Why do we compete?

We are not all naturally attracted to competition and it does require a considerable investment in time and hard work to be a successful competitor.  Nevertheless, you may have asked yourself if you need to participate in competitions in order to get the full benefit of practicing Taekwon-Do.  The answer is yes, perhaps not all of them, but the experience of competing is very important. 

All students are encouraged to enter competitions, as the experience of the event goes a long way in developing a strong personal character.  


Competitions are often regarded as a sport and not a true reflection of the martial artist.  That statement taken in a direct context is true.   Sport was once described "to gain victory of another person" whilst a martial art was "to gain victory over oneself".  However, when you look at it from another context;  personal character building, this statement does not fully reflect the benefit that competitions can give in this area and that is why it is important to participate.

ITF Tae Kwon-Do is the ultimate spectator sport in martial arts, the skill and beauty of the pattern movement, the lightening fast speed and intensity of sparring, the awesome power in the multi-disciplined power breaking event and athletic ability in special technique. 


National Level

Although Tae Kwon-Do is a Martial Art first and foremost, the ITF has an excellent sporting aspect in the form of competition.  Within our group,  a number of competitions are hosted throughout the year.  The majority of championships are contested at National level with additional competitions from local schools and other ITF groups. 

All students from white belt can enter.   

International Level

All International competitions have individual and team participation events.  For European and World Championships, only Blackbelts can enter and they must be selected through the National Association (ITF Scotland). 

Often only one competitor from each country can be registered for each event which  means that only the best competitor from each country can compete.  This essentially makes each round a final, as the standard is so high there are no easy rounds.  


In addition to the International Championships which require selection through the National Association, students can attend other International events such as the ITF World Cup.    This is an open championships for Blue Belt and above which gives the students the opportunity to compete with a large number of competitors from throughout the world and be tested by ITF qualified umpires.  We regularly travel to this event with our students from NTA with great success.


Without umpires, there can be no competitions and within NTA, we provide excellent umpire training.  Blackbelts are required to umpire at National events and red belts are also given training as they may also assist at these events.  Master Wallace now works on the ITF Umpire Committee, attending the ITF World Championships and World Cup in this official role.

In addition to NTA Umpire Training and ITF Scotland Umpire Training, Blackbelts wishing to umpire at International events, must be qualified an the official ITF Umpire Course which are provided throughout the year.  Once qualified, Blackbelts may then apply for selection to umpire at the European Championships and World Cup.  Blackbelts must be 4th Degree or above and qualified to apply for umpiring at the World Championships.