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"Malaysia Inspired" – Tul Tour Program Report

Tul Tour “Malaysia Inspired” – Day 1 (14-Nov-2016)
It has finally begun. The last tul tour (TT) Taekwon-Do & Cultural program for 2016 in the homeland commenced today. A team from Malaysia arrived at Incheon airport. Dressed in dobok, ready for action and welcomed by the TT organizers. After a short briefing and introduction the team was taken to their hotel in Seoul where the official welcoming ceremony took place. airport

The team from Malaysia consists of ten enthusiastic members and although this is so far the smallest group that has ever come for a TT program it was possible to accommodate such a small group through negotiation and arrangements to provide a satisfactory program.
For the welcome reception members wore traditional Malaysian outfits “baju melayu” with some also wearing traditional Indian costumes but before the opening reception the participants enjoyed Korean bulgogi delivered by a company that provides halal food in Korea. welc11c1bThe organizers managed to accommodate the dietary requirements of the mostly Muslim team members. So far, TT organizers have always been able to accommodate the participants dietary requirements whether they were dictated by religious believes or dietary choice.
The welcome reception began with the official introduction of the TT organizers and a presentation about Korean customs. Then the participants learned about the daily program for the entire week. Toward the end of the reception the TT attendees were divided into two teams that will face various challenges through the entire program and at the need the team that will accumulate the more points will win a price.
The welcome reception concluded with group photos being taken and informal discussion and the introduction of the Malaysian members. Everybody then retired to their rooms to get some well deserved rest and prepare for the next day.

Tul Tour “Malaysia Inspired” DAY 2 (15-Nov-2016)
It was a chilly morning when tt participants left the Baiton hotel in Seoul and traveled to Deoksugung palace to watch and participate in the guard changing ceremony.
On this occasion the organizers were able to accommodate all 5 male members of the tt program to become active participants of the guard changing ceremony. This created history since this is the first time five TT participants could act as generals and palace officials with two of the youngest, at 14 years of age, acting as the TT drummer and as a General officiating the ceremony. Considering the fact that some Hwarang generals were only 15-19 years of age this was appropriate and rewarding.2a
After the ceremony we took pictures with our new officials and moved to the Seoul Mosque so our guests could contemplate and pray, which was followed by a delicious lunch at the restaurant that had provided dinner for the welcome reception the night before. The lunch was very tasty and highly appreciated by the tultourers.
The next location was Dosan Park. It only took us about 40 min to arrive at Dosan park and museum for training. Before training we watched a documentary about Dosan while visiting the museum and then gathered together at the Dosan monument where we spent approximately 1.5h discovering the technical secrets of Dosan tul. The training was conducted by Master Zibby Kruk. At the end of the training the two teams performed Dosan tul with the best team being awarded bonus points. To enhance the experience and enjoyment of the training the application of Dosan tul techniques was performed in an acting/entertaining fashion.
On completion of the training the group moved to a vegetarian buffet style restaurant which provided a variety of side dishes and soybean dishes that were surprisingly tasty.
After dinner, the group made the journey to the Taekwondowon in Muju where we planned to rest before the next full day of activities at the park, but during the trip Master Kruk conducted a quiz that summarized the knowledge about Dosan his life and activity. It was pleasantly surprising and rewarding to see how much information about Dosan was absorbed by the tultourers in such a short period of time. This reflects the educational value of the program that helps the practitioners to better understand the meaning of the patterns when they practice them in the locations closely associated with them.
Tul Tour “Malaysia Inspired” DAY 3 (16-Nov-2016)
Today, most of the day was spent in Muju at the Taekwondowon but even so it was felt that it would have been possible to spend at least another day to be fully satisfied with what the park had to offer. The day started with breakfast being delivered to our accommodation so the participants did not even have to leave their building to walk to the cafeteria for their meal.
After breakfast all participants gathered in the gymnasium to prepare for a 2h “Taekwondo aerobic program” however to fill in time before the arrival of the instructors Master Kruk worked with the tultourers on Hwarang tul, correcting details and explaining technical applications. Then the 2 Korean female instructors arrived and took the team through warm ups and introduced Taekwondo dance routines that were enjoyed immensely by the boys and girls. It took over an hour to learn the moves and coordinate them with both teams at the end performing their routines and receiving bonus points for their TT team competition.
On conclusion of the active program and some refreshment the participants visited the museum where they viewed the portrait of General Choi. Discussions ensued about the recognition of General Choi with Mr Razak, the leader of the Malaysian group who has been involved in Taekwon-Do in Malaysia for a very long time pointing out, that even in Malaysia the WTF instructors and Masters regard Gen. Choi as the founder of Taekwon-Do since they use the oath and the tenets created by the General and recite them at the beginning of every training session. It was felt that it is very disappointing that the some members of ITF family have presented a weak stance on this issue by applauding the recognition of Gen Choi in Muju Park Museum only as the Taekwon-Do name giver.
The time in the museum passed quickly and after some quick shopping in the souvenir shop everybody had lunch and the entire team enjoyed a spectacle performed by the Taekwondowon team. It was very exciting and following the demonstration the participants were able to take pictures with the performers and congratulate them on a excellent and skillful performance.
The afternoon fortunately warmed up, making it easier to cope with the cold November weather in Korea since the Malaysians members are rarely exposed to cold weather in their home country. We then traveled to Gyeongju, and after settling in the hotel and having dinner we moved to Anapchi where the participants admired the beautiful architecture of the location which is a former Hwarang warrior training ground.
anapchi1The group walked around Anapchi pond enjoying the serenity of the location with the small number of visitors at this time of year creating a very relaxing atmosphere. Once time was taken to create these memories we began our revision and practice of Hwarang Tul supervised by Master Kruk. The training concluded after an hour or so and because of the chilly evening the participants were encouraged to wear their TT warm jackets that were presented to them by the organizers. Everybody returned to the hotel at 10pm and relaxed before another busy day ahead. anapchi2

Tul Tour “Malaysia Inspired” DAY 4 (17-Nov-2016)
Today was spent almost entirely in the province of Gyeongju. The weather was very nice and we departed the hotel to the Bulguksa temple that is a head temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism and encompasses seven National treasures of South Korea.
The beautiful scenery around the temple, fantastic autumn colors and peaceful atmosphere created a desire to spend more time there than initially planned.
We started our visit by posing for pictures. Since the entire area relates to the Korean monk Wonhyo, the poses and techniques used related to this pattern.
At 10am a professional guide provided a tour for our members to present the beauty of the temple that has been recognized as a UNESCO site.
On leaving the Bulguksa temple we paid a short visit to tomb of Moon moo that is located on the eastern sea. We managed to take pictures and relax a little by the sea.
Our next destination was Golgulsa Temple. We arrived there at mid-day and experienced a temple style lunch. Since it was vegetarian and not heavy we were able to move directly to the temple training hall and start work on Wonhyo tul. The Golgulsa temple is also associated with the monk Wonhyo who dedicated his life to spread Buddhism among the common people during the Silla dynasty.
After an hour and a half practicing, the training continued but this time it was conducted by a monk who introduced the basics of the temple martial art called Sun Moo Do. Our tultourers were taken through step by step instruction on how to perform the first Sun Moo Do pattern.
The program concluded late in the afternoon with the tultourers enjoying a demonstration performed by the monks and being given the opportunity to perform Wonhyo tul as a part of the Sun Moo Do demo.

