Brief History:

Tae Kwon Do is the dominant Korean Martial Arts Form. In the 1950s the form was chosen to be the definitive form, in order to promote its growth. The 2000 Summer Olympics, in Sydney, was the first time Taekwondo was featured as an official medal sport.

The Object of the Sport:

Tae Kwon Do literally means; the way of kicking and striking. It was started for self-defense and is still widely used for that specific purpose and for competitions, like the Olympics. The rules vary between different competitions, but the ones listed below are for the Olympics.

Scoring:

In Tae Kwon Do there are several legal scoring areas, the mid section of the trunk (chest protector) and the entire face, including both ears. There is one point for a hit to the trunk and two points for a hit to the face. There is also an additional point for knocking your opponent down. There are three rounds of two minutes each and a one minute rest period between each round. Whoever has the most points at the end of three rounds wins. If there is a tie at the end of three rounds, then there is a sudden death fourth round of two minutes. For a more detailed set of scoring rules you can go to http://en.beijing2008.cn/cptvenues/sports/taekwondo/n214051397.shtml

Rules:

In competitive Tae Kwon Do, there are several rules. The front parts of the forefinger and middle finger of the tightly clenched fist are allowed to be delivered as attacks. The parts of the foot below the ankle bone are also allowed to be delivered as attacks. The fist and foot techniques can be delivered on the areas covered by the trunk protector. However, such attacks can't be made on the part of the back not covered by the trunk protector. The entire face can be hit excluding the back of the head, and attack by foot techniques only is permitted.For a more detailed set of rules you can go to http://en.beijing2008.cn/cptvenues/sports/taekwondo/n214051397.shtml

Bibliography:

http://en.beijing2008.cn/cptvenues/sports/taekwondo/index.shtml