Taekwondo guide - London 2012 Olympic Games

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

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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.'


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