"The PSS has helped Taekwondo to become a fairer sport"
Interview with Chuenwook Park, founder of Daedo
Daedo is the reference brand worldwide in products for taekwondo and other martial arts’ practitioners. With more than thirty years on its back, the political concerns of quality and innovation of the company have placed it at the top of a very demanding sector. We spoke about it with its founder and director general, Chuenwook Park.
– How was Daedo born?
In 1982 I perceived that the material that existed in Spain for the practice of Taekwondo did not have the same quality as the one produced in Korea. There were products available, but the level could not be compared to the Korean ones. I started to think about that and a year after I created the company in the number 11 of the Notariat street of Barcelona with the intention of providing material with the best quality-price ratio in the market and collaborate in this way, with the progress of the Taekwondo and other martial arts.
– And you did also launch a store…
Yes, indeed. It was in 1986 when we opened the shop at Balmes street 55 and Daedo became a name in Barcelona. However, I always kept in mind that in order to to grow it was necessary to invest and to keep practitioners, clubs and federations informed of what we were doing. The first step was to become an official sponsor of the World Taekwondo Championships in Barcelona in 1987.
– What results have you achieved with such a strategy?
The success was very large. Male and Female athletes from 56 countries used our products. We had a return on the investment that we had done with this sponsorship and began the growth of the brand Daedo among practitioners of this discipline.
– And that championship was just the beginning, isn’t it?
Correct. After the World Championships in Barcelona, we became the official supplier for the 1992 Olympic Games, where the taekwondo was an exhibition sport. Since then we have participated with great success in many world championships and at the Olympic Games in Beijing, London and Rio de Janeiro, where we used our material in the competitions of taekwondo. In addition, we have been sponsors of various national federations of Taekwondo, such as the Spanish, German, Italian, Dutch, Canadian, French or Portuguese among others.
– What is the secret of the success of Daedo?
I believe that what best defines us is the combination of quality and innovation. When Daedo began its activity we were focused on offering the market something different to what already existed. This requires a strong bet for the innovation that enabled us to provide added value every season. This is how we managed to position our brand at the top of the sector.
– Tell the readers about this innovation search…
A clear example is the design, manufacture and marketing of the electronic protectors since the refereeing problems that occurred in the Athens Olympic Games in 2004. After that, the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) attempted to introduce them in their competitions. For the Beijing Games they did not implement them because at that time it wasn’t a system that had the necessary quality and it was not until 2012 in London that our products were used for the first time in the Olympic Games. The intention was to improve the refereeing in every match, which until then depended exclusively on the vision of each official. The WTF wanted the competitions to be cleaner and fairer by minimizing errors. Daedo captured the message and developed a range of electronic protectors itself that have been used in all major competitions since, including the latest editions of the Olympic Games. In fact, our system is approved by the World Taekwondo Federation since 2010 after a long process of development and testing.
– Why was it so important to implement the electronic system?
Because the continuity of Taekwondo as an Olympic sport depended on the reliability of the refereeing. Taekwondo is a sport with very fast actions where the 3 judges have only 1-2 seconds to confirm the poins. When using the previous system, a point given by the referee by mistake would be reflected on the scoreboard with no chance for the official to rectify. The electronic sytem only allows to reduce these errors, achieving high reliability and making taekwondo a fair sport. Today we would not be able to understand the elite taekwondo without these electronic system.
– Do Daedo also work in other martial arts?
Yes. The beginning of everything was taekwondo, but we also have products for karate and judo. In fact, our products are approved by the different federations of karate in Spain, Europe and globally since a long time ago. The philosophy with these other sports is the same: to put at the disposal of the sportsmen innovative high quality products at a very fair price.
– What kind of client do you target?
We basically have two types of clients: on one hand, we find the gymnasiums and sports clubs, which need basic equipment to enable its members to practice taekwondo, karate and judo; and we also have the federations of each martial art, which need material for the elite competitions such as tatami or electronic protections. In Spain we work with distributors for the main cities, whereas in the rest of the world we have 67 distributors on five different continents.
– What are the challenges for the future of Daedo?
We have several objectives in mind. The main one is to become more important in judo and karate, especially in the forthcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo, where the karate will debut as an Olympic sport. Secondly, we intend to continue sponsoring karate and judo events and contribute to these martial arts with all our knowledge. On the other hand, and this is very important, we are convinced that you can also innovate in the training material through the use of electronic equipment. We work in the development of systems and sensors that allow us to evaluate factors such as the strength, speed or the physical condition of the person during the training, which leads to more efficient sessions and a healthier life too.
Source: El Economista