Words from the President

Master Gray Patterson, 7th Dan

President ITFNZ


The 9th of November should be a date familiar to all of us, being the date General Choi chose to celebrate his birthday. I say “chose to celebrate” because he was born on 9th of November 1918 on the Korean lunar calendar, which actually translates to 12th of December 1918 on the Western (Gregorian) calendar. General Choi preferred to celebrate his birthday on November 9th on the Western calendar, perhaps to reflect the combination of the two cultures he lived in.

General Choi passed away at 83 years of age on the 15th of June, 2002, but the 9th of November this year marked the 100th anniversary of his birth.

Speaking of calendars, it has been another busy year of ITKD events.  Of particular note was the recent 7th ITF World Cup held in October in Sydney, Australia. The tournament attracted over 1000 competitors, including more than 200 New Zealanders, and there was also significant Kiwi representation in the umpiring department. It’s not often that we get top-tier events such as the World Cup so close to home, so it was great to see so many of our members take the opportunity to take part in what was a well-run event.

Win or learn, I hope everybody enjoyed their World Cup experience. Whilst the World Cup is geared as a club based competition, there was an award for best country, which New Zealand won with 62 gold, 53 silver, and 67 bronze medals. The second most successful nation were the hosts, Australia, with 27 gold, 22 silver, and 40 bronze medals.

I would like to thank the regional liaisons for their valuable contributions to the campaign. Specially thanks must go to Mr and Mrs Nathan and Paula Bowden for managing the entire World Cup contingent.

The World Cup closing ceremony included the promotion of Master Michael Daher (Australia) and Master Frank Vanbergen (Belgium) to 9th degree Grand Master. On behalf of ITFNZ I extend my congratulations to both Grand Masters, but in particular to Grand Master Daher, who becomes the first member of our continental federation, the Oceania Taekwon-Do Federation (of which Grand Master Daher is the current President) to reach our ultimate rank.

We’re now nearing the end of 2018 so it won’t be long before clubs start to wind down for a few weeks over summer. One of the first events in 2019 will be the National Camp being held in January at Tui Ridge Park in Rotorua. We have a special guest joining us at the camp, Master Joliette Tran from Canada, so I encourage all members to attend. Camps are a great place to learn new things, make new friends, and have a lot of fun. I hope to see you there!