Along with the transformation of the martial art into a sport, we are increasingly witnessing its politicization. This is happening both in our country and on the international stage.

This process of politicization was discreetly born in the early years of the ITF, when, for political reasons, General Choi Hong Hi gave North Korea the rights of the international federation. This far-sighted “military” move by the South Korean army general was the only chance for the ITF to survive and gain popularity after the “invasion” of the South Korean sport taekwondo WTF in the 1980s.


And so political interests in Taekwon-do remain latent for medium-sized and medium-intelligent practitioners around the world. The latter touch only on the techniques, the philosophy of the martial art and the mysticism surrounding the Korean master spreading ITF in the region.

The strategy was excellent and the ITF flourished until the day of the death of its founder and president, Gen. Choi Hong Hi. Nowadays, the politicization of Taekwon-do is gaining momentum, much like a spectacular martial art technique.

Many Authentic Masters today oppose this process, but despite the importance of their names as pioneers, their chance of success over political interests is minimal. Once they leave the ITF abbreviation, their names become taboo. They were followed by a relatively small contingent of practitioners who managed to open their eyes. Today, the stakes are too high. The struggle is no longer about promoting Taekwon-do, as it was in the time of Gen. Choi. The fight is for a worldwide monopoly on Taekwon-do. The martial art is now widely popular and practiced by millions of people worldwide, and political interests are also measurable in the millions. And in front of the millions the names do not matter, even if they are those of the original masters, thanks to whom the martial art is practiced all over the world today. In the ITF today, only the name of the legend is promoted. Choi and the local ITF – master. These are the names from the history of Taekwon-do that the trainee should be familiar with. He has to work hard for the next World Cup, not know much.

I give a small example:

Imagine that an ITF instructor telling his students about the symbol “tree” on the back of the good man is countered with a question – “Who invented the “tree”?”. This instructor (if he even knows the answer) would find himself in a very embarrassing situation because, in order to comply with the principle of “integrity”, he must explain to the students that the designer of the famous logo is the original master of KTA C.K. Choi. Like the other 11 original masters, he no longer works for the ITF.

Today, major international taekwon-do organizations have focused all efforts and resources on their membership in powerful sports organizations such as the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and Sport Accord.

Blinded by the brilliance of medals and huge financial subsidies, however, they lead the martial art along the path of the Olympic Games themselves – designed to carry messages of peace and unification of nations and politically corrupted as early as 1936. in Berlin, Germany during the Third Reich.


1. The Politics and Cult of Taekwon-Do.

CULT – Religious veneration and service; Veneration.

Building a cult of personality is a common tool in taekwon-do to subjugate the masses and serve organizations. In other words, it is a deliberate distortion and distortion of respect and loyalty to the master for mercenary purposes.

Let’s not forget that in martial arts there are no “super-humans” and everyone can be both respected and criticized outside the “dojanga“. Even Gen. Choi, who was a military officer by profession, created Taekwon-do and the encyclopedia not alone, but with the help of a team of martial artists and experts in physics and biomechanics. Unfortunately, even today masters and grand masters from all over the world continue to speculate on his name and face, Wishes and last words

The cult of personality, for example, is an excellent means of subjugating and keeping development in the rank of instructors. Moreover, the awe is so strong that they themselves are considered unworthy of promotion in degree. An example of this in Bulgaria are instructors who have dedicated their lives to the martial art, who have stood still at their last dan and have not moved in their development for several five-year periods. And all this time, they have worked and developed themselves and the organization they “serve”.

The cult of Taekwon-do is not unknown in the homeland of the martial art. It’s no secret that Taekwon-do was used in Korean prisons to control prisoners.

2. Politics and demagoguery in Taekwon-do.

Having achieved the cult, we can easily apply demagoguery.

DEMAGOGUERY – Deliberate influence on the instincts and feelings of the masses through false and tempting promises to achieve selfish goals; distortion of something, deceit, hypocrisy.

The American public critic and humorist Henry Louis Mencken defined a demagogue as “a man who preaches doctrines he knows to be false to people he knows to be idiots.”

We chose to expose nine of the greatest demagogues in Taekwon-do, similar to the symbolic choice of gene. Choi for 9 degrees in rank – the martial art system:

 Demagoguery No. 1 in the world – “Unification of Taekwon-Do!”:

Under the motto of Gen. Choi “One Taekwon-Do for All”, every instructor and master who managed to take a picture next to Gen. Choi is now a grand master who has created his own international organization. At the same time, they are all “intensively promoting and working” for the unification of Taekwon-do.

