On August 11, 2007 the United States Taekwondo Committee (USTC) held its Inaugural General Assembly Meeting in Chicago, Illinois, USA. There were over 200 Taekwondo Masters, Grandmasters, former athletes, and Officials from across the world in attendance.
At this first General Assembly Meeting the members of the USTC adopted its Constitution and bylaws and elected officers of the organization. Mr. Sang Lee of Colorado Springs, CO was elected as the first President of the USTC. President Lee has served as the President of the National Governing Body, USA Taekwondo (formerly known as USTU), as a Member of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Olympic Committee, and as Vice President of the World Taekwondo Federation.
Currently, the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) is working as the International Federation for the sport of Taekwondo. The Kukkiwon is the World Taekwondo Headquarters located in Seoul, Korea.
The Kukkiwon is dedicated to creating standards for issuing Black Belt Certification throughout the world. Every member National Association of the WTF requires their athletes to receive black belt certification from Kukkiwon in order to compete in the National, International, and Olympic Games.
Perhaps Kukkiwon’s most important role is to educate the world about the culture, history, and true value of Taekwondo as a Martial Art. Both the Kukkiwon and WTF were founded by Dr. Un Yong Kim, former Vice President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Today Taekwondo is comprised of two aspects - the sport aspect and the martial arts aspect. This is demonstrated by the fact that less than 5% of Taekwondo practitioners have ambitions of competing in the Olympic Games. The remaining 95% of Taekwondo practitioners focus on the martial arts aspects of developing respect, courtesy and perseverance.
The US Taekwondo Committee’s focus will emphasize the martial arts aspects of Taekwondo thereby supporting the ideals embodied by the World Taekwondo Headquarters – the Kukkiwon.
The US Taekwondo Committee, under the leadership of President Sang Lee, is leading the way into the future. Being recognized as the host for the World Taekwondo Hanmadang 2008, the first ever outside of Korea, launched the USTC to the forefront of the Taekwondo community on an international scale.
President Lee said, “Many people want to go their own way. They are free to choose. I invite everyone to come celebrate with us at the 1st US Open Taekwondo Hanmadang/US National Taekwondo Hanmadang in Chicago, IL. This event is open to any Taekwondoist in the world. Together we can celebrate our martial arts foundation, together we can celebrate our martial arts values, and together we can celebrate Taekwondo.”