World Para Taekwondo Newsletter
September 2020  | Issue #3
One Year To Go Until Tokyo 2020ne!

Happy Taekwondo Day everyone!

It was on this day in 1994 that Taekwondo was awarded Olympic status – a defining moment in the history of the sport. The date is marked as a legal memorial day in the birthplace of the sport – South Korea.

It is also on this day - one year from today - Para Taekwondo will be handing out its final medals of the Tokyo 2020ne Paralympic Games.

Day Three of the competition that runs from 2-4 September, 2021 will showcase the power and stategy of Para Taekwondo’s heavyweight divisions, including two of the sport’s great fighters – Great Britain’s Amy Truesdale and USA’s Evan Medell.

No. 1-ranked Truesdale has kept busy over summer. The 2017 world champion had to adapt her regular training sessions to online trainings from home. “This is such a positive, as it gives us more time to prepare and enjoy our training even more”, she told World Taekwondo.

No. 1-ranked Medell has also had to adjust. He hit the gym for the first time on Wednesday since gyms closed in early March. “Training is going to be more regular than it has been”, he told WT, “although probably not completely normal – as a precaution.”

World Para Taekwondo featured many of their heavyweight competitors in this summer’s #KickingItAtHome social media campaign – one of many online initiatives launched by WT since the COVID-19 pandemic brought in-person competitions to a halt. You can learn about other online initiatives for practitioners, coaches, classifiers, and referees later in this newsletter.

Among the heavyweights featured in the #KickingItAtHome series was Japan’s Shoka Ota – a Winter Paralympic Games star biathlete that carried her country’s flag at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia and won bronze at last year’s Para Taekwondo world championships.

Also featured were current and former world champions and No. 1-ranked fighters, like Asghar Aziziaghdam (Iran), Rajae Akermash (Morocco), Matt Bush (UK), as Ivan Mikulic (Croatia) and Debora Menezes (Brazil).

To learn more about these fighters – or any of the 84 fighters featured – be sure to check out the World Para Taekwondo page on Facebook.

The heavyweight medals will be some of the last awarded at the 2020ne Paralympic Games. The closing ceremony will be held on 5 September, one year after the final day of the International Paralympic Committee’s current #WaitForTheGreats campaign that was launched to celebrate one year to go until Tokyo 2020ne.

The IPC has marked the occasion in several ways, including the Netflix launch of the highly-anticipated ‘Rising Phoenix’ movie that tells the story of the Paralympic Games through the eyes of nine athletes, the release of the inspiring ‘Greatness Will Wait’ (For the audio-described version) TV ad that follows visually-impaired Paralympic champion David Brown as he sets a Paralympic Record at Rio 2016, and athlete-generated #WaitForTheGreats content, featuring none other than our own Amy Truesdale.

Truesdale will take over the IPC Instagram account today to mark Taekwondo Day as part of the “athlete takeover” initiative. You can follow along here.

So, while the world of taekwondo awaits the return of in-person competitions, there is still plenty going on – especially online. Keep reading to see how you can stay involved.
Stay safe and Happy Taekwondo Day!
Top Paralympic Referees Receive Online Training 
With less than one year to go until Para Taekwondo makes its Paralympic debut, World Taekwondo (WT) President Dr. Chungwon Choue welcomed 50 of Para Taekwondo's top international referees for an online training from 29-31 August.

It was a great opportunity for the officials to meet, get inspired, and go through an intensive education session ahead of the sport's highly-anticipated Paralympic debut. Thirty of the participating referees will be selected to officiate at next summer's 2020ne Tokyo Paralympic Games.

The training was led by Chakir Chelbat (WT Para Taekwondo Comittee Chair), Usman Dildar (WT Para Taekwondo Comittee Vice-Chair), Dr. Dae Hyoun Jeong (WT Medical & Anti-Doping Committee Chair), and Marco Ienna (WT Lausanne Liaison Office Director).

The first-of-its-kind session continued World Taekwondo's outreach programme of connecting with the Para Taekwondo community through online or virtual training sessions. Other initiatives include social media campaigns for athletes and online certifications courses for coaches.
Para Taekwondo Online Coaches Course Certification: Level 1
WT's first Para Taekwondo Online International Coach Certification Course will take place next weekend - from 11 to 13 September from 18:00 to 21:00 CET (Berlin GMT+2). If you haven't already done so, please register by 6 September.

There are four more course to be offered for the following regions:

  • Africa - 18-20 September from 18:00 to 21:00 (Cairo GMT +2)
  • Pan Am - 25-27 September from 15:00 to 18:00 (New York GMT -4)
  • Asia - 2-4 October from19:00 to 22:00 (Beijing GMT +8)
  • Oceania - 9-11 October from19:00 to 22:00 (Sydney GMT +10)

This course is mandatory for all coaches officiating at World Para Taekwondo promoted and recognized competitions from January 1, 2021 and is valid for two years.
Para Taekwondo Online National Classifier Course: Level 1

WT is also offering a National Classifiers Course: Level 1, the first of which will take place on 15-16 September from 21:00 to 1:00 CET (Berlin GMT +2). Course registrations close on 10 September.