Result: disunity of Taekwon-do and a bad example for practitioners; lack of control in terms of certification, decline in quality and competition at world and European championships and other forums due to dispersion of practitioners in different organizations.


 Demagoguery No. 2 in the world – “WE are ITF!!!”:

It is claimed by three organizations fighting for the ITF abbreviation and a dozen, added another letter and distorted the emblem with “the fist of Gen. Choi.” The latter skillfully avoid litigation and know that the licensed ITF federation in IOC is the International Tennis Federation. Each of these organizations has its own “true” political doctrine and builds its cult.

Truth: ITF (1966–2002)

Although Gen. Choi bequeathed the ITF to Prof. Chang Ung and North Korea, he bequeathed in this organization his pioneers and grand masters, who after his death left it all together. This completely changed its appearance. Even the right hand of Gen. Choi, the so-called. “The First Taekwon-Do Instructor” – GM Nam Tae Hee recently left this world as president of an alternative organization. Would he not have reviewed his will again if the General were alive?…


 Demagoguery No. 3 in Bulgaria (probably elsewhere in the world) – “Taekwon-Do is not a sport, but a martial art. Sport is 20% of art!”:

It is claimed by the Bulgarian masters (in rank) in Taekwon-do ITF, developing the martial art as a 100% sport. This is evident on the homepage of their site, which reveals the brilliance of momentary glory and shiny trophies.


Unfortunately, the tournament is very often the place where instructors show their students what Taekwon-do is not, i.e. the opposite of what they teach in the hall. Like a Bulgarian song about the referee in football…. Without tournaments, you can’t. This is where clubs and organizations prove who is better and schools impose themselves. There is a place for symbiosis with mayors and municipal activists and hunting trophies and subsidies. And the medal and the cup “cost” a lot TO the competitor and FOR the organization.


1. Wonder in the circles – demagoguery is demagoguery, but not all are “idiots”. We are few instructors in Bulgaria, and we know each other!

2. Distortion of values in the martial art and the meaning of practicing.

 Demagoguery No. 4 in the world – “Do not betray the instructor!”:

The message is at the heart of the student’s duties, indicated by Gen. Choi. It is preached by Korean international instructors from the seven-month training course at the GM Park Joong Tae in North Korea. They themselves did not follow their short-term instructor in his organization GTF, but declared him a traitor. However, they used the start to leave the communist regime and work in Europe as international instructors. In a similar motive and competition, the technical level of successful graduates of the course, is undoubtedly enviably high, and their instructor, who has taken a different path, has no chance not to be betrayed.

Ultimately, GM Park instructors remain loyal to communist North Korea, where their families are, not to the teacher who “held their hand.”

To be completely frank, we have to admit that the “original” GM Park did not follow its teacher Gen. Choi in ITF.

Result: A bad example for practitioners Korean masters advocate an obligation that they themselves have not fulfilled.

 Demagoguery No. 5 in the world – “Taekwon-Do is a way of life!”:

Inextricably linked to “Demagoguery No. 4”.


GM Kwang Duk Chung points out in repeated Facebook addresses: “… There was no Grand Master in North Korea to promote on the “Way” of the martial art. Only the physical aspect of techniques and military choreographies has been developed… There was no Grand Master left enough time to produce good masters.” GM Kwang refers in his statements to the above training course of the GM Park for International Instructors in North Korea.

Taekwon-Do is truly a “way of life” and educates in principles and values.

 Demagoguery is when instructors and masters claim to be educators but do not know how to educate such virtues in students. Even if they list the “five principles of Taekwon-do”, they cannot demonstrate them and give examples of them. A true master can use any situation in the gym and in life to identify and indicate to students a principle and pattern of behavior and action.

The lack of a long-time teacher of North Korean international instructors from the GM Park School gives an answer to why they do not teach “Do” and never mention who their Master is.

This explains why, once upon a time, when we studied with these Korean instructors, we did not receive any “fatherly” guidance and morals in life, but only military discipline, push-ups and technical skills. With incredible symbiosis, we taught them outside the hall what is the Internet and how to build organization, as they only knew Taekwon-do.

Demagoguery No. 4 and Demagoguery No. 5: Practitioners follow not their master-teacher in life, but after their trainer and “coach.” They have no information to distinguish these categories. For them, He is the “father” who “held their hand” and the idol with which they identify.

 Demagoguery No 6 in Bulgaria (probably elsewhere in the world) – ” 4 – 6 dan – international instructor!”

Definition of International Taekwon-Do Encyclopedia Instructor:

International instructor – national instructor, successfully attested in ITF as an international instructor. Only an international instructor has the right to train and attest trainees, both in his country and abroad. He has the right to independently award a gup with the signature of the relevant certificate. Black belt certificates are issued by the ITF.

