Turkmenistan Taekwondo Championship: the start of a new stage
Aydogdy Atabayev has a whole list of sporting achievements, titles and other regalia. He is well known in the sports circles of our country as an honored coach and head coach of Turkmenistan. And in world taekwondo circles – as the owner of the 8th dan black belt and the honorary title of "The Best Taekwondo Coach in the World (ITF)", as a member of the executive committee of the Asian Taekwondo Federation and as an international class judge of category "A", as well as an international instructor.
And he is also the founder of not only the national federation for this type of martial arts, but also the Turkmen taekwondo school itself.
It was he – Aydogdy Atabayev – who, in the early dashing 90s, while studying in Tashkent, studied with Korean teachers who came there and, deservedly receiving the first dan of the black belt, brought this harmonious system of martial art to Turkmenistan.
He started by attracting his friends and their acquaintances to the section. And then he took up the boys wandering aimlessly through the streets. And he taught them, like a real master, not to fight, but to self-discipline in the process of learning self-defense and attack techniques.
In other words, he taught not only the material side of martial arts, but also its spiritual component, which, according to the patriarchs of all oriental martial arts, is the essence of an endless process of self-knowledge.
– A perfect fighter is always confident in his abilities, and will not get involved in street conflicts when some cheeky bully tries to hurt him, – Aydogdy told his students, repeating it like a mantra every time. – Except in cases when the life or health of the weak and defenseless is in danger. But the highest application of the art of martial arts is to serve one's homeland.
Very soon, the taekwondo section began to grow, and Aidogdy, having prepared the first students from various regions of Turkmenistan, instructed them to coach. So, after the victorious spread of karate in the 80s, a newcomer presented to the world by Korean General Choi Hong Hee, who synthesized in his brainchild all those effective techniques that were developed before him in the multifaceted martial arts system of the East, declared himself in Turkmenistan.
And at the end of those 90s, news broke – General Choi Hong Hee decided to visit Turkmenistan, where the struggle, of which he is the founder, spread surprisingly quickly in a short time.
These were some unforgettable days of 1999. Old-timers still remember the seminars that he personally conducted with Turkmen taekwondo practitioners. It was the impetus that set in motion all the activities that continued steadily until the beginning of the global pandemic.
Very soon the national team of the country was formed from the best pupils from all regions of Turkmenistan. No one expected it, but from the very first trip abroad, the pupils of Aydogdy Atabayev returned to their homeland with awards. And since then, Turkmen taekwondo athletes (according to the ITF version) have never violated this wonderful tradition: whether it is an international tournament, the Asian or world championships.
The last one was the difficult 2019 World Cup, held in Bulgaria. After that, there came a long and tedious break in the competition, which lasted up to the present day.
And on Saturday and Sunday, the national championship was held in Ashgabat, which brought together the strongest taekwondo athletes from all over Turkmenistan. Judging by the mood of athletes, coaches and Aydogda Atabayev himself, the efforts that were aimed at developing this type of martial arts in the country were not in vain.
– There are promising guys in all age groups and weight categories. And they need to be prepared to enter the international sports arena, says Aydogdy Atabayev.
In addition, it became known that the national team of Turkmenistan received an invitation to participate in the CIS Open Cup – the ITF Taekwondo World Cup, which will be held on December 8-12 in Minsk.
For quite objective reasons, it is difficult to demand successful performance from athletes after a long break, when the experience and skills of international tournament practice have been lost. But the confidence of the coach and his students gives hope.