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International Taekwondo Organizations
In recent years, taekwondo has become a very popular sport. All kinds of competitions and tournaments have emerged from the local level to the global level. It has also recently become an Olympic sport, leading to a hierarchy among international taekwondo organizations.
The WTF (World Taekwondo Federation) is by far the most popular. Founded in 1973, the South Korea-based organization is the highest authority on Olympic taekwondo as a member of the International Olympic Committee. The organization has a long history of over 30 years and is made up of members from 182 national associations from five regions of the world: Asian (ATU), European (ETU), Pan American (PATU), African (AFU) and Oceanian (OTU). )
The ITF (International Taekwondo Federation) is also an important player in the field of taekwondo. Founded in 1966, the ITF’s main purpose is to manage tournaments and seminars, set teaching standards and help ensure correct certification and ranking. At the base of their values and knowledge are the most important books on the art and practice of taekwondo: “The Encyclopedia of Taekwon-Do” in 15 volumes and “The Korean Art of Self-Defense” also known as the Condensed Encyclopedia, both written by General Choi Hong Hello.
The American Taekwondo Association (ATA) was founded in Omaha, Nebraska, USA by Haeng Ung Lee, in 1969. Along with the Songahm Taekwondo Federation and the World Traditional Taekwondo Union, they are one of the largest organizations of taekwondo in the world, totaling more than 350,000 members. The ATA is popular for practicing sogham taekwondo at its affiliated schools. Sogham means “pine and rock” and compares the student who learns taekwondo to the growth of a pine tree.
The WTF is the largest of all taekwondo organizations due to its Olympic status. In recent years, its mode of operation has been democratized, evolving towards a structure capable of balancing international expectations. I think the WTF is currently on the right path and will continue to be so as long as it maintains its Olympic status. After General Choi’s death, the ITF split into three organizations: ITF Vienna, ITF North Korea and ITF Canada, all claiming to be “the real” ITF. This however had a negative impact on the international prestige of the ITF, affecting its image. Easily recognizable by its title, ATA is a predominantly American organization. This situation prevents him from obtaining real international recognition.
I am of the opinion that taekwondo will always have many different styles and will be represented by a large number of organizations. I base this assumption on how this kind of business is influenced by the economy, national politics, and the individual opinions of influential people.
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