Opening Ceremony of
 2006 SportAccord Seoul
 
 (WTF Membership:
 181 as of end of May 2006)
 
WTF President Visits Europe to Attend ETU Events
Dr. Chungwon Choue, president of the World Taekwondo Federation, made a weeklong visit to Europe for various taekwondo events in late May.

On May 24, Dr. Choue arrived in Bonn, Germany, to have a meeting with leaders of the European Taekwondo Union.
Concordia University to Open New Taekwondo Major, Several Others likely to Follow Suit
WTF President Attends Monaco Prince Albert II Cup
WTF President’s Message on Founding Day
WTF Membership Increases to 181
Interview : Mr. Chakir Chelbat of Sweden
Interview : Ms. Natalia Falavigna of Brazil
WTF President Visits Europe to Attend ETU Events
Dr. Chungwon Choue, president of the World Taekwondo Federation, made a weeklong visit to Europe for various taekwondo events in late May.

On May 24, Dr. Choue arrived in Bonn, Germany, to have a meeting with leaders of the European Taekwondo Union.
The following day, the WTF president attended a media seminar for sports journalists, which was for the first time ever jointly organized by ETU and WTF.

The media seminar was held to mark the 30th anniversary of the founding of ETU, the first regional taekwondo union of WTF and the largest with a membership of 47 countries. The ETU was founded on May 2, 1976, with an original 12 founding member national associations.

The seminar was mainly aimed at providing sports journalists with accurate and up-to-date information about taekwondo, as well as the WTF’s reform process toward a more media friendly Olympic sport.

The WTF currently has a worldwide membership of 181 countries as of the end of May this year.

Later in the day, Dr. Choue also participated in a commemorative event to mark the 30th ETU anniversary, which drew representatives from 42 ETU member associations.

On May 26, the WTF president attended the opening ceremony of the 17th European Senior Taekwondo Championships held at the Hardt Halle Stadium in Bonn.

The three-day event, organized by the German Taekwondo Federation, drew hundreds of athletes and players from 42 ETU member associations. Mr. Heinz Gruber heads the German Taekwondo Federation.

“Since its founding on May 2, 1976, ETU has worked closely with WTF in the development of taekwondo in Europe,” said WTF President Choue in his congratulatory speech during the opening ceremony.

He added, “We are also grateful of having passionate taekwondo grandmasters who took it upon themselves to venture in Europe.” “The successful dissemination of taekwondo in Europe would not have been possible without such a pioneering spirit.”

“The status of taekwondo as an Olympic sport is not the only significant change. Over the past year, WTF has implemented new reform measures to enhance the operations of the world governing body of taekwondo,” he said. “For our innovative measures to succeed, we need the continued support of our global partners like ETU.”

On May 27, Dr. Choue traveled to Brussels, Belgium, to attend a ceremony to mark the inauguration of the new headquarters of the International University Sport Federation (FISU).

Dr. Choue had a meeting with FISU President George E. Killian to exchange opinions on how to better cooperate with each other for the promotion of taekwondo and other sports. The WTF and the FISU have agreed to sign a Collaboration Convention soon.

During the three-hour-long ceremony, WTF President Choue also met with Aleksandar Sostar, director of the Ministry of Education and Sports of the Republic of Serbia; and Sinisa Jasnic, general director of the 25th Universiade Belgrade 2009, to exchange opinions of common concern.

The next World University Taekwondo Championships are scheduled to take place in Belgrade in 2008, the venue for the 2009 Summer Universiade.

Taekwondo was an optional sport at the 2003 Universiade in Daegu, Korea, and 2005 Universiade in Izmir, Turkey. The sport will also be an optional sport at the 2007 Universiade in Bangkok, Thailand.
Concordia University to Open New Taekwondo Major, Several Others likely to Follow Suit
Concordia University in Irvin, California, the United States, will establish a new undergraduate emphasis in taekwondo this fall, the first taekwondo major of its kind outside Korea.

