Tricky-wondo situation

Li Lai Li Lai of China competes with Alireza Nassrazadany of  Iran in taekwondo Men's Under 74kg 1/8 Bout during day five of the 16th Asian Games Guangzhou 2010 at Guangda Gymnasium on November 17, 2010 in Guangzhou, China.I had tea with several parents over the weekend.

Being parents, they were rather enthusiastic over their children's participation in Taekwondo.

However, they claimed certain 'academies' promoted their exponents rather quickly. What used to take years can now be done within months.

Others claimed that many are eager to become instructors to make a quick buck. After all, Taekwondo is a business - from the clothes to the examinations.

After spending more than an hour, we left the restaurant with more questions than answers.

Is it true some exponents obtain their black belts easier than others?

Is it true some exponents can buy their black belts from certain centres?

Is it true that only a handful people can grade exponents in the country?

Is Taekwondo Malaysia or Malaysian Taekwondo Association the national body in the country?

According to Olympic Council of Malaysia secretary Sieh Kok Chi, Taekwondo Malaysia is recognised by the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF). For the record, WTF is recognised by the International Olympic Committee.

Nevertheless, the courts had recently decided that MTA remains status quo. With that in mind, shouldn't they now be the governing body?

Then again, the Taekwondo saga has been going on since Azalina Othman Said's tenure as Sports Minister.

"It's a tricky situation but for now Taekwondo Malaysia is the governing body in the country," said Kok Chi.

"To some it is a business but there are those who are passionate about taekwondo. Hopefully those in the scene will come to an agreement soon."

"As for exponents graduating quickly, from what I understand it really depends on what modules they are learning, whether their academies or masters are affiliated to WTF, International Taekwondo Federation or the Global Taekwondo Federation," he added.

If you plan to enroll your kid into Taekwondo with aspirations of him or her becoming a national exponent, do your homework and get into the right academy. Or you could end up spending hours thrash talking the national taekwondo scene in a coffee shop.

HD says: I remember Taekwondo being taught for a fee of RM 10 per month at the badminton hall at Pekeliling Flats every Saturday morning some 20 years ago.


  1. The taekwondo scene has changed since MTA got issues...but it's good to hear taekwondo being highlighted here! ;)

  2. Like ypu said Taekwondo is a business. And the people - instructors, administrators and graders- are businessman. THE SC must announce the rightful nation al association. But the situation is not going to change with the so called businmessman

  3. I took up Taekwondo more than 40 years ago after inspired by Master C.K.Choi, who took on 5 black belts during a sparring session. If you follow the History of Taekwondo in Malaysia, C.K.Choi, was one of the most skillful exponents of the art who had ever set foot in Malaysia.
    I trained under many Korean masters and did it for enjoyment and the comradery,but sadly money and politics have gained control of Taekwondo over the years. Taekwondo, will never be the same anywhere in the world when power, money and politics are involved.


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