Average

It is very challenging to assimilate the current trend in the development of Taekwon-Do, especially if one has been involved in the art from its very beginnings in the West. The problem is that this discipline was conceived as a martial art with a sports aspect, but now we are moving in the opposite direction.

It has become so important to win a medal or a trophy that hardly anyone pays attention to the fact that the martial feature of the art is diminishing. Beyond the technical differences between organizations, many world champions in patterns (Tul) have a high level of expertise in that particular area of competition, but their performance in combat or power breaking is often unknown.

The same thing happens with many world champions in sparring. Their skills are excellent in that specific area of competition, but it’s usually very difficult to find any of them excelling in other aspects of the sport.

For those who think that Taekwon-Do is about fighting, it is essential to remind them that Taekwon-Do is not about fighting; it is a martial art for self-defense. You may have to fight to defend yourself, but there is a vast difference between fighting for a medal and fighting for survival.

The combat system in the sports arena involves defeating a single opponent without causing serious harm within a limited area, with limited tools, in a set time, following rules, with various protective gears, and under the supervision of a referee. It’s obvious that such circumstances do not exist in self-defense. In the sport arena, you will never have to deal with a hold, fight on the ground, or be attacked by two or more opponents. Then why train more than six or seven techniques that are the average you’ll need to fight in the sport area. But what happen with the other 3.200 techniques of the art?

And for those who only train in patterns to become a champion in that small segment of the art without testing their skills in a real confrontation, have you ever trained how to release a hold? Have you ever trained your hands for material breaking, or do you only attempt it when it’s time to be examined?

Did you know that to be successful in a confrontation against multiple opponents, you need to train that aspect with the same dedication and repetition as when preparing for a tournament against a single adversary?

In summary, you need to understand that Taekwon-Do is a martial art composed of various areas that require training with the same dedication you put into your preferred aspect. Taekwon-Do is not fighting, it is not patterns, it is not only breaking materials, it is not just theory and it is not reciting its philosophy, Taekwon-Do is all of these together.

Many times, black belts are tested by a board that asks them to escape holds or break materials they have never trained for; in other words, they are expected to demonstrate what they should know to honor their rank. The question is: are they trained to meet this demand, or do they do the best they can with evident lack of adequate preparation?

I believe that the current instruction is focused solely on competition, then, the other items will be out of training, pushing the candidates to be promoted doing what they can.

To be honest, the required response for a black belt to honor their rank is to be proficient in all aspects, not just one. A black belt should be an average. After to master such knowledge, if the person wants to be a competitor is his or her choice but not in the contrary. To achieve this, it is necessary to change the current training and mindset regimen.