Iran, India and several other countries are also considering opening a new taekwondo major

in their respective universities in the near future.

As recently as in early June 2006, it was reported that a province in China would make taekwondo a compulsory subject at elementary school, which would greatly help enhance the popularity of taekwondo in the world’s most populated country.

“It is a very encouraging sign for the future of taekwondo and we are closely cooperating with those countries in establishing a taekwondo major,” said WTF President Chungwon Choue.

In Korea, there are currently 20 four-year universities and 16 two-year colleges with taekwondo majors.

According to the press release of Concordia University on May 18, 2006, the new Taekwondo major will be considered as one of the Exercise and Sports Sciences, where students will be taught taekwondo science and theory, taekwondo dojang, or school, management and taekwondo business. The selection of the first batch of freshmen will start from Aug. 26, 2006.

“I am heartened that Concordia University is demonstrating great vision for the future by investing in this new emphasis in taekwondo. I believe that the exciting collaboration between the World Taekwondo Federation and Concordia University in supporting this new emphasis would greatly enhance the lives of your students,” said WTF President Choue.

Students are required to accomplish the following compulsory courses, among others, sports science, biology, taekwondo, sport management and marketing, dojang management, according to the school.

Theoretical and practical courses will be given by Prof. Chang-jin Kang, an Irvine citizen who owns a taekwondo school. With a 9th Kukkiwon Dan and 48 years of experience in taekwondo practice and lecturing, Prof. Kang played a key role in establishing the taekwondo major at the university.

According to Prof. Kang, students who graduate from the course could be granted a 3rd or 4th Dan by the examination committee. He will also be in charge of international referee courses, exchange programs with taekwondo-majored Korean students, seminars and other activities related to this sport.

Concordia University Irvine is the first American university outside Korea where taekwondo will be lectured as a major.

WTF President Attends Monaco Prince Albert II Cup
MONACO --- WTF President Chungwon Choue attended the Prince Albert II Cup Taekwondo Tournament, which was held on May 6, 2006, at the Stadium Louis II in Monaco.

The one-day event was jointly organized by the Monaco Taekwondo Federation and the World French-Speaking Countries Union of Taekwondo.
The taekwondo competition drew officials and players from six French-speaking countries-Canada, France, Morocco, Niger, Senegal and Vietnam.

France won the overall team title, followed by Morocco. Among the French players was Pascal Gentil, the bronze medalist of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

On May 5, WTF President Choue was invited to the royal palace by H.S.H. Prince Albert II of the Principality of Monaco. Prince Albert II serves as a member of the International Olympic Committee and president of the Monaco Olympic Committee.

“It is my firm belief that the Prince Albert II Cup will greatly help contribute to the dissemination and development of taekwondo in Monaco,” said Dr. Choue in his congratulatory speech during the opening ceremony.

Dr. Choue was supposed to attend the 3rd World Cup Francophone Taekwondo in Niger in November 2005.

He said,“In our endeavor to ensure fairness in judgment and refereeing at taekwondo competition, WTF will conduct more field tests and research for the successful development of electronic protectors.

He also expressed his appreciation to H.S.H. Prince Albert II for his efforts in making the biennial event a success. Prince Albert II is known for his love for sports.

Among the participants in the event, which dates back to the mid-1980s, were Mr. Jean Bernasconi, president of the Monaco Taekwondo Federation; Mr. Roger Piarulli, president of the French Taekwondo Federation and the World French-Speaking Countries Union of Taekwondo; and Dr. Paul Viscogliosi, honorary president of the World French-Speaking Countries Union of Taekwondo.

Also present were Mr. El Hadj Ide Issaka, president of the Niger Taekwondo Federation; Mr. Assane Ndoye, president of the Senegal Taekwondo Federation; Mr. Driss El Hilali, president the Morocco Taekwondo Federation; Ms. Christiane Laforest, president of the Quebek Taekwondo Federation; and Mr. Truong Ngoc De, secretary general of the Vietnam Taekwondo Association.

