Is the patterns’ competition modifying Taekwon-Do?

 

Dissimilar rules are applied due the several entities organizing the tournaments, doesn’t matter if these are domestics, continental or world championships. I’ve already written about the particular interests that move these entities to use different rules or distinct uniforms to distinguish one from another; doesn’t matter if they use the same name to call their administrations and proclaim to be descendant form the same teacher, in this case the Founder of the Art (See “Taekwon-Do and it offers” in this same web site). They are using the General Choi’s name and his patterns (Tul) as a common factor to reach their particular targets; however they are not the same thing, just something similar.

The present concern is that their different sportive rules and other identifications have modified the biomechanics of the legacy. The modifications established nowadays in all and each entities of the “style” have reached all ranks, categories and all ethnics, which mean that Oriental and Occidentals teachers are involved in this alteration.

Is at present Gral Choi Hong Hi the guide and reference to follow in the use of the biomechanics of the movements?

Today’s technology and the social Medias let us see several videos about the Founder in action and explaining the proper techniques and its applications. These are clear enough to understand the disparity with the different biomechanics used by all and each one of the entities that utilize his name. Stiffness and unreal movements were always mentioned as wrong (I can assure it as the Gral Choi’s translator into Spanish in many seminars during many years and also of his condensed encyclopedia), however today these wrong performances apparently are the path to follow.

Are patterns (Tul) only a demanding execution for tests? Is it just another item in competition? They never had such a destiny in their creation. All the movements involved in the 24 patterns were designed to solve different self defense circumstances, then its performance must be done free from stiffness and accompanied by the right biomechanical to keep the utility of their movements. A good kick has to be done following the pre-established steps or details and at the required height; a 180 degrees in the height of the “supposed” side kick is not a remarkable right performance but an error.

Today the sine wave has a capricious or fanciful use, including an extra bending of the knees where it is not required; sometimes this additional flexion seems a funny reverence or a courtesy salutation. Their application is forced due to the bad use of the knee spring. This is basic biomechanics. Do you remember Gral. Choi when he advised never to extend your leg when the movement is in motion? When a person is extending their leg while the movement is in motion, there is no other option than to bend the knees additionally and fancifully to create an unnecessary and “forced sine wave” to apply the current requirement. This detail makes the movement unreal because it is supposed that you’re in front of an opponent and there is no time or opportunity to do that.

Curiously the people that are teaching such things are the same that, until a couple of years ago, were calling the sine wave as “undulating movement”. It is evident that they never understood that the undulating movement only exists in Hawaiian dances but never in Taekwon-Do.

Furthermore, I’d commented to Gral. Choi about that curious manner to name the sine wave and in that time he told me that those who use this erroneous manner to describe the movement didn’t know the scientific use of the sine wave and it particularities. The human body produces it naturally without any necessity to compel its implementation. To apply this benefit it is only necessary the appropriated use of the knee spring.

A Sine wave wrongly applied, with stiffness and kicks that don’t follow the required details, modifies the right biomechanics already established as a legacy. In other words this wrong utilization of the motions is modifying Taekwon-Do.

Every time that a championship or a tournament is programmed or organized, a meeting with Judges and umpires is required to standardize, between other things, the evaluation of the techniques used in the pattern’s competition.

The approval of the errors mentioned above is a very good way to induce the judge’s criteria to reward a wrong biomechanical.

It’s normal that the participants try to imitate the champions of different categories, then and after several events organized under this commands, becomes right what is wrong and vice versa, which is worst. Thank you for your attention.

Senior Grand Master Ricardo Desimone

To be aware read again the previous notes.

What do you think?

All entities use the name of Gral Choi Hong Hi and his photo to promote their activities (Seminars, tournaments, etc).

Are they also using the Gral Choi prerogatives: his particular biomechanics or the training method he proposed?  I don’t think so… Then, the mentioned references are merely speculative.

Today there are many high categories around the world using their particular point of view about how to teach Taekwon-Do and utilizing their personal training methods.

This individual thinking modifies the biomechanics proposed by the Founder, who between other things asked to us, the highest categories of that moment to “please keep the patterns (Tul) as they are at present because these are the vertebral column of our Art”. I think that he had the intuition that some people were waiting for his absence to impose their very personal criteria. When I’m mentioning some people I’m including all ethnics: Orientals and occidentals.

What really is the Gral Choi Hong Hi creation: a name?, initials to describe an entity?, Sport combat rules? a fashion?

He developed a particular way to improve the human being’s power in a real and effective self defense structure. This is systematized in an easy pedagogical method and a philosophical basis, which is called Taekwon-Do.

