Whats the difference between ITF and WTF Styles?


To put it briefly, the ITF (International Taekwondo Federation) is one of many different organizations where students may enrol as white belts, learn a specific curriculum with variations unique to their organization, advance in rank via promotion tests through colour belt grades (Kup) to Black Belt Degree (Dan), become a certified Instructor and open a branch school under the authorization of the organization's charter.

You cannot do any of that in the WTF (World Taekwondo Federation), because the WTF is not a teaching institution with regards to the Martial Art of Taekwondo. Instead, it is a sport governing body which has member National Associations (not individual student members, nor schools or instructors as members), and its focus is on the rules and regulations of Taekwondo competition, and the training and certification of coaches and tournament officials.

The WTF has nothing to do with teaching the art of Taekwondo.

The equipment worn by competitors differs as well.

ITF Image


In ITF competitions, the competitor wears full hand gloves, which cover the whole of the fingers as punching is employed.  Body pads are not worn by competitors.

WTF Sparing



In WTF competitions, the competitors wear fingerless gloves as punching is generally not employed.  Body pads are also worn by competitors.



It has on many occasions been described in short as follows:-

ITF:- Teach the art of Taekwondo as designed by the founding father Gen Choi Hong Hi (decd) and C K Choi.  ITF style includes the use of hand techniques as well as feet for Kicking.  ITF training also includes the training of the mind as well as the body.

WTF:- Is the sports side of Taekwondo, concerned primarily with competitions.  Little use of the hands is employed in these competitions, instead the competitors rely more on the use of feet for kicking.