What is Para Taekwondo?
Taekwondo is a Korean martial art, characterised by it’s emphasis on head-height kicks, jumping and spinning kicks. Para Taekwondo was initially developed for individuals with limb deficiency, but since 2013 has been developed for athletes with a motor impairment. The format for motor impaired athletes in Para Taekwondo is Poomsae; a pattern of prearranged attacking and defensive techniques performed against imaginary opponents.
Who Can Take Part?
Ambulant individuals with hemiplegia, diplegia, mild quadriplegia, athetosis or ataxia.
Athletes with a motor impairment compete in four sport classes; P31, P32, P33 and P34, divided in to three age categories; junior, under 30 and over 30. Taekwondo will make its Paralympic debut at Tokyo 2020 although initially this will just be sparring for individuals with limb impairments.
P31: diplegia, asymmetric diplegia, triplegia
P32: dyskinesias athetosis, dystonia, ataxia, mild spastic quadriplegia or a combination of the above
P33: spastic hemiplegia or very mild spastic diplegia
P34: very mild hemiplegia, diplegia, athetosis, dystonia, hemidystonia and very mild ataxia
World Taekwondo is the sport’s governing body and began developing Para
Taekwondo in 2005. In 2013, a memorandum of understanding was signed
with CPISRA to further develop Para Taekwondo for individuals with motor impairments. World Taekwondo believe “Taekwondo is a sport for all
and is appropriate for those with disabilities, from upper limb amputations to cerebral palsy.”