I have had the privilege of visiting members of the ITF TKD family in many countries since I became President. Fortunately, because my work as a consulting engineer specializing in building safety involves a lot of travel, I am frequently able to combine ITF business with my work.
At the beginning of February, a meeting of the Board of Directors of the ITF was held in Rome, Italy. (A summary of the minutes of this meeting is posted in the What’s New? section of the Web site.) Before the meeting, I stopped in Vienna (Austria) for a couple of days to consult with our Secretary General, Master Tom MacCallum, and with our lawyer.
While in Vienna, I met with Master Harmat Laszlo, 7th degree Black Belt, President of the ITF National Association in Hungary, who had travelled from Budapest to meet with me. Master Laszlo told me he had been impressed by the values expressed in my speech (120 kB) to the 14th Congress Meeting, and he is watching with great interest the modernization of the operations of the ITF. We discussed the reasons for the move to teaching licences for individuals (rather than for schools) and how that will ensure more support for ITF instructors and better quality teaching for our students.
This year, the Jamaica TKD Association is celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of TKD in Jamaica. They invited me to visit their country at the end of February to attend a special event, along with guests from Cuba, Trinidad, and the Dominican Republic. During my visit, I was able to give a two-day seminar, an update on the ITF technical system. This was followed by a meeting about the future development of ITF TKD in these countries. In addition, I explained to the leaders of Jamaica TKD Association what they need to do to prepare their bid to host the 2006 Panam Championship. They will be presenting their bid at the Panam Federation Congress Meeting to be held in May in Asunción, Paraguay.
On the weekend of March 5th to 7th, I gave a seminar in Halifax (Nova Scotia) Canada, and was able to provide assistance for the formation of a provincial TKD association. I also conducted a testing and am happy to report that Mr. Russell MacLellan, well-known to many of you as the Acting President of the ITF for the period between General Choi’s death and my election, was promoted to 5th degree Black Belt. Mr. MacLellan gave a good performance, particularly an efficient demonstration of self-defence, at 64 years of age.
I am presently on a business trip to China and Hong Kong. (In fact, I am adding the final touches to this message on this beautiful Sunday, March 14th, aboard the Dragonair 900 airplane taking me from Hong Kong to Beijing.) I am also taking some time during this trip to take care of ITF business in those countries. For example, yesterday I had an information meeting with the leaders of the Hong Kong TKD Federation who expressed their interest in learning more about our operations and our action plans for Asia. I will be visiting TKD clubs in Xi’An next week.
In April, I am scheduled to visit and conduct seminars in India, Argentina, and Vancouver (on the West coast of Canada). In the middle of May, I will be in Philadelphia to chair the meeting for the creation of the new National Association ITF-USA. Then I go to Paraguay for the 7th Panam Championship. The President of Paraguay will receive an honorary ITF Black Belt certificate in recognition of his support for the development of ITF-TKD in that country, and I will be signing an agreement with the University in Asunción for the implantation of ITF-TKD as an official program.
I strongly believe that such visits are beneficial to the ITF and to its members. By spending time with practitioners in various countries, I am able to learn about their concerns and their needs. They enjoy having the opportunity to let me know what they think about how the ITF is run and to make suggestions. The feedback has been very positive; they appreciate the work done to structure the operations of the Federation, the services offered to members, and the programs we are developing. A good number have mentioned that they are pleased with the emphasis on teaching the “whole” TKD, the Do as well as the techniques.
In addition, meetings with top officials and media coverage generated by such visits are very useful for the promotion and the development of ITF TKD in the countries visited.
Over the last three months, I have met with representatives of a number of independent TKD organizations who had visited our website or approached ITF National Associations to discuss possible affiliation with the ITF. They have told me that they believe that our organization meets their expectations as the sweet home for their members.
I and the other members of the ITF team are interested in visiting other countries to give seminars, to conduct testing, and to attend special events. You can contact us by e-mail.
As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions; please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Working together to build a great future for ITF and its members!
Master Trân Trieu Quân
Black Belt 8th Degree
917 MGR Grandin, suite 304
Ste-Foy (Qc) Canada
Tel.: (418) 871-8280 ext. 203
Fax: (418) 871-5574
www.tkd-itf.org or www.itf-generalchoi.com