The Korean Martial Art of Self Defence called Taekwon-Do is plagued with countless issues (too many for us to cover now). To be fair, in the last four decades I have been in the art, I have trodden the political minefield many times, telling those politicians to get lost when they put their rhetoric on me that they are right and I am wrong (I will admit you are right if you are though). This article covers one issue that really gets many wound up…

One issue many have had over the years is how U.K. Taekwon-Do associations / groups just tell everyone to turn up at 9am to their championships, knowing that in doing so they actually create a massive looking event (which, in reality, endangers the guests visiting and winds many up).

That was until 2004 when our group, the L.T.S.I., entered the U.K. scene and created an opens with a difference. Back then, I made sure I changed the playing field as a host and ripped up the old format many still use today.

Many events later, we have seen a lot of event host copy what we do (STOP! Let’s not say that, let’s be positive and say adopt our ideas), but there are still many doing the old format of fill up the venue and annoy the hell out of many in the process by making them wait around all day.

There is a way forward and I hope that tournament hosts and those planning on hosting their own events decide on adopting this format, as it works and is 100% proven by us. This format works and is one that keeps everyone smiling.
Back in 2004, there were a lot of teens and adults attending championships but, as time has gone by, competitors have got younger (some as young as 5 years old), meaning that parents and families now attend to support them.

The L.T.S.I. hold three competitions across the day twice a year and the format keeps everyone happy.

 8.30am – all 12 years and under (including Black Belts) attend
 12 noon – all 13 years and over colour belts turn up to compete
 2pm – all 13 years and over Black Belts compete between 2pm and 7pm

Look at it like this – if your Black Belts are not officiating, give them a lie in and let them turn up later. This way, they are fresh and ready to compete. The same applies for all 13 plus colour belts – let them turn up later, so there’s minimal waiting around, no fatigue and less chance in spreading viruses.
As a host you are probably saying “If I do that, my event will look empty”. So what? Forget about worrying about what others will say. So, your event you get minimal spectators at the Black Belt sessions or the 13 plus colour belt sections but, with 300 competitors over the day, you will see three easy tournaments and be viewed as being responsible as now you limiting the spread of Covid-19 and other nasty contagious viruses.

The event is also easier to run providing you are like us and pretty organized. Let’s be fair, many try to run events and many fail drastically.

I have a saying – some are good fighters, but may never be good instructors, some are good at seminars, but are no good at hosting tournaments. If you’re not good at something, either leave it to those that can or try to learn from those who make it look easy (which in Taekwon-Do is hard, as many think they know better… please).

I think if you try this format, your events will become popular and well sought after, as no-one will complain as long as your officials are good, running order is smooth and your medals are worth fighting for. Good luck!

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