Now the ITF is a MA organization. In fact, it was the 1st world wide governing body for TKD, established in Seoul, SK in 1966, 7 years before the WTF (1973). The ITF has a set syllabus that all ITF numbered affiliated schools have to follow. The extent to which all schools follow is varied, but many would concide that it is followed to a larger extent than the Kukkiwon schools do. They do have a system in place to help insure compliance, but it is far from perfect. I make no claim that one is better than the other, or that following a set syllabus is better than doing your own thing. However, I offer it to merely show that the ITF can be & often is referred to as a style of TKD. Now the proper style name would be Chang HonTK-D , the pen name of the founder.

So my overall point or bottom line would be, there is no style of WTF TKD, just a WTF sport. There is not set WTF training syllabus, other than the tournament rules. So to claim one is WTF on one hand & say they are not just a sport & to say one has WTF certification or follows their training syllabus, doesn't make sense to me. I thank the new poster with contributing a great 1st post & hope there is more to come!

I agree w/you. I think it is most correct to say that Kukkiwon is analogous to the ITF, in that the Kukkiwon and ITF are both martial arts organizations (as opposed to sports federations under the IOC) that govern the technical standards and curriculum for their particular "flavor" of TKD (Kukki TKD vs. Chang Hon TKD).

What's amusing is that many first generation Korean masters get this wrong. I see a lot of KKW TKD schools that advertise they "belong to the WTF" or are "WTF certified". FACT: Individuals and/or clubs cannot belong to the WTF, only national governing bodies. My KKW certificates say nothing about the WTF on it, other than than (at the time) Un Yong Kim was president of both organizations.

What also doesn't help is that the KKW and the WTF are housed in the building called... Kukkiwon!

To add to my previous post, you don't even need to necessarily practice Kukki TKD to compete in WTF events. Several members of the US national team got their start in NASKA, point-style tournaments/schools. There was even a US national team memeber several years back who apparently was from a Chang Hon/ITF club (as evidenced by their forms and doboks):


WTF used to require that you had a Kukkiwon certified Dan to compete in their events, but I think at some point the IOC stepped in and said that an international sports federation could not require an athlete to possess credentials from a sports organization belonging to a particular nation. So since Kukkiwon is a Korean martial arts organization, the IOC said that WTF could not require their competitors to be certified through a Korean organization. In practice most competitors have KKW dans, but there are notable exceptions. I believe Arlene Limas (88 Seoul Olympics gold medalist from USA) came from a Jhoon Rhee system, and did not have a KKW dan, and fought get on the US Team without one.

In many other countries where TKD is developing as an Olympic sport, they don't even teach the full Kukki TKD curriculum, only what's required for WTF sparring rules. In the book I mentioned in my previous post, Master Dae Sung Lee tells about how he visited China to train the Chinese national team. He recounts how he found a TKD team that had recruited athletes from the wushu, basketball, and track teams only a few years before his visit. They knew no forms or self-defense principles and only knew sparring. Sadly, I think this is more common in many other nations where TKD is developing.

Edited by badachagi (02/07/08 11:27 PM)