Taking into consideration our present, his prerogatives to keep his Art in this strict scheme, is uncertain.

He was traveling around the world to unify criteria and to teach the method that finally nobody is using. In use are his name and photo, but his Art is not, it was fancifully modified.

I can’t precise if this happened because he was not understood or purposely done to impose, using his name, personal trademarks. Probably both things are placed into play.

Some entities mention the theory and its geometrical references, but the bodies of the teachers (doesn’t matter their category: GM, Masters, Instructors) don’t move according to their words.

Others do not care about any theory or reference; just use the Gral’s name, his photo and the initials of the entity he founded, that’s all.

Giving a seminar and talking with students of different organizations, one of them told me that while attending a seminar offered by a Grand Master, he noted to that GM the fact that Gral Choi indicated a different and particular manner to perform the movement  discussed in that moment. To this student’s surprise the answer of that GM was: “Gral. Choi passed away and now, in this Entity, the people are going to do as I say”. ???

If all entities are using their own and personal criteria, why do they use the Gral Choi’s name, his photo and the theory introduced by him?

Gral. Choi never taught a boxing method as is used today to train the students. If you practice Taekwon-Do, you have to train Taekwon-Do. The boxing methods are very good for boxing. He always said that Taekwon-Do is a Martial Art with a sport item and not vice versa. A martial art is soundly different to a sport combat system.

Sometimes some sport methods used today by most instructors, can be adequate for a particular fighting competition but not for a regular Taekwon-Do’s tournament.

Since 1973 we were arguing against the methodology employed in the taekwondo that for political reasons is used in Olympics since 1990’s. They always tried to demonstrate that taekwondo is only a sport due to a particular convenience. Our Founder obsessively repeated:” that thing was only a bad mimic using a stolen name but never a martial art”.

Those that only see Taekwon-Do as a sport, make the Founder’s fight a wasted effort.

If you consider Taekwon-Do only as a sport, you’ll never understand Taekwon-Do properly. Taekwon-Do must be taught by an Instructor and not by a coach.

Taekwon-Do is a science, then, it will be found where the knowledge is, independently of any ethnicity, any political convenience or for some entity’s profits.

Taekwon-Do doesn’t belong to any particular race or country. If it would be so and you don’t belong to this special ethnic, why are you doing such an effort to obtain something that you’ll never get?

SGM Ricardo Desimone

To be aware search the previous notes

About the students and Instructors’ relationship

foto-nota-acerca-de-la-relacion-Instructor-estudianteThere’s frequently a misunderstanding concerning the student-Instructor’s relationship.

This relation demands to clarify some details in order to establish the right interaction amid both parts.

There is a big difference between a person who is training and a student. To be a direct student of an Instructor or Master, the apprentice must feel particularly identified with the Teacher, who knows what the student doesn’t, what the student needs and who is expected to have a personality and moral values the student wants to imitate and not only for a particular or remarkable sport fighting condition.

The one only attracted by the struggle abilities of an instructor, is just a person only interested in the fighting aspect of the art. These people only need a coach, not an Instructor or a Master.

Regrettably the current trend is tarnished by this behavior. Nowadays the sport target seems to be the main path to follow and leads to switch instructors as fast as the fighting tendency vary; leaving aside all acknowledgements for the person who has completely taught the base of the art.

Loyalty seems to be a lost value that belongs to a very old époque.

This behavior not only applies to competitors. There is a twisted consideration about the student and Instructor’s relationship, fed by many Masters and Grand Masters who consider all the members of a particular institution as their students. They are just institutional leaders but not their instructors.

If a Master or Grand Master is giving a course or a seminar, he is only exposing the theory, rules and biomechanics with the intention to establish the unique criteria to follow. The people attending the event will be those to apply the institutional mandate. With few exceptions, they are not the Master’s or Grand Master’s students. If a Master or a Grand Master is leading an entity with 1.000 members, they are not their students but they only are members of a particular institution whose administrative authority has the Master or Grand Master category.

Today many Masters or Grand Masters are not active as Instructors. Those who really are, have just a bunch of direct students as any other person who is teaching regularly.

The students-Instructor’s relationship is bigger than the occasional course or seminar. This has to be fed everyday in a human correlation that includes social behavior and philosophical characteristics of the art beyond the sportive area and the demanding training aspects.

The personal relation with the direct Instructor normally is more important and necessary for the student’s evolution than any other higher category who occasionally dictates a course or seminar.

Because of that, choosing an adequate Instructor is not an easy job; once you find him, never betray his trust on you.

