iACT 2019: Overcoming ‘the self’ and then Benefiting ‘the World’
in partnership with
Saturday – Sunday, February 16th & 17th
Location: Kissick Auditorium, Arrillaga Family Sports Center, Stanford University,
641 – East Campus Drive, Stanford, CA 94305
The iACT is a non-profit public charity organization, incorporated and registered under section 509(a)(3) with the US Department of the Treasury, so any person or private or public organization that sponsors our activities can get their sponsorship exempted from tax. A main ongoing activity is the solicitation of funds from various grassroots, regional, national and international organizations and individuals.
Our iACT Mission Statement
Our iACT mission statement includes promoting and conducting various activities related to Taekwondo research, academics, and learning. The purposes of the iACT are to promote the medical, scientific, and philosophic understandings of the martial art and sport of Taekwondo; to encourage professional development of iACT members through annual meetings, research conferences, tutorials, tournaments, and other special projects related to Taekwondo and martial arts; to nurture academic and professional development of iACT members through research support, achievement awards, and programming at the annual meeting; to facilitate delivery of programs and services of the iACT; to support collaborative efforts among other sports and philosophical societies, institutions, organizations, and special interest groups (e.g., the International Association for Taekwondo Research); and to foster collegiality among iACT membership.
iACT 2019 Theme – Taekwondo Philosophy& Pedagogy
The conference is entitled “iACT 2019: Overcoming ‘the self’ and then Benefitting ‘the World’ (’나’를 이기고 ‘세상’을 이롭게 한다).” The iACT, its sponsors and its donors, along with Stanford University’s Center for East Asian Studies and Stanford Athletics, celebrate both the contribution of our Taekwondo community to excellence in education and its significant impact on children and families throughout North America. We have assembled perhaps the most accomplished and respected scholar-researchers in the field of martial arts philosophy ever to present on Taekwondo, including those from both WT and ITF, to discuss the current key issues in Taekwondo philosophy and pedagogy. As they are leaders of their respective academic fields, iACT 2019 can assure wider exposure of Taekwondo as an academic discipline outside of our Taekwondo community. This is part of the mission statement of iACT, and therefore imperative to grow academic Taekwondo.
The iACT, its sponsors and donors, and Stanford University celebrate both the contribution of our Taekwondo community to excellence in education and its significant impact on children and families throughout North America. We have assembled perhaps the most accomplished and respected scholar-researchers in the field of martial arts philosophy ever to present on Taekwondo, including those from both WT and ITF, to discuss the current key issues in Taekwondo philosophy and pedagogy. As they are leaders of their respective academic fields, iACT 2019 can assure wider exposure of Taekwondo as an academic discipline outside of our Taekwondo community. This is part of the mission statement of iACT, and therefore imperative to grow academic Taekwondo.
In the context of the recently emergent rapprochement between the ROK and DPRK that was surely due in no small part to Taekwondo diplomacy, just what is the (direction of the) philosophy of Taekwondo in its historical present? By bringing together scholar-researchers in the fields of Taekwondo as a martial art and combat sport at the world-renowned Stanford University, we can begin to set a course going forward for the continuing development of Taekwondo into the 21st century and further valorize it as a force for international peace and diplomacy.
The initial question to discuss is generated from the interview by MasTKD of the President of the European Taekwondo Union, Sakis Pragalos, shortly before the 2017 World Championships in Muju, entitled “Taekwondo needs to preserve its philosophy.” http://en.mastkd.com/2017/05/sakis-pragalos-taekwondo-needs-preserve-philosophy/
Just what is the philosophy of Taekwondo in its historical present? We have to understand this in the context of the recently emergent rapprochement not only between the ITF and WT but in consideration of the fruits of the efforts the past few years by the IOC President Thomas Bach, WT President Dr. Choue, and honorary life ITF President Dr. Chang Ung. Certainly, our hosting of iACT 2019 at Stanford University, just over one year before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (with its entry sport of Karate), is precisely the right time for us to discuss the philosophy of Taekwondo in the modern context!
We will also be holding a ‘Saving Kyorugi’ Workshop:
A guided participatory workshop examining the issues facing competitive taekwondo sparring and how to strategically address them.
It is widely recognized that current high-level kyorugi (taekwondo sparring) has undergone a drastic transformation. These changes are sometimes characterized as “Old School vs. New School,” but we propose that the emphasis on using controversial scoring methods in conjunction with the electronic equipment is much more serious and has eroded not only the integrity and viability of this once-dynamic martial sport, but poses an existential threat to its popularity.
You are encouraged to participate in this high level, hands-on problem-solving seminar where we will do the following:
- Determine the specific problems we are trying to solve
- Discover the underlying causes of these problems
- Propose viable solutions
- Examine the potential drawbacks of any and all remedies
- Create a road map to improvement and a platform for reform
Open to all coaches, athletes, instructors, sports scientists, etc. who would like to add their voices and expertise to the process!
Tentative Schedule of Events iACT President’s Welcome LetterPresentersOrganizersHotel and VenueRegistrationSponsorship Information
Platinum Level Corporate Sponsor
Grandmaster Woo Jin Jung
20/20 Armor- Ali Galfour
Whitecourt Taekwondo- Master Jim Rennie
Best Martial Arts/Mooto USA
Maximum Martial Arts Center- Master Justin Castillo
Stanford Athletics- Professor Tim Ghormley
- Dr. John Groschwitz – Associate Director, Center for East Asian Studies, Stanford University
- Dr. Ken Min – Director of International Martial arts Research Institute, University of California, Berkeley
- Dr. Russell Ahn – Director of UC Martial Arts Program, University of California, Berkeley
- GM Woo Jin Jung – Taekwondo Times magazine & Jung Family Foundation
- GM Alex Choi – Choi’s Martial Arts – Union City & Fremont, California
- Master Patrick Thimangu – Arch Taekwondo, St. Louis, Missouri
iACT Vision, Going Forward
With national, regional and international TKD organization sponsorship and individual and club donor support for, our iACT would become a premiere entity in offering this type of activity (and, we would continuously grow our areas of financial support). Nonetheless the iACT chooses the theme and presenters, and the iACT can edit whatever we want in the postings of the presentations and discussions. This control that we have is a key factor in making sure the discussion is respectful, objective and factual (academic).
Especially with grassroots financial support, the iACT can continue to be an independent entity and have the freedom to offer such a “unique” venue. This type of academic and open-discussion venue is rare. After we held our second successful iACT conference in 2016, with its list of engaging and informative presenters, the iACT has become a model in the TKD community. The proposed theme for iACT 2020 (tentatively scheduled again at Stanford University), just prior to the Tokyo Olympics, is a very timely and important one, “iACT 2020 – Competition Sparring and Patterns: Taekwondo vs. Karate.”
With this vision, we truly feel we have an opportunity to “make a difference” in TKD as well as martial arts society at all levels. We can help make the study of various fields in TKD truly an academic discourse. This would raise the status of the study of TKD within other areas of academics such as philosophy, history, pedagogy, etc. Due to iACT’s efforts, other researchers (and journals) have already begun to take the field of TKD studies in these areas more seriously.