2006 WTF President's message
Dear members of the global taekwondo family:
would like to wish
you good health and happiness
for the New Year.For taekwondo
circles, it has been an eventful
2005: From the production
of the WTF Reform Report in
February, which served as the
basis of the ongoing reform
programs of the WTF; my election
as the third WTF president
at the General Assembly in Madrid,
Spain in April; and taekwondo's
inclusion in the program
of the 2012 London Olympic Games
at the 117th ession of the
International Olympic Committee in Singapore in July.
It is my firm conviction
that the reform works
of the WTF and the devotions
of the taekwondo family around
the world combined to make
status at the 2012 London Olympic
Games. For this reason,
would like to deliver once
again my special thanks to all
the members of the
family, including presidents
of our 179 member national
Encouraged by the
good results at the Singapore
IOC Session, we will make 2006
first year for the renaissance
of taekwondo and will do our utmost to attain
Over the next four
years, the WTF targets an increase of its members from the
current 179 to 202,
which we hope would help increase the number of worldwide
from the current 60 million to 100 million, or more.
To that end, the
1st World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships, promoted by
the WTF and organized
by the Korea Taekwondo Association
year in Seoul, would greatly
help increase the number of taekwondo
practitioners around the world.
For the renaissance
of taekwondo, the WTF will step up its marketing activities
this year and consider
launching the so-called Taekwondo Corps, the Korean
version of the United
States’ Peace Corps, to assist the development of
taekwondo in newly
emerging taekwondo countries by dispatching coaches and
providing financial and in-kind assistances.
We also plan to
construct a taekwondo college, called “Taekwondo Academy,”
in Korea and several
other countries around the world to bring up talents with
To ensure fairness
in judging and refereeing at taekwondo competitions, we will
also look into the
possibilities of introducing an electronic protector system,
with an aim of adopting
the new system at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
We will double our
efforts to help taekwondo be firmly positioned as an Olympic
sport, thereby helping
taekwondo be a more popular global sport and one that
will better serve humanity.
For the renaissance
of taekwondo, the support of members of the global taekwondo
family is imperative
and I would like to ask for
your continued concern and love for
taekwondo and the WTF.
Master Plan for 2006
As we reflect upon
the message of President Chungwon Choue and bring
an eventful 2005
to a close, I would like to usher
in 2006 with our plans for
the New Year. We promise an exciting New Year ahead.
1.1 6th WTF World Junior Taekwondo Championships
The first will be
the 6th WTF World Junior Taekwondo
Championships in Ho Chi
Minh City, Vietnam, in July 26
to 30. This will be the first
time since the 2001 WTF World
Cup Taekwondo Championships
that Vietnam will be hosting a WTF-promoted event.
Taekwondo has considerable
popularity in Vietnam,
as evident in the nation winning
three gold medals at the
23rd Southeast Asian Games held
in Manila, the Philippines,
between November and December
2005. In this regard, we look
forward to the successful organization of the championships.
This would be an
ideal opportunity for taekwondo
hopefuls for the 2008 Beijing
Olympic Games to gain much needed match experience.
1.2 1st WTF World Poomsae Taekwondo Championships
The inaugural WTF
World Poomsae Taekwondo Championships
will be held in Seoul,
Korea on Sept. 4 to 6. The
championships are significant
in the sense that taekwondo fans
and the public would experience
a different form of the sport;
one that is unlike the Olympic,
contact version that they are accustomed to.
In order to successfully
organize this new initiative
and dimension in propagating
taekwondo as a sport for
all, the WTF has formed an ad-hoc
committee for Poomsae, which
is chaired by WTF Vice President Soo-nam Park.
1.3 1st WTF World Cup Team Taekwondo Championships
The first-ever WTF
World Cup Team Taekwondo Championships
will be held in Bangkok,
Thailand on Sept. 14 to
17. The championships, to be
organized by the Taekwondo Association
of Thailand, are open
to all member national associations.
We anticipate great participation
and support for this new WTF-promoted event.
Meetings of the WTF
The two most important
of the WTF will take place on
the occasion of the 2006 WTF World
Junior Taekwondo Championships.
Between July 24 and 25,
the Executive Council and the
General Assembly would convene
to decide upon matters pertaining
to the implementation of
the Reform Recommendations, such
as future plans in the areas
of solidarity and development,
public relations, and marketing activities.
In particular, the
Executive Council and General
Assembly would need to approve
the restructuring of the WTF
organizational structure. For
example, the existing Executive
Council would be renamed
as "WTF Council," while
a new "Executive Committee" would be formed.
The Executive Committee
would comprise of the
president, six vice presidents,
the secretary general, and the
treasurer, and would be responsible
for making urgent decisions
on the operations of the
organization. Any governance-related
decisions made would
then have to be reported to the WTF Council and the General Assembly.
In addition, the
Executive Council would convene
once more in Bangkok on the
occasion of the 1st WTF World Cup Team Taekwondo Championships.
The WTF, with the
cooperation of the relevant
local organizations, will organize
the 2006 edition of SportAccord.
SportAccord is the ideal
occasion to promote taekwondo
to the thousands of sport and
business participants from
all over the world. We believe
that the hosting of such an important
international sport conference
would enhance the global standing of taekwondo and the WTF.
In addition, the
WTF would be cooperating with
the International Olympic Committee
in the IF Development Programme
for the development of
electronic protectors, which
would assist in fairer judging
at taekwondo competitions; in
the Olympic Solidarity for coaches
and athletes, such as the
OS Scholarships for Athletes
"Beijing 2008;" and
in the Olympic Results and Information
Services for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Away from competitions,
the WTF would also liaise
with its human resources partner,
Adecco SA, in developing
a career program for retired
athletes, and those considering retirement.
This is one of our
efforts in helping our devoted
athletes pursue a livelihood
after they decide to close
the curtains on their illustrious competitive taekwondo careers.
Finally, the WTF
would be initiating more marketing
activities and global partnerships
through its new Marketing
Division. It is essential
that the WTF create self-sustaining
activities in the hope
for better serving its members
and the global community within
and outside of the taekwondo fraternity.
The WTF seeks your
cooperation and unwavering
support for taekwondo, as we welcome
2006 the year of our renaissance.
For these, and more,
I would like to wish you and
your loved ones many happy returns for the New Year!
WTF Issues Newly Revamped Official Publication
The World Taekwondo
Federation has issued its
newly revamped official publication, as part of its reform programs.
enthusiasm and progressive mindset
in leading taekwondo and
the WTF in the new century, the
WTF issued the new WTF Taekwondo magazine on Feb. 3, 2006.
The annual official
publication of the federation
is a radical shift from the
previous ones, which were published quarterly.
The 162-page magazine,
with a new cover, layout
and design, is a summary of
the previous year ' s events,
competition results and major
events throughout the world of
taekwondo. It also provides events
of this year, interviews
with taekwondo people and useful information on taekwondo.
The WTF published
an initial 4,000 copies of the
magazine, which the federation
has mailed to WTF member national
sports federations, and the International
as well as major taekwondo-related organizations.
For the production
of the magazine, the WTF created
a four-member task force,
headed by Mr. Seok-jae Kang,
director of the WTF ' s PR Division,
in November last year.
Other members of the task force
are Mr. Jerry Ling, Ms. Miri Kim and Ms. Jee Hee Vanden Berghe.
