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Eligibility Requirements for Creative Competition

In addition to the regular eligibility requirements, in order to compete in any ATA creative competition, the competitor must also compete in the traditional event that correlates to the ATA creative event in which they wish to compete. Failure to compete in the corresponding event will result in the loss of points earned at the creative event and may result in additional penalties. This applies to all ATA sanctioned tournaments regardless of the tournament's classification.
Example: If a competitor wishes to compete in ATA Creative Forms, the competitor must also compete in Traditional Forms at that tournament. The same would apply for ATA Creative Weapons competition.

General Rules & Guidelines for Creative Forms & Weapons Competition

The competitors should use the materials taught in Traditional Songahm Taekwondo to "create" their own form which enhances their strengths as a martial artist. The most simple guideline to follow is that if the basis of the technique is not taught in Songahm Taekwondo forms, then it should not be used in a student's presentation. There are no rolls, splits, kip-ups, cart-wheels, or other gymnastic type techniques taught in Traditional Songahm Taekwondo forms. Hence, they are not allowed in creative competitions. The key to this guideline is the term "basis of the technique". A student who learns an inner crescent in class may use that technique to perform a jump reverse inner crescent. Scissor kicks, triple(side-twist- round) kick and quadruple (side-twist-round-side) kicks are allowed. All of these techniques are the result of combined basic kicking techniques taught in Songahm Taekwondo. If a competitor feels that technique is questionable, he/she should contact the tournament department for clarification before inserting it into their routine.

Uniform Requirements for Creative Competition

  • Student may wear traditional white dobok.
  • ATA Creative/Xtreme Traditional Black Uniform.
  • They may not wear the sleeveless ATA-Xtreme uniform.
  • Competitors may not remove any part of their clothing during performance.


  • Music is allowed but not mandatory.
  • In keeping with the concept that judges will consider difficulty, then, if the music is used, a competitor who performs “in time” with the music may receive a higher score.
  • All music must be approved by the student’s instructor.
  • Music is the responsibility of the competitor. Each competitor must have their own sound system in good working order. Malfunctions of any kind will not change the time limit.
  • The total time limit of 2 minutes will stand regardless of any music malfunction. Competitors should continue without music if there is any delay and have the person designated to play their music take the appropriate action in keeping with the wishes of that competitor.

Creative Form Composition Guidelines

The following guidelines are in place for ATA Creative competition (Forms & Weapons):

  • At least 50% of the form must be original material.
  • The entire presentation must be no longer than 2 minutes from judge's command to start time until the competitor finishes their performance, (there is no minimum time).
  • The following techniques are not allowed:
    • No movements with greater than 360-degree turn or twist in the air.
    • No Chinese Wushu Butterfly Kicks or Butterfly kicks with twists.
    • No intended movements where the head is below the waist (leaning to kick high is acceptable).
    • No Rolls, kip-ups, cartwheels or other gymnastic type movements.
    • No "illusion" techniques.
    • No "gyro" techniques.
  • The following techniques are allowed:
    • Multiple traditional butterfly kicks are allowed.
    • Multiple spinning kicks are allowed.

Approved ATA Creative Weapons

General Guidelines:

  • All traditional weapon size requirements apply in creative weapon competition.
  • Competitors may not use Single Ssahng Nat, nor may they combine any weapon types (example: they cannot use one Bahng Mahng Ee and one Ssahng Nat)

Color Belts
The same weapons rules apply as in Traditional Weapons Competition.

  • The same selection of the type weapons applies – NO others are added.
  • The same style of weapons applies - Protech safety weapons for all types of weapons except Jahng Bongs & Jee Pahng Ees.

Black Belts

  • May choose the following types of weapons:
    • Any weapon from within the entire “Protech” curriculum.
    • The use of double Gum Do swords is allowed.
    • The use of double Jahng Bong is allowed.
  • Black belts have two styles of weapons from which to choose:
    • Black belts may use Protech safety weapons.
    • XMA or ATA-Xtreme branded weapons. This includes the ATA magnetized sword and magnetized Ssahng Nat.
    • The “XMA” branded Xtreme competition sword has the logo on the scabbard and an “X” shaped hand guard.
    • Advanced training Gum Do sword.
    • Jahng Bongs & Jee Pahng Ees may be of any type.

