It is important to note, this is several years before the formation of the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF), and even more years before the existence of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF).
This original TaeKwonDo began as military training tool for actively serving forces, which later became a martial art accessible to the public, and today features a large sports component, as can be evidenced by the many tournaments, including the Olympic Games.
While a combination of politics, nationalism and other factors saw Taekwon-Do split into these 2 major streams decades ago, not to mention the abundance of offshoots and variations that exist today, we should embrace that it is a celebration for us all.
We were fortunate in Australia to have had the opportunity to attend many General Choi Hong Hi seminars, particularly through the 1990’s, when he was a regular visitor to our shores, and then with the next generation of grandmasters and pioneers, as well as his son own Grandmaster Choi Jung Hwa.
Today thousands of instructors carry on the legacy of those original pioneers in all varieties of Taekwondo, whether as a sport or martial art, or a combination of both.
Visit the General Choi Hong Hi seminars page to view some of those seminars, as they are archival in nature, sound and picture quality may vary, we hope you will enjoy them.
The International Taekwon-Do Federation, ITF, is the first international taekwondo organization, founded on March 22, 1966, by General Choi Hong Hi, the Founder of Taekwon-D0, in Seoul, South Korea.
The ITF was founded to promote and encourage the growth of the Korean martial art of Taekwon-Do.
General Choi Hong Hi served as the Inaugural President of the ITF from 1966, until his death in 2002.
The main functions of the ITF include coordinating tournaments, conducting technical seminars, setting the technical standards for the teaching of General Choi’s art, working with affiliated member organizations, to oversee promotions in Degree rank and ITF certifications.
In 1965 General Choi, a retired two-star general, was appointed by the Government of the Republic of Korea to lead a goodwill mission to West Germany, Italy, Turkey, United-Arab Republic, Malaysia, and Singapore.
This trip is significant in that for the first time in Korean history, Taekwon‑Do was declared as the national martial art of Korea.
The international promotion of Taekwon-Do was the basis not only for establishing National Taekwon‑Do Associations in these countries, but also the formation of the International Taekwon‑Do Federation (ITF).
On the 22nd of March, 1966, the International Taekwon‑Do Federation was formed with associations in Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, West Germany, the United States, Turkey, Italy, Arab Republic of Egypt and Korea.
In the proceeding years, affiliated National Organizations were set up in many more countries around the World.
In 1971, the South Korean president Park Chung Hee began to use Taekwon-Do as anti-communist political propaganda. General Choi, feeling fiercely against this, went into exile in Canada, and the ITF Headquarters was relocated.
General Choi continued to teach Taekwon-Do throughout the world, and in 1974 he organised the first Taekwon-Do World Championship in Montreal.
The administrative headquarters later relocated again, to Vienna, Austria, where it was for the remainder of General Choi’s lifetime.
A successful weekend of New Zealand ITF Black Belt gradings and training was conducted by Master Michael Muleta, 8th Degree Under Secretary of the International Taekwon-Do Federation and President/Technical Director of United ITF Taekwon-Do.
The training and testing events were held in Queenstown, New Zealand and hosted by Kman’s Martial Arts, which is operated by multiple ITF World Champion, Kerry (K’man) McEvoy.
Students were put through a vigorous series of exercises and drills, over the course of 2 days, leading up to the final showcase on Saturday 4th March, at Kman’s Martial Arts centre.
The day consisted of lots of sparring, breaking, patterns, step sparring and demonstrations of skill sets. All performed with much spirit and skill to successful complete the testing process.
The testing panel consisted of Master Michael Muleta, Sabum Kerry McEvoy and special guest Sensei Barry Potter.
Congratulations to our newest New Zealand ITF Black Belts :
Eureka, its Gold and Bronze for the Green and Gold. Congratulations to all who were part of the small but successful Australian team who competed in the recent ITF World Championships in the Netherlands.
After a year delay due to the infamous lockdowns, the ITF finally got a chance to stage the ITF World Championships in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Without domestic tournaments for more than 2 years, preparation for this year’s National Team was not as organized as normal.
Due to restrictions, financial hardship and travel reluctance, the team was a lot smaller than past Aussie Teams, and also one of the least experienced, with 5 of the 7 participants attending their first ITF World Championships.
But, oh boy, what an outcome we got, with Charlise Grossel of Canberra, stunning us all on Day 1, winning the Female Power Breaking late in the afternoon. It was a truly amazing result for the World Champs debutant.
We had high hopes that we may be able to snag a medal or two in the Men’s sparring, with the very experienced Zdybel’s getting on the mat. It wasn’t to be, and although both acquitted themselves well, unfortunately they did not make it through to the medal rounds.
So Day 2 ended, with everyone still on a high from that awesome Gold medal on the opening day. The general feeling in the camp was that we probably wouldn’t get any more medals.
Day 3 proved us wrong, the Men’s Power Breaking Team stepped up and became Bronzed Aussies with literally a smashing performance, coming in Third Place. To be honest, as great a result as it was, they were really only a whisker away from cleaning up the Gold again.
So all in all, a fantastic result at a very enjoyable and well organized and run event.
