DVD on Poomsae
 
 (WTF Membership:
 182 as of end of September 2006)
 
WTF President Nominated as President of Korean Fair Play Committee

Dr. Chungwon Choue, president of the World Taekwondo Federation, was nominated as president of the newly established Korean Fair Play Committee in its inaugural General Assembly in Seoul on Sept. 26, 2006.

In his acceptance speech, Choue said, “The committee’s launch is belated, but I will do my utmost to bring about a brighter world by spreading our fair play campaign in an organized and systematic manner to all sectors of life in Korea, including sports circles.”

1st WTF World Cup Taekwondo Team Championships Wrap Up in Great Success
WTF Signs Recognition Contract with LaJUST on Electronic Protectors
1st WTF World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships Wrap Up in Resounding Success
WTF Marks "Taekwondo Day" with Various Events on Sept. 4
WTF President Chungwon Choue Meets Thai Journalists at 1st WTF World Cup Taekwondo Team Championships

WTF President Nominated as President of Korean Fair Play Committee

Dr. Chungwon Choue, president of the World Taekwondo Federation, was nominated as president of the newly established Korean Fair Play Committee in its inaugural General Assembly in Seoul on Sept. 26, 2006.

In his acceptance speech, Choue said, “The committee’s launch is belated, but I will do my utmost to bring about a brighter world by spreading our fair play campaign in an organized and systematic manner to all sectors of life in Korea, including sports circles.”

The Korean Fair Play Committee (KFPC) will become an ordinary member of the International Committee for Fair Play (ICFP).

The ICFP, established in 1963, has its headquarters in Paris, France. The international organization awards World Fair Play Prizes annually to athletes, persons or organizations for their acts or sports career promoting fair play.

The ICFP aims for the worldwide defense and promotion of fair play with national and international organizations working for sport and education, high-level athletes, children, adolescents and those in charge of training them - coaches and trainers.

The WTF is an ordinary member of the ICFP. The ICFP voted Iranian Hadi Saei Bonehkohal, the gold medalist at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, as the World Fair Player of the Year 2005 for his humanitarian efforts.

The ICFP has Mr. Juan Antonio Samaranch, former IOC president, and IOC President Jacques Rogge as its honorary presidents.

Prior to his nomination as the first president of the KFPC, WTF President Choue delivered a keynote speech under the topic “Olympism and Fair Play” before some 250 participants, mostly members of the Korean Olympic Academy, during the 2nd Korean Olympic Academy Congress at the Olympic Parktel in Seoul.

Among the participants were Mr. Jung-kil Kim, president of the Korean Olympic Committee; Mr. Seh-jik Park, former president of the Organizing Committee for the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games; and Mr. Dai-soon Lee, president of the Taekwondo Promotion Foundation.

A special demonstration of electronic protectors was conducted for participants. As part of its efforts to ensure fair judging and refereeing at taekwondo competitions, the WTF is pushing for the introduction of a new electronic protector system.


1st WTF World Cup Taekwondo Team Championships Wrap Up in Great Success

BANGKOK, Thailand - The 1st WTF World Cup Taekwondo Team Championships wrapped up its five-day event here on Sept. 18, 2006, in a great success for good reasons.

The Championships, which took place at the Hua Mark Indoor Stadium, were regarded as one of the best organized taekwondo events, with the least protests during the competitions. The Fair Play Award and the Best Coach Award were newly created.

In the overall medal tally, Korea clinched both male and female titles in the individual and team competitions of the championships.

“This championship was by far one of the best organized championships we have ever had.” said Dr. Chungwon Choue, president of the World Taekwondo Federation, in his prepared speech text handed out to local journalists on the final day of the championships.

Dr. Choue especially thanked the organizer of the event, the Taekwondo Association of Thailand, for such an excellent organization of the championships.

“To the referees, I am heartened by your determination to ensure the fairness of the matches. Such dedication to the spirit of fairness in sports is essential to the growth of taekwondo,” Choue said. “In this championship, I can feel that the level of refereeing has improved to another level.”

