Why the Taekwon-Do Kids Development (TKD) Program
Why is there a need for the TKD Program and why should ITF instructors be adopting this program as opposed to any other that is on the market?
In recent years most instructors in the world are experiencing a change from the enquiries of prospective students. There seem to be more enquiries from parents of young children than ever before. Whereas many years ago, these enquires may often have been for children aged 6 years or over, today some countries are experiencing an interest for children aged as young as 3 or 4 years.
Several commercial Martial Arts programs for kids have emerged in the last decade and they have been very successful. Realising the success of the Martial Arts programs for kids, other sports have jumped on the bandwagon and nowadays it is common to find special kid’s programs for many sports such as Football, Tennis, Rugby etc.
The problem with most Martial Arts Kids Programs on the market was that they were generic and did not cater for the specific needs of ITF Taekwon-Do. Some instructors were versatile enough to adapt these programs to make them more relevant to the Taekwon-Do syllabus, but this meant that each instructor was reinventing the wheel. Our late ex-President Grand Master Tran recognised the need for an ITF Kid’s Program especially since many instructors asked for more guidance on how teach children when submitting their questionnaire after each IIC. Consequently, he delegated the task of producing an official ITF Kid’s Program to Grand Master Trajtenberg. In 2006, Master Donato Nardizzi presented a proposal to write a kid’s program for the ITF and Grand Master Trajtenberg gave him the go ahead. In 2009 Master Nardizzi presented a draft of the Kid’s Program Study Book during an ITF Board meeting. One of the most important considerations that GM Tran had was that the contents of the study book should be totally consistent with the principles of Taekwon-Do.
Master Nardizzi and co-author Spyros Pepes spent many 100’s of hours ensuring that the content of the Kid’s Program truly reflected the core principles of Taekwon-Do, as decribed in the Taekwon-Do encyclopedia ( by Gen. Choi Hong Hi), in particular with regard to the 5 tenets of Taekwon-Do. The product of this extensive research and development resulted in a program that not only teaches foundational knowledge of Taekwon-Do but also uses a unique blend of principles to provide the best opportunity for the student to develop in a way that will empower them for the rest of their life. One of the aims of the program is to provide the student with a mind-set which will help them develop attitudes that promote a harmonious society. This is consistent with the aim of Taekwon-Do – to build a more peaceful world. In 2011, the TKD Program was accepted as the only official children’s program for the ITF.
The TKD Program is an evolving program. The ITF Children’s Development Committee consisting of Master Nardizzi and Fabian Izquierdo are continuously doing research and development to add more resources to the Program and to ensure the Program is meeting the high standards which are necessary when educating children.