I am not long back from Germany, following the World Champs held in Inzell. Once again the New Zealand team performed extremely well overall with a total medal haul of 6 gold, 6 silver, and 10 bronze, which placed us 3rd out of 64 on the best country table behind Argentina and Poland. Looking back at past World Championship results reveals some fairly impressive statistics in terms of New Zealand’s overall standings. The New Zealand team has been among the top 5 countries at every World Championship, both Senior and Junior (separate events until 2008), since 2002. Perhaps better yet, New Zealand has finished on the podium (i.e. top 3 country overall) at every World Championship since 2007. I imagine that 17 consecutive years in the top 5, and 12 consecutive years in the top 3, would have to make New Zealand one of the the most consistently successfully countries in the world in terms of World Championship results.
Of course tournaments are merely one aspect of our martial art and competition results are not necessarily an accurate yardstick by which to measure our organisations success in a holistic sense, but I think it is a credit to ITKD’s instructors and strong technical standards that we have been able to maintain consistent results over an extended period of time, particularly given our relative physical isolation.
Attached to the World Championships was the annual ITF Congress, which Master McPhail and I attended as representatives for ITFNZ. Both Master McPhail and I have attended several congress meetings over the years, but this year was quite historic in that it was time to elect a new ITF President and Board of Directors, and for possibly the first time ever there were multiple candidates for each position. Historically, voting for the ITF Board has largely been a formality due to the vast majority of positions only ever having one nominee, but this year is probably the first time we’ve seen active campaigning by those seeking a position. I must admit that I was personally a little concerned about what could happen to our ITF if there was sufficiently strong factionalism – Taekwon-Do’s history isn’t short on political conflict, after all – but as the congress progressed it became apparent that all of the candidates genuinely wanted to see the ITF succeed, and the meeting (whilst very long) concluded in relative harmony.
On behalf of ITFNZ I extend my congratulations to ITF’s new President, Grand Master Paul Weiler, and new Board of Directors, especially to our own Master Mark Banicevich who was elected as a Board Member.
Master Gray Patterson, 7th Dan.