I’ve been doing Taekwon-Do for almost 31 years and I’ve had many amazing experiences along the way. I’ve been able to travel to, train in, and compete in 14 different countries and have had the privilege of winning at the World Championships.
But I think I can safely say that these last two weeks may have definitely been two of the most rewarding and inspiring two weeks of my Taekwon-Do career. There are very few things on this planet that have the power to bring people together like Taekwon-Do can, and I was fortunate enough to experience that at a whole new level over the last 14 days.
I’m intentionally not going to go into the details of what I did and where I was because none of that is the point of this article. The point is that during the last two weeks I was able to travel, teach, coach and participate with Taekwon-Do practitioners from three different organizations and three different countries. And afterwards, all I was present to was the love for true Taekwon-Do that existed EVERYWHERE.
It made no difference what organization you were in or if you were from Puerto Rico, Canada, the U.S. or Argentina. It was just such a relief, and so inspiring to see cooperation and team work that transcended organizational and national boundaries.
Given all we hear about what is going on between organizations and all the drama about who is upset with who, who is suing who, and the incessant bloviating about who is the best ITF or the “real” ITF – these last two weeks were a complete departure from all that.
I just really enjoyed being with people who truly love Taekwon-Do and it’s my assertion that the majority of ITF instructors out there are the same as those who I spent time with these past few weeks. They don’t care about the organizational politics, they just know the difference Taekwon-Do has made for them and their life along with the difference it makes for others and they want to share it, participate in it and enjoy it.
I truly had the experience of there being 1 TKD.
I’d love to hear any stories you have about times when you experienced the same thing, because I know I’m not alone in this! You can share in the comments section below.
About the Author:
Mr. Karstadt is the founder of 1 TKD Consulting and owns the longest running ITF Taekwon-Do school in Arizona, Karstadt Taekwon-Do in Phoenix, AZ with his father Master David Karstadt. He has been training since 1984, earned his Black Belt at the age of 8 and is currently an internationally renown intstructor teaching the culture, discipline, leadership and business skills of Taekwon-Do in classes and seminars to Instructors around the world. He has been a member of eight U.S. Taekwon-Do Teams and has traveled to 14 different countries competing in Taekwon-Do. He has won numerous medals at the World Championships and in international competition, most notably winning the 2004 World Championships in South Korea with two gold medals and the Men’s Team All Around Trophy. Mr. Karstadt currently resides in uptown Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and three children. Mr. Karstadt can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org