Senior Grand Master Ricardo Desimone

IX Dan

To be aware read the previous notes

How is your training?

How is your training? What are you looking for? Is your evolution in the art in accordance with your expectations?

It’s necessary to answer the above questions to properly adjust your effort.

In present time the general tendency focuses in the sport area, leaving aside the other components of the Art.

Why do I have to train patterns if my wish is to excel in free sparring? Why do I have to train obsessively the sport combat system when my core interest is a better use of different techniques related with self defense?

It’s supposed that I have to fortify my hands and feet as to deliver a deadly attack to a vital spot on the opponent’s body. However, in the sport area such a blow is prohibited. Then, when I’m training the sport free sparring, am I toughening my self defense system or weakening it?

Why do I have to train patterns in details if I am not going to use such techniques in free sparring?

All these questions and probably more others come up to the mind of many practitioners who pretend to evolve in their training.  Of course there is  also the one who only thinks in his next tournament and all these questions are meaningless for him.

If you pay attention to the theoretical mandate, you’ll see that the cycle of Taekwon-Do is composed with several items that demand  permanent training to be effective.

Nowadays the main purpose of the Art seems not to be taken into consideration. In our time the self defense is, for some institutions, an item of competition only, containing a lot of fancy coordinated choreographies as to show different abilities in flying kicks and spinning in the air. For other entities it turned into synchronized movements executed in slow motion. In both cases these abilities are only trained for those that will participate in the competition, but their study is not part of the regular instruction in class. In both cases the mentioned capacities are lacking the required spirit in a real self defense technique as to face a sudden attack. In other words this point is an exhibition for competition teams only.

Patterns are not anymore the vertebral column of the Art. They have also turned into in a sport item only.

It was already said that the biomechanical of the movements is executed with different characteristics that identify the institution that organized the competition. Power and the application of the movements are no more the targets to pursuit because the main goal is to apply obsessively the strict geometrics of the stances, which in most cases have a doubtful practical application due to its stiffness.

It is necessary to remember that the main critics done to the Taekwondo written altogether normally called world taekwondo, always was their great emphasis in calling the activity just a sport, denying the self defense purpose of the Art. Well, taking into consideration the training places where nowadays the Gral. Choi’s Taekwon-Do is taught, the only difference with the sport version utilized in the borrowed name, is the uniform’s design and the name and diagram of the patterns applied. In both places the training system used are related with the sport area only.

Is this actual fashion good? To answer this question it’s necessary that you reply the questions established in the beginning. Now, if your intention is to become in an integral Taekwon-Do’s practitioner, you’ll need to understand that the Art has a philosophy and a particular purpose that goes beyond the competition item and will demand to you a tougher training than those actually used to be successful in the sport area.

Toughening hands, forearms and feet and the resistance in receiving a blow was the normal routine.

Nowadays strengthening the hands is a target to pursuit only for those competitors in power breaking. It is more, some instructors says that such item it is not necessary letting aside the Taekwon-Do’s Founder command who always highlighted it requirement as unavoidable for a black belt.

It’s possible training both systems? Of course, it was always possible and so was done until the actual fashion was established.

Can the students change the training and go back to the integral training system?

It is very hard because the student depends of the Instructor’s training agenda.

What can they do? The answer is to follow the Instructor’s training system adding the personal toughening exercises, preferably with the Instructor supervision.

Are you a champion in free sparring or are you a champion in patterns competition?

What about your skill in self defense techniques? Do you trust your capacity in such item?

Taekwon-Do is an Art of self defense with a sport area and not vice versa. To be consistent on it, the whole training will be necessary.  If you’re not practicing in such a way you’re not performing the Gral. Choi’s style in spite of the uniform you’re using and the names of the patterns you’re executing, You are only participating on a sport called Taekwon-Do…Or have you already begun to write its name altogether (taekwondo)? 

Click here to see video

 

Senior Grand Master Ricardo Desimone

                         President

International Taekwon-Do Organization

Proposal

Teacher’s day, celebrated on September 11th in Argentina, is used by all black belts from this Country as ephemerides in salutation to all people teaching Taekwon-Do. This fact and the massive communication received, pushed me to do the following explanation and proposal.

The mentioned date marks the death of Domingo Faustino Sarmiento who amid other functions in the Argentine Government was one of its Presidents (1868-1874). His endeavor in the educational system merited that Argentine authorities establish the already mentioned September 11th as the Teacher’s Day.

Taekwon-Do Instructors use this date to cover a gap linked to this activity that shouldn’t have local connotations of a particular Country. My proposal, if it’s accepted such boldness, is to internationally establish November 9th as the Taekwon-Do Instructor’s Day, honoring in this way the birth of Taekwon-Do’s Founder, Gral. Choi Hong Hi, who devoted his life to teach this Art to the world,.

