Over the weekend of November 14th to 16th, 2014, a delegation from the National Taekwon-Do Association - ITF (NTA-ITF) participated in the 98th International Instructors Course for IV Dan and above in Treviso, Italy. This delegation was composed by Master Ruben Suarez - VIII Dan, Master Carlos Ramirez - VIII Dan, Master Oscar Perez - VII Dan and Mr. Nelson Martinez - V Dan.

A new master in the NTA-ITF - Master Oscar Perez, VII Dan

We want to congratulate our new Master in the NTA-ITF, Master Oscar Perez, who was tested for VII Dan last Friday. Thank you for your commitment to the NTA-ITF, for your indomitable spirit in helping us spread the true ITF Taekwon-Do in the USA.

 
 
On the day of October 11, 2014, the NTA-ITF's own Titus Taekwon-Do Institute hosted an ITF Patterns Tournament in Jacksonville, FL. Participants came from Academy of Martial Arts (South Carolina, Mr. Allan Dela Cruz), Ocala Taekwon-Do (Mr. Javier Montero), Jacksonville YMCA (Mr. Nicholas Billups),  and of course Titus Taekwon-Do Institute (Mr. Oscar Perez and Mr. Titus Durojaiye).
The tournament was also graced with the support and presence of the ATFI's President, Master Nunez. Mr. Edward Davila also came from Tampa to show his support and share his experience with his international referee skills.

Since this was a Patterns Tournament, the events were Individual and Team Patterns. Each school had their team which were split into two division. The winners of the divisions had to compete for the Grand Champion Trophy which was earned by Titus Taekwon-Do Institute's Team A (Phillip Muddiman, Jake Hiett, Abby Redway, Katie Redway, and Bobby Wiesner).
In addition to this tournament, Special Technique Breaking was introduced to the participants at a local level. As the tournament progressed, this became the highlight of the event! People gathered, as the competitors compete to see who can hit the highest high kick!

Mr. Oscar Perez and Mr. Titus Durojaiye are very appreciative for all the ones who came and support this wonderful event.

 
 
On behalf of the National Taekwon-Do Association – ITF (NTA-ITF), Queens Taekwon-Do Center (QTC-ITF), and Master Ruben Suarez, we would like to express our most sincere gratitude for the support, not only nationally but also internationally, to accomplish with great success the XIX ITF New York Tournament, held in the gymnasium of Queens College in New York, this past Sunday, September 28, 2014.

This very important annual event for the ITF in the USA, characterized with the highest level of competition, especially for the category of black belts, had participation of 420 competitors coming from 10 countries and from 39 schools.
The opening ceremonies was shared with all masters present, including Master Ramirez (USA), Master Martinez (USA), Master Ku (Canada), Master Han (Uzbekistan), Master Mateo (USA), Master Vitali (USA), Master Byrne (USA), Master Cancelliere (USA), and our special guest over this weekend, Master Kurt Ottesen (Canada), who led with his experience the managing of the electronic scoring system during the black belt competition. This year the school that won the Most Supportive School trophy, by bringing to this event a delegation of 72 competitors, was the Asociacion Nacional de Taekwon-Do de Puerto Rico. All schools that participated received a commemorative trophy from Master Suarez as a token of his appreciation for their support. Immediately after, Master Suarez gave a plaque to all NTA-ITF Team USA medal winners at the ITF World Cup in Jamaica. We closed the opening ceremony with the performance of Niya Mitru singing the National Anthem.
Following the opening, we began the competition. For the second year in a row, we set the central ring following the official ring dimensions and equipped with the ITF electronic scoring system to judge black belt patterns and sparring competition. With the assistance of Master Ottesen, we were able to conduct a great competition in the center ring for the enjoyment of all participants and over 700 spectators present. The electronic system displayed real time results of the competition on TV screens for patterns and sparring matches.
Particular recognition should be given to all referees, judges, and assistants, whose work has continued to excel over the years, helping to make for a better tournament each year. Also, we want to congratulate the team from Puerto Rico that demonstrated growth in their technical level, showing there is more to come from this country in upcoming international competitions. Also, we received the support from the team delegations from Canada, Uzbekistan, Guatemala, Poland, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Peru and Jamaica.

The tournament ended at 9:15pm, and for the 19th year, it was another exciting event for the NTA-ITF and the ITF New York Taekwon-Do Tournament.  Master Ruben Suarez would like to extend his gratitude to all participants and supporters who helped to carry out this continued success. Next year, Master Suarez will be celebrating the 20th annual event of this tournament and there will be many surprises planned for this event.

 
 
On the weekend of June 27th-29th a Patterns Camp was hosted by the National Taekwon-Do Association's Mr. Oscar Perez 6th Dan and held at the Titus Taekwon-Do Institute in Jacksonville, Florida.

