Taekwondo - the public image - why it sucks! ( this was in my blog ) I think I have written about this before but I feel so strongly about it that I have to continue with it! First of all Taekwondo and its public image: how much of the public knows about us? What do they know about us? If they know about us then what is our message or so called "brand image". When I look at World federations or the Kukkiwon's web site, I almost feel I have to vomit! Who is behind those sites? What is their message and purpose? Have they hired some 12 year old kid to create them? (OK, this was actually a joke, 12 year old kids today can do much better work with web-sites!) The Kukkiwon and WTF are two of the most important Taekwondo organizations right now and many people are visiting their web-sites to get more information about Taekwondo. ...and what will they find? We have to have a clear identity within our message. Who are we targeting and what are our strengths? Who is training in Taekwondo and what kind of people do we want to attract? For me the answer is simple. Id like to get more children and their parents to get involved. Id like to get intelligent adults who are looking for something for the body and soul (like Yoga) or some who are looking for something that will challenge them physically and mentally. My problem is how we representing our art in the mass media. No intelligent person likes to see someone getting kick in the head or someone getting hurt, for that matter. That is how we show our art...Where are the smiling kids who are having a good time with their training, or pictures of adults who are training and showing 100% focus in their eyes. Perhaps we should learn something from the field of yoga! They have a great image right now. They show that yoga is spiritual training, and at the same time great physical training...and what are we showing? Kicks to the head? We should really define what wed like to be and put that message out! Everything starts from the high level; the world taekwondo federation is our main organization so they should act first. Then Kukkiwon should start to follow their own rules and keep the standard high for black belts (this is easier to say than do), this is the first step. Clean up our own act and then we are ready to show up in public. Of course we get the biggest media coverage from competitions so we should clean our act there. The fighters, coaches and leaders should be held more accountable for the ways they act. Winning or losing, it doesn't matter; everyone should show a high level of respect and good behavior towards others. (Just remember that fighter from Cuba in the Olympic games 2008). Perhaps I am just dreaming about all of this but like someone once said... "I have a dream..." Yours, Markku P.