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International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) Teaching You the Art of Life! Table of Content History of ITF ITF Administrative Structure ITF Congress ITF Board of Directors Standing Committees Continental Federations National Associations Recognition of ITF Our Services ITF Website

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International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) Teaching You the Art of Life!

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table of content

Table of Content

History of ITF

ITF Administrative Structure

ITF Congress

ITF Board of Directors

Standing Committees

Continental Federations

National Associations

Recognition of ITF

Our Services

ITF Website

Promotional Material

Services to our members

Technical Content

Fundamental Movements




self defence

Philosophy of Taekwon-Do

Differencing ITF and WTF

history of itf

History of ITF

On March 22, 1966, the ITF was founded in Seoul, Republic of Korea, by General Choi Hong Hi with nine founding member countries. It was the first international organization established to govern the development of Taekwon-Do.

Taekwon-Do became very popular, thanks to the complete physical fitness it provided to those who practised it. Its techniques are particularly appreciated for their effectiveness and their aesthetics.

General Choi authored the Encyclopaedia of

Taekwon-Do, an exhaustive 15 volume work first

published in 1983. It became the reference standard

for instructors and students worldwide. ITF is one of

the rare martial arts which are endowed with such

rich documentation.

Since 2003, the ITF direction team has been working very hard to modernize its administration and structure. Tools such as the new Constitution, By-Laws and policies are among the important assets of this evolution.

history of itf4

History of ITF

Important Dates in the History of the ITF

1955  Taekwon-Do" officially registered in Korea, with the name suggested by General Choi Hong Hi. 

1966 ITF founded by General Choi Hong Hi, the Father of Taekwon-Do

1974 First Senior World Championship, Montreal (Canada)

1985 ITF headquarters moved to Vienna (Austria)

1993 First Junior World Championship, Moscow (Russia)

2002 Death of General Choi Hong Hi;

Mr. Russell McClellan became Acting President

2003 Election of Master Trân Triêu Quân as President of the ITF

2004 First World Cup, Orlando (USA)

2007 Re-election of Master Trân Triêu Quân for a second mandate as President of the ITF

First combined Junior & Senior World Championship, Quebec (Canada)

itf administrative structure

ITF Administrative Structure

1. ITF Congress

2. ITF Board of Directors

3. Standing Committees

4. Continental Federations

5. National Associations

itf administrative structure6

ITF Administrative Structure

1. ITF Congress

The Congress is the supreme body of the I.T.F. It is formed by the delegates assigned by each National Association.

The Congress shall meet every two years. Its quorum is one-third of the members.

2. ITF Board of Directors

Members of the Board of Directors are elected at the Congress and shall serve a four-year mandate. The Board shall consist of 11 members:


Senior Vice-President

Two Vice-Presidents

Secretary General


One representative from each Continental Federation

The current mandate is for the period 2007-2011.

itf administrative structure7

ITF Administrative Structure

The ITF Board of Directors for 2007-2011

itf administrative structure8

ITF Administrative Structure

3. Standing Committees

Each committee shall consist of a Chairperson and from two to four members, depending on the needs of each Committee, to be appointed by the Board of Directors for a term of two years.

3.1 Technique & Instruction Committee

To achieve consistency and high quality in teaching and in criteria for umpiring.

3.2 Tournament & Umpire Committee

To ensure the quality of the organization of World Championships and World Cups

3.3 Ethics & Discipline CommitteeTo ensure all activities of ITF and those associated with it are carried out in an ethical manner

itf administrative structure9

ITF Administrative Structure

3. Standing Committees

3.4 Masters Promotion CommitteeTo examine and promote qualified candidates for 7th, 8th, and 9th Degree Black Belt

3.5 Business Development CommitteeTo assist the ITF, its national members, and its Instructors to develop and manage their business

3.6 Communication CommitteeTo ensure the quality of communication, both internal and external

3.7 Welcome CommitteeTo welcome and provide assistance to new members

itf administrative structure10

ITF Administrative Structure

4. Continental Federations

The Continental Federations accept and carry out delegated activities of teaching, development, and competition, ensuring that all I.T.F. Rules and Policies are correctly applied.

Its Board of Directors democratically elected from among all member countries of that continent.

5. National Associations

The National Association shall be the official representative of its country members. A National Association is the basic unit of the ITF Congress members.