SGM Ricardo Desimone

To be aware read again the previous notes

A martial art is also a healthy art

In an alarming article published in a newspaper in Puerto Rico (San Juan Star), there was a description of what happened to a police officer from California when he was going to train at a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu place. While applying a technique of this art or sport, I’m not really sure what it is, he suffered a knee flexion pressure that forced him to stop practicing. He also had a great difficulty in working at his full capacity for more than six months. This article triggered a serious reflection on one of the proposals of Taekwon-Do in its connection to health. General Choi Hong Hi, as the founder of Taekwon-Do, always cared about the health benefits that Taekwon-Do training brings. Moreover, this is well explained in his Encyclopedia (Volume I, pages 69 to 72).Personally, I have given lectures on this topic, mentioning the benefits and advantages of practicing this martial art in various important places (Rotary Club in San Juan and the School of Medicine and Sciences in Ponce, both in Puerto Rico), among others. The original sports rules of Taekwon-Do spoke of stopping strikes 2 cm from the target when using bare hands, producing a light touch when using pads or protectors. It’s important not to forget that Taekwon-Do as a martial art is about directing kicks and hand strikes to critical points for use only in self-defense. Time has passed, and the current wave of tournaments has led to indiscriminate use of attack tools, forgetting the original intention of prioritizing the participants’ health. Boxing and MMA have professional participants who typically risk their physical integrity for money, not for a medal. That’s their job. Professional boxing and MMA are not considered martial arts; they are sports with a high risk to the human body’s integrity. To understand this point clearly, it is necessary to define what a martial art is. Martial arts are military arts or arts used in times of war. So, the intent of a tool applied in self-defense is very different from the same technique used in a sports competition. The rules, referees, judges, and organizers will never admit a martial intent in competition. Nobody wants a death in a confrontation. Killing or severe injury would be the result of a martial dispute. Being recognized or not with a medal is the outcome in a competition. A strike due to a controlled attack on some part of the body is accepted in martial arts training, but not an injury that prevents normal social development. Any contact to the head is considered dangerous because of the potential consequences that can appear over time. All individuals who participate in professional confrontations are aware of this; however, they accept the physical risk because of the money involved. Eastern martial arts were originally developed for wartime use. Over time, they became social practices in that part of the world. In the twentieth century, due to immigration from people of Asian origin, these arts became known in the West. Under proper regulation, some of them became Olympic sports. In Taekwon-Do, the health benefits are very well explained. Those entities and instructors who do not adhere to this basic consideration should be socially rejected due to the risk involved in such practice and should be considered misleading by the general audience. It is necessary to remember that children are involved in martial arts practices. Parents take them to martial arts training seeking discipline, proper use of social relationships for their personal lives, and basic knowledge of self-defense to prevent bullying in their schools. Occasionally, these aspects are forgotten in the hands of instructors who have lost that goal in their pursuit of a winner. Instruction in martial arts is one that encompasses all aspects of life: health, discipline, philosophy, and proper relationships. In other words, it can be a wonderful way to help the human being. In the wrong hands, it can become the opposite. Thank you for your time.

 SGM Ricardo Desimone

To be aware read again the previous notes

Alone to Grow

Social media has allowed us to observe the medley of existing methodologies in knowledge transfer. When Taekwon-Do is described, it is always mentioned as the martial art created and systematized by General Choi Hong Hi.

This fact contrasts with the publications; however, insistence on personalization in pedagogical methodology persists. These aim for the same outcome, but the proposed systems are intrinsically related to the sports aspect. Was the General mistaken? I don’t think so, so draw your own conclusion.

International Instructor Courses, Master Classes, literature, and countless other things are done just to end up doing what is seen in a tournament and turning a deaf ear to experience and the volumes written on the subject.

The only way to properly use the information taught in different courses is by practicing it. If you don’t do that, you’re wasting your time in the courses unless you were there just for the certificate. It’s difficult to do this during regular training days because they are focused on improving the athletic performance of competitors. So is it not possible to incorporate the information from special classes?

It is possible, but not in group classes. In those, you must follow the orders of the person leading the class, which, as mentioned, aims to improve the student’s performance in the sports aspect.

To incorporate the knowledge offered in different courses, you must work alone. Your own body will begin to notice improvement after many sessions of this type of training. When practicing patterns (tul), there is no choice but to do it alone. It is done in a group when training for a competition team, but even then, you must have worked alone to possess the required capability to be accepted into the group, following the instructions provided by the instructor.

The same approach must be followed in other aspects. Group classes are necessary for sparring, which ultimately serves as the practical application of what has been learned alone. If this process is not fulfilled, our knowledge will be empty because it will lack the test of confrontation with an opponent. In other words, we will be theoretical experts in a reality that demands practice.

In group classes, we usually learn to recognize our deficiencies in timing, distance, and our ability (or inability) to solve what the opponent presents. The demands of confrontation prevent us from seeing our biomechanical deficiencies, and we often attribute skills and power to the opponent that they may not actually possess. The only way to correct errors in our movements is by incorporating the information received in courses and special classes, but for that, we must work alone.

