Yongmudo Competition

Yongmudo competitions are fun, exciting events that allow participants to apply a variety of skills against like-minded opponents. According to Professor Byungik Lee, Director of the Yong In University Martial Arts Research Institute, competition “presents a great opportunity to further improve and elevate the level of techniques.”



Yongmudo competition provides a unique opportunity to use select skills against comparably sized and ranked opponents. Competitors have the opportunity to go full-speed within the framework of the rules to test their abilities. Emphasis is on safety so the rules are designed to minimize debilitating injuries as much as possible (i.e., striking and kicking above the body or below the belt are not allowed). Divisions are divided into three primary categories: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.



The three classifications for yongmudo competition are “beginner,” “intermediate,” and “advanced”.

Beginning 1-round of groundwork
Intermediate 1-round of kicks/punches
1-round of groundwork
Advanced 4-rounds (see below)

It is left to the competitors and their instructors to determine the competitor's classification. This is because players skilled in one style may lack minimal proficiency in others. For example, a 2nd dan in taekwondo who is not comfortable with falling should not compete in the advanced competition as the standing throws round could be dangerous. A 1st dan in judo with limited kicking ability could consider competing at the beginner level, or possibly the intermediate level if he or she has basic understanding of kick and punch defense.

While the framework of this competition has been set up to emphasize well-rounded martial artists, the rules have been written to emphasize the competitors’ safety.

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Competitors in the advanced division need to be well-rounded martial artists with at least a minimal amount of proficiency in three different competition styles: kicking/punching, standing throwing, grappling.

Important note:
Any attack that leads to a head strike is illegal in all rounds.

Round 1: Kicking & Punching
The target areas for kicks and punches in this round are similar — but not identical — to those rules used in taekwondo. In the interest of saftey, yongmudo does not allow head contact during this round. Grabs, throws, and takedowns are prohibited.

Round 2: Standing throws
The second round consists of standing throws. Legal throws are similar — but not identical — to those rules employed in judo competition. All strikes are prohibited.

Round 3: Groundwork
The third round consists entirely of grappling techniques. Strikes and kicks are prohibited in this round. Competitors must stay on the ground by complying with at least one of the following:

Points may be awarded for throwing (e.g., twisting down) an opponent, controlling an opponent for a certain length of time, or reversing out of a hold. Advanced competitors may also earn points through careful application of chokes and elbow bars. Unlesss it has been clearly established that the latter techniques will be permitted, they are considered illegal and will subject the player who applies them to penalties.

Round 4: Controlled free sparring
The fourth round consists of "controlled" free-sparring. Competitors may kick or punch each other in a similar fashion as was described for the first round. Additionally, a competitor may also grab his or her opponent and execute a throw. Note that once a competitor grabs an opponent, that competitor may not execute any strikes. The grabbed oppnenet may, as long as he or she does not grab in response, execute legal punches and kicks to the body. The competitor who is grabbing can only maintain his or her grip for a maximum of five seconds before releasing the opponent. Only techniques that a judge feels were "strong, well executed, and controlled" may be considered for awarding points.

This round is to be run with a maximum emphasis on safety and technique. Any technique that causes an injury to a reasonably prepared opponent will result in a penalty or disqualification.

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Organic Development.

Social Development.

Psychological Development.

Recreational Development.

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Protective Equipment

All competitors. Mouth guards.

Striking Round.shin guards. Groin cups. YMD chest protector.


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More Information

Read the accounts of MSMAP team members at recent yongmudo competitions.
Go to: 2018 UC Yongmudo Championships (MS Area Newspapers)
Go to: 2017 UC Open Taekwondo & Yongmudo Championships (MS Area Newspapers)
Go to: 2016 UC Open Taekwondo & Yongmudo Championships (MS Area Newspapers)
Go to: 2012 UC Yongmudo Championships (MS Area Newspapers)
Go to: 2011 UC Yongmudo Championships (MS Area Newspapers)
Go to: 2010 UC Open Taekwondo Championships (MS Area Newspapers)

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