The 2023 Taipei Open International Taekwon-Do Tournament took place on July 2, 2023, at the National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), an education center which is widely recognized as one of Taiwan’s most comprehensive education institutions with the most international exposure The opening had an amazing presentation of the participating groups’ representatives and coaches from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Taiwan. There was a joyful atmosphere with great sportsmanship from all 110 participants. Many high-level matches were witnessed in various categories for children, juniors, and seniors. The participating groups included Moon Moo Kwan, International Glory Taekwon-Do, Mindfulness Taekwon-Do Club, Dante’s Taekwon-Do Association, Malaysia Taekwon-Do Federation, ITF Taekwon-Do Vietnam, and ITF Chinese Taipei.
The opening was preceded by the Chairman of ITF Chinese Taipei, Mr. Carlos Machado, presenting the appreciation awards to the coaches and special guests, followed by the opening speech video from the president, Mr. Howard Hu. The beautiful message reminded the competitors of the purpose of competing and sharing the passion that brings us together no matter where we come from. Master Anton Ng from Hong Kong also referred to everyone with a few words. Mr. Carlos Machado introduced and thanked everyone who assisted throughout the day: Veronique Bailey, Ileana Rodriguez, Nien Yun-Hsu, Elton Liu, Isabella Mao and Wang Jia-Wei, Master Anton Ng, the representatives of the 9 participating clubs, the umpire team (Lee En-Wei, Huang Yen-Zheng, Lew Zee Sen, Desmond Teh Chen Chuan, Lee Yi-Wei, Chen Chu-Chih, Yi An-Chen, Chen His, Chen Yun-Yu, and Yu Chen-Tu), and all the competitors who collaborated for the success of the event.
The work done by the umpire team was exceptional, with the help from Master Anton Ng, Mr. Hok Choy Chan, and Mr. Darren Ryding. Also, a special thanks to the team of coaches in Taiwan (Chong Sze-Wing, Lin Yu-Shih, Chen Xin-Ling, Ku Yi-Chen, and Wang Yu-Hung) for working tireless to ensure the event ran smoothly without much delay.
The event consisted individual patterns, individual sparring, and special techniques. All participants demonstrated outstanding performances. The day ended with the Hong Kong teams from International Glory Taekwon-Do and Mindfulness Taekwon-Do Club performing two beautiful team patterns. The award ceremony was carried out by categories, and at the end we had the presentation of the trophies for the first three places of team clubs.
As an organization we are very happy for accomplishing the goal of organizing a tournament appropriate for our Kids Development Program. Since the first International Kids Course taught by Master Fabián Izquierdo in 2016 through all the courses our members have assisted until now, our instructors have learned and finally put in practice, we are very happy we have given a great experience to the kids and parents and show to the rest of audience that Taekwon-Do is for everyone.
The success of this event is thanks to the hard work of the members who had been practicing, studying, and working as a team with the sole purpose of enjoying and spreading Taekwon-Do in Taiwan. This tournament was our first live tournament since the start of the pandemic. There is no doubt that it was also different than the others organized in past since we followed the proper protocol/procedures by applying the rules correctly, and raised the technical and competitive standard of competitors and umpires. For first time we held senior and veteran divisions for color bets and black belts, and the first Kids Skills Game was introduced as we mentioned before.
It was a success not just for ITF Taekwon-Do community in Taiwan, but for the Asian region. It has been a mission that began since Master Roberto Webster, Union Taekwon-Do Nicaragua (UTN) President who visited Taiwan in November of last year. He provided an umpire course which built the adequate foundation to help members umpire for patterns and sparring, and has followed the day-to-day organization of this event. Other trainings such as the IUC in 2021 and the National Coach Course (CNC) organized by the coaches (such as Master Fausto Mercado and Sabum Nim Marcelo Pereiro) and athletes committee of Federacion de Taekwon-Do de la República Argentina (FETRA) also helped strengthen the knowledge for the members to perform their duties.
Once again, a big thank you to all competitors, umpires, and staff. It was a pleasure and an honor to meet new friends, encounter with old friends and share a weekend full of Taekwon-Do with all those present, making of the most important and beautiful tournament to be held in Taiwan. This was a historical moment for the development of Taekwon-Do for ITF Chinese Taipei.
Chairman of ITF Chinese Taipei