We then headed back to Daejeon where we had dinner in a sushi buffet restaurant and after settling into the hotel we walked to the nearby foot spa amphitheater where Master Zibby Kruk entertained the participants by playing guitar and harmonica and singing songs. The participants joined in and sang some popular songs as well. Following this entertaining evening everyne visited the office of ITF HQ Korea for coffee and discussions with some individuals purchasing new doboks so they could have fresh uniforms for the next day for training.

Tul Tour “Malaysia Inspired” DAY 5 (18-Nov-2016)
The day started with travel to Hyeonchungsa – Admiral Yi Sun Sin’s shrine. On arrival we visited the museum and watched a 4 D video about the Admiral and his battles. Then we moved to the top of the hill to visit the Yi Sun Sin shrine and practice Choong Moo tul in this beautiful setting with autumn colors. The lower ranked students who did not know the pattern were taken by Mr Razak (a 6th Degree Malaysian instructor and the team leader) and practiced fundamental techniques and elements of other patterns. The training lasted for an hour and a half after which we moved to Seoul for a late lunch. We decided on Indian cuisine and enjoyed spicy delicious food in Insadong.
After the late lunch we moved to a shrine dedicated to Dangun that was located near Gwanghwamun Square. The group focused for over an hour on practicing this pattern. Master Kruk challenged practitioners with different performance styles, such as orientation, speed, or adding kicking techniques. It was pleasant to see the students enjoying their training and showed their technical progress. Fortunately, the students also were greeted by Mr Lee Gun Bong, who is the director of Center, who was kind enough to present the participants with souvenirs of their visit.
It was after 6pm before the group moved to the hotel located in the heart of Seoul and enjoyed dinner delivered by a halal food company. Immediately after dinner we met all the participants in the hotel conference centre and concluded the program. Participants received their tul tour certificates and some also received Dan certificates as they had completed their Dan tests. Mr Hafidz, a 4 Degree Black Belt from Malaysia who was a coordinator of the “Malaysia Inspired” program, was appointed as the Islamic Tul Tour Director and his role will be to coordinate further programs that will be offered specifically for Muslim participants. There are specific religious requirements that need to be observed and fulfilled so it is very important that the TT team closely cooperate with experts who can not only promote the program to Muslim practitioners but also serve as professional advisers.
The evening was designated for souvenir shopping and relaxation. Day 6 is the last practical training day and will cover the remaining 3 color belt patterns.

Tul Tour “Malaysia Inspired” DAY 6 (19-Nov-2016)
I am not sure how many of you are aware about the current difficulty of the political situation in Korea due to presidential problems, this definitely had an impact on this tul tour program. Political demonstrations in Seoul and other Korean cities caused closure of many main roads and places and had the organisers not addressed these issues properly it could have meant that the tt participants could have been stuck for an entire day in a traffic jam.
As always tt organizers take these things into consideration and prepare a backup plan.
In order to avoid any difficulties we moved to the Ahn Joon Gun Memorial Hall first thing in the morning.
received_1205717226154866We toured around the museum admiring the documents, calligraphy work, learning about this brave independent movement activist and took group photos. Then we spent an hour or so working on the details of Joon Gun tul in front of the Ahn Joon Gun monument.
received_1205716919488230Many locals and tourists stopped to watch our training and take pictures. It was great promotion for Taekwon-Do ITF in its homeland. Master Kruk covered many nuances and technical aspects associated with this pattern. As you leave the park there is also a statue of Yi Hwang (Toi Gye) and we took the opportunity to take a few group pictures in front of the statute since we did not plan to visit another location associated with this scholar.
This was just the right time to leave Seoul as demonstrators had only just started gathering on the streets and police were only beginning to close the roads.
We then moved to “Paju” which is a city that Yul gok had a significant presence in the 16th century. He worked there during his adult time and passed away there too.
Upon arrival at the site we had a picnic style lunch at Yulgok park and watched a movie that presented Yulgok’s life and achievements.
Being armed with this new knowledge we walked in the amazing scenery to visit his tomb which is located in the Park. It was the first time that TT members have visited the Yulgok tomb. This time of the year the surrounding area is so colorful and beautiful and because there are not many visitors it is very peaceful as well.
After taking some group pictures we returned to the two large monuments of Yulgok and his mother Shin Saimdang (who is a great figure in Korean history as well) located at the entrance of the park and began Yulgok tul training that was conducted by Master Zibby Kruk.
The participants were able to practice the elements of the pattern for nearly two hours, receiving individual correction and because it was the last practical session Master Kruk provided a summary for each member on what they have to work on. Master Kruk pointed out and personally checked whether students remembered what they had to focus on during their training while back in Malaysia. Also head instructors, Mr Razak and Mr Hafidz had an extended conversation with Master Kruk about future training.
After training, student’s spent some time on their prayer and then moved to a guest house in Incheon located close to the airport. After dinner and making sure that our guests were set for the next days travel home,the organizers farewelled the tultourers and departed to Daejeon.
Our Malaysian guests expressed their appreciation for what they were able to experience and we look forward to meeting again in 2017.

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Taekwon-do exponents gain a place in the “Malaysian Book of Records” for board breaking

Malaysia celebrated her 2nd National Sport Day on the 8th October 2016.
It was an idea from the Minister of Youth to hold a day that the Nation could celebrate a healthy lifestyle through sport.

The day brings together all sport activities nationwide at their respective location thereby bringing the nation together to participate in the event.

At a National Level, it was held in Putrajaya, the Malaysian Administrative Capital, and was officiated by the Premier himself. ITFA (Malaysia), which is an affiliate member of ITF HQ Korea, was given the opportunity to represent TAEKWON-DO for the occasion.img-20161008-wa001-a

It was with great pride that ITFA(M) initiated and took on the historic task of putting ITFA (M) into the “Malaysian Book of Records” for the Largest Participation for a Board Breaking Demonstration that was “BLASTED OFF” (breaking of a board) by the Premier

As confident as ever, the Prime Minister of Malaysia took the FIRST STRIKE to thunderous applause and cheers from the over 50 thousand participants and crowd. Not to be outdone the Sport and Youth Minister also did his break which was then followed by the Minister of Federal Territories.coordinator2a

The TAEKWON-DO event stole the show with the Premier showing the way that lead to a thunderous breaking of boards amongst the participants following his lead. The National news that afternoon and later that evening caught the Prime Minister in action and it was on every Newspaper the next day.participant1a

In total more than 2016 people were recorded as participants in conjunction with the year, however, only 1600 pre-registered and so this number was officially recorded in the Malaysian Book of Records.

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General Choi recognition in Muju Taekwondowon – success or disappointment?

This Saturday the 3rd of September, a portrait of the late General Choi Hong Hi will be unveiled at a ceremony to recognize the “Greats in Taekwondo History” at the Taekwondowon in Muju. Finally it would appear that the effort and position of the founder of Taekwon-Do who designed the Art and put Taekwon-Do onto the World map has been recognized by South Koreans. However, one must ask the question whether it is a real success or a half-hearted acknowledgment?

