Living Legacy | Weekend In Review
Societies flourish by passing on accumulated knowledge to successive generations and by holding great works as inspirational beacons. The legacy of previous generations thereby become the foundation upon which the future is built and stands. With any measure of serious scrutiny one realizes that Taekwon-Do qualifies as a great work worthy of celebration and of preservation. Therefore, it is fitting that on April 11th, 2015 ITF Taekwon-Do practitioners throughout the world celebrated the 60th anniversary of Taekwon-Do and the legacy of General Choi's life work.
The Unified International Taekwon-Do Federation, which is headed by Grand Master Hwang, Kwang Sung, K-9-1, honoured Taekwon-Do’s 60th anniversary by holding a three day event in Enfield, Connecticut, USA on the April 11th weekend. The well attended event drew past and present ITF, KATU and UITF members from the continental USA, Puerto Rico and Canada and provided opportunities and purpose far beyond simply observing a significant moment in time.
Grand Master Hwang, a number of masters and a significant contingent of senior instructors provided the event’s attendees with many wonderful training opportunities. The high caliber and the abundance of training options, as well as the friendly atmosphere, fostered learning, facilitated forging new friendships and rekindling old acquaintances. As a result, many in attendance were inspired to either resume or to refocus their training. That in itself would qualify the event as a success, given that General Choi’s life was dedicated to the proliferation of Taekwon-Do.
The April 11th activities culminated with a dinner and Legacy Celebration. The evening’s social program included acknowledgments of members whose endeavours have embraced General Choi’s legacy though their pursuit of Taekwon-Do excellence. The members, coaches, managers and medal winners from eight ITF world championship teams, between 1992 and 2003, were recognized for their contributions and achievements. Particular note was made of the 1996 USA Junior Team who were presented with the UITF Legacy Award. Over the years, Grand Master Hwang fulfilled a variety of roles in the ITF. Since General Choi’s passing in 2002, Grand Master Hwang has vigorously dedicated himself to carrying on General Choi’s legacy by fostering a unifying culture and by relentlessly teaching Taekwon-Do precisely as General Choi developed it. Moreover, Grand Master Hwang’s humility, generosity and selfless dedication to Taekwon-Do and its practitioners, regardless of their rank or Taekwon-Do lineage, has gained the respect of thousands of followers. At the culmination of the Legacy Celebration dinner Grand Master Hwang was awarded a commendation, on the behalf of all UITF black belts of the world, to acknowledge that he is a driving force that carries forth General Choi’s legacy, and to express appreciation of his lifelong dedication to his students. Also, in recognition of Grand Master Hwang’s close association with General Choi, Mr. Ray Shugart presented Grand Master Hwang with a beautiful drawing he recently made of General Choi.
The UITF the 60th anniversary celebration began as a way to honour the birthdate of Taekwon-Do but it ultimately exceeded its noble intent. The training caliber, the civility and the camaraderie that pervaded the event was an unequivocal testimony that, thanks to Grand Master Hwang and his followers, the UITF is a place where General Choi’s legacy lives!