Taekwondo gains popularity in Bangladesh

As a combat sport, Taekwondo stands out among other martial arts in Bangladesh. The photo shows a national Taekwondo competetion held at the Bangladesh Taekwondo Federation headquarters in Dhaka. (Photo: BTF)

Taekwondo, the Korean martial art, is now a very well known name in the sports arena of Bangladesh. Other martial arts such as Judo and Karate have existed in Bangladesh for more than 50 years. But, Taekwondo started its journey in this country little over 10 years ago and its popularity has already surpassed other martial arts. About 70 Taekwondo clubs exist in Bangladesh while the number of Taekwondo players now stands at about 8,000 in the country. The Bangladesh Taekwondo Federation (BTF) came into existence in 1997 and as an affiliated organization of the National Sports Council, the BTF has been working relentlessly for the flourishing of the martial art in Bangladesh.

Taekwondo is a traditional Korean martial art that has been turned into a modern international sport, which has been developing and flourishing in Korea for 20 centuries. It is a free fighting combat sport using bare hands and feet to repel an opponent. All activities of Taekwondo are based on the normal instinct of defense against enemy attacks. This martial art sport is not only a superior art of self-defense, but also adds a remarkable sense to its practitioners.

It is a superior technique for personal defense by using the entire body as a weapon. The practice of Taekwondo gives an individual the mental attitude of modesty, generosity and self-confidence. It also provides purity, calmness and peace of mind. Taekwondo training keeps the body flexible, active and strong. It builds the muscles and generates power in them.

Nowadays, Taekwondo is a very disciplined and scientific martial art sport using protectors such as head guards, chest guards, forearm guards, shin guards and groin guards for the safety of sensitive and delicate parts of the body so there is a less possibility of an accident or damage. In Taekwondo, the legs are mostly used, about 80 percent to hit an opponent, while in other martial arts, hands and legs are equally used. It is a dynamic fighting technique, which converts speed into power for attack and defense, whereas in other martial arts, muscle power is used to do so.

(Photo: BTF)

The Bangladesh Taekwondo Federation (BTF) has been operating its activities with a well-organized office in the National Sports Council Building located at the Dhaka city center. The BTF has the facilities to hold classes and provide training to learners. Mr. Lee Ju-sang of the Republic of Korea has been providing his service as the head coach to teach Taekwondo martial arts here. He has been doing this job in Bangladesh for 10 years and has already provided training to several thousand boys and girls. At present, 20 male trainers and 20 female trainers are giving training to learners under the guidance of Mr. Lee. The Taekwondo training and practice continues for the whole year – at the headquarters and also at different clubs in the country.

Besides the private learners, the BTF has been providing Taekwondo training to the personnel of government organizations such as the Bangladesh Army, paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), Bangladesh Ansar and Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC). The teams of these government organizations regularly participate in national sports events where Taekwondo is included.

The BTF has been participating in all national sports events and also organizing its own programs regularly. The BTF’s own programs include National Championships (senior and junior), School Championships, Club Championships, Federation Cup Championships, Services Team Championships, and Korean Ambassador’s Cup Tournament. Almost all the Taekwondo practitioners participate in these regular events.

During the last 10 years, the BTF organized hundreds of training programs at educational institutions across the country to teach teenagers the Korean martial art. Recently, the BTF inaugurated its latest program to provide Taekwondo training to the students of 40 educational institutions. The program was inaugurated on 28 October 2013 at Adamjee Cantonment College under the Bangladesh Army in Dhaka. Each training program would continue for 10 days at each of the 40 institutions. The training programs generated much enthusiasm among the youngsters and at Adamjee Cantonment College some 500 boys and girls participated in the training.

Taekwondo training classes where learners attend have become popular across Bangladesh. There are about 70 Taekwondo clubs in Bangladesh while the number of players stands at 8,000. (Photo: BTF)

38 medals at int’l competitions

Taekwondo is new in the Bangladesh sports arena, yet it has already achieved a reputation and recognition and earned prizes at different regional and international sports events. Bangladeshi Taekwondo players got a total of 38 gold, silver and bronze medals at 14 regional or international competitions during the last decade. These medals include nine golds of which two were from the 11th South Asia Games held in Dhaka in 2010. The other two golds were achieved at the 5th Korea Open International Taekwondo Championship 2008 held in South Korea.

The BTF is getting all support and patronization from the Bangladesh Ministry of Youth and Sports, National Sports Council, Bangladesh Olympic Association, the Trust Bank and the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Bangladesh. Mr. Oheeduzzaman Mazumder, Vice President of the BTF expressed his gratitude to all sports organizations, the government of Bangladesh, the Trust Bank and Korean embassy for providing valuable support to the Taekwondo Federation. He hopes that in the near future, the advancement of Taekwondo in Bangladesh would be more smooth and organized with the cooperation of all. He specially thanked incumbent Korean Ambassador Mr. Lee Yun-young for giving active support to the BTF and mentioned that all the Korean envoys provided similar support during the past decade.

Mr. Mahmudul Islam Rana, General Secretary of Bangladesh Taekwondo Federation and a pioneer of Taekwondo in this country, is very much optimistic about the future of this martial art in Bangladesh. He said Bangladeshi Taekwondo players have proved their skill and efficiency in regional games like the South Asian Games and international games like the Commonwealth Taekwondo Competition and many others during the last decade. “Now our target is to play in the Asian Games, the Commonwealth Games and finally in the Olympic Games and we are preparing our players accordingly,” said Rana confidently.

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