During the closing ceremony, WTF President Choue honored five international referees for their efforts to ensure fair judgment and refereeing at the World Cup Championships.

The recipients of the Best Referee Award were Jessica B. Stenholm of Norway, Khim Hua Seng of Australia, Sin Dong Jun of Japan, Sheyka Vladimir Iva of Russia, and Tung Ya Ling of Chinese Taipei..

WTF President Choue also said, “To the athletes, you have treated us to some spectacular matches. Every sweat, every injury is evident of your total commitment to our sport.” “I am especially heartened to witness the final of the male middleweight division between the athlete from Iran and the athlete from Italy. The unyielding spirit and fair play mentality of both athletes epitomize the beauty of our sport.”

In this regard, Dr. Choue presented the newly established Fair Play Award to the Italian team during the ceremony.

In the final match of the male middleweight category of the individual competition of the championships on Sept. 14, the Italian athlete, Mauro Sarmientio, was in obvious pain from his injuries sustained in earlier bouts and his movements severely hindered. Nonetheless, he fought on and completed the match against Iranian Mehdi Bibak Asi. At the end of the match, both contestants embraced warmly in true fair play spirit.

“What I am especially pleased to see is the diversity in the winners. Thailand has emerged as a force to be reckoned with, along with other up-and-coming power houses in the sport,” Dr. Choue said. “Such competition will lead our sport to greater heights.”

Among the 35 participating countries in the championships, 19 countries won at least one medal.

In the individual competition of the World Cup on Sept. 14-17, Korea won seven gold medals, two silver medals and four bronze medals overall, followed by Spain with two golds, two silvers and three bronzes.

In the overall medal tally, host Thailand came third with two golds, one silver and three bronzes, followed by Iran with two golds, one silver and one bronze. Australia ranked fifth with one gold and two silvers, with Russia winning one gold and one bronze. Norway earned one gold, with Italy grabbing three silvers.
In the one-day team competition of the World Cup Championships on Sept. 18, Korea won both male and female team titles. In the female division, Turkey stood at second place, with China finishing third. In the male division, Iran came second and France third.

WTF President Choue also mentioned the spectators in his remarks. “To the spectators, I am extremely glad to be part of the championships. Every day, the atmosphere and support from the fans are electrifying. The citizens of Thailand have embraced us with open arms.”

During the championships, a Samsung booth was set up at the entrance of the competition area. Samsung, the global partner of the WTF, sponsored the championships.

“Finally, I wish to extend my congratulations to the citizens of Thailand for the 60th anniversary of the accession to the throne of His Majesty, King Bhumibol,” Dr. Choue said.

During the closing ceremony, the Best Player awards were presented to Korea’s Chang-ha Jang in the male division, and Thailand’s Yaowapa Boorapholchai in the female division.

The Best Coach awards were given to Thailand’s Young-seok Choi in the male category and Korea’s Sun-mi Park in the female division.

The Good Fighting Spirit awards were delivered to five countries: Egypt (Africa), Turkey (Europe), the United States (Pan America), China and Chinese Taipei (Asia).

The Good Fighting Spirit awards are given to teams that, although lacking in gold medals, participate with the most desirable spirit and attitude. The award is given to one member national association per continent, as a form of encouragement and recognition of the courageous efforts of the teams. There are two nations from Asia, as Australia was the only representative from Oceania and had already won the gold medal.

The WTF’s ad-hoc Evaluation Committee recommended the creation of a new award ; Fair Play Award for Athletes and Good Fighting Spirit Award for Athletes. The committee said it believes that the new awards would be a good incentive to encourage athletes to propagate the true spirit of fair play through the sport of taekwondo.

WTF Signs Recognition Contract with LaJUST on Electronic Protectors

The World Taekwondo Federation signed a recognition contract with LaJUST on electronic protectors at the headquarters of the WTF in Seoul on Sept. 11, 2006.

The contract period is five years. With the signing, the WTF is able to use the electronic protectors in the taekwondo competition of the 18th World Taekowndo Championships scheduled for in May 2007 in Beijing, China, at the earliest.

