I’d like to talk a bit about Taekwondo, something that I’ve been doing for most of my life. Before I begin, if you are not familiar with Taekwondo (or TKD for short), please refer to the Wikipedia page here. Yes, most people have differing opinions regarding Wikipedia, but I find it sufficient enough for the purpose of this article. I would like to highlight that I learn ITF-style Taekwondo. Yes, you’re wondering what ITF means, well the Wikipedia link earlier provides an explanation on it, but let me sum it up my own way:
- Gen Choi founds Taekwondo and establishes the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF).
- Some disputes happen and the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) is formed and has noticeable differences from ITF style TKD. ITF moves headquarters to Vienna.
- Along the way, some other Federations are formed, a number of them use ITF-style, some WTF-style.
- Gen Choi passes away in 2002, ITF splits into three different entities.
So the ITF organization I follow is based in Vienna and you can view their official website here. There is no special reason why I follow this organization, it’s just that my Grandmaster and Master who have trained me all this while follows this organization.
Anyway, enough introduction, back to the part where I said it’s something I’ve been doing most of my life. I first started learning TKD in 1986, I was 9 years old then (yes, you can go ahead and calculate my age now). I obtained my Black Belt (1st Dan/Degree) in 1992. So I continued actively training the next few years, and my plan was to take my 2nd Dan exam in 1996. Unfortunately, life got in the way, so by 1995 I slowly stopped attending classes, and it was basically a complete stop by the end of the year. In 97, I went overseas to study and when I came back in 2000, I did try starting TKD again, but unfortunately again, life got in the way yet again. So the first comeback failed, and 4-5 years after that, I tried another comeback, even bought a new black belt (coz my old one went missing) and a new uniform too, but again, it just didn’t work out.
So one day, in Nov 2014, I asked my eldest daughter (who was 5 at that time) if she wanted to learn TKD, and she asked me what TKD was. So I showed her some videos from YouTube, and she went “Daddy, Daddy, I want to learn this, please Daddy”, how could I say no? I wanted to her to start learning TKD anyway. So that weekend, I went to the place where I learned TKD, met up with my old Master and told him my daughter wanted to sign-up, and she immediately started class. I decided to make my comeback then, and it’s really a case of third time lucky because up till today, I’m still training and I finally took (and passed) my 2nd Dan exam in February this year, 20 years behind schedule. Better late than never I guess.
So TKD training will go on until further notice, it’s something I intend to continue doing until I can’t walk anymore. There will be more postings on TKD somewhere down the line, in the meantime, enjoy the links below.
International Taekwondo Federation Official Website
General Choi Hong Hi, Founder of Taekwondo
Taekwondo Background from Wikipedia
International Taekwondo Federation from Wikipedia
Taekwondo Wiki – Good site for information on everything TKD-related
ITF Patterns – Videos of all the ITF Patterns