The supporting schools that attended this event were Mr. Titus Durojaiye 5th Dan and the Titus Taekwon-Do Institute,  Mr. Allan Dela Cruz 3rd Dan and The Academy of Martial Arts in South Carolina, and Mr. Nicholas Billups 3rd Dan and his students from the YMCA Taekwon-Do Club from Jacksonville, FL.
The camp consisted of learning the history behind each pattern, understanding the diagrams, and working on the fundamental movements. It also allowed students to work on various drills and activities to expand their knowledge. Each camper left this event with a better understanding of "What is a Pattern" and "Why do we perform Patterns".  The main goal was to raise the level of the student and it was evident. Mr. Perez did a phenomenal training camp and students are looking forward to doing another.
 
 
On Saturday, May 17th, 2014, the City of the Eternal Spring, Cidra, Puerto Rico, was the meeting point for the 3rd Technical Workshop conducted by Master Ruben Suarez, VIII Dan. This workshop was organized by the Asociación Nacional de Taekwon-Do de Puerto Rico, and had a participation of 100, including 15 international instructors.
The workshop with Master Suarez was described as a total success, since as usual exceeded the expectations from all the participants. We want to congratulate all the participants who joined us in this event.  Then, on Sunday, May 18th, 2014, Master Suarez conducted a special training for black belts Instructors covering technical aspects of black belts patterns. At the end of the training, he presided over a black belt testing for 5th Dan to Mr. Saul Pacheco.
A lot has been said about the loyalty from the student to the Master, but very little has been said about the loyalty from the Master to the student. His knowledge, technical level, and human quality, make him the loyal master, which inspires you, motivates you and teaches you without any reservations.
We want to thank Master Suarez for his commitment in helping with the development of Taekwon-Do in Puerto Rico. We are very honored to have him so close and we want to thank him for the invaluable commitment to Taekwon-Do in Puerto Rico.

L. Gato-Gato, President
Asociación Nacional de Taekwon-Do de Puerto Rico
 
 
During the weekend of May 3rd to 4th, the NTA-ITF conducted a two day Business and Technical Seminar at Advantage Taekwon-Do in Lititz, Pennsylvania.

On Saturday, a business seminar was conducted, with participation of 19 school instructors and owners. The first part of the seminar was conducted by Mr. Orlando Millan, IV Dan, from Gainesville, Florida, who presented a seminar for Martial Arts Business Development. Mr. Millan shared many practices for increasing your enrollment and billing, and ways to maximize your resources to meet your goals. For the second part of the seminar, Mr. Edward Davila, IV Dan, from Tampa, Florida, presented a seminar covering business areas for start-ups business, legal structures, managing your workforce, taking advantage of technology, and creating an effective successions plan.  Also, Mr. Davila presented about Social Media topics, including how to create an effective social media strategy, how to build your social community, selecting the social network that best meet your needs, your social media dashboard and social media etiquette.

On Sunday, the NTA-ITF held a Technical Seminar, with participation of 20 black belts and red belts. Master Ruben Suarez, VIII Dan, conducted a 4 hour training covering areas from physical conditioning, fundamental movements, step-sparring, foot techniques, and patterns. It was a great opportunity to meet, share, and train.
The response from the participants to the business and technical seminar was excellent. It was evident that there is a need among instructors about the financial aspects of their business, and the NTA-ITF will continue supporting and promoting this type of event in the USA.

 
 
On March 1st of 2014, the Lititz Taekwon-Do Tournament was conducted with the participation of 150 competitors from the East Coast. 
Thank you to the following schools for your support:
Advantage Taekwon-Do
Hwa-Rang Warriors Taekwon-Do
Hwa-Rang Warriors Taekwon-Do
K-MAG International
Legacy Taekwon-Do School
The Legacy Taekwon-Do School
Lopez Martial Arts School
Mike Louie Taekwon-Do Center
Paganini Martial Arts
Queens Taekwon-Do Center
Red Tiger TKD
Team USA Taekwondo Fitness
Unified Taekwon-Do
The tournament showed an awesome display of Team Work from the parents of the school.  It made the tournament run smooth and quick.  Thank you to all the referees  that helped at the tournament, without you, the tournament would not have been possible.  I wanted to acknowledge the most supportive school, Queens Taekwon-Do Center took the trophy with 32 students participating.  Again, a heartfelt thank you to everyone.  Without each and every one of you, this tournament would not be possible.  Thank you for your continued support.
 