Today a delegation from ITF HQ Korea that included President Master Oh Chang Jin, Secretary General Dr Zibby Kruk and the online reporter for Moosin magazine traveled to Muju to review the preparation for the ceremony and the recognition being given to General Choi. They conferred with Taekwondowon Secretary General Prof. Jung Heon Kim and discussed the preparation for the event.

Meeting between the Secretary General of Taekwondowon Prof. Jung Heon Kim and Secretary General of ITF HQ Korea Dr Zibby Kruk

Meeting between the Secretary General of Taekwondowon Prof. Jung Heon Kim and Secretary General of ITF HQ Korea Dr Zibby Kruk

It has been a long process in achieving the nomination of General Choi Hong Hi for a position in the “Greats in Taekwondo History” taking 3 meetings of the Nomination Committee to come to the final decision. The ceremony will be held on “Taekwondo Day” which is the anniversary of the decision to accept Taekwondo as an official sport in Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. The actual celebration will be a quiet affair that has not been promoted widely and is only for members of the families of the nominees and invited guests. Later that evening there will be a demonstration of Taekwondo and will also include some cultural performances and a celebratory meal of Korean cuisine in the presence of members of the Ministry of Korean Culture, Sport and Tourism.
ITF HQ Korea President Mast. Oh Chang Jin and Secretary General Dr Zibby Kruk at the General Choi portrait at Taekwondowon

ITF HQ Korea President Mast. Oh Chang Jin and Secretary General Dr Zibby Kruk at the General Choi portrait at Taekwondowon

When the ITF HQ Korea delegation were presented to the portrait of General Choi they were distressed to see that there was no distinction between the founder, General Choi, and other contributors to the development of the Art, some of whom were his students. Not only was this a feature but also the description under his portrait merely stated the following:
• “Named Taekwondo in 1955
• Founded O Do Kwan and contributed to the vitalization of Taekwondo in the Korean military
• Worked as the president of the Korea Taesudo Association (current KTA) and established the International Taekwondo Federation, thereby contributing to the spread of Taekwondo around the world”

The President Oh Chang Jin said that the International Taekwon-Do Federation of Korea HQ feels embarrassed that the former I.T.F. President, General Choi Hong Hi, has only been attributed as the person who named Taekwon-Do but is not recognized as its founder. President Oh also emphasized that about 40 million members of the ITF all over the world will be disappointed with this minimal recognition. They have been following General Choi faithfully without doubt that he is the founder of Taekwon-Do. Master Oh stated that there is a vast amount of evidence showing that General Chi Hong Hi not only proposed the name of Taekwon-Do but he designed the 24 patterns which symbolize the philosophical 24 hours of human life. He also published the first encyclopedia of Taekwon-Do where all techniques and philosophy were presented and tirelessly promoted the art of Taekwon-Do throughout his life as well as Korean culture, history and made Korea synonymous with the word Taekwon-Do.

Description under General Choi Hong Hi portrait in Taekwondowon

Description under General Choi Hong Hi portrait in Taekwondowon

It is very sad then, that despite General Choi being recognized outside of his homeland as a great man and the founder of Taekwon-Do, neither of the Koreas have treated him with the respect he deserves. Indeed on his headstone in North Korea where only his style of Taekwon-Do is practiced he was only proclaimed as the president and not the founder.
Placement of Genera Choi Hong Hi portrait in Taekwondowon

Placement of Genera Choi Hong Hi portrait in Taekwondowon

Given this half-hearted recognition one may question the merit of this acknowledgment and indeed it may have been better had General Choi Hong Hi not be introduced at all rather than announcing him as the founder of O Do Kwan or the person who only named Taekwon-Do.

ITF HQ Korea will make representations to the South Korean Government to clarify the fact that the former President Choi Hong Hi is not being recognized as the founder of Taekwon-Do and is going to appeal to the Government through our membership.

Additionally, ITF HQ Korea already is advanced in a scheme to build a World Taekwon-Do Center that was prepared in 2005, and will open it to many international visitors and members for competitions, seminars, and international events. In this Center General Choi will be rightly recognized as the Founder of Taekwon-Do.

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The Best Sport for Autism and Other Mental Disabilities

Diagnosed with shingles days after I had won first place at the 2013 USA National Taekwondo Competition (1), I, at the peak of my athleticism, was forced to let go of everything I had trained for since the age of five. For three months, I could not train at the dojo or at home because I was bed-ridden and contagious. After a long summer of recovery, I was able to train again, but I quickly realized that I would never be able to fully regain cardiovascular and respiratory capabilities with time.
This illness helped me appreciate taekwondo beyond the glamorous gold medals. Shingles led me to a route that has fulfilled me in a way I had not anticipated – sharing my skills to help the mentally disabled in my community.

A few days after being informed that students at an institution for the mentally disabled suffered with obesity and other health issues, my sister and I started a taekwondo program. Our class was the first organized athletic program at the institution, American Wheat Mission, but I initially did not care much for it. I was focused on training to return to competing at the highest level as soon as I could, and I agreed to teach the students at the institution once a week only because I wanted to be a good citizen. I thought leading a class couldn’t be too hard, given the experience under my belt, my taekwondo belt, that is. However, I quickly realized that teaching 20 students with mental disabilities and their assigned aides would be no small feat. The students ranged from age 7 to 30, some even over twice my age at the time, and when I first stepped into the room to greet my new class, even introducing myself was a challenge. One student was jumping, another was yelling, another running, the list goes on.

After my sister left for college, I singlehandedly directed the class that had grown to 30 students. In the beginning, I was convinced that the students would not be able to master basic motions. Most of the students were inattentive to basic instructions because of their extreme placement on the autism spectrum, and the rest of the students refused to engage as a result of their Down syndrome. The few individuals who did try could not manage even lifting one leg without falling. Their strongest attempt to break a board was knocking it as if it were a door. However, I refused to give up. I started an additional intensive class, and I spent time outside of class planning long-term goals tailored to each student, choreographing creative taekwondances, and preparing class curricula. And the students did, in fact, improve. Now, in my intensive class, every student completes each stretch, drill, and activity. They maintain silence during meditation and can perform 50 consecutive kicks at waist height. They have perfected both the hammerpunch and the elbow strike to the extent that they can break boards without my assistance. I was not the only one pleasantly surprised by the students’ progress; the students themselves and their parents were astounded by the improvement.

While I was overjoyed to see my students reap benefits from practicing taekwondo, I did not realize until this year that taekwondo specifically is one of the best sports for those with mental disabilities. Contrary to popular belief, only 58 of every 1000 taekwondo students suffer a serious injury, and there is no statistical correlation between martial arts and violence. Surprisingly enough, I found that taekwondo is not only one of the best sports, but one of the best activities for comprehensive improvement in individuals with cognitive impairments.

Neurologists, psychologists and other medical professionals highly recommend taekwondo for autistic children’s healthy lifestyle choices that lead to psychological and physical development. Sports such as taekwondo, as Dr. Fred Volkmar, head of the Yale Child Study Center, puts it, “are very ritualized and predictable, so those sports are good for kids with autism.” Autistic children exhibit behaviors where the same word, phrase or movement is repeated in an almost obsessive pattern, so one might initially think that a child on the autism spectrum should avoid doing repetitive physical skill training, such as taekwondo, and yet scientific studies increasingly prove otherwise, as repetitive practice is the foundation of skilled learning, especially for taekwondo.

