Dear Taekwon-Do Practitioners and Friends,
Approximately a month ago we were welcoming a new year as marked by the Gregorian/ solar calendar. Now, one month later, we are celebrating the Lunar new year, that begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar. In Korea and other Asian countries, the Lunar New year is a big celebration. During this time, many Koreans visit their families, perform ancestral cremations, wear hanbok, eat traditional food, and play folk games. Additionally, children often receive money from their elders after performing a formal bow.
This year has been marked as the year of the Tiger and it is believed that the Year of the Tiger will be about making big changes, risk-taking and adventure. The tiger is a symbol of power, action, and vigor.
As a Taekwon-Do Family, we have been facing incredible challenges during the pandemic, trying to practice and promote our beloved art and its noble values to the World while social distancing, restrictions in gathering numbers, or travel limitations, all worked against it.
Therefore, I hope that the features of the tiger such as bravery, power, strength, competitiveness, and self-confidence, together with the development of anti-COVID medication, vaccinations, and prevention will make this year special and successful for all of us.
As the ITF president, I feel energized and positive, not only because the year has been marked by a strong symbol of a tiger, but because of what ITF HQ has experienced from the very beginning of this year. We have been designing 5 tul tour programs and the five large teams have been determined to come to Korea this year. In January, we have welcomed hundreds of new black belts from various countries, and this is only just the beginning. We have been scheduling events, and whenever it is possible, we will run them on a face-to-face basis instead of online. These are the actions that give me and my administration strength, power, and confidence, that together with the indomitable spirit taught us by Taekwon-Do, we will succeed, and the year of the tiger will be the year of big and positive changes for all of us.
May this year bring you lots of happiness, positive changes and bring us back to normality. Wishing you good health and abundance in the Lunar New Year, the year of the tiger.
태권 Oh Chang Jin – ITF HQ President
Korea The Homeland of Taekwon-Do
Membership & Rank Verification in ITF HQ website
As a small step in ITF HQ full digitalization process, our black belt members will be able to check their rank and some details via the Federation website https://www.itfofficial.org/
If you are a black belt member, please visit our website and check if this process is working for you. The procedure to follow is: select “membership” -> “Black belt verification” -> enter your surname or family name -> enter the ITF HQ ID -> press “search black belts”.
If you are a registered black belt with ITF HQ then your details such as member ID, ITF HQ recognized Dan and your membership status such as “certified” or “membership member” will appear on the screen below. The certified member is an ITF HQ member who has his/her Dan recognized as per the rules of the Federation. A “membership member” is an ITF HQ member who has not his/her rank recognized.
All members who wish to take the next Dan test must have their ranks recognized with ITF HQ. During the pandemic, it is a free-of-charge process that involves a presentation of all necessary documents that provide proof of the correct Dan testing and training history.
We have received many applications of Dan recognition from members who were tested by different Federations and we have witnessed many irregularities, the main being the lack of respecting the minimal time between the Dan test, the rule set up by General Choi Hong Hi. Without a reasonable explanation and proof for the reasons of not obeying this rule, ITF HQ will not recognize such degrees and will propose a solution and alternatives for the recognition, in order to make sure all members of our federation are treated equally and fairly.
IIC in Dominican Republic
It is a pleasure to invite you and your students, for the 6th International Open Instructors Course 2022″, officially approved by the ITF The Americas, and the ITF HQ South Korea in conjunction with the ITF of the Dominican republic. It will be held on April 1 – 3, 2022, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. We are pleased to inform you that the invitations have been sent to Pan American countries and organizations, and we expect a good turnout at our exciting event.
Kup certificates from HQ Korea in Mexico
Mexico begins a new era in kup degree certifications, because for the first time in the history of our country, our students will receive official ITF HQ KOREA certificates. Four affiliated dojangs, members of ITF HQ Korea-Mexico, have started to award students with the international certification from ITF HQ –
- Black tiger’s Taekwon-Do De La Rosa (Johnny De La Rosa VII Dan)
- Artes Marciales Laredo (Benny Pineda Garza VI Dan)
- Guerreros Martial Arts (Joel Reyes Estrada III Dan)
- Adrenaline Taekwon-Do Club (Mildred Alcaraz Cortez IV Dan)
These schools have already taken the first steps to award more than 80 kup degree certificates in January 2022, despite the difficult times of the pandemic. We hope that the number of Kup degree certificates continues to grow every day in Mexico.
Mexico grateful for the great support of our Vice President Peter Sanders, as well as the invaluable work of our General Secretary, Master Zibby Kurk. We would like to thank our president CJ O,h who has always shown his support for the growth of Taekwon-Do in Mexico. Thank you, and we are deeply grateful for your great work.
