Discussion in 'Tae Kwon Do Resources' started by ronmeister, May 12, 2003.



  1. WTF < ITF

  2. ITF < WTF

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Taeho

    Taeho New Member

    My schools is a member of The International Taekwondo Alliance (yet another ITA). It was founded in 1983 and teaches the "Chang Hun" style which was developed by Gen Choi. We train using 70% kicking techniques and 30% hand techs. We do light to no contact sparring and train heavily in sparring.

    I personally like using more leg techniques, because it gives me a "feel" of what TKD is all about. We also train in ground fighting and ARC techniques. But, if I was interested in mostly hand fighting techniques, I would have taken up karate, boxing or kickboxing. It's up to you. I feel that each person needs to decide what fits their individual needs.

    IMHO, the different organizations each have something to offer their students. You just need to find the one that's right for you.

    TKDshane Ÿ
  2. Chazz

    Chazz Keepin it kickin TKD style

    I was once with the ITA when it was called the USTA. I started under, who is now over most the schools in the south, Master Rick Hall. I got my 1st dan under him.
  3. Taeho

    Taeho New Member

    Do you mean the International TKD Alliance or the International TKD Association?

    TKDshane Ÿ
  4. Chazz

    Chazz Keepin it kickin TKD style

    International TKD Alliance

    I was in Rick Halls TKD Plus in Chattanooga Tennessee
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2003
  5. Chazz

    Chazz Keepin it kickin TKD style

    I have just sent an email to the 3 main Orgs that say that they are the real ITF. I asked a few question so i hope i get an answer back. I just want to know how they feel about the other 2 orgs.
  6. SkyCreeper

    SkyCreeper New Member

    Patterns do not make the ITF style traditonal, but it does make them "more" traditional then what the WTF is doing. In my humble opinion anyway :)

    her is my idea...

    What Gen Choi did from what i have read is blend an older Korean MA called Taek Kyon (maybe some other korean types as well) with some form of Japanese Karate to create what is now called TaeKwon-Do so i would assume that anything that is being called TaeKwon-Do has its origins in Gen. Choi's work. He wrote the first "manual" on the new art with the first documented patterns, some of witch, he created.

    The manual, to me, started a tradition. It formalized a system that had been developed over many years.

    My experience is that the ITF sticks closer to what was layed out in the manual then the WTF because the WTF is more interested in olympic sport criteria then teaching any of the "Do" concepts in TKD. Nevermind how techniques are being taught.

    On a side note. I recently witnessed a 4th Dan Black belt WTF form. I cant remember the name but what struck me while watching it, is that was basicly a mix of the 7th gup and 6th gup ITF forms (Do-San and Won-Hyo). I thought that forms got harder as you went through the ranks, not easier. any thoughts on this?
  7. SkyCreeper

    SkyCreeper New Member

    the last post was for a diff thread, but a comment as to weather im lost in space on the concept of Traditional TKD would be appreciated.
  8. Helm

    Helm New Member

    I was lost somewhere back on page 2.

    I dont think there is a right answer or a solution to "Traditional TKD", as its the oppinion of the person.

    Either way, i dont worry about the leaves on the branches, just the roots in the tree.
  9. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    I realize that is your opinion, but I would recommend trying to avoid over-generalizing. I have trained in both ITF and WTF TAekwondo and have learn the Tae-gook forms, the ITF forms, and most of the Pal-gye forms... and guess what? They are all relatively similar and really do not vary much in age. Take a look at the history of TKD and you will find that it came together about the same time and was put together by a bunch of people including General Choi, who later left for political reasons. The Taekwondo of both styles is pretty similar, with difference in forms and COMPETITION rules.

    Neither FEDERATION is more "traditional" than the other... although you may find individual schools who may stress different aspects. My advice is to enjoy it all, find a good school that fits you and avoid the petty political crap.

    A sad thing is that both side (WTF and ITF) love to propagandize and indoctrinate their students to hate the other system (c.f. ITF is followed in North Korea and WTF is followed in South Korea).
  10. Bulldog

    Bulldog New Member

    I learned Tae Kwon Do in a small garage with no heat in the winter and no air conditioning in the summer...
    I also learned a long time ago that I don't care about styles, I care about people. Unity in diversity, through love of all.

