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One World Through Taekwondo

Taekwondo has its own unique merits. People can practice it at any place, anytime without any specific equipment or tools. Therefore, taekwondo could be shared globally regardless of nationalities, races, the poor, and the rich. In this regard, we could say taekwondo is a true universal sport and martial art.

Numerous touching stories are available in world taekwondo.

Ms. Sheila Radziewicz in the US was born armless with parts of hands only on the shoulder. After practicing taekwondo, however, she has been able to doing Kyukpa (breaking), round house kick, and Poomsae (takwondo forms). Through taekwondo training, she eventually was able to build up a confidence to do anything overcoming congenital handicaps.

?? Rohullah Nikpai.

Rohullah Nikpai from Afghanistan won a bronze medal in men’s taekwondo at 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. For war-torn Afghanistan, it was the first ever Olympic medal in its 72 year Olympic history. Nikpai said, "Taekwondo has given hope and dreams to the Afghan people, especially youth. The sport of taekwondo has given Afghans a can-do spirit and a great confidence."

Taking advantage of taekwondo’s universality, Korean government and other public organizations have done their utmost to promote taekwondo in third world countries.

Cultural Partnership Project initiated by Korean Ministry of Culture and Sports provides the opportunity for young taekwondo practitioners from the third world to visit Korea and improve their taekwondo skills. This project has done under the name of Taekwondo Friendly Training Program in Kukkiwon, the World Taekwondo Headquarters. Rohullah Nikpai, Afghanistan’s first Olympic medalist, was also a recipient of similar training program in Korea.

The Taekwondo Peace Corps in Korea is a public foundation to contribute to others through taekwondo. Every year, this foundation dispatches a large number of young volunteer black belts abroad to provide taekwondo training and other cultural services. To date, in collaboration with 200 member countries of World Taekwondo Federation, this project has achieved a remarkable success. 

Because of its universality and noble spirit to learn righteous mind, consideration for others, and correct ways of life, taekwondo has been successfully adopted as a world martial art and sport.

In this connection, Korea, the motherland of taekwondo, would endlessly continue the mission to promote world taekwondo with the aim of "One World Through Taekwondo," In particular, the mission is expected to realize the hope and dreams of third world youths who are in the face of adversities. It also should be a good testament to the Olympic spirit which eventually to attain harmony, friendship, and world peace through sports.

<By Seung-ho kim, Special Reporter of WTM>

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