The table of contents
and the composition of the
magazine are categorized according
to the eight trigrams
of Taegeuk, which is an Oriental
symbol depicting the unity
between the heaven and the earth;
the harmony of two opposites, yin and yang.
“ The significance
of the eight trigrams ? Geon,
Tae, I, Jin, Son, Gam, Gan
and Gon ? corresponds respectively
with the principles of the
WTF in the development of taekwondo
over the years, ” according
to the rationale of new WTF Taekwondo magazine.
The use of colors
of the five Olympic Rings to
organize the magazine underlies
the commitment of the WTF to
internationalizing the sport
and organization. “ Taken together,
the two main themes ? the
philosophies of the Taegeuk
and the colors of the Olympic
Movement ? embody taekwondo '
s Oriental roots, at the same
time embracing the best practices
of the international sport fraternity. ”
In a move to get
across our message to the world
sports community, we put a
“ Tribute to the Spirit of Humanity
” on the second page of
the magazine, in which it read,
“ The noble undertaking of helping
the needy committed in
our name and those of our global
partners embody the very essence
of our principles: to develop
taekwondo, and to develop the community through taekwondo. ”
The magazine, which
is scheduled to be published
in January every year, contains
four interview articles on
taekwondo players and one interview
story with a female international
referee. It also features
contributions from chairmen
of major WTF committees,
and heads of the WTF ' s five regional taekwondo unions.
The last segment
of the eight sections is a summary
of the WTF ' s activities
in 2005, which contained amended
rules and regulations, competition
results, and lists of member national associations.
The WTF first published
its official publication
in August 1976 in the name
of the World Taekwondo. It then
changed the name into the WTF
Taekwondo in March 1981. A total
of 92 issues were published until March 2005.
Meanwhile, the WTF
sent a newly designed e-newsletter
on Feb. 7, 2006, to its
member national associations,
international referees and international sports federations.
As part of its reform
programs, the WTF started
sending its bimonthly e-newsletters to its members in June 2005.
Referees and judges
have probably the least appreciated
jobs in the world of
sports. When a referee is slow
to recognize a foul, or when
a judge scores incorrectly, their
mistakes tend to be highlighted
in the media. From a television
viewer's point of view,
everyone can do a much better
job - thanks to slow motion
replays and the advantage of
having a bird's eye view on practically everything.
Such is the pressure
these days that it should
come as no surprise that the
idea of assistance through advancement in technology has been raised.
In the 2002 Salt
Lake City Winter Olympic Games,
and the 2004 Athens Summer
Olympic Games, the issue of questionable
refereeing and judging
in some sports was raised
yet again. For a contact sport
like taekwondo, it is paramount that such decisions are spot-on.
To that end, the
World Taekwondo Federation is
currently looking into the development
of electronic protectors
for possible use during competitions.
In October 2005,
the WTF managed to secure the
IOC's commitment in funding the
project within the framework of the IF Development Programme.
In July 2005, an
ad-hoc committee was created
to oversee the development of
the project. Members of the ad-hoc
committee were treated to
demonstrations of the electronic
head and trunk protectors by various manufacturing companies.
The Korea Institute
of Sports Science was endorsed
to oversee the research and
development stage, where researchers
reviewed the technology
currently available and set
about drafting the standard
guidelines on the use of the electronic
protectors. The WTF
received and reviewed the guidelines
on the specifications of
the electronic protectors between November and December 2005.
manufacturers would most probably
move on to developing the
prototypes of the electronic protectors
and introducing them
at selected competitions. The
ad-hoc committee, the KISS, and
the manufacturing companies
would then evaluate the success
or failure of the system during
the trial tests, and to redevelop the system, if necessary.
If the trial tests
prove successful, the WTF might
decide to mass produce the
electronic protectors for competition
use. What is important
is that the WTF exhaust its
efforts on perfecting the systems
and extensively evaluating
the performances and technological
abilities of the manufacturing companies.
The decision on
choosing the best manufacturing
company, or companies for that
matter, is essential, as it
signifies our commitment to getting
things right. In this regard,
the selection and performances
of the referees and judges,
as well as the choice of
the most appropriate manufacturer(s),
should be one in the most transparent and prudent manner.
In the meantime,
it is hoped that there may be
other forms of technological
advancements to assist the referees
and judges in their decision-making
processes, such as the use of video replay.
compromising too much of
the humanistic elements in a dynamic,
contact sport like taekwondo,
the WTF should, and will,
do its utmost to ensure that
its referees and judges receive
the best possible trainings and examinations.
Above all, the WTF
will ensure that its most competent
officials represent the
sport of taekwondo and the
WTF in all championships and taekwondo-related events.
ORIS for Beijing 2008
The four-man contingent
composed of Dong-Hoo Moon
from Korea, secretary general
of the WTF; Rene Bundeli from
Switzerland, executive council
member and chairman of the
WTF Games Committee; Eui Min
Ko from Germany, chairman of
the WTF Technical Committee; and
Jerry Ling from Singapore, WTF coordinator for the ORIS project.
The objective of
the meeting, which was organized
by the International Olympic
Committee (IOC), was to lay
the foundations for the successful
organization of taekwondo
competitions in general, and of course, at the Olympic Games.
During the meeting,
the WTF informed the ORIS
working group about the changes
to the sport and organization,
as a result of the reform efforts
of the new leadership.
Among them was the introduction
of a sudden death round to determine
tied matches after three
rounds and the reduction of
the duration of the men's competition
to two minutes per round
- both of which were introduced
at the 2005 WTF World Taekwondo
Championships in Madrid, Spain, on April 13 to 17.
Other imminent changes
are the shrinking the competition
area from 12m by 12m
to 10m by 10m; the inclusion
of a fourth judge; and the amendments
to the Rules and Regulations
and the Competition Rules of the WTF.
were also informed about their
responsibilities in ensuring
the smooth operations of the
ORIS system. Heretoforth, all
parties will review the amended
documents, before officially
signing it off in March 2006.
Thereafter, the WTF will inform
the IOC ORIS team and other
participants about any possible
changes to the sport and organization
after the Executive
Council Meeting and General Assembly
scheduled in the later part of 2006.
up-to-date with the technological
requirements, the meeting
provided all relevant parties
of Beijing 2008 with an opportunity
to familiarize with one
another. The IOC ORIS Taekwondo
Working Group consisted of Boris
Sakac from Croatia, project
director and chairman of the
meeting; Gorka Golec from Croatia,
project technical editor;
and Ketil Pettersen from Norway,
sport analyst for taekwondo.
Among the other participants
were the Organizing Committee
of the 2008 Beijing Olympic
Games (BOCOG); as well as Omega
and Atos-Origin, which provide
the technical setup for taekwondo at the Olympic Games.
was not just the beautiful scenery
that Montreux had to offer
and the friendly atmosphere
developed among the participants
that made this meeting unique.
What distinguished this meeting
from previous ones is the
focus of the participants. Such
was the energy, willingness
to learn and determination to
succeed that all participants
transformed the meeting into
a debate of ideas and countermeasures.
This prompted an IOC
ORIS official to remark that
he was "impressed" with
the efforts of all participants,
and that he "enjoyed" the meeting.
And this, I feel,
is the key in the WTF's new
approach in international relations.
Since WTF President Chungwon
Choue announced his decision
to initiate a reform, the
WTF has taken measured steps
to enhance the workforce of the
headquarters, and play a key
role in augmenting the international
standing of the sport and organization.