WTF President’s Message on Founding Day

On this day, the 28th of May, it is my distinct pleasure and honor to congratulate the global taekwondo family on the 33rd anniversary of the founding of the World Taekwondo Federation.

Since our founding 33 years ago, we have witnessed the global expansion of members affiliated to the WTF; from the original 19 member nations in 1973, we now have 181 member national associations.

From the two regional unions of Asia and Europe in 1973, we now have three more regional partners in Africa, Asia and Oceania.

From its roots as a Korean martial art of self-defense, we have now evolved into a sport in the program of the Olympic Games. Such is our popularity and renaissance that taekwondo and the WTF are now primed to contribute in the further development of the sport and the global propagation of the Olympic Movement through the sport.

Our enhanced position in the international sports fraternity is credited to the abiding passion and endeavors of our taekwondo grandmasters, who took it upon themselves to expand their horizons and disseminate taekwondo worldwide. Their courage to embrace the unknown is admirable; their devotion to taekwondo inspirational.

I thank our founding grandmasters for their sacrifices for taekwondo, as well as for the future generations of practitioners of the sport. Henceforth, it is our responsibilities to ensure the global expansion and acceptance of the sport of taekwondo.

In addition, I wish to thank our friends from the International Olympic Committee, the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations, the General Association of International Sports Federations and other international sports federations for their astute guidance and kind support for our sport.

During the darkest hours of our reformation, we could count on them to stand by us and lead us by example, just as a beacon would shine the way home for many a lost ship.

The contributions of our global media partners and sponsors should not be overlooked, for their support and understanding through the years have been crucial, especially in the development of our solidarity programs.

I believe that the people who impact and are impacted by taekwondo are the mainstay of the sport. For this reason, I firmly believe that the passion of and sacrifices made by our athletes, coaches, international referees and officials for the sport have resulted in the worldwide enhancements to the technical standards of taekwondo.

Just as importantly, I believe that the relationship is mutual; that the philosophies of taekwondo have enriched their lives, and those of countless more. It is my hope that taekwondo and the WTF will continue to receive your kind support in the years to come.

Last, but not least, I wish to thank our executive council members, member national associations and secretariats for accepting and fulfilling their responsibilities over the past thirty three years. The task to develop and propagate taekwondo is never easy, and many a times their efforts have gone unnoticed.

Nonetheless, the popularity of taekwondo and the international standing of the WTF are only possible through the devoted members that make up the foundation of the sport and organization. It is for this reason, above all, that I thank each and every one of you.

It has been my distinct honor serving taekwondo and the World Taekwondo Federation.

WTF Membership Increases to 181

The membership of the World Taekwondo Federation has increased to 181 as two nations have newly been accepted as provisional member national associations of WTF on May 19, 2006.

Pursuant to Article 4 of the Rules and Regulations of WTF, the two new members,

namely the Zambia Taekwondo Federation and the Sports Taekwondo Kiribati, will be provisional members until the official approval of their membership applications at the Executive Council Meeting and Extraordinary General Assembly of WTF to be held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on July 24-25, 2006.

With the inclusion of the two provisional members, the number of member national associations within WTF stands at 181 across five regional unions. In this regard, the African Taekwondo Union has 40 member nations, while the Oceania Taekwondo Union has 11.

We, at WTF, congratulate and welcome the Zambia Taekwondo Federation and the Sports Taekwondo Kiribati into our global taekwondo family; together, for the betterment of taekwondo and WTF.

Thinking About Children with Rare Diseases
Busan, Korea - "The children with rare diseases have a hard life, but I want to show that our society has interest in them.”

Prof. Dae-sung Moon, gold medalist of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, from Dong-A University in Busan; and Chairman Jae-ho Park from the Seoul Olympic Sports Promotion Foundation (SOSFO), launched a fund-raising movement for children with rare diseases.

