Fatherland of Taekwondo ready to invest in Indian talent
|?? Joong-Keun Kim, ambassador of the Republic of Korea to India was received a thankful bouquet from Indian Taekwondo representitive person.|
<The Times of India>Thirty years ago, there was a great talent in India! This is how the grandmasters of World Taekwondo headquarters Kukkiwon in South Korea remember Jimmy R Jagtiani.
Jagtiani, the 8th Dan, the second highest rank in this form of martial art, had introduced Taekwondo in India in 1975 after his family migrated to Lucknow from Vietnam.
Known as the father of Taekwondo in India, he has single-handedly kept the spirits in the sport high to attract many to the game, which made its debut as a sporting event in the National Games in 1985. But, the sport has not produced another Jimmy for India.
Kukkiwon feels it is time for India to make its presence felt among the 197 nations, where 70 million people practice the sport. And it has a smart thing to offer: Taekwondowon or Taekwondo Park being built over a 2.3-sq km area with an investment of $504 million.
Ready to open its door by June, 2013, for martial art students across the world, the Taekwondo Park has its heart in the Mind Zone, which has a capacity to induct 1,400 people for training, research and outdoor practice.
With the success of South Korean business houses like Hyundai, Samsung and LG in India, the Taekwondo Promotion Foundation’s Seung-ho Kim is optimistic about the promotion of the sport in India through the Taekwondo Federation of India (TFI) and ably supported by corporate houses.
Kim, who is the director general of planning and management of the new Taekwondo Park being set up at Muju, believes that the talent scouted through the regional Taekwondo units in India could be sent to South Korea for advanced training in the martial art to enable them to win medals in international sporting events.
This could boost the game in India. Jagtiani told TOI that the present administrative set up of TFI was managed by bureaucrats and police officials, who knew little about the game’s technical aspects and the importance of higher levels of training for coaches.
Now, the Indian youth Taekwondo team is being coached by Korean master Lee Jeong-hee, who has come from Kukkiwon. The Indian team will be participating in the World Junior Taekwondo Championship in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, in April and the Asian Taekwondo Championship in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in May.
The proficient Taekwondo players from India would find their experience in the new Taekwondowon in South Korea exhilarating, said Kim. "We would like to make the Taekwondowon as a mecca and hub of world Taekwondo players. It will be the centre of training, education and academic research on Taekwondo," he added.
By The Times of India