There are details that must be taken into account for the success of this strategy:

a-The information sought to be incorporated must be correct and consistent with what the discipline’s founder proposed. Other opinions about the biomechanics of patterns (tul) have only contributed to confusion.

b- Be honest with oneself in order to recognize our shortcomings.

c- Use a method of visualizing the work being carried out (mirror, video, etc.).

d- Since the work requires a considerable number of repetitions, unchecked information should not be used.

e- In case of any doubt, consult with the instructor and refer to literature that addresses the topic.

The proposal is not easy, but it is the only path.

SGM Ricardo Desimone

The upside down world

In Taekwon-Do, there has always been confusion in the description of attitudes and with the language used, which conditions the relationship with students. Who is teaching every daily training class is considered the instructor of the students regardless of the hierarchy he has.

When Taekwon-Do was introduced outside the borders of South Korea, where it was born, the Master, S. Master, and G. Master hierarchies were practically non-existent. The first bearers of knowledge about this art held the category of Instructor (4th to 6th Dan).

However, this was enough for the discipline to be taught in all countries where these Instructors were spreading their knowledge. Over time and with the evolution of Taekwon-Do, the hierarchical scale of those who occupied the place of instruction grew. The hierarchy of Master and S. Master (7th and 8th Dan, respectively) coincided with the experience in the pedagogical field and with the degree of knowledge they had. The rank of G. Master (9th Dan) was held only by General Choi. The places that the founder’s first envoys once dominated began to be occupied by pioneers from the different countries where the art was developed.

While this process was developing, the category of Instructor’s assistant (1st to 3rd Dan) existed in the hierarchical diagram that described the ranking. In practice, everyone who was in front of the students and responsible for their evolution was considered an Instructor. The number of black belts who dedicated their time to this function was very limited.

However, the authority to examine the students was established, as it is today, for anyone who holds the rank of 4th Dan or higher with the International Instructor certificate granted by the only entity in the world at that time.

As stated, the rank coincided with knowledge; however, it was not related to sporting success. There have been many cases where success in sport was not coincident with pedagogical success. Let’s say that both areas require specific skills, and it is rare for these to coincide.

Today, where Taekwon-Do has apparently changed the proportions between the martial and the sporting, it has become necessary to redefine hierarchies. Is a coach more necessary than an instructor? At present, sporting success seems to occupy an overly significant place. Knowledge, pedagogical ability, and cultural level of whoever is instructing do not seem to have much importance.

Despite this, there are places that are unalterable: an Instructor is the one who teaches and has direct contact with the student every class. Master and G. Master are hierarchical places that, when acquired and used well, will allow for the ordering of the pedagogical field with instructors so that they can pass on this knowledge to their students, who can be Gups and Danes.

Masters and G. Masters become instructors when they teach their direct students in the daily training class. As a relevant truth, coaches are only necessary to help a competitor in the sporting area.

The Instructor, in any of their hierarchies or degrees, is the one who truly teaches the students (whether they are competitors or not).

It is imperative to address the absence of theoretical knowledge. The lack of necessary maturation time between each promotion has produced an over-dimension of high ranks, most of them «obtained» before their time. These are part of the army of promotions that have broken all the parameters originally established by the Founder. Certifications or diplomas should be awarded when the knowledge and the pre-established maturation time in the rank are corroborated and fulfilled.

The intention was always to have a single regulatory entity for the discipline in order to guarantee a respectful and respected hierarchical scale and a body of instructors who would dignify the art with their ability and knowledge. Certifications or diplomas should be awarded when the established knowledge and maturation time in the grade are corroborated and fulfilled; otherwise, it is just a sale of certificates that denigrates both the recipient and the issuer.

General Choi’s Taekwon-Do is no longer a single regulatory entity for the art, we do not have a promoted hierarchical scale in a timely manner, nor is there a unique language. Therefore, the body of instructors who face the worthy task of teaching every day must do so in doubtful terms: there is no single technical parameter because there are many, there is no single sports rule because there are also several, and minimum times between grades are respected as convenient. In short, it is a world turned upside down.

