| 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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,”
“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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
What rewards have you received besides the title of the Best Brazilian Ahlete of 2005?
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?
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
What is your advice on someone becoming a good athlete?
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?
try to relax, pray a lot and listen to some music.
Do you have a taekwondo philosophy?
taekwondo, I learned respect and discipline, as
well as overcoming the fact that the things in
life don’t come easy.
taekwondo a popular sport in your country?
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?
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?
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?
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