WT / ITF demographics

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by TrueJim, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. TrueJim

    TrueJim 3rd Black Belt

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    I realize that this is hardly scientific, and that it's also very geography dependent...but I found this interesting nonetheless. Here's a Facebook "poll"...

    [​IMG]

    As of this writing, there are 241 votes for WTF and 48 votes for ITF. This is more lopsided than I would have expected.

    Along those same lines, it was suggested on the taekwondo subreddit that we should start listing taekwondo tournaments, so I started such a list and have been adding to the list (at least for US tournaments) whenever an announcement crosses my screen:

    Upcoming Tournaments • r/taekwondo

    In developing this list, I was struck by how few ITF tournaments I come across.
     
  2. Gwai Lo Dan

    Gwai Lo Dan 2nd Black Belt

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    In my area, I would guess the WTF/ITF ratio is at least 5/1, maybe 10/1.
     
  3. TrueJim

    TrueJim 3rd Black Belt

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    Near me we have 5 KKW/WT schools and 1 ATA school...no ITF schools at all. But I thought that was probably a bit of an aberration -- I assumed that generally there are more ITF schools than that. Interesting.
     
  4. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    The numbers are inherently crap simply because it’s obvious that people don’t have a clue what they’re studying. There’s no such thing as a WTF school. And the ITF has split off into so many different orgs in the last couple decades as to make the poll meaningless.
    I’d say your best bet for at least coming close would be to ask “what forms does your school use?”
    There are still going to be places that skew the numbers slightly. Our primary forms are the Palgwae set. And we’re a Moo Duk Kwan school. But we do offer KKW certificates to those who prefer them. And we do teach the Taegeuk forms to those interested. There’s another school in our area that teaches only the Palgwae but offers only KKW certifications. And another that teaches the Palgwae and Chang Hon forms while certifying ranks through their own org. And since the OTC is here, there’s tons of purely KKW schools.
    I don’t think there are any schools in this area that identify as ITF. But there are certainly plenty that draw heavily on ITF roots for their curriculum.


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  5. Gwai Lo Dan

    Gwai Lo Dan 2nd Black Belt

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    We can always count on Dirty Dog for that correction! In any event, based on that comment, I had a quick look at a few local dojang websites. I see lots of mentions of Olympic taekwondo and WTF, but no mention of the Kukkiwon. The dojang where I train says on its website "Students are taught World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) style taekwondo". Who am I to argue with a Korean 9th dan :).

    And to be clear, many of the exercises in class are geared towards WTF-style sparring.
     
  6. TrueJim

    TrueJim 3rd Black Belt

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    I see this quite often too. Schools that are teaching Kukkiwon-style taekwondo advertising themselves as WTF-style.
     
  7. dvcochran

    dvcochran Yellow Belt

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    Kukkiwon and WTF are synonymous. Check the Kukkiwon webpage: Kukkiwon
     
  8. Gwai Lo Dan

    Gwai Lo Dan 2nd Black Belt

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    Business is business. You have to sell using words and expressions people understand. I'm told many TKD places used to be "Korean Karate", for example.
     
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  9. dvcochran

    dvcochran Yellow Belt

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    Upset much Dan? There are many, many WTF schools. WTF doesn't moderate teachings as strictly as other TKD styles, (eg Moo Duk Kwan). You are totally correct on the different Poomse taught but Taeguek's are the only WTF recognized Poomse's. Personally, I think they are overly simplified forms geared for children. Give me the Palgwae and Pyong An Poomse any day. We learn them all. My 84 year old instructor said it simply came down to money. The Suh Bakh Do/Moo Duk Kwan Federation charges a ridiculous fee to be a registered Dojang. For what it is worth, a true WTF certificate is registered and can be tracked via the Kukkiwon for student verification. Something I put a lot of value in.
    Curious how and why you offer a KKW certificate? Actually never heard of a KKW certificate.
     
  10. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    The WT, (They don't even go by WTF anymore, so you're claiming to be synonymous with something that no longer exists...) which makes it clear that they are NOT a style but strictly a sports governing body, clearly disagrees.
    World Taekwondo Federation Wiki
    World Taekdondo
     
  11. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Post a scan of your WTF certificate. So we can point out that it is issued by the "World Taekwondo Headquarters" (which is the Kukkiwon), says you've passed the Kukkiwon promotion test, and is signed by the president of the Kukkiwon.
     
  12. dvcochran

    dvcochran Yellow Belt

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    Not real sure where you are going. What has evolved more quickly than TKD in the MA world? Still, WT/WTF and Kukkiwon are one and the same. The Korean government is not as complicated as the US but I would say more cut throat. Who else uses an art/sport as their unifying body? There has never been much of an ITF presence on TN. Moo Duk Kwan really shot themselves in the foot when they launched an 8 year (I think) infringement law suit. In the end useless because, like you say, there is not jurisdiction to say who teaches what, when, and where. Sad part of the commercial aspect of MA.
     
