Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, which was associated with several entry restrictions, and also due to military conflicts in the north of the country, it was only possible to hold a major ITF event in Ethiopia again after almost 4 years.
On Monday morning, 04.04.22, the event started with the opening of the 152 IIC for which 312 participants were registered.
12 participating countries
Despite considerable visa problems and pandemic regulations, participants from the following countries were welcomed: Burundi, Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Senegal, Somaliland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe. For one hour, they followed GM Weiler’s explanations and exercises on how to avoid injuries during the warm-up in TKD and how to train muscles by means of stabilisation exercises. In the following training session, GM Marano (Chair of the TC) explained the basics and details of the forms Chon-Ji to Choong-Moo. Before the morning ended with exercises to improve stretching, a sign for peace in the world was made by means of a white card, thus supporting the campaign of the organisation “Peace and Sport”.
1st Adapted Course in Africa
In the afternoon, the time had come. For the first time since the beginning of the seminars in 2021 for Adapted TKD, a complete course could be started. It soon became clear that 300 participants were a special challenge, but Master Oros Duek handled it very well. The many practical exercises, which were accompanied by short explanations and demonstrations, were very motivating.
The morning of the second day started with the forms Kwang-Gae to Ge-Baek (GM Ung), followed by detailed explanations for step sparring (GM Marano). Some self-defence techniques (GM Ung) rounded off the morning.
The second part of the Adapted Course was dedicated to coordination and balance exercises, which were in part very challenging, yet equally fun. The former Ambassador and current Minister of Culture and Sports in Ethiopia, His Excellency Mesfin Chernet, managed to attend the seminar despite a busy schedule and was very impressed by the diversity of ITF Taekwon-Do. After seeing with his own eyes that Taekwon-Do is not only about competition but can make a great contribution to social development, he promised to support the “Taekwon-Do and Inclusion” project in Ethiopia.
Historic moment for the ITF in Africa
At 5:30pm the Dan examination for the 5th, 6th and 7th Dan candidates started and when the examination result was announced by GM Marano, there were very emotional scenes because for the first time in the history of our organisation an athlete from Africa (Ethiopia) was examined for the 7th Dan. Wogayehu Behailu achieved the master title after more than 35 years in Taekwon-Do.
GM Ung started with Eui-Am Tul to Juche while at the same time the revision of the lower Tuls took place with GM Weiler. GM Marano then taught Sam-Il to Choi-Yong and GM Ung Yon-Gae to Moon-Moo.
In the afternoon, the third part of the Adapted Course took place, which again focused on the practical part and was concluded by a question section.
GM Marano used the last day of the IIC to teach the highest tuls with a special emphasis on So-San Tul, while in parallel GM Ung had some sparring drills and self-defence training.
After the obligatory photo session and the closing speech for the IIC, there was still a graduation examination for the 4th Dan, for which 18 candidates had registered. After passing the online test with the help of Master Enander, the candidates faced the examination committee consisting of Master Vones (8th Dan), Master Enander (7th Dan) and Master Behailu (7th Dan). 15 happy candidates could pass the examination, among them two women who did a great job.
The morning started with a referee briefing by Master Vones (IT Chair), who once again explained and demonstrated the most important competition rules, followed by a coach meeting, with the advice to follow the given schedule and to arrive on time and prepared at the respective fighting area, otherwise there is the threat of exclusion from the tournament.
5th ATF Congress at the Monarch Hotel
The President of the African TKD Federation, Mr. Tamrat Feyessa, opened the 5th Congress punctually at 5:30 p.m. and welcomed not only all country representatives but also the Secretary General of the Ethiopian International Taekwon-Do Federation, Mr. Yimer Haile Tesfaye. Also present were GM Marano and GM Weiler and Masters Vones, Enander and Behailu.
All country representatives reported on the special challenges (lock down) during the pandemic and the development in their country.
The new elections to the ATF Board resulted in the following:
President: Mr. Tamrat Feyessa (Ethiopia)
Vice-President: Mr. Daouda Diouf (Senegal)
Secretary General: Mr. Alasser Hassan Abdi (Djibouti)
Treasurer: Mr. Elias Kumel (Ethiopia)
Member: Mr. Adelar Mivumba (DR Congo)