International Taekwon‑Do Federation
Distinguished ITF EB members,
Dear NGB Representatives and Grand Masters and Masters,
Dear ITF Members, Taekwon‑Do artists and practitioners,
As the glorious year of 2018 comes to a close, we now welcome the New Year 2019 with great hopes.
Availing this opportunity, I would like to send my sincerest New Year greetings to the Vice-Presidents and EB member of the ITF, the
Presidents of the ITF Continental Federations, Presidents of the ITF NGBs, high-ranking black belt holders, Taekwon‑Do practitioners and all the people concerned.
The year 2018 was a year of great pride. Last year, we celebrated the 100th birth anniversary of Gen. Choi Hong Hi, the father of Taekwon‑Do and the 1st President of the ITF in the TKD motherland where his remains rest in peace and the TKD Holy Center stands. Looking back upon the lifetime of the TKD founder and the art’s subsequent years, it was with great pride that the Taekwon‑Do community looked upon the history of ITF development and made a decision to develop TKD true to the desire of Gen. Choi Hong Hi.
Last year the 13th Junior and 8th Veteran TKD World Championships took place successfully in Minsk, the capital of Belarus. A vivid demonstration of a bright Taekwon‑Do future was felt, and that the love for, the trust in, and the expectations for our Taekwon‑Do is ever-increasing all around the world.
Last year the ITF made a great success in the work with the international sports organizations as a prestigious martial arts
organization. Especially in November last year, we had a talk with the World TKD Federation and signed a joint agreement with them. It showed the will of unification between the two TKD Federations. This is a significant event marking a new and historic milestone in the 60 years’ history of the ITF.
This year 2019 will be a significant year. We have to bring the seeds of last year into a full bloom in accordance with the new requirements of the ITF development.
In August 2019 we are to open the Taekwon‑Do World Championships in Bulgaria that will integrate the adult, veteran and
junior tournaments together for the first time in championship history of ITF. The 21st Taekwon‑Do World Championships, where all the superstars of every division are to show up, will add luster to the ITF championships with full pomp and ceremony. It will open a new chapter in the chronicle of the international martial arts development along with the ITF development, further promoting the unity between the Taekwon‑Do artists and the development of Taekwon‑Do
techniques all around the world.
In this new year, ITF is to celebrate the 40th birth anniversary of the European ITF and the 10th birth anniversary of the Taekwon‑Do Federation of Africa, both of which are the principal Continental Federations under the ITF. Taking this opportunity, we will review the history of the development of our Taekwon‑Do in Europe and Africa once again and will set the new stages of development for both of the Federations.
We will also strive for the fulfillment of the joint agreement that we had signed with the World TKD Federation last year, in 2019 to further relations with WT and the ITF future as a whole.
The new year will turn out to be a year of changes by further consolidating the successes achieved in the past and making greater successes in the future.
Hoping that all ITF Taekwon‑Do artists and the people concerned will further strive for turning our worldwide family of ITF into a more friendly and lovable community with extraordinary willingness and enthusiasm. I, from the bottom of my heart, wish all the Taekwon‑Do artists, Taekwon‑Do lovers and the people concerned, love and good health and happiness in their families.
A Happy New Year.
Prof. Ri Yong Son