Click on banner to go back to Rules page

ATF Appearance Rules, Judging Ethics, Rulings, and Complaints


No rule inquires made to this site will be answered,
Please direct questions to your Instructor.


Street Clothes

Prior to and after competition, color belts may wear normal “street” clothes, bearing in mind appropriate styles for the occasion. Black belts are held to a higher standard due to their position in the organization and in the eyes of the color belt students. Black Belts should wear “dress” clothes. Females can wear “dress” slacks, or skirts and tops, or dresses. Males should wear “dress” slacks and shirts (or sweaters) with a tie, sport coats or suits. Certified Instructors should wear coat and tie. This dress code is in effect from the first appearance at the tournament site until away from the tournament site. It is understood that younger Junior black belts have “trouble” keeping nice clothes clean and they will be given special consideration. Teenagers and above should be able to care for themselves and are expected to comply to dress requirements. A proper ATF white uniform is appropriate at all times.

Uniforms and Safety Equipment

During competition, competitors shall wear clean, pressed ATF white uniforms. An ATF patch is required on all uniforms for competitors over white belt. All other lettering, striping, and patches must be in good repair and positioned according to ATF guidelines.

NO JEWELRY is allowed during competition. This includes watches, rings earrings (male or female), necklaces, etc. This is for the safety of the wearer as well as other competitors. Finger nails and toenails should be trimmed for safety as well.

During free-sparring competition, the following rules apply. All competitors must use a mouth piece. Males must wear a protective cup on the inside of the uniform. Headgear and hand and footpads are mandatory for all competitors, with no exceptions. Hand and foot pads must cover the tips of the fingers and toes. This safety equipment must be either the dipped foam style or the vinyl covered foam style. Headgear with some sort of face protection (i.e. a plastic shield or wire “cage”) is allowed.

*** Special Note:

Only red sparring gear is allowed in ATF sanctioned tournaments.

Other protective equipment must be approved by the competitor’s instructor and the center judge. (Criteria include safety of opponent, intent of the guards, and special student needs or problems.)

All judges should remain in uniform or “dress clothes” until the tournament is over. All judges are expected to stay through the dismissal of the tournament unless they have the permission of the Tournament Host to leave early. It is important for all judges to remember that during their color belt tournament experience; there were always black belts to judge them. Now that they are black belts and judges, they have a responsibility to the current color belts and to each other. No one likes to judge all day. If all would do their part (judge when needed and stay available for other assignments), judging responsibilities would stay at a minimum.


At any ATF tournament, demonstrations of prejudice, lack of attentiveness in the ring, etc., shall be cause for warnings or reprimands from higher officials.


Judges who find difficulty in resolving a given problem should ask the ATF tournament committee for rulings.


Decisions of responsible officials shall be final. Instructor or student complaints or appeals during the tournament shall not be allowed. Any complaints should be made after the tournament through the chain of command. Shows of public discord by any ranks or non-ATF members are open to official censure.

The goal of this site is to serve as a warehouse of information for the
American TaeKwonDo Foundation
If you wish to contact GM Y.S. Chung please contact him through his contact information.

Web Master Tom Dreilinger
Hosting Provided by Luckystar Education (C..2015)
This web site is maintained by Tom Dreilinger for the American TaeKwonDo Foundation. The information contained within this site was valid at the time of posting.

Tom Dreilinger, Luckystar Education, American TaeKwonDo Foundation, Chungs TaeKwonDo, assumes no liability for damages incurred directly or indirectly as a result of errors, omissions or discrepancies.

Tom Dreilinger, Luckystar Education, American TaeKwonDo Foundation, Chungs TaeKwonDo, is not responsible for the content, nor endorses any site which has a link from this page.