The suggestion has no relation with any particular Institution (Federations, Organizations or Associations). I think that the style developed and systematized by Choi Hong Hi involves all kind of administrative names and the pedagogical effort of thousands of people, must be recognized beyond the grade the Instructor has.

Thank you for your time and attention. If you want to adhere to this proposal, please send your acceptance or not to my e-mail rpdesimone@hotmail.com to include your name, rank and institutional belonging in the list of supporters. With best regards I remain 

Yours in Taekwon-Do

Into Spanish

El día del maestro celebrado en Septiembre 11 en Argentina, es usado por todos los cintos negros de ese país como efeméride y enviar una salutación a todas las personas que enseñan Taekwon-Do.

Este hecho y la masiva comunicación recibida me llevaron a la siguiente explicación y propuesta.

La mencionada fecha pertenece al fallecimiento de Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, quien entre otras funciones en el Gobierno Argentino, Presidió ese País entre 1868 y 1874. Su labor en el sistema educativo, llevó a las autoridades Argentinas a establecer el ya mencionado Septiembre 11 como el día del Maestro.

Los Instructores de Taekwon-Do están usando esta fecha para cubrir un faltante relacionado con esta actividad que no debería tener connotaciones locales de ningún País en particular. Mi propuesta, si es aceptado tal atrevimiento, es establecer internacionalmente a Noviembre 9 como el Día del Instructor de Taekwon-Do, honrando de esta manera el nacimiento del Fundador del Taekwon-Do, Gral. Choi Hong Hi, quien dedicara su vida a la enseñanza de este Arte al mundo.

La sugerencia no tiene relación con ninguna institución en particular (Federaciones, Organizaciones o Asociaciones). Pienso que el estilo desarrollado y sistematizado  por Choi Hong Hi incluye todo tipo de nombres administrativos y que la labor pedagógica de miles de personas debe ser reconocida más allá del grado que el Instructor tiene.

Gracias por su tiempo y atención. Si Usted desea adherir a esta propuesta, por favor envíe su aceptación o no a mi correo electrónico rpdesimone@hotmail.com para incluir su nombre, grado y pertenencia institucional en la lista de quienes apoyan lo planteado. Los saludo con atenta consideración

Suyo en Taekwon-Do

Senior Grand Master Ricardo Desimone

                        President

International Taekwon-Do Organization

Taekwon-Do for everybody

Taekwon-Do is well known due to its effectiveness in self defense and also as a sport fighting system.

In Taekwon-Do are included a wide variety of kicks very difficult to find in other martial arts (flying kicks, flying double kicks, flying triple kicks, consecutive kicks, combination kicks, etc.)

All of them have a specific application in actual combat to solve a self defense problem against one, two or more opponents. Such use of the legs compelled the organizations that regulate this Art, to pay attention to their inclusion in the sport area. Some entities are granting more points to the effective application of these techniques in accordance with their difficulty, especially when these are applied to the high section or in a flying motion.

However, its use in self defense and in the sport area as well will depend on a specific moment and on the opportunity. The chance to apply a complex technique which requires a double or triple spinning in the air to attack the high section is really small and it needs a very especial opponent. This complex execution requires a constant dedication in order to be effective and the acceptance that such a technique cannot be of use for everybody.

After so many sportive events – nationals, continentals and world championships – a lot of competitors that were previously included as juniors or adults due to their ages, eventually became in seniors or veterans. That change in stage in their lives imposes to the veterans a new development of their training if they want to remain actives. This new training will compel a consideration or adjustment in the techniques needed for an adequate and effective use of their experience.

The teaching of the Art imposes the same criteria if the Instructor wants to include everybody in the training session.

The social media frequently shows videos of people using double or triple spinning kicks which require a special individual ability that not everybody has. Curiously, the people who are executing it are not Instructors, just students training with an immovable target.

In one of such videos a young instructor induced a veteran (or adult senior) student to perform a flying double spinning kick. This is an improper use of pedagogy.

Probably many people misunderstand the Taekwon-Do’s proposal and could think that to be part of the Art its necessary such body handling.

This is not true. The only requirement to become in a Taekwon-Do’s student is the deep wish to learn the Art. Of course a competent instructor will also be necessary to apply such a wish.

With time you’ll have the opportunity to choose if you want to take part in a competition or not, to participate in a demonstration or not. Taekwon-Do is a Martial Art with a sport area and not vice versa.