The World Taekwondo Federation signed a recognition contract with LaJUST on electronic protectors at the headquarters of the WTF in Seoul on Sept. 11, 2006.

The contract period is five years. With the signing, the WTF is able to use the electronic protectors in the taekwondo competition of the 18th World Taekowndo Championships scheduled for in May 2007 in Beijing, China, at the earliest.

The introduction of electronic protectors is expected to greatly enhance the image of taekwondo and the WTF, as they could reduce possible controversies arising from judgment and refereeing at taekwondo competitions.

“The signing bears a great significance in that the use of electronic protectors could make judgment at taekwondo competitions more objective and transparent,” said WTF President Chungwon Choue. “It makes a milestone in the history of taekwondo and the WTF.”

According to the recommendations of the now disbanded WTF Reform Committee on fairer judgment and refereeing at taekwondo competitions, the WTF set up an ad-hoc Committee on Electronic Protectors in July 2005.

The WTF held a demonstration of electronic protectors on July 20, 2005 in Seoul.

In accordance with the recommendations of the ad-hoc committee after the first demonstration, the WTF commissioned the Korea Institute of Sports and Science (KISS) to produce a report on basic specifications of electronic protectors. On Dec. 30, 2005, the WTF announced the KISS-produced specifications on electronic protectors.

The WTF held another demonstration of electronic protectors on March 25, 2006 in Seoul. The demonstration drew four electronic protector manufacturers ; LaJUST of Korea; ATM of Austria; True Score (Impact Measurement), a joint venture between the Untied States and Korea; and Daedo International of Spain.

The ad-hoc Committee on Electronic Protectors announced its evaluation results of the electronic protector demonstration on March 28, 2006.

Of the four participating demonstrators, LaJUST was the only participants that passed the “acceptable” level of the basic technical requirements in four categories to be applied to taekwondo competition.
The four categories are accuracy of the sense-impact level, differentiation of valid impact and invalid impact, consecutive impacts and calibration.

According to the KISS report to the WTF in June this year, LaJUST also passed the laboratory tests, which involved transmission systems, safety on electricity and electronics, and endurance of materials.

On July 29, 2006, there was a JaJUST demonstration of electronic protectors during the 6th WTF World Junior Taekwondo Championships in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, drawing a positive response from spectators.

LaJUST started developing electronic protector systems in 1982 and has since conducted electronic-protector demonstrations at about 130 official and unofficial taekwondo competitions. As recently as in October 2003, LaJUST electronic protectors were used at the 24th Yonsei University President’s Flag Taekwondo Championships in Seoul.

 

1st WTF World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships Wrap Up in Resounding Success

The 1st WTF World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships concluded its three-day event in Seoul on Sept. 6, 2006 in a resounding success.

The inaugural WTF-promoted poomsae event, which took place at the Olympic Gymnasium in Olympic Park, drew 590 athletes and officials from 59 countries.

“Based on the performances and the keen participation of 59 countries over the past few days, I am heartened to say that the 1st WTF World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships have been a resounding success,” said Dr. Chungwon Choue, president of the World Taekwondo Federation, during the closing ceremony of the championships.

WTF President Choue said, “Korea has dominated the championships this year and I congratulate the Korean team on that. Nonetheless, I take heart in the dedication of all athletes of all nations.” “Based on the performances of these past days, I believe that other nations will very soon enhance their standards and produce worthy champions of their own. I look forward to that.”

He continued to say, “With more accomplishments, I believe that the discipline of poomsae will someday be an important sport of the International Paralympic Committee.” “For this reason, I am pleased to announce that next year’s poomsae championships will feature athletes with disabilities as well. We aim to reach out to all poomsae enthusiasts and be a global sport-for-all.”

“The emergence of poomsae and the inauguration of Taekwondo Day is testament to the important role that the World Taekwondo Federation can play in the international community,” he said. “I believe the World Taekwondo Federation has the potential to be an omnipresent partner in the propagation of the Olympic Movement.”