SGM Ricardo Desimone

To be awarded read again the previous notes

The Forgotten Detail

The biomechanical disparity that exists among institutions claiming to teach General Choi’s Taekwon-Do leads to the omission of elements in the execution of patterns or Tul. The different courses taught on the subject have contributed to emphasizing this difference. The mind of the performer is fundamentally focused on implementing small details established by the entity sponsoring the event, which only feeds the pretension of differentiation.

Remember that movements should be executed realistically, beyond always maintaining the correct posture and proper stance, but fundamentally rigidity should be absent. Realism in execution and the absence of stiffness seem to have disappeared as objectives to achieve, turning the performer into a robot obsessed with the use of physical tension, which is impractical in the case of a confrontation.

Tensing or relaxing the muscles at the appropriate time, as well as accelerating or decelerating movement, should be present in each execution. In most patterns competitions, this condition is absent. The obsession with fulfilling the details pointed out in the courses has led them to execute impractical movements.

Judges have apparently been trained to reward rigidity, lack of naturalness, and the height of kicks executed in an exhibitionist manner, to the point that on more than one occasion, the competitor makes it clear that they do not understand the practical use of one or another technique.

Maintaining the verticality of the spinal column (except in the exceptions marked by its creator) is one thing, but excessive tension in the muscles of the neck and shoulders in a completely fictitious and impractical posture is another. The number of national and international sports events produced by each and every entity is enormous, thus losing the relevance of the territorial scope included in the contest (international, continental, national, or neighborhood).

The seminars taught by the founder of the discipline were many and offered in most of the countries that were members at the time. These were filmed and leave no doubt about the correct way in which patterns should be executed. But of course, the governing entity was only one in contrast to the potpourri that overwhelms us today and produces the different deficiencies pointed out.

Many do not take into account, either for convenience or ignorance that each of the patterns or Tul begins and ends in the same exact place, a detail that marks the accuracy of the performer and the demanding work required to achieve this objective.

The aforementioned need a review by the entities that saturate the market and it must necessarily be taken into account to solve the issues pointed out. It is essential to consider training and modifying the information given to those who serve as judges and then providing those parameters to the competitors. It would be useless to train the performers properly, with the enormous personal effort that this demands, without the proper preparation of those who must judge the performance of that effort in a competition. Needless to say, on more than one occasion, people with correct performance are seen competing but not awarded by judges whose information is conditioned according to the directives of the entity in which they belong. Inadequate information often promotes injustice.

As a detail that seems not to be taken into account, starting and finishing in the same exact place is included in the score given to the diagram, among other concepts to be taken into account by the judging panel. If the competitor does not comply with this part, points will be deducted in that item that is included; of course, this will apply if the judges have been adequately trained.

SGM Ricardo Desimone

To be aware read again the previous notes

The triumph of denial

After repeating until exhaustion that there are more than 47 entities that use the same acronym to survive and develop their activities, I conclude that all of them utilize it as a surviving method to make use of the goose that lays the golden eggs. This is the worst damage that they can do to the legacy of the discipline’s Founder.

“Divide and conquer” is the old saying. Today the reign of Olympic Taekwondo faces no challenge due to the internal division of the art created by Gral. Choi Hong Hi on April 1955.

In the countless times that I’ve acted as his translator in interviews and seminars, General Choi didn’t

lose the opportunity to emphasize that in contrast to other martial arts, his was unique. The same thing was applied all around the world. Verticality was not only a hierarchical order but also a knowledge condition. Such an assertion was understandable because his lecture matches his biomechanical procedure.

As a top example everybody had the Founder’s performances in person.

Entities who call themselves his representatives were the ones who damaged that unity and forced its atomization to say “here I am.”

Those who didn’t support him in hard times, being outside of official entities recognized by him, today are leaders of entities who call themselves his representatives.

His biomechanical speech was unique and today it is distorted by people who in those times weren’t mentioned for their knowledge in that area. These are the people who produced the disparity that is overwhelming us.

What to do with this discouraging panorama? Well, unify a sole performance, protocol and sportive speech.