While it is important
to keep developing the dynamism
and outreach of taekwondo,
it is also important to show
that the WTF is ready and
willing to make a positive contribution
to the international
sporting fraternity. It is imperative
to have the support and recognition of our partners.
And, if anything,
the first ORIS meeting in Montreux
is a good indicator of
things to come for the future
of taekwondo and the WTF. Bring on Beijing 2008!
3 Major WTF Events in 2006
As an official sport
in the Games of the Olympiad,
one of the main objectives
of the World Taekwondo Federation
is to propagate taekwondo
worldwide through the smooth
operations and organization of taekwondo events.
In this regard,
the WTF promotes four major taekwondo
events, namely the WTF
World Taekwondo Championships,
where the WTF Women's World
Taekwondo Championships are held
concurrently; the WTF World
Junior Taekwondo Championships;
and the WTF World Cup Team Taekwondo Championships.
In addition, the
newly WTF-promoted 1st WTF World
Poomsae Taekwondo Championships
is scheduled to be held
in 2006, thus adding to the growing
list of taekwondo-related championships and events.
Of the five major
WTF-promoted taekwondo events,
three will be held this year
alone, in what is considered
the first year of the renaissance
of taekwondo. The impending
introduction of the new taekwondo
competition rules this
year is also expected to excite
taekwondo fans and boost the dynamism of the sport around the world.
The 6th WTF World
Junior Taekwondo Championships
are scheduled to take place
in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam,
from July 26 to 30, this year.
The biennial event, which is
organized by the Vietnam Taekwondo
Association, will be held
at the Phu Tho Stadium in downtown Ho Chi Minh City.
for the World Junior Championships
are going smoothly with
no problem and we are confident
that the event will greatly
help promote taekwondo in our
country," said an official
of the Organizing Committee
of the 6th WTF World Junior Taekwondo Championships.
The WTF World Junior
Taekwondo Championships date
back to 1996, when 455 athletes
from 53 countries attended
the 1st World Junior Taekwondo
Championships in Barcelona, Spain, from June 27 to 30.
The second edition
of the aforesaid championships
was held in Istanbul, Turkey,
from Sept. 9 to 13, 1998;
followed by Killarney, Ireland,
in 2000; Heraklion, Greece,
in 2002; and Suncheon, Korea,
in 2004. The Suncheon edition
of the championships drew 610 athletes from 70 countries.
WTF World Junior Taekwondo Championships
Generally, the WTF
World Junior Taekwondo Championships
take place every other
year - in even years-to avoid
overlapping the WTF World Taekwondo
Championships and the
concomitant WTF Women's World
Taekwondo Championships, which are the biggest WTF-promoted events.
The inaugural World
Taekwondo Championships were
held in Seoul in May 1973,
with the attendance of 200 athletes and officials from 19 countries.
That year's championships
played another significant
role, as it ushered in
the newly established World Taekwondo Federation.
started attending the biennial
World Taekwondo Championships
from the 8th World Taekwondo
Championships held in Barcelona, Spain, in 1987.
The latest edition
of the championships was held
in Madrid, Spain, in April
2005, with the next edition scheduled
to take place in Beijing, China, in 2007.
In 2006, for the
first time in its 33-year history,
the WTF will promote the
first World Poomsae Taekwondo Championships.
The event is expected
to greatly increase the
number of global taekwondo practitioners
around the world, and
introduce to the worldwide
television audiences and spectators
the various forms of taekwondo
other than the contact,
Olympic version that they are accustomed to watching.
WTF World Poomsae
The Korea Taekwondo
Association will be the Organizing
Committee for the inaugural
World Poomsae Taekwondo
Championships, which is penciled for Sept. 4 to 6, 2006.
for the 1st WTF World Poomsae
Championships will be the Olympic
Gymnasium No. 1 (Gymnastics)
at Olympic Park in Seoul and
we have already embarked on
full preparations for the historic
event," said Jin-bang
Yang, deputy secretary general of the Korea Taekwondo Association.
Yang, a taekwondo
professor at Yong-In University,
said his association has
various plans to make the inaugural
event a great success. Korea
won the right to host the
to-be-biennial World Poomsae
Championships on the occasion
of the WTF General Assembly in
Madrid, Spain, in April 2005.
The event is a realization of
an idea mooted at the WTF Executive
Council meeting held in Lyon, Paris, on April 17, 2000.
about 50 countries to send their
athletes to the Seoul poomsae
event, which will set the future
course of poomsae taekwondo," Yang said.
He said the KTA
is working closely with the WTF
to solve problems related to
poomsae competition rules, scoring methods and standards.
"To make the
poomsae event a success, we
organized the 1st Korea Open International
in September 2005, in which
we featured poomsae competition,"
Yang said. "Shortly
after the inaugural Korea
Open, we held an evaluation
session on poomsae competition
with the attendance of foreign participants."
WTF World Cup Team
The third WTF-promoted
event to be held this year
is the 1st WTF World Cup Team
Taekwondo Championships. The
event is scheduled to take
place in Bangkok, Thailand, from Sept. 14 to 17, 2006.
most of our energy and time to
the successful hosting of the
first-ever World Cup team event,"
said Pricha Thotrakul,
advisor to the Taekwondo Association
of Thailand. "I
think the World Cup event will
certainly promote taekwondo in our nation."
In the past, the
World Cup event was held in the form of individual participation.
The first World
Cup Taekwondo was held in Colorado
Springs, the United States,
in 1986, with 136 athletes
from 13 countries attending; there
have been 12 World Cup events
so far. Female athletes started
participating in the World Cup Taekwondo in 1990.
The WTF changed
the name of the World Cup Taekwondo
to the World Cup Team Taekwondo
Championships at its Executive
Council meeting held
in Tokyo, Japan, in July 2002.
At the Tokyo meeting, the participants
decided to hold the World Cup event every other year.
The Tokyo meeting
was held on the occasion of
the last edition of the World
Cup Taekwondo, which attracted 313 athletes from 23 countries.
It is our abiding
hope that the various WTF-promoted
and - sanctioned events
will help propagate the philosophies
of taekwondo, and help
foster a greater community through the sport.
2009 Summer Universiade
Organizing Committee Officials Visit WTF HQ
The World Taekwondo
Federation had a meeting with
two of high-ranking officials
of the Organizing Committee
of the 25th Universiade to discuss
taekwondo's inclusion as
an optional sport in the program
of the 2009 Summer Universiade
to be held in Belgrade,
Serbia and Montenegro, at the
WTF Headquarters in Seoul on Dec. 16, 2005.
he two officials
were Aleksandar Sostar, member
of the Organizing Committee
and president of the Executive
Committee of the 2009 Belgrade
Universiade; and Sinisa Jasnic,
general director of the Organizing
Committee of the 25th Universiade Belgrade 2009.
Sostar also serves
as director of the Department
of Sports Ministry of Education
and Sports of Serbia and
Montenegro, while Jasnic works
as the FISU Executive Committee
Assessor and president of the University Sports Association.
is a multi-sp! ort event that
takes place every two years. Competitors
must be at least 17
and less than 28 years of age,
and should meet the criteria set in the Regulations for FISU events.
