© (L)WTU reporter Semi (R)President G..M Gyung-duk Kim (WTU)
Q1. Nice to meet you, president Kim! Thank you very much for taking a time for interview in your busy schedule. First, how is your health condition?
A1 – I’m bit old but I am still very healthy.
Q2- COVID-19 virus that started in last December became a global pandemic around the world and the situation reminds of wartime situation.
Although some countries including South Korea are stabilized, COVID-19 is still a worldwide pandemic.
As a president of Kukkiwon 9-Dan Federation, vice-president of Korea Taekwondo Association, and president of Gyeong Gi-Do Taekwondo Association, you came up with plans for multilateral support on ordinary Taekwondo schools under COVID-19 situation for over the last few months. How do you evaluate current situation?
A2 – COVID-19 virus is a huge catastrophe of the humanity and the situation is very panicking. Especially, taekwondo Dojang are directly damaged from COVID-19.
Our GTA (Gyeong Gi-Do Taekwondo Association) is the biggest local association in Korea. While Seoul Taekwondo Association is huge with 1,300 Taekwondo schools, we have 2,500 schools. After considerations, we held board of directors and general meeting.
To help Taekwondo schools, we prepared and distributed disinfectants worth 100,000 won with association operating expense. Then, as Taekwondo school members went through tough times, we supported total of 1.5 billion won, 500,000 won for 2,500 Taekwondo schools and 70 instructors in cash. Each instructor delivered words of appreciation to association. Although such support won’t be a big help, I hope the support mentally helped Taekwondo schools and instructors.
Q3 – Taekwondo schools are expected to experience severe financial difficulties due to COVID-19. Do you have measures for such financial difficulties?
A3- COVID-19 situation led to poor national economy. For instance, some parents l
G..M Gyung-duk Kim (WTU)
ost their job and went through economic pressure. Also, as students stay home for a long time, they easily get lazy. As a result, starting Taekwondo training again might be annoying and boring. In response, we are currently reviewing on some of the measures.
When COVID-19 first started, we continued various events while other groups didn’t. As Taekwondoists, we weren’t afraid of COVID-19. We pushed forward events by preparing for prevention of disease thoroughly under the unbending Taekwondo spirit. However, the government recommended on stopping all events and we had to cancel all events.
Now, as COVID-19 situation is getting better, we are visiting some of associations for Taekwondo test and holding Taekwondo test for 4dan ~ 5 dan at training center located in our GTA building’s 4th floor. I was also there all day long. Taekwondo schools first need to stand up again. Therefore, we must prepare well-organized measures and have confidence. Our association is showing that COVID-19 can be prevented by handling with the situation properly.
Meanwhile, we made and distributed 13 videos for training at home and this brought remarkable sensation. Now, it’s time to take direct actions in off-line. In the past, I was running my own Taekwondo school and many children came to Taekwondo school after watching an animation cartoon named Robot Taekwon V. As a vice-president of KTA and president of Kukkiwon Taekwondo 9-Dan Federation,
I suggested Taekwondo groups such as KKW, KTA, and WT to invest budget on making a fun Taekwondo animation for children. Then, I suggested on activating traditional Taekwondo instead of match-based Taekwondo through home training. Our GTA has videos and textbooks for Taekwondo and they are the manuals for beginners and high-rank holders. As a homeland of Taekwondo, we plan to distribute these videos around the world through YouTube.
Q4. Before finishing the interview, please send words of hope and support to Taekwondo school instructors and Taekwondo families around the world.
A4- Dear Taekwondo families! I am aware that the situation is tough. As a prominent figure in Taekwondo-field, I am spending days and nights to think about how to help Taekwondoists in this unprecedented situation.
Furthermore, other Taekwondo institutes such as KTA, KKw, TPF, and Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism are also seriously considering over the current situation. There is a saying that “Two Heads Are Better Than One”. Taekwondo instructors, presidents of Taekwondo associations, KTA, KKW, TPF, and WT will work together to examine and research on how to handle this COVID-19 situation and prevent recurrence.
When COVID-19 situation ends, we will hold a public hearing and prepare for countermeasures. Hang in there and don’t forget that companions, instructors, and others related to Taekwondo are paying attention closely. Thank you.
Thank you for your warm words. I sincerely hope for your wellness and I will finish the interview here.
"This was WTU reporter Asemgul from Gyeong Gi-Do Taekwondo Association"
(*中文翻译. 李京锡>跆拳道公认五段，WT品势国际裁判，国家职业资格鉴定考评员及培训师，国技院三级师范，国技院品段考核三级考核委员。 履职过中跆协会员部业务代理公司，负责运营过第一代Lajast+大道+KPNP电子护具在中国区的运营及技术支持。
중국어 번역: 이경석(Mr. Li Jing Xi)태권도 공인 5단, WT 품새국제 심판, 중국국가직업 검증테스트 심사관 및 교육관, 국기원 3급 지도자 자격증, 국기원 승품단 3급 심사위원, 전 중국태권도협회 에이전시 회사 근무(라저스트ㆍ대도ㆍ케피앤피 전자호구)중국내 경기 운영 팀장.)
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영상> 촬영.폅집: 이한우 기자
World Taekwondo United News (WTU-news 세계태권도연합뉴스)