The focus demanded from taekwondo can be especially helpful as a supplemental activity for children with autism. According to Erin Carson, a writer for the Livestrong Foundation, martial arts “can turn on a child’s attention system – consisting of the cerebellum, frontal cortex and limbic system – which can affect the parts of the brain responsible for sequencing, prioritizing, working memory and sustaining attention.” Furthermore, exercise increases the brain’s dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. “These chemicals in the brain positively affect the attention system’s ability to stay regular and consistent, which can increase alertness.”

Through taekwondo, the mind develops fundamental habits such as self-discipline. By controlling the autonomic nervous system (fight or rest) while staying in tune with emotions, one also develops willpower. This discipline enables the athlete to not only persist through strenuous training, but also train him/herself in character and performance on and off the training mat. Not to mention, it builds a habit in setting and meeting goals; taekwondo requires memorization of specific forms, and belt promotion is earned by correctly executing the form. In addition, the intense dedication one must exhibit for proficient results in taekwondo builds concentration. In practicing taekwondo, students train their brain to focus, a skill that benefits in learning in other disciplines. Other mental benefits include improved memory capacity, enhanced cognitive functions such as determining right from left, and a heightened self-esteem. Since the structure of taekwondo is based on measurable goals such as breaking boards, winning matches, and being promoted in belt, students have specific figures to point to when taking pride in their feats.JO_16_0129-149-2587

The brain is not the only muscle exercised, as taekwondo also offers various physical benefits. Young people with autism have been statistically prone to obesity. As of 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that autistic children are two times more likely to be obese than children without autism, and approximately 32% of autistic children are “severely overweight.” Taekwondo is one of the most efficient sports to tackle weight problems, labeled the “best martial arts for weight loss.” The Federal Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion listed the sport as a rigorous activity, and it is one of the top calorie burning cardiovascular workouts. A person of 160 pounds typically burns 752 calories in 60 minutes of training in taekwondo. For a comparative analysis, a person of 160 pounds typically burns 292 calories in 60 minutes of playing volleyball. Taekwondo is especially fitting for autistic children; the CDC reported differences in weight in those with autism than in those without as early as in ages two to five years, and taekwondo is a sport than can and usually is practiced from a young age. Before taught and pressured about health and exercise, children become familiar with an enjoyable schedule that includes beneficial.

A second physical benefit of taekwondo is its ability to alleviate sleep problems, which are reportedly as high as 80% in autistic children. Recent research demonstrates that poor autistic sleepers exhibit more problematic behavior than good sleepers, as sleep problems and insufficient sleep can result in daytime sleepiness, learning problems and behavioral issues such as hyperactivity, inattentiveness and aggression. The most common sleep problems in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are difficulty falling asleep and repeated awakenings during the night. Professionals such as Dr. Paul Loprinzi and Dr. Bradley J. Cardinal in addition to other sources of mounting scientific evidence conclude that the more people exercise, the more people sleep significantly better and feel more alert during the day. Not to mention, according to Dr. Michael J. Breus, a Clinical Psychologist and a Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine, exercise also helps keep body clocks in line with sleep and wake times.

A third physical benefit of taekwondo is the development of important physical habits. Taekwondo nurtures good posture. Today, 3 in every 100 people have scoliosis, including those already diagnosed with mental disabilities. Taekwondo nurtures good posture since every stance and motion requires a straight back. Taekwondo also fosters full and healthy use of the lungs. During a period of meditation, students teach themselves to breathe deeply, allowing oxygen to fill the lower and middle parts of the lungs. During fast-paced drills, students learn to breathe quickly, allowing oxygen to fill the upper portion of the lungs. In taekwondo, breathing engages all parts of the lungs. Though unnoticed, “the way one breathes,” reports Jamie Licauco, writer for Inquirer Lifestyle, “can have either a salutary or deleterious effect on one’s health and well-being.”

A fourth benefit of taekwondo is the development of numerous skills. There are three main events in taekwondo: sparring, form, and breaking. Since most dojangs, institutions where taekwondo is practiced, have inclusive curriculums including all three events, taekwondo enhances a variety of physical skills in trainees, stretching the body’s capabilities in speed, accuracy, strength, flexibility and coordination. Sparring students develop agility and sharp reflexes, quickly evading and countering a kick. Form students develop accuracy and balance, refining their technique by performing choreographed routines. Breaking students develop strength and timing, breaking wooden boards of varying thickness and in different ways. All taekwondo students develop flexibility and coordination.

Autism is becoming increasingly prevalent. According to estimates from the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network of Centers of Disease Control (CDC) 2014 report, the number of children identified with ASD varied widely by community, from 1 in 175 children in areas of Alabama to 1 in 45 children in areas of New Jersey. Nevertheless, in the same report, 1 in 68 children in America was identified with ASD. This new estimate is roughly 30% higher than the estimate for 2008 (1 in 88), 60% higher than the estimate for 2006 (1 in 110), and 120% higher than the estimates for 2000 and 2002 (1 in 150). Taekwondo dojangs have also become more ubiquitous and hence more accessible to this increasing population. For those interested in competing, taekwondo is also emerging like no other sport, as one of the two martial arts hosted in the Olympics and in the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. Whether students train for fun or train to compete, taekwondo’s nature of mutual teamwork and individuality is perfect for autistic students, for students train together and build each other yet perform independently.
My four students who have recently passed their first promotion test to white-yellow belt are working everyday to tie the belt, which represents taekwondo’s central motive. The inner layer of the belt around the waist is representative of the human inner mind, the outer layer is representative of the human physical body, and the tying the two forms a diamond-shaped knot; the balanced collaboration of the mind and body creates a strong and indestructible human like the diamond, an unbreakable crystal. By unifying the mind and body, taekwondo offers both psychological and physical benefits.

(1) Taekwondo is professionally spelt as one word, but the term is also informally spelt as tae kwon do.
(2) Pieter, W. “Injury Rates in Children Participating in Taekwondo Competition.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. July 1, 1997.
(3) Goehner, Amy Lennard. “What to Ask About Autism.” New York Times. April 13, 2011.
(4) Carson, Erin. “How Does Karate Help Kids With ADHD?” LIVESTRONG.COM. August 16, 2013.
(5) Harle, Wade. “Taekwondo Speed Training.” LIVESTRONG.COM. October 21, 2013.
(6) Lakes, Kimberley D., and William T. Hoyt. “Promoting Self-regulation Through School-based Martial Arts Training.” Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 25, no. 3, 283-302.
(7) “Key Findings: Prevalence and Impact of Unhealthy Weight in a National Sample of US Adolescents with Autism and Other Learning and Behavioral Disorders.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. October 18, 2014.
(8) Wayne, Jake. “The Best Martial Arts for Weight Loss.” LIVESTRONG.COM. January 30, 2014.
(9) Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. “Be Active Your Way: A Fact Sheet for Adults.” Be Active Your Way: A Fact Sheet for Adults. November 6, 2014.
(10) Dunham, Deborah. “What Cardio Workout Burns the Most Calories?” LIVESTRONG.COM. October 21, 2013.
(11) Mayo Clinic Staff. “Weight Loss.” Exercise for Weight Loss: Calories Burned in 1 Hour. December 1, 2011.
(12) Lamm, Carin. “Sleep and the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).” Autism Speaks. N.d.
(13) Loprinzi, Paul D., and Bradley J. Cardinal. “Association between Objectively-measured Physical Activity and Sleep, NHANES 2005-2006.” Mental Health and Physical Activity. 2011.
(14) Breus, Michael J. “Does Your Teen Sleep Like a Zombie? There’s a Reason for That.” Huffington Post. December 1, 2012.
(15) Shah, Suken. “Scoliosis.” KidsHealth – the Web’s Most Visited Site about Children’s Health. January 1, 2013.
(16) Licauco, Jamie. “Is There a Healthy Way of Breathing?” Inquirer Lifestyle. October 14, 2014.
(17) Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. 2014.