Taekwondo was adopted
as an optional sport at
the 22nd Universiade in Daegu,
Korea, in 2003 and the 23rd Universiade
in Izmir, Turkey, in 2005. The organizers
of the 24th Universiade to
be held in Bangkok, Thailand,
in 2007 decided to include taekwondo
as an optional sport in their program.
The FISU regulations
stipulate that there are
10 compulsory and three optional sports at the Summer Universiade.
The FISU adopted
taekwondo as a single sport for
the World University Championships
in May 1986. Since then, there have been nine championships.
In August this year,
WTF President Chungwon Choue
and WTF Secretary General
Dong-hoo Moon visited Izmir, Turkey
to attend the 23rd Universiade.
While they were there,
the WTF leaders met with FISU
and Universiade officials for taekwondo-related talks.
WTF-Kyung Hee University
Partnership Taekwondo Training Program Concludes
A short-term taekwondo
training program for foreign
students kicked off in Seoul on Jan. 9, 2006.
program, which continued until
Jan. 23, was jointly organized
by the World Taekwondo Federation and Kyung Hee University.
The program attracted
10 male coaches ? seven
from Asia, two from Europe and
one from Latin America. The participating
countries are Indonesia,
Iraq, Japan, Malaysia,
Nepal, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Hungary, Slovakia and El Salvador.
the foreign participants include
learning the Korean language,
taekwondo sparring, competition
theory, and understanding of human anatomy.
“ Besides the short-term
program, we also plan
to hold a long-term training
program for foreign students from
March 13 to May 8,” said Prof.
Jong-kook Song of Kyung Hee
University, who is in charge of the program.
In cooperation with
Kyung Hee University, the
WTF started the taekwondo training
program for foreigners in
March 2005. The first program,
which began on March 2 and finished
on June 17, drew nine
foreign students. A short-term
program, which started on July
4 and concluded on July 31, attracted 27 students from 15 countries.
The program is aimed
at helping foster young taekwondo
hopefuls in the WTF ' s member national associations.
My dear friends, members of the AFTU,
I would like to
use the chance of the holiday
season to wish you all the best
of health and success, especially
to all Muslims and Christian
members, as both festivities
are coming in the same week.
I wish you a blissful season,
and hope that 2006 will symbolize amicability and fraternization.
In the name of the
African taekwondo family, I
would also like to take this
opportunity to thank Dr. Chungwon
Choue, president of the WTF.
President Choue, in a matter
of months, made a lasting impression
that clearly shows his
vision for the worldwide development
of taekwondo and the
WTF; a development that we can feel in every country and region.
I would also like
to thank Secretary General Dong-hoo
Moon for the elegant symphony
with which he runs the
team of experts and specialists at the WTF Secretariat.
Dear members of
the AFTU, my word to you on the
blissful holiday season is to
congratulate you on your activities
and also to congratulate
you on your union; a union
that runs on a basis of fraternization.
We are so sure that
our achievements are unprecedented
and I assure you that this
success is based on unity, and
directing all of our efforts
toward one aim, which is the
welfare of taekwondo generally
and the welfare of taekwondo in Africa, specifically.
One thing is so
important: we all should have
a firm grip on these principles,
leaving behind conflicts and
personal interests so that supremacy
is for one thing only
- public interest of our countries
and our unions. We should
strive to work with a team spirit
on a basis of equality,
following the spirit of the sport of taekwondo.
Thank you all and happy holidays once again.
2006 AFTU EVENT CALENDAR
International Referees Refresher Course
AFTU General Assembly Meeting
To be decided
in the G.A.
Jan. 21, 2006
To be decided
in the G.A.
Jan. 21, 2006
International Referees Seminal
(New Referees & Refresher)
To be decided
in the G.A.
Jan. 21, 2006
To be decided
in the G.A.
Jan. 21, 2006
1st African Juniors Sparring & Technical Championships
9th World University Taekwondo Championships
6th WTF World Junior Championships
To be decided
in the G.A.
Jan 21, 2006
To be decided
in the G.A.
Jan. 21, 2006
African Senior Sparring & Technical Championships
1st WTF World Poomsae Taekwondo Championships 2006
Sept. 14-17, 2006
1st WTF World Cup Team Taekwondo Championships 2006
To be decided
in the G.A.
Jan. 21, 2006
To be decided
in the G.A.
Jan. 21, 2006
1st African Cup Team Championships
To be decided
in the G.A.
Jan. 21, 2006
To be decided
in the G.A.
Jan. 21, 2006
1st African International Training Seminar
New Milestone for taekwondo
The year 2005 can
be seen as the starting year for the renaissance of taekwondo.
In reality, the
period between 1973-when the World
Taekwondo Federation was
established-and 2003 can be seen
as a time for the establishment
and worldwide propagation
of taekwondo. Over the past 30
years, taekwondo has grown to
become an Olympic sport that
is being practiced by about 60 million people in 179 countries.
Taekwondo was adopted
as a demonstration sport
at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games
and made its debut as an Olympic
sport at the 2000 Sydney
Olympic Games. Since then, it
has also participated as an official
sport at the 2004 Athens
Olympic Games. Up until then,
we can call it as a period
of establishment and propagation of taekwondo.
Following the days
of Dr. Un-yong Kim, the founder
of the WTF, we can call the
period between the emergence
of the new WTF President, Dr.
Chungwon Choue, in June 2004
and his election as the third
WTF president at the General
Assembly in April 2005, as one
of transitional implementation
for the initiation of a new era in taekwondo.
During the crucial
transitional period, taekwondo
was successfully conducted
during the 2004 Athens Olympic
Games, after which the WTF devoted
most of its time and energy
to producing a package of
reform programs to open a new
chapter for taekwondo; in line
with the reform policy of the International Olympic Committee.
Those WTF efforts
helped open the new era of President
Choue in 2005, which
symbolizes the period of renaissance
of taekwondo; the take-off
stage of taekwondo revival.
Since then, the WTF has embarked
on a full-swing reform drive-with success.
Mainly due to the
WTF's reform efforts, taekwondo
retained its Olympic status
at the 2012 London Olympic Games,
as IOC members voted to
include taekwondo in the program
of the 2012 Olympic Games at
the 117th IOC Session in Singapore
in July 2005, which was
the biggest task faced by the new WTF leadership.
The IOC decision
in Singapore bears a great significance
in that the world sports
community officially recognized
taekwondo as a modern,
global sport, which can contribute
to the development of the
Olympic Movement, through its participation in the Olympic Games.
The good news at
the Singapore Session call on
the new WTF leadership to successfully
carry out its mission
of developing taekwondo into
one of the best Olympic sports
that promotes the well-being of humanity.
WTF should be positioned firmly
as the model international
sports federation. To help attain
those goals, Korea launched
a huge project for the development
of taekwondo in 2005-the
establishment of the Taekwondo
Promotion Foundation to help
build a Taekwondo Park in Muju, South Jeolla Province, Korea.
The proposed Taekwondo
Park, called Taekwondopia,
will house a taekwondo hall
of fame; a training center for
high-ranking, black-belt masters;
a taekwondo library; an
exhibition hall; and various
places for taekwondo practitioners worldwide.
Just as there is
Olympia in Greece, Korea - the
birthplace of taekwondo-will
have a Taekwondopia, which would
serve as the cradle and energy
source of taekwondo practitioners worldwide.