It Shall organize I.T.F. Taekwon-Do as the sole representative of the I.T.F.

recognition of itf

Recognition of ITF

In 2007, the 2nd ITF survey aimed to find out the recognition status of its National Associations in their country. Among them, 52 National Associations have answered to survey.

37 members were recognized by a local or national government agency or department.

Among these 37 members:

26 were recognized as a sport organization

16 were recognized as a martial art organization

2 were recognized as another

non-profit organization

our services

Our Services

ITF Official Website:


The Websites publishes important information including news about the administration and the operations of the ITF.


The Website promotes international events organized by the ITF and its affiliated members, such as competitions, instructors courses and umpire courses.

Local organization can promote their activities in the Regional News section.

our services13

Our Services

ITF Official Website:


The President Messages are published every two months and study thoroughly topics related to the history of ITF, the “Do”, teaching, the operations of the ITF and the vision for the development of the ITF and.

The Way of Life provide every two month a series of quotations from ancient and contemporary philosophers and thinkers to inspire and relate to the “Do”

Do You KNOW? contest is a questions-and-answers feature that makes it easy for everyone to learn more about ITF Taekwon-Do. This contest is held every two months.


New topics such as Kids Kick section will continue to be implemented to reach all ranges of members.

our services14

Our Services

Promotional Material

The ITF can provide its National Associations and Allied National Associations with official letters and so forth to help them get recognition from local authorities, whether it is the government, sport federations or other.

A professional Media Kit is available online to help our instructors promote the school and their activities (poster, calendar, business card, etc.)

A DVD was produced after the last World Championships in 2007 with exclusive competition footage and full-length final matches.

A documentary on the ITF with exclusive interviews, action sequences and footage of our Founder General Choi is available on our official website for information and promotion.

The magazine Taekwon-Do Generation is distributed at major ITF events every year and feature articles on our operations, our leaders, our top athletes and other activities.

our services15

Our Services

Promotional Material

Calendar from the 2008 Media Kit

ITF Official Web site

ITF World ChampionshipQuebec 2007 DVD Souvenir

our services16

Our Services

Services to our members

Standardization of the techniques and certification


Sanctioned Continental Championships and International competitions are organized every year following the rules and regulations of the ITF.

The World Cup is held every even year and is open to all the clubs members. The next two World Cups are scheduled in Italy 2008 and USA 2010!

The bests of the bests are selected within their countries for the World Championship held every odd year. The next two are scheduled in Argentina 2009 and New Zealand 2011!

our services17

Our Services

Services to our members

Innovative formation and specialization activities

International Instructor Course

Leadership Camp

Coaching Seminar

Workshop on teaching the Do

Administrative Seminar

Umpire Course

Administrative Seminar

Coaching Seminar

itf technical content

ITF Technical Content

1. Fundamental Movements

2. Patterns

3. Sparring

· Step Sparring

· Pre-Arranged Free Sparring

· Free Sparring

4. Breaking

· Special Techniques

· Power Breaking

5. self defence

itf technical content19

ITF Technical Content


General Choi developed a very complete technical system that has evolved over the years. In the beginning, he used many karate-like movements that were performed rather stiffly. Research by the General and his students, as well as scientific research, led to the current technical system, which continues to evolve.

Taekwon-Do movements respect and work in harmony with the physical laws and the constitution of the human body. This is why practicing Taekwon-Do is excellent for physical growth, overall health, agility, improved co-ordination, and the development of strong mental capacities.

The techniques of Taekwon-Do can be represented as a circle. Each of the individual methods of training is added gradually, building on techniques already learned, but the student continues to practice all the different types of training.

International Instructor Courses and other seminars assist ITF Taekwon-Do teachers to improve the quality of their teaching and ensure the uniformity of techniques.

itf technical content22

ITF Technical Content

1. Fundamental Movements

There are more than 3,000 fundamental movements in Taekwon-Do, and General Choi was very proud of this. These movements are basic elements that can be likened to musical notes; when linked, they produce a harmonious result.

These fundamental movements use all parts of the body and are performed in harmony with the Theory of Power of Taekwon-Do. The student will practice these movements regularly with the goal of mastering each one of them, defensive and attack movements alike, so that they will be available when needed.

When practicing fundamental movements, the student must strive to use good technique, demonstrating balance, co-ordination, and good finishing (carrying through to complete the movement).

