Through the years, due to my location at the time, I have been affiliated with many different Taekwondo organizations; each organization was based upon ITF style Taekwondo. Many times an organization did not recognize a previous organization’s rank certifications so I had to start over at white belt. Organizations charge for their services, and as they gain in size and power, some demand and exorbitant amount of money from instructors and try to control the way instructors run their schools. Sometimes the school at which I was training got fed up with its organization and changed the organization to which it was affiliated. Sometimes this change meant I had to wait longer to test for the next rank. I just have to deal with it or change schools. However, in fairness to loyal students, a school should do all it can to insure that students are not penalized because of the change in organizations.
The school at which I currently train belongs to an organization that has a few thousand students. The organization has rules and standards of conduct, conducts rank testings, issues rank certifications, conducts instructor training and issues instructor certifications, conducts clinics and camps, conducts regional tournaments of over 500 competitors and national tournaments of over a 1000 competitors, and does all this with a minimal fee charged to instructors. Students do not pay any organization fees. Through the organization, I get rank recognition and I get to know and compete with hundreds of black belts. What else do I need? Being a member a bigger or better known organization would not make my martial arts experience any better. I do not desire or intend to compete in international or Olympic competitions, so I have no need for the WTF, or any other international organization.
All the power struggles and conflicts that occur at the organizational level may also occur at the individual school level. There may be, or may be perceived to be, favoritism, lapses in enforcement of rules, misjudgments, or just simply mistakes. When these things occur, you may resist them and may be able to change them, which may make your life miserable, or you may accept them and keep going, which may also make your life miserable. As you gain in rank, position, and influence in a school or organization, you may be able to change things, but do not count on it.
If you have an instructor you like, if you enjoy training at the school and with the students at the school, and if the school or its organization conducts all the events and tournaments you need to challenge yourself, then be happy, enjoy yourself, and do not worry about rank certification and conflicts between organizations. Training in the martial art of Taekwondo will make you life more enjoyable, but if you let them, some people in Taekwondo will make you life miserable.
- << Prev