Promoting Asian Taekwondo Championships in Bangkok in 2006
The ATU will strive
to successfully promote the
17th Asian Taekwondo Championships
to be held in Bangkok,
Thailand, in April this year,
thereby laying the foundations
for the success of the planned
1st WTF World Cup Team Taekwondo
Championships scheduled for
Sept. 14 to 17 in the city.
In 2006, the Thai Kingdom will
celebrate His Majesty's 60th anniversary as their king.
The ATU will make
the Bangkok World Cup event
a festival for Asian taekwondo practitioners.
Award Presentation of Taekwondo Man and Woman of the Year
The Asian Taekwondo
Union is doing its utmost
to fulfill its duties as a
regional union of the WTF by carrying
out its tasks and missions
in keeping with the WTF's reform policy.
One of the main
purposes of taekwondo is to foster
taekwondo people with superb
skills as athletes, while
at the same time bringing up model
citizens and leaders with
good characters and public spirits.
Therefore, it is important
in taekwondo training to nurture
both taekwondo techniques
and character building. From
now on, the ATU will unearth
taekwondo people equipped with
both superb techniques and good
characters and award them
with the Taekwondo Man and Woman
of the Year. Through the awards,
the ATU will help strengthen
the spiritual side of taekwondo
training, while at the
same time fostering sportsmen and sportswomen of character.
Strengthening of Solidarity Movement
The ATU plans to
guide youths in newly emerging
taekwondo countries by launching
voluntary support activities
led by university students
this year, which will ultimately
help expand the number of
taekwondo practitioners. Korea
has dozens of universities and
junior colleges with taekwondo
departments. The ATU plans
to form an overseas voluntary
support corps centered on university
students majoring in taekwondo,
as well as launch a program
for youths around the world this year.
Under the program,
the taekwondo students will
be dispatched to both WTF member
and non-member countries during vacations.
Through the program,
the ATU aims to guide youths
in newly emerging taekwondo
countries and instill the spirit
of the Olympic Movement and taekwondo in them.
as Taekwondo Leaders and Scientific Approach to Taekwondo
As part of its efforts
to improve talents of taekwondo
coaches, the ATU will
empirically analyze major taekwondo
competitions and improve taekwondo coaches' teaching methods.
The ATU also plans
to organize taekwondo seminars
during the WTF General Assembly,
thereby improving the quality
of taekwondo coaches. In
addition, we plan to improve
on the prevention of injuries through better treatment methods.
Activities of 2005 and plans for 2006
The year of 2005
has been fruitful for the European
Taekwondo Union because
of the four major championships:
the Junior Championships in
Baku, Azerbaijan; the Technical
Championships in Turku, Finland;
the Cadet Championships
in Palermo, Italy; and the Senior Championships in Riga, Latvia.
The newly established
Cadet Championships are
open to those in the age group
of 12 to 14 years. This experience
is especially beneficial
for the tournament committee,
which will evaluate the success
of the championships and further
develop the rules, weight
categories, duration per round, and such.
were considered as a big success,
as 300 competitors from
30 countries participated in this
inaugural event. Moreover,
it could also serve as an ideal
preparation for the young athletes for the Junior Championships.
of its success, the ETU would
like to recommend other regional
unions to follow suit in hosting
such tournaments. For your
information, the Cadet Championships will be held again in 2007.
Four ETU Executive
Council meetings and a General
Assembly were held in Baku.
At the ETU Executive Council
meetings, eight Open International
Tournaments were developed for this year.
In addition, the
ETU will develop a ranking system
in 2007 and organize a final
tournament at the end of the
year. The organizing countries
have to bid to the ETU and
sign a contract with the Union,
since it is under the auspices
of the latter. It is also
important that the participants
follow the WTF rules in these tournaments.
The ETU will also
send a delegate to A Class Tournaments;
it further controls
the number of national teams
and international licensed referees
who can participate, and
the proper implementation of
the WTF rules. In 2006, the following
eight countries were
authorized to organize A Class
Tournaments (or Open): Belgium,
Germany, the Netherlands, France,
Croatia, Sweden, Azerbaijan and Austria.
The business program of the ETU for 2006
There will be several
activities in May and July.
On May 24, there will be the
Executive Council meeting and
Extraordinary General Assembly.
The next day, on May 25,
the ETU will celebrate the 30th
anniversary of its founding,
which would coincide with two
symposiums; one by the ETU Scientific
Committee, and the other
about "Taekwondo and
Media." From May 26 to 28,
the ETU will organize the European
Senior Championships. All
of the aforesaid events will
be held in Dusseldorf, Germany.The
symposium to be organized
by the ETU Scientific Committee
will include leaders, instructors
and officials. In regard
to the symposium on taekwondo
and media, the public relations
and marketing committees
will develop a media guide, which
is a booklet for the press
to use during the championships.
It will contain the history
of taekwondo (such as former
champions, current favorites,
and the like), organizations,
competition rules, and important addresses, just to name a few.
ETU will organize the European
Team Championships, which would
be held in Trelleborg, Sweden,
from July 1 to 2.As mentioned
earlier, other major plans
will include the development
of A Class Tournaments and the
European ranking system; as
well as seminars for Poomsae judges;
and further development
of the Cadet Championships. Finally,
I would like to emphasize
that the abovementioned programs
for 2006 have been approved
by the ETU Executive Council on Dec. 10, 2005, in Athens, Greece.
The Oceania Taekwondo
Union was formally established
on July 16, 2005, in Sydney,
Australia, on the occasion
of the inaugural Oceania Taekwondo
Championships. The establishment
of the Oceania Taekwondo
Union is consistent with
the reform initiatives of the
World Taekwondo Federation; in
this case, the establishment of a fifth regional union of the WTF,
which is in line
with the policies of the International
Olympic Committee and
most other international sports organizations.
In particular, the
WTF now has five regional unions
in Africa, Asia, Europe,
Oceania and Pan America, thus
meeting the IOC's requirement
that the WTF formally recognize all five regions of the world.
Prior to the establishment
of the OTU, Australia
and all other Oceania countries
fell within the region of
Asia, which is governed by the
Asian Taekwondo Union. Naturally,
the ATU is one of the strongest
in the world as far as
the sport of taekwondo is concerned,
especially when you consider
the likes of countries
such as Korea, China, Chinese
Taipei, and Iran, just to name a few of the powerful taekwondo nations.
The emergence of
the OTU will now allow smaller,
less developed Oceania countries
to have a greater input
into their own regional affairs,
as well as in the development
and delivery of developmental
and high performance programs
aimed at developing the sport
within the region, particularly
among these lesser developed Oceania countries.
The 10 Oceania countries
that are currently affiliated to the WTF are:
4. New Zealand
5. Papua New Guinea
7. Solomon Islands
8. Tahiti (French Polynesia)
There are, however,
a number of other Oceania
countries that are not currently
affiliated to the WTF, and
the immediate task would be to
ensure that these countries are
affiliated to the sole, world
governing body of taekwondo,
thereby being eligible for membership into the OTU.
Those countries include:
11. American Samoa
12. Cook Islands
13. Federated States of Micronesia
15. Marshall Islands
18. Norfolk Islands
19. Northern Marianas
23. Wallios & Futura
24. New Caledonia
The new Executive
Council of the OTU consists
of a number of prominent people
who will no doubt be greatly
influential in promoting and
developing the sport of taekwondo
within Oceania, and ensuring
that the OTU has a strong voice within the WTF internationally.