General Choi noticed that, as they progressed, students tend to neglect the practice of the fundamental movements. He encouraged all Taekwon-Do practitioners to continue practicing, to build their own storehouse of fundamental movements.

itf technical content24

ITF Technical Content

2. Patterns

A Taekwon-Do pattern is a choreographed sequence of fundamental movements in an imaginary fight against one attacker or several. General Choi developed twenty-four Taekwon-Do patterns.

The execution of the movements requires the application of the Theory of Power. Correct breathing generates internal energy, which increases power.

If we imagine that the fundamental movements of Taekwon-Do are like musical notes, then the twenty-four patterns are like the songs produced by assembling those notes.

The twenty-four patterns are introduced gradually as the student progresses with his training and are beneficial for Taekwon-Do students of all ages and levels of training. The patterns must be performed precisely and smoothly; the overall effect should be one of harmonious, perfectly-controlled movement.

itf technical content25

ITF Technical Content

2. Patterns

Scoring criteria for individual patterns

Up to 5 points for technical content

Up to 3 points for power

Up to 3 points for balance

Up to 3 points for breath control

Up to 3 points for rhythm

Scoring criteria for team patterns

Up to 5 points for presentation, team work and choreography

Up to 5 points for technical content

Up to 3 points for power

Up to 3 points for balance

Up to 3 points for breath control

Up to 3 points for rhythm

itf technical content27

ITF Technical Content

3. Sparring

Step Sparring

Step (or prearranged) sparring is planned by the participants. They agree on the rules, such as the number of steps to be taken, the target to be attacked, the tool to be used, etc. There is no contact; the purpose is to develop control by stopping just short of the target.

There are three levels of step sparring: 3-step for beginners, 2-step or intermediate, and 1-step or advanced. The goal is to help the student understand the purpose of the movements, to master interaction with the opponent regarding stances and distances, to develop faster reflexes and instantaneous response in self defence.

Model Sparring

Model sparring are very similar to step sparring. However, the purpose of model sparring is for demonstration.

The attacker executes front punch, and the defender has the opportunity to use a combination of spectacular hand and foot techniques.

itf technical content28

ITF Technical Content

3. Sparring

Pre-Arranged Free Sparring

In model sparring, participants follow a prepared scenario that enables them to skillfully exhibit a wide variety of techniques without fear of injury.

It was recently added as a World Cup and World Championship event to demonstrate the broad range of techniques and the more spectacular aspects of our system.

itf technical content29

ITF Technical Content

3. Sparring

Free Sparring

Free sparring is essentially open combat with controlled attacks using all available means and methods. A large range of foot and hand techniques are permitted in free sparring.

The safety of the participants in free sparring is a primary concern of the ITF. For that matter, free sparring in ITF consists in light contact stand-up combat. This means knock-outs and attempt to injure the opponent are not tolerated. Also, the rules prohibit the use of techniques using the elbow, knee, or head as well as attacks below the belt.

The evaluation of free sparring is based on accuracy, speed, timing, distance, and quality of technique executed.

itf technical content30

ITF Technical Content

3. Sparring

Free Sparring

For competitions, the ITF allows only certain models of sparring gears that have been approved based on the quality of the material and the safety that it provides to both parts.

Scoring System

Competitors that execute a technique correctly executed with sufficient power (but not excessive power), at the right distance and on one of the permitted targets will be awarded with:

1 point for hand technique (flying or on the ground) to the head or to the body

2 points for a foot technique (flying or on the ground) to the body

3 points for a foot technique (flying or on the ground) to the head

itf technical content32

ITF Technical Content

4. Breaking

Breaking is part of the program for promotion to each higher level, starting with green belt, and is included in Black Belt competitions.

The goal of breaking is to allow the student to develop self-confidence. Breaking demonstrates that the student has mastered the effective techniques that allow him or her to produce maximum power.

Special Techniques

Special techniques in breaking combine athletic performance with perfect execution of techniques. These techniques include flying techniques and can be spectacular. Height and length of movements are emphasized.

Power Breaking

Power breaking demonstrates technical efficiency, precision, aim and power.

itf technical content33

ITF Technical Content

5. Self Defence

itf technical content34

ITF Technical Content

5. Self defence

All Taekwon-Do techniques are to be used only for self defence. They are not to be used for aggression, except in cases of grave immediate danger for the practitioner or someone he must protect. Any other use would be considered assault.