The fund-raising drive was aired live on the SBS special program “TV 24 with Hope” on Children’s Day of May 5, 2006, to support children with incurable diseases. Advocates of the fund-raising movement, including Moon, ran 100km for over a 24-hour period-without rest.

After the event, Prof. Moon met with SOSFO Chairman Park, who buoyed by the fund-raising event earlier on, commented that Moon "did a good job,” to which Moon replied, “I want to continue to help children with rare diseases.”

This is the momentum for the start of the fund-raising movement.

Moon said that he would do his utmost to create an environment whereby children could grow “without any discrimination” and children with rare diseases could receive free medical treatment. In addition, Moon felt that the Korean government could take initiatives on such ideals, but “the reality is the opposite.” As such, he felt that a fund-raising culture could help fill up the gap.

A growth in financial support is the most practical way of helping children who suffer from rare diseases, as costs for medical treatment could be more than 10 million won per month.

To further develop the fund-raising movement, Moon and SOSFO plans to launch new ideas, such as the “1 percent of salary donation,” where employees donate 1 percent of their monthly salaries to help the children; and to establish a mentor program for children with rare diseases, where business companies could participate in a “1 person for one child” support system.

Another strategy is to channel the focus on fund-raising through sports marketing, in which Moon plays a role. Moon intends to broadcast the fund-raising campaign and be an ambassador for public enterprises.

After two months of preparations, Moon plans to launch a non-profit foundation in the middle of August.

“For me as a non-marathon athlete, it is not an easy challenge to run 100km without rest. However, I could not stop running when I thought about those children struggling against incurable diseases,” said Moon.

“I am determined to continue helping children fighting against rare diseases and run a ‘marathon for hope’ through the fundraising movement.”

Use Taekwondo in HIV/AIDS Awareness, Says Zambia Taekwondo Official

LUSAKA, Zambia - Taekwondo should be used not only for self-defence but also as a vehicle to sensitize and promote HIV/AIDS awareness, said the taekwondo governing body in Zambia

To commemorate the 33rd World Taekwondo Federation founding day that falls on May 28, 2006, WTF President Chungwon Choue said

the mainstay was people who impact and are impacted by the sport.

In a recent interview, Mr. Likando Nangonde, vice president of the Zambia Taekwondo Federation, said his taekwondo governing body had decided to use the sport to integrate certain programs in the community to sensitize people about the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

"We feel we can play a role in the fight against HIV/AIDS by encouraging people to take up taekwondo not only for self-defense, but as a means of preoccupation so as to prevent people from indulging in vices that lead to promiscuous behavior," the official said.

He said his taekwondo body looked forward to working with the defense forces and promote sensitization, as the rate of HIV prevalence among them was high.

The official also called on the corporate world to invest in the development of the sport in Zambia.

"We call on the corporate world to take an active role and plough back into the community through sport," Mr. Nangonde said. " We need sponsorship in order to promote this sport despite us having all the high profile electronic equipment."

Zambia became a temporary member of the WTF in May 2006 and is to be a full member after approval at the WTF General Assembly in July this year in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on the occasion of the 6th WTF World Junior Taekwondo Championships. The federation is headed by Mr. Chenda K. Chilufya.

Iran Wins Title at World University Taekwondo Champ
LONDON (Iran Mania) - Iran was crowned at the 9th World University Taekwondo Championship in the port city of Valencia, east of Spain, IRNA reported on May 21, 2006

This is the first time a team other than Korea lifts the trophy.

The Iranian team, which had already taken three golds, two silvers and one bronze, needed another medal to topple Korea in the 9th edition.

Hadi Afshar helped Iran steal the show as he advanced to the final showdown with a 3-1 victory over his Spanish rival.

Behzad Khodadad, Alireza Nasr-Azadani, and Mehdi Bibak won the three golds while Hamid Sar-Abadani and Mohammad Baqeri-Motamed snatched silver medals and Hamed Khameseh bagged bronze.

