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A Learning Organization



The Universal Taekwon-do Federation was founded in 1981 by Grandmaster Han Cha Kyo as a learning organization, for and about learning, where members develop their body, mind and spirit through martial arts training, teaching, and learning leadership skills.  All students and Instructors are expected to learn from each other, and to help the organization improve its ability to help people learn.


Taekwon-do is considered the means to learn about oneself, about how others work, how groups work, and about how the world works because it provides an environment where the body, mind and spirit are all forged through learning to meet increasingly more difficult challenges.


Grandmaster Han had been a TKD champion in Korea, kicked over a full-grown bull, trained champions, commandos and police, demonstrated in Asia, Europe, Africa and North America, pioneered new kicking techniques, and safely captured a grenade-carrying double-agent after a balcony-jumping chase through a major airport, but he saw the most important and needed reasons for TKD training was to help people grow in order to build safer and stronger communities, and ultimately a more peaceful world.


Grandmaster Han established programs for the elderly, the disabled, and people with diverse physical, developmental, social, emotional, and cognitive abilities.  All of these programs were successful, demonstrating that all people have potential to improve.


Unlike Taekwondo as sport where the aim is to prove oneself better than someone else, the UTF sees Taekwon-do as a creative art where the focus is for each person to become more capable today than they were yesterday.  To do this necessitates expanding ones awareness, seeing realistically, and improving the ability to see what is needed and respond appropriately in any given situation.



Our potential to learn increases when we teach others because teaching requires our outlook to expand in order to work successfully with perspectives different than our own.  It is expected that all Belts will teach belts Juniors to themselves, and that all Belts will  be open to learn from students Junior to themselves.  Master Han maintained that all Belts should sweat when they teach a class or it isnt a good class - class leaders need to participate and be a model when teaching.


Master Han especially viewed Black Belt classes as a place to learn how to learn:  if you know how to learn you can apply it anywhere, anytime.  If you need someone to teach you, you will not be independently able to deal with the constantly new situations that life comes up with.  If you come to Black Belt class to be told what to do, how many times to do it, and how fast - I dont do that.  Thats your job.  You know how.  My job is to teach you how to learn.  Training in a group is for learning things you cant learn when training by yourself




These derive from the above intentions for individual and group learning:


          > Regular attendance in UTF colored belt classes, tests and other events.


          > Regular teaching appropriate to rank level ability.


UTF Requirements for Black Belt testing:

The requirements listed above, and:


          > All candidates must maintain a minimum average of

                     > twice-a-month attendance at a local area UTF Black Belt class.

                     > once-a-month attendance at a local area Masters Black Belt class.


          > Black Stripes must have a minimum of one year of such attendance before being eligible to test.


          > Black Belts must successfully complete a minimum of three Dan Reviews with additional elapsed training time minimums.  The traditional minimums went with a full training schedule of 1 hours a day, six days a week, which is seldom achieved now, so the time actually needed between tests will often be longer than those minimums depending on the dedication, talent, resources, and time the student has available. 


UTF Promotion Requirements when only training one to two classes a week :

Expected minimums:


          > three years of classes for a First Dan wanting to test for Second Dan


          > three and one-half years for a Second Dan wanting to test for Third Dan


          > four years for a Third Dan wanting to test for Fourth


Black Belt and Master classes must be attended, existing skills further developed, and additional skills learned in order for any applicant to be considered for further testing.




Paul Y. Irvin, Dan VIII                                                                      12-04-17

Co-President UTF