Adapted competitions are next level of inclusion in ITF Taekwon-Do. ITFTKD

The sentence "Taekwon-Do is for everyone" was already stated in the first edition of the encyclopedia of Taekwon-Do several decades ago. With the official International Adapted Course, the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) was actively promoting "adapted" teaching and training methods for Taekwon-Do students with special needs. Now, the next level of inclusion was reached with internationally harmonised rules for the so-called adapted Taekwon-Do competitions.

The process began in 2019, when the ITF introduced the Inclusion Committee with the objective of responding in a more organic and professional way to the growing number of students with special needs. Composed of professionals in both, specialised therapeutic and health areas as well as Taekwon-Do, the Committee developed a Guide for Instructors dedicated to those with the vocation to teach people with different conditions.

Since then and through the International Adapted Courses, the ITF trained its Instructors in all aspects related to different pathologies and conditions, their characteristics, pedagogy and, above all, the physical, cognitive and emotional care of people with special needs.

First ITF Umpire Course for Adapted Taekwon-Do Competition was held on 1-2 June. ITFTKD
First ITF Umpire Course for Adapted Taekwon-Do Competition was held on 1-2 June. ITFTKD

In the last years, the ITF Inclusion Committee together with the ITF Umpire Committee, exchanged knowledge, experiences and concerns to finally create the ITF Official Rules for Adapted Competition. 

The first version of these rules has just been presented during the 1st ITF Umpire Course for Adapted Taekwon-Do Competition, held on 1-2 June. At the European Championships 2024 in Lublin, Poland, the Adapted Competition categories had the chance to show a few aspects in the opening ceremony, which were received with a minutes-long standing ovation by the audience. 

In the upcoming Central and South American Championships in Asuncion, Paraguay, the first Adapted Competitions on a continental level will be held.