Written & Published by Doug Nowling, 23 July 2013
This is another article in a series that is focusing on the DPRK “influence” in the Taekwon-Do world. Good or bad, the DPRK has had it’s hand in things and in this case Taekwon-Do. I want reader to know that these articles are not a reflection of the average people of North Korea, they are Korean’s and as Korean’s we share a common bond of friendship and mutual respect. We are mainly discussing the government and its agents and not those of the Korean peoples!
It is known quite publicly that the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korean (DPRK) AKA North Korea has had a system of corrupt officials, politicians and that the average citizens has about as much right to live a “free” life as a horse fly does. The DPRK also routinely violates the laws of other nations, and most recently tried unsuccessfully to travel through the Panama Canal Zone which, the Panamanian government stopped and seized the cargo ship Chong Chon Gang 청천강호/淸川江號 where they found two MiG21 Fighter Jets, short and medium range missile and other contraband that is currently banned under UN mandates.
The Chong Chon Gang recently docked in Cuba, a very rare friend of the DPRK in the Western Hemisphere, and they make the claim the weapons were being refurbished by the DPRK however, this clearly isn’t the case, as both MiG fighters had fuel in them, and as any Navel personal will tell you, you only send fuel in equipment if you plan on using them! This particular cargo ship has a long history, it has been detained by authorities all over the world, especially since 2003, it has been cited or detained by other nations such as the Ukraine, Iran, Egypt, Malaysia, Portugal, Philippines and more recently of course recently Panama. This ship along with the majority of the DPRK cargo fleet routinely turns off its AIS (global maritime satellite position) which is mandated by international maritime law as well.
So, what does this have to do with Taekwon-Do? Well quite frankly, on the surface of
it….nothing, but when you look at the culture behind the DPRK, and the fact that they have 73 North Korean black belts (several in the Master status) now actively teaching throughout the world, mainly in the former Soviet Bloc counties, but, also in some “Western bloc” as well, like New Zealand, Japan, etc. They are now promoting an art that to them is 30 years old, and producing black belt instructors that truly don’t understand the art, either technically or spiritually. This is based on first hand knowledge, actions they portray publicly, and privately. And in a few examples there near god like devotion to the DPRK system and of course the Kim Family.
I along with my guest writers and myself, we will go into detail on what it is like to train under a “DPRK” instructor and allow you the readers to compare that to training under other instructors. If the DPRK instructors were truly teaching Taekwon-Do…then this article and any like it would not be of interest, however, their brand of Taekwon-Do is not that of the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF), it is their own brand, that they use the ITF to have the ability to travel and teach “ITF Taekwon-Do” however, it is really “Juche Taekwon-Do” 주체태권도/主體跆拳道 and this is evident any time you see Taekwon-Do in North Korean medial, print or even commemorative coins and stamps!
Over the next series of weeks, we will publish first hand accounts of training, money raising, technical standards and other means used by instructors from the DPRK that you, the reader can judge for yourselves if the DPRK style instructors are teaching Taekwon-Do or are they furthering themselves, and or the DPRK regime.