Christina Cho Profile1 pic Christina H. Cho is a certified fourth degree black belt master by Kukkiwon with twelve years of experience. Since 2006, she has been top-ranked at the USA Taekwondo New York State Championship and the USA Taekwondo New Jersey State Championship in events including individual poomsae, partner poomsae, team poomsae, breaking, and sparring. At the 2013 USA National Taekwondo Championship, she won first place in female partner poomsae and fourth place in individual breaking. She has been an authorized referee for the Pan American Taekwondo Association since 2010, the youngest member of the Tri-State Officials Certified Taekwondo Referees Corp since 2013, and the master of the taekwondo program for students with mental disabilities at The American Wheat Mission since 2013.

Christina thanks her family for their unconditional love and support in her taekwondo journey as well as her adviser Ms. Stanford for her help in writing this article.

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Master Sanders USA seminars and grading report

On 30 May 2016, Master Peter Sanders and his wife departed from the Netherlands and arrived in Oscoda, Michigan (Birthplace of Paul Bunyan). The purpose of this visit was to conduct an ITF HQ senior black belt examination at the Munyon’s Korean Martial Arts Academy and conduct a self-defense seminar. During his visit he got to experience a variety of activities. These activities included observing Mr. Michael Munyon’s Taekwon-Do and HapKiDo programs (kids and adults), Urban Defense Solutions Firearms training course, local shopping and enjoying the fine dining offered in Oscoda.

The students of the Munyon’s Korean Martial Arts Academy (registered dojang with ITF HQ) received good reports on their Taekwon-Do training during Master Sander’s visit. On 3 June (Friday), three examinations were observed and evaluated by Master Sanders.

Mast. Munyon performing during his 7 Dan test

Mast. Munyon performing during his 7 Dan test

From 5 pm until 6 pm, several Taekwon-Do students were examined for their next rank and performed the entire composition of Taekwon-Do (fundamental movements, tuls, sparring, breaking and more). Next the HapKiDo candidates were evaluated and demonstrated HapKiDo hyungs, falls/rolls, strikes, joint locks, take downs, weapons and more. Finally, from 7-9 pm black belt candidates were evaluated. Amongst them were Mrs. Patricia Care (4th Dan) from Pennsylvania and Mr. Michael Munyon (6th Dan). Candidates performed a variety of Gup, Dan and their rank required Tuls, Step-Sparring, Hosinsul and Breaking Techniques.
Master Sanders observing Dan test

Master Sanders observing test

Following a senior black belt examination was Master Sander’s Self-Defense seminar. This seminar was open to anyone regardless of rank, experience, affiliation and etc. Participants comprised of people with no self-defense experience, gup ranks, black belt ranks, local police officers and more. Master Sanders shared his unique style of self-defense which comprised of Taekwon-Do, HapKiDo and Tuekgong Moosool. His 4 hour seminar helped both beginners and Master ranked black belts bolster their self-defense toolbox. Several participants came from all over Michigan, Pennsylvania and Colorado. A variety of martial art styles were present to include Taekwon-Do, HapKiDo and Tang Soo Do. Guest black belts included Mr. David Quigg (founder of, Mr. William Kocur, owner of Kocur’s TKD, Ms. Jerri James, Master Rick Brown, owner of Sabumnim martial arts, Master Floyd Soo, owner of Floyd Soo’s Korean Karate and Master Raymond Saint out of Wisconsin and a Tul Tour participant. Certificates of participation and photos were taken upon the conclusion of the seminar.
Senior instructors with Master Sanders

Senior instructors with Master Sanders (L-R: Mr Quigg, Mr Kocur, Ms Care, Mast. Munyon, Mast. Sanders)

Later that evening, Mr. Munyon hosted a semi-formal dinner at Hsing’s Garden located in East Tawas, Michigan. Over 50 people attended this prestigious evening. Students who passed their examinations were presented with their new belts and certificates. Additionally, four individuals were presented with “recognition awards” for their outstanding contributions to the martial arts.
Presentation of 7 Dan black belt to Master Munyon

Presentation of 7 Dan black belt to Master Munyon

After these presentations Master Sanders and his wife were presented with gifts for their outstanding leadership and marksmanship on the shooting range. Moments later, Master Sanders had an announcement. He stated that Mrs. Patricia Care was promoted to 5th degree black belt and Mr. Munyon was officially promoted to 7th degree black belt. Mr. Munyon had a little extra surprise for one of his students. During this event, Mr. Munyon proposed marriage to his long term girlfriend, Ms. Kelly Sowerby. She said “yes”. This was indeed a special event for everyone. In conclusion, members of ITF HQ work hard to ensure high standards, quality training and quality training, which in the ends results in quality people. For more information about ITF HQ visit

AUTHOR: Munyon ID picMaster Michael L. Munyon (7 Degree Black Belt) is the owner of the Munyon’s Korean Martial Arts Academy/Urban Defense Solutions located in Oscoda, Michigan and travel throughout the state giving lectures and training on topics such as Work Place Violence, Active Shooter, Physical Security and more.
He served his entire career in the Security Forces career field. His assignments include Montana, Michigan, California, Korea (Kunsan and Osan Air Base), Mississippi, Portugal and Nebraska. During this time he has deployed to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Afghanistan on numerous occasions. Mast. Munyon has been recognized for his work with the United States and Foreign military by senior enlisted leaders and has received numerous awards of recognition for his talents and volunteer work. In 2009 Mast. Munyon was inducted into the Masters Hall of Fame in Long Beach, California. Later in 2013, Mast. Munyon was inducted into the Official Taekwon-Do Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, Nevada. Finally, in 2016, Mast. Munyon was inducted into the United States KiDo Federation Hall of Fame earning the award entitled “Master of the Year”.