With the evolution of the Art and the experiences acquired over the years, the sport area can be extended to include people of all ages in the competition scheme.

Taekwon-Do taught in the right way also contributes to improve the human health.

The especial ability that some students has developed in their flying and spinning kicks, are very plausible and would be good if they find the opportunity for its application beyond the exhibitionist utility, but it is necessary to take into consideration that this is not a requisite to be part of the Art called Taekwon-Do.

Senior Grand Master Ricardo Desimone

To be aware read again the previous notes

Unifying a technical criteria

On January 20th , 2018 there was a seminar in Ocala Florida to unify the technical criteria with several ITO’s representatives from different places. The organizer was the International Instructor Jose Luis Zapata Ramirez (VI Dan) who invited Instructors of other Schools from that zone of USA. He had the great assistance of Master Luis McDougall (VII Degree) from Boston Massachusetts who has dedicated much of his valuable time in the program’s details.  

Instructors and students were very interested in the explanations given by the ITO’s technical reference, Senior Grand Master Ricardo Desimone (IX Degree) and his demonstration in the practical use of different techniques. It is imperative for the Organization to have a unique statement about the movements and it biomechanics, following in detail the Gral Choi’s  legacy to whom he assisted and translated during many years. Patterns (Tul ), different types of sparring (Matsogui) and how to release a grab (hosin sul), were the topics treated. All details mentioned were coincident with those illustrated in the Encyclopedia written by the ITO’s President which is the theoretical reference of the Organization and the style created by the Taekwon-Do’s Founder.   

To be aware read again the previous notes 

The social media’s influence

Apparently the social media became the chosen mode to upload videos with Taekwon-Do’s performances.

Most are associated to the combat practice in a never ending attempt to illustrate, in their working out, something different and exceptional.

It’s evident that such a show is acted by practitioners who want to demonstrate their qualities and how to perform the mentioned item.

Some people show abilities based in their own experiences attained in championships, but generally these are executed by unknown students.

A few techniques or combinations could be added to the student’s actual training system, but always under the Instructor’s approval.  Not all are appropriate to imitate as unquestionable tools. Regrettably many «seminars» or courses also propose such a doubtful procedure.

The Taekwon-Do’s Founder, Gral. Choi Hong Hi, never dictated a seminar or a training course about combat, however, many people who pretend to occupy his place are teaching «how to fight». The question is:  which combat  and under which circumstances we are talking about? It is essential to remember that these masters can only speak from their personal point of view on a particular manner regarding the solution of a sparring challenge.

The Instructor will know if that technique or combination is suitable or not for a particular student.

It is necessary to remember that no combat is equal, even with the same opponent.  Each person is different as diverse will be their reactions, even under similar circumstances.

Muscle tone, body structure, age and reflexes must be taken into consideration to train the more convenient personal answer. Sometimes a small person shows a fancy combination that is not suitable for a taller and bulky practitioner. Some people are more effective using their legs and other with their hands. Only under the expert  guide of an experienced instructor it will be possible to discover the best combination and the personal possibilities for the individual structure and reaction.

Never try to imitate another person’s fighting system, you’re not him/her. The real challenge is to discover which is the best for oneself under the guide of a qualified Instructor.

The other profuse media demonstration is the patterns execution.

In most cases, patterns are performed by a 4th Dan or above, who normally have a notorious absence of groundwork to such a show. Usually the act also lacks the technical information required.

Biomechanical details, time applied, power employed, angle of execution and absence of stiffness, are the parameters that are usually  taken into consideration to judge a performance.

It’s pertinent to establish that in the actual institutional atomization of Gral. Choi’s style, different rules and points of view surely will be used to evaluate the same actions.

This is a serious item to take into consideration because the public have the wrong tendency to utilize this «source of information» to learn… to learn???.

A social media is just that, a tool to keep in touch with other people. Sometimes this tool is commercially used to advertise some product, but not to be utilized as the correct method to teach or learn a precise Art as Taekwon-Do is. It requires the support of a well trained and actualized instructor for such a job. Nobody can learn «fishing» in a social media or from a video without the supervising support of a teacher, who will pick up the personal errors and will advise the student the best way to correct them in order to reach the goal.

To put the things in the right order, the correct way to learn is the training place (Dojang) of course in hands of a competent instructor.

To comply with it, people whose job is to teach Taekwon-Do have to be actualized and trained. Nobody gives what he has not. It is evident that many  doesn’t accept that Taekwon-Do is an Art that demands a permanent training. Past is past and nobody can live with the anecdotes of yesterday as a silly way to convince or defeat by this way the current opponent (unfortunately many competitors, old practitioners and some instructors employ this phony procedure).