Congratulations to the squad who represented Australia. Phil Zdybel combined his competing in Sparring, Patterns, Power and Teams, with coaching other team members. Joshua Zdybel also competed in the same events. Jordan Steele and Kirby Ellis took part in both Power events, while Grace Ellis competed in Patterns. Then of course there was Australia’s new Golden Girl, Charlise Grossel competing in Patterns and winning gold in the Power ……. Eureka !!!
Katrina Cubit worked very hard Umpiring for 3 days, whilst INO President Master Michael Muleta was part of the 4-person Tournament Committee coordinating the overall event.
So Australia, and more specifically United ITF Taekwon-Do Australia (INO#23) as the National Organization, was well represented and people knew Australia was there….. oi oi oi.
Congratulations to all the new black belts who were tested and successfully promoted over the past 2 weeks in both Newcastle and Rockhampton.
Master Michael Muleta, 8th Degree, travelled to Newcastle, NSW early June to conduct some Black Belt Examinations and an ITF Masterclass at the Titan Martial Arts school. Some black belts had also been promoted the week before, by Sabum Michael Omay.
Those promoted included:
Michael Omay 6th Degree
Scott Gannon, 5th Degree
Sam Wilson, 5th Degree
Alex Sorensen, 4th Degree
Simon Aliendi, 3rd Degree
James Magill, 3rd Degree
Chris Streets, 3rd Degree
Archer Woller, 2nd degree
Tim Kerkhoff, 2nd Degree
Maclean Davis, 1st Degree
Travis Charlton, 1st Degree
Sapphire Tabas, 1st Degree
Tiarne Sattler, 1st Degree
Kalleah Sattler, 1st Degree
Amy Burke, 1st Degree
Jerrome Teasdale, 1st Degree
The following week, Master Muleta travelled to Rockhampton for more Masterclasses and a Black Belt grading. The successful new Black belt promotion was:
Nikki Olzard, 3rd Degree
The next round of Black Belt exams and Masterclasses with Master Muleta will be held in Canberra, ACT over the weekend on 8-10th, July 2022.
Violence against women is a serious and widespread issue in Australia, as well as throughout the world. And while the long term goal is education to stop violence against women, there are actionable strategies women can employ, right now. Here are 7 very simple reasons you should consider taking a women’s self defense class.
1 – Don’t Become a Statistic
Frankly, the statistics in Australia alone are frightening. At least one woman a week is killed by a partner or former partner. One in three women have experienced physical violence. 300,000 women a year experience physical or sexual violence from a stranger.
Violence against women contributes to more death, disability and illness to women between 15 and 44 than any other preventable risk factor. Learning self-defense gives you the power to avoid becoming one of these statistics, now.
2 – Prevention and Awareness
As teens and adults we become increasingly fixated on the front and our devices, often being unaware of what’s around us. You work with an experienced instructor to develop strategies that work best for you against a variety of opponents, attacks and situations. Above all, women’s self defense teaches us awareness and prevention.
3 – Take Control for Yourself and Other Women
Women’s self defense is about taking safety into our own hands. Taking a Self defense class is our chance to take action in our own lives, to take control of our own present and future. The fact is, crimes against women happen and will continue to happen.
Women’s self defense classes can help prevent us becoming victims. Knowing how to defend ourselves gives us a better chance of stopping attacks and even lessening attacks against women in the future.
4 – Great Exercise!
Self defense classes, at the end of the day, can also be a great source of exercise, working a range of vital parts of your body. It not only exercises your body physically, it also exercises your mind, reactions and reflexes. It is also an incredible way of exercising your own power and confidence.
You do not have to be physically strong to be successful at self-defense. If you can learn to successfully escape or prevent a dangerous situation, then you are exercising good self-defense.
5 – Be Accountable
As women, we are constantly encouraged to be accountable for ourselves. We are told to be accountable for our finances. We are told to account for our stress and encouraged to be accountable for our health, weight and diet, along with our workouts and fitness.
It stands to reason that we should be accountable for our self defense. Is it really so hard to add a self defense class to our routine as we would add the latest yoga, pilates or work out fad? However, unlike a fad, this is something that will actually make a monumental, positive change to our lives.
6 – Be Feminine
There is a terrible misconception – unfortunately perpetuated by mass media – that self defense is unfeminine and unattractive. These dangerous articles claim that women who pursue self defense are masculine, “jacked up” and have a distasteful love for violence. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, many models, actresses and even pageant winners are devotees of women’s self defense. Women’s self defense is incredibly feminine because it is empowering. Encouraging women to take self defense is a beautiful, inspiring thing. So, ignore the dangerous misconceptions of mainstream media and enjoy learning self defense.
7 – Do Something Now
Of course we need better education to end violence against women and men. Violence of all kinds is unacceptable. Unfortunately, though, education is long term and may not be able to help you today, tomorrow or even next year. That is why women’s self defense education is important. This is something that can happen now. Women’s self defense provides functional strategies, techniques and training methods to stop an attacker intent on hurting you.
It gives you the security and confidence, right now, that you can protect yourself should the need arise. Unfortunately, no matter how well intended, ideologies can’t do that. So until education catches up with reality, keep yourselves safe. Invest in women’s self defense today.