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Backgrounder: Taekwondo, a sport or a spectacle?

07-01-2011 15:01 BJT

BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 1 (Xinhua) -- To laymen and women, it is sometimes if not always hard to differentiate competitor sports from spectator sports. That's because sometimes it is difficult to separate the two, like, in the case of taekwondo.

Taekwondo is a competitor sport because it is the very first of the various schools of martial arts to become an official Olympic competition, though only since 2000.

Taekwondo has also been a spectator sport, for long and very long, because around the world lots of people have been amazed and enchanted by the inwardly and outwardly encouraging shouts, the high kicking, the turning kicks and the boards - and even bricks - and tiles-smashing kicks of taekwondo practitioners, be they Asians, Europeans, Americans, Africans or Oceanians.

No wonder taekwondo has been claimed as the world's most popular martial art school in term of the number of countries and regions where it is learned and practised and in term of the number of practitioners in these countries and regions.

Originated in the Korean peninsula and now the national sport of the Republic of Korea, taekwondo can be coarsely understood as a martial art of combat and self-defense with both feet and fists. A closer look at the competition rules, people will find out its speciality.

Of the four one-on-one body-contact competitor sports in the modern Olympic Games, taekwondo and boxing are both about sparring, with the former resorting to feet much more than fists whereas the latter to fists only.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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