My name is Scott Bower, I'm a Unified ITF Certified 6th Degree International Instructor and Examiner. I've been training in Taekwon-Do since I was 11, back in 1984. Recently, I was given the opportunity to spearhead Australia's presence for the Unified International Taekwon-Do Federation under Grand Master Hwang. I've been involved with the Unified ITF since the beginning of 2011 and have come to know many of the International Members, Executive Members and indeed Grand Master Hwang himself quite well.
A little about the Unified ITF. The Unified International Taekwon-Do Federation was founded and incorporated as a legal entity in 2004. It does indeed have a Constitution and Executive Members. The UITF have their own objectives for being and they can be found online at http://unified-itf.com . We as the Australian Representatives, look after their interests for Australia and as the representative organisation, we also mirror the Unified ITF's objectives. That is to say, we look after and promote their presence, benefits, opportunities and goals here in Australia. Probably the most notable attribute is the single minded determination to teach the General's Taekwon-Do as he taught it. This is something I know the International Organisation prioritises over Memberships, a fact that only heartens my faith in the cause.
Unified ITF Australia breaks new ground in that it's headed by practitioners with a true yearning for the Art and it's promotion. Unified ITF Australia isn't run by anyone relying on the organisation and it's members to earn a living, I have no desire to engage in any element of protectionism of the almighty Dollar. Although I conduct all my affairs professionally, I don't rely on this for my livelihood and for this reason, we can offer a low financial barrier for entry and we don't preclude any practitioner regardless of their political alignment, the opportunity to share in our events and seminars. We have no vested interest in accumulating "Memberships" for the purposes of appeasing our International Body for any other reason besides the promotion of the true teachings of Taekwon-Do.
We are however, willing where required to deny or terminate membership where the upkeep of standards and the Art as the General taught it, isn't maintained. We may have a low "Financial" barrier to entry but our memberships come with the undertaking that as a Member, you support Unified ITF Australia and Internationally, Unified ITF events and also adhere to the standards that the General has laid out in the Encyclopaedia of Taekwon-Do - that last point is one I fear some will find an insurmountable barrier to entry.
This isn't to say we don't value Membership. There are many issues where for whatever reason, people don't get on and this is an understandable fact of life. This shouldn't preclude anyone from learning Taekwon-Do as the General intended and the opportunity regardless of membership or not should still be available, and it is. As a Member, we afford ourselves the opportunity to collaborate as a Group and partake in events bigger than our own Clubs, an important aspect that only a short-sighted head of school would fail to comprehend. We can negotiate Bulk Buy Discounts on such things as Insurances and Seminars with Masters and Grand Masters. As members, we get to meet regularly among ourselves to ensure our own standards are maintained with workshops and Grading panels of International Instructors for Gup and Dan Testing, available by whatever imaginative negotiation you could think of (Not Everyone requires cash incentives to help out...), but the emphasis is always on helping each other learn, teach and progress in Taekwon-Do. Many of us, myself included, will not want to have among us members that have their own self-interests at heart or are unashamedly elitists in their dealings with others... or sometimes, both. True Taekwon-Do and it's standards are clearly laid out in the Encyclopaedia and are easy to follow. These standards aren't just "guidelines".
Your membership to Unified ITF Australia can be made through any International Instructor or Master member of the Organisation. As much as I might be a central point of contact to the Unified ITF, I'm not the only point. My role is an administrative one and not necessarily the only access to the Unified ITF, it's international events and it's Master Instructors and associated Recognition.
Yours in Taekwon-Do,
6th Degree International Instructor and Examiner
Unified ITF Interim Australian Representative
Find yourself a New Direction
To introduce us, the following pages will explain in detail whom we are, our history and where you could expect to go when joining us on our Journey.
We are a collective of like-minded practitioners working towards furthering Taekwon-Do as General Choi intended. If you want to know more, feel free to contact Unified ITF Australia or any of us from our Member's Contact List.