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Dr George Vitale visits Korea

Dr George Vitale, researcher and historian visited the Korean peninsula last week. It was his 7th trip to North Korea and to ensure balance it was also his 7th visit to South Korea.
Dr Vitale visited the office of ITF HQ Korea in Daejeon

Planning events and programs (from left: President Oh Chang Jin, Dr George Vitale, Dr Zibby Kruk

Planning events and programs (from left: President Oh Chang Jin, Dr George Vitale, Dr Zibby Kruk)

and attended many meetings in the other cities. Together with Dr Zibby Kruk (Secretary General of ITF HQ Korea) they visited Muju Taekwondo Park where they met the chairman, Mr Sung Tae Kim and the Secretary General, Mr Jung Heon Kim. The topic of the meetings were related to some forthcoming events in South Korea that will take place at Muju in early September.
Meeting in Muju (L-R: Chairman Sung-tae Kim, Dr Vitale, Dr Kruk, Secretary General Dr Jung Heon Kim

Meeting in Muju (L-R: Chairman Sung-tae Kim, Dr Vitale, Dr Kruk, Secretary General Dr Jung Heon Kim)

Dr Vitale's contribution to Taekwondo & Muju park has been acknowledged

Dr Vitale’s contribution to Taekwondo & Muju park has been acknowledged

While visiting Muju Dr Vitale led a group of Korean visitors through the Taekwondopark museum and explained to them in detail the history of Taekwondo and General Choi’s role in in it.
Taekwondo Park museum tour

Taekwondo Park museum tour

After a traditional Korean lunch in the Taekwondo park cafeteria the guests were taken for a VIP tour around the facilities.
VIP Taekwondo Park tour (1)

VIP Taekwondo Park tour (1)

Taekwon Park is an excellent location for camps and events and will also accommodate ITF practitioners. The first such event will be the Tul Tour program in August where participants led by Mr Harry van Schaik will be accommodated in the park dormitory and will tour and train in the park facilities.
VIP Taekwondo Park tour (2)

VIP Taekwondo Park tour (2)

After the completion of the visit to Muju park that lasted almost 4 hours, Drs Vitale and Kruk traveled to Cheongju to attend the meeting of 2016 Cheongju World Martial Arts Masterships where Dr Vitale assisted the organizing committee with the planning of the event program. The 2016 Cheongju World Martial Arts Masterships will be also held at the beginning of September.Their organizing committee previously extended an invitation for Martial Artists from North Korea to attend, which Master Vitale delivered personally to government officials in Pyongyang. Their kind offer was accepted and the Chosun National ITF Demonstration Team from Pyongyang will perform at their Opening Ceremony on September 2, 2016 if the host can obtain the necessary government approvals from Seoul. This Martial Art festival will have some 17 events and is open to all, including the ITF.
Members of the Organizing Committee

Members of the Organizing Committee

Discussion of the event  program & rules

Discussion of the event program & rules

Master Vitale, along with Grandmaster Jung Woo-JIn, the CEO of Tae Kwon Do Times Magazine and last of only 7 to be promoted to 9th Dan by General Choi, are working hard to continue General Choi’s use of Taekwon-Do as a soft diplomatic tool to build relations between the 2 Koreas. On a trip up to Seoul, Dr. Vitale met with officials from the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs to further these laudable goals. Afterwards Master Vitale met directly with the President of the WTF, Dr. Choue Chung-Won as part of moving forward ITF talks with the Olympic Federation for Sport Taekwondo.
During the stay in Daejeon Dr Vitale and Dr Kruk trained together, Dr Vitale also experienced Korean spa and sauna, and was interviewed by some members of an English language study group who were very impressed with his knowledge not only about taekwondo but also about Korean history and culture.
Massage after the workout in the gym

Massage after the workout in the gym

What could be better than a movie after exhaustive meetings & work out?

What could be better than a movie after exhaustive meetings & work out?

It has become almost a tradition that when Dr Vitale comes to South Korea he, together with Dr Kruk visit Taekwon-Do, historical and cultural sites and perform self-defense sequences. During the current trip they visited the monument of the holy Dan Gun located at Daecheong Dam (대청댐) in Daejeon. They performed fundamental movements from Dan Gun in front of the monument that is the site for prayers for the unification of Koreas.
Dr Vitale is planning more trips to South Korea this year.
Basic sequence using Dan Gun fundamentals

Basic sequence using Dan Gun fundamentals

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Self defence for Tassie Devils from Master Muleta

Master Michael Muleta VIIIth degree black belt, provided an insightful and educative workshop for the Tasmanian Martial Arts Council today at the dojang of Southern ITF Taekwon-Do in Hobart, Tasmania. Master Muleta is the owner of Global Fitness Institute and the President of United ITF Taekwon-Do and with over 35 years of experience in Martial Arts, Fitness and Education he brings a depth of knowledge second to none. Today’s seminar was attended by over 30 of Tasmania’s most enthusiastic practitioners from Karate, Ju-Jitsu and Taekwon-Do including many senior ranked Instructors.
Master Muleta began his workshop by outlining why it is necessary to learn self-defence techniques and when it is appropriate to use them. Unlike many other self-defence instruction courses he didn’t just focus on a sequence of routines or techniques but looked at when and what techniques are necessary for situations and he then proceeded to, not only show how to perform them, but also how to teach them.
His education background really showed in his presentation methods as well as his knowledge of anatomy and how to apply appropriate tools to vital spots. He draws from his knowledge of several martial arts to bring an interesting perspective to his technique. One of the points he makes is that the knowledge gained through training in different arts should be seen as growing student’s skills rather than replacing one set of skills with another. MM2
Although very professional in his presentation, his manner encourages interaction and questions from students of all skill and age levels. He quickly endeared himself to all of the senior instructors and had them helping out throughout the workshop. All in all, this, the first TMAC workshop conducted by a non-Tasmanian Instructor, was a very successful event that was enjoyed by everyone who participated. MM3
A long-time friend of Master Steve Weston, there is no question Master Muleta made a large group of new friends this weekend and it is anticipated he will have many more trips to Tasmania both as a martial arts instructor and as trainer of some of the country’s leading fitness coaches.

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False reports about ITF HQ Korea to be challenged

A media reporter, Mr. Kang was charged with spreading false information about the International Taekwon-do Federation (HQ Korea).

Three days ago, the president of the International Taekwon-do Federation (HQ Korea), Mr CJ Oh filed a complaint against the reporter, Mr. Kang, for publishing false information and spreading it through social media worldwide on the 8th of June at the Eastern branch of Seoul District Public Prosecutors’ Office. Mr CJ Oh is also consulting with the relevant authorities to institute legal proceedings against Mr. Kang for undermining the organisation by defaming the title of the International Taekwon-do Federation (HQ Korea) in false information on the Korean news.

According to the International Taekwon-Do Federation (HQ Korea), Mr. Kang published a main article titled as “The former Secretary-General (C.J. Oh) of Korea Branch of the International Taekwon-Do Federation forged Dan certificates and was fined.” and the subtitle of its news as “He swindled 600 people out of 160 million won by receiving fees for selling forged Dan certificates was revealed”. This was published in the society section of Sisa news around 4 PM on the declaration date of the court dispute between Mr. Choi and Mr CJ Oh. He also purposely published a second article on the 11th of June which is 3 days after the first article titled “’Our news-International Taekwon-Do Federation related news is spreading rapidly through SNS” explaining that the translation of the news by Ms Jasmine Choi who is part of the International Taekwon-Do Federation based out of England has been spread significantly around the world on Facebook.

SISA news published false information and spread it through social media worldwide

SISA news published false information and spread it through social media worldwide

The International Taekwon-Do Federation (HQ Korea) also claimed that the contents that were on the news are untrue and the claim that the one hundred sixty million won which was alleged to be have been embezzled since 2002 is preposterous. Mr CJ Oh never embezzled money and no such charge has ever been laid against him.