Fifty-six countries pitted taekwondo players at the prestigious university event.

Iran finished runner-up in the previous edition that was held in Greece in 2004.

Interview : Mr. Chakir Chelbat of Sweden
Mr Chakir Chelbat of Sweden is a member of the WTF Refereeing Committee and also serves as chairman of both the ETU Referee Committee and the Swedish Taekwondo Referee Committee. He was one of the six referees who received the Best Referee Awards during the 2005 WTF World Taekwondo Championships in Madrid, Spain.


About the career of Chakir Chelbat as a taekwondo referee

I have been an international referee since I was 18 years old. I am now 42 years old. I have refereed the most difficult finals in the world between the best athletes in taekwondo history, such as those from Korea, Iran, the United States, Mexico, France, and Azerbaijan, just to name a few, during different WTF World Taekwondo Championships.

My experience, combined with my knowledge and a lot of hard work, helped me to be nominated as one of the best international referees in the world during the last World Championships in Madrid in 2005.

For me, the 2004 Athens Olympic Games was the greatest challenge in my career as a referee. Being the chairman of referees in the European Taekwondo Union, as well as a WTF Refereeing Committee member, are good experiences for me. They strengthen my ability to promote taekwondo and do a good job of developing taekwondo as an Olympic sport.

Taekwondo rules under the reform process

I believe many countries have already introduced the new system. Those changes are very good for developing the sport and making the taekwondo competition with the new rules more interesting and exciting for the spectators and TV audiences. WTF has done a lot of changes, but we still have many changes left to do. As WTF President Dr. Chungwon Choue said before, "We did a great job and we still have to do more."

The significance of electronic protectors to taekwondo competitions

With the new technology we will try to minimize the risk of partiality of the referees. The objective of using the electronic protector is to ensure fair refereeing and judgment. The possible introduction of the electronic protector is the latest technology to deliver the best results for taekwondo competitions. We still have to study very hard and do a lot of research to make sure that this is going to work. I'm sure that, together with the ad-hoc committee on the electronic protectors, we will make this hope a reality. We are all concerned about the importance of this issue, and the electronic protector is a great victory for taekwondo. We are working on the improvement of the system and it will be tested in many different international events around the world. All necessary improvements will be made and it will hopefully be ready for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

The contributions of the taekwondo society to the youth

Youths of all ages and gender should be encouraged to learn taekwondo through a strong promotional campaign of the sport in the media. They could study Gyorugi as well as Poomsae through a special program. I believe taekwondo is a lifestyle; and we're a big worldwide taekwondo family. If we could educate the youth to learn respect and discipline, we will have a healthy society.

Development of taekwondo in Sweden

Sweden is a very small taekwondo country, but we are growing. Today, we have about 7,000 members and we are working very hard to increase this number. We use the means of advertising taekwondo through the media, and school programs (in colleges as well as on universities, military department, police department, etc.). We generally try to involve the whole society; the Sport Confederation in Sweden invests much in the sport, trying to involve people in training.

The meaning of taekwondo to Mr. Chakir Chelbat

From the taekwondo philosophy, I learnt how to live better, how to do things better and how to improve myself. I learnt about discipline, respect, organization and helping others. We also learn how to live peacefully and to cooperate with others. I do believe these qualities that I learned from taekwondo make me a better person; the person who I am today. Moreover, I have a strategy in my life. Thanks to taekwondo, I have friends all over the world. This is really a feeling of having a big family without any boundaries.

Expectations about the 1st WTF World Poomsae Taekwondo Championships in Seoul in 2006

In my opinion this is a great start for the promotion of poomsae taekwondo. WTF is working very hard on standardizing the rules, clarifying the guidelines, and educating the international referees for poomsae. I also believe, as a referee who belongs to the international referee family, that the success of a championship is based on good education and the good selection of the referees. Selecting the best referees will give the best quality to the championship, as well as guarantee a successful and fair tournament.