I am pleased to
have been elected as the first
president of the OTU, and I will
endeavor to provide strong
leadership and guidance to all
of our member countries in the years ahead.
Mr. John Kotsifas
has been elected as secretary
general of the OTU, and his
experience and knowledge of taekwondo
administration will no
doubt benefit the OTU, its member
nations and the OTU's capacity
to significantly develop
the sport of taekwondo within the Oceania region.
According to John,
the OTU has an enormous amount
of work to do within the Oceania
region in a very short
space of time. Most of the Oceania
countries, apart from Australia
and New Zealand, have never
before competed internationally.
Their athletes need to
be developed further before they
are ready to compete at an international level.
In this regard,
Australia is far more developed
compared with many of these
Oceania countries, with the country
producing world-class, international
and Olympic medalists
for many years. Australia's
role, which I would like to
quote from John, would be "to
provide strong leadership
within the region and to assist
in implementing technical
and coaching programs aimed at
developing the sport, coaches and athletes."
of the OTU would also mean that
-for the first time- many
of these Oceania countries would
have the ability to qualify
taekwondo athletes for the 2008
Beijing Olympic Games. This
can only further enhance the
development and popularity of
the sport within these developing and emerging countries.
One rationale for
adding a fifth regional union
is that the WTF should ascribe
to the best international practices
of the IOC and other
international sports federations
to promote the sport of taekwondo
and propagate the spirit of Olympism.
The region of Oceania
covers approximately 25,000
islands of the Pacific, and
is subdivided into Micronesia,
Melanesia and Polynesia. With
the emergence of the OTU, it
will recognize each of the countries'
differences and tailor
its programs to account for the diversity of this vast region.
long-term success and sustainability
of the WTF's activities
in Oceania would be improved
by its targeted approach to a
particular country's needs. As
such, creating a new regional
union for Oceania will take
a financial investment on the
part of the WTF. Its creation
would also expand the responsibilities,
and most likely the
workload, of the WTF headquarters to some extent.
Moreover, a new
Oceania region would give a stronger
voice to this vast, far-flung
region of the world, with
its many small and less-developed
island nations. There is
potential to enlarge the WTF
network from its existing 179
member associations by introducing
taekwondo to some of these island nations.
To that end, the
1st Oceania Taekwondo Championships
were held in Sydney to
coincide with the establishment
of the OTU. The tournament was
held in the four Olympic weight
categories for both male
and female athletes, so as to
give the Oceania athletes a taste
of Olympic weight division
competition and to prepare them for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
The Oceania program
for 2006 and beyond will aim
to develop our sport and Oceania
athletes as quickly as possible,
particularly in the lead
up to the 2008 Olympic Games.
The OTU will seek to implement
coaching and athlete-centered
programs, and utilize some
of Australia's Olympic athletes
and coaches. We will strive
to develop the region's athletes
so that they would be ready
for international competitions and the Olympic Games.
On Jan. 17 to 19
this year, the first International
Referee Seminar and Refresher
Course will be conducted
in Sydney, Australia. This will
ensure that the Oceania region
has its own quota of internationally
qualified and accredited referees.
The 2006 Oceania
Championships will be held in
either June or late August, even
though the hosting country has yet to be determined.
Lastly, the new
OTU logo has finally been decided,
and we are currently working
toward finalizing our own
Web site for our members and the international taekwondo community.
In all, we look
forward to close relationships
with all other regional unions
of the WTF, and work closely
with them for our mutual benefit and that of our member nations.
The future of our
region is now in our members'
hands. Nonetheless, we are more
than confident in reaching our development objectives.
"It is PATU's
dream for 2006 and beyond that
all members will have an equal
opportunity to develop taekwondo;
be it large and small
countries, rich and poor. In
the New Year, and beyond, the
PATU wants to work with the WTF
very closely and we look forward
to a great future under the
new leadership of President Chungwon Choue."
It is hard to believe
that 2005 and all of our
events are now simply memories.
As we reflect back on our participation
in the year's events,
emotions run the gamut from
the celebration of becoming
a world champion to suffering
a defeat. However, one thing
is very clear; our Olympic sport
is moving in a positive direction in bursts of rapid acceleration.
The Pan American
Regional Union (PATU) of the
WTF was very active over the past
year, starting with our historical
first event of the calendar
year: the 14th U.S. Open
held on March 3 to 6 in Atlanta,
the United States. Forty-two
countries were represented among the 619 competitors at the event.
In the following
month, competitors from our region
had unprecedented success
at the 2005 WTF World Taekwondo Championships in Madrid, Spain.
The athletes from
PATU secured 13 medals, including
five gold medals from the
United States (3), Mexico and
Brazil. Two silver medals were
collected; one each by Puerto
Rico and Brazil, while six
bronze medals were won by the
United States, Mexico, Cuba, Canada (2) and Venezuela.
Starting us off
on a winning note was Mexican
Diaz Edna's gold-medal winning
effort on the opening day in
the women's under 63kg division,
as she beat Chinese Taipei's
Li Wen Su by a superiority decision
in the sudden death round.
On the second day, Brazil's
Falavigna Natalia withstood
a stiff challenge from Britain's Stevenson Sarah to earn a gold medal.
the first time in taekwondo history,
three siblings won world
championship titles at the same
event. Mark and Diana Lopez
won the men's and women's featherweight
titles on the final
day of the 2005 WTF World Taekwondo
Championships. Their victories
come on the heels of
the welter weight title won two
days earlier by their older
brother, Steven, and punctuate
the most successful world championships in U.S. history.
Big brother Jean,
the eldest of the Lopez siblings
and the men's head coach
at the 2005 WTF World Taekwondo
Championship and the 2004 Athens
Olympic team, said, "When
it seems that we can't go
any higher as a family, we do
it, and the most beautiful part
of it is that we shared it
as a family. This transcends
sports. It's about family sticking
together and believing in
themselves and conquering the world. That is what is so amazing. "
The flagship event
of the year for the Pan American
Regional Union was the 3rd
PanAm Junior Taekwondo Championships,
which were held Oct.
5 to 7 in picturesque Aruba. This was our most successful Junior
the history of the event. Eighteen
countries attended and the
participating athletes exhibited
great skills and sportsmanship.
Every division was highly
contested with outstanding
officiating. The team competition
came down to a "photo
finish" between the United
States and Canada, with the
United States finally winning
the men's team title, as well as the overall team title.
However, the United
States was eventually bested
by Canada for the women's team
title. Rounding up the men's
team standings behind the United
States were Canada, Ecuador,
Brazil and Aruba. Finishing
behind Canada for the women's
team title were the United States, Brazil, Puerto Rico and Colombia.
The four Spirit
Awards were won by St. Kitts &
Nevis, Aruba, Panama and Netherland Antilles.
The PATU General
Assembly was held on the occasion
of the 3rd PanAm Junior Championships,
bids were submitted for many
of the major PATU events for 2006 and 2007.
I am sure everyone
is looking forward to visiting
Buenos Aires, Argentina, for the 15th PanAm Championships in 2006.
In addition, the
1st PanAm Collegiate Championships
will be hosted at the University
of California, Berkeley,
in 2006. In 2007, the United
States will be the host for
the 4th PanAm Junior Taekwondo
Championships in the popular
destination of Miami, Florida.
