ITF Taekwondo


 During the past years ITF taekwondo has become a very popular sport. All kinds of taekwondo competitions and tournaments have emerged from a local to a global level. It has also recently become an Olympic sport, which leads to a hierarchy among the international taekwondo organizations. By far the most popular one is WTF (World Taekwondo Federation). Founded in 1973, the South Korea based organization is the top authority in Olympic taekwondo as member of International Olympic Committee. The organization has been in existence for more than 30 years and is comprised of members from 182 National Associations from five world regions: Asian (ATU), European Taekwondo Union (ETU), Pan American Taekwondo Union (PATU), African Taekwondo Union (AFU) and Oceania Taekwondo Union (OTU).




Also, a big player in the field of taekwondo is ITF (International Taekwondo Federation). ITF main purposes are to manage tournaments, seminars, setting the standards of teaching and help to ensure the correct certification and rankings.


The International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) is an internationally recognized organization that promotes the growth and practice of the traditional martial art of Taekwondo worldwide. Founded in the year 1966, ITF Taekwondo has emerged as one of the leaders amongst various other international taekwondo organizations like the European Taekwondo Union (ETU), American Taekwondo Association (ATA), World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) and many other global organizations. The main policy of the ITF is to carry out world tournaments and promotions, maintain the teaching standards as well as to ensure a correct and fair certification and ranking system amongst taekwondo schools.


At the base of their values and knowledge stand the most important books about taekwondo art and practice: “Encyclopedia of Taekwondo” it is in 15 volumes and “The Korean Art of Self Defense” which are also known as the Condensed Encyclopedia, both of them were written by General Choi Hong Hi. After general Choi’s death ITF split into three organizations: ITF North Korea, ITF Canada and ITF Vienna, all claiming to be “the authentic” ITF. This however had a detrimental effect on ITF’s international respect and admiration affecting its image.





The ITF Taekwondo was founded on the most important philosophy of promoting universal peace and unity. Most people might associate Taekwondo and other forms of martial arts with violent and aggressive behavior due to wrong media perception but the basic value system of taekwondo is about developing inner strength and important human moral values. When you initiate yourself into the learning of taekwondo through a school certified by the ITF Taekwondo, you first of all swear an oath of allegiance which is practiced to inculcate the main principles of martial art form in the mind and hearts of the students.




This is the summary of the main principles of ITF which all taekwondo students must adhere to in all circumstances:






Taekwondo is based on the belief system that for any form of teaching to be productive in a larger sense, there must be mutual respect between a student and their instructors.








All students of the ITF Taekwondo vow to be a promoter of universal peace by practicing peaceful living in every aspect of their daily living. This oath stems from the basic philosophy of taekwondo teaching that if everybody can take the responsibility of being peaceful in our day to day living, the world would naturally transform into a serene and more beautiful place to dwell.






The main aim behind the teachings of taekwondo is to place students in the path of freedom and justice in their day to day activities. This martial art form teaches students to be open minded in their thoughts and perception of other people and forsake judgmental and negative beliefs as these are the most common causes of conflicts in the world.






By becoming a student of ITF taekwondo, students learn to develop their own strength as well as using the force of their opponents against them. Like all martial arts, taekwondo is a very powerful tool which is why all students of taekwondo take the oath; never to misuse the skills and techniques of taekwondo for any selfish/personal gain or to harass, and intimidate other people.




ITF taekwondo has defined its teaching and learning principles under five basic tenets which must be followed and imbibed by all their students. These tenets are courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit. When these five tenets are fully embraced by taekwondo students it not only translates into becoming a proficient martial art practitioner but also as a fully complete and holistic human being.