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Newsletter April 2020

Apr 4, 2020 | News

From the Office of the President – 65th Anniversary of Taekwon-Do

Dear Taekwon-Do Practitioners,

In celebration of the 65th anniversary of Taekwon-Do’s birth, please accept my best wishes and congratulations from the Homeland of Taekwon-Do, Korea.

Taekwon-Do was born in Korea in 1955, and over the past 65 years has spread like wild fire influencing millions of people around the globe.

I started Taekwondo in 1978 and since then I spent my entire life living and thinking about Taekwondo. I first met the Founder of Taekwon-Do, General Choi Hong Hi in the winter of 2001. He was a very wise man of small size but with a very sharp mind and courageous eyes. Because of his personality, charisma and the way he talked, I thought that Taekwon-Do was the best Martial Art on earth.

Having this opportunity, on this occasion I would like to express my gratitude to Taekwon-Do Pioneers, Grand Masters, Masters and all who have worked tirelessly to build and spread the art around the world. Taekwon-Do has achieved a very high status around the world and the efforts of all who made this a reality have not gone unnoticed.

In my opinion, the future development of Taekwon-Do requires unity and the ability to evolve to adjust and catch up with the fast developing and digitalized world.

Here in Korea, the birthplace of Taekwon-Do we have been working very hard to adapt to the changing world. This year we will introduce an online system to provide an easy, modern and comfortable platform for our members who will be able to enjoy our service which will be available with only a few clicks. We also have opened the homeland of TaekwonDo to all who wish to come here, work together and celebrate the art and founder in the place where it begun. TaekwonDo is an international art but it is always important to know and be associated with its roots.

Currently due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the world has become a very dangerous place. Therefore, we are really proud of all the Taekwon-Do advocates who volunteer and work hard assisting those in need in these difficult times. We are very proud of our members and looking to a bright future ahead.

Happy 65th Taekwon-Do Anniversary.

태권 Oh Chang Jin
ITF HQ President

Memories with the Founder

On this special occasion of the 65th Anniversary of Taekwon-Do ITF HQ is proud to state that we follow the path and teachings of the Founder of Taekwon-Do General Choi Hong Hi. We have both, energetic, young members who think outside of the box and present many modern ideas how to spread Taekwon-Do, and our own pioneers who had the honor to meet the Founder and attend or assist him in seminars and events. Many of our senior members met and trained under the Founder’s supervision. This mini gallery shows memories of some of our members from their meetings and seminars with General Choi Hong Hi.

We are proud of you – Taekwon-Do volunteers battling covid-19

ITF HQ rewards its members during this challenging time of covid19 pandemic. In the encyclopedia of Taekwon-Do General Choi Hong Hi emphasized the importance of the “Community service”. Community service as per definition:

It is “work done by a person or group of people that benefits others. It is often done near the area where you live, so your own community reaps the benefits of your work. You do not get paid to perform community service, though sometimes food and small gifts, are given to volunteers”.

In these difficult times we are able to see and are getting many reports about Taekwon-Do practitioners doing excellent work in helping their communities organizing community events online, shopping for the elderly, cleaning and volunteering in other capacities. This impressive performance of our members makes ITF HQ Council of Masters and the entire Taekwon-Do community very proud.

Therefore, in line with General Choi’s thoughts and to encourage such services by our members ITF HQ offers, a 3 months deduction of the waiting period between every Dan tests for those who demonstrate their involvement and dedication in community work during these challenging times.

In order to apply for the reduction time, group leaders, Master or instructor need to send Dan applications to the ITF HQ administration accompanied by documents demonstrating clearly the type and the length of the community work done by the applicants.

The Council of Masters will oversee the applications with the accompanying letters and will decide whether to grant the applicants with the reduction time between testing.

Thank you for your service. We are proud of you!

Recent High-Ranking Recognition, Promotions and Appointments

The leadership team of ITF HQ sincerely congratulates the newly recognized, promoted and appointed members to their new roles. We are looking forward to seeing you work in these new capacities to support, promote and build General Choi Hong Hi’s Art around the world. They are:

Grand Master Rudolf Kang from Russia (9 Dan promoted),

Grand Master Henrik Kaerdrup from Denmark (9 Dan recognized),

Grand Master Jamie Moore from Australia (9 Dan recognized),

Sabomnim David Graham from the United Kingdom (5 Dan promoted),

Sabomnim Robert van Zijl from the Netherlands (4 Dan promoted) and

Sabomnim Kenny Daugherty appointed to ITF HQ-USA Alabama state representative.

Welcome New Group Members

It is with great pleasure that we welcome our newest members to our ITF HQ family. This month we are pleased to announce the affiliation of a new association known as “Traditional ITF Taekwon-Do Denmark” under the leadership of Grand Master Henrik Kaerdrup. Our newest dojangs are “Worldwide Taekwon-Do” out of Australia under the leadership Grand Master Jamie Moore and “Schneider’s Sigajeon Moosul Dojang” from Germany, under the leadership of Grand Master Frank Michael Schneider.

