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.
Master Plan for 2006
3 Major WTF Events in 2006
Newly Revamped WTF Official Publication
Electranic Protectors
ORIS for Beijing 2008
2009 Summer Universiade
WTF-KHU Partnership Taekwondo Training Program
WTF recognition of Hanji Corporation on hand protectors
Kukkiwon Announcement on 2006 Higher Dan Promotion Test Schedule
Change of Dates (1st World Cup Team TKD)
Insight : Technical Committee Chairman
Interview : John Paul Lizardo
Interview : Bethany Fabicius
Interview : Dae-sung Moon
 
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 taekwondo retain its Olympic status at the 2012 London Olympic Games. For this reason, I would like to deliver once again my special thanks to all the members of the global taekwondo family, including presidents of our 179 member national associations.

Encouraged by the good results at the Singapore IOC Session, we will make 2006 the first year for the renaissance of taekwondo and will do our utmost to attain the goal.

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
taekwondo practitioners 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 in September this 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
global minds.

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.

Sincerely yours,

Chungwon Choue
President

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.


WTF Championships

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 decision-making organs 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.

Other Activities

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!





Dong-hoo Moon
Secretary General
WTF Issues Newly Revamped Official Publication

The World Taekwondo Federation has issued its newly revamped official publication, as part of its reform programs.

Epitomizing its 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 associations, international referees, international sports federations, and the International Olympic Committee, 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.

Electranic Protectors

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.

Heretofore, the 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.

Nonetheless, without 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.

All participants 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.

Besides keeping 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.

Nonetheless, it 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.

"Preparations 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.

Female athletes 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 Taekwondo Championships

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.

"The venue 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.

"We expect 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 Taekwondo Championships 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 Taekwondo Championships

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.

"We devote 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.

The Universiade 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.

The two-week-long 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.

Curriculums for 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.
AFTU Activities
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

MONTH

DAY

PLACE

ACTIVIT

Jan.

Jan. 2-4

Cairo, Egypt

International Referees Refresher Course

Jan. 21

Cairo, Egypt

AFTU General Assembly Meeting

April

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

May

May 16-20

Valendia, Spain

9th World University Taekwondo Championships

July

July 26-30

Hcmc, Vietnam

6th WTF World Junior Championships

Aug.

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

Sept.

Sept. 4-6

Seoul, Korea

1st WTF World Poomsae Taekwondo Championships 2006

Sept. 14-17, 2006

Bangkok, Thailand

1st WTF World Cup Team Taekwondo Championships 2006

Nov.

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

ATU Activities

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.

Furthermore, the 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
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.

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.

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.

Fostering Talents 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.

ETU Activities

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.

The championships 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.

In consideration 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.

Furthermore, the 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.
OTU Activities
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:

1. Australia

2. Fiji

3. Guam

4. New Zealand

5. Papua New Guinea

6. Samoa

7. Solomon Islands

8. Tahiti (French Polynesia)

9. Tonga

10. Vanuatu

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

14. Kiribati

15. Marshall Islands

16. Nauru

17. Nive

18. Norfolk Islands

19. Northern Marianas

20. Palau

21. Tokelau

22. Tuvalu

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."

The establishment 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.

Nonetheless, the 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.
PATU Activities
"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.

Remarkably, for 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

Championship in 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, where successful 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?

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?

Through 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.

"Always give your best and fight as if it's your last."
"Let's practice 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 international competition. 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, especially through competitions and development projects, which enable us to know each other, our culture, our differences, and our needs.

Interview : Bethany Fabicius
Bethany Fabricius, 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 schoolteacher specializes 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.

"Usually you 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 Moon
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?

Within taekwondo 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, offensive-minded contestants 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.

"Taekwondo is a martial art-turned sport that values etiquette most. Thus, taekwondo 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.