I heard that the WTF TKD competition rules were changing. Apparently, they want to make it more like MMA. Now, while it's subjective whether or not that's a good or bad thing, that's not what I'm asking. I'm asking if anyone knows when these rule changes are going to occur.

I think they might make it so you can punch to the head, as well as do a number of other changes like an octagon ring like MMA. They also want to use pressure sensors or something to measure the force of different strikes.

Here are some sources:


This second article is what the guy on bullshido is quoting:


Does anyone know if there is a specified area of time when these rule changes are to occur? I couldn't find one online.

  • I doubt they are going to allow punches to the head. If your opponent is close enough to punch you in the face, your not good at sparring. I have never seen a punch score, so I don't know why the point would be. Plus they would have to regulate gloves a lot better.
    – coltonon
    Commented Jul 20, 2014 at 20:17
  • While there are some talented martial artists on bullshido, take some of what they say/do with a grain of salt. Many there are of the opinion that if you don't sit on your opponent mashing his face into the pavement, your martial art isn't worth it.
    – JohnP
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 20:43

1 Answer 1


The rule changes have already occurred. If you look at the last Grand Prix events put on by the WTF you will have seen octogonal rings instead of square. And a lot more punches were scored by the judges (as President Choue said, we'd have to award points for weaker punches to allow more to score as they obviously don't have the same impact force as kicks).

So the changes have already taken place, it's just that the interwebs got all carried away thinking Taekwondo was going to become much more like MMA than President Choue was specifically talking about.

When I was in Korea in 2012 at the World Taekwondo Leaders Forum there was a lot of talk about the success of MMA and how as Taekwondoin we should try to (basically) "get some of dat!" :-)

But I don't think there's any more drastic changes coming (punches to the head, takedowns, etc). Taekwondo is its own art with its own identity, they don't want to lose that and have it become just like the rest.

  • 1
    +1. Add to this that WTF is not about to risk upsetting the powers that be in the Olympic committee. If you take away the Olympics, the WTF becomes just another martial art. There were already concerns about the number of knockouts/injuries in Olympic TKD bouts, I VERY much doubt that they would introduce higher levels of potential injury.
    – JohnP
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 20:45

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