We have to rescue the General Choi’s original proposal: Taekwon-Do is a martial art with a sportive area and not vice versa as it is today.

We seriously disagreed with the WTF’s behavior and we’ve ended up doing the same thing.

It is easier to carry out a unification arrangement of General Choi’s Taekwon-Do than to try to merge with those who have exhaustively demonstrated their wish not to do so.

With this internal division, it is possible that Olympic Taekwondo is pleasantly carrying out their activities without any pressure because with which of the 48 entities that claim to be a Gral. Choi’s representatives would they speak?

I think that there is enough capacity, experience and hierarchies with the required conditions to try unifying under a unique criterion.

The difficulty is to accept that unification it obstructed not for technical reasons but for economic and political motives.

Everyone wrings their hands and proclaims how wonderful a single Taekwon-Do with an Olympic wing would be, until it is confirmed they have to carry it out. Once they recognize what each one would lose economically, politically and in their power positions, they put the unifying dreams back in a drawer.

With this undeniable reality that shelters us, there are elements that are necessary to remember to avoid confusion, misunderstandings and false expectations in the hands of mischievous opportunists:

  1. a) There is no written legacy that determines with name and surname an heir of the martial art called Taekwon-Do.
  2. b) In the memoirs of the Founder of the discipline it is established in writing that humanity is the inheritor of his creation and not any particular person, country or regime.
  3. c) The only real heir is the practitioner, in whose hands lies the construction of the entity that contains the discipline as it was devised by its creator without capricious modifications.

Fully understanding what has been said allows us to clearly see the reality that surrounds us.

For 29 years (1973 to 2002) the founder of the discipline fought tooth and nail to keep his creation in one piece and prove that its name and only its name had been usurped. After his passing, a gradual but tenacious atomization began that did not need the old political adversary to destroy his work; this occurred at the hands of economic and personal ambitions. Those who claim to be its defenders are precisely its destroyers. In short, it is the triumph of denial

SGM Ricardo Desimone

to be awarded read again the previous notes.

What is called seminar?

Historical revisionism becomes imperative to understand the reality that surrounds us. The only source of real training for more than half of Taekwon-Do’s existence and founded by General Choi Hong Hi was the Instructor.

This direct relationship avoided to feed doubts and sustain a vertical martial system without double speeches. From the literary point of view, the appearance of the book published by the Founder of the discipline contributed to corroborate the information received from the Instructor. Many students were left with only what they received from the instructor and did not consult the literature.

The appearance of national and international championships allowed an exchange of experiences with different teaching methodologies at a global level that modified over time the previous system used. However, it should be clarified that even so all pedagogical systems had a strong dependence on the martial art and its foundation in self-defense.

The main difference consisted in the interpretation given to the techniques that were included in patterns (tul). At that time and due the non-proliferation of high grades only 15 or 16 were taught. Although the development of these was subject to the unique guide that feeds the 24 patterns, the most advanced were not executed due to the lack of degrees that demanded their development.  The international sports confrontation brought with it a discrepancy in the biomechanics of the movements executed in patterns’ competition, putting the system on alert about which was the right way to perform them.

The word of the direct Instructor began to find questions that could hardly be answered due to a criterion that presented certain differences at the international level. General Choi, who at that time had to solve the systematic usurpation of his art, had to explain the biomechanical discrepancy existing in international events. He entrusted on several occasions to Korean Masters in the task of combining reasons in the countries members to achieve unification of technical interpretation. While this helped in certain respects, on many occasions it also contributed to increasing the diversity of criteria. In these circumstances we reached to the end of the 80’s

This reality brought with it the increasingly need to unify an interpretation about the biomechanical criteria to be globally used without double definitions. It is evident that the only person for such a task was the founder of the discipline himself, who began to develop Taekwon-Do seminars in no uncertain terms. His 15-volume Encyclopedia, which photographically detailed the execution of the movements, helped to support the task.

