Is Taekwondo just kicking?

No. Taekwondo includes both kicks and hand techniques.

Taekwondo emphasises kicking techniques, but they are not the only kind of techniques that are used in the martial art.

The style of sparring that’s used in Olympic Taekwondo heavily emphasises kicks, to the point where hand techniques are very rarely used, and this has led to the perception that Taekwondo is just kicking techniques. The style of Taekwondo in the Olympics is called Kukki-won Taekwondo (and often ‘WTF Taekwondo’ or ‘WT Taekwondo’), and while its sparring matches are dominated by kicks, that style of Taekwondo does include a wide range of hand techniques.

Another style of Taekwondo – Changheon-yu Taekwondo (or ‘ITF Taekwondo’) – has a more even balance between hand and foot techniques, including in sparring, but this style is not part of the Olympics.

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