History and development of Taekwondo in Malaysia

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Warming up before taking the Taekwondo grading exams in order to progress from one belt to the next.

Taekwondo is the name of a martial art that has been independently developed over some 20 centuries in Korea. The main feature of Taekwondo is its defensive spirit, since the art was developed as a defence against enemy attacks.

Taekwondo was first brought to Malaysia in 1963 by General Choi Hong Hi (the then Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Malaysia), with the mandate given by the Korea Taekwondo Associate. Training started in Kuala Lumpur, with the formation of the Selangor Taekwondo Association (STA), and gradually spread to other states.

In those years, the technical direction and for the most part, also the administrative precedures, of the Selangor Taekwondo Association (STA) were in the hands of the Korean instructors. Communication between students and instructors was less then satisfactory and advancement to senior grades among Malaysians was slow.

With the emergence of the Korean Taekwondo Association in 1966, uniting the various Taekwondo "KWANS" in Korea, the spirit of Malaysianization was kindled. General Choi Hong Hi founded the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) which was based in Toronto, Canada because he disagreed with the Taekwondo hierarchy laid down by the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), based in Seoul, South Korea.

Formation of the Malaysia Taekwondo Association

Malaysia Taekwondo Association logo

Senior students, particularly those in Selangor, realized that in the absence of a strong national body to govern the propagation of the art independently of the Koreans, all achievements would be reduced to nothing. This was profoundly proven when the last Korean left in the early 1970s and Taekwondo was at its lowest ebb in Malaysia.

In 1972, the Malaysia Taekwondo Association was formed, with:

With the departure of the Korean instructors, senior stalwarts who were disillusioned with the International Taekwondo Federation's (ITF) policies, decided to contact the Korean Taekwondo Association (KTA) directly for technical assistance. The Malaysia Taekwondo Association (MTA) then affiliated itself with the World Taekwondo Federation, and participated in the 1st World Taekwondo Championship in Seoul. Training was given by the 3rd and 4th Dan Malaysian Black Belts locally, while more advanced courses were provided by the the Korean Taekwondo Association (KTA).

On 27 April [[1974], the Malaysia Taekwondo Association (MTA) was officially inaugurated and within a few years, MTA had affiliates in all the Malaysian states, including the police, armed forces and universities' sports council. In 1978, the Malaysia Taekwondo Association (MTA) was given due recognition by the Olympic Council of Malaysia.

In order to keep abreast with the latest developments in the sport and to ensure the effectiveness of its technical projects, the Malaysia Taekwondo Association (MTA) formed a Technical and Administrative Board (TAB), comprising Chief Instructors of the various Malaysian states. The Board is responsible for the goodwill and fellowship among members of various races. It organizes regular inter-school, zone and national tournaments annually, as well as seminars, Referees' and Coaching Courses twice a year. MTA-registered Black Belts are sent to Korea to receive first-hand techniques in instructing and competition.

Through dedication and hard work, the Malaysia Taekwondo Association (MTA) has participated under the country's flag at every international tournament, whenever funds permitted.  more... at Chronology

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