While Taekwondo competitions begin in Rio, we visit some student - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

While Taekwondo competitions begin in Rio, we visit some students in Tri-Cities

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RICHLAND, WA-  On Wednesday, the Olympic Taekwondo competitions began in Rio. We decided to visit U.S. World Class Taekwondo Tri-Cities and talk with the instructor and some students about the Olympic event. 

Taekwondo has been considered a demonstration sport since 1988. It wasn't until the Sydney Olympics in 2008, it was officially considered a Olympic sport. 

Instructor Erik Roach told us, "the main aspect that's in the Olympics is sparring, one fighter against another fighter trying to score points to win". The main gear used for sparring is a chest protector and head gear. 

Two students put the gear on for us and showed us a demonstration of sparring. While they did that, Roach told us how points are accumulated during a match, "you get one point for single kick to the body, two points for turning kick to the body, three points kick to the head and four points for a turning kick to the head".

Taekwondo competitions will last until Saturday and Roach will have an Olympic viewing party at his studio for the students. He says he's excited to have them watch as most of them have only been practicing Taekwondo for about two years and the Olympics only happen every four. 

As for any potential Olympians at U.S. World Class Taekwondo Tri-Cities, Roach says, "I don't think there could really be anything better than a student in the Olympics it's a very long process, lot of time lot of tournaments but if anyone wanted to put in the time and dedication to do that I'm always here to support them".