The BeginningThere is no question that taekwondo is a great sport for children to learn but until recently there were no competitions designed specifically for children. Kids taekwondo competition was virtually unheard of. Does that mean children didn’t compete? Certainly there were competitions, but the children were treated simply as small adults rather than actually having competitions that were designed for them. The training techniques and rules for competing were no different than those for adults.
In fact, the very first world taekwondo championship for children only recently took place in Sindelfingen, Germany. This was the result of efforts by the World Children Takewondo Union to change the rules of the competition in order to allow children to compete on their own merits. This also would allow them to enter into a class of their own rather than having to meet the qualifications of adults.
New RulesThis competition took place on February 2nd and 3rd of 2013 at the Glaspalast. The venue is no stranger to those in the world of taekwondo since both the 1979 World Championships and the 1998 World Cup were both held there. It allowed 1050 children from 31 countries and approximately 120 clubs to compete in Kyorugi and Poomsae contests. There were also two new competitions introduced: Family Poomsae and Family Kyorugi.
In order to accommodate the children the World CTU introduced special rules for Kyorugi. For starters the fighting area is smaller than the one the adults use, and there is a limit to the point gap that is allowed to occur. The point gap is limited to five points if it occurs in round two or three, and at that point the fight stops immediately. This prevents any of the children from losing with a point gap of six or more points. This is in the children’s favor because many children who lose with a high point gap will lose both the fight and their desire to continue participating in taekwondo. This also helps the parents who may have to deal with crying children along with their own disappointment.
During the Family Poomsae and Kyorgui both children and one of the parents compete together. The purpose of this introduction by World CTU is to not only motivate them but also provide a means for parents and children to spend more time together and to encourage them to communicate more. Their hope is these special family contests will serve their purpose well.
Contest ResultsThere were five potential winners in the competition, and they were as follows:
- First Place in the Team Score – “Team Berthold Brecht Schule” from Nuremberg, Germany
- Second Place was awarded to Team Elite, also from Nuremberg, Germany and one of the strongholds in Germany’s Taekwondo competition
- Third Place went to Team Tyrol from Austria
- Fourth Place went to Team Greece
- Fifth Place went to Team Dachau from Germany
The World CTU is proud of the success of this first championship effort with another World Children Takewondo Championship scheduled in 2014. World CTU promises to work hard to make improvements in the system for competition for children as each year approaches. The competition in 2013 was an excellent experience and just the beginning for more and better competitions to come according to the World CTU president. His remarks came following the awards ceremony.
Early PreparationsThe competition did not proceed without a great deal of planning. Prior to the start of the competitions, the World CTU held the very first General Assembly to discuss many of the rules and foundations of the Union. These items of discussion included the following:
- Budget plan
This was also the time when they chose to appoint some important executive officials that included two Vice Presidents. Their goal at this point is to motivate supporters for World CTU all over the world but especially in Asia. Congratulations sincerely with all the global Taekwondo family for the 1st World Children Taekwondo Championships in Germany.