There will be four more courses offered for the following regions:

  • Africa - 22-23 September from 19:00 to 23:00 (Cairo GMT+2)
  • Pan Am (in Spanish) - 29-30 September from 19:00-23:00 (GMT-4 Canada/Atlantic)
  • Asia - 6-7 October from 19:00 to 23:00 (Beijing GMT +8)
  • Oceania - 13-14 October from 19:00 to 23:00 (Sydney GMT +10)

Getting Started: Finding Athletes

Many MNAs have stated that the reason that they have not started Para Taekwondo activities within their MNA is that they do not have any practitioners.

MNAs with successful programs report that a membership survey proved to be very useful. They discovered that many practitioners with an impairment were already training in member clubs that were unkonown to the MNA Board.

This is just one example of how to find practitioners and potential athletes. Here follows a few more ideas:

  • Conduct a survey among your membership to discover which persons with impairments are currently active within your organization.

  • Develop contacts with the organizations mentioned in last month's newsletter. They might know of persons with an impairment that are interested in trying Para Taekwondo.

  • Many countries have special schools for different impairment types. Develop contacts with these specialised schools and introduce Para Taekwondo to the students.

  • Publicise your MNAs Para Taekwondo program information
To get a better understanding of what you are looking for when it comes to athletes for the international stage it is highly recommended that you make sure that you have expertise gained from World Para Taekwondo Online Coach Certification Courses and Online Natoinal Classifier Certification Courses within your organization.
Para Taekwondo Around the World

Denmark: Four-time world champion Lisa Kjaer Gjessing (Denmark) and her team met with Jonas Schmidt Christensen from Para Sport Denmark (Talent and Elite) on 3 August to discuss Gjessing’s participation in next year’s Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Para Sport Denmark is responsible for organising Denmark’s participation in the Paralympic Games and specifically supports Gjessing through financial aid for travel and training. Designed to show Para Sport Denmark the difficulties Gjessing faces, the meeting also opened doors for improved future communication between the Danish Taekwondo Federation and Para Sport Denmark. Joining Gjessing at the meeting was coach Bjarne Johansen, assistant coach Knud Andersen, and David Coupar from the Danish Taekwondo Federation.
Hungary: Like many other countries, Hungary has had to adapt to the pandemic situation. The Hungarian Taekwondo Federation (HTF) has continued training its athletes, but now has them maintaining a “social distance” of two metres from each other. Turning lemons into lemonade, the lockdowns have seen the HTF improve its online competition and education programming. Poomsae practitioners have certainly seen more opportunities for online competitions, competing against athletes worldwide in competitions that they might not have been able to travel to in person. For example, Hungarian Poomsae athlete Peter Sopuch had great success at the 1st Oceania Online Poomsae & Para Poomsae Competition. Sopuch also represented Para athletes at the recent Taekwon-Day – an outdoor event organised by the HTF that featured a speed kicking competition and Para Poomsae demonstration. Hungarian Kyorugi competitors are also vigorously preparing for when the European Paralympic Qualification tournament is rescheduled.
To see what the Hungarian athletes have been up to, check out the Para Taekwondo Hungary page on Facebook.  

United Arab Emirates: The UAE Taekwondo Federation and the UAE Paralympic Committee worked with the Dubai Police Academy to launch an online programme to train Para Taekwondo practitioners in all approved impairment categories. The initiative will run through the end of September and train thousands of Para Taekwondo competitors online. Participants will receive at least two training sessions per week, will receive documentary pictures of their training – whether live or remotely via Zoom, and will receive a certificate upon completion of the training. The project aims to raise awareness of the importance of practicing Taekwondo for people with impairments and to allow parents to become more comfortable about the safety of the sport for their children.
For more information, please contact Mr. Abdul-Qudos Mohammed Esehak by email at or by phone at +971 52 610 7507. You can also contact the college directly by email at or by phone at +971 55 104 5093.
Pan Am:

Coaches: Para Taekwondo coaches from the Pan Am region organised the second International Para Taekwondo Virtual camp from 1-5 September. The camp focused on Taekwondo training, classification, sport psychology, sport medicine, and sport planning. 
Online Poomsae Championships: World Taekwondo Pan America will host the first Pan Am Open Para Poomsae Championships (P20 & P30) on Sunday, September 20. The event will be held on Zoom with live Facebook and YouTube streaming. Registrations are now open and will close on 17 September. You can register online on WT’s Simply Compete page. 
Para Taekwondo Committee
Para Taekwondo Classification Committee
Chakir Chelbat
Para Taekwondo Committee
Usman Dildar
Para Taekwondo Committee
Vice Chair
Games Chair
Terrie Moore
Para Taekwondo Classification Committee
Joan Hacken
Para Taekwondo Classification Committee
Vice Chair
Amine Khelladi
Para Taekwondo Committee
David O'Sullivan
Para Taekwondo Classification Committee
Sookyung Park
Para Taekwondo Committee
Judith Cameron
Para Taekwondo Classification Committee
Marck Harb
Para Taekwondo Committee
Primoz Rus
Para Taekwondo Classification Committee
World Para Taekwondo Staff
Olof Hansson
Para Taekwondo

Thomas Page
Assistant Manager
Para Taekwondo