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International Taekwondo Federation

About International Taekwondo Federation (ITF)

Two of the most popular systems of taekwondo are named solely after their respective organizations: the World Taekwondo (WT) and the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF).

International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) is a taekwondo organization founded on Mar 22, 1966, by General Choi Hong Hi (최홍희) in Seoul, South Korea. The ITF exists to promote and encourage the growth of the Korean martial art of taekwondo. After the South Korean Government abandoned the ITF, the government established the World Taekwondo Federation to continue the mission of taekwondo's globalization. Once General Choi Hong Hi (최홍희) was exiled out of South Korea, he returned to North Korea and introduced the organization which settled there. 

International Taekwondo Federation

In 2001, the ITF Congress voted for General Choi Hong Hi as President for four years of the six-year term, then for his son (Choi Jung Hwa) to serve as President for the remaining two years. This was overturned (whether legally or illegally is disputed) by General Choi, causing a rift between himself and his son. Choi Jung Hwa split away from his father and created another organisation, which Choi Jung Hwa claimed to be the true ITF.

While the majority of the TKD world stayed with General Choi, many others decided to follow Choi Jung Hwa. General Choi subsequently died in June 2002, having never reconciled with his son. On his deathbed in June 2002, General Choi allegedly said that he wanted a man known as Chang Ung, a North Korean IOC member, to take over as President. An Extraordinary Congress of the ITF was called with Chang Ung declared as the new President; but the legality of this Congress is disputed. Those claiming that the Congress was illegal (i.e. against the ITF's Constitution) held another Congress, at which Master Trần Triệu Quân (an 8th degree black belt) was elected as President. Thus there are now three organisations claiming to be the ITF. ITF's main functions are to coordinate and approve tournaments and seminars, set standards for teaching (patterns, sparring, destruction), collaborate with affiliated member organizations, and service members in regards to rank and certifications.

Patterns, or tul (틀) in Korean, originally called hyeong (형), form an important aspect of training in Taekwon-Do. They are equivalent to the kata in karate. The majority of the patterns (except Yul-Gok, Ul-Ji and Tong-Il) start with a defensive move, which emphasizes taekwon-do's defensive nature. All of the patterns start and end at the same location. This ensures that the practitioners' stances are the correct length, width, and in the proper direction.

There are 24 patterns in the official ITF syllabus; this is symbolic of the 24 hours in a day. One additional pattern, Ko-Dang (or Go-Dang), was retired/replaced by Juche in 1986 by General Choi Hong Hi. Ko-Dang and Juche are similar, and some Taekwon-do organizations have renamed Juche to Ko-Dang though most perform the newer pattern. The names of these patterns typically refer either to events in Korean history or to important people in Korean history. Elements of the patterns may also be historical references, such as the number of moves, the diagram, the way the pattern ends, and so on.

Patterns ( tul 틀 ) are performed in accordance with "The Encyclopedia of Taekwon-Do" in 15 volumes written by General Choi Hong Hi, the latest edition being from 1999 (later editions have been published, but the 1999 editions were the last General Choi Hong Hi was directly involved with). This comprehensive work contains 15 volumes with volumes 8 through 15 dedicated to the 24 patterns and containing descriptions of the pattern movements as well as pictures showing possible applications of some of the movements. There is also the book entitled "The Korean Art of Self Defense" (the 1999 edition, the latest used by ITF under Grandmaster Tran Trieu Quan and ITF under Grandmaster Choi, or the 2004 edition, the latest used by ITF under Chang Ung), also known as the Condensed Encyclopedia, written by General Choi Hong Hi. This is a single condensed encyclopedia of approximately 770 pages with a section dedicated to the 24 patterns.

For more information on International Taekwondo Federation Forms view ITF Tul »

There are also three fundamental exercises, named Saju-Jirugi (Four Direction Punch)Saju-Makgi (Four Direction Block) and Saju Tulgi (Four Direction Thrust). Saju-Jirugi and Saju-Makgi are basic defence exercises taught to beginners of the martial art. Saju Tulgi is less well known and is generally taught to 2nd Geup students just prior to Hwa-Rang. Saju Tulgi is not presented in the Condensed Encyclopedia but is present in the 15 Volume Encyclopedia (see: Volume 10, page 122).


saju jireugi saju makgi cheonji dangun dosan wonhyo yulgok joonggun toigye hwarang chungmu


The 24 Patterns in Taekwon-Do ITF are:

  1. Cheon-Ji (19 Movements) 9th geup
  2. Dan-Gun (21 Movements) 8th geup
  3. Do-San (24 Movements) 7th geup
  4. Won-Hyo (28 Movements) 6th geup
  5. Yul-Gok (38 Movements) 5th geup
  6. Joong-Gun (32 Movements) 4th geup
  7. Toi-Gye (37 Movements) 3rd geup
  8. Hwa-Rang (29 Movements) 2nd geup
  9. Chung-Mu (30 Movements) 1st geup
  10. Kwang Gae (39 Movements) 1st dan
  11. Po-Eun (36 Movements) 1st dan
  12. Ge-Baek (44 Movements) 1st dan
  13. Eui-Am (45 Movements) 2nd dan
  14. Choong-Jang (52 Movements) 2nd dan
  15. Juche (45 Movements)/Ko-Dang (39 Movements) 2nd dan
  16. Sam-Il (33 Movements) 3rd dan
  17. Yoo-Sin (68 Movements) 3rd dan
  18. Choi-Yong (46 Movements) 3rd dan
  19. Yon-Gae (49 Movements) 4th dan
  20. Ul-Ji (42 Movements) 4th dan
  21. Moon-Moo (61 Movements) 4th dan
  22. So-San (72 Movements) 5th dan
  23. Se-Jong (24 Movements) 5th dan
  24. Tong-Il (56 Movements) 6th dan

The 1 Retired Pattern in Taekwon-Do ITF is:

  1. Go-Dang (39 Movements)


Taekwondo Organizations

Two of the most popular systems of taekwondo are named solely after their respective organizations: the World Taekwondo (WT) and the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF). For more information View Taekwondo Organizations »

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "International Taekwon-do Federation", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.






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