taekwondo organizations are the
World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) and International Taekwondo
Federation (ITF). The WTF is headquartered in South Korea and was
founded in 1973 by a group of various national taekwondo teams. Its
purpose is to coordinate international competition events under the
rules of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Although the terms "WTF" and "Kukkiwon"
are often mistakenly used interchangeably to refer to this
organization, the Kukkiwon is a completely different organization
which trains and certifies instructors and issues official dan and
Poom certificates worldwide. The Kukkiwon has its own unique
physical building that contains the administrative offices of
Kukkiwon (World Taekwondo Headquarters) in Seoul, South Korea. The
Kukkiwon was founded in 1972.
The unofficial training headquarters of the International Taekwondo
Federation is located at the Taekwondo Palace located in Pyongyang,
North Korea and was founded in the mid-1990s. Today, the
International Taekwondo Federation is splintered into three
different groups, all claiming to be the original. The three are
located in Austria, Canada and North Korea.
Outside of the World Taekwondo
Federation and the International Taekwondo Federation, a large
number of organizations exist, such as American Taekwondo
Federation(ATF), ATA, UITF, USTF, MTA (Midwest Taekwondo
Association),(IPTF) International Progressive Taekwondo Federation,
TAGB, WTA and so on. These private organizations require that
students belong to a member club or school. Events and competitions
held by private organizations are mostly closed to other Taekwondo
students. However, the WTF-sanctioned events allow any person,
regardless of school affiliation or martial arts style, to compete
in World Taekwondo Federation events as long as he or she is a
member of the WTF Member National Association in his or her nation,
which is open to anyone to join. The major technical differences
among these many organizations revolve around the patterns, called
hyeong 형, poomsae 품새, or tul 틀, sets of prescribed formal sequences
of movements that demonstrate mastery of posture, positioning, and
technique, sparring rules for competition (e.g. ITF light-contact
versus WTF full-contact), and philosophy.
In addition to these private organizations, the original schools (kwans)
that formed the organization that would eventually become the
Kukkiwon continue to exist as independent fraternal membership
organizations that support the WTF and the Kukkiwon. The official
curriculum of the kwans is that of the Kukkiwon. The kwans also
function as a channel for the issuing of Kukkiwon dan and poom
certification (black belt ranks) for their members. Each kwan has
its own individual pledge of tenets and manners that describes the
organization's goals for personal improvement. For example, the
tenets of Oh Do Kwan and the ITF are: courtesy (ye-ui 예의), integrity
(yom-chi 염치), perseverance (in-nae 인내), self-control (geuk-gi 극기),
and indomitable spirit (baek-jeol-bul-gul 백절불굴). The Jidokwan
manners are: view, feel, think, speak, order, contribute, have
ability, and conduct rightly.
Some organizations also recognize one or two additional tenets
beyond the five original Oh Do Kwan tenets; these are community
service (sa-hui-bong-sa 사회봉사) and love (sa-rang 사랑).