A martial art from North Korea that will be competed in at the Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia in 2023 has been outlawed by Thailand. One of the 39 sports available in the Games will be Taekwondo, performed in the North Korean style, according to Cambodia. The International Taekwondo Federation’s rules will undoubtedly incorporate taekwondo with North Korean elements. ITF taekwondo focuses more on self-defense, whereas WT taekwondo focuses more on sparring. Neither the SEA Games nor the Asian Games nor the Olympics have ever included ITF taekwondo. The vice-president of the Thai Olympic Committee stated that no athletes from Thailand will be participating in this sport. However, there is a slight drawback to this “option.” According to Chaipak, if a country sends athletes to compete in the taekwondo division that North Korean-style taekwondo is likely to fall under, World Taekwondo will disqualify that country from the 2022 Asian Games. Competitors won’t have a choice but to engage in the sport if WT follows through on what Chaipak has stated it will do and forbids nations who send athletes to compete in ITF Taekwondo. If they had hoped to compete, sports fans from a totalitarian regime should be disappointed. Other nations are allowed to choose whether or not to send athletes to compete in this style of taekwondo, according to vice president Chaipak Siriwat.

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