Ms Jasmine Choi, who translated and distributed the news in English is the daughter of Mr Choi Jung Hwa (who is the President of the International Taekwon-Do Federation based out of England). Mr Choi is the individual who is in dispute with Mr Cj Oh. The International Taekwon-Do Federation (HQ Korea) said that “it is the most vicious behavior that we have ever experienced” and is going to proceed with legal action against her through an international investigating agency as well.

False accusation - English version of the article published in ITF (England based) website

False accusation – English version of the article published in ITF (England based) website

Additionally, the Secretary General, Mr Trevor Nicholls, of the International Taekwon-Do Federation that operates out of England seemed complicit in this action and will also be part of a civil and criminal litigation after the requested investigation from the International Taekwon-Do Federation (HQ Korea).

Mr. Choi Jung Hwa who is involved in this false report is running the British website ( that is operated with his partner Mr Trevor Nichols from England under the same name of the International Taekwon-Do Federation of South Korea. They have constructed their website in a way that when searching “International Taekwondo Federation” using Korean portal search engines such as Naver, this site is shown as the official site in Korea. This site posted the false report on the main page of their website and made many Taekwon-Do practitioners from all around the world abhor Mr CJ Oh.

Moreover, the International Taekwon-Do Federation (HQ Korea) is going to take a legal action against Mr. Choi for violating the relevant laws in Korea on this matter and will file complaints against the people who purposely spread this false article on SNS such as Facebook, Daum and other social media sites.

The International Taekwon-Do Federation (HQ Korea) will release a statement in 4 different languages and is able to file complaints against Mr. Choi and his partners who consistently lied and falsely accused them regarding this issue. ITF HQ Korea argued that the contents of the three million won sentencing from the South Korean court is what they were waiting for and when compared to all the previous legal outcomes from the entire case that were instigated by Mr. Choi, Mr Choi and his partners are now punishable for their illegal behavior in bringing these false claims to court.

Based on the legal standing of the International Taekwon-Do Federation (HQ Korea) in Korea, this organization will invite other Taekwon-Do professionals from around the world to be part of this body and will spare Taekwon-Do practitioners from being subjected to the corrupt practices of other organisations.

Korean version of the Moosin article:
“국제태권도연맹” 허위사실 유포기사쓴 언론사 기자 강모씨 고소파문

13일 국제태권도연맹 (총재 오창진)은 총재의 이름으로 지난 8일 인터넷 뉴스 언론 시사뉴스 의 강모 기자를 허위사실을 기사화여 전세계에 파장을 일으켰다며 관련법 위반혐의로 서울 동부지검에 고소장을 제출하였다. 또한 국제태권도연맹의 명칭을 국내뉴스에 함부로 사용하며 허위 사실을 국제태권도연맹의 모습처럼보여 업무가 마비되었다며 이에 관련기관과 상의하여 법적 절차도 검토중이다.

국제태권도연맹에 따르면 지난 8일 연맹 총재 오창진과의 법정분쟁에 있는 최모씨 (토론토거주2008 간첩자수)와의 선고일 오후 4시경 갑자기 인터넷 언론사인 “시사뉴스” 사회면에

“단독” 국제태권도연맹 한국지부 前간부 단증위조 “벌금형” 이라는 기사와 부제목 “위조단증팔아 600여명으로부터 받은 수수료 등 1억6천여만원 편취사실드러나” 라는 부제목으로 메인화면에 띄었으며

그후 3일뒤 6월11일 고의적으로 두 번째 기사인

“본보 국제태권도 관련보도 SNS타고 빠르게 확산” 이라는 제목으로 캐나다에 거주하고 있는 jsmine choi 국제태권도연맹 회원이 번역해서 올린 페이스북내용이 전세계로 일파만파 퍼진다며 기사를 올렸다.

위 내용은 전혀 사실무근이며 2002년부터 횡령했다는 1억6천만원은 또 무엇인지 황당하다는 입장이라고 밝혔으며 돈을 횡령한사실도 없고 검찰에 기소 당한적도 전혀 없다고 밝혔다.

또 두 번째 기사를 영어로 번역하여 허위사실을 유통시킨 쟈스민 최 라는 여자는 국제태권도연맹 확인결과 한국의 국제태권도연맹본부와 법적다툼이 있는 2008자수간첩 최모씨의 딸로 드러났다. 국제태권도연맹은 쟈스민 최 또한 국제수사 기관에 접수후 대리인을 통해 법적절차를 진행할 예정이며 이런 악의적 저질행위는 그동안 어디에서도 볼수 없었던 악질들의 역대급 최고저질 행위라고 본지에 밝혔다.

또한 이 허위기사 내용에 등장한 공범으로 보이는 영국에서 운영하는 영국자체 국제태권도연맹
(대표: Trevor Nicholls 트레브 니콜스)
또한 국제수사기관에 접수후 유럽현지 ITF연맹 회원국의 관계자를 해당국에 대리인으로 선임하여 민 형사상의 법적처리를 진행한다.

이 허위기사와 연루된 최씨또한 본인이 영국에서 동업자(대표: Trevor Nicholls 트레브 니콜스)와 운영하는 사이트를 이용하여
( 대한민국내 국제태권도연맹 본부와 동일한 명칭으로 운영하고 있으며 국내 포털사이트에 마치 한국에서 활동하며 서비스 하는것처럼 신청자작성으로 검색엔진에 등록한후 이번 허위기사또한 메인페이지에 등재하는등 국내는 물론 전세계 태권도인들의 울분을 사게 만들었다고 전했다.

이에 국제태권도 연맹은 최씨또한 대한민국내 에서 관련법규위반혐의로 법적처리할 방침이라고 전했다. 국내또한 이 허위기사와 관련된 관련자로서 이기사를 고의로 페이스북, 다음 아고라 등에 퍼나른 관계자들도 법적처리 예정이다.

국제태권도연맹은 자세한 사항을 곧 4개국어로 성명서를 통해 발표할예정이며 이번일과 더불어 그동안 있었던 수사기관의 기록을 토대로 항상 이런식으로 거짓말을 하고 누명을 씌워오던 최씨와 대한민국에서 그와 함께 그동안 지속적으로 거짓고소를 한 관계자들을 엄중히 법적처리 할수있게 되었다고 밝혔다.

또한 이번 대한민국 법정에서 300만원의 벌금 판결의 판결문 내용은 국제태권도연맹 헤드쿼터가 기다려 오던 내용이며 그동안 최씨의 사주로 벌어진 여러개의 고소건의 모든 법적 결과물들과 비교 종합해 보면 최씨와 그 관계자들의 불법 업무행위를 처벌할수 있다는 전망이다.

앞으로 국제태권도연맹 은 한국에서의 법적기반을 토대로 태권도 종주국 헤드쿼터로서의 전문 행정운영을 전세계 각분야 태권도수련 전문인들과 함께 할것이며 전세계인들이 더 이상 업자들의 손에 놀아나지 않도록 하겠다는 입장이다.
추가로 최모씨는 대한민국 국제태권도연맹 본부에서 2004부터 2010 년까지 오창진 총재와 함께 동업으로 일했던자 라고 밝혔으며 앞으로 태권도 종주국 대한민국의 배경을 이용하여 국제태권도연맹 본부 행세를 하는 자가 있으면 한국본부로 꼭 문의확인 바란다고 전했다.

