Read about the World Tae Kwon Do Federation (WTF) and the International Tae Kwon Do Federation (ITF). Ferkile’s Taekwondo is a member of the WTF.
World Tae Kwon Do Federation (WTF)
The World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) is the international federation governing the sport of taekwondo and is a member of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF). The WTF was established on May 28, 1973 at its inaugural meeting held at the Kukkiwon with participation of 35 representatives from around the world. There are now 205 member nations. Since 2004, Chungwon Choue has been the president of the WTF, succeeding the first president, Un Yong Kim, after he retired. On July 17, 1980 the International Olympic Committee recognized the WTF at its 83rd Session in Moscow. First, Taekwondo was adopted as a demonstration sport of the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea; later, on September 4, 1994 Taekwondo was adopted as an official Sport of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games at the 103rd IOC Session in Paris, France. According to the WTF, “Taekwondo is one of the most systematic and scientific Korean traditional martial arts, that teaches more than physical fighting skills. It is a discipline that shows ways of enhancing our spirit and life through training our body and mind. Today, it has become a global sport that has gained an international reputation, and stands among the official games in the Olympics.
International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) is a taekwondo organization founded on March 22nd, 1966, by General Choi Hong Hi (최홍희) in Seoul, South Korea. The ITF exists to promote and encourage the growth of the Korean martial art of taekwondo. After the South Korean Government abandoned the ITF, the government established the World Taekwondo Federation to continue the mission of taekwondo’s globalization.Once General Choi Hong Hi (최홍희) was exiled out of South Korea, he established the new headquarters of the ITF in Vienna, Austria and the organization settled there. In 2001, the ITF Congress voted for General Choi Hong Hi as President for four years of the six-year term, then for his son (Choi Jung Hwa) to serve as President for the remaining two years. This was overturned (whether legally or illegally is disputed) by General Choi, causing a rift between himself and his son. Choi Jung Hwa split away from his father and created another organisation, which Choi Jung Hwa claimed to be the true ITF. While the majority of the TKD world stayed with General Choi, many others decided to follow Choi Jung Hwa. General Choi subsequently died in June 2002, having never reconciled with his son. On his deathbed in June 2002, General Choi allegedly said that he wanted a man known as Chang Ung, a North Korean IOC member, to take over as President. An Extraordinary Congress of the ITF was called with Chang Ung declared as the new President; but the legality of this Congress is disputed. Those claiming that the Congress was illegal (i.e. against the ITF’s Constitution) held another Congress, at which Master Trần Triệu Quân (an 8th degree black belt) was elected as President. Thus there are now three organisations claiming to be the ITF. ITF’s main functions are to coordinate and approve tournaments and seminars, set standards for teaching (patterns, sparring, destruction), collaborate with affiliated member organizations, and service members in regards to rank and certifications.