According to dictionary, a seminar is a class or session where the source of knowledge or highest authority of the subject deal with the disciples meets, to carry out a research work or unify criteria on a certain topic. In the case at hand, General Choi instructed on the correct execution of each technique that make up the Art founded by him, many of which are included in the 24 patterns that compose it. The detailed development of each of the movements allowed during the 90’s to clear doubts worldwide about the correct execution and practical usefulness of these, making more equitable competition between the countries that made up the international entity presided by him.

At no time did General Choi spoke about the sporting facet and less about how to carry out the combative aspect. The tactical and strategic spectrum that feeds this facet is so broad that teaching classes on the subject was considered by the Founder himself as a lack of experience. He thought that it doesn’t contribute to the students or teachers evolution. He proposed that each teaching place dictates it own system, whose concepts should be individual indications and not general terms as usually is wrongly doing because each person is different.

Until the unification of technical criteria in hands of General Choi  that were called seminars due to the direct pedagogical relationship with the highest authority in the subject, what was given by the other Korean instructors delegated by him, were cataloged as special training courses. This concept is also valid today in the face of the proliferation of a teaching staff from different nationalities and grades.

To be called seminar, the source of information must be the top of the subject to avoid any doubt about its interpretation. In an institution seriously constituted, a single voice elected and agreed upon by the Council of Masters may dictate seminars.  In this context, giving seminars without holding the highest degree of information or without exercising as the technical authority is simply a daring of hierarchies that have not understood the place they occupy. Degree and knowledge should go hand in hand, but at present this is not the case. These high grades give only one training class where they talk about kicking and punching in a sport confrontation.

All meetings dealing with the combative aspects, not advised by the founder himself, have the character of special classes only.  But of course, it is very difficult to collect the cost that can be asked for a seminar when what is giving is only a training class.

SGM Ricardo Desimone  

To be aware read again the previous notes

 

Fishing

Long ago, where only class attendance was important to avoid the missing practice; The Instructor figure was a highly respected place. They were so few that on many occasions they should be substituted by the most advanced student present there to cover them in emergencies or other personal troubles.

The atmosphere was strictly martial and the sporting side non-existent. Time changed that distant reality turning that martial environment with undeniable personal introspection, into one almost exclusively for sportive goals. Those who are not included in this target perhaps because they’re not interested, well … they … must adapt to work as filler.

The shortage of instructors in the first years of the activity has been followed by the profusion of people who are dedicated to teach the art according to the current circumstances and demands. However, this change in objectives has not prevented the orthodox evaluation of the adepts from continuing.

These are regulated by practice times to meet and theory and practical student’s evolution, whose favorable result will be exhibited with a new color on their belts if it is a Gup or with a change of number and design of the dobok if black belts we were talking about. In both cases and unlike that distant time, the certification of the promotion is not long in coming. The process that it is not so much different with those used in the past, has more complex institutional and organizational details than then.

The testing boards uphold a diagram that has been internationalized and allows students and Instructors to enjoy a pre-established order and recognition of the effort done. Obviously, this whole global system is supported by the fees that the students will pay to justify the time invested in the evaluation of the current army of students.  They must inexorably be scrutinized in order to grant the deserved new step in their evolution.

The Assistant Instructor (1st to 3rd Dan) and once fulfilled the requirements imposed by the system will access in his last step (3rd Dan), to the grade of 4th Dan.  This place and unlike previous promotions, will allow them to become in Instructors if they are dedicated to teach. With the completion of a course and an administrative procedure, they will access the coveted place of International Instructors. This status will allow them to chair their own testing boards and promote students outside and within their country of residence up to half their rank (a 4th Dan will be able to promote up to 2nd Dan and so on). From then on their evolution as an Instructor can turn them over the years into Masters or Grand Masters of Art.

Sometimes the place occupied by the latter is often misinterpreted. These places are directly related to the perseverance dedicated to the pedagogical task and to promote Instructors and schools’ foundations.