Over the years your body will indicate you its new limits and possibilities. Frequently the people stop their regular training due to their age, big mistake.

Working out in Taekwon-Do is an everyday job  and at all stages in life. Many things will change with the time (especially those related with the sport challenges), but it doesn’t mean that you have to stop training and only use your tongue to teach. If you never stop your practice, you’ll be able to continue teaching with the normal psychophysical propriety required in the Art.

Then, to give Taekwon-Do it’s imperative to have Taekwon-Do. To comply with it, you will need to be updated in the already established theory and with your body,  and demonstrate it.

Intrinsically, the permanent training is the way of the art, without it the art doesn’t exist.

The social media are an excellent communication device and occasionally an advertisement tool, but not an instrument to seriously learn. Teach and learn are two faces from the same coin whose composition demands the presence of different elements, whose quantity and quality are not provided by the social media. If you think that this is not true, you’re always in time to change your instructor for a cellular phone.

Senior Grand Master Ricardo Desimone

To be aware and informed read again the preceding notes.

Be aware, seminar or training course ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

In our days  there are countless invitations to participate in events called seminars. They are structured in a random agenda programmed by the opportunity.

Only one biomechanical, only one voice and command has to be present in hands of the conductor of the seminar. The other people with high ranks present there are assistants who must also take note about the commands to not distort the parameters established. Traditionally the seminars had a specific purpose and a well selected teacher for such an Instruction. Until the last active seminar given by Gral. Choi Hong Hi, to whom I assisted  as his Spanish translator just  as I did in the preceding years, he and only him, was the one to occupy such a place. This means that to conduct a seminar it’s necessary to take up a similar representation. This position demands a great responsibility and a well trained and actualized person, since the  seminar is the instruction place where the technical criteria, protocol and rules will be established as the unique valid information. That information will affect the training procedures and the sport competition evaluation.

The seminar has to be offered by an authorized person designated by the Institution involved and it is this entity who delegates on him the high responsibility of unifying the technical and philosophical details.

Such a top category  as a Grand Master rank must be seriously selected by the institution to fill this critical position. Even if in a particular entity there are several Grand Masters as it is the current reality, it is the institution’s undeniable duty  to choose the especial one to occupy this place. A Grand Master Category is required to perform such a job due to its utmost ranking position. It’s also supposed that this rank has the required knowledge to apply with the post, but regrettably it is not always the case.

Many people are in the same rank as occurs in all and each black belt category, but not all of them have the same knowledge and equal capacity, as required in order to transfer their experience.

Another phenomenon is actually tarnishing this rank. Not all of them were promoted under the rules already established by the Founder, who never changed it or authorized such a modification.

Never   was a Grand Master rank granted by only one person. It requires a Promotion Committee.

Gral. Choi wrote this rule and even him obeyed it to grant the first Grand Masters categories.

At present, this  command has been regrettably broken. Nobody knows who grant such power to a single person to promote to this top ranking place in his own name.

The Grand Master category is not one level more in the promotion scale. This rank will only be occupied by those who have achieved the necessary requirements to be considered a potential candidate for promotion to this honorable place,  always with » the unanimous consent granted by a Special Committee which shall consist of 9 members who are holders of either 7th or 8th degree recognized by the Institution who rules the Art» (Page 96, book I Encyclopedia of Gral. Choi Hong Hi).

Record, minimum time required in the previous ranking, checked jobs in promoting Taekwon-Do  internationally and leading an Institution with several schools and Instructors, will be necessary and will be taken into consideration by the Special Promotion Committee. If you only have one of this conditions but not the other mentioned requirements, why do you need a Grand Master category? Being an old member of a party doesn’t mean that you’ll be a candidate to occupy the president’s chair, what about your capacity?. If you think that for being an old practitioner or a longtime competitor is enough, well…there’s no problem, it is possible to grant you a pensioned title, but not a Grand Master rank.

When this » kind» of promotion appears, no serious member of Taekwon- Do will respect it and this attitude will put in evidence the commercial opportunism of both parts, who received this incorrect recognizing title and for that unscrupulous and not authorized man who granted it. This act fools the Art, the system and all those members who follow the rules.

Nobody will demand you a special skill in the sport fighting system, nobody cares if you were a champion or if you have a breaking power ability. It is supposed that you already dealt with it in the previous levels and you got the recognition for your achievements.

Your record, leading capacity, knowledge, experience and fundamentally Integrity will be the required items to take into consideration.

