The WTF Presents iACT 2016: Issues in Taekwondo History & Future Directions
Franjo Prot – iACT 2016 Conference Co-Chair
Dr. Franjo Prot is the Chairman of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) Scientific Research Committee and President of the European Taekwondo Union Council. He is a full tenured professor at the University of Zagreb, where he is also the Kinesiology Faculty Chair for Systematic (General) Kinesiology. He teaches graduate-level research methodology in Kinesiology in the European Credits Transfer System (ECTS) and a wide range of topics dedicated to multivariate data analysis at the ECTS post-graduate masters and doctorate degree levels. Dr. Prot’s scientific work can be divided in four main disciplines: kinesiology, quantitative methods for data analysis, psychology, and biological anthropology. Since 1981, he has published 235 papers, 177 scientific papers, and 58 professional papers in the fields of kinesiology, data analysis, psychology, biology, and social anthropology. His special areas of interest are Nicolas Dally and the beginnings of kinesiology in Europe, focusing on developments of kinesiology in the Zagreb and Croatia kinesiology circles.
He is an active member of various national and international scientific and professional associations. He has been President of the Program Committee of the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th International Conference on Kinesiology, organized by the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Zagreb. He was a member of the Program Committee of the International Scientific and Expert Symposium “Child in Motion,” organized by the Faculty of Education at the University of Ljubljana and Faculty of Education and Applied Kinesiology in the University of Primorska, Koper. He is a regularly invited speaker and lecturer at the Postgraduate Studies of Psychology at the University of Zagreb and the Graduate and Postgraduate Study of Kinesiology in the Faculty of Sport at University of Ljubljana.
Dr. Prot is a former national team competitor (2nd WTF World championships in Seoul in 1975, European championships in Stutgart in 1975, and European championships in Rotterdam in 1976), and is an active sports official (4-term Croatian Taekwondo Federation President) and team leader for Taekwondo sport events. Since 1986, Dr. Prot has continuously headed most of the national teams participating in official international Taekwondo events, namely the World Taekwondo Championships, World Taekwondo Cups, European Taekwondo Championships, FISU Universiades, and University World Taekwondo Championships. Under his leadership, the Croatian Taekwondo competitors have won numerous World and European medals and titles, among them two bronze medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, one bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympic Games, and four medals in the 2015 European Games.
Alexander (Eui Jeong) Choi- iACT Treasurer and iACT 2016 Conference Co-Chair
Alexander (Eui Jeong) Choi (Kukkiwon 8th dan) earned a B.A. in Philosophy at Yonsei University (ROK). He was President of the Yonsei Alumni Association of California. He is Special Advisor to the President of American Taekwondo United. He has been operating two Taekwondo schools in California for over 20 years. He is a Co-Founder and Treasurer of iACT, and Co-Chair of the iACT 2016 Organizing Committee.
Ron Dziwenka – iACT President
Ron Dziwenka (Kukkiwon 7th dan) holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in East Asian Studies from the University of Arizona and an M.A. from Yonsei University. He is also a 7th dan in Changmookwan Taekwondo. He has published several papers on martial arts philosophy and has presented his research at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Scientific Congress as well as at international conferences in the Republic of China, Republic of Korea (ROK), Canada, Mexico and the USA. During his 12 years at Yonsei University in the ROK, he was a contributing member of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) Research Society. He is currently in the College of Education at New Mexico State University, the Associate Editor of International Journal of Martial Arts (INJOMA), on the Editorial Board of the Journal for the International Association of Taekwondo Research (JIATR), an invited member of the WTF Scientific Research Committee (2015-2017), an active member of the Society for the Study of Philosophy and the Martial Arts as well as the American Philosophical Society, and the New Mexico State Representative for American Taekwondo United. He is a Co-Founder and President of iACT.
John A. Johnson – iACT Vice President
John A. Johnson (Korea Hapkido Federation [KHF] 6th dan [Eul Ji Kwan], ITF 5th dan, Kukkiwon 4th dan) holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Sports and Taekwondo from Kyung Hee University and is a professor in the Humanitas College at the same university. He is also the Executive Director for the International Association for Taekwondo Research (IATR), the copy editor for the Journal for the International Association of Taekwondo Research (www.jiatr.org), and a reviewer for two other international journals. He has published research articles on Taekwondo Philosophy and Education. In other academic work, Dr. Johnson has presented his research in South Korea, Mexico, Russia, the Czech Republic, and the United States. He was the International Relations Director for the KHF and organized Hapkido demonstrations at US military bases, including the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea. Dr. Johnson was an assistant producer of the Fight Quest – Hapkido television show that aired on the Discovery Channel. Over the years, he has taught ITF Taekwon-Do and Hapkido classes and/or workshops in Thailand, South Korea, and the United States. He also runs a student club at Kyung Hee University where he teaches ITF Taekwon-Do and Hapkido classes. In 2015, Dr. Johnson began teaching Taekwondo Etiquette and Self-defense courses for the World Taekwondo Federation/Kyung Hee University Partnership Athlete, Coach, and Youth Programs. He has lived in South Korea since 1999 and has spent over 31 years studying Korean martial arts. He is a Co-Founder and Vice-President of iACT.
Master Justin Castillo – iACT Secretary
Justin Castillo (Chungdokwan Taekwondo 6th dan, 5th dan KHF [Kang Moo Kwan], Kukkiwon 4th dan) has spent 26 years training and teaching multiple martial art disciplines, including Taekwondo, Hapkido, Kickboxing, Krav Maga, and Kali. He was the lead Hand-to-Hand Combat Instructor for the rebuilt Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police for the Kirkuk Region of Iraq from December 2003 to March 2005, serving with the 25th Infantry Division (Light). He also served as the lead Hand-to-Hand Combat Instructor for 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Light) from March 2000 to May 2005. He currently oversees all training at his Taekwondo school in New Mexico, his satellite school in Nepal, and for-credit self-defense classes at New Mexico State University. He is a Co-Founder and Secretary of iACT.