In contrast with free sparring, techniques using the elbow, knee, or head as well as attacks below the belt are taught and practiced. These additional techniques may be needed in special circumstances, for example when defending against armed opponents, or from a sitting or prone position. Once mastered, these techniques will be available for use in genuinely dangerous situations.

Taekwon-Do offers realistic, practical, and efficient techniques for good self defence.

the philosophy of taekwon do

The Philosophy of Taekwon-Do


General Choi worked very hard all his life to develop TKD as a martial art, particularly the technical aspect of TKD. In 1983, he published the Encyclopaedia of Taekwon-Do, which comprised 15 volumes. Out of those, 14 dealt with the techniques of TKD.

In his last publication, Guidebook for Moral Culture, General Choi acknowledged the need to focus as much as on the "Do“, the Taekwon-Do philosophy, as on the techniques in teaching Taekwon-Do. In this book, he expressed the wish that the next generation addresses this issue.

the philosophy of taekwon do36

The Philosophy of Taekwon-Do


The “Do” is being developed around the philosophy of Taekwon-Do, which evolves around the tenets of Taekwon-Do and can be summarized by the two last statements of the Student Oath:

I shall be a champion of freedom and justice.

I shall build a more peaceful world.

The program of the Do uses the 5 tenets of Taekwon-Do as framework. So far, The Do has been introduced in every International Instructor Course since 2003.

The program of the Do is being developed in 3 levels:

Level 1. What is the Do?Level 2. How to improve and develop the tenets?Level 3. Leadership Development

One of our objective is to become part of the education programs of the countries to help compensate for the lack of teaching on citizenship.

the philosophy of taekwon do37

The Philosophy of Taekwon-Do

The Philosophy of ITF Taekwon-Do: the “Do”

The term "Do" comes from the Chinese word "Dao", which means "the road", "the way".

We could say that a person’s life is like a road that he has to travel. On this road, he meets various challenges and has to make many decisions. Using mental training, including training in moral culture, he can identify the principles that will guide him in his efforts to develop qualities and positive behaviours. This will definitely lead him to the ultimate goal of life, which is to have happiness in life.

Therefore, we could define the “Do” as “the way to become a better person and have a happier life”.

the philosophy of taekwon do38

The Philosophy of Taekwon-Do

The Philosophy of ITF Taekwon-Do: the “Do”

General Choi’s philosophy was very much influenced by the Code of conduct of Martial Arts and by Confucius while he was developing the Tenets of Taekwon-Do and the Student’s Oath, which give guidelines to help

Students do right and never do wrong.

1. Tenets of Taekwon-Do





Indomitable Spirit

2. Student Oath

I shall observe the tenets of Taekwon-Do.

I shall respect the instructor and seniors.

I shall never misuse Taekwon-Do.

I shall be a champion of freedom and justice.

I shall build a more peaceful world.

the philosophy of taekwon do39

The Philosophy of Taekwon-Do

The Philosophy of ITF Taekwon-Do: the “Do”

The philosophy of Taekwon-Do can be summed by using the last two statements of the ITF Student’s Oath:

I shall be a champion of justice and freedom.

I shall build a better and a more peaceful world.

By practicing ITF Taekwon-Do and living in accordance with its fundamental values, we will become good citizens and be able to help build a better world:

Truth, Respect, Humility, Generosity, Tolerance, Harmony,

Balance, Peace, Justice, Freedom, Compassion.

the philosophy of taekwon do40

The Philosophy of Taekwon-Do

The Benefits of Teaching the “Do”

The ultimate goal of martial arts is to train good citizens and to build a better and more peaceful society.

The Do is a powerful tool to help the students fulfill this objective by helping the students and the youth:

to become people that are strong not only physically, but also mentally.

to develop a good values system, which will guide them to make the right decisions.

to find success and happiness in life.

to become good leaders so they can then influence positively their entourage.

differencing itf and wtf

Differencing ITF and WTF




Competition rules

4.1 Rules for patterns

4.2 Rules for free sparring


Ranking system


differencing itf and wtf45

Differencing ITF and WTF

4. Competition rules

differencing itf and wtf46

Differencing ITF and WTF

4.1 Competition rules for Patterns

differencing itf and wtf47

Differencing ITF and WTF

4.2 Competition rules for Free Sparring

differencing itf and wtf49

Differencing ITF and WTF

7. Philosophy

6. Ranking system