There are those who abandon their regular pedagogical career and their direct contact with the students to dedicate in adding other’s instructors or their assistants, becoming without being, a kind of «distributor or godfather» of art.

This procedure, which is not new, has allowed the spurious commercialization of art and the firm distrust in its institutionalization. The instant consequence was the atomization of the international governing body, which occurred in the immediate aftermath of the death of its Founder and President, Gen. Choi Hong Hi.

The once respected figure of the instructor has been blurred by the constant passage from one entity to another, from one Master to another. This rattle and the lack of institutional formality carry on the coming and going of the students as a bundle of non consulted hostages that are used as a currency of exchange when negotiating utilities.

Imitation and repetition is the form that a disciple must take in front of the teachings. That is why a Master is committed to showing what he is teaching. If this incontrovertible fact does not occur because the master no longer has a regular pedagogical relationship with the students except on random occasions, an inevitable question arises: who is then the one who really teaches the student?

The Instructor lives on monthly dues he collects from his students and the administrative work involved in evaluating them and the respective certifications that must be issued. And the one who has abandoned the regular condition of teaching, how does he do it?

In a conversation out of the record, a current «grand master» who no longer has a regular teaching relation with the students, answered that question with: well… you know….fishing Instructors.

SGM Ricardo Desimone

To be aware read the previous notes 

Triumphalism

One of the details that were usually pointed out decades ago to differentiate the Taekwon-Do founded and developed by Gen. Choi Hong Hi and the now called Olympic Taekwondo, was the stubbornness of the latter emphasizing that the activity was a sport.

Among other things, this strategy was used to access the Olympics, but once this goal was achieved, they began to cast it as a martial art too.

At that time, all activity of the body called WTF was to organize competitions. In order to feed that destiny, the classes were oriented exclusively to the sporting aspect, ignoring or not paying attention to those who did not have aptitude for that field.

On the other side of the coin called Taekwon-Do was the art devised by Gen. Choi whose classes were oriented to teach the martial discipline as it was conceived by him as its founder. In this martial development was included the sporting aspect but in such conditions that it could be carried out without interfering with the development originally planned. The emphasis placed on the pedagogical system that was disseminated throughout the world equally by the hand of its creator throughout seminars and in its Masters and Instructors authorized in the daily classes, allowed to create a great difference between Taekwon-Do and Taekwondo.

«Let’s play in the woods now the wolf is gone”, reads a phrase from a well-known children’s story.

Faced with the physical disappearance of the General, the pedagogical system designed by him began to blur. That sporting area that was included in the activity’s schema to be utilized by those who had already developed tools to act it pushed to the side the martial aspect to predominate in the new pedagogical system. It was not long before the psychic change and the new way of thinking was more of a sport than martial, to the point that everything that was not related to the competition is looked from the sidelines. The knowledge of the art for self-defense is topics to be dealt with sporadically, more out of obligation than conviction. This new way of proceeding entails a new way of thinking that over look the Do and the physical knowledge necessary for self-defense and with an attitude of total lack of concern. Participating in every tournament is part of the ritual, no matter if it is municipal or national. The medal or trophy has become the target to be achieved.  No one notices that if they name him national champion it is only from the institution that sponsors the event. It cannot be completely national because there are countless institutions that also propose this. As far as the continental, Pan American and world champions, the same thing happens even if it is not said. With the diversity of entities there are the diversity of rules for the competition and when this happens the champion of one organization may not be it in the other, since the regulations that govern the competition may have changed. This shows that the head of the practitioner has a perspective called triumphalism whose only destiny is a prize coined in illusions. In other words, triumphalism has come to life and the martial art is agonizing. Triumphalism brings with it an unequivocal way of thinking and the pursuing of goals. When you win a championship you start dreaming of higher estates. If what has been achieved is national, the next one must be continental and if this is achieved, the one that follows is worldwide. The idea of I THE INVINCIBLE, THE BEST, would begin to be devised for those who were able get to his point.