Korea The Homeland of Taekwon-Do
Second ITF HQ Camp in Chile
On January 22 and 23 2022, the second ITF HQ KOREA Camp was held in Chile. The activity took place in Saltos del Laja, where more than 50 practitioners from different regions of Chile gathered. The Camp was dictated by Sabum Nim Darío Ramírez, Alejandra Poblete and Gonzalo Rivas. Self-defense modules, fundamental movements, sports combat and talks on Do were developed. In addition, the practitioners were able to enjoy recreational activities and learn about the natural beauty of Chile.
Motor skills in Taekwon-Do
From the desk of Master Micheal Thompson
In Taekwon-Do, basic motor skills are the building blocks upon which students develop techniques. While training in the dojang, both gross motor skills (like throwing a punch) and fine motor skills (like hitting the philtrum) are continually developed. Both skills work together, so it’s impossible for students to one without the other.
What are Gross Motor Skills?
Gross motor (physical) skills are those which require whole body movement and involves the large, core stabilising muscles of the body to perform everyday functions e.g. standing, walking, running, jumping and sitting upright in a chair. This also includes throwing, catching and riding a bike.
In Taekwon-Do, gross motor skills are used in –
- Hand Techniques
- Blocking (hand or feet)
- jumping or flying techniques
What are Fine Motor Skills?
Fine motor skills usually involve the use of the smaller muscle of the hands, in activities like writing, model construction, cutting with scissors and opening your lunch box.
In Taekwon-Do, fine motor skill efficiency significantly influences the quality of the outcomes of techniques, as well as the speed of the technique. Efficient fine motor skills require several independent skills to work together to appropriately manipulate an object or perform techniques.
Fine Motor Skills examples in Taekwon-Do are:
- Hand and foot placement at the point of focus.
- Vital spots when striking (correct technique to the correct vital spot)
- Accuracy when blocking (correct blocking tool)
There are basically Six Motor Skills
- Agility: This is the ability of a fighter to control and move the body while maintaining power and speed. Step sparring is used to improve agility and reflexes. Other activities for improving agility are running on the spot, zigzag running, speed kicks, running sideways in small steps, and paddle sparring. Without agility, effective attack and counterattack skills cannot be performed with speed. Agility is the ability to move quickly, shift your body weight, and move back and forth and side to side as necessary when sparring.
- Balance: This is the ability to stay upright or stay in control of body movement, while being able to move two or more body parts under control smoothly and efficiently. This is one of the most important things when practicing Taekwon-Do, especially when you are kicking, e.g. turning kick delivery and non-kicking foot pivoting.
- Coordination: This is the ability to move two or more body parts under control, smoothly and efficiently. There are two types of balance: static and dynamic.
- Static Coordination is maintaining equilibrium when performing stationary techniques.
- Dynamic coordination is maintaining equilibrium when performing moving techniques
- Power: This is the ability to move body weight with speed. Being strong does not always translate to being powerful. In Taekwon-Do, power is explosiveness. You can exert a maximal force in as short a time as possible, as in kicking and punching. While strength is the maximal force you can apply against a load (lifting heavy weights), poweris proportional to the speed at which you can apply this force, especially when power testing.
- Reaction Time: This is the ability to respond quickly to a stimulus, a very important element in Taekwon-Do. Simple reaction time is the time taken between a stimulus and movement e.g. blocking or dodging a hand technique or kick thrown to a given target.
- Speed: This is the ability to move limbs rapidly to punch, kick, dodge or block. Movement speedrequires good strength and power. While explaining the theory of power, General Choi observed that the power of a strike increases with the speed of the strike.
All motor skills are skills that require good levels of fitness and can be vastly improved through practice and training within Taekwon-Do.
ITF HQ NORTH AMERICA REGIONAL DIRECTOR VISITS THE SOUTH
Master Michael Munyon left his home state of Michigan to visit ITF HQ school owners in Alabama and Florida. His first stop was to Gordon Martial Arts Center in Crestview, Florida, whose owner, Master Thomas Gordon, invited Master Munyon to watch a special promotions ceremony. This ceremony was to also honor military personnel. One of Master Munyon’s highlights of this event was having an Army Green Beret Black Belt talk about the similarities of the Tenets of Taekwon-Do and the Green Beret’s leadership code. He favorably compared the warrior ethos of both the martial arts and military. Master Gordon and Master Munyon also got to sit together and talk about ITF HQ as well as plan some potential collaborative events in 2022 and 2023.
Master Munyon next visited Mr. Kenny Daugherty, the ITF HQ Alabama State Director and ITF the America’s Secretary General, in Mobile Alabama. During the visit, Mr. Daugherty gave Master Munyon a tour of his new dojang, Oriental Sports Center, Mobile, which is growing steadily. Master Munyon and Mr. Daugherty taught classes together during Master Munyon’s visit and everyone had a great time. Both Master Munyon and Mr. Daugherty are looking forward to co-hosting seminars and camps soon.
3 Day Seminar in Benton, Louisiana
Mr. Marshal Fulgium and Mr. Mark Greene will be hosting Master Munyon for a 3 day seminar, which will cover ITF HQ Tournament Rules, Tuls, Self-Defense, and Tactical Life Saver medical course. Benton Martial Arts will be inviting school owners throughout their county to attend this event. This event is open to the public but space is limited. For more information contact Master Munyon at email@example.com.
