable to continue.

Referee's mark: a point marked out on the mat where the referee begins and ends each round.

Round: one of a series of periods that make up a taekwondo match. Contests are normally three rounds long, and these rounds are separated by rest periods of usually one minute each.

Scoring area: the area of the opponent's face or body where a legitimate strike may be made to score a point in taekwondo.

Shi-jak: the referee's command which starts a taekwondo contest.