Your final comments

If I would be born again, I would do taekwondo again. Eventually, WTF is working very hard to promote taekwondo in the best way; with a lot of hard work in many different divisions. One example is through referees' education under the lead of Mr. Hong-ki Kim, chairman of the WTF Refereeing Committee, which has improved with the introduction of the latest technology and the introduction of many materials from various tournaments like the World Championships and Olympic Games. The judges' scoring system is also one of the main issues during these seminars to improve the quality of referees and to ensure fair play. I believe a good combination of electronic protectors, and well-trained and fair referees, will raise taekwondo to a higher level and keep it as an Olympic sport.

Interview : Ms. Natalia Falavigna of Brazil

Natalia Falavigna was chosen as the Best Athlete of Brazil in 2005. She, now 21 years old, started practicing taekwondo in a small academy near her house when she was 14. Her first international championships were the WTF World Junior Taekwondo Championships held in Ireland in 2000, in which she won the gold medal in the women's middleweight division. She has since been on the Brazilian national team. She is studying physical education in a university. In her spare time, she likes to go to the movies with her friends, play the guitar, and practice other sports like tennis, swimming, and handball, among others. And she likes going to the church a lot.

What rewards have you received besides the title of the Best Brazilian Ahlete of 2005?

I am the only Brazilian athlete to become a world champion in both junior and senior categories. I have been receiving the trophy for the best taekwondo athlete of the year from 2002 to 2005 from the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB). In 2005, I was the winner of the best female Brazilian athlete of the year.

What are the criteria to become the best athlete of Brazil?

A group of journalists, professional athletes, and experts in the field choose the best athlete of my country. They select the best 41 athletes in each Olympic sport. Among these 41 best athletes they nominate six (three male and three female) athletes for the best Brazilian athlete of the year. The best male and female athletes are electred by the Brazilian public through the COB’s Web site. The award is announced – at the opening of an envelope containing the name of the winner – in a ceremony organized by the COB.

What is your advice on someone becoming a good athlete?

Keep practicing, trying to improve day-by-day; being humble; having a pure heart and respecting the elders. Besides, I practice six times a week for about six hours a day, which I feel is a lot.

How do you overcome your stress before the competitions?

I try to relax, pray a lot and listen to some music.

Do you have a taekwondo philosophy?

From taekwondo, I learned respect and discipline, as well as overcoming the fact that the things in life don’t come easy.

Is taekwondo a popular sport in your country?

It isn’t. Judo in Brazil is on the contrary more traditional and popular because we have an Olympic champion like Aurélio Miguel from the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. But martial arts are becoming more popular with the good results obtained by the Brazilian athletes in the past few years, and also from the sports-oriented policies by the COB..

How supportive are your government and national federation to taekwondo athletes?

Starting in 2002, a new sports law was passed that allots some public funds to the COB, which in turn transfers it to all the Olympic sports federations. With the money, it is possible to make international trips, pay athletes their salaries, hire coaches and finance a training of a national team.

Does taekwondo contribute to help enhance the status of women in your country?

We are an open country with equal opportunities for men and women. But taekwondo proves in many countries that sexual discrimination should not be maintained. However, I must admit that it is difficult for women to make a career in taekwondo because martial arts in general have been seen as male-oriented sport rather than a feminine sport. But women have changed this old thinking a bit.

Who is your role model?

I learn from God, my parents and my masters. Moreover, I observe the attitudes of winners, such as of Saei Hadi Bonehkohal from Iran, as well as others

Your final comments?

I would like to thank a few people from the bottom of my heart: Grandmaster Pan-sun Chun, the Brazilian coach, for helping me to improve myself and standing by me to realize my dream. Thank you very much! Also to some Brazilian masters, such as the president of the Brazilian Taekwondo Federation, Grandmasters Yon-min Kim and Chang-seon Lim. Also thanks to my family and teammates. Thank you all for an unforgettable year!