An Interview with Master Colin Bakker
From the desk of Sheba Agarwal
As a relatively new practitioner of Taekwon-Do, I am fascinated by the journeys of my superiors and masters, who have dedicated their lives to the art. I interviewed my Master, Colin Bakker, a part of a series of interviews that I did during the pandemic in 2021.
Master Colin talks here about his history with martial arts and how he started with Taekwon-Do, and what keeps him there. He reminiscences about all style competitions in the 80s, where Taekwon-Do practitioners had an advantage over the other martial artists due to the power of our side kicks, as well as multiple kicks. He also speaks of the fragmentation of ITF into smaller groups over the course of the years, and how ironically the pandemic has brought people back together in some way – there is a feeling of everyone being in this together, and there is some level of freedom of choice in what we do.
I finally asked Master Colin a simple question – What does “Do” mean to you? What should be done if someone follows their own Do which could be disruptive and destructive? Here is his answer in his own words:
What does “Do” mean to me? Of course, I can quote the usual definition or translation like path, the way, the deeper philosophy etc. Sometimes “Do” can be something very clear, and uncomplicated, perhaps somewhat oversimplified with regards to deeper values and philosophy. The thing is, Do is as universal as it is personal or individual.
As instructors we should dedicate all our efforts to produce excellent students. However, excellence is a highly subjective phenomenon based on a variety of criteria. Is excellence expressed in technical ability, winning prizes at Championships, providing your instructor and dojang with admiration and glory? Or is it the ability to reflect upon oneself, the skills to absorb knowledge and harness your uncertainties in order to obtain growth and potential? As an instructor did you motivate or indoctrinate, did you inspire or coerce, did you show disdain or appreciation?
And most of all, did you give the best of yourself to your students without withholding knowledge, seeking for personal growth in spiritual, physical, and psychological sense? Or did you do it for the glory of our art, for the legacy bestowed on you by our Founder or were you planning your next car, home, or luxury vacation?
Is “Do” a higher, profound quest or is it an individual path we are all to discover? For me it is looking at myself in the mirror every day and asking myself, “Did you help anybody today, were you part of their growth, have you acted to your best ability and honorably, did you lead by example?” If I have achieved that most of the days, I can live with that concept perfectly.
Listen to the full interview here – https://tinyurl.com/2p9k2sbt
Job Opportunity in Korea after COVID-19 Recovery – Expression of Interest.
Teaching Taekwon-Do in English in South Korea.
The International Taekwon-Do Federation Headquarters in Korea is looking for young, energetic and experienced Taekwon-Do instructors (males or females), who are native English speakers, and would like to come to Korea and test their teaching skills utilizing a Taekwon-Do curriculum and a specially designed English language program. The essential criteria are:
1: Being a native English speaker
2: A minimum 1 Dan in Taekwon-Do ITF
3: Experience in conducting classes for children and teenagers.
For more information, please contact via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The position(s) will be available as soon as the government regulation allows group activities to be conducted and COVID-19 restrictions eased.
Rings have been used throughout history and seem to be a universally understood and exclusive symbol that carries respect, and high esteem, whether wealth or power. In some cultures, rings are the symbol of belonging to a group or fraternity. To honour the founder of Taekwon-Do, General Choi Hong Hi, ITF HQ Korea has introduced rings analogous to the one worn by the founder as an optional part of the ITF Dan certification system.
Four individually designed ring types will be available for ITF practitioners, Instructors, Masters and Grandmasters (I – IX Dan) who are ITF HQ Korea members or mentors. Rings are also available for non-ITF HQ members. The recent “Ring” promotion has resulted in a flurry of applications, and since the rings are hand made by a small merchant, the waiting time may be up to a month. Therefore, we ask for your patience, and we will update every single applicant with a time frame for production and delivery. For those who would like to order an ITF HQ ring, please do it online following the link: https://www.itfofficial.org/ring-form/. The price is $250 USD for ITF HQ members + postage and $350 USD + postage for non-members.
ITF HQ Newsletter editorial team
Zibby Kruk (PhD, 8th Degree, Korea) – Editor-in-chief
Sheba Agarwal (PhD, 1st Degree, The Netherlands) – Editor
Luke Danskin (4th Degree, Scotland) – Editor
Michael Munyon (7th Degree, USA) – Editor
Johny Del la Rosa (7th Degree, Mexico) – Editor-Spanish
Muhammad Zaidi Surati (6th Degree, Malaysia) – editor-designer
Get Yourself in Print
If you’re an ITF HQ member and have news, updates or events you would like to have published in our newsletter; please send us a brief (1-2 paragraph) submission with photos to email@example.com. Please note that your club news should stay within your club, but we would love to share it with the Taekwon-Do community for anything else. You have worked hard to build your club and your students. Let ITF HQ help recognize your outstanding accomplishments along with your members.