The 2nd WTF World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships are scheduled to take place in Incheon, Korea.

Samsung, the global partner of the WTF, sponsored the inaugural poomsae championships. Samsung also sponsored the 6th WTF World Junior Taekwondo Championships in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on July 26-30, 2006. It will also sponsor the 1st WTF World Cup Taekwondo Team Championships scheduled for Sept. 14-18, 2006 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Prior to the closing ceremony, WTF President Choue honored six international referees for their “outstanding and exemplary” officiating at the Poomsae Championships. The six are Mr. Kang-in Kim of Korea, Tong-wan Shin of Great Britain, Varo Darid Barragan of Panama, Carmen Navarro of Spain, Teong Chin Lim of Singapore, and Nar Syshidah Binti of Malaysia.

Of the 59 participating countries, 13 countries earned at least one medal at the inaugural Poomsae Championships. Korea swept all the 16 gold medals up for grabs, followed by Iran with four silver medals and three bronze medals and Turkey with three silvers and two bronzes.

Spain came next with two silvers and six bronzes, followed by Australia with two silvers and Germany with one silver and one bronze. Vietnam, France, Denmark and the Netherlands each clinched one silver medal. Chinese Taipei won two bronzes, while Italy and Russia earned one bronze.


WTF Marks "Taekwondo Day" with Various Events on Sept. 4
The World Taekwondo Federation celebrated the 1st "Taekwondo Day" on Sept. 4, 2006, in a ceremony.

During the opening ceremony of the 1st WTF World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships at the Olympic Gymnasium in Olympic Park in Seoul, an event to mark the inauguration of Taekwondo Day was held.

The event drew ranking taekwondo officials, including Mr. Jung-kil Kim, president of the Korea Taekwondo Association, Mr. Woon-kyu Uhm, president of the Kukkiwon and Mr. Dai-soon Lee, president of the Taekwondo Promotion Foundation. Also on hand was Ms. Bae-sook Cho, chairwoman of the National Assembly Culture & Tourism Committee.

During the event, WTF President Chungwon Choue declared the inauguration of Taekwondo Day and the symbol of Taekwondo Day was unveiled for the public.

The WTF designated Sept. 4 as Taekwondo Day during its General Assembly in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on July 25, 2006.

The rationale for designating the date of Sept. 4 as Taekwondo Day is that on Sept. 4, 1994, the 103rd IOC Session held in France decided to accept the sport of taekwondo into the official program of the Summer Olympic Games. Taekwondo was an Olympic sport at the 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Olympic Games. It will be also a medal sport at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympic Games.

During the Taekwondo Day event, the congratulatory message from Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, was read.

"The World Taekwondo Federation has taken the decision to commemorate the inclusion of taekwondo on the Olympic programme at the 103rd IOC Session on Sept. 4, 1994 in Paris," Dr. Rogge said in his message.

The IOC president continued to say, "The IOC is pleased that this event also linked to a major competition which will highlight this sport in your country and attract the attention of the general public, particularly the younger generation, which can be sensitised to values such as respect and fair play."

WTF President Choue said in his opening speech, "The fact that we have a Taekwondo Day is testament to the endeavors and sacrifices of our masters, athletes, referees and officials." "The 1st Taekwondo Day is not just a showpiece of our enhanced international standing; it is also a day when we recognize each other's efforts. For this, and more, I wish to thank every one for your dedication and continued support for taekwondo and the WTF."

"We have the potential to contribute positively to the world. Let us fulfill that dream from today, starting with the 1st WTF World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships," Dr. Choue said.

He continued to say, "Poomsae is a unique discipline of taekwondo that has no equals. It is not kyorugi, but it encompasses all of its features of strength, speed and accuracy." "Through poomsae, we hope to show that taekwondo is also about technique and grace."

Dr. Choue said, "Poomsae "has the potential to be a valuable tool to social harmony. From young children to the elderly, poomsae will help create a strong bond of unity and strength."

"I also believe that poomsae will be beneficial to athletes with disabilities; for them to gain self-confidence and fulfill their Olympic dreams," he said. "For these reasons, I hope that someday, poomsae will be accepted by the International Paralympic Committee."