Creative Weapons Composition Guidelines

  • In addition to the above rules, the following additions apply to the creative weapon competitions.
  • Weapons releases are not allowed.
  • Weapon rolls are allowed. A weapon roll is where the weapon remains in contact with the body.
  • Weapon to weapon contact is considered a release.

Example:The competitor is competing with Ssahng Nats. He/She holds one Ssahng Nat in their hand and rolls one Ssahng Nat around the other Ssahng Nat. This is a release.

  • It is also considered a release if a competitor drops the weapon and catches it before it hits the ground.
  • The sheath of the Gum Do is regarded as part of the weapon. In creative weapons, if a student elects to enter the ring with the sheath, it may not be set down or released.

Creative Forms & Weapons Competition Procedures

Creative forms and weapons competition prodecures will parallel traditional forms and weapons competition procedures with the addition of the scorekeeper timing the competitors performance.

  • Before the start of the ring, the judges will perform a weapons inspection.
  • The score keeper will start the time when the center judge says, "Your time begins now."
  • The scorekeeper will inform the center judge when the 2 minutes have expired.

Competitor Bow in Procedures

  1. When a competitor's name is called, he/she enter the ring and run to the center of the ring for their traditional bow-in.
  2. Upon the completion of the traditional bow-in, the center judge will say, “Your time begins now.” The scorekeeper will start the clock.
  3. This signifies the beginning of the competitor's form If they wish to add additional adjustments or bows that are up to them. However, it is considered part of their form and the time used is part of their 2 minutes.

Determining and Administering a Score

Scoring for creative forms and weapons will be awarded in the same manner as traditional forms competition and will have a consistent meaning. (Determining and Administering a Score)

Judging Criteria for Creative Forms & Weapons

All 3 Judges will score the entire form with the quality of the competitor's technique being the most important criteria. Additional judging criteria are as follows and are all of equal importances. These criteria are not in any particular order.

  • Creativity.
  • Difficulty
  • Presentation.
  • Attitude.
  • Precision.
  • Control of weapon is added to the judging criteria for creative weapons.

Penalties and Disqualifications


  • If a competitor exceeds the time limit, he/she is disqualified, and no score will be given.
  • Any performance that includes a technique that is not allowed will result in disqualification.
  • A creative form that is not 50% original will result in the competitor being disqualified.
  • When a disqualification occurs, the judge will say: “Thank you for your performance today but because you . . . , no score will be given”.
  • A competitor that is disqualified cannot place 1st, 2nd or 3rd. This does not apply to tie-breakers where a medal is guaranteed.

Example: Two competitors tied for second place, during the tie run-off competitor A is disqualified. Competitor B is awarded 2nd place, and competitor A will receive 3rd place.

Dropped Weapon in Creative Competition

  • Dropping the weapon: A dropped weapon will result in a one- tenth of a point deduction from all three judges.
  • Retrieving the Weapon: A weapon that is retrieved must be picked up in the traditional manner. If a weapon is picked up incorrectly, an additional one- tenth of a point will be deducted from all three judges.
  • Multiple Drops: If the competitor drops the weapon more than once, a one- tenth penalty per drop &/or incorrect pick up will be deducted from all three judges.
  • Mininmum Score: The lowest possible score in creative weapons is 9.2.
  • Procedure: If there are mandatory deductions, the center will explain the deductions to the corner judges before scores are given.

Broken Weapons

There will be a one-tenth point deduction from each judge’s score if a competitor’s weapon breaks during his/her competition. If a weapon should break, the competitor will be given a maximum of 30 seconds to replace the weapon from his/her own gear, or borrow one from another competitor. Once the student has replaced the weapon, the form will be continued from the point that the weapon broke. If for any reason the damaged weapon is not replaced, the competitor will then receive a score of 9.0 from the center judge and a one-tenth point deduction from the corner judges. It is okay to borrow another weapon from the another competitor, however you must replace it with the same type of weapon.

ATA Creative Divisions

Divisions are based on gender, age, and rank of the competitors. At the conclusion of each tournament season, the International Chairman of Tournaments will evaluate the number of competitors in each division and determine if any changes are to be made for subsequent tournament seasons. Divisions change as the organization grows and more students in different age and rank groups compete. The current divisions are either black belt or color belt, and follow the current age divisions.

Creative divisions at all tournaments will reflect these age groups. Junior age groups and gender groups will not be combined, nor will black belts be combined with color belts. Adult age groups may be combined but genders will not be combined, nor will black belts be combined with color belts.