Pioneer is a word many times misinterpreted and used as a convenient adjective. Pioneers are the first persons to do something, as it is established in the dictionary. In Taekwon-Do, I don’t know any pioneer alive. The only living pioneers today are the national people of each Nation around the world, who helped develop the art in their particular Countries and who founded the actual legal institutions.

Many oriental people used to call themselves pioneers but they are not. They can only  be considered as old practitioners who accompanied Gral. Choi in some demonstrations in the late 60’s, but it’s hard to know if they are actualized in the bio-mechanical Taekwon-Do’s evolution promoted by the Founder in the last years or if they were close or not to him until the last moment.

Sometimes I think that Orientals are even allowed to break the fundamentals of the Art or to act with impunity just because of their ethnicity. Apparently for some kind of people, the oblique eyes is the key to such a permission. Well, definitely  this is not true and the serious intellectual members of the Art will be not disposed to accept it.

The knowledge is the only condition that transcends the race, and the rules are the only way to follow.

If the category scheme, places and attributes of these ranks are not clearly established, it will be impossible to understand the difference between a seminar and a training course.

Nowadays, several countries have many Grand Masters. If everyone of them would do all as they want due to their ranks, Taekwon-Do will be divided not only institutionally but also in the information and the only common thing will be the name of the art (meanwhile you don’t write it altogether, on the contrary even the name will be different).

Today, with the institutional atomization of Gral. Choi’s style, and to avoid the problem cited above, the entities who are ruling the Art, have to name only one authorized person to occupy the mentioned place, at least to unify the internal criteria of that entity and to keep the system alive and healthy.

With the actual existence of almost a thousand Masters and countless Grand Masters, it’s necessary more than ever to apply the criteria mentioned above.

Many people wrongly believe that the rank is an all inclusive (the authorization to give seminars, especial courses, some particular training parameters, promotions without rules, etc). This is another big mistake.

When you are promoted to any Dan category you will receive a certificate from the entity where you are affiliated, endorsing you in accordance with the rules and regulations of that institution, who recognizes you as 1st, 2nd, 3rd or whatever Dan you were promoted. It says nothing about your pedagogical capacity or any special right to do what do you want in the name of  Taekwon-Do or on behalf the entity where you belong.

To teach Taekwon-Do you’ll need another document authorizing you in such a topic.

To give a seminar you’ll need the authorization from the entity where you belong, doesn’t matter if you’re 7th, 8th or 9th degree. Of course you always can offer special classes for your own school or organization and in your own name, but not in the Taekwon-Do’s name.

While the use of the word «seminar» in the publicity of an event allows for higher fees to be collected for assistants, it doesn’t assure that the information transferred goes beyond a training course.

Under such a confusing and inappropriate use in the description of the event offered and the wrong frequency utilized to collect some earnings, which is the place that this army of generals conferred to the direct instructor?. What the direct Instructor will teach if the students gain all the instructions in the training courses and «seminars» offered so frequently?.

The use and misuse of such multiple events, its frequency and economical demands on practitioners, drain their capacity to fulfill the adequate fee to their direct instructors.

Only one seminar by country every two years, offered by an institutionally authorized Grand Master, would be the only reasonable schedule by Organization to keep alive the system and the direct instructors’ job. If a new information is transferred too much frequent it’s impossible to incorporate.

The rest of the black belt events which not apply the parameters mentioned above, are just training courses.

Senior Grand Master Ricardo Desimone 

To be aware read again the preceding notes

Official ?

There are several ways to institute a lie, though it is very hard to accept that Taekwon-Do is involved in such a scheme. In June 2015 I wrote  a note about «Taekwon-Do and its offers» which is actual even today.

Those who were involved for years in this activity, can certify how difficult it was in the late 60’s and even in the early 70’s to set up this discipline. Its demographic evolution was obstructed  by other already established martial arts who felt their hegemony in danger by what they considered a minor art.

The pioneer’s perseverance in the teaching field made possible to institute this Art as an efficient self defense method and, later on,  as a sport competition system.

In the early 70’s, Korean political struggles created a division that internationally surprised the students of the activity and eventually used them as hostages in that fight.

Millions of practitioners in the entire world who didn’t know anything about the reasons and details of that division are still involved and strongly defend the institution they belong to. Sometimes the students are in the middle of the unfruitful attacks that both parts constantly fire to each other since 1973 until today.

One part argues for an usurpation feeling in their unquestionable fatherhood of the Art and the other for their paternity in the political conquer to obtain an Olympic status.

The students  demographic increase allowed  this activity to be considered as the sport with the largest growth in the last 20 years.