In this vein, a special taekwondo demonstration by the disabled was performed during the opening ceremony of the three-day WTF World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships, which drew about 600 athletes and officials from 59 countries.

At its General Assembly in Ho Chi Minh City in late July, the WTF approved the establishment of the Paralympic Committee, with the aim of studying ways to include taekwondo in the official program of the Paralympic Olympic Games.

To mark the 1st Taekwondo Day, the WTF issued commemorative postage stamps. An enlarged WTF Taekwondo Day postage stamp was also on display for the public along with other commemorative taekwondo stamps collected at home and abroad at the second floor of the Olympic Gymnasium.

"The designation of Taekwondo Day and the launch of the World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships would combine to help expand the base of taekwondo population around the world," said WTF President Choue.

In the afternoon, WTF President Choue hosted a reception at the Olympic Parktel nearby the Olympic Park to mark the 1st Taekwondo Day and to welcome the participating athletes and officials in the WTF Taekwondo Poomsae Championships.

NZ Taekwondo Team Makes Clean Gold Medal Sweep

WELLINGTON, New Zealand --- The New Zealand taekwondo team exceeded all expectations by winning every Olympic division senior gold medal at the WTF-Oceania Championships in Auckland on Aug. 26, 2006.

The wins also boost New Zealand's chances of sending a full complement of four Taekwondo fighters to the 2008 Beijing Olympics for the first time.

The gold medal winners for New Zealand in the men's division were: heavyweight Dafydd Sanders; middleweight Steve Rickard; lightweight Logan Campbell; and bantamweight Malcolm Tester.

In the women's division, winners were: finweight Andrea Kilday; bantamweight Miwah Van; lightweight Eleanor Currie; middleweight Robin Jong; heavyweight Hope Fairless.

Four New Zealand juniors also won gold in the under-18 championships.

(Story from the Radio New Zealand on Aug. 27, 2006)

Taekwondo’s Popularity High Among University Students in Jakarta

JAKARTA, Indonesia --- The popularity of taekwondo is high among Indonesians, especially university students in Jakarta.

Reflecting the high popularity, a series of taekwondo-related events took place in the country over the last one month.

A three-day Korean Ambassador’s Cup Taekwondo Championships opened in Jakarta on Aug. 4, 2006, in cooperation with the Indonesian Taekwondo Association.

Timed with the championships, a series of taekwondo demonstrations were held in Jakarta and the provincial city of Surabaya, under the auspices of the World Taekwondo Federation and the sponsorship of Samsung.

Besides them, there was a more “meaningful” event involving university students of Korea and Indonesia.

Four Korean university students provided free taekwondo training sessions for two weeks from mid-July for a total of 15 students and faculty members of Jakarta Negeri University in Jakarta.

The taekwondo training program was part of the Korean students’ cultural exchange programs.

“We gave a 40-minute taekwondo training to eight students and seven faculty members of the university every day before the start of our regular classes of computer and the Korean language,” said Kim Eun-han, a senior student of the Malay-Indonesia Department of the Hankook University of Foreign Studies in Seoul.

As members of the Korea Internet Volunteers, Kim and three other university students were dispatched last month to Jakarta Negeri University to teach the school students and faculty members about computer and the Korean language. Under the Korea Internet Volunteers program, which started in 2002 under the auspices of the Ministry of Information and Communication, 75 different groups were chosen this year and dispatched around the world.

“Given the high popularity of taekwondo, we decided to offer a taekwondo training session for the students during our stay in Jakarta,” Kim said. “We distributed each of the students a copy of the official WTF Taekwondo magazine and the WTF badge, which we received from the Seoul-based WTF.”

Kim, a first-dan Kukkiwon black-belt holder, said, “All the students were amazed at the taekwondo training program. If we have another chance, then we want to expand the training hours.”

Ms. Gres Grasia Azmin, a faculty member of the university, said that she, now 24, took up the sport of taekwondo at age 10 and practiced for one year.