 
El pasado 8 de febrero de 2014 se dictó un Seminario para cinturones negros bajo el auspicio de la NTA-ITF.  El seminario estuvo a cargo de Master Rubén Suarez VIII Dan, presidente de la NTA-ITF y miembro del comité de umpires de la ITF. El anfitrión lo fue el Sr. Orlando Milian IV dan, y dueño del dojang Okito America en Gainesville, Florida. 
El seminario comenzó a las 10:00am, donde se cubrió movimientos fundamentales de las formas por grado, combate a 3,2,1 pasos, combate pre-arreglado y model sparring.  Los afortunados de recibir los conocimientos del Maestro fueron 12 participantes de la parte este y sur de los Estados Unidos,   asegurándose de estandarizar la técnica de acuerdo con lo establecido por el comité técnico de la ITF.  Las formas se cubrio desde Chon-Ji hasta Ge-Baek.  El Maestro se dedicó a que  cada uno de los participantes, quienes entendieran cada detalle de las tecnicas.
El ambiente fue bien ameno, y el deseo de conocer más fue evidente con la cantidad de preguntas que se le hizo a Master Suarez.  El Maestro Suarez al finalizar el seminario se mostró muy contento con el interés y el esfuerzo que cada participante  en el seminario y cuan rápido se trató de poner en práctica los detalles corregidos.
El seminario concluyo a las 8:00 pm.  Luego al otro dia se condujo una examinación para Vdan . La mesa examinadora estuvo presidida por Master Suarez VIII.  Otras personas en la mesa de examinación lo fue Master Kerner VII (ATFI), Sr. Oscar Perez VI (NTA-ITF), Sr. Enrique Franceschi VI Dan (NTA-ITF),  y el Sr. Edward Davila IV Dan, tesorero de la NTA-ITF.
Los candidatos fueron el Sr. Titus Durojaiye, IV Dan y Anibal Ortiz, IV Dan.  El examen duro 5 horas, consto de un escrito teórico, incluyendo el someter 2 ensayos, movimientos fundamentales, 21 formas desde Chon-ji hasta Moon-Moo, técnicas de pateo desde singular hasta quadruples, incluyendo movimientos aéreos, combate de 3, 2, 1 pasos combates pre-arreglados, y model sparring.  Además  combate contra 3 oponentes, y defensa personal frente a 3 oponentes, rompimientos de manos, pies y técnicas suspendidas.  Para concluir acondicionamiento físico.  Al final del examen  Master Suarez se mostró satisfecho con el esfuerzo de los candidatos, además de dar  su consejo acerca de detalles para mejorar como practicantes, y confirió el grado de V Dan a los exponentes.
 
 

2014 First Instructors Class

On January 25, 2014, Master Ruben Suarez hosted the first training of the year for 4th Dan and above, along with the participation of 13 International Instructors from the North-East Coast in the USA.  The Instructors practiced all of the Black Belt Patterns and reviewed the ITF Umpire Rules with the participants. This was a great way to keep all the Instructors up to date on the patterns and to ensure that we have good and efficient umpires in our tournaments.

The following were present during the class: Master Carlos Ramirez VII Dan, Gustavo Naranjo and Albin Bernard; VI Dan; Gloria Rodriguez, Luis Mejia, Juan C. Garcia and Nelson Martinez V Dan; Rupert Shrouder, Martha Hernandez, Claudia Suarez, Edward Lopez and Jose Iglesias, IV Dan.

Sparring Seminar with Julio Carlos

On January 26, 2014, Original Taekwon-Do Federation and Master Vincent Affatigato hosted a great sparring seminar with Master Suarez and his student, Julio Carlos, who is a world champion several times now.  Master Suarez and Mr. Carlos showed all the attendees the importance of the basics of sparring and how you have to train all the steps required to be able to finally apply them effectively in the ring.  At the end, Mr. Julio Carlos and his brother, Emanuel Carlos trained one-on-one with all the participants of the seminar to show and to put into practice all the drills we learned. We had the attendance of 45 participants from the North-East Coast and the seminar was organized by Original Taekwon-Do Fitness Center in Brooklyn, NY, USA.

 
 
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The 2013 in review...

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The year 2013 was an exciting and challenging year for the NTA-ITF. Our main goal for 2013 was to promote ITF Taekwon-Do in the USA and to offer our members the highest quality of service and representation at the national and international level. To achieve these goals we planned several international events supported by the ITF. We consider necessary, to bring an opportunity to our members and the ITF Taekwon-Do community in the USA, to join in these events and continue our quest for knowledge and growth through this art.

We share with you our stories during 2013 with the below images and news links.

I want to thank everyone who contributed to this successful year for the NTA-ITF, and I would like to wish everybody a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2014.

Master Ruben Suarez, VIII Dan
President, NTA-ITF

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International Umpire Course
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International Instructors Course
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2013 Team USA Nationals
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2013 NY ITF Taekwon-Do Tournament
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2013 ITF World Championship Benidorm
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2013 ITF Taekwon-Do Kids & Children Development Course
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