In 2007, the PanAm Qualification
Tournament will afford us
the opportunity to visit San
Salvador, El Salvador. Rounding
up the major events for 2007
will be the important Pan American
Olympic Selection Tournament in Bogota, Colombia.
The PATU and its
executive leadership have worked
hard to bring exciting quality
events like these to all
of our member countries, and will
continue to do so. Everyone
involved is looking forward
to these fabulous events and our
continued success on the world
stage. Check our Web site,
www.patu.org, from time to time
for the most current information
about PATU activities. Your
feedback on how PATU can better serve its members is always welcome.
The PATU is very
proud of the successes of all
of its members. Such success
is due to the hard work of the
leaders of the national organizations.
It is PATU's dream for
2006 and beyond that all members
will have an equal opportunity
to develop taekwondo; be
it large or small countries,
rich or poor. In the New Year,
and beyond, the PATU wants to
work with the WTF very closely
and looks forward to a great
future under the new leadership of President Chungwon Choue.
The PATU would like
to wish the taekwondo family
throughout the world a very
healthy and prosperous New Year.
May the holiday season bring joy to you all!
Insight : Technical Committee Chairman
Mr. Eui-min Ko
Chairman of the WTF Technical Committee
What is your impression
of being appointed as chairman of the WTF Technical Committee?
I would like to
take this opportunity to thank
WTF President Chungwon Choue for my appointment.
"I feel somewhat
burdened to assume this
heavy responsibility, but I will
do my utmost to carry out my
duties. In this regard, I ask
for the continued support and
concern of taekwondo masters around the world."
What is your philosophy
of running the Technical Committee?
I will put top priority
on managing the Committee
in a transparent manner. I
will also emphasize the importance
of etiquette by athletes,
coaches and referees to establish
an orderly competition atmosphere,
thereby becoming a
model sport for others. The Technical
Committee is mostly composed
of experts in their respective
fields. To activate the
operation of the Committee,
I will try to ensure the independence of the Committee.
What are the Committee's top priorities for 2006?
The possible introduction
of a new electronic
protector system and the successful
organization of the 1st
WTF World Poomsae Taekwondo Championships
are the two most important tasks of the Committee for 2006.
What is your opinion
of refereeing and judgment at competitions?
Most of the problems
related to the controversies
over refereeing and judgment
seem to result from the inexperience
of our judges and referees.
The introduction of a
new electronic protector system
and enhanced education for referees
and judges would further
raise the status of taekwondo.
Simplified competition rules
and hand signals of referees
could be solutions to those
problems. To ensure fairer judging
and refereeing, the selection
of referees and their assignment
to competition courts
should be made in a more transparent and systematic manner.
What is our opinion
of the WTF's ad-hoc Committee on Electronic Protectors?
have become one of the crucial
issues in determining the
future of taekwondo. The introduction
of perfect electronic
protectors would bring about
the renaissance of taekwondo,
but imperfect electronic protectors
could ruin taekwondo competitions.
In this regard, electronic
protectors should be
developed after much research.
A new electronic protector system
could be introduced as early
as this year, and be put
into use at the 2007 WTF World
Taekwondo Championships in Beijing,
China. Once the new system
meets certain requirements,
it may be used during the 2008
Beijing Olympic Games. Electronic
protectors should be introduced
at any costs, thereby
helping get rid of any controversies
over refereeing and judgment at competitions.
What was your motivation for taking up taekwondo?
I started taekwondo
as a self-defense martial
art when I was a senior middle-school
student. I reached the
first black-belt grade in taekwondo
in 1958, when I made up
my mind to become a physical
education teacher and taekwondo
coach. I am now 64 years old
and a ninth grader in taekwondo.
If I were born again, I would still take up taekwondo.
What is your life philosophy?
My life philosophy is to live up to one's words.
What are the strong points of taekwondo?
we can have a sound mind and
body. On the mental side, it
values highly on the dignity
of man, love concentration, confidence,
endurance and a cooperative
spirit. On the physical
side, taekwondo is effective
in improving one's health and
prevention of diseases. Through
taekwondo, one can attain the
ultimate goal in lift of leading
a righteous, straight and meaningful life.
Interview : John Paul Lizardo
John Paul "Japoy"
Lizardo from the Philippines
is a gold medalist
in the fin weight category at
the 23rd Southeast Asian Games
2005. Just 19 years of age, this
3rd-year student at De la
Salle University in Manila has
garnered numerous medals since
the turn of the new millennium,
and is a bright prospect in
the sport of taekwondo. We speak exclusively to this rising star.
your best and fight as if it's your last."
the good things that we have
learned in this martial art
and sport of taekwondo and let
us share it with the rest of the world."
Why did you learn taekwondo?
When I was 11 years
old, I watched martial arts
on TV and I was inspired by
Bruce Lee, Jacky Chan and our
local artist Monsour del Rosario;
they enlightened me with their
fancy moves and death defying
stunts. From then on, I wanted
to have martial arts as a self-defense.
Is there anybody
else among your family or friends who practices taekwondo?
We are a family
of five, but nobody in my family
knows that I'm into taekwondo
by the time I started. I have
an elder brother and younger
sister; both have 2nd Dan black
belt. I'm the second sibling.
But my parents have supported
me in fulfilling my dreams and guiding me by their example.
How significant is taekwondo to your career?
Taekwondo is not
just my hobby, but a career in
the first place. It is through
this sport and martial art
that I get to serve my countrymen.
I would be happy to coach
the future players of our country;
this is my way of sharing what I love to do.
What is your own taekwondo philosophy?
First of all, true
self-confidence. Also knowing
what we are capable of and
applying what we know. Furthermore,
as a born again Christian
knowing that God has given us
our talents and that we should use it for the good.
How does taekwondo
benefit your mental and physical states?
It helps me increase
my mental power in so many
ways before, during, and after
training. My mental training
doesn't start and end during
practice sessions. I do my best
to follow my scheduled training.
I also maintain the attitude
of giving my best each time
I train. I treat difficulties
as training obstacles that I have to get through.
Defeats also play
an important part in my training
I treat each loss as another
chance to stand up. Each task
I accomplish takes me closer to victory.
My training will
definitely contribute to my positive outlook in life.
"As an Olympic
sport, show them that taekwondo
is a sport for all, and
taekwondo continues to improve
in different ways.This matters a lot."
How do you evaluate the Southeast Asian Games 2005?
It was not my first
But it was a new experience for
me since it was held in our
country. Overall, the Games were
difficult because you knew
you were fighting the best athletes
in Southeast Asia. Also,
there was added pressure because I was fighting in my own country.
What could be done to increase its popularity?
In my opinion, media
and advertising would help
a lot. They could feature some
athletes with good character
and good credentials to serve
as role models in local advertisements.
After that, we could
feature all of them in an international
advertisement and promote them worldwide.
We should also follow
other sports that use great
athletes, such as Pele for
soccer, Michael Jordan for basketball, and Andre Agassi for tennis.
What might be the obstacles to taekwondo development?
The major obstacles
are taekwondo athletes who
give taekwondo a bad name by
not behaving like sportsmen inside
or outside the court. Taekwondo
players who don't follow
the rules of taekwondo competition
will destroy the image of taekwondo.
I think that kind
of athlete has no place in this
disciplined sport. Taekwondo
is known for its discipline
that's why parent's enrolled
their children. Taekwondo teaches you to be a disciplined citizen.
