Ok this is a "rant" and not a serious blog post/ article. You have been warned!
I have been Reading up on Taekwondo/ Tae Kwon Do/ Taekwon-Do (insert Your prefered spelling here) and one thing that I have come to hate these last few weeks is the eternal: "WTF is sport, ITF is Martial Art!"/ "WTF = Sport"/ "WTF = Only sport and leg fencing" (insert similar statement here). More often than not these statements comes from People who Train either under one of the ITF organisations or someone training in an independent Dojang. This is only my personal opinion and as this is a rant everything I say will not be pure facts just my own observations these last few weeks.
What bugs me With the statements above is not the fact that WTF = Sport because it really is:-) It is the fact that all Kukki Taekwondo students are told over and over and over again that they practise only sport and that ITF is what really is a Martial Art. I hope as many ITFèrs as possible will read this and be a little more enlightened on this subject because they are all doing the same mistake.
What they are doing is stating the obvious: WTF = Sport and that is OK but the mistake they are doing is to compare WTF With ITF as organisations. I hate to break it to you but WTF is PURELY A SPORTING ORGANISATION AND IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE MARTIAL ART OF KUKKIWON! It is an organisation that regulates sport competitions, rules etc and it only recognizes the ranks that is registered in the Kukkiwon. But it has nothing to do With ranking requirements, what kind of syllabus Your Dojang has or anything. The Kukkiwon has a minimum syllabus requirement that you teach the Taegeuk and black belt forms and the techniques are to be excecuted in the Kukkiwon standard but that is pretty much it. Your Dojang has a lot more freedom to include stuff in their syllabus than many believe and they frequently do. Many Kukkiwon Affiliated Dojang`s actually teach Taekwondo as a martial art (allthough when it comes to free sparring many revert to the WTF rules). They teach Ho Sin Sul just like the ITF does, Formal 3, 2, 1 step sparring, and breaking just like ITF does. A Kukkiwon Affiliated Dojang can be just as much a traditional martial arts as any ITF Dojang can be.
ITF as an organisation is different to WTF in that ITF is not purely a sporting organisation. Yes they do regulate sport rules and competitions for their Dojang`s but they also refine or keep and teach the syllabus of all their Schools (forms, standard way of moving, self defense requirements etc). So while the ITF is actually a pretty well rounded organisation that governs all aspects of its martial art Taekwon-Do, WTF on the other hand is a sport specific organisation that recognizes the ranks held in Kukkiwon and Kukkiwon takes care of the traditional martial arts side of Things.
Comparing WTF With ITF is therefore like comparing Apples to Oranges. Both are considered "fruit" but which is the best Orange? The Orange is because Apples are not Oranges (not last time I checked anyway). What will happen if (I would rather say "when") the WTF starts recognizing ranks held in different organisations like for instance the ITF held ranks? Will suddenly the ITF become "ITF=SPORT" too? Personally I believe it is just a matter of time before the WTF openes up its competitions to other organisations, but in the meantime I hope that People can stop stating the obvious, and stop making the mistake of saying all Dojang that can compete within WTF tournaments are sport and not martial art no matter if the student chooses to compete or not.
This is simply a "rant" from me so you can take it anyway you want. I have not tried to be political correct or even truthfull. It is simply me airing out my frustrations that have buildt up these last few weeks and let me tell you: It did goooood:-)
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