Last week there was a post on facebook:
“Following the mandate of the ITF Congress, on June 11th at 3 pm delegations of the two ITF Taekwon-do organizations, leaded by Grand Master Pablo Trajtenberg and Dr. Chang Ung, met in Vienna at the Vienna Grand Hotel and signed the agreement to stop immediately and end forever all Court proceedings at present and in the future between the two Taekwon-Do organizations and their own members and confirm the commitments not to slander, calumniate or defame each other. They express that they will observe a mutual respect to each other for the future. GM Trajtenberg was accompanied by ITF Senior Grand Master Ferrando, Senior Vice-President Master Paul Weiler and lawyer Mag. Spiegl as witness.”
What does this all mean???
Unfortunately, not much to you. The good news is that the dueling ITF organizations have agreed to stop litigation which will save them both a great deal of time and money in addition to basically agreeing to be nice to each other. Smart move, I believe, on both their parts.
But now what?
The bad news is, I still see nothing to suggest that the separate ITF’s are moving toward working together in any way. If they are, I have not seen or heard anything to suggest that is happening.
I suppose that it’s a small step in the right direction and I’ll take what I can get.
What inspires me is what is happening at the grass roots level of ITF practitioners. Every day I see Masters and Instructors and school owners who are working together with members of all organizations for training, seminars, camps and tournaments. I see more cooperation and unity among them than anywhere else.
It is this type of unity, from the ground up, that has the power to get those in leadership to begin taking action and working together.
We must remember that the ITF (no matter which one you belong to) is just an organization. It’s job is to provide structure, training, certifications, and competitions.
The ITF is not Taekwon-do.
If all the ITF organizations were to disappear tomorrow, Taekwon-Do would still live on. You would keep training your students. You would continue to train. You would still get together with other instructors.
Taekwon-Do would live on.
So, whatever organization you belong to, for whatever reason – own it, be proud of it and make the best of it. Although there are many organizations out there, there is still only one Taekwon-Do.
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