Taekwondo guide - London 2012 Olympic Games

Your complete guide to taekwondo ahead of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Aaron Cook match against Mauro Sarimento, Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

Aaron Cook match against Mauro Sarimento, Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Photograph: Andy Hooper / Associated Newspapers/ Rex / Rex USA


Converted: The ancient Korean art of kicking people in the head... nice one.

Confused: Cool, I liked karate... when I was nine.

RECOMMENDED: See our full list of London 2012 Olympic sport guides

Taekwondo - The essential guide

Street cred: Claiming to be a black belt in this Olympic sport is a popular method of intimidation. Because 60 million people practise tae kwon do worldwide, it may not always be a lie.

Who’s good? The birthplace of tae kwon do, Korea, is still the best of the best.

The basics: You get a point for punching or kicking the torso and three points for kicking the head, with extra points awarded for spinning kicks.

Athlete to watch: Logan Campbell, the New Zealand featherweight who appeared at Beijing 2008, has funded his London 2012 campaign by opening a high-class brothel in Auckland. National selectors did not approve.

Almost uselsess fact: Tae kwon do means 'the art of the foot and fist'.

As seen in: 'The Foot Fist Way' (2007) saw the funny side of taekwondo, while 'The Best of the Best' (1989) took it very seriously.

Do say: 'The new electronic-scoring system should make this explosive Olympic event the fairest yet.'

Don't say: 'Wax on, wax off.'