Here we will only ask one question: “What kind of international instructor are you, Sir, if you do not have the right (or do not give yourself one) to conduct exams alone in your own country, club and hall?” Even at school and university, professors can and do have every right to test their own students.

 Demagoguery No. 7 in Bulgaria (probably elsewhere in the world) – “Taekwon-Do is not a business”

The claim is made by instructors and masters who do not have a single day of experience other than Taekwon-Do in their work book for decades.

Result: The circle of doing business is narrowed and the business shares for them are larger.

 Demagoguery No. 8 in the World – “The Grand Master is a Great Teacher!”

Fortunately, there are still such grand masters alive. But not always!

With the advent of politics in Taekwon-do, today more and more examples are blurring the value of titles in myth.


The president of ITF North Korea (head of the ITF Grand Masters) instead of some “Grand Master” is Professor Chang Ung, a basketball coach, a politician who has nothing to do with the martial art. He inherited the International Federation from the founder of Taekwon-Do Gen. Choi Hong Hi.

Recently, there has been a phenomenon in the opposite direction – the North Korean Grand Master Kim Ung Chol (who is really a grand master) well known in our country, was recently awarded the title of professor from his homeland.

But this is far from the end of the bizarre political incarnations and honorable title in the world of Taekwon-do.



More recently, Vladimir Putin was awarded the title of Grand Master of Taekwondo WTF and given a set of black belt with a dobok – although he did not practice this sport. The honorary status was awarded to him by the President of the World Taekwondo Federation – Choue Chung.


Now the Russian president ranks higher than Chuck Norris, who is “stuck” in the eighth dan in the martial art.

The ceremony was held recently, during Putin’s official visit to South Korea, in connection with the promotion of plans for a new Asia-Europe route and rail trade.

Other honorary winners of black taekwondo belts, but not 9 dan, are US President Barack Obama and our former Minister of Sports – the champion in rowing Svilen Neykov.

 Demagoguery No. 9 in the World – “Democratic Government

Democracy (from Greek: δημοκρατία, “popular power”) is a form of government in which power derives from the people by consensus..

Leading international organizations hold congresses where they vote and elect a president, vice president, board of governors and claim that this is a democracy. Democracy, which is first and foremost a procedure. Democracy as a façade behind which things are hidden and different. Hidden from practitioners, competitors and instructors. Different from the idea of “people’s power”. Only those who participated in these “democratic” congresses had the opportunity to peer behind the facade. There is unprincipledness, incompetence, corruption, discrimination and conflict of interest… One of the participants in similar congresses was us. We offer you part of what you have seen and the clash with demagoguery:


After the tragic death of President GM Tran and especially after the division of BAT and the membership of two organizations from Bulgaria in 2009 and 2010, ITF-V changed its democratic statute and abolished the equality between the various organizations of the same country in item 4.14.


The not infamous Master Bos, who immediately after the death of GM Tran was quickly promoted to grand master, said that the conversation with us will be different if the organization buys us not five, but a hundred plaques (if we pay not for 5, but for 100 clubs). The incident took place during the European Championship in Sweden in 2010, when we were negotiating for membership of a second national organization, similar to other States benefiting from this option from the ITF-V statutes. Of course, the conversation took place not publicly at the congress itself, but at an official meeting with representatives of the ITF-V board (several “pairs of eyes”). This was also the turning point when we realized that we were talking not with a grand master, but with a secretary of a business corporation who is ready to comply with the statute in exchange for more euro banknotes. Anyway, the unprincipled and discriminatory proposal for a “deal” from Mr. Boss failed, as we were there not to shop for cash, but to defend principles and points of the statute.


At the same hapless congress, A.E.T.F. president Master Loboda, as we walked back to the hotel together, explained to us how “unity makes strength” and that Taekwon-do practitioners should not divide, and a minute later said that the North Koreans would nevertheless be judged to the end!

And they condemned…


1. Few members, many grand masters, lost lawsuits and changed emblems.

2. Changing a democratic constitution with an undemocratic one as soon as someone tries to “take advantage” and seeks their rights proposed by the democratic platform of the organization.

But the platform remains unchanged in the public domain under the motto “We are democratic!”.

Once upon a time, the word master evokes reverence and respect, was associated with wisdom, experience and dedication. Today, the master’s degree is awarded to an “important person” with “significant merits”. But let us recall the words of the late O’Sensei – “… Anyone who gives millions is certainly important.”



Sabumnim Miroslav Trifonov, IV Dan;

Sabumnim Boris Atanasov, VI Dan

Sofia, Bulgaria 2013


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