There are two great different styles of Taekwondo, each one associated with one of the two great federations that currently exist worldwide: the WTF Taekwondo (associated with the World Taekwondo Federation or the World Taekwondo Federation) and the ITF Taekwondo (International Taekwon-do) Federation or International Taekwon-do Federation). It is worth mentioning that there are also other independent federations, although with much less importance and influence than the two previously mentioned and that are usually detachments from these.
Both styles emerged as one and separated into two large federations for political reasons. After so much time divided, they have evolved differently and you can see differences in the uniform, the forms and the sports regulations. However, in both styles, almost all the techniques are the same, varying only their application, importance and sometimes the nomenclature. It is not difficult for the practitioner of one style to change the other since the points in common are greater than the differences.
The ITF style is the most traditional. It is characterized by a balance between competition and personal defense and gives the same importance to the techniques of the fist as those of kicking. The sporting combat of this style is similar to the semi-contact (version without KO of the Full Contact) and usually, they use gloves and protective shoes. It should be noted that this style has as an icon to Gen. Choi Hong Hi, Founder of Taekwon-Do, who led the ITF until his death, in 2002.
Everything related to this style is poured into the Encyclopedia of Taekwondo, a book that contains all the details with illustrative photos, as well as the foundations and the philosophy of this martial art.
For political reasons, currently, the ITF is divided into three organizations that do not recognize each other, those that continue to use the same names and practice the same discipline, although they are beginning to vary slightly sports regulations.
The WTF style is much more focused on kicking techniques (although hand techniques are also used). The pumses are different from the original tools that the ITF uses since changes have been introduced over time. The combat in this style is of total contact and is made with helmet, protective breastplate for the torso, protections for forearms and tibiae, buccal accessory, gloves and foot protection, being prohibited the attacks of fist above the neck and the low kicks. It is more focused on competition than the ITF style.
Currently, the WTF style is an Olympic modality.