ITF HQ Online Dan testing during covid-19 pandemic

In these difficult times with the Covid-19 pandemic, almost all Taekwon-Do schools have been closed and many instructors using online technology to provide classes for their students. The IT technology provides great tools that allow instructors to observe, teach and correct students via virtual dojangs by instructors stationed in any part of the world in front of a TV. In order to make sure that in these unusual times our members get the best possible service, ITF HQ will provide the opportunity to conduct gradings via online technology. We have used this option in the past in cases where there was no ITF HQ Masters or International Instructors available in that region and the clubs could not afford to financially bring a Master for test. It worked well and therefore, we will use it again for those members who are eligible for testing and could not do it due to social distancing rules.

If you are eligible for a test please send an email to korea@itfmail.org and provide details such as your name, membership number and a short message requesting Dan test. Our administration will contact you with an appropriate examiner and you will arrange the test directly with him/her. That way those members who are eligible for testing will get this opportunity without delaying.

Setting up online classes

In these interesting times we live in it has become almost impossible to maintain the traditional dojang training even with physical distancing. So many instructors have had to become conversant with how to run classes online.

This may seem pretty straightforward initially but does require a much higher degree of preparation than face to face classes. For a start there are some things that cannot be done online unless your student has a partner to work with at home, so things like free sparring and self-defence become somewhat challenging. Nonetheless, there are many other aspects one can focus on, and in particular the component that we often neglect, i.e. dallyon can be given additional emphasis. This conditioning of the body using strength and stretching exercises is something that can really be worked on and will pay off once things get back to “normal”. We can of course also work on fundamental movements, patterns (although sufficient space or a lot of shuffling is required), kicking and striking techniques and even step sparring without a partner. But apart from the training aspects the Instructor needs to put in place the necessary IT components to allow streaming of classes. That means a decent webcam and microphone (a separate mic is often better than ones built into devices) and also a large screen to connect to the streaming computer so the instructor can see the students easily when they are teaching. It’s also necessary for the instructor to have a good broadband connection to have sufficient bandwidth to stream to many people at once, and choose a platform that is secure and allows multiple people to join the class. I personally use Zoom, but there have been concerns about the security of this platform so it may be worthwhile looking around at such platforms. Finally, try to ensure your students can benefit from your class by asking them to prepare a space to practice that should be about 3metres by 3metres and if possible connect their device to a large screen tv using an HDMI (or similar) cable (or cast it) so they can see the instructions well. Try to set up your dojang so that you can stream classes from there since it gives the correct amount of space and (again) use a large screen or projector onto a screen that is connected to your computer so that you can see your students well. It also looks more professional and you can display your banners and flags etc. Hope this helps and keep training everyone, it will help your sanity and health in the long term. 

Invitation to European Championships 2021

Dear Grand Masters, Masters, Instructors, Competitors and Supporters,

On behalf of International Taekwon-Do Federation ITF HQ Korea and ITF HQ Netherlands we have the great pleasure in inviting you to the Open Taekwon-Do European Championships and European Cup that will be held in Barneveld, Netherlands 3rd of April to 4th April 2021.

The event shall be held in the Barneveld Veluwehal – The Netherlands. This Championships is open to all our brothers and sisters in Taekwon-Do regardless of Taekwon-Do style, affiliation, association or political background. TaekwonDo is one and during this tournament we will share the passion we all have for the art, sport and martial art that is Taekwon-Do and demonstrate our great courtesy for each other.

We sincerely hope that the Open European Championships will be a success for all competitors, coaches, umpires, vips and supporters. We look forward to welcoming all of you to the Netherlands in April 2021.

Master Harry van Schaik
Head of the Organizing Committee

Master Kang’s recently published book: “The Way to Learn Taekwon-Do

This great book by the Chair of our Technical Committee is available to purchase through www.tkdbook.info and costs US$99 plus postage for both volumes and less if you buy more than 1 copy. It can be shipped to anywhere in the world and special discounts apply for bulk purchases.

The book has a number of innovative characteristics including QR codes to look at short videos of technical matters, a great colour coding along the spine to identify specific topics, a ribbon for each volume to keep your spot and extremely high quality colour images of participants both in dobok and shorts and tee shirts to show limb alignment more clearly.

This is a truly impressive book and a great adjunct to the encyclopedia since it includes a chapter on the Biomechanics of Taekwon-Do that supports the Founders ideas about how to generate power.

Get yourself and your members in print

If you’re an ITF HQ member and have news, updates or events you’d like to have published in our newsletter please send us a brief (1 paragraph) submission with photos to korea@itfmail.org.

Please note your club news should stay within your club but anything else, we’d love to share with the Taekwon-Do community. You’ve worked hard to build your club and your students. Let ITF HQ help recognize your outstanding accomplishments along with your members.

Easter Holiday

On behalf of the ITF HQ Leadership team, we’d like to wish everyone who celebrates Easter a wonderful day to rejoin in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is through his death that we are saved. May his resurrection rekindle your faith and aid you live the life Jesus would want you to live