    There are SO many federations/associations/groups/clans/clubs/styles/etc.

    Find what is right for you. And embrace understanding.
  11. SkyCreeper

    SkyCreeper New Member

    Well. I spent a few hours last night going through all the posts and would say it was a bit of an education. I train at a school that has been mostly independant. My instructor trained in the ATA and left 12 years ago because of the politics and im starting to understand why. I enjoy my TKD training, and the more different schools and org's im exposed to, the more im gratefull for the independance.

    In my town, there are 2 WTF schools and my school that is independant. TKD is getting a really bad rap here because of the WTF schools. I find this very annoying, but what can i do? We get parents bringing their kids into my school from the other schools with all kinds of horror stories about what the instructor did to them. Im surprised they are still training after experiences like that.

    I guess i should just shutup, train hard, and observe the tenents.

    Im glad i found this forum before i got too far into researching this politial crap.
  12. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    What a good thread

    I think this entire thread really illustrates the harmful effects that "over-politicizing" the dojang can do. For us practioners at the ground level, I think we need to train hard and keep an open mind.... because someday we will be the leaders of TKD. If we perpetuate the snubbing of schools based on name, the bickering over "true" TKD, and closing our minds to fellow practioners because they don't belong to the "right" collection of letters (organization), we will lose much of the experience and knowledge that is out there right now to share and study.
  13. Twimyo Jirugi

    Twimyo Jirugi Me, but not

    Here's a quote from my student handbook regarding TKD imitators (non orthodox/ITF TKD):

    "Today, the enormous popularity of Taekwon-Do has created many imitators and while at times, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, in the case of Taekwon-Do, this is definately not true. To imitate without full knowledge of the original is dangerous. It is somewhat akin to allowing a child to play with a toy gun, then giving him a real gun and expecting the child to understand the difference, wthout giving him the knowledge of the function of a real gun.
    In most cases of imitation, the imitator simply mimics the original without any change. Usually, this does not cause any harm provided the one who imitates does not change the original (in this case Taekwon-Do) by unproven additional techniques, interpretations, philosophy, terminology or systems and methods. It is when unauthrised changes to the original act of Taekwon-Do take place that these imitators create a highly dangerous and eroding influence upon the concept of Taekwon-Do.
    Dangerous, because it givs to the students of the imitators a sense of mastery of techniques which is completely unfounded in knowledge of the true martial art of Taekwon-Do.
    Dangerous, because a student may then become a teacher and all unkowingly, impart his false techniques to others, thus compounding the error of false knowledge. This will lead to an erosion of confidence by serious students in Taekwon-Do as a proven martial art.
    Confusion has recently arisen by se of the terminology "TAEKWON-DO, THE KOREAN ART OF SELF DEFENSE". I emphasis the word Korean.
    Today, in the republic of South Korea, it is becoming the practise to indiscriminately applie the word Taekwon-Do to a b*****dised imitation of the real Korean martial art.
    General Choi Hong Hi created, developed and introduced the art of Taekwon-Do to what is now the Republic of South Korea. It is true that General Choi was born in Korea and at the time of developing and introducing taekwon-Do he resided there. It is also true that the basis of Taekwon-Do goes back to the ancient past of Korea, but to call Taekwon-Do purely Korean is somewhat like one country claimin to have introduced fire.
    The true Taekwon-Do of General Choi knows no boundaries or countries; it is a universal art of self defense. It is also an art for which General Choi has devoted his life not only to retain the purity of the original Taekwon-Do, but to constantly search for ways of improving the original techniques. Only after exhaustive research and proof of improvement and effectiveness is to the original approved and incorporated within the overall art of Taekwon-Do.
    Authentic, original Taekwon-Do, as taught by the founder, is promoted worldwide by the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF), the world wide governing body established in 1966 for this purpose. The Republic of Ireland Taekwon-Do Association (RITA) was established in 1972 as the national governing body for ITF in Ireland, and the instructors of the RITA re proud to teach and promote the authentic Taekwon-Do nationwide, despite the presence of many imitators.
    His lifetime of research and devotion is proof of General Choi's tenacity of dedication to keeping the original Taekwon-Do free from unproved imitations, and with the co-operation of all true Taekwon-Do students, no matter what grade, weed out those who seek to destroy the authentic art"
    ©2001 RITA - ITF

