In 2005 the World Taekwondo Federation formed the Para-Taekwondo Committee in an effort to develop and promote Taekwondo to athletes of all disabilities.
Initially Para-Taekwondo focused on developing ‘kyorugi’ for arm amputee athletes and the 1st WTF World Para-Taekwondo Championships was held in 2009 in Baku, Azerbaijan on the occasion of the 2009 WTF World Cup Taekwondo Team Championships.
Since 2009 the WTF World Para-Taekwondo Championships has been held an additional three times, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Russia, 2012 in Santa Cruz, Aruba and 2013 in Lausanne, Switzerland. Participation in the Championships has been growing steadily.
On the occasion of the 4th WTF World Para-Taekwondo Championships in 2013 a Para-Taekwondo Development Task Force consisting of Para-Taekwondo Committee members and invited guests from CPISRA and INAS met to discuss the future of Para-Taekwondo. Following their recommendations the decision was taken to expand Para-Taekwondo and make competitions on a world level available to athletes of all disabilities. Para-Taekwondo ‘Poomsae’ will be the competition format for athletes with Cerebral Palsy, Intellectual disabilities or Visually impaired athletes.
During the 4th WTF World Para-Taekwondo Championships the WTF signed Memorandum of Understanding with INAS and CPISRA to work together for the development and promotion of Para-Taekwondo for athletes with intellectual disabilities or Cerebral Palsy. Para-Taekwondo Poomsae Competitions will be included in the 5th WTF World Para-Taekwondo Championships. Para-Taekwondo Poomsae has also been confirmed as a demonstration sport for the 2015 INAS Global Games.
Since 2009 Taekwondo has been included in the official program of the Deaflympics and at the 2013 Deaflympics Taekwondo competitions were held in both Kyorugi and Poomsae. The WTF signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Committee of Sport for the Deaf (ICSD) on October 25, 2013 in St. Petersburg, Russia, during the 2nd SportAccord World Combat Games to include Taekwondo competitions for Deaf athletes in the 5th WTF World Para-Taekwondo Championships in 2014.
On October 16, 2013 the WTF became an International Paralympic Committee (IPC) recognized IF, a recognition of the ongoing work to develop Para-Taekwondo.
The World Taekwondo Federation aims to have Para-Taekwondo included on the program for the 2020 Paralympic Games.
The hope that taekwondo brings is limitless, it knows no boundaries and is hampered by no disability.
Chungwon Choue, President of the WTF