USITF Address at VIIth Campeonato Panamericano 2005
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First, I would like to say that my wife, Lourdes, and I are very happy to have been invited here, to your enchanting city, in your unparalleled country, full of beauty, as well as history. And through Taekwon-Do, of friendship. We will return soon, and, we hope, frequently.
I offer greetings from the President of the United States International Taekwon-Do Federation, Master Robert Wheatley, my instructor for more than twenty years, as well as from the other officials and members of our organization.
I very much regret that, due to our being in a sort of rebirth of Taekwon-Do in the United States, we did not have the opportunity to prepare a team of competitors to represent the United States in these Seventh Panamerican Championships. I hope that the next time, it will be different.
A few days ago, Master Néstor Galarraga told us that, in the words of Gabriel García-Márquez, music is a universal language. Master Galarraga told us that Taekwon-Do is also that, and much more.
This is the truth.
For me, and for Master Wheatley as well, Taekwon-Do is, certainly, a bridge–between countries, between cultures, and between peoples.
I said that we are in a rebirth of Taekwon-Do in the United States. In truth, we are experiencing this rebirth throughout the world.
Those of us with grey hair, and nearly thirty years–or more–in Taekwon-Do, remember a time when there was one family of Taekwon-Do throughout the world, and each country had its own organization. But because of those who have no respect for democratic principles, or procedures, or institutions, we have suffered a breakup of our family.
We have the good fortune to have the opportunity to continue the authentic Taekwon-Do of the founder, General Choi Hong Hi, thanks to the guidance, the leadership, and the teaching of the most respected Master in the world, our Grandmaster, Choi Jung Hwa.
But with this opportunity come great responsibilities. We must support–indeed we must cause–this rebirth of the true Taekwon-Do throughout the world.
The Argentinian people have been very gracious to invite here not only those of us from the Americas, but also the team from South Africa, and the European team, for a special friendship tournament.
All together–Argentina, Chile, Brasil, Perú, Uruguay, Cuba, México, the United States, and the other countries–we must achieve this rebirth the rebirth of the true Taekwon-Do, following the principles of the founder.
Thank you to Sa-Sung Choi Jung Hwa. Thank you to Sa-Hyung Galarraga for inviting us. Thank you to our Argentinian hosts. Thank you to all.
VI Dan ITF/USITF
Vice President and General Counsel
Written by: Mr. Terence Geoghegan - 3rd November 2005
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