    And I believe the WTF is listed as one of those imitators, and a successful one at that. You see Thomas, this "true" Taekwon-Do is not a bunch of nonsense, it's 100% true. We must keep the authentic Taekwon-Do alive and not let it suffer at the hands of unproven, inferior imitators.
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Just because it's written in a student handbook doesn't make it necessarily true. I would recommend doing a little research and come up with your own answers instead of following naroow-minded lines of propaganda. After you have experienced other styles of TKD or read some of the historical books or articles out there, you will be free to re-evaluate the claims in your handbook. (Does your handbook mention the Shotokan/Japanese influence on Choi's ideas?)

    Since I know you are new to this forum (and relatively new to TKD) I will not take any offence to any of the possible insults here. Keep in mind that this forum is set up to share ideas and experience. If you choose to ignore people who have lots of experience just because they train in an "unproven, inferior style" then I feel bad for you for your loss. There are lots of good TKD instructors out there who may not be members of the Irish ITf or even of the ITF as a whole... and you may be able to learn from them... if you open your mind up a bit.

    By the way, did you read the entire thread?
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2004
  15. Artikon

    Artikon Advertise here ask me how

  16. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Twimyo Jirugi:

    There's some facts straight from the ITF homepage... a pretty good place to start your research.

    I think the underlined section shows that even Gen. Choi himself expected Taekwon-do to evolve and change... and not be deluded into thinking that all that had been done before is the only allowable "pure" Taekwon-Do.
  17. Twimyo Jirugi

    Twimyo Jirugi Me, but not

    Yes, but without a single, unified, agreed upon form/style of Taekwon-Do, then it is just chaos. That is one of the goals of the ITF. To unite everyone and strive to perfect Taekwon-Do together, not separately, because that way, we can only fail.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2004
  18. Smokemare

    Smokemare ITF TKD 2nd Dan

    Hmmm, we've got two basic questions here, which is best WTF or ITF. My authoritive answer is neither! Both have their pro's and con's. Most of which can be forgotten anyway. You can forget forms, yes the forms are different, but if you are WTF and you want to learn ITF forms there's nothing to stop you, there are instructions and videos on the net which can enable you learn a form from home if you want to. The way techniques are performed might differ slightly, but two ITF or WTF practitioners will differ slightly. I've always been ITF, but If I moved to an area where only WTF was available I would probably join that club, or start my own ITF club - it doesn't really matter...

    As to whether an individual should start WTF or ITF, I agree with Thomas, look at both schools and go with the best instructor. If you still can't decide - put it down to this:-

    If you want to wear body armour, kick full power, and not use many hand techniques when sparring go WTF. If you want semi-contact sparring with gloves and foot-gloves which involves quite alot of hand-techniques go ITF.

    The self-defence and other aspects of the arts are really more down to the instructor and the practitioner.

    Interestingly a guy from our clubs went WTF when he went to Uni, as thre wasn't ITF near. As far as I gather, despite being a good sparrer before going WTF, the first few times he sparred WTF he got his ass handed to him. Then in time he became good at WTF and started doing really well, then he finished uni and re-joined ITF, and straight away started to get his ass handed to each time he sparred.

    The moral of the story, WTF style sparrers will do better at WTF rule sparring and ITF sparrers will win when ITF rules are in place. As to who would win in a street fight, street fighting is not sparring, and the victor would be down to whoever was the better fighter, which is independant of what style or even art somebody happens to train in.
  19. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Excellent post, Smokemare! I especially agree with this part:
  20. Twimyo Jirugi

    Twimyo Jirugi Me, but not

    What?!?!? Taekwon-Do was developed in the beginning for one purpose: to be the strongest and most effective form of self defense. That's what TKD is, an art of self defense. It's not a sport like soccer or basketball. It's an art.

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