Nowadays peace and
humanity are important issues
for the sports federations.
How could these be realized through taekwondo?
I think by uniting
the people and practicing the
sport. There are so many opportunities,
competitions and development
projects, which enable us to
know each other, our culture, our differences, and our needs.
Interview : Bethany Fabicius
an International Referee of
the WTF, is from South Africa.
She was among the privileged
few who refereed at the 2004
Athens Olympic Games. The 27-year-old
in physical education and
life orientation in Johannesburg.
She enjoys simple things in
her life, such as spending time
out in the open for the clean,
fresh air. Her passions are
taekwondo, motor biking, reading,
watching movies and spending time with friends.
" I believe
that the best referee is one
who is not remembered after a
match has finished, simply because
the match was so exciting
that there was no focus on the
referee at all. The players take center stage, as it should be."
When and why did you decide to become a referee?
I have been a referee
for five years now. I became
a referee as my competition
days had come to an end and
I still wanted to participate
in the sport at an elite level.
It was the best decision I
made, and it has been a wonderful experience.
What are the criteria for a good referee?
I believe a good
referee is one who has the best
interests of the athletes at
heart; is fair; and is only
interested in showing the sport
the way it is supposed to be - dynamic and exciting.
When was the most
difficult time for you as a referee? Why?
The most difficult
moment for me was when I had
to officiate a male bantam weight
contest between the United
States and Iraq. I was not
sure how to handle things outside
the ring, let alone inside.
Fortunately, it was one of the better fights that I have refereed.
Do you think that
there have been positive changes since the reform of the WTF?
I believe that the
Reform Committee was very well
informed of what was needed
and what changes had to be made.
I have all the faith in the
world that what they have changed is to our benefit in the long run.
Do you think being a referee is exceptional for a woman?
I am very proud
to be a female referee in a largely
male dominated sport. My
fellow referees from Norway and
Canada and many others do the
most amazing jobs. They manage
the matches so well and look out for the athletes.
What should be done
to improve women's status in taekwondo?
I believe women
should not be afraid to come out
and try these things. We have
just as much passion for the
game as the next things. We
have just as much passion for
the game as the next person. COME ON LADIES, JOIN US!
How could taekwondo
contribute to the development
of Africa, and to peace and prosperity in the region?
That is a very,
very difficult question to answer.
I believe that all African
countries getting together and
competing can help with a unity of sorts, but we are not there yet.
What about African women?
In Africa especially,
women have not had as much
freedom as in other countries.
I believe this is changing but it will take time.
From your perspective
of a referee, what should
be the criteria for developing the Olympic Solidarity Program?
The athletes should
be of a certain level and
may find that they need outside
help and perhaps a change of
training style. Maybe financial
assistance, too. An athlete
in need should benefit from the
program. That's my belief at the end of the day.
need a little bit of adrenalin
to keep you on yours toes and
make sure that you don't get too complacent."
What obstacles does
taekwondo development face to remain as an Olympic sport?
Taekwondo is not
evenly developed in all countries.
Some countries have had
the sport for hundreds of years
and some only ten years. Once
we can balance this out a little
more, we could make ourselves
a force to be reckoned with. Worldwide development is the key.
Can we expect you again in Beijing in 2008?
Well, only you can
tell me that. (Laughs) I certainly
hope to be there. I believe
I have grown a lot as a
referee in the past year. I would love the opportunity again.
What are your wishes for 2006?
I just wish all
athletes, referees and their families
a great year and thank
them for the support that goes
out to the athletes. Parents
end up seeing very little of
their children as they travel
so much competing, while husbands
and wives are away refereeing
a lot during the year and
their families miss them.So I
would just like to say thank you
for your support; without it taekwondo would not be what it is today.
Interview : Dae-sung
Anyone who watched
the men's heavyweight final
at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games
will probably have etched
in them THAT jumping backslash
kick by our next interviewee,
Korean taekwondo stud Dae-sung
Moon. Now a part-time professor
and coach of the taekwondo
team in a university in Busan,
Korea, we catch up with the
man who rose to fame in that one magical moment in Greece.
What is your evaluation of taekwondo in 2005?
circles, it was an eventful 2005.
Taekwondo was included in
the program of the 2012 London
Olympic Games at the 117th IOC
Session in Singapore; Dr. Chungwon
Choue's reelection as
the third president of the World
Taekwondo Federation; and the
election of Jung-kil Kim, president
of the Korea Taekwondo
Association, as the head of the Korean Sports Council.
What is your evaluation
of the Singapore IOC Session in July 2005?
It was so nice to
hear that taekwondo had been
included in the program of the
2012 London Olympic Games. To
me, it was suffocating during
the days leading up to the final
IOC announcement. The good
news from Singapore was so touching
to me, just like the moment
when I won the gold medal
in the men's heavyweight category
at the 2004 Athens Olympic
Games. I believe that the results
will have a synergetic
effect on the global taekwondo
community overall. I will do
my utmost to help taekwondo be retained at the following Olympic Games.
What is your analysis
of taekwondo competitions?
How can we improve the sport of taekwondo?
The most frequently
raised complaint from taekwondo
fans is that competitions
lack action. This may be attributed
to their lack of understanding
of competition rules.
It may also due in large to ungentlemanly
conducts, such as
defensive kicks and deliberately falling down after attacks.
To make competitions
more thrilling and action-packed,
should be given an advantage
in judging, thereby exciting
fans. The proposed introduction
of electronic protector
systems and television replays
should also make refereeing and judging more objective.
What is your advice to your juniors?
Be prepared. Once
you have set your goals in life,
you have to strive to attain them over time.
is a martial art-turned sport
values etiquette most.
begins with etiquette and ends with etiquette."
How many hours do you practice taekwondo a day?
About four hours per day.
If you have a choice, what do you want to tell the WTF?
I know that WTF
President Chungwon Choue and other
WTF staff members are doing
their utmost. I am confident
that the year 2006 will mark
a historic year for taekwondo
and the WTF. When requested,
I am willing to help the WTF in attaining the goals.
What is your evaluation
of taekwondo in Korea
and what do you wish to tell the Korean government?
My firm conviction
is that the ceaseless efforts
of taekwondo masters and coaches
abroad have made taekwondo
better positioned as an Olympic
sport. The Korean government
should now work on programs
to help assist taekwondo masters
and coaches as cultural and
economic goodwill ambassadors
of Korea. It is imperative
that the Korean government render
continued, systematic assistance and great concern over taekwondo.
What do you think
are the strong points of taekwondo compared with other martial arts?
Like other martial
arts, taekwondo has much in
common in terms of physical activity
and pursuit of happiness.
But taekwondo has some differences
in that taekwondo has
a limited area of attacks. As
kicks are allowed only to the
body trunk and above parts of
the body, the speed, power, accuracy,
variety and delicacy of taekwondo kicks are unmatchable.
In addition, as
the number of people practicing
taekwondo grow, so too the many taekwondo books and theses.
What are your wishes
for taekwondo circles in the New Year?
I wish for a brighter
year in 2006 than 2005.
I wish for the harmonious voice
of the WTF, the KTA and the
Kukkiwon. I also hope for the
WTF to send a message of hope
to our friends in need by further
propagating taekwondo around the world.
Finally, the million
dollar question: what is your ideal girl friend?
A simple, yet intelligent, woman.