  13. dvcochran

    dvcochran Yellow Belt

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    Dan, took me a while to dig them out but here ya go:
     

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  14. dvcochran

    dvcochran Yellow Belt

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    Correction, this was sent to Dirty Dog
     
  15. dvcochran

    dvcochran Yellow Belt

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    Took me a while to dig them out but here you go:
     

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  16. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    No, they're not. Clearly. As in, they're not even in the same building. Don't have the same leadership. Don't do the same thing.

    And as I said... they're Kukkiwon certificates. Testing to Kukkiwon standards. Signed by the (then) president of the Kukkiwon. Not by the WT. Because the WT does not confer rank. They supervise sporting events. Nothing more.
     
  17. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    I think your OP got waylaid. It's no surprise that the KKW / WTF schools greatly outnumber the ITF schools. Since SK took over TKD it continued it's support of TKD just as it had when General Choi was at the helm but switched it to the new group. This support included training and dispatching instructors to teach throughout th world as well as recruiting existing instructors to leave other groups an joint this one. As one might imagine, modern travel and communication made it easier to spread KKW / WTF TKD post 1974 than from 1955-1973. although having TKD established in over 60 countries prior to 1974 made it a great springboard to expand from 60 as opposed to expanding from -0- When I went to college in 1975 I started calling schools near the University and simply asked what forms they practiced. I knew ther were mny non affiliated schools that practiced the Chang Hon forms At that time even the ATA was doing those forms. Found one nearby. WTF Flag on the wall and the General's 1972 Book In Korean on the desk. I don't recall any semblance of anything saying KKW so at that time as far as we were concerned it was a WTF school. (Later learning about the sport / art dichotomy. ) So, official ITF schools are relatively few compared to official WTF / KKW, slightly larger if you consider all Chang Hon Stylists. It might be interesting to see if there is a difference of non official KKW / WTF schools who represent thenselves as such as opposed to ITF styl schools who do or don't.
     
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  18. TrueJim

    TrueJim 3rd Black Belt

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    Okay, I'm going to be making some Wild *** Guesses (WAGs) and Gross Assumptions using Suspect and Out-of-Date data, but bear with me...

    About 18.1M Americans have practiced a martial art within the last year. Reference: Martial Arts Clubs Industry Snap Shot - 2016 - Sports Club Advisors, Inc. The population of the U.S. is 323M, so 323M/18.1M = 17.8% have practiced a martial art within the last year.

    12.8% of those have practiced taekwondo. Same reference as above. 12.8% x 18.1M = 2,316,800 taekwondoins have practiced within the last year. Let's call it 2.3M.

    Making a guestimate from the ATA website, I'm guessing that about 250,000 of those U.S. taekwondoins are practicing ATA style. Reference: https://ataonline.com/schools/

    That leaves us with 2,066,800 taekwondoins in the U.S. practicing something other than ATA style.

    Let's assume that 20% of those taekwondoins are practicing some independent style (maybe based on old Korean Karate), and the other 80% are practicing either Chang Hon for Taegeuk/Palgwae forms.

    Let's further assume that the ratio of KKW/ITF ration is 5:1 as the above informal pool seems to indicate. Then that means:
    • about 250K taekwondoins in the U.S. are practicing ATA style
    • about 413K taekwondoins in the U.S. are practicing some independent style
    • about 275K taekwondoins in the U.S. are practicing some version of ITF style
    • about 1,378K taekwondoins in the U.S. are practicing Kukkiwon style
    Again, take those numbers with a larger grain of salt...there's a lot of assumptions in there.
     
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  19. dvcochran

    dvcochran Yellow Belt

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    Let's try it this way. Without the Kukkiwon there would be no WT(F). Same body, different arms and legs.
     
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  20. Rough Rider

    Rough Rider Green Belt

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    My school is sort of an odd mix. For forms, we start with three basic forms called Tiger 1,2,and 3. They are based on Tang Soo Do's Ki Cho forms. Tiger 1 is identical to Ki Cho 1; Tiger 2 and 3 are slight variations of Ki Cho 2 and 3.
    Next, we start learning the Taegeuk forms. At red belt, we start learning the Palgwe forms. Palgwe 1 is learned at the same time as Taegeuk 7, and Palgwe 2 is in conjunction with Taegeuk 8.
    The Palgwe forms continue into the black belt levels. Palgwe 8 is learned at 2nd Dan, after you learn Keumgang.
    At 3rd Dan, we start the ITF forms. Again, 3rd Dans start with the KKW form, Taebaek, then move on to Chon Ji, etc.
    We use WT sparring rules. Our competition team mostly competes in USAT sanctioned events, although recently they've been going to AAU tournaments as well.
    In addition to forms, one-steps, self-defense, and sparring- we also do weapons training at the black-belt level.
    Our black belts are issued KKW certificates (if you want to pay for it. Personally, I only have a school certificate, so I'm not "Officially" a black belt outside of my school.) Our Grand Master is a KKW 7th Dan.
    So, what are we? I'd say we're an independent school that follows the KKW curriculum, but adds to it.
     
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