“I learned taekwondo from my Indonesian teach during the elementary school. Taekwondo was very interesting at that time as it improved a lot my mental and physical health,” she said.

She hoped more taekwondo-related motion pictures will be produced, which she thought would greatly promote taekwondo.

Mr. Boo-chul Park, who headed a WTF-Samsung taekwondo demonstration team, estimates that about 800,000 people practice taekwondo in Indonesia.

“In Surabaya only, about 150,000 are practicing taekwondo and taekwondo is gaining greater popularity in Indonesia after it became an Olympic sport,” said Park, who also serves as a special advisor to the WTF president.

Interest Growing in Taekwondo

By Bili Skowronski
Staff Writer
.  

NORTHBROOK, Illinois, U.S.A. -- Anyone interested in learning just what taekwondo is all about need only step through the doors of the nearest dojang, or training room. Even those who think they know may be surprised what they find.

Taekwondo, often spelled tae kwon do or Taekwon-do, is a form of martial arts, originating in Korea over 2,000 years ago. It is similar to karate, kung fu, kendo, hapkido, jujitsu and judo. Yet, the discipline has grown rapidly in the United States over the past 20 years as more people find that the Korean term "punch, kick, way of life" goes far beyond its English translation.

Two large white boards hang from the ceiling at the Oriental Arts Training Center, greeting students, parents and visitors to the Northbrook taekwondo center. One board displays "Children Home Rules" and the other reads "School Rules."

Immediately, it is clear the children and adults who enter underneath these tenets are committing to more than kicking and punching. The "way of life", or "do" in Korean, is precisely what separates taekwondo from other Oriental martial arts.

"About 10 years ago, 70 percent of professional martial arts schools taught karate," said grand master K.H. Kim. "Now, more than 60 percent of martial arts studios teach taekwondo. Everyone knows karate, but when I emigrated here no one knew taekwondo. Now it is one of only two official Olympic summer game disciplines with 182 countries participating around the world."

Master Kim, an eighth degree black belt and the head of OATC in Northbrook, managed the U.S. Taekwondo Olympic team in the 2000 Games in Sydney. On that team, Steve Lopez won a gold medal and again captured gold in 2004. More recently, Kim has focused on sharing taekwondo with youngsters on the North Shore.

"I want to try to build up children's character development," Kim said. "Whether it is their confidence, their discipline, concentration or respect. In taekwondo, we emphasize character development more than any other martial art."

The character development is precisely why Cheryl Mankoff of Northbrook enrolled her then 3-year-old son Brandon in Taekwondo.

"It was local and my husband was familiar with it growing up, so he thought we should try it out. It's supposed to be good for discipline, athletic ability and respect," Mankoff said. "So we said we'd try it out and see if he likes it. He liked it right away. He started when he was little and loved it from the start.

"In addition to all the things you do here, they teach you to respect your parents and respect your belongings. Brandon is now a good listener and has respect for adults," Mankoff added. "He used to be the type of kid who would start to cry if someone said the wrong thing to him. Now he stands up for himself and I think it's changed him. He's very sure of himself and he's a different kid."

The martial art's effect on students often goes far beyond the dojang and past the supervision of parents.

"Brandon is an excellent student too. Teachers used to say he could sit and do a puzzle for a half an hour without moving," Mankoff says. "They said other kids would sit for two or three minutes and run off to the next thing, but he would sit until he finished the puzzle. I think that comes from here because they teach the kids that you have to stands still and concentrate."

Recently, at the age of 6, Brandon Mankoff (Northbrook), Mitch Wilson (Northbrook) and Jack Janisch (Glenview) became the youngest students ever to receive their first-degree black belt at the OATC. The process itself demanded a level of strength and endurance many adults don't possess.

In order to pursue his or her first-degree black belt, students must first progress through the previous nine ranks. Before becoming eligible to test for their black belts, the three local 6-year-olds passed through white, yellow, orange, green, purple, blue, dark blue, brown and red belt ranks.

