Does Taekwondo Use A Weight Class System? (Quick Guide to Taekwondo Competitions)

Starting a new sport as a participant or as a supporter can be daunting with all the rules and regulations. Taekwondo is no different. From upholding the five tenets to being in the correct weight class, following the rules is a crucial part of any sport.

No matter your knowledge level, you can begin learning the basics of Taekwondo. 

Does Taekwondo Use A Weight Class System?

Below you’ll find all you need to know to understand the weight classes of Taekwondo.

Whether you are a junior participant or just looking for more information, this guide explains all of it! 

You can start your journey of competing and supporting Taekwondo without the stress of learning the rules as you go. 

Weight Class Systems

Weight divisions were created in combat sports to standardise competition conditions and allow athletes to compete against similar opponents.

Weight categories in taekwondo are classified based on the style of competition and the age of the competitors. 

So, yes, Taekwondo has weight classes. They are implemented to further the safety of the opponents and to uphold the five tenets: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self control and indomitable spirit.

A weight class in taekwondo refers to a specified weight range for taekwondo practitioners.

The maximum weight for each class is the maximal weight limit for that class. Each class’s minimum weight must be greater than the next lowest class’s maximum weight.

A taekwondo gyeorugi is normally scheduled for a specific weight class, and each practitioner’s weight must fall between the lower and upper limits. 

But what are they? Keep reading to find out!

World Category (Senior Athletes 17+)

The World Taekwondo made the decision to reduce the number of categories from 16 to 8 in order to ensure there was an adequate number of participants attending the Olympic Games. There are now 4 categories for men and 4 for women. 

For men the starting weight in the World Weight Category under 54kg, anyone weighing in over 54 kg will be considered for the next weight class.

With the largest weight class being Over 87 kg. In this category men participating must be over 87 kilograms with no specified limitation. 

Other World Weight Categories are: 

  • Under 58 kg. Over 54 kg to under 58 kg. 
  • Under 63 kg. Over 58 kg to under 63 kg. 
  • Under 68 kg. Over 63 kg to under 68 kg.
  • Under 74 kg. Over 68 kg to under 74 kg. 
  • Under 80 kg. Over 74 kg to under 80 kg
  • Under 87 kg. Over 80 kg to under 87 kg.
  • Over 87 kg.

However for women contenders the weight classes are significantly smaller.

With the smallest weight being under 46 kg to the largest being over 73 kilograms. These categories follow the same system as the male with there being limitations of each class. 

Olympic Category

Olympic Category

There are only eight weight classes – four for each gender – since the International Olympic Committee has limited the number of entrants to 64 men and 64 women for the entire sport. 

During the Olympics there are 4 weight classes for both men and women; Heavyweight, Welterweight, Featherweight and Flyweight.

Meeting these conditions is extremely important for contestants as not meeting their intended weight can mean competing with opponents much larger than them. 

Heavy Weight for men begins for anyone weighing in over 80 kilograms with no limitation on the heaviest weight.

For the women’s division the starting weight for a heavyweight participant is over 67 kg and also has no limitation. 

Whereas the men’s Flyweight category which is the lightest weight category begins with anyone weighing in under 58 kilograms. Women cannot exceed 49 kilograms or they will be entered into the Featherweight category. 

In the event that a participant does not meet their designation weight classification there is a possibility that they will be disqualified from the tournament. This is due to the limited space on the Olympic division roster. 

Junior Category 

The Junior Weight Category has a larger range of weight classes for participants to meet.

This category is for athletes between 15 and 17 years of age and has 10 classes ranging from under 45 kg to over 78 kg for men and under 42 kg to over 68 kg for women.

Each weight class has less wiggle room for each contestant. This means meeting weight in these categories can be more difficult, however, being placed into a different category doesn’t cause too much of a difference to the players performance.  

Cadet Category 

The Cadet category pertains to athletes between the ages of 12 and 14. Ranging from a classification of Fin to Heavyweight.

There are 8 more classifications between the lightest and the heaviest categories, giving Cadet contenders more flexibility in their weight. 

In order to meet Fin Weight classification a male participant must not exceed 33 kilograms whilst a female participant cannot exceed 29 kilograms.

The largest classification weight for males is for those over 65 kilograms and for females is over 59 kilograms.

There is no limitation on how heavy these contestants can be. 


Finding your right weight class for competing can be difficult and should be discussed with your Taekwondo coach.

However, if you are looking for more information to be a support of the sport, this guide is perfect for you. 

Weight categories differ depending on the age and skill level of the participants. With Cadet competitors having a range of 10 weight classes from Fin Weight to Heavyweight.

Whereas more serious competitions such as the Olympics and World Championships have less divisions. 

Both the Olympics and World Championships have been reduced from 16 to 8 weight categories. 4 for men and 4 for women.

This is due to the number of contestants allowed to participate in the competition.

At the Olympics only 128 contestants are allowed to compete meaning the categories range from under 58 kg to over 80 kg for men and under 49 kg to over 67 kg for women. 

Now you know all about the weight class system of Taekwondo from Cadets to World Champions, you can start your journey!

Christopher Anderson
Latest posts by Christopher Anderson (see all)