Sometimes you will hear us talk about TKDI or Taekwon-do International, and sometimes when you speak with people from other Taekwon-do schools they will refer to ITF or WTF Taekwon-do styles, so what are people talking about?
Taekwon-do International is the association to which Glen Ridge Taekwon-do belongs. We wear the association patch on our uniforms, and we receive our certifications from Taekwon-do International. When we go to New York City to compete, that is a sister school within the organization. When we go to boot camp to train with Grandmaster Kim, the other schools that send people are all within the same organization. Each school strives to teach a similar style of Taekwon-do and to raise their students to do Taekwon-do to the same high standards.
ITF stands for International Taekwon-do Federation. ITF was founded by General Choi and its members use the same patterns we do. Many people refer to these patterns as “ITF” or “the Chun-Ji, Dan-Gun patterns” but properly they are called “Chong Han” patterns. While the patterns are very familiar, ITF’s sparring rules for competition are different. The competitors do not wear a chest guard, or hogu, though they do have head gear, foot gear, and hand gear. The hand gear will often cover the striking part of the hand if punching to the face is allowed. More significantly, ITF sparring is a stop match. The center referee will stop the match periodically when he or she feels that a point has been scored. If you have seen the original “Karate Kid” you have seen a stop match, though the style of martial art in the movie is Karate, of course.
WTF stands for World Taekwondo Federation. The WTF uses the Taegeuk patterns for their promotion tests. Some say these patterns are not as complex as the Chong Han ones we use. At WTF competitions the sparring is very similar to what we practice: the rounds go continuously until the time is complete. For fighting gear the competitors wear a chest guard as well as head gear, foot gear, and forearm guards, but the hands are often exposed, as punching to the neck or head is not allowed.
The WTF is closely associated with the Kukkiwon, which is in Seoul, South Korea, and is the organization that brings Taekwon-do to the Olympics. Grandmaster Kim is also closely associated with the Kukkiwon, having brought students, including Master Meany, Master Marr and Master Giletti, to Korea for study and training at the Kukkiwon and with professional Taekwon-do teams many times.
For more information about Taekwon-Do International you can visit the union website at tkdunion.org
Calendar events are subject to change.
August 25-September 1: School closed for Summer break
September 2: School Closed for Labor Day
September 3: School opens, Regular Schedule resumes
September 28: TKDI Competition, Asheville, NC
October 5: Promotion Test (study sheets)
November 28-30: School Closed for Thanksgiving
December 14: Promotion Test (study sheets) and Holiday Party
Dec 22-Jan 1: School Closed for Winter Holiday