After completing the required 400 hours of preparatory classes, the children spent seven hours testing. First, the students completed a physical test in which they ran a mile and a half, then performed 45 push-ups and 45 sit-ups in under a minute. Next, each student displayed 100 basic kicks, 30 blocks, five stances and two punches. Thirty to 40 combination kicks were needed as well before moving on to one-step and three-step sparring combinations.

After sparring, the students were challenged to break 10 wooden boards of varying density from 1/4 inch to one inch. Additional two-on-one survivor sparring was followed by an oral test on Korean terminology and taekwondo history. The final requirement was a 1,000-word essay about what it means to become a black belt. Parents were allowed to help write the essays with their children.

At each of the nine ranks preceding the black belt, a student assessment for ages 3-12 must be completed by each parent. Surprisingly, the checklist refers to behavior such as maintaining a clean room, completing homework, respecting teachers and family members, as well as completing chores. Therefore, if students do not exhibit the proper behavior at home, as assessed by their parents, they may not test for the succeeding rank.

"It's a lot of work for the parents," Kim says. "I can give the children an education, philosophy and other benefits, but I cannot bring them here. Bringing them here and assessing them at home is the parent's job."

Master Kim plans to test for his ninth-degree grand master black belt in 2009 after a required 10-year period of study and research. The ninth degree is the highest any taekwondo master can achieve and involves work on furthering the development of martial arts.

(Story from the Northbrook Star in Northbrook, Illinois, U.S.A. on Aug. 10, 2006)

WTF President Chungwon Choue Meets Thai Journalists at 1st WTF World Cup Taekwondo Team Championships

"“By Preechachan Wiriyanupappong
The Nation"



BANGKOK, Thailand -- The introduction of electronic protectors has already been made in the WTF’s efforts of reducing possible controversies arising from biased judgment and refereeing at taekwondo competitions.

Chungwon Choue, president of the World Taekwondo Federation, said in an exclusive interview during the staging of the Bangkok World Cup Taekwondo Team Championships on Sunday (sept. 17, 2006) that the world’s taekwondo governing body has already approved the use of electronic protectors.

“The introduction of electronic protectors is expected to greatly enhance the image of taekwondo and the WTF alike,” said Choue in an interview with The Nation.

“The use of such device could make judgment at taekwondo competition more objective and transparent and it makes a milestone in the history of taekwondo,”he added.

According to Choue, the WTF already held a demonstration of electronic protectors on July 20 during the staging of the World Junior Taekwondo Championships in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and it worked pretty well.

“LaJUST, one of the four electronic protector manufacturers, is the only demonstrator that passed the laboratory test and the basic technical requirement which involved transmission system, safety on electricity and electronics and endurance of
materials. The demonstration drew a positive response from spectators.”

Choue said the electronic protectors are likely to be used for the first time at the next year’s World Championships in Beijing. If not there, it is a must that such protectors will be used at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Additionally, the WTF will also observe the Taekwondo Day on September 4 of every year in a ceremony along with its 182-member national associations in an effort of commemorating the September 4, 1994, the day when the 103rd IOC session in France decided to accept taekwondo as an official sport of the Olympic Games.

“The WTF already launched the inaugural World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships early this month in Seoul. It was a success. We have also conducted a possibility study for the inclusion of taekwondo poomsae (dancing tactics, not combat taekwondo) in the Paralympic Games.”

Asked to comment on the Thailand’s staging of the concluded World Cup Taekwondo Team Championships, Choue said, “It’s a great success. The organizing committee members worked hard in preparation for hosting the championships and their dedication bore fruits afterwards. A thumb-up goes to the Thai organizers.

“I’m optimistic that Thailand stands a good chance to host more major taekwondo competitions in the near future, while the candidate cities to host the 2009 World Championships have yet decided.

“I’m very happy to learn that several nations such as Iran, China and Thailand have markedly improved their standards. The sport has also gained significant popularity in Iran, Vietnam and I think this will be a good sign that taekwondo will increasingly draw interests from young generation and sports-lovers in general.”

(Story from The Nation in Thailand on Sept. 18, 2006)