One Taekwondo


<center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR
MTS Alumni
Apr 9, 2004
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Grand Prairie Texas
Some here on the board believe all TKD should be under one banner, so I have a few question for these individuals.

1) If everyone agree's what will be the new look of TKD?

2) Which money hungry org. is going to be the true leader?

3) How will all the people come together and fore go all the money they was making?

4) Which one person is liked that much to make this a reality?

Please lets try to keep this civil and in perspective, I truely can never seeing this happening, but I am open to listen.


3rd Black Belt
Nov 19, 2009
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Grand Haven, MI
Unfortunately for us idealists who love the art, TKD is now a business; you can't ignore that. Unity doesn't fit well with our economic model. If a forceful army general in a small militarized nation couldn't force lasting unity, who thinks it's realistic here?

I think division is better for the art in the long run because competition (styles, organizations, schools...I don't just mean 'in the ring') is what leads to innovation and growth. Our art is young and still evolving around its core. I know masters who shamelessly study other sports, other combative arts, and anything else they can find that improves technique. For them it's about physiological efficiency, and I listen closely when they share what they're testing.

It doesn't bother me that our art has roots in at least Japan, Okinawa and China, in addition to Korea. The idea that there should be one taekwondo ignores the idea that there never really has been just one. How about the idea that it's just one big dysfunctional family where some cousins don't talk to each other? To me, that seems a little closer to the reality.


Nov 7, 2007
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Carl summed it up rather well. Money and ego are two of the main reasons why there shall never be a completely unified world of TKD. In fact, I'm rather impressed that the KKW has gained such a prominent position as it currently holds, although from all the complaints here about the local NGB I wonder if the trend will continue.

By the way, I'm reading Shotokan Karate: Its History and Evolution right now. You see the same story there as in Korean martial arts and the same fragmentation occurring over time as the founder died. It's just human nature whether you are Korean, Japanese, or American.

Daniel Sullivan

MT Mentor
May 27, 2008
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Olney, Maryland
Depends upon the kind of unity that you want.

If you want all taekwondo to be unified under one organization with a standardized curriculum and sparring rules set, forget it. Not going to happen. The cat is already out of the bag and there is no putting it back. You can have a unified curriculum within a single organization, but you will never see the ITF, WTF/KKW, ATA, ITA, whatever other organizations are out there, plus independents unite under one banner, one curriculum, and one sparring rule set. Each is already invested in its own system and will not give up that system in order to unite.

Really doesn't matter; the KKW is the largest organization and is hands off enough that a school can be "KKW" and still maintain its individuality. Not really much incentive to split off unless you simply want to make a statement or keep grading fees for yourself.

Now, if you want to have numerous organizations and independents united under banner of taekwondo, that is possible. Kind of the way that there is quite a large number of ryu that are all called karate, there can certainly be a variety of similar Korean arts called taekwondo. At this point, that is pretty much what we have anyway.

Once you get above the level of the school you train at, it makes little difference unless you have Olympic aspirations (portability of rank is nice, but I think that a much bigger deal is made of it than it really is). Students will go where they feel the most comfortable. Those students that are looking for a self defense oriented taekwondo will gravitate to schools that promote self defense. Students looking for the best place to train in order to make it to the olympics will gravitate to the appropriate school. Everyone else will go to the school with the most convenient location, the schedule most suited to their lifestyle, and maybe the best price.