It is curious, one do not process self-defense like that, since saving one skin is the only triumph sought. For those who think “I THE INVINCIBLE, I THE BEST”, it is necessary to remind them that beyond the great sports champions that undoubtedly exist and have been, especially when there was only one Taekwon-Do, that the best has always been Kronos. There are many that have tried to strip him of its privileged place but have not succeeded. It is undefeated in all categories and in all institutions. It is more; his reign encompasses all races and all fighting systems. If you think it’s not, you just have to challenge him.

SGM Ricardo Desimone

To be aware read again the previous notes

Taekwon-Do has an owner?

After having contributed for many years to the diffusion of the Art called Taekwon-Do through demonstrations at the beginning of this discipline and as an Instructor later, it is very difficult to digest the current situation that surrounds us in the global development of the activity. In the late 60’s and early 70’s it was a constant to persuade other martial disciplines that tried fiercely to prevent the development of Taekwon-Do and to be considered one more among the martial arts that by then were already established.

Fortunately that current of thinking changed thanks to the effort of the Instructors who as Western pioneers accompanied the Koreans envoy by Gen. Choi Hong Hi, Founder of Taekwon-Do and President of the only federative entity that by those times internationally governed their destinies. In those times the art was in its formative years all over the world and the number of countries supporting its growth was not so large. However and due of the political attacks that occurred in South Korea (then birthplace and seat of the international federation that governed it), this institution and its president and founder had to go into exile in Canada. The other part of Korea (North Korea) was not among the countries that made up this federative movement because it was, as it is at present, a closed political regime with an almost non-existent relationship with the rest of the world.

On 1981 and also for political reasons General Choi visited that country. In that year and after an agreement, he sends Instructors to begin the development of the discipline there and then be able to incorporate it into the international context of countries member. At that time, the federation already had Western Instructors in the 4th, 5th and 6th Dan who assumed the responsibility of organizing national institutions to cover the desertions of the Korean instructors. These Koreans originally sent by the General became part of a new world entity dependent on the South Korea’s government.

Gen. Choi sent Instructors or new Masters whenever any country presented the need to straighten out misunderstandings among the nationals of the countries member. This happened until some of these envoys attempted to undermine the Founder’s leadership. This fact determined that Gen. Choi decided to put an end to political and biomechanical discrepancies by traveling in person throughout the globe. With seminars for International Instructor given by him, he dealt with unifying the manipulated biomechanical criterion and ordered the political imbalance produced in different countries of the world.

In countless radio, written and television interviews and among the many anecdotes that were disseminated journalistically, always and as a litany he repeated: «Taekwon-Do is not a sport, it is a martial art. This art does not depend on any country or any regime, it belongs to the humanity. It has been created for humanity and without restrictions. No one can or should try to take ownership of it. They have already tried and only managed to make us bigger and stronger. Wanting to appropriate it responds only to two motivations: 1) political management (using art to influence internationally on the people where otherwise they could not do it) and 2) by particular economical ambitions. Both actions have already been attempted and I have personally opposed it, defusing the try and managing to maintain the freedom of Taekwon-Do over all attempts.»

His memoirs, his encyclopedia and filmed interviews, give an account of what has been aforementioned said.

I fear to be repetitive but I have been his translator in countless interviews and seminars for many years and I have translated his condensed encyclopedia into Spanish, therefore I can attest that all said here is true. I believe that if any particular country tries to take over Taekwon-Do it does so for the reasons rejected and made explicit above by the Founder. If were a person who was doing it, I wouldn’t doubt that it is for economic reasons exclusively. Any other explanation they want to give to this usurpation would be a gross lie to be able to carry it out.

A fierce opposition to the subtraction of art is the only possibility of maintaining this discipline as it was conceived. In some other country there was an attempt to prohibit practitioners from using the design of the dobok that General Choi approved for the practice, however, what was achieved by those who tried that shameful action was that they were marginalized by all practitioners. It is necessary to remember that the only owner of Taekwon-Do is the practitioner.

SGM Ricardo Desimone

To be aware read again the previous notes