History And Development Of Taekwondo In Malaysia
Taekwondo was brought to Malaysia in 1963 by General Choi Hong Hi (who was then Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Malaysia) with the mandate given by the Korea Taekwondo Associate. Training then started in Kuala Lumpur which then gradually spread to other states.
In 1963, the Selangor Taekwondo Association was formed. In those years, the technical direction and for the most part, the administrative precedures of the Selangor Taekwondo Association, were in the hands of the various Korean Instructors. Communication between students and instructors was less then satisfactory and the advancement of senior and junior grades among the Malaysians was slow.
In 1966/67, with the re-organisation and emergence of the Korean Taekwondo Association uniting the various Taekwondo "KWANS" in Korea, the spirit of Malaysianisation was kindled in Malaysia. General Choi, who initiated the Art to Malaysia, disagreed with others in the hierarchy of
Taekwondo in Korea. Soon after this, saw the creation of the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) headed by General Choi Hong Hi, based in Toronto, Canada; and the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), under the Presidentship of Dr. Un Yong Kim, based in Seoul, South Korea.
Senior students, particularly those in Selangor realised that in the absence of a strong national body to govern the propagation of the art in this country independently of the Koreans especially on the areas of standardizing policies, rules and regulations affecting the promotion of the art, all achievements then would be reduced to nothing. This was profoundly proven when the last Korean left in the early 70's. Taekwondo was at its lowest ebb.
The three strong men who then initiated the formation of the Malaysia Taekwondo Association (WTF) in 1972 of which was then officially inaugurated on the 27th of April, 1974, were Mr Leow Cheng Koon (the Federal Chief Instructor and National Technical Director of the Technical and Administrative Board); Mr Christopher Lai (the first Secretary-General of MTA) and Mr Chin Mee Keong (the first Chairman of MTA). Representatives from Selangor, Angkatan Tentera Malaysia, Perak, Pahang, Negeri Sembilan, Terengganu, Johor and Sabah attended this inaugural meeting.
With the departure of the Korean Instructors, these senior stalwarts who were disillusioned by the ITF policies as advocated by General Choi through his Korean instructor, decided to contact the Korean Taekwondo Assocition directly for technical advice and aids necessary to continue with the propagation of Taekwondo. Having established the contact, the Malaysia Taekwondo Association affiliated itself with the World Taekwondo Federation, and participated in the 1st World Taekwondo Championship in 1973, Seoul.
The Malaysia Taekwondo Association then began a fruitful relationship with the World Taekwondo Federation, with higher technical information, advance courses and international tournament participation provided by the World body, and local training given by the 3rd and 4th Dan Malaysian Black Belts.
For those at the helm of the national Association, it was no easy task to make the national body into an effective and functional nucleus of Taekwondo in the country. But the loved for the Art helped them surmount the many problems and difficulties that were before them. Within a short span of few years, the MTA has contributed tremendously to the progress and expansion of Taekwondo in the country. It has affiliates today in all the states of Peninsula, East Malaysia, Police, Armed Forces and Universities Sport's Council.
The MTA was given due recognition by the Olympic Council of Malaysia in 1978 and has not looked back since then. With the progress of WTF's projects throughout the wrorld, and the emergence of the World Taekwondo Championships and Regional Tournaments, Taekwondo has now established itself as a Martial Sports.
In order to keep abreast with the latest developments in the Sport and to make it effective in its technical projects, the MTA has a Technical & Administrative Board (TAB) to implement such projects. This Board is comprised of all Chief Instructors of the States.
The TAB is responsible for the goodwill and fellowship between the numerous members of various races by organising regular Inter-School, Zone and National Tournament annually, and seminars, Referees' and Coaching Courses twice a year.
In addition to these courses and seminars, MTA registered Black Belts are sent to Korea to receive first hand techniques in instructing and competition.
It is not idle boast to say that the MTA is coaching one of the best organised martial sports body in the country today. By virtue of the dedication and hard work of the secretariat and TAB, the MTA has succeeded in realising many of its objectives, and through its effort, it has participated under the country's flag at every international tournament when funds permitted.