Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between ITF and WTF


Man has been involved in sports for centuries. In fact, ancient Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks, and Persians were known to have participated in sporting activities based on the structures and artifacts that were found in their countries. Their sporting activities included fishing, swimming, high jump, wrestling, polo, jousting, gymnastics, and martial arts.
Martial arts is both a science and an art which have been practiced as a combat sport. It aims at defeating an opponent and defending oneself from physical harm. It is mostly associated with Asian fighting styles and is linked to Hindu, Buddhist, Daoist, Shinto, and Confucian beliefs. It has many types that focus on strikes, grappling, and weapons. It includes: Fencing, Kendo, Jukendo, Judo, Glima, Aikido, Jiu-Jitsu, Hapkido, Wrestling, Boxing, Karate, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Wing Chun, and Taekwondo.

Taekwondo is the national sport of Korea. The term “Taekwondo” means the art of kicking and punching. Its practice combines combat techniques, meditation, and philosophy. It has two branches: Traditional and Sport Taekwondo.
Traditional Taekwondo is being used by the Korean military which was established between the 1950s and the 1960s. Sport Taekwondo emphasizes speed and competition and has two main styles. One is based on Kukkiwon, which is a sparring system that is an event at the Olympic Games and governed by the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), and one which is governed by the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF).

Taekwondo was introduced to the world in the 1960s and led to the formation of the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) in 1966 and the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) in 1973. Both federations emphasize kicks that are thrown from a mobile stance, but they have differences in doctrine, approaches, and techniques.
The ITF emphasizes the ability of a person to defend himself against attacks so it incorporates all areas of self-defense. The WTF, on the other hand, emphasizes the element of sports and competition. Here are their rules:

Kicks to the head are permitted.
Punches to the face are not permitted, only to the body.
No grabbing, holding, sweeps, or takedowns of opponents.
Hitting the back incurs no points.
Target areas that score points are above the waistline.
Protective gear is authorized by the WTF.
Full contact.


Sparring is timed.
Only light, medium, or no contact.
Protective gear is required.
Hand techniques can be used for certain targets and can score points.


1.ITF is the International Taekwon-Do Federation while WTF is the World Taekwondo Federation.
2.ITF was founded in 1966 while WTF was founded in 1973.
3.ITF incorporates all areas of self-defense which includes other martial arts such as karate and emphasizes a person’s ability to defend himself while WTF emphasizes the element of sports and winning in competition.
4.ITF includes a lot of hand techniques while WTF focuses on leg techniques.
5.WTF allows full contact during a match while ITF allows only light, medium, or no contact at all.

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