Those who achieved the Olympic acknowledgement also gained their inclusion in the national sportive budget in their countries,  a fact  that economically supports the people involved in the national delegation (competitors, coaches and authorities).This detail confirms as official the institution with such a condition.

In other words, to be considered official the sport or the art needs the acknowledgement and support of the country involved.

On the other hand and as an undeniable fact: there is an exponential growth of members in the institutions who claim the fatherhood of the Art since its beginning, but without any recognition of the Olympics nor from the sportive authorities of the countries where they are acting. They are being supported only by their followers.

In accordance with this explanation, if you are selected as a competitor for the World Championship of a particular entity, but your plane’s ticket and expenses are not paid by the Country that you’re representing, you’re not in an official institution, just in a private enterprise called federation, association or whatever would be the convenient name used with a commercial purpose only.

This reality allows us to understand the effort of the Taekwon-Do’s Founder, Gral. Choi Hong Hi, who saw his Art growing in spite of the stones that  were set on his path.

There are documents that certify without any doubt what was explained until here.

It has been established in the entire world that Taekwon-Do was born on April 11th, 1955. It’s also true that his Founder created his  International Federation on March 22nd 1966.

But it’s also an undeniable fact  that on June 15th, 2002 (date of its President and Founder’s passing away), that institution begun its atomization and finally concluded in several enterprises that use the same name. All of them and without exception, have modified the legacy, granting themselves the nonexistent mandate for such a thing.

The nowadays  biomechanical development has modifications that very often are against the parameters already established as the axis of the Art. That technical considerations were several times shown by Gral. Choi himself in the International Instructor Courses he offered.

The badges used in the uniforms have curious suggestions that rapidly allow us to identify to which of the enterprises we are talking about. The uniforms were also altered with the same purpose.

The reasons used are various but cannot excuse what was done, only can be explained through the commercial intentions of those who did it.

Like in the preceding years, I was acting as the translator into Spanish in the last seminar actively offered by Gral. Choi Hong Hi (Buenos Aires – November 2001).

As  the President of the Argentine ITF Master’s Council, I was in direct contact with him until he stopped to be in charge of the administration due to his health. In no conversation nor seminar did he mention any of the alterations applied in the biomechanical after his death, and there’s no  document with his signature saying such a thing. Emphatically he asked to the top rank people of those times (8th and 9th degrees) that we had to preserve the patterns (Tul), its characteristic biomechanics and the protocol that identify our Art, in order to  avoid the activity to become just a sportive statement, losing its Martial base and finality.

In consequence,  the fancy modifications done by all and each one of the so called «Technical Committees»,  respond only to a particular convenience of the enterprise that using the same name as the other, need such a trick to differentiate itself from the rest.

The land where Taekwon-Do was born is South Korea, because it was there where Gral. Choi was acting as an Army’s company commander when he developed the Art. He died in North Korea because that is the place where he was born before the already known division,  and where he chose to die. Other interpretations are just political speculations.

Between the unequivocal details that he let established, there is the not dependence to any country or boundaries. That means it does not  belong to  South or North Korea (please read his memories – Book II).

Not in the past nor at this time is there  a controversial hearing in any Court in the whole world with a dispute about who is recognized as the real institution that represents the Taekwon-Do’s teaching system developed by Gral. Choi Hong Hi, its particular technical movements or the administration of its members.

If any of the enterprises called “official” would really have such a recognition, be sure that no other would dare to be called or mentioned in the same way due to its legal implications.

As one other institution, the International Taekwon-Do Organization (ITO) is an international body legally registered in Puerto Rico and USA that teaches the latest version of Taekwon-Do left by Gral Choi, without fancy modifications in its biomechanical and without using the same institutional name as any other.

ITO uses the real legacy of the Taekwon-Do’s Founder:  aptitude and knowledge about his creation. To occupy such a place, it’s necessary to have been in direct contact with him during many years to know that even in his last seminar he once more emphasized on not changing or distorting what was done until that moment.

To summarize:  the only official institution is the one recognized by the Government of the Country involved and who acts as the ruling entity of a particular sport or art, which will cover all the expenses of the sportive delegation of such institution in an international competition.  The other ones are only private enterprises.

If some high shot of any of the enterprises that uses the same name tells you that this is not true, ask him that the particular entity called official where you’re a member pay your air ticket and expenses.

Official or not, everybody has the option to be where they want. I don’t know if this is fair or not, but it’s necessary to know which is the actual institutional status of the Art called Taekwon-Do, which is ruled by several private enterprises that have the same rights to act in such a way and who have their own official activities in their particular private agendas.

Senior Grand Master Ricardo Desimone

To be actualized read again the notes before