Taekwondo was introduced as a full member of the International Paralympic Committee in 2015. Later that same year, the Canadian Paralympic Committee welcomed Taekwondo Canada as a member sport.
Para-taekwondo will make its Paralympic Games debut starting at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
The World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) conducts para-taekwondo competitions in two disciplines Kyorugi (sparring) and Poomsae (martial art forms).
Starting at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, Para-taekwondo athletes will compete in kyorugi (for athletes with limb impairments or an arm amputation) in various weight categories for men and women.
- K41: Amputation of both limbs above the elbows
- K42: Amputation of one limb above the elbow
- K43: Amputation of both limbs below the elbows
- K44: Amputation of one limb below the elbow
In 2009, the first WTF Para-Taekwondo World Championships were held in Baku, Azerbaijan. Since 2009, the WTF World Para-Taekwondo Championship has been held in St. Petersburg, Russia in 2010, in Santa Cruz, Aruba in 2012, in Lausanne, Switzerland in 2013, in Moscow, Russia in 2014 and in Samsun, Turkey in 2015. Participation in the Championships has been growing steadily.
Also in 2009, Taekwondo Canada held its first Canadian National Para Taekwondo Championship, sharing a fully integrated event with the annual Canadian Championship.
Canadian athlete Lisa Standeven has won four gold medals at the World Para-Taekwondo Championships. Anthony Cappello (K43) has achieved bronze in the 2016 Pan Am Para Taekwondo Championships and anther bronze in 2016 European Para Taekwondo Championships.
Taekwondo has become an activity with great benefits for individuals with a large range of abilities – from physical to intellectual to sensory disabilities.
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