Taekwondo Event Calendar
  Foreign taekwondo officials call for unity in domestic community
  Sticking to TKD under fire
  Coming together in the spirit of love and caring
   
Foreign taekwondo officials call for unity in domestic community

Korean-born foreign taekwondo officials called for unity in the domestic taekwondo community yesterday to further enhance the image of the nation's martial art worldwide.
The officials, all members of the rule-making Executive Council of the Seoul-based World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), also urged Korea to devote more time and energy to developing new taekwondo techniques and competition rules.

"To maintain a leading role in the world, Korean taekwondo circles should show the world their concerted action, and any internal feud would undermine the efforts," said Park Sun-jae, vice president of the WTF, in a news conference at the Korea Press Center in downtown Seoul.

Park, a Korean Italian who serves as president of the Italian Taekwondo Federation, referred to a series of incidents involving the election of a new president of the Korea Taekwondo Association (KTA), and the controversial selection of national taekwondo players last year. The turmoil has almost died down with last month's election of Koo Cheon-seo as new head of the KTA.

Taekwondo students and professors have also called for reform in the overall operation and management of taekwondo organizations, as well as a personnel reshuffle.

Also at the news conference were Sang Lee, president of the U.S. Taekwondo Union and vice president of the WTF; Hong Sung-chon, president of the Philippine Taekwondo Association and member of the WTF's Executive Council; and Seo Myung-soo, vice president of the European Taekwondo Union and member of the WTF's Executive Council.

"We organized this meeting to get across our message to Korean taekwondo people that we have no time to fight over trivial things and that we have to work out action programs for another take-off of taekwondo," Lee said.

Hong warned that if Korea fails to produce any vision for taekwondo, then it should yield its leading position to other taekwondo powers.

Seo stressed the importance of sports diplomacy by Kim Un-yong, a senior member of the International Olympic Committee, and other Korean sports leaders in promoting taekwondo.

[www.koreaherald.co.kr 2002/04/09]

Sticking to TKD under fire

"Charyoht, Taegeuk Poomsae Shi-Jak!"

Afghan capital Kabul. Houses were broken down by US missiles and puddles were on the roads. I could hear some Korean words yelled in clear voice in residential streets. On the ground floor of a shabby second-story building, 8 of Afghan boys were busy training Taekwondo at their instructor Arian Haibar's command.

Haibar opened his Taekwondo school in 1996, and stood Taliban's suppression to protect the only Afghan Taekwondo school. Taliban closed down the school so many times, saying "Go to a mosque and pray!"
Taliban hated Taekwondo all the more because bare skin was seen when they wore uniforms. So everytime the police officer changed, he got arrested and detained for 4 to 10 days, 4 times.
It was when he took refuge to Islamabad during the civil war in 1992 that Haibar started Taekwondo. He was 11, and got fascinated by kicking he peeped through the window of a local Taekwondo school. He asked and asked the Korean instructor, "I have no money but please accept me."

The Korean instructor, whose name was Lee Sa Won as he remembers, accepted Haibar and taught Taekwondo, giving him places to sleep and feeding him for 4 years.
The civil war ended and his family came back to Kabul in 1996. But Taliban executed his father in public because he was the chief of the general staff during the communism regime, and his mother had to hide her rank, vice president of Kabul University. Haibar opened the Taekwondo school in Kabul to make a living.
"I have a dream: I hope to bring my students to international games. During the Taliban, I appled for an exit permit once. They thought I was running away and never let me go."
He confessed, "I wrote a letter to the WTF headquarter to send an instruction certificate, but they required 200 dollars. So I gave up."

[JoongAng Ilbo 2001/12/06]

    Coming together in the spirit of love and caring

Master Chang Seong Dong, 8th Dan, is the Director of the Sang Rok World Taekwondo Academy. For over 30 years he has dedicated himself to teaching Taekwondo, 22 of which have included teaching foreign students. Most of these students have not only trained, but also lived at the Sang Rok Academy, which is also Master Chang's family home.

September 12, 2001 was a very sad day for Master Chang and his family. This was the day that he and his wife, Youn Young Mi, 5th Dan, learned that their 13 year old son, Sang Rok, for whom the gym was named after, was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukaemia.

Sang Rok requires extensive chemotherapy treatment over the next few months. As many as five treatments, each a month in duration, are needed before Sang Rok can undergo a bone marrow transplant after a suitable donor is located.

Once the transplant is completed, it will be a long and stressful six months before tests are able to reveal if the procedure was successful or not. However, even if the operation succeeds, Sang Rok may never be guaranteed a permanent recovery.

There is always a risk that his condition could relapse.

Since learning about Sang Rok's illness, many people have worked very hard in an attempt to ease the unexpected burden placed upon Master Chang and his family. With many messages of support left on this website and numerous donations, students and friends worldwide have rallied in an inspirational effort to help raise money towards Sang Rok's extensive medical expenses.

In this Christmas season, traditionally a period of caring and giving, now is an opportune time to share with our readers, the many activities hosted by the wonderful global Taekwondo network of Master Chang's students, friends, and those who, although unknown to the family, have felt moved to contribute.

Below are listed some of the activities held to raise funds for Sang Rok, which illustrate just how creative some students and friends have been!

 

MASTER KIM KYENG CHAN
President of Korea Taekwondo Education Association

Master Kim Kyeng Chan helped raise awareness of Sang Rok's condition with an announcement at the Taekwondo Hanmadang, held in Seoul from 13-15 November 2001.

Advertising posters and a donation box were located at the event in which both foreign, and local spectators, as well as participants donated money for Sang Rok.

 

ADAM GAULT, TAIWAN, CHINA-Halloween Party, 27 October, 2001

Adam organised a Halloween Party. Friends were invited to attend and after they had been briefly introduced to the nature of Sang Rok's condition, were more than happy to pay a nominal entrance fee. All of the proceeds collected, over $700 US, were then donated to Sang Rok's expenses.

 

CONNY NEUMANN, LIVE-IN STUDENT, SANGROK ACADEMY, KOREA
German Taekwondo School, Seoul, Korea 13 December 2001

Conny Neumann is a German student who has been living and training at Sang Rok Academy for the past two years.

Conny instructs students in Taekwondo at the German school, in Seoul, South Korea. Over the last few weeks of the most recent school term, she organized a donation box in which parents, teachers, and students generously donated funds to help Sang Rok.

[Taekwon Net 2001/12/18]