During the ITF World Championships, chairman of the communications committee, Stephen Ryan had the opportunity to interview the ITF President, Grandmaster Pablo Trajtenberg. During the interview our President spoke about his impression of the championships, the high level of the competitors, the growth of the ITF in a coordinated way, the presence of the pioneer GM Park and the future vision of the ITF.
1. Grandmaster Trajtenberg, you must be very proud as ITF President following a very successful World Championships with over 1,000 black belts from 60 countries and all continents of the World?
More than proud, I'm happy for the success and the unprecedented convene that has had the recent World Championships in Benidorm, which is not the result of fortuity but the result of many years of consistency at work.
2. What is your impression of the level of the competitors? Can you see an improvement each time we have a World Championships and what do you attribute this to?
I think the level of competitors in general has been magnificent, but I especially emphasize the Patterns competition where it was evidenced the standardization work being conducted by the Technical Committee, to make all of us speak the same language as far as technique is concerned.
3. Every year the ITF is growing and getting stronger, what do you think that the key things that are going on that are leading to this growth and development of ITF? What special projects or strategies are the ITF board working on and what about the work of the ITF standing committees?
The growth of our Organization is simply due to coordinated and joint work between the Board of Directors and the Committees in the different areas, keeping as a priority the essence of the creation of Taekwon-Do.
It is also the full demonstration that "unity creates strength", as expressed by our new logo with the five colors of the belts, the five principles, the five continents, graphically summarized in the symbolic fist that links, without barriers, all the ideas.
4. It was great to see GM Park Jong Soo at the ITF World Championships, do you think that he was impressed by the event and the ITF today? Why do you think it is important that the ITF gives recognition to the Taekwon-Do pioneers like GM Park?
With the invitation to GM Park Jong Soo we wanted to make clear that in the ITF we don´t forget our elders, especially the good people who have shown their loyalty to our art.
In this regard, let’s remember that GM Park was one of the pioneers in opening doors to Taekwon-Do in times of harsh criticism from other martial arts and individuals. However, he could demonstrate and enforce the quality and effectiveness of our combat system.
We were happy to have his presence in the World Championship, during which he said that General Choi would have been very happy "to see this display of technique and organization all together."
5. Any final words for the members of ITF?
I consider that the development of ITF Taekwon-Do as an educational tool has just begun, and its consideration and inclusion as such within the different educational systems can do very well to the people in a world as troubled as the one we live.
To be able to move forward, we should be more professional in the teaching through increasingly refined Programs and with more capable and prepared Instructors. And this can be only achieved by having a clear vision of where we're headed and knowing that from each remote place on the planet, our Instructors strive to be better every day.
This is the beginning of our evolution.
Moreover, the acceptance of our application to the TAFISA entity (Sport for All) is another step in our efforts to achieve recognition and fundamentally the presence of our Taekwon-Do, not only in the Olympics, but also in each School, in each University and of course, in each Sportive Institution.
We are on the right path!
Thank you Grandmaster for your time.