Next Generation Korean Instructors Seminar – Report

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Start a new path of development of Taekwon-Do (ITF) and we start it in South Korea, the birthplace of Taekwondo!

At last, the series of Taekwon-Do seminars in South Korea have kicked off this weekend with the first seminar being held in Sejong city, the second capital city of Korea. The aim of the seminars is to provide a structured and consistent guide to South Korean Taekwon-Do instructors in order to improve the dissemination of this art in South Korea and bring new faces and energy. The weekend seminar was designed specifically for new young members that wish to become instructors and teach Taekwon-Do in its homeland. It was also attended by instructors who have been involved in Taekwon-Do in Korea since its re-introduction by President Oh Chang Jin in 2002. In addition there were some high ranking World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) representatives observing the entire seminar. They expressed their interest in the principles of the art that are very different from that of the WTF style, and elicited many questions and comments during the day.
The seminar began with a welcome message by President Oh Chang Jin who outlined the program and plans for the near future and introduced the Masters that were invited to conduct the seminar.
Following the introduction Dr Zibby Kruk from Australia went through a Power point presentation that emphasized and clarified the basics aspects of Taekwon-Do including the definition, tenets and oath as well as explaining the training secrets and elements of theory of power.

Then Master Rudolf Kang from Russia presented an introduction to the biomechanics involved in Taekwon-Do and demonstrated the difference between Karate and Taekwon-Do whilst describing the genius work of General Choi Hong Hi whose theories and techniques have now been well supported by the science of biomechanics. Master Kang examined General Choi’s work by presenting theories developed by famous Russian researchers such as L.V. Chkhaidze (1939) and Professor Yuri Vitalyevich Verkhoshansky (1967). Chkhaidze describes the slowdown effect of the distal section just before the punch (called paradox of Chkhaidze ) and Professor Verkhoshansky described a “shock method” of the development of muscular strength and quickness and is the author of many scientific papers on biomechanics. The method is now known in the world as “plyometrics” since it was named in the 1980s by Fred Wilt, a member of the US long distance race team. 
Following Master Kangs’ discussion, Master Lee Jong Mok from Japan took participants through practical training that allowed them not only to hear about but also to feel the differences in the performance of various techniques and movements. During breaks in training Master Kang’s highly skilled students: Kiril Sakibov, George Kim and Seilbek Baskinov demonstrated various patterns and techniques.

The use of biomechanics to explain the practice of Taekwon-Do is of great importance because Taekwon-Do is a scientifically developed art and it is only by using the science that we can develop a proper standardization of it. When General Choi was alive he was the one who created and understood the art. Since he has passed away many leaders have been trying to standardize TKD and explain it in their own way which has led to much confusion among those who attended their seminars. The use of biomechanics can in some way act to support the teachings of the founder of Taekwon-Do and bring the art to a more standardized method of explanation based on science rather than opinion. In order to address this the new ITF center in Sejong city will be also known as the Taekwon-Do Biomechanics Center of Excellence and it will be a place where visitors can stay and study Taekwon-Do using the scientific principles.
When the seminars were concluded there was a question and answer session with participants, especially the observers, receiving further clarification from the 3 masters conducting the seminar about the principles of Taekwon-Do.

After the seminar, some of the guests visited the new ITF HQ Korea Center in Sejong city that is currently under construction and will begin its operation very soon.
The seminar attracted a lot of attention and was the first of many that will be conducted in Korea on bi-monthly basis at the new centre. The next seminar will be in April and more detailed information will be posted shortly.
The next seminar will be open to other instructors and students that have previously been in the ITF in Korea for a long period of time but have not been able to practice the art for various political and personal reasons. The ITF HQ Korea database has over 2000 instructors on its books and many of them will be re-introduced to the ITF and become part of the promotion of the ITF in South Korea.

For more information about the seminars and, the only official ITF organization in the homeland of Taekwon-Do: ITF HQ Korea, please contact us via fb or email: korea@itfmail.org

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