Link to the article published in Korean media:

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Official Statement Regarding Outcome of Court Case

South Korea is the Homeland of Taekwon-Do and as such, is a very important place to all who follow the art and teachings of General Choi Hong Hi. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that many groups who practice Taekwon-Do try to claim some legitimacy in this country that is a “Mecca” for Taekwon-Do disciples. The International Taekwon-Do Federation, Headquarters Korea (ITF-HQ Korea) has the registered sole rights to represent ITF Taekwon-Do in its homeland. This recognition was secured by Mr Oh Chang Jin in a Supreme Court decision in 2006/2007 after being challenged by the two main ITF organizations. This registration (사단 법인국 국제태권도 연맹) has the same status as the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) and has the stated objective to serve all ITF practitioners around the World.

ITF HQ Korea main office

ITF HQ Korea main office

Given this recognition cannot now be legally challenged it would appear that some organizations are using unethical means to undermine the legitimacy and the good name of ITF-HQ Korea and some of its executive members.

Recently an article published in a small Korean media outlet has made untrue and what may be defamatory statements and has misrepresented the findings of a court case between Mr Choi Jung Hwa and Mr Oh Chang Jin. The article make statements that are not found anywhere in the ruling of the judge and grossly exaggerates the alleged infraction by Mr Oh Chang Jin. The article focuses solely on the findings of one aspect of the entire court case when in fact the case involved 4 allegations against Mr Oh Chang Jin of which 3 were found to have no basis in fact and have already been dismissed by the judge. This final aspect which relates to the production of Dan certificates is now subject to an appeal by Mr Oh Chang Jin and he will shortly be presenting new evidence in support of his case.

President of ITF HQ Korea presenting a speech at Russian Open 2016

President of ITF HQ Korea presenting a speech at Russian Open 2016

The President of ITF HQ Korea, Mr Oh Chang Jin, has been involved in Taekwondo for most of his life and was personally requested by the late General Choi, the Founder of Taekwon-Do to re-establish his style of Taekwon-Do in South Korea. This placed Mr Oh in a very hazardous situation since many of his former colleagues and senior members of the WTF were very unhappy with the re-introduction of the Chan Hon style of Taekwon-Do. Nonetheless he persisted through difficult times and worked tirelessly to make it a success. Only as a result of his efforts and his network of connections was it possible for Mr Choi Jung Hwa to return to his birth place despite Mr Choi Jung Hwa’s criminal conviction for his actions against the South Korean Government. Mr Oh Chang Jin is seen in South Korea as a highly respected individual both in his business and Taekwondo achievements.

Mr Oh Chang Jin will be lodging a defamation case against the journalist who published the article since much of what is stated is inaccurate and misleading. The suggestion that Mr Oh Chang Jin embezzled funds for over 600 certificates at a value of 160 million Won (approximately $136,000USD) was dismissed at a previous hearing in the case. It should be noted that Mr Oh Chang Jin was not asked for comment prior the publication of the article.

Social media is a very powerful tool to provide information however, it can also often be misused to promote a point of view that is not based on fact and objective reasoning and people post too quickly without consideration of the effect that it may have. As practitioners of Taekwon-Do some people extol the value of the tenets but do not actively live by them. It is incumbent for Taekwondoists to show some courtesy towards each other and try to remove the hatred and disunity and perhaps before commenting on social media they should inform themselves of the complete story and not just accept a single viewpoint.

This issue will be resolved by the court in due process and we will provide updates as they occur.

For further information please do not hesitate to contact our Headquarters office via email:

ITF HQ Korea Administration

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Life Patterns and Flexibility

Life Patterns and FlexibilityEvery day we are faced with challenges of routine, whether it is creating a routine, maintaining a routine, or changing a routine. More often than not, these happen without intervention, and the results present themselves whether you designed them or not.

The Morning Routine

The day breaks either at whatever time your body clock is set, or the time of your alarm clock. The latter is not ideal because it is an unnatural rising and you’re off into a forced routine. The trouble with this is that you will undoubtedly feel stiff, and your day starts with a ‘forced’ movement, and muscles can stiffen accordingly.

I was on this path for a long, long time, and never considered myself a ‘morning person’ – and always battled with normal, every-day flexibility when starting my day.

The solution: I decided to buy a “Lumie” alarm clock. This was designed to wake you up without noise, without sudden rising, and mimics ‘real light’ to gradually wake you up. The result? By naturally waking up, your body automatically adjusts over 20-30 minutes without you having to do anything at all; the result being you reduce and even remove the standard stiffness you can feel in the morning. Check the light out here:
Lumie Bodyclock ACTIVE 250 Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock with Extra Audio Options

Once you’re up, you must, must, have a quick morning stretching routine, to get the muscles moving, blood flowing, and generally loosen up. If you don’t do this on a daily basis, or even miss a few days, you perpetuate a stiffness that will lock up your joints, muscles, and hamper any of your sporting and martial arts. My morning routine consists of me pressing myself against the skirting board (!) to push my legs wider and gain myself that bit of leverage. It doesn’t take long before I’m pressed fully against the wall and have full flexibility once more.

All Sit Down?

We’ve all seen the evolutionary picture of ending up crouched over a computer desk, typing away with a hunched back. This is, unfortunately, extremely common and very true. The truth of the matter is, we are more certainly not designed to sit in a chair. Chairs are destructive to our mobility, flexibility, and our overall posture. If you are sitting in a chair, set yourself a simple timer for 15 minutes every day to ensure you get up out of your chair, move about, loosen up, and stop those joints from stiffening up. If you ca, get a standing desk – they will increase your productivity, improve your muscle tone, even burn more calories, but most important they will stop your spine from becoming compressed and causing disc and sciatic injuries.

If you are already in the unfortunate position of having back pain, please check out these videos for relieving sciatic nerve pain.

Beware the Slow Tense

Regardless whether you are in a chair, standing, leaning, kneeling etc. Be very conscious of your body and its positions. Again perhaps use a timer such as a “ring timer” (see below) to force you to check every 5-10 minutes until you make it a habit. What you’re checking for is any constant tension in the shoulders, arms, elbows, buttocks and particularly lower back. Modern day work demands hours and hours of constant work and tension, which too often results in over-tightness of particular areas, which in turn leads to over-compromised positions, disrupting your natural posture. These are very difficult to break unless you pay particular attention to it.

Check out a round-timer to force yourself to check every few minutes for it:
Boxing training round interval timer. Perfect for Boxing MMA Interval Tabata Training Kettlebells by Athlete Technologies

Stretching Before Sleep

Just as you should stretch when you wake up, it is equally important that you stretch yourself out before going to sleep. This will ensure that any tensions you have picked up throughout the day will not stiffen further overnight, and cause the typical and all-too-familiar trapped nerve sensations and full-body stiffness syndrome of the morning.


These routines are not exercise, they are not training, they should be part of every day of your life, and are indeed mandatory in many Japanese companies, where they have the best employee health and fitness ratios in the world.

You need to concentrate on them and do them mindfully, otherwise naturally bad patterns will creep into your life and compromise your body, flexibility and fitness.

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